Sunday, 10 June 2012
Painting the nails red
Friday was "Going Out" night for me. If you've been reading this blog for a while and/or know how my life is, you'll know I don't do going out at night, let alone in the daytime, save for doctor or hospital appointments, or a nice walk to the local shops.
Following a few days of a less-bad-but-still-pretty-horrible-and-soul-depleting period, I spent a wholly wonderful and giggle-filled afternoon and evening with a friend before we went to see a show by another of my friends. Possibly, I should have stayed at home, and carried on "resting", as I'm still eating the dihydrocodeine for period-related pain, and still have the all-too-familiar dizzy, heavy, aching of endometriosis and its period and ovary pains.
Along with the not-so-new anti-depressant, Duloxetine, the grogginess and urgh that come with the endometriosis generally, the periods, and the codeine can be quite hard to cope with, when I know I have to get things done. Mostly, those things don't get done. Or, they do, but much, much later than I have hoped or planned. Frustration often leads to guilt, which, in turn, leads to anger, more often than not. It's hard, at times, to remember that my not helping out at home is not because I'm a bad person or that I'm lazy; I'm not well. It's not my fault I'm affected this way, of course it's not. It's usually a complex mountain of emotions, so tangled, a considerable knotty mess. Worse than trying to comb my hair after a twiddle session.
The journey to the venue on Friday night took much less time than I'd expected, which was a bonus, and the scenery was really quite lovely. Horses, cows, hobbies, a kestrel, churches, countless green fields. The evening itself was an altogether joyful, happy, silly, giggly, being-with-friends time, and even though it seems to have fully broken me, my Rapunzel hair and I would not have changed a thing. These events happen so infrequently for me that, when there's a chance to enjoy myself, I grab it, and I want to fondle it, squeeze it, lick it, and keep it forever in a little box. I'm suffering now: I've been in stiff, achy pain all day; the period and ovary pains are still doing their worst; my concentration has been depleted beyond what I consider reasonable; and I've been tweeting happy happy codeine nonsense. Again.
It can be very easy to misjudge the abilities of a person if that person is seen doing "normal" everyday activities. If I'm seen to hang washing on the line in the garden, or walk to the post office, or tidy the kitchen, someone may well assume I can always do those things. As Jo says in this blog post, when you have, for example, a chronic pain problem, some people will only ever see snippets of your life, like excerpts from a film. Some parts of my "normal" day-to-day life are never seen by some members of my family, neighbours, acquaintances, some friends, although some of them know what my life is like, because theirs is so sadly similar. Most people will never know how the pain and the fatigue affect me, what they don't see is when I'm lifted off the floor because I can not move for the pain which stuns me in to submission, at the mercy of endometriosis. It's not a surprise to those who have similar troubles that some arse-candles have told me to keep my chin up, to put a brave face on, to look on the bright side. Really? D'you think I'm not already? Apparently, some people think that's the case. Knobheads.
It's been a long time since my last blog post. In a so-vague-it's-really-not-similar-at-all way to Lisa with her latest blog post, the reason is not because I've been terribly ill, either physically or emotionally, but because I've sort of done stuff. Not big, adventurous stuff. In my last post, I told you about my gym sessions at the hospital, and that I'd update you on how they'd been. Well here's the update: they've been MARVELLOUS. I've missed some, because of a clash of hospital appointments and the inevitable endometriosis/period bothers, which has been really bloody annoying, if you'll pardon the pun. I was brilliantly confident in that first session. Confident for me, anyway. I stood at the front, not hiding at the back like I would have not so long ago. I got the red Thera-Band - which I LOVE so much I bought my own - and I stretched and breathed, and stretched, and relaxed, and stretched, and breathed. I talked to people I'd only just met, I had fun on the cycling machination gadget, I walked on the conveyor belt, I bounced on the gym ball.
And I loved THAT so much I bought my own. It's blue. And it's a ball. It's a lot of fun. And I can feel it and the Thera-Band making a difference, I can feel my muscles working, being used, aching from being used. And they hurt. And it was good! I felt good! I suppose it was the endorphins doing their feel-good thing, but also that I'm aware I'm doing what I wanted to for so long, i.e. exercise, but felt unable to. I was hurting but because of something that was helping me, that was good for me. It wasn't something that was pulling me back from what I was nearly about to achieve but couldn't quite manage because of the pain, which stopped me walking out the door, or reaching across the worktop, or using the vacuum cleaner. This hospital-prescribed exercise has been the shove I needed to get back to being active, even if not quite on the same level as an athlete. It's enough for me, to help strengthen my body to better deal with the pains I have daily, and with periods.
Other bits and pieces have been going on and, while not super-important or life-changing to me, have been enough to be more important than sitting on the sofa tweeting about tea and whatnot. Because I've felt like doing other things. That still doesn't mean that I can do all the things I want to, because I still can't and maybe that won't happen soon or ever, but it might. Having that positivity is so incredibly important because it means other aspects of my life might change. I'm having more good days, and more good hours in those days. I'm waking up earlier, getting to bed earlier and doing more between those two happenings. I'm still tired, I'm still in pain, I'm still eating codeine every day, at least twice, and I'm still rattling from all the other types of medication I have to take each day.
Helped along and brilliantly encouraged by gorgeous friends, I've begun to do things I have wanted to do for such a long time. Such a long, long time. I'm watching films I've wanted to see for years but just never got round to. I've started - finally! - listening to classical music, which I've liked very much for so long but never quite got round to properly discovering. I have now. And I love it. I've found some new favourite composers, and works, and it moves me, building emotions the way only music can for me. Procrastination is one thing; being prevented by bad health is very much another. Of course, I do waste time playing Words with Friends - challenge me at thecurlylucy - and looking for ridiculously cute photos of animals on Daily Squee. Of course I do, I'm an idiot. Who isn't?
Even though not doing what I should do isn't really a good thing, not doing it because I have chosen not to do it most certainly is good. For me, at least. Not great when I've been asked to vacuum the hall and stairs 87 times in 2 hours, or when I'm meant to have got the washing in half an hour ago rather than punning to Twitter. Being prevented from walking normally, being "made" to stay on the sofa or in bed or on the floor, not having the physical strength to even speak because of the tears and the pain and the desperation to have all this stop and give it a rest is surely no-one's idea of a good life.
Before I started typing this blog post, I had it in mind that I'd finish and post at about 9pm. It's now past 2am on Sunday morning, and it's not quite finished. Why have I taken so long? Silly texts with a diamond of a friend. (Carbon Man!) Playing Words with Friends. Playing on Twitter with puns about potatoes. Watching the Germany vs Poland Euro 2012 match. Watching Harry Belafonte talk to David Lammy on Sky Arts 2 at the Hay Festival. Some of the delay in writing was because I wanted to do those things, while some was because I couldn't seem to move. Fatigue, codeine, endo. I expect I'll carry on recovering from Friday night for at least another day yet. It's still quite crap how long recovery takes, and loathe as I am to rest and take it easy to enable me to do stuff, rest I must. Which is why, at nearly 3am, I am still awake and typing these very rambly words. Sensible is not my middle name. Clearly.
And so, with meh-inducing pelvic pain, ever-heavy eyes, and an increasing inability to type coherently, I am away to bed to sleep and, hopefully, have a night full of rainbow dreams. Sunday will, if my plan transpires, be the day I finally watch Tron after feck knows how many years of wanting to.
Goodly night! Or good morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. Or whatever.
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