Last night was the night from hell, it was my own fault as I had quite simply been on my feet far too much but I had a task to carry out and I wanted it done. Yes I know all about pacing but there are times when you are over run by a need to do something simple and complete it, all I was doing was cleaning some atomizers, they needed soaking in a solvent then boiled to remove the residue before placing on the heater to dry out, but it meant going back and forward to the kitchen far too many times. Alone that would have been bad enough but later I remembered that I had bought some cranberry sauce and I had some parsnips in the freezer, the desire to cook them and pig out grew to the point where it just had to be done, several more trips to the kitchen. By the time I was sat watching “Hollyoaks” our nightly does of living in a world where reality can’t be found, no matter how hard you try, I was in pain without any relief. I took all my evening meds and sat lost in more TV madness, but my mind was fixed totally on where the pains were and trying to work out where the next would appear. By 8:30 I was locked in a straight out fight and one that I knew lying down wouldn’t help, I spent a further half hour trying to relieve the pain without any success, surrendering to the only possibility left, one of my booster pills and bed.
I lay there waiting for morphine to take hold while I tried to relax and to let the pain go. When you are engulfed with pain like that you find yourself wondering the stupidest things, questions jump into your mind, like what does a deep vein thrombosis feel like, because that pain in your leg might be one. The sudden gripping pain low in your stomach, which I was told 40 years ago was a grumbling appendix, flares up in it’s intensity and you wonder if it has had enough of just grumbling and was learning to shout. Your brain runs round a million stupid things, none of which you really believe to be true, but they have appeared and once there shutting them up is like trying to stop a train. It took 20 minutes for that sudden rush that told me the morphine was at last taking hold, I thought that would be it over, any second the pain would subside and sleep would take over. I waited and I waited, lying as always on my back, but although calmed a little it didn’t let go, I wasn’t going to sleep at least not as I usually do. I haven’t been able to lie on my side now for over a year, but when everything else fails you grasp at the least likely thing to actually make a difference. I still can’t lie on either of my sides, it was such a stupid thing to do as even with the pain blocker in place the second I touched my side to the mattress it felt as though I had never taken it. I don’t remember now what it was all about but my mind was playing out scenarios from the past, still trying to work out where it went wrong and what would the result would have been if I had done just that one tiny extra step. I was flying between childhood, my last jobs, doctors appointments, everywhere and anything that sparked connections. From time to time I looked at the clock, 20 mins, an hour, 30 minutes, the time was moving in jumps but I wasn’t really sleeping, there was just too much pain. I know I must have slept for a short while as suddenly it was 1:30, four and half hours since I took the morphine, four and half hours where the pain hadn’t gone and was now as bad as ever. I waited, why I don’t know, possibly because I just didn’t want to move but I waited for half an hour and then for the first time since I have had the option to take extra pain relief, I took a second and waited again. This time once they had blocked what they could I slept, waking before the alarm sounded as once more the pain was screaming at me. I can’t be sure how much sleep I really had last night, all I remember of it was hours of pain filled with questions.
You develop some strange new skills when your body has given up being supple and or agile in any way, I don’t know when I learned to do this, but I noticed a few weeks ago the I now put on and take of my socks, without my entire foot ever being off the floor, in fact not just my socks, to be honest I deal with my trousers in just the same way. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I would happily lift my foot well clear of the floor, resting my leg over the knee of my other leg and simply slip a sock on. Dressing and undressing was fast fluid process, yet now it has become a painful puzzle that I didn’t put any thought into it, yet just like the “vulture position” I described yesterday, an adaptation has appeared. It is actually so difficult and exhausting holding my foot clear of the floor, that for the purpose of dressing they now know longer do. It does seem that all the adaptations we create, all have one thing in common, they are ungainly and preferably things we don’t want other to see us doing. Sitting with your legs apart and your chest almost touching your knees, while you are slipping a rolled up sock over your uplifted toes, then tilting your foot to balance on your toes, so that you can slide the sock the rest of the way, can not in any way be seen as an elegant and or graceful process. The more I catch myself doing things in new or different ways, I realise that most have one thing in common, my legs! You just don’t realise in daily life how many things require you to either crouch, bend, lift or push with your leg muscles, or even just how much we rely on our balance. I know that I know hardly ever really walk as I use to, most of my journeys around the house are done in more a shuffling action, I just don’t have the strength to do anything else. All my strength is taken up just simply carrying my body, the less my legs are lifted the less the effort and eventually the less the pain.
I don’t know how today will pan out but I know already that I have spent the last 4 hours sitting here in yes pain, I haven’ taken a booster as I want to hold on to them for when everything is at it’s worst and I can’t take any more. What I do know without the slightest doubt, I will not be moving around any more than I absolutely have to.