Musings on the road to recovery

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How much difference (nearly) a year makes

The name of my blog is a misnomer, it would seem these days (although the randomness still stands!) As I started the blog, medical advice was that it was “merely” a case of convincing my body that I wasn’t in as much pain as I was and I could return to “normal”. These days it’s been made clear to me that, unless a miracle type drug comes along, this is pretty much as good as it gets.

As I was reflecting on that earlier, it reminded me that this time last year, I was in the process of completing a Pain Management course, the consultant had told me it was definitely nerve damage and, had I not been a type A personality, I wouldn’t be in chronic pain. That appointment was on Christmas Eve, not one of my best Christmas presents, I must say.

I was so angry, so angry with the hand that life had dealt me, fuming with the unfairness of it all, that I, who had tried to do my best by people, could be subject to a chance accident which would leave scars for the rest of my life. It seemed so dreadfully unjust, while at the same time, I felt so very conflicted. I didn’t want to accept what was wrong with me, didn’t want to accept that I wouldn’t get “better” or return to normal, or whatever passed for normal in this house anyway! I constantly compared my life both pre and post accident, wondering whether I’d ever be able to live life the way I had before. I couldn’t physically cope with the pain and just couldn’t convince the professionals that I saw, that actually it was as bad as I was saying it was, and that I needed their help.

I felt that, just as life had started to improve for Mr RR and I, the rug had been pulled out from underneath our feet. I was off work, angry, frustrated, so conflicted by comments such as “you just need to push through it”, “it’s all in your head” and other gems. I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and felt that my life had faded to grey, most days I felt that I didn’t want to go on, I couldn’t cope with another day filled with that much pain.

Then, I started the Pain Management course. I couldn’t believe that here were other people in exactly the same situation. Pain, it would seem, didn’t discriminate between different social standings, age or sex. I strongly feel that it was through this course that I started to see a way out.

So, I fast forward now to this year, as I approach my /wince 30th birthday. I am back at work, albeit with a huge amount of adjustments, my condition is being managed better by drugs, and although the pain is still excruciating, I feel now I can live with it, I ‘m no longer consumed by anger or by frustration. I’ve moved from denial to acceptance. I have accepted that I am now disabled, and it’s a word I can use now to describe myself without bursting into floods of tears of anger or sadness. The pain has also, oddly become a part of me, I no longer resent its presence and rail against it, I’ve learned to live with it and to manage it and these days it’s normal.

I can’t stress actually how much that word means to me, it’s normal. I think it’s only in the past 1-2 months that I have stopped comparing what I could do pre accident with what I can now do post accident. Instead of bemoaning the fact that I need to use a wheelchair whenever we go out, or that I might need a mobility scooter, I am just grateful as the wheelchair allows me to go out. Instead of getting upset that I need to be in bed for 7pm Monday-Friday and then sleep all weekend, I’ve started planning little treats into my weekend instead – lunch at a little cafe down the road on a Saturday if I’m well enough, the purchase of a good book to read while I’m housebound, allowing myself to take that afternoon nap instead of hating that I need one, relishing that if we buy pre cut and washed ingredients, that sometimes I can help Mr RR prepare a stew in the slow cooker.
It’s the smaller things which have become so important to me, before it was thinking of weekends away, and long holidays abroad, nowadays it’s looking forwards to a better day which will allow a trip to the cinema, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.All excursions have to be planned with military decision but now I know which cinemas will accomodate my wheelchair, which Shopmobility centres need scooters booking a year in advance, where we can go for a mooch during holidays without me running someone over.

As I approach my 30th birthday (in 9 days – eek!) I feel that a new chapter of my life is beginning and actually, I’m quite looking forward to it.

Top 5 Sundays

1. Lazy Sunday afternoons
2. Roast Sunday dinners – mmm
3. A cuddle with Mr D
4. Afternoon naps
5. Knowing that the Christmas shopping is nearly done and it’s not even December!

Top 5 Sundays

 

My Sunday today has been lovely and as I approach the end of it, instead of the Sunday night blues*, I feel contented and happy with my lot. So, with no more ado, my top 5 for this Sunday:

1. I spent time with Mr RR watching a comedy series called “Threesome” and I can’t remember the last time I howled with laughter quite so much.
2, I spent 5 minutes in the garden with my camera and I feel like my photography mojo is returning.
3. We had homemade chilli for dinner and it was lovely.
4. I’ve just had a mug of hot chocolate with squirty cream – mmm
5. I feel happy

* Sunday Night Blues, hereafter known as the SNBs, is a common affliction which can affect both men and women. The condition starts around 3.30pm Sunday afternoon and begins with a sinking feeling in the stomach, swiftly followed by an encompassing dread when contemplating the working week ahead. Unfortunately a total cure has yet to be found, although if a concoction of CIC (Cake, Icecream, Chocolate) is applied quickly enough, the sufferer may experience some temporary relief, although when this wears off, the SNB can return with a vengeance.

A weighty issue

Weight – I know no-one who is happy with theirs, neither man nor woman. Everyone wants to be slimmer, more toned, more muscly, more defined and less, well, in my case at least, let’s pull no punches – lardy. I have a lust-revenge relationship with food, I love the different flavours and textures and, when PMT strikes, let’s face it, nothing is as successful at keeping the inner she-demon at bay, yet it  plots its revenge, holding out until such a time that it can solidify as fat and cling on like a limpet wherever it finds a temporary home.

I wonder if, in history, women (and men) have ever felt so besieged by the portrayal  of the body beautiful as they do now, whether they regularly  looked inwards and found themselves wanting. Lately, having put on a stone in a month due to illness and to various drug side effects, I find myself wanting, although it’s less of a quest for the body beautiful which will cause Mr D to fall to his knees, wondering how he could have been so lucky as to marry such a goddess, and more in a quest for the nearest item which can provide a sugar rush. I obsess about food, reflecting on what I have eaten, what I should have eaten, what I could have eaten, what’s for dinner ad nauseum and to what end? The amount of head space that food takes up is truly frightening, and yet once I am stuck in this cycle, it becomes harder and harder to break the cycle and reach a place where food is little more than nourishment and no longer a source of obsession.

I’ve trid all of the well known diets, sorry “healthy eating plans”: Weightwatchers, Slimming World, Rosemary Conley, Slimfast, Atkins and generic local groups and yet, despite the statistics which show that over 90% of those who diet regain any weight they lose and and more, I always manage to convince myself that THIS TIME will be the time that I’m successful. I think, if I were to consider myself a follower of any of them, it would be Weightwatchers, following their plan has resulted in a 4.5 stone loss over the past 3 years, accident not withstanding, however still I fall off the WW wagon regularly, watching my good intentions and motivation disappear into the sunset, while I launch myself at the nearest pack of biscuits/bar of chocolate/ bag of crisps (*delete as appropriate.)

So, today once more, I’ve hefted myself back on to the weight loss wagon, dusted myself down, berated myself with how much weight I could have lost, had I stuck to the plan and am striving to stay on track for however long my willpower lasts this time round. Wish me luck!

Some days you’re the pigeon, some days you’re the statue.

It’s been a while since I last proprly updated my blog, and in part I have been avoiding it. Daft that I avoid something of my own creation, which is designed to chart the heady highs and lows of my life these days, but there we have it. This blog post has been churning away in my washing machine brain for some weeks now, waiting for me to seize the day and just bloomin’ well get on with it and I thought long and hard over the best way to note everything that has been happening, in truth I’d have liked to have written a limerick but, well, I couldn’t get past the first line so that was out. I’ve decided on a list in any case, easier to be dispassionate about a list than reams of verbose prose. (Me? Verbose? Never….)

1. Potential Redundancy

2. Condition affecting all joints in my body

3. Side effects of new cocktail of drugs

4. Return of Anxiety

5. Catching 3 viral infections in 7 weeks due to the lowering of my immune system

6.Putting on a stone in weight in a month due to the new cocktail of drugs and viruses.

 

So there we have it, rather a mixed bag, all in all, however most importantly, I’m still here and I still have Mr D and our 3 crazy kitties, and when I remind myself of that, suddenly life doesn’t seem quite as difficult after all.

My favourite things this week

1. Breaking up for half term holiday – woop woop!
2. Leek and potato soup with tiger bread
3. The smell of Autumn
4. Cats being used as feet warmers
5. The pain in my hands easing

My favourite things

My top ten favourite things for this week:

1. Buying bargainous handbags from TKMaxx

2. Sharing a sofa with Mr RR and eating chocolate while having a True Blood-a-thon

3. Giving our big, furry tomcat a big cuddle

4. Laughing until my stomach muscles ache

5. Having the heating on while it’s cold and miserable outside

6. The last few lazy days of holidays

7. Spending time looking after a 6 year old and, seeing the world through her eyes

8. Admiring the cheekiness of pygmy goats

9. Having new clothes hanging up in the wardrobe, ready for work

10. My clothes getting too big as I’m losing weight.