Thank goodness for my iPOD (Yes, this is an RA-related post!)

February 1, 2009 at 9:37 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
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I got an iPOD for Christmas. The main reason I wanted it, sad to say, was so that when I felt really crappy and just had to lie down, hands too sore to even hold a book to read, I could lie back and listen to it and it would take my mind off things. Come Christmas I really thought I wouldn’t be needing it for that, as things had been going so well on the methotrexate, and was hoping I’d be using it instead to make long train journeys less boring … I desperately want to visit a friend in Wales, but haven’t been up to it yet. (She’s only been there three years now!)

Anyway, since Christmas I’ve had several bad nights and one full-scale flare-up so just being able to plug myself in and lie back and listen to music has been a real boon. But last night things got even better, iPod wise … and here’s the point where I read this back to myself and think, ‘Pollyanna Penguin, you need to get out more!’ … I discovered iTunes-U. This is a bunch of free downloads from the iTunes site, from various universities, including some seriously good ones like Warwick, Cambridge and MIT. I think these are ‘open source’ type things that various unis have made available on their own sites, but they’re handily collected together at iTunes-U. Last night I downloaded a fabulous lecture on the History of Cambridge by the great David Starkey (renowned Cambridge historian, author and of course, in this day and age, TV presenter …), and lecture on early social history in America from Warwick (lecturer kind of rubbed me up the wrong way with his jokes, but it was still very interesting stuff and I’ll be downloading the rest of them from him today).

It also helps, if money’s tight, to be into fairly obscure music, because obscure music is CHEAP. Having attended an all day lecture on Baroque Music in The Court of Versailles (Louis 14) yesterday (see, I do get out, I just have odd tastes) I came back all re-fired up about Baroque music (which I did quite a lot of in school, but not so much since) and thought I’d see what was available by some of the composers we’d listened to, on iTunes. One of my favourites from the snippets the lecturer played was the slightly weird and rarified by very lovely Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres by Francois Couperin – a meer snip at £2.99 on iTunes. Far cheaper than being in to the latest pop music!

Since I was awake for several hours last night feeling really rotten, I actually listened to all that lot and more, and it really did help to keep my mind off the pain and keep me sane!


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