Losing my mojo


When does it cease to become rest and recuperation and become mere laziness, I wonder?

Since I picked up this bug in November, I have been unwell quite a lot of the time and still don’t feel great. After struggling along for a week trying to pretend everything was normal1, back in those misty autumn days, I decided I had to change tactics and rest.

So I stopped walking the dogs2, I stopped cooking, I stopped getting dressed for the day, and I stopped reading my Italian translation of Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mystery of the Blue Train’. There were, of course, other things I stopped doing, but stopping my reading in Italian was a milestone. I simply did not have the mental wherewithall to struggle with it, because yes, it had become a struggle. I also had to stop talking on Skype because .. well, I didn’t a voice worth listening to, and when I talked much, I’d go into paroxysms of coughing and couldn’t stop. For much the same reason, I stopped exercising, too.

Of course, once I’d stopped struggling to read in Italian, I stopped all other Italian studies as well. It’s quite true; when you’re so unwell you keep falling asleep on the couch wrapped in a blanket, it’s pointless to try to concentrate on anything because you simply can’t do it. So, no reading, no writing, no talking, and no games in Italian. I skipped over the posts on Facebook in Italian, and I put away the Italian books and got out an English one (it was a Harlequin romance which just goes to show how unwell I was3).

Once or twice, when I felt a bit better, I opened up Skype and conversed with a couple of people. Then I went downhill again and could barely cope with English again.

And now here we are in January. I’ve just had a chest x-ray because I am still coughing. Nowhere near as badly, but yep, still coughing. No results yet – I won’t get those till next week, so I have plenty of time to convince myself I have lung cancer or TB, or a tomato vine growing down there or something4.

From time to time I have managed to read a short text in Italian, and I no longer have to be in bed by 9.30pm because I’m dead on my feet on the couch, but I still struggle a bit.

But here’s the thing: I no longer know if I’m struggling because I haven’t been exercising properly or stretching my mind, or if I’m struggling because I’m still not over this wretched thing. I might open up Skype tonight and see if I can hold up my end of a conversation. I did manage a short chat with two lovely Italian girls in the Milano Bar yesterday while shopping in the lovely market town of Stamford, and I haven’t forgotten absolutely everything I know, which is nice, but I’m a bit nervous of going for a protracted conversation in the same way that I’d be nervous of trying to walk into town (a matter of five or six miles), or climb the Tower of Pisa. Just the thought of that makes me want to go and lie down.


The other day, I promised to dust off the treadmill, and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t do it. Instead, we found ourselves vacuuming and moving furniture in preparation for a visit from the Grandtwins and it was quite enough exercise, thankyouverymuch. OH thought so, too, and went so far as to forbid me to have anything to do with the treadmill whatsoever. So it’s still stacked with boxes, though one is now nearly empty. I have at least been trying.

The day before yesterday I decided I was about ready to pick up my Italian reading again, and I couldn’t find that damned book! ‘Il Mistero Del Treno Azurro’ was nowhere to be seen. I looked high and low. I looked everywhere … Finally it was run to earth yesterday in a shopping bag – I must have taken it somewhere thinking I might need something to read, and it never got put back on the shelf because of my lack of mojo (see title, above).


I guess now I have no excuse … but I might have to start again at the beginning again. How am I supposed to remember who did what to whom after all this time?

Oh well. I suppose I’ll need something to do while I’m in hospital getting the tomato taken out of my lung.

1 Whatever the hell ‘normal’ is.

2 It’s very hard to walk a greyhound who likes you to run with him when you have hardly enough breath to walk across the kitchen, so I let OH do it. ‘Let OH do it’ being a euphemism for ‘refused to go outside at all’. When he went down with it, too, I had to help with the dogs, but I’m pretty sure that’s what made me ill again.

3 I knew I was feeling a little bit better when I graduated to Georgette Heyer. Later I moved on to Katie Fforde, but I’m not sure it’s actually intellectually superior to Heyer. However, now I’m reading Terry Pratchett, I know I’m making progress. I’m getting the jokes and everything!

4 I’m really, really good at this. I’ve had so much practice, you see.

14 thoughts on “Losing my mojo

  1. John 24th January 2015 / 11:31 pm

    Thank you for your comment on going gently…….
    Every life IS important xx

    • Jay 25th January 2015 / 9:29 pm

      I’m glad to have discovered your blog, John. It’s a good one, and I’ll certainly be back.

  2. Ron 25th January 2015 / 3:21 am

    “I no longer know if I’m struggling because I haven’t been exercising properly or stretching my mind, or if I’m struggling because I’m still not over this wretched thing.”

    Yes, and that’s probably what it is Jay. You’re still struggling because of not feeling well, physically.

    Hope all goes well with your test results and that they find out what is causing this to last so long. Perhaps it could even be some kind of allergy.

    You take care, my friend!

    (((((( You )))))


    • Jay 25th January 2015 / 9:54 am

      Thanks, Ron – I do hope that’s it! Well, it’s no fun to realise you’re still not well, of course, but at least I won’t have to feel guilty as well!

  3. Susie Sanddune 25th January 2015 / 4:37 am

    It looks like you have a nice pair of new shoes. So you’ve got that going for ya.

    • Jay 25th January 2015 / 9:27 pm

      That’s true. Merrell’s boots, not shoes, but they are very comfortable and they are waterproof, which makes dog-walking much more pleasant!

  4. Rob Lenihan 25th January 2015 / 5:25 am

    Jay, I am so sorry that you’ve been ill for so long. I’ve had a lot of experience with protracted sickness and I know how physically and emotionally draining it can be.

    I hope your test results bring you some much needed good news and that you’ll soon be chatting in Italian and walking the doggies as soon as possible. And please know that I’m sending all kinds of prayers and healing vibes your way.


    • Jay 25th January 2015 / 9:55 am

      I know you understand, Rob. It’s a real pain, isn’t it? Thanks for the good wishes and the healing vibes and prayers – and the MWAH, too! 🙂

  5. Birdie 26th January 2015 / 12:15 am

    This is an especially bad year for colds and flu. Most of the people I care for have been very sick and taking a long time to recover. I hope you are feeling better soon. Rest.

    • Jay 26th January 2015 / 9:09 am

      Thanks, Birdie! This is what I’ve been hearing, too. So many people very ill and many worse off than me. At least I can function!

  6. Valerie Daggatt 26th January 2015 / 11:16 am

    It’s no fun feeling poorly so I hope the tests go well. I do admire your ability to read Italian… I tried and tried and failed to grasp more than a few phrases.

    • Jay 26th January 2015 / 2:52 pm

      Thank you, Valerie. Two of OH’s fingers are now permanently numb and he still doesn’t have an appointment. Nor do I, actually, because when the doctors answer the phone and I choose the extension, reception doesn’t pick up. I think a LOT of people are poorly right now.

      How did you try with Italian? I didn’t go to classes. I can’t stand classes. All I did was use various free resources (Byki is good), then a set of CDs and finally started talking to people on Skype using a site called Conversation Exchange. I do have good motivation though, because Son No. 2’s partner is an Italian girl, and since I have so many food and drug allergies, I didn’t want to travel to Italy without knowing how to talk to waiters and pharmacists!

  7. Shaeleen 26th January 2015 / 6:50 pm

    I love that I am not the only one who jumps to the worst possible scenario. I am a master at it as well. I have a thyroid ultrasound on Thursday and I am pretty much convinced I will have thyroid cancer even though my doctor doubts I even have a thyroid disorder.

    • Jay 3rd February 2015 / 11:59 pm

      Oh, I’m horrible at it, I really am. Sorry that you are similarly afflicted, because though I make light of it, it really is no fun, is it? I hope your ultrasound goes well and that you are worrying for nothing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *