September brought a weekend away – my first knitting retreat since that world exploded on me. My first “respite” weekend, and a chance to see friends I don’t see often, and friends I’d never met in person before.
On Thursday, I started to feel back pain. By Friday, I was depending on painkillers to keep me going. I wandered around Wellington and had as much fun as I was capable of.
Magan met me at Counter Culture, and Charlie picked me up to go to camp. By Friday evening I was feeling pretty delicate, and spent more time flat on my back in my room than is ideal for a social retreat. By Saturday night, I was staring to notice “insect bites”.
After the retreat, Charlie took me to their place on the Kapiti Coast, a gorgeous little town, with a perfect house with three friendly cats and a sea view. Winnie added paracetamol into my drug regime, and I spent Monday with them doing te Papa in “relative comfort”.
Returning to Auckland on Monday night, my first priority was getting checked out by a doctor. I’d realised by then it wasn’t a ruptured disc, it was most likely shingles.
So for the past three weeks I’ve mostly been at on my back in a darkened room, and since I’ve been taking the serious drugs, mostly pain free, if a little woozy. Mark’s been in a really fun show, which I got to see thanks to Alia and Toby and new drugs! Still can’t drive, but I am lucky to have kind friends.
In other news. Pinky McKay invited me to talk about the experience of parenting a trans kid for her podcast. It’s over an hour long, and the audio quality is slightly dodgy, but hopefully someone will get some validation, support, and information form it that will help them support their own kid. I’ve never held myself up as any kind of ideal, but I have always hoped to be a good example of failing forwards, and emphasising repair and growth over perfection.
Squid and I listened to it together today, and apparently I did ok (I skipped over some details and conflated events, which makes their brain itchy), but they said I did an ok job. That’s Inigo for “wild enthusiasm”. I’ll take it.
And on Friday, I did a run through of a talk I’m doing about “Neurodiversity at Work” for a corporate client. Despite having pulled the presentation together at the last minute (I’d been mentally working on it for months), and being on the silly brain meds, I’ve been told that the team loved it so much they are going to offer it out to the whole Asia Pacific region instead of just New Zealand when we offer it later this month.
So I am gathering more experience at public speaking, and educating about neurodiversity and accommodations (my fidget presentation is happening again next week for the Gifted Nex network), and I’m becoming more comfortable in my “expertise”. None of this feels comfortable and safe – but it does feel important.
And we had our first meeting with a lawyer about setting up GCL as a charitable trust. Feels big and scary and historic. Or that could be the drugs.