Mass Obs Me

Background info.

I am a 50 year old unmarried woman. I live in Tottenham, on the Ferry Lane Estate. I have a garden flat which backs on to the River Lea. I will have lived here two years  come September, having spent the last 20 years in the east end. I have a dog, a rescued staffordshire bull terrier called Poppet. I am not working. I was a lecturer in art and design for 12 years. I became too ill to work 10 years ago. I have fibromyalgia and chronic migraine. I have started having Botox injections for the migraine, and that is partially successful. I am working on reducing medication and have applied to do a PhD. Yesterday I wrote to volunteer to teach meditation on a weekly basis. Botox is not expected to reduce migraine much, but to enable the person to lead a fuller life. I have paid for treatments so far, but my GP is applying to the Primary Care Trust to pay for continued treatments. At £2000 a year, it is quite a lot for a person on a low income to pay. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) have recommended the treatment, so applying to have it paid for is a bit of a test case.


I woke up at about 6. I have just stopped taking Quetiapine so that might be why. I have substituted a melatonin supplement, but I don’t know if it’s helping or not. It’s supposed to be good for migraine, so I’m trying it for three months. I got time release ones, which might have been a mistake, since I don’t mind waking up early, I just mind fighting my duvet for hours before I go to sleep. It’s day two of the new regime. Actually, I did get to sleep easily, but that might have been because I took a diazepam for my aching neck, since that is a precursor to migraine.

Back to today. It’s 8.30 right now, and although I did Mass Observation last year I didn’t even know it was on until I was reading facebook and someone else mentioned it. When I woke up I took my stomach med, to protect myself from subsequent pain killers, then turned the hot blanket on and cuddled my dog and fell back asleep for a bit. Half 7 I got up and made tea for myself and Ten who was sleeping in the other room. I start the day with my emails and facebook, and now we’re going to listen to something on iPlayer and have a little snooze.

10.00 Well, so much for snoozing through the blah blah blah of a R4 offering – we listened to a dramatisation of Sam Pepys’ diary entries about the fire of London. Although I have read it, I didn’t remember all the conspiracy theory stuff – immediately, despite the start of the fire known to be an accident, theories abounded about it being started by the Dutch, the French, and the Papists, along with the year, 1666, being interpreted as the 666 of the apocalypse. Nothing changes, does it? My main memories of reading it were about how he buried his Parmesan cheese in the garden and took some of his possessions to Bethnal Green for safe keeping.

Ten’s gone out now, with the dog, who was extremely patient, considering I usually take her out at half 9. I’ve had my porridge and a coffee, but am exhausted, suddenly, so happily gave the walk up to Ten. I am running my bath, which he will have after me. I will have to have reduced screen time today since my eyes are aching.

12.00 So much for less screen time. I’ve had my bath, but basically spent the past couple of hours looking at twitter and playing WWF (words with friends). Need to dry my hair now and get dressed. Ten’s getting ready to go home. He spends about half the week here.

14.05 Had lunch, bacon, brie, salad leaves, garlic, oil, followed by raspberries, blackberries and cream. Between inactivity with the fibro, tackling the IBS with a low oxalate diet and the medication I am on I have ended up doing the Atkins diet. It’s not cheap, but then again, buying an entire new wardrobe isn’t cheap either. Low carbs suits the migraine, at least. After that I would have liked a lie down but Poppet was wandering round hopefully with a ball in her mouth, and since Ten was leaving I thought I might as well get it done even though it was quite early for an afternoon outing. We went to the park and played. It’s been too hot to play during the day lately, but today is cool and windy. A neighbour got me involved in a dispute he was having with his upstairs neighbour over a BBQ – I had to leave them to it.

Back on the bed now, for a little rest and an episode of Prison Break. I like long series with a long story arc because I can’t always read and don’t have much energy. I also listen to radio plays and audio books a lot, since my eyes often ache, and it’s tricky to watch TV with a migraine, too.

16.00 In between watching parts of episodes I have hoovered the bedroom, emptied the dishwasher, emptied the washing machine and loaded the dryer. I wouldn’t be able to do these sorts of chores all at once, but pacing it with lying down gets me moving around and gives me enough rest in between times.

18.00 I’ve done most of the hoovering. Dying to take medication, my head keeps threatening migraine, but so far so good, today. Next up, I have to make something to eat, then I can take meds.

18.30 Done now. Had the most boring meal that I am eating right now. I don’t have much energy to cook, so keep prawns in the freezer. One pack steamed is enough to get by on as an emergency meal. I am also having some pure cocoa in water as a treat because I feel headachey and sorry for myself. It won’t be long til I ‘officially’ go to bed – but I will have to take the dog on her last pee walk first, and I will leave that as long as possible.

20.00 Dog walked, exhausted, bed.

Sent to the Mass Observation Archive 13/05/2013

ETA Last year’s here.


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