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Monday, 5 December 2011

House of Pain

Hi everyone, I hope that you enjoyed a healthy and happy weekend.

This Saturday I was privileged to be well and strong enough to spend some quality time catching up with my extended family; but as has become my norm, I consequently had to pay the price for this. (as with every wonderful active or social experience I have), by being confined to my bed/sofa for the rest of the weekend and having to forgo the rest of the weekend's events.

Despite the frustration of this perpetual problem, (and believe me there was frustration in abundance on Saturday night when my pain meant that I had to miss out on going to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland- tears may well have been shed)- my primary issue at the moment is most certainly my sleep, or my lack of it more to the point!

Among the many wonderful things about my brother and sister-in-law living with Garry and I at the moment, ( and I'd like to emphasise for the record in case she is reading this, that there are indeed many!!)- the most wonderful of these, is the fact that my sister-in-law has brought with her to our humble abode 'House', series 1 -6!

Having never really watched much of this programme before, I have since been sucked in deep and have subsequently developed a deep love for it having thrown myself into the wonderful world of the remarkable Dr Gregory House and the incredibly talented Englishman Hugh Laurie, who plays this character with the most proficient American accent performed by any foreigner ever!

For those of you who have not as yet had the good fortune to have the time or inclination to while away an afternoon or two with this televisual masterpiece- all you need to know for this post, is that Dr House is a medical genius who heads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.

Most relevantly House suffers from chronic pain in his thigh, following surgical complications. House relies upon a walking aid as well as the addictive drug Vicodin to manage his pain.and although I fortunately don't have such an addiction- I can naturally relate to this character's more general problems pertaining to his  chronic pain.

At present my situation is such that I am trying to gradually increase my daily activity- as a result I am naturally suffering more with pain at night.

I have spoken in great detail about my night time trials and tribulations of late, so I won't bore you with the details again, as basically it just goes as follows: horrid pain, relentless itching and then when the clocks marks the hours of 3 or 4am- the anxiety and depression set in with avengence!

Although I'm aware that technology and more specifically electrical goods such as laptops and smart phones are not conducive to sleep and should not be kept near your bed or in your bedroom at all- when you are awake for hours in bed and are taking on a collaborative army of pain, itching and anxiety, you take any distraction going!

Of late the distraction of choice is watching 'House MD' on my iphone whilst playing a simple game of matching coloured blocks on my iphone- ( I have been told by pain psychologists that hand-eye coordination such as this can help distract the brain from pain).

Whilst suffering one such difficult nocturnal nightmare at the weekend, I watched an episode of  'House MD' where the rather eccentric and exaggerated character of House was reluctantly forced to live without his beloved Vicodin.

Watching the wonderful Laurie so accurately portray the process of a chronic pain sufferer withdrawing from strong medication touched such a chord that it actually made me well up- so much for the distraction from emotional distress!

I have had to endure the process of withdrawal from slow release morphine twice now and I would not wish even a fraction of the pain, discomfort or distress associated with it upon my worst enemy- not that as an unemployed, passive, Christian  housewife I have many enemies, but I'm sure you get the general idea!

98 % of my life is spent in pain and probably half of that is spent in ridiculous, scream the house down, pull your hair out pain.

Laurie's well executed portrayal of this process pleases me immensely as I feel that it is imperative that issues such as chronic pain are depicted in mainstream entertainment such as House MD, as it is a vastly underestimated disability as there is so often no physical marker for people to grasp it's severity or affect on the suffers life in every way, and one which is so rarely talked about,  by anyone other than me!

Chronic pain is an invisible disability.

Unfortunately it is my disability.

Chronic pain is my challenge, but we all have those.We all have our cross to bare and chronic pain is mine.

Whatever your cross may be, good luck with your challenge. Take each day as it comes, and if that is too much to bare, take it by minute and second- Lord knows I have been at the pain level of applauding myself for each second survived, and despite five years thus far of the pain and associated depression. I have done just that survived.

Nobody knows what is around the corner, be it bad like my accident, or good like me finally establishing and accepting a level of daily morphine which allows me to have a life of sorts.

Until tomorrow everyone. I hope that you have a relaxing and restful night's sleep.

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