I caught my reflection in the mirror, it was one of those seconds that stopped me dead where I was. I had just been to the toilet and I was heading back to my wheelchair, when there I was, caught clearly in the mirror and lit perfectly by the downlighters on the ceiling. I was white, no, even paler than white, even whiter than this page. I’ve known that I was pale in pallor for a long time, it goes with never seeing the sun, but I was somehow, even paler than I have ever seen me before. I stood holding on the back of my chair, transfixed by my image. It brought me so many mixed feelings, but shock, was the strongest, how hadn’t I seen it before.
All my life I had envied those people who had perfectly white skin, that paleness you often see in people with red hair. I was as far as I could tell, the only person alive, who hated a suntan and avoided the sun at all costs. I did what I could with makeup to cover the blush that all white skin has, but it never looked quite right. So what I saw in the mirror, at one level pleased me, but at another, it shocked me, it shocked me deeply. Was I really that ill? You see, my skin wasn’t just pale, it looked dead. I look in the mirror every day, just as we all do, but I had this feeling that for the first time, I was seeing just what everyone else sees when they look at me. These days, everyone is used to seeing themselves, as pictures are taken in their thousands daily, but it hasn’t alway been that way. I remember a really bizarre experience I had years ago when I was shown a photo I didn’t know had been taken by my then boss. It was of a group of people who I worked with, but in amongst them was a tall, slender attractive woman, I didn’t know. I pointed to her and asked who she was, he gave me the oddest look then said, “it’s you, you idiot”. That day was the first time I realised how I looked to the world, not how I looked in the mirror. Well, yesterday, was just the same.
My skin now looks more grey than white. It has that look that makes you feel that if you looked hard enough, you could see what lies behind it and my eyes are sunk back into my skull. There is no doubt in my mind, that this isn’t only the lack of sunlight, my health is taking it’s toll in ways I hadn’t realised. Yet another thing to add on to my list of things that my health has done to me, that I have absolutely no control over what so ever.
I phoned my doctor yesterday morning and luckily he called back quite quickly. I don’t think we were on the phone for more than two maybe three minutes, less than half the time a consultation at the surgery would have taken. I went over with him what happened the other night and over the weekend. Once again, he is sending me out yet another tablet to try. Because his practice is over the other side of the city, I know have to wait for the chemist to pick up the prescription, which won’t be until tomorrow, then they will deliver it the day after. Until them, well, I just have to get on with it. Like I thought, the fact that I am still going to the loo means that he isn’t overly worried about it, neither is he going to come out and see me. All he can do, until, I get the appointment to see the consultant, is try and deal with the symptoms. So I have free usage of my Morphine booster tablets and the Metoclopramide, but I still have to take a full days clear break due to their effect on the heart. So in other words, if I can manage without, don’t take. Once again, the answer seems to be, muddle along as best as you can. Although it is never said, that always feels like the only thing they can do.
I have to admit, that today, I am feeling a little sorry for myself. I don’t that often but with the way things are, I’m not that surprised. Everything seems to be stepped up right now. For the first time in a couple of weeks, I had a run of spasms that were so strong that I could do nothing but focus on them. All the drugs that I am on means that most spasms, are more along the line of my knowing where they are, and often being able to see the deformed muscle, but as for pain, well it’s more a case of discomfort. Last night I had one that ran from the arch of my right foot, around and under my heel, before heading right up to the base of my hip. The worst of the pain was in my lower leg and boy did it hurt. I think it probably lasted about 10 minutes, with another half hour of shadow quality. I woke at 4 am, to find that all my toes on both of my feet and the entirety of my right foot, were in that identical pain. Usually, part of dealing with foot spasms is to put your weight on the good one and start pushing the bad one slowly onto the floor. So what do you do when they’re both screaming in pain? Yes, I did work it out, but boy did it hurt.
I know there’s no connection, but I decided that last night, was totally the fault of Microsoft. I don’t know if you have done it yet, but I upgraded to Windows 10. For two hours, I wished that I hadn’t as when it came up, declaring it was complete, half or my stuff was missing. I had no access to anything, as I didn’t have my passwords. I couldn’t remember how to get into my Chrome or my Google. Out of sheer frustration, and the fact that I couldn’t think of anything else to do, I rebooted. Guess what? It was all there, totally perfect and without issues. That doesn’t help with the stress that it caused me and still is. I may have all my folders back and access to all the websites I use, but it keeps annoying me every few minutes with something “new” that I have to find a way of turning off. I didn’t update for new features, I updated so that my PC didn’t land up going out of date and unable to handle new sited and programs. I just wish that when they made now platforms, that they had a button that would allow you to turn off ALL the new stuff in one, and make it work as the old one did. Reading that back has suddenly made me feel like an old foggy. How did that happen?
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 07/04/2014 – A mindset change
I am not going to say this too loudly but…..I think my bronchitis is going away. I slept again last night with the top of the bed raised by the elevator and this morning I woke again without a painful back and able to breathe, after yesterday’s start, it is just wonderful. It really is madness where you wake one day feeling as though there is no air available and the next on the most occasional cough and one that I wouldn’t even bother normally mentioning, life is really mad at times. I do now think I have found……