Thursday, February 3, 2011

Random pleasantness

On the train on my way to work this morning, I felt a warm  snuffling on my ankle and realised there was a guide dog under the seat beneath me. He was a gorgeous glossy black labrador with big feet and a wet nose. I have always taken very seriously the message not to engage with guide-dogs while they are on duty. Does sleeping on the train count as being on duty? I don't really know, but this was the existential internal dialogue I was having as the dog snored, sighed, rolled and stretched out across my feet. We stayed that way for the 20 minute trip into the city; me, sitting stock still in fear that I might interfere with his duties, him just enjoying a good nap. It was a funny situation, but I really enjoyed being a guide dog cushion for a while. When I got home this afternoon, my own dogs gave me the once-over. They were less impressed with my disloyalty!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Water water everywhere...

Well, it's been a mad few weeks in south-east Queensland, with flash flooding, tidal flooding and pretty much any kind of flooding you can think of. I live in one of the worst hit suburbs of Brisbane. Our house came through entirely unscathed, while homes no more than 300 metres away from us were inundated to their roof lines. It all feels quite surreal; except that it's very real and the damage is palpable whenever we leave the house to do a local errand. Mud everywhere, people's worldly possessions lining the streets to be hauled off to the dump, army trucks (actually, I haven't seen any of these but I know they've been here) marauding the streets, police patrolling to deter looters. We ended up taking our planned two week holiday a couple of days after the floods hit and left our house for a displaced local family to stay in while they cleaned up. If there is any silver lining in this cloud of devastation, it is the reinvigoration of community spirit that has suffused our neighbourhood. From near and far, practical help, goods, money and emotional support has been flowing into town. I met more of my neighbours in three days than I met in the two years we have lived here and all sense of private property has flown out the window as people share houses, power, cars, etc with those who have lost theirs. It is humbling to be part of it. My only personal 'complaint' is that my gym was flooded and is still closed. Hopefully it will reopen next week. I have tried to mobilise myself to do other non-gym related exercise, but the local running tracks are pretty stinky and the snakes have come out to play as they seek drier territory. I did manage to get in a couple of wonderful swims in the mouth of the river near my family's holiday spot while we were away, but I can't bear to swim in chlorinated pools, which are the only option now I am back home. I knew I was having a relationship with exercise, but now I realise I am also having a love affair with my gym. Fingers crossed, it reopens next Wednesday. Can't wait!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stress is a killer

On some level, we all know that stress is bad for us. If we haven't worked it out intuitively, there's more than enough research and popular media accounts out there in the ether of all the nasty things stress does to us to sink several thousand ships. Having MS puts a whole new perspective on the dangers of stress. Things have been a bit stressful around here of late, as we face some challenges and try to support people who are close to us who are dealing with challenges of their own. Yesterday was a stressful day, so today, my legs don't work properly. My central nervous system is clearly calling time out and has taken its bat and ball and gone home (*select preferred sporting metaphor here*). All there is for it is to rest, meditate, be calm and kick that stress to the kerb in the hope that tomorrow is a different day...