It should come as no surprise to hear that I think the world of my partners and waste no opportunity in cheesily talking about how awesome they are. Every now and then though I like pick something out to gush about, especially when it’s something important.
Lady M has had a couple of difficult years, but out of that she’s managed to effect a life-changing and possibly life-saving change at her place of work. It follows on from talks she has given about her own health issues and journey back from a hard place, given in meetings and on her work intranet forums:
Working with her HR and Occupational Health contacts, she was able to set up a confidential safe discussion and support forum on her company’s intranet. It has been quietly growing. Invisible to casual searches, individuals are either invited by admins, or pointed to a URL by fellow participants and from there a professional and personal safety net. It is available for people who need support with mental health or who are supporting people in need.
Every now and then, Lady M mentions to me how blown away she has been when someone who has found help or comfort there confides in and thanks her. Without mentioning names or circumstances she has relayed how people have found confidence, reassurance, even inspiration from her or the forum.
She always feels humbled, not seeing for herself how amazing a change she has made, or how many lives have been touched. She is fiercely proud of the progress and strength people have found, but insists on not taking any credit from them for the hard work, determination, and kindnesses that the people using the forum continue to demonstrate.
She may be unable to articulate her pride, as she’s so shy and retiring, but I’ll not stop being proud of her for what she’s set in motion, or the enduring good that she has done.
Your regularly scheduled snark and cynicism will return in another post.
It’s a good thing that I know Lady M so well – the night time mutterings have taken on what could be interpreted as a more sinister tone…
Last week I was reading in bed, and Lady M rolled over in her sleep and began cracking the knuckles of each hand. We’re not talking a lacing of hands here in some complex motion, but her thumb moving to the top of each finger in turn and pressing hard so the joints crack.
It’s impressive enough to see and hear when she’s awake and aware, but done in her sleep it becomes somewhat threatening. She claims to have no recollection of doing so, though there is a devilish glint in her eye when I mention it that repeats when she does it while awake.
I think it’s connected to her fibromyalgia in some respects – an ache in her hands that cracking her knuckles relieves as a sensation. It tells me how uncomfortable she is that she now does it in her drowsy/sleeping state. So while I do tease, it’s at least half tongue-in-cheek because I’d rather she didn’t have to.
Lady M has had knee pains for quite some time. In one knee it’s been since childhood as a result of intensive dance and gymnastic training (and kneeling on an upturned plug, but let’s not go into that right now). The other knee however has been deteriorating too, especially when on stairs or bending down to pick things up – somewhat tricky in a second floor flat.
I eventually nagged her into consulting our GP and with some health insurance queue-jumping (because let’s face it that’s all that a BUPA membership really is) we got the diagnosis that it was early stages arthritis.
So early in fact that it could be offset or even sidestepped with physiotherapy and exercises.
As a result, Lady M has an exercise regime that she keeps forgetting to do at home. She does it, or at least elements of it, at work instead with stretches and various bits of leg contortion under her desk. I have come to call this the Ministry of Silly Sits, largely from her recounting the occasional expressions of concern from co-workers when they catch sight of her doing it.
Any of her co-workers reading this who is willing to do a complete Monty Python-style Ministry of Silly Walks routine past her desk will probably get to hear her taking my name in vain.