What Might Have Been

Yesterday, I should have been on holiday with my lovely friend Beverley Martinez instead it didn’t happen because of the state of my health. Since being diagnosed with osteoarthritis I always knew it was a degenerative illness and that it would get worse. I suppose I thought it iwouldn’t happen this soon. We should have been in a castle in Spain.

I had booked us an all round room in the castle so that we had lovely views on several sides. It was on the outskirts of a white village called Monda, high in the hills above Marbella. On the top floor was a spa, an expensive spa but what the hell we were only going for four days /five nights.

Maybe, we can do it next year. I am now waiting for the company to return my £200 deposit.

The symptoms I have been suffering from are the same ones I had when I had PMR. Polymialgia Reumatica affects, hips, knees, shoulders, upper back and neck. It causes bad headaches and joint pain sometimes excruciating and with muscles that go into spasm but don’t come out of spasm. It can affect eye sight. Treatment is usually with steroids which bring their own problems, like weight gain, moon face and excessive sweating. However, when the steroids kick in they make you feel really good but they are only a short term answer to PMR. My GP has started me on the steroids already and I have an appointment with the rheumatoid specialist on 17th October 2017 so I should get a diagnosis then.

Meanwhile, my appointment with the Nurse is on 5th October to help me deal with the on-set of diabetes type 2 which has shown up twice in raised sugar in my blood.

I had actually thought I would not get depression this year after my successful counselling with Oldham Bereavement Services. Ìt has returned: I feel it around the edges. Maybe it will not be as severe this year.

People so don’t understand the connection between arthritis and depression. It is hard enough dealing with the physical problems that arthritis and PMR bring without having the angst of mental illness too. The only good thing that ever comes from angst is good poetry!

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Writing the Journey

The Jester

The jester just like the clown

wears her heart on her sleeve.

Always feeling up never down,

constantly happy no time to grieve.

Yet, tears shimmer in her eyes.

Sadness just beneath the surface

makes her heart ache, full of sighs

she longs to be far from this sad place.

She fixes her smile with her make-up.

She can’t show her audience her tears

She laughs, her life on the up and up

But her heart beats; rythmn of her fears.

Hey Nonny no, hey Nonny no a-singin’

and a-dancin” a jester always goes!

But her heart’s bell is sadly ringin’

Hey Nonny no! Sadness only she knows.

Carolina de la Cruz 2017.

What Next?

Can you call yourself a writer if you don’t write anymore? A few years ago I wrote feverishly. Poetry poured from me like a great gushing waterfall. I struggled more with short stories, although one I had published in one of my writing group’s ànthologys was more like a novella and then there was my debut novel; two thirds complete with the other third completely planned out. I had even written two different endings: one to complete the story and the other to maybe carry it on into a sequel or more.

I wrote with enthusiasm and writer friends gave me good feedback. The novel is set in first centuary Britannica during the wars betwèen the Celts and Romans. My novel had at its heart a love story born out of the violence in which they lived. A Celtic Princess who was only 16 and a Roman General who was 32, were to have a sort of Spring into Autumn relationship. I enjoyed doing the research required for such a book. I immersed myself into it and found my mind permanently wandering there. All of this I enjoyed.

The poetry writing opened up a whole new world when I became a Performance Poet. With my friend Lorraine we went all over the North West. We entered poetry slams, lots of open mics. and we went to workshops where we learned to improve our poetry. Not that Lorraine’s needed much improvement; she always wrote from the heart. You can’t write from a better place.

Lorraine died aged only 66 on my birthday, three years ago. I wrote a poem for her with all the love that special friendships deserve. Since then it has been as though a light went out in me and my writing suffered because of it. I feel no joy now when I write and I remember the laughter we had between us and Marian, another writer. Were we known as the three musketeers or something equally noble? No, we were known as Shakespeare’s witches from Macbeth. Apparently that’s what we looked like walking from the car- park to the Ring O’ Bells one misty Sunday night as we all three tapped with our walking sticks! Those were happy times full of joy and always laughter. We all miss Lorraine, me especially.

So What Next? Perhaps I will write my blog posts here for a while until my muse returns or until something else turns up. Yes, that sounds like a plan to me. Every writer needs a plan. What do you think? Had time away from any meaningful writing? How did you get back into it?

Carolina de la Cruz-The Vixen of Verse

OLD LADY OF THE TRAM?

Life is full of change, good and bad. How you cope with change defines you as a person. Losing my mother when she died (20/08/2015) and my son (29/10/1998), has been so difficult. With my son Evan, he was 22 and a troubled soul. It wasn’t supposed to happen; your children are meant to survive you. People say you get over it, that time heals but people who say things like that have not had their son die so young. I haven’t got over it and I remain unhealed, I have accepted it, I have learned to live with it. However, the wound is still raw, the pain is still real and I still shed tears for my lost boy.

Will I feel the same about my Mum? I don’t believe so. My Mum was aged 90, she has lived a long, fulfilling and interesting life and at the end she was ready to go. She was tired of life, her body was letting her down and she had started to lose her mind. I found it frightening how the medical profession and people in general treated her as if she was invisible. As a country we don’t treat our elderly very well.

This year I became 60, officially an old age pensioner. I have used a walking stick for several years as my oesteoarthritis gets worse. I was quite shocked the other day on the tram when a young mum checked her little girl with the words, “mind what you’re doing Melanie, don’t knock against that old lady, she has a stick so she can’t walk very well”. Yikes! In my head I feel about 29! It saddens me. I know we are all

Old Lady of the tram?
Old Lady of the tram?

older but no-one wants to be referred to as ‘an old lady’ do they?
Carolina de la Cruz – 08/11/2015.

ORPHAN?

Can you become an orphan as an adult? If you can well, it happened to me this year on the 20th of August when my beloved mum died. My dad died years before in 1980, but with the death of my mum, I am parent-less, therefore an orphan. I feel completely alone. I do have other family but losing my mum has been devastating and with the things that have been going on in my family like false accusations and betrayal I feel I have no one else to share it with. Thank goodness for my friends who are always there for me. My lovely best friend, Bev and I are going away for a few days to give me a change of scenery after the funeral and handing over all the paperwork to mum’s solicitors to sort out. The Solicitor told us it would take 3 to 4 months before they get to the stage of paying out so we are looking at December 2015 or January 2016 for finalisation.

I keep thinking about things to tell my mum, seeing programmes on TV that I think she will like. Although towards the end of her life she was definitely losing her mind she still had days of complete lucidity. She had a great deal of wisdom and intelligence gained in 90 years of life and now it’s all gone and I am now head of the family. What a poisoned chalice that is! I hope her spirit chooses to stay with me and help me make the right decisions. One thing, I am released from the promise I made not to leave OLDHAM whilst she was still living. So there world becomes my oyster again! The possibility of going to live in Spain again. Without parents has some advantages then, it would seem.

Chocolate – An Acrostic Poem

chocolate-bars-7985849

Chocolate, so smooth, so creamy,

Has a taste that is exquisite!

Oh! As it melts in your mouth.

Chocolate will stir the release

Of endorphins in your brain.

Love, true love has the same effect.

Although I am unsure of which I prefer,

The wonderful taste of chocolate, or love?

Endorphins are the same, I choose chocolate!

©Carolina de la Cruz – The Vixen of Verse- 2015..

DIVINITY

Oh! Moon bright Lady of the night sky.

My Lord Pan of the green woodlands.

To you both I send the tears I cry.

Oh! Moon bright Lady of the night sky.

I long to be enfolded in  Divinity’s sigh.

Held safe in sensitive, protective hands.

Oh! Moon bright Lady of the night sky.

My Lord Pan of the green woodlands.

© Carolina de la Cruz – The Vixen of Verse – 2015.