It’s a Wonderful Life

I’m sick, which gives me some dedicated time to just sit in front of the computer. I’m not thinking too clearly, but it seems as if this is a good time to write something, even if I don’t know what.

I’ve been pretty busy. Busy enough that I haven’t kept up with my reading, forget about writing. Email, blogposts, facebook, books, magazines, all have piled up around me while I’ve been busy doing other things with my eyes and hands.

Knitting is one thing I do that precludes any reading, except for listening to an audiobook if I have one handy. I actually have a lot of audiobooks hanging about, but they fall into three categories: Dostoyevsky, Anne McCaffery’s Pern books, and Harry Potter. Any of these are acceptable every now and again, but I desperately needed a break from Russian depression, and there is really only so much of Pern or Harry Potter I can read at any given time.

I got hold of one (1) Felix Castor audiobook, which I enjoyed immensely, but I can’t seem to get any of the others as an audiobook. All I can find it on is cd’s which is really impractical for me here. If I can buy it downloadable that is terrific, but as far as I have found, I can’t. *sigh*

Other things that interfere with reading are driving lessons – going very well, thank you; holidays – which now are pretty much over for a while; and being sick. Actually I read a lot the first two days of this cold, but now my eyes are burning and aching, and so reading must be taken very slowly and carefully.

I’ve had some positives, surprizing and fun. I went with The Husband and the kids to ICon, the science fiction convention in Israel. I hadn’t been to a con in more than a decade, more like two. It was both like and unlike cons in the U.S. Like enough to trigger nostalgia, and unlike enough to make for a pleasant change. One thing is that much of the con took place outside – something that simply doesn’t happen in Boston or Chicago. Being out in the sun, strolling from stall to sword-fighting arena, put a different feel on the whole thing.

I’ve made it out on the mirpesset (porch/deck) several times, to sit in the sukkah (temporary hut/dwelling for the holiday of Sukkot), but also to visit with the donkeys. There are four donkeys in the yard now, three males and one female, and they get along remarkably well under the circumstances. ‘My’ donkey is named Shimi, and due to being here all alone for some months when he was still pretty young, he looks to us humans for company and companionship. He’s my best buddy and he calls for me to visit him anytime he thinks I will hear him.

I’ve been taking lessons, about once a week, driving with a joystick. It’s been extremely challenging. I’ve been driving for — in the ballpark of — forty years, and I am a good driver. It’s been hard to be wobbling all over the road, braking too hard, accelerating in bursts… This past week, we had to adjust the position of the wheelchair to allow for me activating the turn signals with my head (it’s a hoot – literally – to honk the horn I push my head straight back, hard). And suddenly I was at home in the van. Driving smoothly, easily, and more quickly than I had been. The stops were less hard, the acceleration relatively smooth, the steering almost perfect. I still need a lot of practice, but now it is about familiarizing myself with the strange controls and getting to know the city where I will have to do the driving test, not about just managing to control the vehicle. It makes me very happy. For the first time I believe that I might actually be able to do this.

All of these things, going to cons and visiting, and learning to drive, take a lot out of me. In the old days I used to say my primary M.S. symptom was fatigue. I don’t know if it still is, because I have others that have worsened over time, but it still has a monumental effect on my life.

Actually the three days of ICon this week were nothing short of a miracle, and there is nothing surprizing that I am so very sick now. Ordinarily I go out for something – anything – and I collapse panting for anywhere from twenty minutes to hours afterward. So being out, in the car, wand’ring round the con, visiting my sister, going to Dizengoff Center with my daughters – it is just incredible. And … it is over.

I’m back to spending the whole of my day in bed, sometimes at least I am sitting up; and napping when sitting up becomes too exhausting. Part of that is the cold, but it’s a lot of how I spend my days generally. Thank goodness I have a wonderful life, or I don’t know how I would bear it. 😉