Educating Buddha

Educating Buddha

“You should try yoga”, they said. “It’ll be fun”, they said.

I arrived with much anticipation to become acquainted with the other participants of this ancient Indian practice. My mind recalled images of monks meditating at Varanasi and the Ganges in bright and colourful robes, adorned with flowers around their necks, whilst the distant sound of Tuk Tuk’s can be heard in the nearby city, delivering spices and tea to the shanty towns and street sellers. The smell of said spices, ruminating into the atmosphere, strengthened by the heat of the North Indian climate.

I was brought back to earth when I was met in the local Sport Centre by our spiritual guide….”Swami Linda”.

Was it fun? You could definitely say it was relaxing and fairly achievable on the cardio scale..once you have gotten past the smell of 75 year old camembert and an eyeful of the obligatory ‘Fat Bird’s uniform’, (leggings and a wavy top).

I had dressed myself in the only clothes that I deemed suitable for clambering around on the floor with the ‘blue rinse brigade’ , who would soon begin eying up the fresh meat….and predictably the only man in the class. (Awkward)


As I grabbed a mat, my phone vibrated and the flirting grannies soon focussed their attention to my misdemeanour, tutting away like a bunch of bingo regulars after the announcement of a ‘false call’. Before being lynched, I turned my phone off and awaited the instructions of the lesbian vegan bookshop owner – come yoga instructor for our 1st ‘pose’.

‘Breathe in” ,she said.

“Put your left leg under your right arm….”

“Put your foot on your elbow…”

“Put your little toe in your ear”

Struggling to keep up with Doris and Betty, I was turning blue…I hadn’t been told to breathe out yet and I didn’t want to get it wrong. Also It was a good job I had learned to fart silently because apart from the sound of the whale mating call on the ghetto-blaster and the odd groan from Sylvia, it was deathly quiet, and with some of the positions i was getting into, it was inevitable that any trapped air would need an escape route. In the eerie silence I had to have a good glance round every now and then to make sure there were still 18 people breathing.

As I turned to my left, I was met with Mary’s foot fungus. Clearly she hasn’t seen her feet in a few years, but you could have garnished an entire vat of spaghetti bolognese with the parmesan coming off her trotters.

On my right (I daren’t look), Joyce’s leggings were extremely fitting, and as much as she did her best to camouflage an earlier prolapse with her green oversized tabard, it wasn’t working, and it looked like she was smuggling jammy dodgers.

“Right….get into the plank position!!’, shouted Swami Linda.

Am I supposed to know this?  I think I’ll just copy Doris.

“Assume the Tree position!” – Yep, that is fairly self explanatory.

“Downward Dog!”…ok Im definitely familiar with this one, albeit self taught!

I spent a good 40 minutes getting myself into fairly awkward positions and then a further 20 minutes meditating, well in my case, having a kip. As the class ended , I made a hasty exit while the W.I continued their mother’s meeting in the cafe.

Will I be going again?   HELL YES!




So I Have Arthritis…And There’s Me Thinking It Was Mincer’s Hip

so-i-ahev-arthritis-and-theres-me-thinking-it-was-mincers-hipIm not one for pain ordinarily, so when I started getting some in my left leg, I just put it down to the fact that I had been allocated a company car that wasn’t automatic…you know…first world problems.

At Christmas this pain just grew and grew and I became stiffer and stiffer (my joints that is), culminating in a point where I had to drag myself to chav central (the Doctor’s surgery) the day after Boxing day to get some stronger pain-killers.

By now the pain and swelling had hit every joint in my body, my fingers were like cumberland sausages, I was walking like Quasimodo and the moans and groans I was subjecting everyone to, were as annoying as two fat slags at a pie bake-off.

Nevertheless, I thought, maybe I’m a bit run down. I spend a lot of time at work and It would be my luck to fall ill during the Christmas holidays (much like when there is a Snow day on your scheduled day off!). I had some blood tests and was sent on my merry (not merry) way with some anti-inflammatories and painkillers.

A week later when I got the blood test results and feeling no better (in fact a lot worse) I returned to the very lovely lady Doctor who referred me to see a Rheumatologist.

Knowing how the NHS runs in the UK, I decided to make use of my Private Healthcare and instead of waiting 2 months to see a specialist, I was seen the very next day in a lovely little hospital with no screaming kids and a ‘coffee menu’…if you don’t mind.

I was prodded and poked and sent for another round of blood tests, (I’ve now had more pricks than Kerplunk), and it turns out that I have arthritis, that is more than likely Rheumatoid.

Evidently Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease where your white cells start attacking the fluid in your joints, mistaking them for foreign objects- a life-long disease that affects everyone differently. I always associated arthritis with old people…but seemingly it’s a genetic disease that can happen at anytime (including birth).

Due to the Doctor being unable to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis until I have had symptoms for 8 weeks (protocol), I need to return in a couple of weeks to discover the inevitable. In fact, I have already been referred to receive ‘Disease Modifying Therapy’, and he has indicated pretty strongly that this is what he believes it is.

So I am left at a point in my life where I am faced with a little uncertainty. This is not a feeling I am used to, there are lots of questions in my mind. What next? Will the pain go away? Will I be entitled to a divvy parking badge?

With the 8 weeks of steroids I have been prescribed, I have been told to try swimming and …yoga….(FML).

So I’m writing this post in contrast to my usual style and content.  I would like to pay thanks to my husband and family, who have been really looking after me over the last few weeks. I am never ill, and albeit in chronic pain, the upside is..I have been able to lap up a bit of sympathy. I have been  delivered muffins, I’ve been cooked for….been given a nutri-bullet (thanks mum and dad) and everyone has just been genuinely lovely to me whilst I relax and dose myself up.

Thats All.