I was asked what number I’d rate my pain at the moment I said seven. The doctor said that’s really high, close to unlivable. That I don’t have much room to go on the scale. I don’t feel as though it’s unlivable, but when I am aware of every movement of my legs, every scrape of pyjama pant against my ankle, and every thump of pain, it isn’t something I want to live with.
I have become so aware of my skin this stay. I think it’s because of the painkillers. In the past it’s been difficult to have more than panadol, as I’m allergic to codeine, and strong painkillers can make me feel nauseous. And so this time I am in hospital, the doctors have prescribed me a four step pain management plan. It’s a cocktail which I’m not entirely comfortable with, but my body benefits, and it’s physically comfortable. So I’m trying to forget my perceptions of being on a cocktail of painkillers and appreciate that they’re needed, they’re helping me. There’s this strange perception I’ve got about painkillers – that I should be strong, I don’t want to get addicted, and the media always reports on celebrities who died of a mix of alcohol and strong painkillers. Then I remember my doctors are the best, and they know what they’re doing, and my body needs them right now.
As the painkillers set in, I can feel my legs lighten, like I have kicked off my heavy shoes for the day. And as they wear off, the thumping, stinging pain washes over my legs, and should I stand up, I dance on my tiptoes like a frail ballerina, shifting the weight from leg to leg. I went to the cafe in a wheelchair this afternoon, just to escape these four walls, and even the small bumps of the lift entrances hurt me. I feel so aware of my skin’s sensations.
Sometimes warmth helps, being under my quilt, with the electric blanket on, but these heavy cotton blankets in hospital don’t warm me like I want.
I feel sore, but not sick, tired but alert. I don’t feel I am healing quickly, but I am getting a lot of rest. I will be ok soon. It’s weird how the skin can determine your entire existence. People take their skin for granted.
Pain is hard to explain. How do you describe it?
Ps- if you’re following along on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll see I’ve been photographing my food. A big thanks to Sandra from $120 Food Challenge for the awesome hamper she brought yesterday. She made soup, pasta, green eggs and ham, biscuits, flapjacks and salad. So lovely, so welcomed. Thank you! The doctor said food should be medicine, and it is 🙂