I’m waiting, something I don’t think I have had to do for a while, the chiropodist phoned to say she is coming to cut my toenails this morning, once every 4 months they appear, cut them and vanish for another 4 months. It isn’t a problem for me as I don’t ever have to put on shoes or try and walk any distance, but I can imagine that many would find 4 months just too long to live in comfort. She suggested that I file them every couple of days, something I just haven’t done, like so many other things it is just too much to manage. I find it really hard to get that close to my toes to make it really work and asking Adam is something that just goes out of my head.
Taking care of myself is something that I seem to go through spells of managing or totally ignoring, there is no reason behind my not dealing with the basic things that living in a body requires, but somehow they vanish from my mind until they actually set out to be noticed. Once again last week I found myself with sores that had developed just because I hadn’t taken the care to ensure they were dry and covered in cream. It wasn’t until they began to cause me pain, that I gave them a second thought, but even then it took me a couple of days to actually do anything positive about it. As long as I was sat still and they aren’t causing me more pain than I normally live with, I had no issue with them, but when they got angry enough to get my attention, I finally take action. I know that at times it is just lack of energy that means these things happen, but I also know there are equally times when it is simply my memory that fails me. It might sound simple, something hurts, you can fix it, so you do, but it isn’t as logical as that. Often the truth is that once I am mobile I totally forget why I am on my feet, the change in position is enough for the pain to be eased and I then have no memory to make me head to the bathroom and clean the areas that are breaking down. All to often there is no pain, my medication has removed it and it is actually the smell of rotting skin that first brings my attention to them, but you only smell it when the sore is open to the air and as they appear under the line of my breasts and in a fold of skin caused by a caesarian section, finding the air is seldom something that happens, I usually discover it once I am in bed. So as you might have guessed I am covered once more in Savlon.
I never thought that someone could actually slip so far from what I once called my normal routine, I was always very careful about personal hygiene and took great care over my appearance, but now, well it’s different. Somehow once you have been chronically ill for a long time, your whole values on life change, those things that actually aren’t really that important when we think about them, well they slip into the place I think they always should have been. For me it started to change simply because I wanted to reduce my pain levels, so out went the make up and the hair do’s, the pain and fatigue just wasn’t worth it. Spending one precious hour of those I have awake, just to primp and preen, only had to undo later, made no sense at all. To shower daily a body that had done nothing to sweat, had been nowhere to get dirty and to loose again more energy, feel more pain and loose more time, again meant that logic removed its importance. Just those two things removed from my day gave me back from an hour and a half to two hours, when you only have 11, that is a lot! The energy saving and the pain reduction on top should show anyone just how so called “caring for yourself” is flipped on its head, “care” actually mean doing nothing. Care becomes one long series of not doing, as the less you do the more time, energy and life you have to do what is really important, live.
Illness has a habit of turning everything on its head, all those things we do to stay healthy become the exact things that make us feel worse and speed our decline. Exercise is something to be avoided at all costs, to painful, to exhausting and too difficult, not to mention the time it all takes when you add on all the other things that go with working up a sweat. For me even eating has become a chore, food was once something I enjoyed, took time to prepare and loved not the normal UK diet, but one more varied and one that most people in this country would turn their noses up to. Cooking is now a danger field rather than a pleasure, I burn more and have even managed to fill the house with smoke more than once, annoying and expensive so something I no longer do. I try to improve the food situation I find myself in by only eating the foods that I want and those that don’t need cooking and that I can break down and swallow without choking on every second mouthful, but even then I do it more because I have too.
Everything in my life is now almost a total opposite from what it was just a few years ago, I can’t think of a single thing that hasn’t changed beyond recognition, including myself, but as I have said so many times, it isn’t what I can’t do, what has been lost or impossible, isn’t what is important, it’s what I can that matters. Every day is ruled by a few simple fact that I can’t change, the amount of time I have to my day, the energy I have and the pain I am in. There is a point that you just have to let go of what was and accept what is, if I thought about all I can’t do all of the time I would become depressed very quickly. There will be more and more spells where I am not taking the care I should of myself, but it’s due to things I have no control of, no memory lists or anything else would help me, I already know that I will have to rely more and more on Adam keeping me right. It’s hard to accept that someone else will have to remind me to shower, ask if I have cleaned the area’s which need extra attention, even to clean my teeth, but that is what happens when your brain is slowly becoming disjointed and every day is a term that just doesn’t apply to anything any longer.
The chiropodist has just been, while she was working on them she asked why I hadn’t called her as both of my big toenails were badly grown into the skin. Luckily the skin had stretched and was deeply gouged but not broken, I hadn’t called because I didn’t know it was like that, I hadn’t felt anything, nor smelt the skin that she cut away as it was also rotting around the edges. Another area I need to spread Salvon on for the next few days. She listed all the reasons that I should phone her as she had seen for herself this time just the problem that I have with my feet, they weren’t that bad the last time she was here. I didn’t ask her, but how am I meant to know any of these things are happening, I can barely reach them, far less keep a close eye on their condition.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 26/03/12 – Bye Bye High Street
The start of a new week to many is the Monday morning blues. I’ve never had that feeling as far as I remember. Nearly all of my life it has been a 7 day working week with no really set ‘weekend’. If I am honest I have actually never understood the British obsession of having Saturday and Sunday off work. Every job that I have had simply wasn’t structured that way and I rapidly embarrassed the mid-week days off work. Everything I wanted to do on my days off was far easier to do with the rest of the world working. Shops were quieter and open when I wanted to go, banks staff were there to assist not just machines that issued cash, everything was quite simply quieter, quicker and enjoyable. Although I am thinking back about 18 years ago I am sure it is still very…..