the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Archive for April, 2012

Day 121 Alert!

Posted by themirrenlee on 30/04/2012

Tonsils are holding me hostage.

Negotiating for release with antibiotics.

I’m just waitin’ …

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Day 120 A Change of Pace

Posted by themirrenlee on 29/04/2012

And now for something completely different …

let’s talk about my health.

NO, LET’S NOT!

I am so UTTERLY BORED with being held back by my health that I pushed myself to go see “The Avengers” with one of the friends I’m staying with. Caryl doesn’t like to go to the movies much, but her husband, Roman, does so I’m his “movie mate”. We have very similar tastes, and love dissecting the movie afterwards (so many people, including one of my ex-husbands, find this irritating), so we’re a good match.

Nothing like a fun movie to lift your spirits. (Must admit, though, that this popcorn looks a bit unappetising.)

It was a real giggle at the start, too, because we usually go on Saturday nights, but this time we went on Friday. (With me toting my hot water bottle to cope with my back pain. Oh, and I always use one of the booster seats for my legs so I don’t get a pulling sensation in my back. Just a little hint for those of you with short legs like me.) Roman must have had a “senior moment” because he booked Saturday night tickets over the phone, and because the ticket collector didn’t notice, we didn’t realize until we were in the cinema with people asking for their seats back. Six times! I was in fits of laughter, and we just kept hoping that the place wouldn’t fill up, but we were lucky and finally got settled in a couple of vacant seats. We later discovered we’re not larcenous enough, because it wasn’t until after we’d thrown our tickets away that we realized we could have given them to someone else for Saturday night! There is just basically no checking at the mall we go to.

I am a Robert Downey Jr. groupie, so that was my main reason for going, but I also prefer dick flicks over chick flicks any day. It was so great to go out and get some “input” that it was worth fighting through the pain and exhaustion from my Friday endeavors helping Zina.

Today I finally got out the computer and logged onto my WordPress site properly and answered Comments, removed spam, etc. I have a million change of address notifications to do, and I was thrilled to discover that most of them can now finally be done online. This is only recent for us. And who is the hardest to contact? Any of the government agencies, of course. Medicare, our medical system, said I had to log online between 9-5pm. WTF?! Since when does the Internet keep office hours?!

I took a Lyrica last night (sorry, back to health), and ended up sleeping for about 8 hours straight! This is so bizarre for me, especially with my “irritable bladder”. (Hint to anyone else who has this: a bladder stretch doesn’t work and is just more pain for nothing. I maintain it’s part of some people’s Fibro profile – another reactive symptom. ) I woke up completely disoriented. Did I feel better? No. Why? Because my tonsil continues to flare, so I gave in and started taking antibiotics. Oh, to have an immune system as strong as The Hulk!

At this point, I don’t think I’ll get away driving to Sydney until Thursday at the earliest. Stressing about it won’t do any good, so I might as well just be grateful that I have a lovely and inviting place to stay until I’m strong enough.

Every time I go to the movies I tell myself I must get back in the habit of going weekly because it gives me such a lift. This is the Industry I love, and the profession that I’ve been in all my life as an actress/coach/director/agent/casting person/writer/producer, etc., and yet I haven’t been pushing through hard enough to get out and see product, which spurs me to feel inspired about my life change this year. (Going back to acting and writing instead of just coaching, and maybe being able to return to Hollywood for awhile.) Sydney will be good for that because my son, David, does movie podcasts so he’s constantly going to screenings and that will encourage me to, as well. And no, I’m not a theater person anymore, which in the eyes of some people makes me a cretin. But I look upon theater the same way I do radio drama: they both have their place, but they can’t compete with the experience the movies give us.

Okay, muscles are screaming after several hours of sitting at the computer, so that’s enough for now. I’m pretty proud that my tonsil and I have pushed through for this long. Come on, antibiotics, do your stuff.

I’m just healin’ …

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Day 119 Rip Off Alert

Posted by themirrenlee on 28/04/2012

Still couldn’t unpack computer. That ol’ wall loomed in front of me today after I’d been run over by the Hummer. I’m so lucky to have a nice place to stay while getting my strength back. Caryl even served me breakfast in bed! And I always have their cat snuggling next to me – such bliss. He’s old, which gives him the same energy as chronic fatigue, so we’re perfectly matched.

I am a chronic price watcher and bargain hunter, and I found a big Lyrica gap I wanted to alert Aussie readers to. I decided to have it on hand for when I needed a sleep boost, and knew it cost about $50. Well, I went to a Chemist Warehouse (one of our discount chains) and was quoted $70. I said no thanks and went to another of their branches – same company – and got it for $35!

When I was in Hollywood a few years ago, I had to get antibiotics and the first chemist quoted a hundred dollars. The second one quoted $75, and I finally got them at Costco for $50. I think it’s a tad bizarre that we have to basically bargain for our medication no matter where we are, but there it is. And we’re not talking only a couple of dollars. Add that to the fact that we have to usually take more than one drug, plus the high cost of supplements (especially when they get
“popular), and people with chronic conditions become the golden geese for a lot of people.

Not fair, is it? Well, one of my favorite sayings is, “Fair’s a place where pigs go to win ribbons.” !!!!!

So my advice is to always get a couple of quotes. I found, when renovating a house many years ago, that the perfect number of quotes to get before you’d start to get repetitions was four. If you can’t manage that many (they count on us not having the energy for it), then at least get a couple. Unless, of course, you’re rich!

The cat, Ming, and I are turning in early. I’m hoping the wall’s gone when I wake up, and the Hummer left me alone during the night. I have packing to do.

I’m just bargain huntin’ …

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Day 118 Watch This Space

Posted by themirrenlee on 27/04/2012

Tomorrow.

Tonight my muscles are so tight I’m having trouble breathing.

I’m just postponin’ a post …

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Day 117 Backlash

Posted by themirrenlee on 26/04/2012

Yeah, yesterday was an anomaly, in terms of feeling relaxed and well slept. Last night it all came crashing down on me – the effort of the last few weeks, and I couldn’t fall asleep until about 7am. I got up about noon, groggy and sore, went to the missed doctor and counsellor appointments from last Monday, then drove an hour in traffic to visit poor Zina with her broken hip, after stops to get her varoius treats – a Sudoku book, cake, face cream. She’s in Sandringham Hospital, which is so horrible; it doesn’t even have a proper canteen or gift shop.

I have just come home and am lying on the bed too sore to even get properly ready for bed.

The doctor just kept me on the status quo for medication, but also gave me that old expensive Lyrica in case it takes awhile to sleep properly again. I know many people use it for pain relief, but with me it’s like an anaesthetic! All of my medications are on our national health scheme, which means I get them for $5.80, except for Lyrica, which is about $50. I’d better start sleeping okay real fast! I also got a flu shot. Not sure of the value, but if a Fibromite gets any condition that involves sore muscles it isn’t pretty, so better safe …

That means still no computer tonight. Here’s hoping for some sleep and a fresh start tomorrow.

I’m just wrecked …

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Day 116 Orgasmic

Posted by themirrenlee on 25/04/2012

Wow. After almost two weeks of being so stressed over the move and how bad I was feeling, I was basically one giant nerve ending living on adrenaline.

Then, last night, finally, for some inexplicable reason, my body LET GO and I SLEPT, deeply and soundly, for about five straight hours. It was like a miracle, and when I woke up I felt drained, in a good way, like after a few orgasms!

I do all the stuff we’re told to do for “sleep hygiene” – from meditating and slow, deep breathing to warm baths and hot chocolate – but when a Fibromite’s body is tight as a drum, an anaesthetic would have a hard time putting us under.

My focus last night was on the fact that I’ve finished the move, so I can release that tension, and today was a public holiday so I had an excuse to do nothing. Add that to the fact that I’m reading a good book while it’s dark and rainy outside, and you have perfect conditions for finally feeling my muscles relax a whole lot. What a relief.

So I won’t set the computer up yet. I’ll just enjoy this feeling and read my book.

I wish all Fibromites good muscle orgasms.

I’m just feelin’ the after glow …

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Day 115 Ooops – Fog Alert!

Posted by themirrenlee on 24/04/2012

Well, the Fog really caught up with me today.

I had cancelled my haircut appointment last week when I realized I’d double/triple booked with my doctor and counsellor for today.

Except that when I got to the clinic I discovered the appointments were actually for yesterday!

Luckily, they were okay about it and rebooked me for Thursday. But then I couldn’t find my car key.

After a long, frustrating search I found it sticking out of the driver’s side door lock.

When I got home to my friends’ place, Caryl and I started talking about when I’d get my bond back. I thought I would have that extra $1300 in the kitty, until she reminded me that they’d loaned it to me last year to be able to move in!

OMG, I had forgotten. How embarrassing. And what good, patient friends they are.

The last week has taken it out of me. I can’t even think straight.

I’m just needin’ me some rest …

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Day 114 The First Day …

Posted by themirrenlee on 23/04/2012

… of the rest of my year.

My plan begins in earnest now. There are two things I know, from personal experience.

1. We can have anything we want if we want it badly enough.

2. Everything happens for a reason.

For whatever we want, we need to have reached our threshold of NOT having it. Then we need to focus on it in every aspect of our lives – from putting up pictures to ticking off the goals it takes to achieve it. And we need to IGNORE anyone who says it’s a crazy idea.

As for what happens to us, they’re all lessons. Sometimes we’ll find out right away why it happened, other times it can take up to decades. Sometimes, if we’re a bit “slow”, we may have to learn the lesson more than once.

I learned the lesson this week that I can’t, with Fibromyalgia, pack up and clean a flat or house all by myself. I had the same exhausting experience twice before, so I’m one of the slow ones!

Tomorrow I’ll be hooked up to my computer again, so I’ll be able to post more, and include photos, etc. I’ll be able to start explaining why I’ve reached my threshold in the way I was living my life, and why I wanted to change it.

I also want to share, in the Fibromyalgia Category, my 30 year journey with this horrible condition. Journey? It’s been like the bus trip from Hell in the middle of Siberia! I might be able to help others with what I’ve learned, since there’s hardly a drug or treatment that I haven’t tried. I’ve also learned, for the Australians, services available for them they may not be aware of.

Today was a good start. I knew I’d be totally incapacitated after the Hummer hit me during the night, but I made a conscious decision to just give into it, drug myself to the eyeballs (in this case, Mersyndol Forte knocked me out), and sleep for almost 24 hours, off and on.

I woke up sore, of course, but mostly stiff, which I expected. I felt rested, though, or as rested as chronic fatigue will allow. To sum up, I did the best that I should have for myself, and I feel like tomorrow I’ll be able to function with the appointments I have – doctor and counsellor. The really good news is that with all the hard work (and sweats) I’ve lost over 5 pounds! Bear in mind that this was while on a mostly sugar diet because when I’m incredibly sore and tired I can’t eat normal food; my IBS won’t let me. (Please don’t send me nutritional advice – I know my body.)

And I DO realize how lucky I am that I’m in the situation now where
I’m only accountable to myself, since I got rid of the husbands, and both my kids are grown up. Having any chronic condition while still raising a family – and I’ve been there – is about as hard as it gets. My thoughts go out to those in that position. All I can say is: train them!

I’m texting this from a comfortable bed, in a luxurious house (my friends have a beautiful place), with their cat purring beside me. (I am a CAT FREAK!) Sometimes, through all the poo poo that life throws at us, we just have to stop for a minute and be grateful for those little good things that make those bigger bad things more bearable.

I’m just sayin’ …

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113 Homeless!

Posted by themirrenlee on 22/04/2012

Finally, my self imposed homelessness has begun!

I thought at one point today I wouldn’t make it, with all the cleaning and packing and hauling. I had to keep stopping every fifteen minutes to lie flat on my back and gird my loins for more pain. I missed my friend’s (Caryl) birthday party last night because my back spasmed up so badly I couldn’t walk.

Then today my right ankle went into spasm for a few hours. It’s the “Fibromyalgia Circus of Travelling Pain”.

To top it all off, as usually happens in these situations, the vacuum cleaner stopped sucking, followed by the mop head breaking off the pole!

But I persevered, and even though I can hardly walk, and know that tomorrow I will feel like a Hummer ran over me in the middle of the night, I’m proud that I was able to push through and just DO it.

I’m tucked up in bed at my friends’ place (Caryl and her husband Roman), and will be taking things slowly until I’m ready to drive to Sydney. A normal person can make the drive in about 10-11 hours, but I’ll be taking a couple of days – I usually stop at a motel about half way there. Getting up early for check out is tough, but endless driving is worse.

I feel like I’ve taken a big step in my plan for going to L.A. at the end of the year.

It’s quite nice not having my own place at the moment. Feels quite freeing. It probably seems weird to most people, who like their own “nests”, but I’ve always said if I had my druthers I’d live in a five star hotel. Maid and room service- can’t beat that!

Anyway, what a relief to have finished moving out.

Now I’m just recoverin’ …

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Day 112 Just Do It

Posted by themirrenlee on 21/04/2012

Nike had the right idea with that slogan. I live by it – along with “Make It Happen”.

I have both these sayings as keychains, fridge magnets, stickers, etc. They remind me that no matter what happens, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

They also remind me that life is about CHOICES. They’re what we mean when we talk about Personal Power. You and I have the power of Choice in everything we do, say, think, feel and, most importantly, how we REACT.

I have chosen, for instance, to finish my move tomorrow instead of today. I’m so close to not being able to function with the pain and fatigue that I would probably have had to miss my friend’s birthday party tonight if I’d done any more, and I don’t want to disappoint her.

That’s not what really got me thinking about choices today, though. It was a whole bunch of blogs and news stories that seem to have come to my attention all at once. They all concern people’s loneliness, sadness, depression, feelings of emptiness.

If I were to say to these various people, “You know, you DO have choices about how you handle your life, and your feelings,” they’d probably get mad at me. I know that when my first counsellor said nobody MAKES me do anything, I choose to feel the way I do with them (after I said my husband made me upset), I sulked for three sessions! Then finally, I got it.

If I have the CHOICE, then I have the POWER! Wow. What an amazing, life-changing revelation.

We can choose to be unhappy about whoever is hurting us, or whatever problems we have – and chronic illness is certainly something that demands a lot of positive choices if we want to avoid just giving up – or we can choose to not let them affect us negatively. That’s certainly not the way to fix them anyway. Negative attracts negative, while positive energy attracts positive results.

It’s not easy. Life isn’t easy. But it’s certainly a whole lot better with better choices.

I’m struggling with this move. But I choose to do the best I can and keep remembering that it’s almost finished. I also choose to see the lesson I learned, as I said yesterday, in that I’ll never try to do it all on my own again.

I wish for everyone out there who feels sad and unhappy, and trapped, to realize that you’re not. You just need some different choices. That’s where counselling is so valuable. It helps you see a wider possible range of what you can choose to do in your life.

Now I’m just choosin’ to rest …

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