Tag Archives: TSO

The return of the black dog

statue-sad-1

I got three things done this morning that have been on my to-do list for some time (one for months). It’s a good upswing in mood for me as the black dog has been visiting recently and I was starting to hibernate.

See how I used the secret code in that last sentence? Black dog? Because we still don’t like to talk about it, despite all the social media campaigns, the celebrity confessions, the it’s-just-like-any-other-disease comments. I’ve been getting a lot of support from the few friends with whom I’ve talked about it. But so many people just don’t get it. They want to solve the problem, and it just ain’t that easy.

Depression.

This most recent bout was likely triggered by a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in one of my knees. I’ve been having increasing levels of pain and discomfort over the past few months, with respite from time to time (including, thank G*d, during our trip to Sweden.) But this last flare up found me in my doctor’s office.

I love my family doctor, and really liked the doc who was covering for him while he was on vacation. She sent me for an xray and ultrasound, but based on her examination, she said it was likely osteoarthritis. So I went for the scans and waited for a call back for another appointment.

What I got was the (very nice) secretary reading my results off of the computer screen, as follows : “Degenerative condition. Patient should continue with pain medication as discussed and get physio.” No offer of a follow-up appointment.

I’m 54, retired, overweight and not sporty in the least, but walk a lot: in my neighbourhood, on public transit, in travels abroad. I want to adopt a dog in the near future. We look forward to this empty nest season in our lives as active, and so the knee thing is kind of alarming. Feeling brushed off by my doctor’s office was the last straw. I was angry, and then, a couple of days later, on my way to my first physio appointment, the tears just welled up. I spent the next couple of days feeling not anger but fear and sadness. I found myself checking not once but twice whether I’d forgotten to put my antidepressants in my pill dispenser. (I hadn’t forgotten.)

The physiotherapist I saw was absolutely lovely, talked about the objectives of treatment (strengthening the muscles around the joint), and did some work on my leg and foot. My homework for this week was to apply heat to my knee a few times (which was lovely.) Next week she’ll start me on some exercises.

I realized this morning that I feel better when I accomplish things. So I’ve been forcing myself to get out of bed and work on my list. Yesterday I cleaned my desk (NOT an insignificant task) and made dinner. Today I replaced my broken Birkenstocks, shopped for groceries, and got my computer glasses fixed. I’m seeing a friend for a late lunch today.

This weekend, my loved one and I have nothing on our calendars. We’re planning to visit the McMichael Gallery, to which I have never been, despite seven years in Toronto. Next week, my personal September madness starts, with TIFF (where I’m seeing 17 films over 10 days), TSO opening night, and then travel to France, so I will be busy and occupied. And (hopefully) fully mobile.

I’ve recently started following the blog Momastery after someone shared this post. I think it’s brilliant. And her voice really resonates. In her About page, she finishes with this:

My job is to wake up every day, say yes to life’s invitation, and let millions of women watch me get up off the floor, walk, stumble, and get back up again.

Love each other, my friends.

~~

Wanna know what depression feels like? This video is pretty much it.

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Seven Quick Takes Friday

  1. No sooner was my sweetheart back from two weeks in Europe, he was off to Calgary for three days. In lieu of all the work I didn’t get done last week when I was sick (and alone), I managed to get my desk tidied, a huge accomplishment. I put everything on the floor and then sorted in five minute/small pile increments. It feels great to have a tidy place to work.
  2. I finished The Silent Wife by the late A.S.A. Harrison in a couple of days. Here’s the review I posted at Goodreads:
    The Silent WifeThe Silent Wifeby A.S.A. Harrison
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    This psychological thriller was hard to put down. The story of an unravelling relationship between a psychologist and a property developer, it has an almost serene texture to it, mirroring the somewhat repressed personality of the former (hence the “silent” of the title.) The tale progresses in alternating chapters titled “Him” and “Her”, but the main narrative is about the psychologist and how she deals with the infidelity of her common-law husband.  View all my reviews
  3. A little humour – The Married Kama Sutra (yes, it’s clean!)
  4. Frances Alda – Courtesy Project Gutenberg in Great Singers on the Art of Singing by James Francis Cooke.

    I dropped by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music on Wednesday for their semi(?)-annual book and CD sale. I usually look for tuba stuff, or choral or piano music, or old scores to use in craft projects. I picked up a couple of items, including a book called Men, Women, and Tenors. I laughed at the title, and then on further inspection it turned out to be the memoirs of Frances Alda, a soprano from the early years of the twentieth century. First published in 1937, my copy is a reprint from 1970 from Books for Libraries Press. I spent some time online trying to figure out how to remove mould/mildew from books and got some good ideas, including 15 seconds in the microwave and some careful application of alcohol to key spots.

    SURELY useful at some point in my future life.
    From The Trumpet and Trombone in Graphic Arts: 1500-1800

    The other item I grabbed was The Trumpet and Trombone in Graphic Arts: 1500-8000 which is chock full of terrific black and white engravings, surely useful for some writing/crafting project down the road. As I write this I hear the good angel in my head saying “THAT, my dear, is why you are drowning in books.”

  5. I spent a pile of laundry-folding time watching old episodes of Hoarders. Really. I kept asking myself “Why am I watching this?” and I couldn’t immediately come up with an answer. I guess part of it is seeing how mental and emotional issues are so entwined with the impulse to hoard. It’s kind of a self-soothing effort, like, say, playing the SIMS on one’s iPad, or whatever. At least with the latter, you don’t end up with 75 dead cats in your fridge/freezer.
  6. I spent Halloween with my niece and nephews. My brother was out of town and my sister-in-law needed to get to urgent care with one of them for the extraction of a foreign object from his nose. (When I mentioned to Alex that neither he nor Michael had ever experienced such a calamity, he commented that their noses were too big to retain anything!) So while child number two and mom were at the hospital, I supervised a small amount of candy consumption and got the other two in to bed. Here they are, with their nanny/personal chef (dressed as a Zombie Chef) on their way out for fun in the rain.

    Ninja, Zombie Chef, Skeleton, and Cinderella
  7. My sweetheart arrived back from his travels just before I did last night, and we’re looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my choir concert tonight and the TSO tomorrow evening. I see a cozy fire and some snuggling in my future.

For Quick Takes from other bloggers, visit Conversion Diary. As always, I love your comments. You know what to do. If you’re not a subscriber, consider joining the party by signing up in the box to the right.

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Seven Quick Takes Friday

  1. Out of the mouths of my man-babies (shared this week on my Facebook timeline):

    While standing by the toaster, trying to get the other son to finish the older bread, says to the other “It’s really *godfather* to eat the heel of the loaf.”

    My young tubist was off for a gig at the Conservatory <this week>. Dressed in a black suit, white shirt, polished shoes, and hipster specs, his comment: “I’ll fit right in with the rush hour crowd. Except for the tuba on my back.”

  2. My little problem has been fixed,
    My little problem has been fixed…

    Thanks to a Facebook friend, I was encouraged to visit the Apple Store regarding the smashed back of my iPhone. Sure enough, the repair was $29+tax. If it’d been the front (screen) it would have been another story. I learned the lesson that a phone is not a particularly good thing to use as a bookmark, particularly if you leave it on a counter above a ceramic tile floor.

  3. Jawbone Up band in mint-green

    I did a little browsing in the Apple Store while I was waiting (the 10 minutes!) for my phone to be repaired. I came home with a Jawbone Up band, a little bracelet that you wear on your wrist to monitor your physical activity and sleep patterns. The accompanying app also lets you easily track your diet (using barcodes or manual search and a huge database of stored foods.) Even though it was a rainy day yesterday and I spent a lot of it indoors, I managed to log over 7200 steps. (My goal is 10,000 per day). You can set the band to vibrate to remind you to get active every so many minutes, and also to wake you up in the morning. I am very excited about this (as I am about so many things these days). I’m hoping my spouse might consider wearing one as well. Mine is a beautiful turquoise (although they call it mint-green). The band is compatible with iOS and Android.

  4. I gave up on Linden MacIntyre’s Why Men Lie. I really enjoyed his previous novel The Bishop’s Man, but I just couldn’t get in to this one. It’s on my Kobo, so I can come back to it later if I want.
  5. I picked up VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good by Mark Bittman when I was at Winners of all places. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, I’m heading that way, both in terms of improving my diet as well as shepherding the resources of the planet more effectively. Essentially, he proposes that you eat a vegan diet before 6 pm and then at will after that.
  6. Michael and I went to the TSO last night and heard Joshua Bell and Edgar Meyer as featured soloists. Bell is astounding, kind of my Perlman for the new millenium or something. He opened the second half with Ravel’s Tzigane, rapsodie de concert for Violin and Orchestra which begins with an extended solo before the orchestra joins in. I would pay the price of my ticket to hear that piece again. Meyer was featured in his composition, the Canadian premiere of the Concerto for Violin and Double Bass. I was underwhelmed by the composition, but that may just be my lack of comfort with modern repertoire. Or maybe it just needs another listen. The playing by both Bell and Meyer was magnificent. The concert opener (Copland’s Appalachian Spring) and closer (Respighi’s Pini di Roma) were absolute barnbusters, the kind of music that just opens up your heart.
  7. Tonight: The Giacomo Variations at the Elgin Theatre, featuring John Malkovich as Casanova. My date is arriving at 5pm, flying in from a week in Vancouver, so I hope his flight is on time. We’ll probably grab dinner at The Paramount.

And now my Up band is vibrating to tell me that I’ve been idle for too long! Gotta run. Consider subscribing to my blog by email (or follow me in WordPress) – use the box on the right if you’re reading this in a browser.

For more Seven Quick Takes Friday, visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

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