One of the things that is most frustrating about recovering from anything at all is how it isn’t just a lovely straight line on a graph, where you start feeling shit and then stagger beautifully to wellness.
Last night, for the first time in a while, my wound site was really sore. It’s been healing beautifully, and most days I take no painkillers at all. Last night I had two lots. It made me sad. It was difficult to get comfortable in bed. I woke up quite a lot, because as well as the discomfort, my hormones are flaring and my boobs are sore. I am also hot flushing for England. I could win prizes.
This morning I woke up hot and sweaty and sore and fed up. I also had a headache and just felt grim. I compounded this with a heavy dose of ‘WAH WAH WAH. It’s not FAIR. WHY ME?’ etc, because misery loves company etc and I am a self indulgent dick.
Despite this and the urge to stay in bed and wallow, I got up and went downstairs. The sun was shining and it was warm enough to sit with the French windows open, watching Autumn march gently over my garden. The children had made me a pot of coffee before they went to school and it was still hot. Nobody had stolen my expensive granola (It is not healthy. It is basically ground up flapjacks that make me feel less guilty than eating actual flapjacks, because the box says granola, and I eat it with a spoon out of a bowl). They had put the washing out, and put the dishwasher on, and left me nothing to do but whatever I liked.
I drank a lot of water and took some pills for my headache, ate my breakfast and drank a lot of coffee. I started to feel a bit better. I chatted to my mum on the phone, which always makes me feel better. I read Tom Gauld’s new book, Baking With Kafka. It made me laugh. I checked in with some of my lovely friends via the power of social media (hooray for instant connection with people you love). I read Ella Risbridger’s new poetry column on The Pool. It delighted me. I laughed immoderately at a brilliant Twitter thread about a young man who took advantage of Wetherspoon’s new app to ask people to order his friend drinks because it was his birthday. The things that got delivered were brilliant. You should go and take a look. I also got a message from Robert Webb on Twitter because I told him how much I loved his book yesterday. It was only a ‘thanks for reading’, Tweet, but it was nice. He didn’t have to reply. Many don’t.
Which reminds me. Sabrina Ghayour is one of the people who does chat to you on Twitter and Instagram, and her new cookery book is well worth chatting about. The chicken and turmeric noodle soup yesterday was wonderful. Thinking about it this morning got me excited for tonight’s recipe, which is beef skirt steak, marinaded in rose harissa and served in crusty French bread sandwiches with lots of green leaves and a sharp onion salsa. I’m going to push the boat out because it’s Friday and make garlic potato wedges to go with it. This thought cheered me right up.
By this time, even though I was still sore, and had the remains of my headache, I was feeling more optimistic about life. I thought about my promise to myself to get off my arse every day. I had started the day thinking ‘fuck that noise.’ Exercise is not my favourite or my best. I felt sorry for myself even thinking about doing it. I decided I wouldn’t. By half past ten I reminded myself of a This Girl Can ad that someone had sent me which basically said, ‘getting off your arse at all is better than never getting off your arse.’ I reminded myself that I didn’t have to run a marathon. I just had to move.
I put my terrible play list on. I got up and started moving. Forty minutes later, after having smiled my way through a load of terribly cheese-tastic tunes that my children berate me for liking, I felt better. I hadn’t been bored, because I was enjoying the music and I’d entertained myself by letting the random thoughts that regularly flit through my head have their way, which is how come I ended up thinking quite hard about why whatever bit of the body’s chemistry controls the ear, decides that old men must have hairy plume ears. I wondered if back in the olden, dinosaur days, men did really well until their ears froze off and they died. And why women didn’t? Perhaps its the hot flushes that keep the ears limber into old age. Maybe that’s what they’re actually for.
And now I feel better.