Watching the Birdies

Our avian wildlife put on quite a show for us on Friday morning. We keep a bag of birdseed by the front door, and every morning pour handfuls of it on the fence outside our dining-room window, so we can watch the birds foraging while we eat breakfast. We always see a swarm of squabbling … Continue reading Watching the Birdies

Learning to Live With It

It's the middle of winter here in New Zealand, and we're already seeing signs of new life all around. It's a gorgeous, sunny day today so I've just had a traipse through my garden. It's heaving with welcome signs of spring, like the purple flowers starting to put out their spears on the hebe shrub, … Continue reading Learning to Live With It

Sounds of Silence: TN and Tinnitus

Silence is golden - or so it's said. I wouldn't know. I always thought silence was a utopian exaggeration. An absence of ambient sounds with plenty of space for background noise to make itself known. A fantasy state dreamed up by children-should-be-seen-and-not-heard types as an excuse to punish children who took the 'seen' part of … Continue reading Sounds of Silence: TN and Tinnitus

5 Ways to Distract Yourself from Pain

There's a change in the air. The tropical, coconut lemony smell of summer has faded.  The air is thinner, clearer. Last week, the air was thick enough to wrap around us like a blanket - now it's more like a filmy sheer curtain, with a window behind it letting in an uncomfortable draught. Most days … Continue reading 5 Ways to Distract Yourself from Pain

Getting a Slice of the Cake

Change. A single, soft-spoken syllable. Yet it's a powerful little creature, reaching into every corner of our lives. Sometimes it's an invitation - welcome and exciting. Sometimes it's a burden - disruptive and frightening. It's a bundle of contradictions: progress and retreat, secret and flamboyant, havoc and harmony. It can bounce into our lives with the … Continue reading Getting a Slice of the Cake

A New Kind of Normal

There is a storm brewing. I can feel it in my face - the way my eye burns, a vice tightens on my skull, and one hundred knives fresh off the whetstone slice at my gums. Just for starters. To everyone else in my family, the sky looks perfectly innocent. Perhaps the breeze has a … Continue reading A New Kind of Normal

Dear Healthy Person…

Dear Healthy Person, Congratulations. You won in the lucky jackpot of healthy genes. You are twenty of me. I think I lost my ticket. I am a twentieth of the old me. You can work, eight hours a day, five days a week. Maybe more. I used to work eight to ten hours a day. … Continue reading Dear Healthy Person…

Ten Ways to Understanding

A constant claim from many people with chronic pain conditions is that nobody can understand the pain unless they have experienced it themselves. On a superficial level this is obviously true, at least in that people who don't have chronic pain conditions, have not felt what it is like to have chronic pain. But I … Continue reading Ten Ways to Understanding

Who Needs Matching Pairs?

Spring is flourishing here in New Zealand. The days are warm, the skies are blue, the birds have plenty to say for themselves and our feijoa trees are full with red promises of the fruit to come. Some days though, the weather likes to remind us that the season isn't all sunshine and glamour.  This … Continue reading Who Needs Matching Pairs?

Sunhats and Selfhelp: pain management

On a hot, wind-still, summer evening, the park by the river is the perfect place to be. When you are only just two, this perfection poses a few dilemmas. Climbing and running and jumping, your very favourite things to do, make your shoes and sunhat fall off, and somehow turn the hat inside out. And … Continue reading Sunhats and Selfhelp: pain management