Tuesday, 15 February 2011

a cup of tea

I'm struggling a little at the moment. The energy levels are low and I'm having trouble keeping my head above water. It's a pain issue, how pain can spiral me down into depression and I become slower and slower, treading water.
Many years ago I had a bit of an accident. A bike, tram tracks and a taxi all came together to send me to Emergency, ICU, a month and a bit in hospital, diaries full of doctors appointments and many years of painful recovery. For a while there I was an octopus of drainage tubes, epidural, catheter, drips and pumps. I glowed in the dark from x-rays and CAT scans and breathing in radioactive isotopes. I spent months vomiting from morphine toxicity, I was skin and bones, translucent as I friend described me once. My bones slowly knitted, my nerves recovered, my lung re-inflated, big injuries got better, smaller injuries niggled.
Sometimes it is impossible to recover totally from an accident, you want to be whole, return to what you had but the reality is that the body is a fragile thing and as you get older those injuries can haunt. Sometimes it is pain of the body and sometimes it is the pain of the mind and memory, anniversaries hurt. If I am pre-occupied I sometimes miss the signs and the physical pain can trip me up, that's when the depression slips over me. A bad night's sleep, a little exhaustion and it's crept up sneakily on me.
Being badly injured or ill changes your perspective on life. I have no fear of death, I know this meat suit we walk around in is fragile and fallible and strangely fearless all in one, I know that I can stand levels of pain that would make other people blanche and still carry on through the day but I now have even more deadlines to meet and I've realised I need to allocate rest days into my life. Quiet days away from everything. That it is OK to have lazy days and treat days, days when I don't do anything.
So now I've realised where I am, I can start dealing with taking the painkillers when I need them, getting rest and recharging the batteries. I suppose this is just my way of explaining why I am rarely one of those chipper-weirdly-jolly-hockey-sticks  type of people. If I can't put a genuine smile on my face I would rather not fake it.
I'm off to down a panadeine and head to bed. It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do.


  1. Hope you feel better soon Pen. Light at the end of the tunnel!

  2. Pen, I'm struggling too at the moment with grief that just keeps on coming at me. Completely agree about being quiet, not faking and going with it. We know it will pass. Just keep being kind to yourself and do what you need to get through. We know this will pass.

  3. sending old wild apples, a bit of crumble, a large 1920's picture book from Paris, proper massage, and a n access all areas pass to the Myrtleford op shops (that last one kills me, but....)
    xx Char.

  4. Memories can last a lifetime, unfortunately - both for the mind and body. The older I get the more I realise I can't power away like I once did and a bad night in bed can mean a day of feeling so bleurgh I can't work. It's hard for the infallible to admit they are fallible - I am learning to accept I need my days of rest to keep my body ticking over. I don't think of them as wasted days, now - just 'me' days.

    Take care of yourself!

  5. My partner was knocked off his motorbike into an armco railing by a P-plater and as I read your post I recognised so many of the same things he goes through. I rib him about being crazily over-cautious with the kids (don't do that you could break your neck! etc) but he lives every day with the knowledge of what real pain is like and it is a heavy burden. I hope you get some restorative sleep.

  6. beautifully written, thank you for that. I hope you fell well soon

  7. Oh Pen,
    I don't know how you remain so eleoquent in the face of it all, love love love you.XXXB


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