Saturday, November 19, 2005

A kiss on the nose turns anger aside

For ages I wondered why it is that other people I know, who are often far more incapacitated than I am, manage to cope so well with long-term illness. They’re very careful, they never overdo things, and they never whinge about all the things they can’t do. The answer came to me when I was lying on the floor in the dark. The muscles of my legs had gone on strike whilst I was walking along and refused to take my weight again. So I just had to lie there until [...] found me.

I am just rubbish at being ill. I am simply bad at it. Nobody enjoys this, but other people manage it in the same way that I am a reasonable mathematician even though I don’t much like maths.

I am falling over a lot lately and it is my fault. I stay on my feet long after I ought to, because I can’t really be arsed to do one thing at a time. It is a pretty bad state of affairs when my legs give way, when they are so flooded with crap that they stop working, but my higher dose painkillers mask the build-up somewhat.

And even now as I type, I am very tired. I feel rather as if I have taken a blow to the back of my head; head hurts, neck feels about to snap and I feel like I might be sick any time soon. So looking at a computer screen isn’t exactly doing me a lot of good.

But I just get bored of playing the sick role. It is kind of like a game; doing the right thing all the time. Eating the right food at the right time. Getting plenty of rest. Gentle exercise. Taking tablets, all kinds of tablets, tablets to counteract the effects of other tablets. Going to the doctor when things change. All this is just fine when you condition is stable and you do it in order to maintain stability, but right now I feel as if it makes no difference what I do.

People say “Listen to your body” but different parts of my body are giving quite contradictory commands. Bits of me are crying out to go for a three mile run, whereas other bits of me raise violent objections to almost any physical activity and then go on strike. Bits of me want to sleep, but I don’t. I really don’t want to sleep any more.

To sleep perchance to dream; ay, there’s the rub. Or in fact yet another rub, which is that I’m having a phase of horrific nightmares where my various discomforts penetrate my dreams in violent and gruesome fashion. I dream about being strangled or hung, about my legs being mangled or eaten by animals (dogs or crabs, as a rule). One recent recurring development is the idea that when my legs are wounded, there’s no muscle inside them. Once there was nothing between my skin and bone apart from maggots, another time it was damp crumbling rotten wood.

And all this has nothing on the emotional crap I dream, which just leave me feeling wretched. Such tremendous guilt, which I don’t really understand; I do have things I feel guilty about, but my subconscious seems to think I have a number of bodies under the floorboards. The less active I am, the harder it is to shake these feelings off after I've woken up. When your dreams are highly dramatic and your life is extremely dull, the two tend to blur into one another.

So I’m feeling pretty grim just now. Again.

I feel I need to do something dynamic to change the course my life is taking just now.

But what?

Linus says “No problem is too big or too complicated that it can’t be run away from.” but this is.

Maybe my starting point should be to dismiss the characters of Charles M. Schulz as philosophical role-models.

But how?

A few good things happening this week. I have some fantastic new pillows which make me so much more comfortable and able to sit up for much longer periods of time. This ought to cheer me up a lot. I finished reading Skallagrigg which is a very good book and was quite an achievement for me. I put up an overlong review for it at Blogging Bookworms if anyone has a spare afternoon.

Agh yuck. I hate being like this.


Anonymous said...

Are you on any MAOIs or SSRIs or tricyclics? They have been implicated in causing nightmares and night terrors.

The Goldfish said...

No, nothing like that Charles. These phases are generally put down to 'viral activity'. It has been suggested that I am becoming conscious during the wrong part of my sleep pattern - which is, as I understand it, what happens sometimes on these drugs.