To anyone who has Meniere’s life can be a little more challenging than usual for – well, pretty much everything really. Our poor brains have to work so much harder than most other people’s – and that’s just to be able to do stuff most everyone does without thinking – things like not falling over, staying level, walking, staying balanced, keeping vision steady, hearing, having a Hot Chocolate and fellowship with friends etc.
Because of all the extra workload, the brain then uses other parts of our brain to keep us going from places that are normally accessed for memory, attention etc. So we get fatigued, we forget things, and our concentration span can be….. minimal…. or non-existent.
Quite honestly, the reason we suffer constant fatigue is because the brain gets tired. It’s like the brain says “Hey! Gimme a break, don’t make me work so hard for normal stuff, it’s not fair! Give me some left over for other things!” and then chucks a massive tanty!
Is it any wonder then that we like to celebrate – nay, to savour – little victories when they come along? Well no. I can tell you now – some of the quizzical looks we get when we wallow in our triumph are priceless.
Then there are the ones who respond with looks of derision and even contempt. You can even guess at their thoughts. Thoughts like “Big deal, so they got a tray out of the deep bottom kitchen drawer and didn’t face plant or have to be pulled out! No one I know of has ever fallen into a cupboard or a deep drawer!” Really, is that so? Maybe you don’t know someone with Meniere’s, because it does happen folks, and more often than you think. Just the sheer effort of trying NOT to can only be appreciated by a fellow sufferer. Hence our seemingly over-the-top delight in managing the smallest of things.
All of this is to introduce my latest post. This blog is about Quilting and Crafting with Meniere’s – not simply about Quilting and Crafting. Unless people have a Vestibular Disorder they simply do not understand the constant struggle to even function.
So…… Yesterday, after 2 sleepless nights due to illness, I decided to try English Paper Piecing for the first time… Yep, that technique where you sew on one side of the paper, whilst having the fabric on the other side face down, have the fabric on the opposite side to what you are going to cover to sew the seam etc etc. It’s sort of all back to front and upside-down all at once.
In my groggy, sleep-deprived stupor and using a fuzzy kind of logic I figured that if I could manage this when I could barely stand up, think or keep my eyes open – then I should be able to do it on a “normal” day.
I still can’t believe I thought it was a good idea at the time. I must have been more off my face than I thought!
Just think about it again for a second. I have a Vestibular Disorder, was sleep deprived and virus ridden on top of it deciding to try something for the first time that needs concentration, the ability to think and not only that but to think backwards and in reverse at the same time? Are you just starting to see the enormity of me even trying EPP? And why I’m so excited to have pulled it off?
Amazingly – I did pull it off! To a person who becomes momentarily disoriented just from going through a doorway because of Meniere’s, it was quite euphoric!
Yes, I know it wasn’t like finding a way to end world hunger or ridding the world of Rabies – and those would be incredible things – but in the context of being vestibularly challenged, sleep deprived and totally under siege from a rabid virus – it was just as epic!
And so, I rejoice in my “small” victory and hope and pray there will be many more in the future. It would be a sad day if I ever get to the place that has me unable or unwilling to accept a new challenge….
So, here it is again. Colours were completely chosen at random out of my bag of scrap fabric in case it turned out badly. After some basic quilting it morphed into this Mug Rug for one of my daughters.
Happy Tea Drinking Sweetie!
This project used Block 29 of The Splendid Sampler Quilt-along 2016.
Here is a link to the page: