Thursday 5 February 2015


"It's on my sheet," he apologised, holding out the A4 list of his appointments again. The fourth time since he arrived. And with each showing and each of his apologies I started to feel a wee bit more like a shit person.

I mumbled a pathetic, "If it's on your sheet, it's on your sheet." And started to pull my frayed nerves together to formulate an apology of my own before he practically ran to get away from the scary lady at number 48.

When I asked my youngest if I had really been that bad, he gave me his best, No shit, Sherlock look, complete with an "Ah, yeah!"

And I died a little inside.

I was an arsehole. I knew it. My youngest knew it. The tradie definitely knew it. Given Freya's furtive glance as I let her back inside even she, my ever adoring companion, knew it.

His crime?

He'd turned up two hours early. Way before I was expecting him. In the morning. Before medications. And sustenance. And showers. And my general working up to people. And I had ripped him a new one.

Well not directly.

I had to hurry to my room to get dressed. And throw Freyja outside. Who had picked up on my less than calm demeanor and taken out a full glass of cordial on the couch with her frantic tail wagging. And in my bedroom as I stumbled around, trying to find a bra and clothes while breathing and standing and taking my meds, I may have dropped a few choice expletives. In our poorly insulated and echoing house.

Because I have inherited a fiery temper and a low threshold for anything these days when I am feeling really poorly or, on that day, in pain.

And because I know I had agreed to a post-lunchtime appointment as I rarely agree to a morning one since I became ill. Had it written in my diary and had planned my usual morning needs to that time. But it was clearly written for a different time on his sheet.

And because I am officially a shit person.

My life has become a tightly wound lesson in logistics. Planning is everything. And spontaneity has become anathema.  And woe betide any who should mess with that tightly wound, holding-it-together-by-my-fingernails, plan. Like a young tradie with a different time on his sheet.

And I acted like a shit person.

If I know something is coming up I start planning. I know how long it takes for my medications to kick in, how long I need to recover after a shower or putting on my  compression stockings. I plan rest the day before and the day of. I psych myself up  to use a set amount of my daily functioning and schedule rest and recovery for the rest of that day. I think about foods to tide me over. That I can potentially stomach enough at that time to keep my blood sugar up without also making me vomit. In between all that I have to negotiate the unexpected symptoms. Is this the morning I wake up with a mouth full of vomit, so must negotiate oppressive nausea whilst also putting on a social face? Do I need heating or cooling? Can I walk to the door or need my cane? Will I need to apologise as I make a sudden departure to the loo to throw up mid sentence? Will my blood pressure to stay up while I clench and unclench the muscles in my legs to remain standing. The mental agility and strength needed to keep my shit together long enough for a visit is hard to explain. The exhaustion of just getting ready can be beyond overwhelming. Especially when you are forced to do it everyday for years on end.

But he didn't know any of that. And shouldn't have to know any of that.

And I am an arsehole.

When he came back a week later for another job I apologised.


Because the reasons don't matter.

And because I acted like a complete arse.

Side-effects of long term illness may include:


World weariness
Becoming jaded
Holding a permanent level of stress you don't always realise
Tightly wound emotional hair trigger

Inability to deal with the unexpected, and

Being a first class arsehole to an innocent tradie. 



  1. I must confess to ripping someone a new one on rare occasions...possibly when I've had it up to *here* dealing with the general public that particular day...or maybe I'm just in the throes of PMS....who knows? Sometimes I worry that the poor recipient of my wrath goes away thinking that I'm "that grumpy little bitch with a chip on her shoulder". Do you worry that too?

    1. I must admit I do, because I hate being 'that' person. I was lucky that I got to properly apologise to this guy as he had to come back. But I'm pretty sure he was dreading having to come back and deal with me.

  2. I am like that about Boo.

    I explain that he can't cope with strangers in the house and that they need to come at certain times when he is not home and they turn up when he is here and I lose my shit.

    It is not their fault they don't understand. But... *sigh* why can't people just follow simple instructions?

    I am sure that the guy didn't think you were as horrible as you think you are.


    1. As a fellow loser of their shit I can relate. it's such a fine line to manage things and when you try and it goes pear-shaped the fragile lid on the stress bursts. Hugs to you too, Kelley. xx

  3. No... first class arseholes never apologise. I would rate you as second class arsehole for this very important reason. I completely understand Michelle. Sometimes I react this way, explosive and unreasonable to my own kin when they forget about the morning difficulties. Lately, I've been doing it even more, because 'feeling better' seems to have translated to my family as 'stop all helping, Mum's feeling better, she can do it all'. I reckon being aware of our sometimes shitness actually goes a long way to making it better. At least we see what we do and can deal with it. And you know what Michelle? It is hardly surprising. Maybe prepare an emergency 'arse-hole behviour explanation guide' to hand to the next tradie/ courier driver/ person who turns up at an inappropriate time. Then you can swear all you like while he's reading all about the reasons why!

  4. I completely understand. One time a package was delivered to my complex's rental office and needed to be picked up before they closed at 5. It was only a few days til Christmas, the present for my sister was in that box, and my fiance and I typically do not get home until 6. We made special arrangements for him to be able to pick it up. I had emailed the office earlier, called, and been assured that the document I filled out allowing my fiance to pick up packages in my name was on file and he would have no trouble. Except they didn't let him pick it up. I threw a fit of epic proportions. Expletives out the wazoo. My email was so scathing I got an apology email from the manager, who personally went to my apartment while I was at work and hand delivered the package on my counter. I realized afterwards I was being a raging nutcase, but with illness, medication withdrawal, and holiday stress I was a wreck and my short temper was non-existent. I sent a thank you and CC'd all the way up the chain. I hope that manager got a holiday bonus.

  5. I mean seriously who has ever heard of any tradie turning up early... ???? Well this never happens and would absolutely throw any one in an insane state. He needs to go back to trade college and learn about the expected two hour delay of tradesmen or possibly even a week... I'm sure he'll learn from it and you need to just forgive yourself. :-)

  6. (... that tradesman was lucky.

    lucky it was just a typical day....

    as were you... most likely.


    likely far easier than dealing with me of the past couple weeks

    pulling random strangers into debate

    of whether I have a higher moral obligation to die than to live

    its still costing more than my sanity alone.


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