The perfect climate for a bad back?

Yes, as I’m sure all regulars know by now, my back has been damaged by old age, for want of a better term. Osteoporosis has caused a small fracture in my back, which I keep under control by using painkillers, both in the form of pills, and a gel, which make life sort of bearable, if nothing more. Its probably not going to improve unless I get a new cybernetic spine, or a full robot makeover, which lets face it, neither have got any chance of happening at present. Give it a few decades, and it might happen, but I’ll be long gone by then!

Apart from the general fragility of my body (my knees are a surgical disaster, leading to very poor circulation of blood to my legs), I have no desire to put up with this pain forever, so though I wouldnt mind a few more years, I dont want to talk in decades any more.

So if anyone reading this, for whatever reason wants to help with the ever increasing meds bills, and the reducing number of days that I can work per week (cut to 4, from 5), then feel free to donate here, or not, as the case may be?

http://www.ko-fi.com/merrybrooks

Thought not, but no harm in mentioning it?

One thing that the surgery did mention to me, was living somewhere warmer than here, especially during the winter, because the cold wrecks my back. Yes, would be wonderful, but no money to make it happen, and at my age, finding a job somewhere like that might be tricky too! But yes, if someone wants to set me up somewhere warm, with the funds to look after myself, wouldnt say no. Sadly, I’m not as cute as Marion Davies as a ‘supported’ lady, in case you were hoping I was!

This morning, on one of my Forums, I found out an interesting fact, in an area I love. One of the places in the world where there is very little temperature swing throughout the year, and in a nicely warm sense, is San Diego, in California. Yes, apparently it gets chilly there in winter when it drops to 48 (9C for Brits)! But generally, doesnt often hit 80 (27C) either! Yes, my back would just love that!

I know, Chargers have left town for Los Angeles, and the Padres definitely arent the Dodgers, but I can think of worse places to live, in truth. And lets face it, that idiot Trump wants nice, white Europeans to emigrate there, just needs to change the rules, or provide me with the paperwork at least. Or a wealthy partner, or my own personal ‘Hearst’. I know, I know, no harm in hoping!

The only other place that fits the bill better, Honolulu! But there is far more rain there, and rain is not good for my joints so…

Los Angeles, wouldnt say no, but it didnt meet this match because of the heat in summer. Not that I’d mind, but strictly…

OK, video time. What could be better than a song called San Diego being played in San Diego? I’m not a Blink 182 fan, but thats just far too much fun to miss out on!

Advertisements

Review Of The Year, Part one

Now, normally when you do a review of the year, and you’re splitting it in two, you’d do two spells of 6 months, right? But when I looked back on my year, it took me about 30 seconds (if that long) to work out that apart from one event in May, not much happened for the first 8 months, then a hell of a lot happened in the last 4! So to avoid a 500 word blog tonight, and a 3000 word one tomorrow, I’m doing this on an 8/4 basis this year.

In truth, the highlights of the first 2 months were getting the news I’d passed probation period at work, and getting a passport in my new name. Oh, and around the same time, my first moments of DWP fame, in an LGBT sense, with an interview from work, about life as a LGBT woman in the Department. Which of course led to something that will be mentioned in Part 2, but for now…

No, diplomacy means I’m not mentioning a certain event that happened in the US, in January, but you all know what I think of him, and his actions, so lets leave it there.

Of course, my first flight as Harlean Carpenter, was in May, going back to Hollywood, or more strictly, Los Angeles. Lets just say the whole apartment thing this time around wasnt the success of the previous trip, both in the sense of initially booking an apartment, and then the landlord deciding he wanted to decline the booking, because he hadnt put in his price rise for the New Year. Fine, I thought, until he told me it was done, and suddenly the price had risen by over 20%, nearly 25% in fact! So I started again, thought I’d found somewhere decent as a replacement, but it didnt live up to all its claims. Dont get me wrong, it was nice enough, just didnt have all the facilities it claimed it had.

The funniest moment was a delightful Thai takeaway I had found 18 months earlier, and the lady still remembered me the moment I walked in, despite that. Its sad to think that by the next time I visit, she will almost certainly be gone, as it will be a few years before I get there again (unless I get a role offer), and I doubt she was that young this year, so…but she was amazing!

The other big highlights that will stick with me, would be 2 Louise Brooks silent films, viewed at the historic Egyptian Theater, a guided Hollywood walk given by a wonderful lady that I like to see as a friend, a ‘better than I would buy’ seat at a Dodgers game, thanks to another friend, with the added bonus of it being a game that Kershaw pitched at! Lastly, there was a wonderful Harlow display at the Hollywood Museum, which was a delight to see. Oh, and thanks to the Metro, getting to Santa Monica far easier than ever before!

In truth, I have no idea when I’ll be back, unless I get an offer, which I would have to say is pretty unlikely. But never say never… Certainly, due to something that will be mentioned shortly, walking up the hill to where Harlow rests at Forest Lawn would probably be beyond me now, but anyway…

In July, 2 things happened, one good, one bad. The good one was, that knowing that Clara Johnson’s middle initial was E, and finding a few images of a chorus line dancer/Goldwyn Girl, and putting two and two together, when you find a dancing match, named Elaine Johnson, who has a career that seems to tie in to Clara’s, well I jumped on the issue, and joy, actually found 3 pictures of her from a credited movie promotion shoot. Of course I cant be 100% sure its one and the same, but enough coincidences for me to say it is. In fact, as you’ll find out tomorrow, this isnt the end of that story! Yes, a few new pictures, wow! I’d still love to find her married name, so I’d have a chance of paying my respects if, and when I get back to LA.

The bad thing, my back, after giving me support for about 59 years, decided it had had enough, and snapped. Quite literally, though not in too severe a way, fingers crossed. Yes, osteoporosis had taken its toll on me! Painkillers, and other meds (been tweaked a couple of times) keep it bearable, but yes, its fair to say old age is beginning to catch up with me. It eventually led to me cutting back to 4 days a week at work, with which I can just about get by financially, but holidays will need to be cut back on now, for sure.

August marked 1 year in the new job, and in truth, apart from a dream acting offer, I cant see me leaving before I get to retire in just over 6 years time. Yes, I really am that old lol! The rest of the year, and a few landmarks, tomorrow!

Right, the video. One of the few modern groups I have much time for, are The Killers. I now love them even more now I know that each Christmas, they record a song, and give all royalties to charity! This is the 2013 song, which is apt given where I was in May, and even more so when you see something I post tomorrow!

Walking on the ‘milky’ way

Oh fine, if that doesnt give you a clue to the video, nothing will! A tale of getting older, and cutting back, so call yourself warned.

When I was young, or indeed while still into my 20’s, I used to walk miles on my days off, quite literally. Yes, in those ancient (facetiousness factor) days, it was nothing for me to just walk out on a Sunday morning, walk 4-5 miles or more, have a bite of lunch, or at least a drink, when the weather was fair, and then walk back again. In truth, if I wanted to go far, on a Sunday, back then, in Somerset, or Dorset at least, and didnt drive, you had to walk, there was no Sunday bus service at all! So I did.

Its fair to say that over the years, my walking has got a bit slower (though some at work might not believe that), and maybe a couple of miles each way was enough, but I kept walking, when I could.

But yes, now, since my back went wrong, I’m now finding that my limit, in 1 go, is down to about a mile, or just under! How do I know this, you ask? Well, according to Google Maps, the distance I walk in Bradford, from the Bus Station, to work, is approximately 0.8 miles. And yes, I’m beginning to ‘feel it’ at present when I near my destination. So in truth, not much more, which is why I’m using a mile as a guide, and I might have problems nowadays. I know, I was about 25 then, I’m 60 next year, with osteoporosis, but its still a blow to the ego.

Will it get better, will it get worse, who knows? I suspect that its more likely to be the latter, than the former, so I’ll settle for stability at least. In truth, any other year, I could book my holiday for May already. I just about have the funds, or will have after pay day next week, I know who I want to fly with, I know where I want to stay, but…its a me issue!

The thing about staying in hotels, is that they expect you to go out for the day, each day. Hopefully, fine, it wont be an issue. Equally, if you can tell me, that in an 8 day stay, there wont be at least 1 day where the body is suffering a bit, I’d love you. It might be true, but given that 2 working days in a row is about my limit at present (Holiday time would not be as hard on me, physically, to be fair), assuming I can get out for several (or more) hours each day of my stay, hmm? There is, to be fair, an apartment option, but that would mean getting provisions on arrival (using a UK credit card, in the US, not always easy online), and I suspect I might not be up to that, after a long flight. So the hotel would be better, now.

Oh, and then there is my own determination, and budget. In theory, the hotel offers a shuttle to and from the airport at all times, so I could use that to get the train into town from Seatac, but it wouldnt get me back, anyway. In fact, I could do a flat 0.7 mile walk to a station, which would be fine at present, but then, and each day…?

So yes, I’ll leave it a while to make my booking, just to see how far I might be able to walk by then. I will make the call by February, and see how I am by then, is the plan. Its not just that of course, it is the length of flying time (its direct coming back, but via LA getting there, adding several hours) as well, so we will see.

In truth, I probably ought to have a Plan C, involving either the East Coast of US (shorter flight times), or somewhere in Europe, but I’m trying to avoid working on thoughts like that at present.

But yes, getting old sucks, lol!

The video, a live version of the blog title!

No more guilty feelings

No, sadly I havent been brainwashed, or mind controlled into accepting that its fine for me to use a wheelchair, when I need one, much though I would enjoy it if I was! No, the reason I can officially accept it now, without having personal issues over the matter, is that I have been given the news for real, I count as disabled. So yes, absolutely, go for it girl, use that wheelchair with freedom when offered one!

I might add, that for now at least, I dont plan to use one, unless I really need it, which pretty much means it is going to come down to travelling matters, principally airports, though I suspect that major railway stations may become a place where its now all too tempting to use one. I did decline one at Boston recently, though I suspect Kate thought I probably should have done, and fine, it was one of those matters you could make a case out for, either way. But as I didnt have to worry about the case, and I was only walking to the train seat, not stood in one place, it was fine.

Equally, already, if I have to stand in one place, unsupported, for more than a couple of minutes, its a problem! Thankfully, with a bit of planning, most places I can avoid that situation. And for example, things like the wedding, with my brace on, I can survive a fair bit longer, but yes, Immigration, or Security, at an airport, no chance! Especially as I have discovered that wearing a brace through airport security, you have to prove what it is, lol! So maybe next time I’ll take it off post handing over case, but before going through security, just slip it in hand luggage! Ah well…

The main blessing for me, now its been recognized as such, is that I can get a special design chair at work, to help support my back in a way it needs. Standard office chairs are fine for most folk, but when you have a bad back, they’re not sympathetic lol!

Yes, I hope my disability doesnt get worse, as most of the time I can get by under my own steam. It has slowed me down, that 20 minute gap between finishing work, and getting to the bus bay has got more of a challenge! Still doable at present, but…

But yes, now, next May in Manchester Airport, if not sooner, I will have no need to feel guilty about needing a wheelchair to get me through any more, I have disability status! Thats not to say that if someone wants to ‘convince’ me that its fine, that I’d say no, but… 😉

The video, something I dont need to feel any more about this requirement

The need for enhancement

Oh fine, the updates on my personal health that not many will worry about, but hey, you have to be told, I guess, from time to time? OK, I’ve included some ‘more interesting’ stuff, for those so inclined as well.

To keep the details brief, the results of the scan have shown that my bone density reading is low, though I havent been told how low, but judging by the issues I’ve been having, I doubt its anywhere close to good! End result of that, I’ve got to go up the hospital on Tuesday, where they’re going to try and find some blood they can take for testing, pretty much every standard test going, judging by the list on the packages!

Of course, hopefully, this is just their secret plan, and they are just checking my suitability for a full cybernetic/robot upgrade? 😉 Oh fine, I wish, but not likely to happen! Would I accept if it was, you bet I would! 😀

Oh fine, something equally unrealistic to actually happen, but which I would love to have done, is the neural transfer of information. Just imagine, if only for a short while, I could be made to think just like Clara Johnson, it would be fascinating to see life through her eyes, and think like her. And yes, I’d love it if it was all done like this. Unbelievable to think this was from nearly 50 years ago, when I was a young child lol. But yes, Harlean 90, oh please!

Oh, Doctor, Doctor?

Right, lets go from the sublime, political matter of the US National Anthem, and various sports people, to the ridiculous, and talk about the state of my back!

Yes, its an actual fact, I’ve been told today that the results of the bone density scan are in, but unfortunately, the nurse dealing with the matter wasnt in today, and the receptionist admitted to me that the results were in ‘medical speak’, and that therefore she preferred that the nurse discuss them with me, rather than her, as they probably wouldnt have meant a lot to me, or her, in truth. Given I’m working tomorrow, it will be Thursday before I get the results now, but so be it.

Seeing as how, despite the painkillers, and various anti inflammatory gels and creams that I’ve been given to deal with matters, that I still have some degree of latent pain from it, I doubt the results are great, but we will see. But given that so far, I havent actually been given any pills, potions, or other delights to actually cure it, I will just have to wait and see the end results now. But at least the wait is nearly over!

No, I dont expect to be ‘put down’ or anything because of it, mainly because they dont do that sort of thing to people, only poor unfortunate animals, its fair to say. Equally, I dont really expect to be offered a new cybernetically enhanced back, or full body makeover, though yes, I cant deny I would love that! I’m sure they would if they could, but yes, unless some mad scientist knows otherwise, I dont think they’re actually available at present! 😦 If someone does know otherwise, then yes, please, as soon as possible, if not sooner!

Being more realistic, I expect its going to be pills, of some kind, and some strength, to be honest. The 2 obvious ones (and it could be both), are estrogen (menopausal aged woman), and/or calcium. I hope its not too much of the latter, as it can lead to, err, bowel issues, of a delicate kind, as I have already discovered, after taking some voluntarily, and then stopping because of the results!

What I do pretty much know already, without even hearing the medical views, is that my days of working a 5 day week are numbered, if not already over. At present, its all the body can do to do 2 days in a row, let alone more! It will mean cutting back on the delights of life, like travelling twice a year to the US (pretty sure I can still manage one, and maybe 2 next year, due to funds already saved?), and it will mean that I will be doing the wheelchair through the airport thing again, probably for the rest of my travelling life.

One thing I will need to work out on that, is that both times, this trip, I was being met at the other end. Further trips, that might not always be happening, and I guess they would have to let me do it, but it might be more fun! In fact, at Manchester, I did the last bit from baggage carousel, to meeting point on foot, as it was easier for the wheelchair to stay that side of the building, and the helper just dealt with my cases for me, but anyway…

But yes, if anyone wants to provide me with a nice new, young, frisky, cybernetically upgraded body before my next planned flight in May, I would love that. In theory, I could have need to fly next month, but funds dont permit at present. But yes, NYC, for the reading of a musical, for an actress, well, I’d love to be there, but…

Right, video. I suspect this is as close as you’re ever going to get to a live Thompson Twins performance, though I’m not convinced all the keyboard work was live, all the same.

Wouldnt it be good?

Wouldn’t it be good to be in your shoes
Even if it was for just one day

Well, that is a massive hint to tonights video at least, though the blog, in truth, only relates to the first few words of that. But looking at that quote, I’d truly love to spend just one day in the shoes, and body, of Clara Elaine Johnson, and find out what life was like as a dancer in the 1930’s, all the same.

But no, this blog isnt about that, though I might come back to that at some point in the future, who knows? No, tonight’s subject is corsets!

One issue I personally have with corset ownership, is that its not an item I can get myself into, without assistance. Even before the back issue (more shortly), the arthritis in my fingers would make tying a corset behind my back, nigh on impossible, or in truth, just impossible. And being a single woman (no one is crazy enough to want me lol), I have no one else to tie me into one, either. Great shame, because I’d love to be tied into this, for certain.

Yes, supposedly a corset, though hard to tell from that angle. But yes, metallic silver, and all that…

Wouldnt it be good (see I knew I could fit the song title in here) if you could put on a corset, push a button on it, or turn a device so that it could tighten around you, without all that tying issue, which I cant do? I’m only amazed with all this modern technology that no one has ever designed one, ah well… Or maybe they have, but at such a silly price? Though in truth, I suspect for many (with partners, or supple hands), the tying up is part of the, err, fun.

What I found today, while looking for a back brace, to support me through the wedding, as standing still unsupported is going to be an issue for a while, was this

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/291246878042

Now in truth, I have no idea how much actual waist reduction this will do, as I cant see zips being able to pull in that tightly, simply because zips tend to just ease open, if you pull them too tightly? But yes, fine, my main aim with this is the back support, and I just see the corset side of it as an added bonus. Lets face it, my face would put potential admirers off, even if I had the perfect hourglass figure! But yes, at that price, I’ve bought one, to see how it goes. I have also bought a more straightforward back brace, which has magnets in it, which are supposedly good for you, but we will see. Thats just one of those velcro fitting things, but that should be fine, fingers crossed.

Yes, we will see…

Right, video time. Yes, you must have worked out the song by now, but this version gives you not just one 80’s legend, but two!