Where To Start

It’s been too long since I last wrote. Life goes in waves, and the past two weeks have been phenomenally busy. Let’s try to catch up…

Work has been dominant, of course. But not the normal kind of work. I’ve been doing a lot more web stuff, with awkward and sometimes useless clients. Overall it has been OK, except for the fact that it has almost entirely replaced my normal PC repair work, without me even trying. It’s odd, because at around this time last year the same thing happened: repairs slowed to next to nothing.

The good news in some respects is there have been no more funny “episodes”. I’ve tried to eat more too – because I’m convinced lack of energy has been making me feel weak. I think there has been success on this front, as in truth I need to put on some weight. I don’t think I have, but I haven’t lost anything, which is a start. So I feel a bit more confident about health, which is a relief.

The only downside on that front was last week, when I had to do some work in London for a client of mine. After work was over, we went for a drink, which turned into about seven. Now, I am not a drinker. In fact, I am a total lightweight. My excuse is that I had had very little to eat all day, the last proper meal consisting of a sandwich and some grapes at lunchtime.

Somehow I managed to stumble home, but much the worse for wear. I was violently sick on the train home, and indeed have a memory of starting to throw up as I was just about stumbling into the toilet. This continued for about 30 minutes. I don’t think the momentum of the train helped. It was highly embarrassing, not to mention deeply unpleasant. I never use train toilets at the best of times… but I had no choice!

The next day was a total write off. I had to cancel everything. I was still being sick well into the afternoon, despite my stomach being totally empty, and feeling desperately weak through constantly trying to throw up absolutely nothing. It was the worst feeling I’ve had in a long time. I generally don’t enjoy getting drunk; two or three drinks is enough to make me enjoy the evening… and if that’s what’s going to happen when I dare to have a little more than that, I think I’ll pass, thanks all the same. My housemate tried to say maybe I’d eaten something funny, because he thought it looked more than the usual post-drinking hangover – which I suppose is possible, but I think it’s more likely it’s because I hadn’t eaten at all…

Which, naturally, contradicts what I wrote above about eating better. But that day was a mistake. I was working too hard and forgot to eat. As usual.

This week has been busy too – but it has also had some bonuses. My sister, brother-in-law and two nephews have come to visit for a couple of days. Yesterday we went to Bournemouth for the day, which was really good fun. The weather has been stunning lately, about 10 days in a row of wall-to-wall sunshine and 20C warmth. My kind of conditions. Today, it is not quite so good, and I think we’ll get a cooler spell now.

But this has cheered me up significantly. Life is dull, generally, and I have nothing exciting to live for. When there are other people to enjoy it with, it becomes much better. So getting to do something different, even if I still have to field calls when I’m out from customers who don’t understand that a new computer has nothing to do with their printer ink running out, is much appreciated.

Anyway, that’ll do. Another month over.

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Weakness And Surgery

This past week, I did something I would never have ordinarily done, but life doesn’t always go to plan.

On Monday night, my brother was complaining of pains in his abdomen. Thinking nothing of it, I went to bed… earlier than normal as I had an early start on the Tuesday morning. But during the night, I woke up two or three times to the sounds of complaints and things happening in the house. From what I could ascertain, it sounded like my brother was being taken to hospital.

I didn’t want to get up because I was desperately tired, and needed sleep critically. Tuesday was to be another of my whirlwind PC repair days, where I have a full day booking for a company which involves a couple of hours travel before and after. In any event, it was all under control, and I wouldn’t be able to help.

I did manage to go back to sleep, but woke up at least two more times, because my brain conspires against me all the time. In the end I got up at 5am, because I needed to get going.

Within about 15 minutes my dad came back on his own, with the news that he’d left my brother at the hospital as they wanted to admit him for an emergency appendectomy. Slightly shocked, I still thought there’s just nothing I can do, though. I should just go to work and ask them to keep me up to date.

I felt fine, but it wasn’t to last. Sitting on a train at 7:30am, I suddenly started to feel incredibly ill. My vision went blurred, and started flashing. I felt tired and extremely warm. I had to undo my jacket and a layer underneath, but it was no good. Next thing I knew the person sitting next to me was tapping me giving me my phone back, which I’d just dropped on the floor. Now, I didn’t drop the phone deliberately, so something made me black out. It must have just been for a couple of seconds, long enough for me drop it…

He then asked if I was OK, but I wasn’t. I said I wasn’t and then proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes holding my head and feeling really sick. I didn’t want to vomit – it was more of a “cannot possibly stay conscious” feeling. But I knew I had to, because going unconscious in public, in a fairly hostile situation (commuters aren’t the most sympathetic of characters) wasn’t an option.

By some miracle I made it to my destination. I recovered slightly, but most of all was so worried about the fact that I couldn’t understand what was going on with me. I am usually healthy all of the time. I rely on being fit on more than average number of days compared to most people to live my reasonably hectic work life. But all of a sudden I was dangerously exposed.

Once I arrived at work I told them what had happened and said I might not last very long. Bravely I tried to work for an hour, but it was no use, and I was soon making my way home. It was horrible and painful, but I did it. Fortunately.

Meanwhile, my poor brother had to undergo his surgery, but, I’m pleased to say, is making a steady recovery. It was a real worry too – and he seems to have had far worse luck than me in life so far on the health front. I went to visit him after the surgery and he looked awful. He is back to his normal self now, but will have to take it easy.

The strain all this put on the family is shocking. Already struggling to cope with what’s going on with my grandparents, my mum could do without any of us being ill as well. I really ought to get myself properly checked out, but last week all I wanted to do was just vegetate. I cancelled my plans, at great loss of income to me, and spent the last five days doing very, very little at all.

I went back to work today, and managed it OK. I still feel very run down, and desperately worried about what’s going to happen. I’ve also now gained a bizarre sense of apprehension: what if it happens again? I’m planning to make the same journey again tomorrow. But now I have to worry that something could go wrong with me – an issue I have never, ever had to consider.

I have always taken my health for granted. I suppose those of us who are healthy do that. But I really do need to try harder on this front. For instance, the week before last I missed evening meal two nights in a row. That can’t be good for me, not considering the amount of energy I need, and the bottomless pit of a stomach I seem to have. Maybe I am the architect of my own downfall…

But as my impromptu “holiday” draws to a close, I am once again filled with depression and foreboding. I don’t want to go back to my work down South, but I have no choice. It is my life now. I should just live with it and try to make it enjoyable.

Just got to get tomorrow out the way first.

Missing The Leap Day

I had fully intended to write something in honour of Leap Day. It only comes round every four years after all, and I missed it. I also missed it in 2008 – so in all this dear blog’s life, I have never written a Happy Leap Day post. For shame

But the reason behind it is simple. After moaning in my second to last post about an apparent decline in work, the balance has swung completely the other way. I am currently inundated with work on both my normal repairs and also the website fronts. This is meaning I get precisely zero hours each day to myself. Amidst all that, I am also managing to fit in some time to write yet another proposal with a friend/future business partner (maybe) of mine. This will be our fourth, and still no sign of anyone biting.

So I should have enjoyed the peace while it lasted. But then again, there is never really any peace anyway. Even in the downtime I found plenty for me to do, incuding some desperately needed cleaning and tidying up in this house. Not that that mattered, since within minutes I get my housemate dropping coleslaw on the nice shiny kitchen floor.

On that front, I am getting increasingly desperate. I need to get out of here. I just don’t want to listen to him any more. I also don’t want the association of living with another man. I know it’s terrible to say this kind of thing, and I say it knowing that my housemate is actually gay – but unfortunately I am flawed enough to worry about these kind of things. I worry that, since my housemate cannot help but camp things up to other people, people just automatically assume I must be gay too.

Alas, I am no longer self-confident enough in myself to believe that none of this matters. Because it does. If I had a conversation with my 17 year old me, he would say “fuck them all”. He wouldn’t care about the judgemental nature of society. Christ, I even have my own writings about it from back then. Back then he was very comfortable being a stand out individual, thank you very much. Not that he ever was, I assure you. But he liked to think he was.

Now I have very much conformed. These days, my life is very much the epitome of modern middle class mediocrity. Except I don’t have that much money, and I certainly don’t have any real reason for existing. At least most middle class have children to bring up, or significant others to enjoy life with. I don’t have that, or anything even near it. I just have a housemate who I despise living with.

Life shouldn’t feel this bad, but it does when you’re stressed all day every day like I am at the moment. For instance, today I booked myself in to do some website work. The plan was not to go anywhere all day, sit here and get cracking on a project that will make me a decent wedge of cash, but just needs a solid couple of days focus on it.

From about 8:30am to 5:00pm, I was flitting from one job to another, as phones rang, new jobs were booked in, people dropped things off, people collected things, I tried to fix some computers, I went to collect some parts I’d bought from a local supplier, I nipped to the shops for some sustenance, and called in on a neighbour for some computer help and a friendly coffee.

That was my working day. In other words, I didn’t do anything I had planned to. But that is now a normal day.

I always say to myself I shouldn’t moan. I should be happy working so much. Other people would kill for it. But it gets me down so badly. I don’t know how I can put up with it really, not knowing there is a plan for how to deal with it properly, and use it to build upon for the future.

Still. At least I’ve had an extra day to earn money this year. Those who are employed basically worked for free on the Leap Day. I definitely didn’t!