Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Well THAT was fun

I spent most of the last 4 hours in the emergency department of my local hospital. I had been having long coughing fits (really long, like up to half an hour) that were leaving me dizzy and gasping, and I got scared and since I couldn't get a doctor's appointment at such short notice, off I went to hospital. My wonderful friend Beth came and picked me up so I didn't have to drive, and waited for me all that time. She is a champion!

Basically, I've got a chest infection that is clearing up, and the lingering post-nasal drip is inflaming my lungs and thus triggering my asthma. So they've given me a dose of
steroids at the hospital and a script for three more doses, told me to take the rest of the week off work, and keep taking antibiotics, asthma medication and cough suppressant. Oh joy. But at least it's neither swine flu nor pneumonia!

I feel shocking - burning and aching lungs, a headache from the coughing, and exhausted because I've been losing a lot of sleep to these coughing fits. I'm immensely relieved that I've got the rest of the week off. I've emailed my uni tutor asking for an extension on my assignment that is due Friday, and hopefully all will be well.

August is clearly cursed!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I'm heading off to the markets this morning to get bits and pieces for the renaissance dress I'm making for next weekend's SCA events. One of the markets has an absolutely awesome notions shop (ribbons and lace and so on) so I'm going to get all the trim. Then I have to come back and actually sew the thing o_O. I cut out all the pieces with Mum's help last night, after she measured me and did all sorts of arcane things to the pattern to make it fit. I swear I'm going to learn to do that myself some day!

I'm feeling a bit fragile this morning because I woke up at 4am coughing frantically and kept on coughing like that until my lungs felt completely raw. Eventually I seemed to get whatever it was out of my airways (though not without throwing up all the water I'd drunk!) and I was able to take some cough medicine and go back to sleep. But it was pretty scary, and I even toyed with the thought of calling an ambulance for a while. This morning I think I should have taken some asthma medication, but I didn't think of that last night. My chest is still a bit achy from having coughed it raw, and I'm going to have to be careful not to aggravate it, so I'll have to take it easy today. The markets are mostly indoors and my car has good heating, and then I can come and sit in my warm study and sew all afternoon, so I should be right.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spring is Coming!

The last two nights there's been something different about night time, and it's taken me until now to realise what it was.

It was birdsong.

All night long, for the last two nights.

It's a bit early for hatching so perhaps it's laying? Or I could be wrong and it is hatching. Either way, the birds are warbling away all night long right now.

Spring can't be far away, thank goodness. What a winter!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Not Again . . .

The doctor's verdict is that either the first infection never quite cleared up, or I picked up a second one. Either way my virus-ravaged lungs were susceptible to infection, and I've got one. So I've got more antibiotics, stronger ones this time, and throat-deflating cough lozenges (lol) and instructions to rest, damnit. I'm going to try to do that . . . honestly . . .

These have been three truly horrible weeks, between this virus & bacteria assault and MD's perfidy and our school's financial trouble (and some of the teachers' state of denial about it, which led to me having a very angry exchange with a twit of a woman who doesn't want to face up to the facts - an outburst which left me sobbing on the school admin's shoulder afterwards while she assured me that her son loves my class and the other woman is a complete idiot). I feel battered and bruised by it all, and hope that the downturn is over for the time being! I'm doing as much as I can to get healthy and stay sane and rebuild my life even better than it was before. Here's hoping it works.

I should be in bed . . . just hopped on to check whether I can spray eucalyptus oil on my pillow to any effect before I toddle off ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feeling Ghastly (again)

Yesterday's headache petered out after a good dose of ibuprofen and a relaxed evening, but this morning I woke up with a bad taste in the back of my throat, and I'm once again coughing up thick disgusting-looking yellow-green gunk. I can't get a doctor's appointment until tomorrow afternoon and even then it's not with a doctor I've seen before. So much for continuity of care! The coughing is starting to bring back my headache, and my throat hurts and I just feel cranky and awful. Plus I'm cold, even when all rugged up. Blech.

When I feel so cold and sick and miserable all I want is a hug, and it's hard not to remember that three weeks ago I had someone who would have come running to hug me, and I feel lost and lonely and abandoned. And I keep remembering that night and feeling angry and sad and all the more abandoned.

I just want to feel better.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Trying to Decide

As you know, since earlier this year I've been playing in a well-known concert band. I enjoy concert bands immensely - playing with a large ensemble is a thrill - but recently I've been feeling less and less confident in this one. I'm eighth of eight flautists and very much less competent than the seventh. Some of the repertoire is above my current abilities, and while I don't mind being stretched, it's just becoming frustrating and depressing because I haven't currently got the agility to play the quick frilly bits that are the flute's job in a concert band. I find I'm spending most of my time feeling self-conscious and embarrassed and awkward, instead of revelling in the music.

On Monday I joined in an SCA music group - my very first SCA experience, and a good one! There was one other flautist, several violins, a cello, a harp, several recorders of different sizes, a couple of guitars, a drum, a rebec (!), and a sort of early organ that rests on the player's lap and is operated with a keyboard and bellows. The music was just the right level: not baby stuff, but not so hard that I couldn't actually play it by sight, which was all sorts of fun. The challenge came in playing the descant / harmony lines and keeping to the interesting medieval rhythms and getting faster as some of the dances progressed. It reminded me that I can be a wanted and valued member of a musical group, not a second-class citizen who's only just good enough to be there.

I can do both band and SCA music, and perhaps improve in each via the other, but there's another element. The SCA has a singing group as well, that operates on Tuesdays when I'm normally at band. I haven't found a choir I'm happy with yet, because most choirs seem to be the province of my mother's and grandmother's generations, or uber-elite groups of people my age or younger that I'm sure I'm not good enough to join. So I'm missing out on singing.

If I leave band, I get to do flute AND singing with the SCA, and with at least some people my own age. And people who are really doing it for the pure joy of it, not because they're professional or elite musicians.

If I decide not to do band, I will miss out on taking part in the Christmas Pageant, something I have wanted to do since I was a little girl. But then again, I found marching for ANZAC day quite challenging and not entirely fun, and this would be a much longer march playing a wider range of more challenging pieces. And I'd be free to watch the pageant, and there will be Christmas events with the SCA and church and so on. I don't think I'll be desperately lacking Christmas events. Not to mention that medieval Christmas carols are my favourites anyway ;)

So I'm torn and trying to make a decision about whether or not I'm staying or going with band. I've missed nearly two months of rehearsals between viruses and the school camp, so I feel very behind. I have to go back at least once to drop my uniform off, but otherwise I'm not sure I want to go back. I've got to make a decision by next Tuesday really. And before the fee invoices for this financial year come out! I don't know what I want.

I've got a headache that is hovering on the edge of migraine territory, and a queasy stomach, and I'm more supervising than actually teaching today. I'm feeling the pressure because my housemate may be moving out in a month or so (moving closer to work) and my school is having financial wobbles (lots of kids withdrew because their parents just can't afford the fees in the financial crisis) and although we're working on it, I'm terrified I'm going to be retrenched. I know the principal doesn't want to lose anyone and is pulling out all stops to avoid that, but I'm still worrying.

The SCA is much, much cheaper than any of my other interests, and I can do singing, flute, dancing, arts and crafts, sewing and so on through it so it's extremely wide-ranging and valuable. I just feel a little strange about putting all my eggs in one basket. But then again, perhaps I should be keeping them all together . . .

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Busy Weekend

My stepfather turned 50 yesterday, and tonight Mum is throwing a huge party for him. Between 40 and 50 people are coming, and we're providing all of the food. Nibbles, mains, desserts, everything - all home made! So I've spent the whole day at Mum's, making cheesecake balls and potato salads and so on. Not to mention coaxing smiles out of my sister who was having a sulky 13-year-old day and had a row with Mum! I'm at home again now, waiting for my hair to dry so I can get dressed and head back over there to help Mum set stuff out before the guests start to arrive. My feet are sore but I'm looking forward to the party. It should be fun.

Tomorrow I'm going to a friend's birthday lunch and then later in the afternoon heading to a few of my favourite (and much less frequently visited than they should be) shops to buy bits and pieces for my SCA costumes. I need some sort of overdress with a belt, shoes, and perhaps some sort of headdress. Looking forward to that!

Must go get ready now . . .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Because I was feeling so grey and low today, I decided to spend this evening picking a new interest to join. Pursuing new interests is part of my grief recovery plan. After Mr S Bananahead and I broke up I joined the choir up in Wongan Hills, and then when I moved back to Perth I continued the music theme by joining the concert band. I also gave one choir a try, but found that I was the youngest there by 10 years, and younger than the average age by at least 20. I felt fish-out-of-water-ish and didn't really enjoy it. So I've stuck with band, and that's been great. But I knew I was wanting another life-building, friendship-building activity.

Over the past week or so I'd considered volunteering as a museum guide, or taking up karate again. The first quickly lost its appeal when I realised that what they actually want are mere ticket and icecream sellers! The karate idea still stands, except that I'm not fit enough to join yet and it's quite expensive. So I was casting around for something that appealed and would help me to grow and change.

I've settled on something I've always wanted to do, since I was a teenager, and I've never had the courage, transport or money to do: I've joined a mediaeval re-enactment society.

I can't go to any of the events for two weeks, but I've signed up with the appropriate yahoo groups and started an email dialogue with one of the organisers, and I'm really excited about it. Costumes, roleplaying, opportunities for sewing and craft and dance and music making . . . this is going to be AWESOME.

I remember longing to do something like this when I visited the Grey Company with a family friend when I was 14. It's taken me a while, but I am going to thoroughly enjoy it.

Alright, who's from Estonia?!

Someone from Estonia has been hitting my blog frequently for days.

I can't think of anyone I know from Estonia, online or otherwise, but if you're from there please let me know in a comment - the curiosity is killing me :)