Butterfly Progress

I’ve been trying to get a butterfly lesson every  6 weeks or so, in addition to Friday night stroke development classes. I’d like them more often, but the coaches aren’t always available in the evenings so it has to be when I can get a day off. I’ve been making steady (but slow) progress.

I booked an hour lesson today. We did lots of drills – lengths of just kick on my front, on my back, kick with single arm, kick with alternating arms followed by both arms, kicking underwater and coming up and doing a big pull as I reach the surface, sculling with a pull… And then we finished off with 15 metres of no fins no paddles, managed to keep the timing ok, managed to breathe, kept in rhythm, full-stroke butterfly! Twice.

 

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Snot vs the Neti Pot

I got a bit of a cold in the middle of last December. To be honest, the entire office caught the same cold at the same time. We all started feeling grim on the same Friday night and by early the next week, we were dropping like flies. (What does that mean? Surely the point of flies is that they fly?) I recovered from the cold, but unfortunately and annoyingly, my nose and sinuses remained full of snot. So for the past three months I have had a nose full of snot and bogeys, constantly sneezing and going through boxes of tissues faster than the average teenage boy.

Steam inhalations weren’t helping, constant blowing of the nose wasn’t helping. And then I remembered something I’d heard about in yoga years ago. Neti pots. A neti pot is a little pot with an upturned spout, looking a bit like Aladdin’s lamp, and it’s used for washing out the nostrils and sinuses. You fill it with warm salt water, bend forward at the waist, tilt your head to one side, and then put the spout into your upper nostril. Keep breathing through your mouth (this is very important), and let the water flow. It will go into your top nostril, wash around inside your head, and then drip out of the bottom nostril, taking all the accumulated gunge with it. Blow your nose, then repeat for the other side.

So, I got a neti pot on ebay for under £2, and tried it yesterday. The instructions say dissolve 2g of sea salt in 200ml of warm water, so those are the proportions I used. Using the pot is a weird feeling. The water goes in, and then it feels like ages before it starts to drip out of the other side; I found myself wondering if my head is actually hollow and I was just filling it up like a water balloon. But eventually it comes out the other side, which also feels weird. But, it helps! Just the one session feels like it has cleared all the crud out, I’m not sneezing, I’m breathing freely, I don’t need to blow my nose. I’ll give it another couple of goes to make sure, but I think the neti pot has cleared my 3-month snot collection!

Mental Health Wobbles

Since about mid-December
– no motivation at all to do anything. My usual exercise regime of swimming 3-5 times a week plus 1 session of pilates has been reduced to swimming class once a week (and I think I only struggle to that because I don’t have to talk to anyone while I’m there). Apart from class, I’ve swum once this year and managed one session of pilates. I’ve made it to one of my silver classes and every other Tuesday night I’ve got home from work and been utterly unable to go out again. I’m spending every weekend in my pyjamas doing nothing, not even cleaning my teeth until bedtime. On Saturday I was really thirsty and it took me 40 minutes to work up the oomph to walk five paces and get a drink of water
– bad thoughts. No thoughts of suicide or self-harm, but constant thoughts about bad things happening to loved ones, like daydreams of awfulness which eventually bring me to tears unless something external gets me out of it, like a phone call or a cat jumping on my head
– really tired all the time, but no changes to my sleep pattern
– joint pain, especially really sore elbows in the morning
– the elbows might be because the 2+ stone I have lost over the past 2 years has all gone back on in the past 3 months and lying on them hurts. Not motivated to cook properly for myself, living on delicious chocolate and biscuits. All I want is sugar and carbs
– no desire to socialise at all, just want to be left alone in silence
– all my work paperwork is up to date, for the first time in ever, because I’d rather sit at my desk typing than make phone calls or visits.
– all of the things that I should do to combat it all, like exercise and eating healthily, are utterly beyond me
– I can make an effort and put a front up in front of other people, but as soon as I’m on my own I turn into a big schlumping human beanbag. I’m trudging through a sludgy brown world instead of skipping (or at least ambling) through a world of colour

Saw the GP today and agreed that we would do blood tests to check for thyroid problems etc and if that’s all normal then we’ll start antidepressants. We also agreed that there was no point telling me to eat healthily and do regular exercise, cos I was doing all that when it started, and if I could do it now I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor in the first place.