I woke up screaming this morning.
Not because I was being murdered, although I often think that would be preferable, but because the nerve that’s been permanently trapped for just over a year now protested at me twitching in my sleep, dreaming of dogs dreaming about chasing rabbits.
This time it picked my lower calf for strangulation, but it can strike anywhere on my left hand side, from the base of my spine to my ankle. That’s the admirable distance the sciatic nerve runs and (unsurprisingly) where sciatica gets its goth rock band name from.
It normally manifests as a tickle behind the knee when I’m laying down and a pinch under the arse cheek when I’m walking, just like a dirty old uncle, but with fewer sweeties.
I finally relented and saw the doc about it last year when I realised taking 10 minutes to climb the stairs to my bedroom wasn’t normal. He asked me to hop up (hah.) on the exam table and lifted both my legs in turn. I prayed I’d at least put on The Decent Knickers as my dress started to ride up. (bending down to put on tights or trousers would’ve meant me rearranging my appointment for midnight). He asked me a few questions, one being “do you get a tingling sensation in your vaginal area?” “Steady on mate, we’ve only just met!” (Actually the answer was yes, occasionally). He wrote me a prescription for Naproxen (like a stronger Ibuprofen) and Tramadol (like a ride on the milky way followed by a dip in the ocean of Love).
I got by with the pills which numbed me enough to try out the exercises which had been suggested. I hate to admit it but the exercises are much better in the long run for pain-relief, compared to pill-popping.
I tried to ween myself off the meds altogether, as they are both expensive and addictive. Instead I gobbled up supermarket own brand painkillers. The problem with those is that they only sell you a certain amount at a time so they can’t be held accountable if you’re planning on trying to top yourself with them or whatever. You know what, Sainsbury’s? Only selling me two packs of ‘Extra Power Pain Reliever Caplets’ at a time means I keep having to trek to you which makes my leg ache which means I freakin’ want to kill myself!
I was managing well enough though ‘til it came to dyeing my hair recently, and leaning over the tub to rinse. After that I couldn’t even lift up the kettle. Toddled off to Doc’s again, have now procured Gabapentin to complete my holy trinity of meds, and a referral to the back pain clinic. I’m really hoping they are able to do something that doesn’t involves an injection in my spine (I’m squirming as I’m typing that) or surgery which may distort my ass antlers. A life of chronic pain over a wonky back tattoo! – Shakespeare.
At first being high on painkillers all the time was a riot, but now it’s just a nuisance. I want to be in control again and to be able to focus on things.
So I can’t contemplate walking to the Kemptown Carnival today, because I know when I get there I’ll just be looking for places to sit down and the walk there and back will see me laid up for the rest of the weekend. I’ll have to double my doses of exercises and meds to balance it out.
I used to take pride in my walking speed and scoff at the capable young bodies I overtook. Now I ask people I walk with if they’ll please slow down.
I don’t do Urb-Exing anymore.
I may have to give up my library job as a lot of it involves floor-walking as well as the obvious shelving.
I can’t do big food shops as I can’t carry it so I get what I need on the day. My fridge largely serves as a wine cooler. I drink more than I perhaps oughtta because it helps me get off to sleep instead of laying there twisting and turning as I try to find that non-existent comfortable position :/
Being a temp I don’t get paid for sick days so when I feel too useless to go in I spend the day thinking about the money I’ve lost out on.
Sometimes I get lonely and feel sorry for myself (something you probably would never have guessed from the entire birth and tone of this blogpost, I’m sure!) so I think of cranking up my Ok Stupid account. But then there’s the expense and physical effort of getting to dates where I’ll inevitably end up blithering on about my pain, boring myself and my date. I’m starting to wonder is it really a partner I’m after, or a carer?!
Speaking of which, I may be facing the issue of moving back in with my Mum in the near future to be a carer for her. She’s been diagnosed with H.S., is currently living alone, and can’t find a job.
There is so much about that potential scenario that scares the bejesus out of me.
I do try to count my blessings as well though. Seeing my Dad, now wheelchair-dependent following his third stroke, always helps to drive home to me what I’ve got to be grateful for. And I’ve written this not intending for it to be a moan (although ngl; it’s been fun) but also so I can refer people to it when they ask what I’ve been up to or how comes I don’t want to hang out and do this and that anymore. I do; I desperately do, but until this issue is fixed, I can’t.