Funny thing happened on Monday – public holiday – gardening – and suddenly really wobbly on my feet.  The exact same sensation as when you have drunk too much alcohol and then lie down, to find the world is spinning.

I had to lie down.  I had to crawl across the floor on hands and knees to turn off the alarm inexplicably going off at 5:00pm.  I almost but didn’t quite cry out for help.  I crawled back to bed hoping it would stop.  Short of keeping absolutely still, it didn’t, and eventually on Tuesday I went to the Dr who said “Ahhh, you have benign positional paroxysmal vertigo.”  Who even knew there was such a thing, never mind several manoeuvres of the head which sort it out, provided you sleep at 45 degrees for the next two nights.  Something to do with little bits of calcium in your ear sending the wrong messages to your brain. The Dr was adamant it was not a brain aneurysm, stroke, tumour, high blood pressure or anything else I could think of.   I think he was right, I am much better.

Even so, I spent the best part of 2 days lying down.  Gives you time to think, once you have done with sleeping.  So as well as physically feeling very topsy turvy, the whole world inside your head gets examined.  To complicate matters, I found I left my keys behind, when we packed up in a hurry and came home.  There are spares of course, but the end result of all this is a day at home today, Friday, because there is no one else in the office and I found myself with a list of many items to deal with.

Is there anything more satisfying in life than ticking off a to-do list?  Emails, letters, filing –  tick tick tick.  And being at home.  Soon-t0-depart son faffing about, bit touchy, bit nervous I think.  I do two loads of washing before he even surfaces, then on a really windy sunny day he washes something and shoves it straight into the dryer.  I say nothing.  Nothing.  I am having a day at home and will not be irritated.

I walk up to the shops for blood tests, a precursor to cancelling my life insurance as soon as I get the test results back.  Big tick.  I make a mental note to treat my body better – yes, I am worth it.  And when I have cancelled my life insurance it will be in my hands to look after this pile of bones and flesh so I can live well and long.   The insurance company sent me a letter saying “we have reviewed the terms and conditions of your insurance and advise the premium will increase $10 a MONTH.  All I did was have a birthday, nothing else changed.  So I too have reviewed the terms and conditions.

Yesterday I had time for some maintenance.  Who knew that as we age we get hair, and it is revolting.  Facial hair.  On a woman.  Ghastly.  The hands of my beauty therapist are soft and gentle and she deals with the unbearable.  She encourages me to come back for a facial treatment, “not this torture”.  Make no mistake, it is painful, but worth it.  So something to look forward to in late November.  The time and expense required for repairs and maintenance seems to be steadily mounting.

Health insurance?  Not so sure.  The last time I had problems with calcium lumps ended with a breast biopsy.  Expensive, hard on the nerves, but it all turned out OK.  I had a mammogram recently to start the cancelling-of-insurance process, and the calcifications that caused such a stir have disappeared.  I think they are now in my ear.

The insurance industry would have us all running around having tests all the time, living in the fear and paying out ever-increasing premiums as our reward. My kids are healthy, and if they are not it is self-inflicted (spinning rooms of the other sort we have all experienced before).  So their health insurance?  Gone.  “Pay your own?” I checked.  Nup.  Seems it is only me that worries, they certainly don’t.  The premium can got into the University accommodation fund.  All money flows the same way in the end, it seems, it just depends where it pools temporarily in our hands until it ends up in theirs.  I will keep my insurance for now though.  I have had it since I left University myself, years ago.  Probably just a bad habit.

Final tax assessment for my Uncle’s estate – all as returned.  Tick.  Sort out a few emails and things for TOSSI – several ticks.  Strip the bed and put the linen out in the sun to air.  Bliss.  Talk to the cats.  Check work emails in-between cups of tea.  Bleat to No 2 son about the printer being off-line again, book him in for supper on Monday to farewell his brother, ask how his exam went.  Hang out more washing.  I like this life.  Take No 1 son to the airport for his weekend in Wellington, drive past my brother’s house (no one home), think about going window shopping but opt for sorting out the splash back instead.  Tickity-tick tick.  More washing, more sunshine.  Watch the house being built out the back have it’s roof put on.  More tea.

Tempting to get out in the garden but I still feel a bit wobbly.  Maybe housework instead so the house is clean and tidy for the weekend?  Maybe not.

My wobbly head makes me realise that firstly, you have to be healthy or life is rubbish.  I feel, for the first time, sympathy for my poor old Dad who died a few years ago in a confused collapse of mind and body.  He just couldn’t cope.  I can see why, if his brain was as wobbly as mine has been.  Can’t drive, can’t walk properly, no energy, just want to lie down.  He died.  I got up again.  Thin line.

Secondly, I need to sort out some priorities.  I have been tying myself in knots over a reasonably serious issue that is far from resolved, but of the 12 or so parties involved, I am the only one worrying.  1/12th of a poor result is not significant; I can live with that.  I will try really hard not to gloat, and say “I told you so”.  I will know that I tried to do everything I could to get things back on a reasonable track.  That not everything can be reduced to single sentence answers.  That you must pay attention, or pay the price.  More fool them.  This of course is linked to thought number one, because my health has suffered in direct proportion to my level of concern.

So from crawling on all fours, back to the land of the living.  There is something to be said for a good shake-up every now and then.

These guys (the takahe) had a long day and big shake up but have settled down really well since their release on the 4th of October.  Monitoring their whereabouts is a delightful way to spend time.  That’s me with the pompom of white hair in the middle.  Yes, I got to release one.  Huge tick.

So many happy faces welcome takahe to Tawharanui.

So many happy faces welcome takahe to Tawharanui.

Don't be shy, we all just want to say hello

Don’t be shy, we all just want to say hello


Bye.  Make yourself at home

Bye. Make yourself at home


About Ngaire Wallen

Landscape designer, thinker, partner, mother, reader, wanna-be writer keen to inflict my thoughts on the world.
This entry was posted in Out and About, The human condition and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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