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Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Moment's Pleasure

Okay- it's official- I have cabin fever! Rotten cold + new back spasms and pain+ pre-existing issues= one house bound me!
There's consequently not an awful lot to report on my end, unless indeed you're interested in how many Christmas cards I have now successfully written, stamped and sent off to the post box with my long suffering errand-running brother; or how many Christmas presents I have now wrapped and labelled and placed under the tree.
I feel it perhaps relevant to mention that all of the above tasks were done whilst consuming vast quantities of  'medicinal' hot milk and Bailey's, whilst curled up beneath my cosy Olbas Oil drenched blanket! Ah advent- why is it obligatory that every year it must be spent  filled with a stinking cold whilst one tries to achieve more tasks than in any other month of the year put together!
As it turned out, today was one reminiscent of the days I would spend poorly from school when I was a child- wrapped in my duvet on the sofa with a steady stream of Lemsips being served unto me by a family member, whilst watching festive cooking tips on daytime tele!
I was fortunate enough to have been blessed with a wonderful childhood, of which I have countless wonderful memories to reminisce upon. Lately I have found that I am increasingly sensitive to smell, ( good and bad unfortunately!), and I have found there to be certain smells such as Vicks and Olbas oil that just seem to transport me back to a comforting era of my life where everything was so simple and worries thankfully were so few and far between.
With my issues with sleep of late, (i.e. I don't tend to get any!), I have been experimenting, even before I was struck down with this cold, as to whether comforting smells (such as those mentioned above) can help create a relaxed environment in which I will then have the best chance possible of succumbing to sleep at some point before 5am!
Although my experiment has proved there to be no significant change in the hour that I actually fall asleep- I found my prediction to be true that the smells evoke comforting memories, as well as creating a calming of the spirit, which can't be a bad thing when you are nocturnal as a result of pain, as well as anxiety which tends to follow said pain when it has kept you up until 4am!

My trip down memory lane has been made even more complete this evening by the film Gremlins being shown on tele.
This was the ultimate film of my childhood- in fact when I was six, my brother and I were even given Gismo toys for Christmas- ( which we are constantly reminded by our parents took weeks of trawling the local towns to find. No Internet searches in those days bless them!).
My brother and I now take great joy in pointing out to my parents that the film is actually bizarrely classed as a horror (weird!), with a certificate of 15! I believe we were only six and nine when it was first introduced to us by our Dad who thought it was a comedy and who used to laugh so hard at it that his tummy, that I would be cuddled into, used to shake like mad as he chuckled!
Regardless of that small technicality- this is our Spurgeon family film, and it's presence in the background as I write this post, (along with the comforting smells that I can just about sense through my blocked nostrils), are definitely helping to bring an element of comfort to me, despite my pain and spasms- the intensity of which have been so bad of late that I have found myself longing for any comfort, be it physical or emotional of any degree to help me cope with experiencing said pain.
Of course a little home comforts and comforting smells are not going to cure my pain or indeed lessen it by any significant degree- but such treats and soothing things do strangely help to take the edge off the anxiety and distress that naturally accompanies chronic pain.

When pain is ruling your very existence, the most bizarre and often the smallest of things can help in some very small way.
There have been many a time when pain has been so bad for me that I have realised that I have felt little to no joy from anything for days and even weeks on end and I've subsequently started looking for pleasure in the most incidental of things- such as treating myself to downloading a new episode of 'House' on my iphone at 4 am as I haven't slept a wink, or having that last square of chocolate just to give me even a second's happiness. The result of these little things may be a brief moment's pleasure- but when you are living an unrelenting existence of pain and sadness, you will jump at any opportunity for it I have found!

On that note, I'm off to watch 'House' and eat a square or five of chocolate- needs must I'm afraid! It's all medicinal of course!
I hope that you are not in pain tonight and if God forbid you are, then I pray that you have found yourself  your 'little something' that brings you pleasure to some degree, however small.
Sleep well everyone.
Goodnight. God bless.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Knocked Sideways

 I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. My most sincere apologies for there having been a longer than desired break from posting. Although I had anticipated being away for the weekend, as I visited family and had the most wonderful pre-Christmas get together- I had unfortunately not anticipated experiencing the degree of back spasms and leg twinges at heights I had not felt in a long time, on top of also catching my brothers stinking rotten cold and sore throat!
Although my back twinges and spasms have never gone away entirely since my spinal surgery, they have most certainly become secondary to the nerve pain in my legs: however, their return with avengeance has completely knocked me sideways- literally!
I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't currently feeling an element of anticipation at the presence of these symptoms, as I am currently awaiting scans to be taken and then sent on to my surgeon, for him then to determine whether the structure of my spine, and crucially that of the disc above the one that was operated upon, is stable enough for me to carry a child.
Although I know that these pains and spasms may not necessarily mean that there has been any change in the said structure, I am also aware that the symptoms I have been feeling are exactly that of what I was warned to keep an eye out for.
(Extra stress is put upon any disc above or below a removed disc, and the discs often then require surgery themselves).
These feelings may well simply be a warning to me from my body, not over do it, as well as to not let myself get so excited and encouraged about the prospect of being given the green light for having children, after our recent appointment with the maternal medicine consultant deemed me safe (from her aspect alone) to have children on my morphine and other drugs.
With something that means so much to me, I can not help but be concerned that these new symptoms may be potentially problematic, and I suppose that there is an element of self preservation in preparing myself for the worst case scenario.
I am finding it harder than ever to press 'send ' on today's post- for once not because I am over analysing my grammar, but today because I have kept these symptoms that I am feeling from my Mum so far, as I have not wanted to cause her increased stress and worry.
Hers, ( along with my Dad's, brother's, husband's and extended family's) lives are affected enough by my condition, (both practically and emotionally) and the fluctuations there are in  it, and I hate having to cause them pain in any way as they are the very thing that keeps me going and the people who comfort me when I am struggling with any element there of it.

On that note as the spasms and twinge pains crank up once again and my cold symptoms require me to go and utilise my entire supply of Vicks's, Olbas Oil and Lemsips- I bid you farewell until tomorrow.
I pray that you are safe and healthy yourself this evening. Sleep well everyone.