I have just posted A Piscine Ploy - Illustrated poem on Mal's Factory -
painting & illustration both by yours truly!
Sunday, September 02, 2018
Sunday, August 19, 2018
By last evening, the efficacious application of sundry supports, and a small opioid dose, had brought me back into a more at ease body to contain my soul and mind. So far all was going well and an hour before my proposed bedtime I took 30mg amitriptyline along with 50mg tramadol to, hopefully, pre-empt a bout of restless legs, throbbing knees, and ultra-sensitivity in my toes.
Well, shall I let you in to a little secret; the pre-emptive strike was a dismal failure on this occasion. Within half-an-hour, of laying under the duvet, my knees were attacked by a sharp throbbing ache which, apparently, demanded of my unconscious that they should be flung out from the side of the bed in a way that switched between an unsupported taut outward stretch and, a limp folding at the knees, as calves crashed against the divan base drawers with toes trailing on the floor.
I frequently attempted to change my sleep preparation posture, laying first on one side then the other, laying on my back, on my front, and sundry intermediate stages. Suddenly, the ultra-sensitivity of my toes added to the problem; regardless of whether top, bottom or side of my toes made contact with the bedding a chinese-burn sensation caused an unpremeditated jolt of my lower limbs. After two-and-a-half hours of variable intensities of discomfort there was little chance of an imminent visit to the land-of-nod, so I picked up my tablet pc, plugged in headphones, and caught up with a couple of TV programmes. Six hours after succumbing to the lure of the duvet realm a couple of hours of light sleep took over.
A mid-morning entry into the clothed arena didn’t seem to offer much improvement. After ten minutes browsing a magazine my wrists began to ache, swiftly followed by the hollow ache emanating from the armpits. Wrist, elbow and shoulder supports were gradually donned with little sign of the discomfort easing. A dose of tramadol seemed to take for ever to kick in; a generalised discomfort hadn’t settled until some time after my beloved had returned from her preaching appointment but, unlike the previous Sunday I was able to finish dinner preparations and really enjoyed the fruits of my labours.
mutual aid society - Malcolm & Piper
Throughout the morning’s persistent discomfort, and distress, our devoted hound, Piper, never strayed far from my side, snuggling up alongside me in a truly therapeutic manner; without him my screams of frustration would have been considerably louder.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Some days, when everything’s apparently going smoothly, a familiar recurring symptom comes almost as a surprise. Quite what causes the symptom is a bit of a puzzle but, that doesn’t make it any less real or disconcerting. What I’m really talking about is a cluster of inter-related aches, pains and intense discomfort.
After using a tablet PC, laptop, or even holding a newspaper whilst I surf / read for just a few minutes, a nagging hollow-ache or tenderness in the armpits develops. That discomfort in itself induces a sensation of nausea. Sometimes applying elasticated supports to my elbows alleviates the immediate nausea but, far too frequently, the armpit ache is followed by pains in the wrist which may respond to the application of wrist supports. Normal, over the counter, analgesics don’t touch the pain or acute discomfort and, I often rely on a discomforted time of rest with upper-arms clamped tightly to the torso whilst forearms are stretched behind my back. Other times a 100mg dose of tramadol has proved efficacious.
shoulders, wrists & elbows all strapped up but still it won't go
I only wish I could find a way to pre-empt this acute discomfort but, the only way to play it safe would be to never attempt to hold a book, paper, tablet, use a laptop, or write anything down on paper. That I will not yield to!
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The general state of my joints, muscles and general viscera this morning (Tuesday) could best be described as disconcertingly enervated. At least last night granted me a little more sleep, albeit rather unrefreshing, than was the case on Sunday night. On the latter hangs a story.
The story continues from my previous post.
Thursday morning I duly attended my appointment with a locum doctor at my usual GPs practice. The symptoms of either-or/ both-and gall bladder and diverticular infection weighed heavily on body, mind and spirit; either cause being an additional concern on top of my familiar chronic illness symptoms.
The doctor had me lay down as he proddd and poked my abdominal region, frustrated by my inability to either be or feel relaxed. When I started to sit up, post-examination, I was overwhelmed by an extremely acute vertigo type attack. Either the room, or the top of my head, spun violently around and a sensation of either falling to the bottom of a vortex, or that base/floor rushing up towards me, made me feel quite faint and nauseous. The GP advised me to lie back down for a few minutes before attempting to sit-up again. Next attempt at sitting upright produced the same sense of disequilibrium as I felt forced to throw my torso back down. A few more minutes rest were required as my heart rate was greatly elevated.
Once a degree of stability was restored the physician seemed to then ignore these vertiginous episodes as he prescribed a course of antibiotics for suspected diverticulitis. He added that I had no immediate need to obtain the prescribed medication unless the smptoms intensified. By Saturday lunchtime the diverticular symptoms receurred with a vengeance, so my beloved headed across town to an open pharmacy to obtain the medication and I duly started the prescribed course.
On Sunday lunchtime, my beloved having returned from taking the service at Trinity, I had dinner peparations well underway; as I stood up again to check on the cooking progress, a violent vertigo sensation once again overwhelmed me and, my natural panic response brought on a sense of tightness across the chest.
As the episode gradually subsided, Helen drove me across to A&E at the
thinking that it was perhaps a recurrence of the labyrinthitis, to which I had previously
succumbed some 15 years ago, and on that occasion succesfully treated/controlled
with medication. We arrived at A&E, where probable waiting time was
estimated at 4 hours, shortly after 14.00hrs. Not long after arrival my blood
pressure, heart rate and temperature were checked by a triage nurse before
returning to the waiting area. District Hospital
When I eventually got into a cubicle, to be seen by a doctor, a nurse took some blood samples, rechecked blood pressure and wired me up for an ECG. The A&E doctor had me lay down whilst examining my abdomen listening to my chest as I took deep breaths in and out the, after a few minuteswhen he asked me to sit up slowly the vertigo recurred. Even after resting a little longer the same thing happened again. He also noted that my heart rate was considerably elevated and, was reluctant to let me go home. The doctor then went to consult with more senior staff.
By 18.20, I was transferred to CAT ward and, within a couple of a hours moved to a bay in Acute Medical where the environment was somewhat more settled. I’ve often felt that Hospitals are those paradoxical places which are both the worst and the best place to be confined when you’re feeling unwell!
At 01.50 on Monday morning, a duty doctor came to examine me and, by this stage things had settled down a bit as I’d rested. A senior doctor came to check me over at about 11.30 and felt tht I had stabilized sufficiently to be discharged, and duly prepared notes for my GP practice for follow up, confirming that vertigo/labyrinthitis (middle ear infections) were the primary suspect and suggested that they may consider repositioning manoeuvres for BPPV. No new medicines were prescribed.
Ma Belle chauffeuse, aka Helen, my beloved and my OH, came to collect me and, it was wonderful to be enthusiastically greeted by our gorgeous hound Piper as we went to the car. We were back on home territory shortly after 13.00 and much rest was needed. It was really good to both listen and relax to the music on Radio 3 (classical) an option not available on the over bed radio in the hospital.
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
and suddenly they flow
“pains come and go
and tears flow
a creeping fermentation
of an odious decay … “ - Malcolm Evison 060818
Today has not been the best of days, nor yet the worst; it has been one helluva roller-coaster ride of both sudden and slow onset aches and pains, a turbulent discharge from both physical and emotional reserves of stamina. Tears have flowed abundantly on a few occasions as I’ve attempted to explain the frustration of living with a chronic illness, along with several subsidiary ailments, each randomly producing varying degrees of aches and discomfort, ranging from reluctantly accepted background throbbing, rumbling aches, to sudden sharply acute attacks of pain.
As I’m also in my mid-70s (age wise) thoughts of mortality are all too rarely far away, but come to the fore with each new acute onset of pain and discomfort.
Over the past weekend I’ve experienced symptoms quite akin to a flare-up of both gall-bladder (cholecystitis) and diverticular disease in relatively acute form, neither of which do much for one’s morale! At times I had to wonder if my alto and tenor burps could present a non-dissonant counterpoint to the bass line of flatulent release.
An underlying throbbing ache and discomfort in the abdominal region is interspersed with a sharper more stabbing intermittent pain. I’m still struggling to come to terms with a sharp stabbing pain which intermittently occurs at a point apparently just behind the bottom left hand side of the ribcage. Erratic bowel behaviour has long been a problem, swiftly putting paid to any notion of getting away for a break, but in any case the sensory overload of a short car trip into town can frequently prove overwhelming.
An attempt on Monday to hold and read a rather slim paperback book led to a need to don wrist & palm supports, elbow supports, as well as having to stretch my arms across my back, in an attempt to overcome a nausea inducing hollow ache emanating from my armpits. These are not at all uncommon symptoms as they tend to occur when holding a newspaper, using a laptop or tablet PC, just one of the little joys of being.
Attempting to explain the frustration I felt, bordering on despair at times, to my beloved OH just led to an overwhelming flood of tears from yours truly and, quite understandably caused upset to her.
This morning, Tuesday 070818, ma belle called the GP practice to see if I could get an appointment, as whenever I check up online they never seem to have any appointments available during the next couple of weeks, and thought they would maybe prescribe some antibiotics. (Regular readers may remember my report of a previous gall-bladder flare-up being recognized and successfully treated with antibiotics by my own GP, and the following arrangements for a cholestectomy – an operation which had to be cancelled as, in the meantime I succumbed to a minor stroke - http://sinnaluvva.blogspot.com/2017/06/on-mend-and-back-again.html and http://sinnaluvva.blogspot.com/2017/10/on-opening-and-closing-of-doors.html
are the posts that refer).
I duly received a call back from a nurse practitioner who decided that as I wasn’t at that moment in discomfort, I was still abed and not yet having breakfasted, an appointment with a locum for Thursday morning was made. As I explained that I hadn’t attempted to eat anything this morning still being in the duvet realm, she commented that still being in bed at shortly after 9.00am was a wonderful luxury for the retired. Fortunately I refrained from cussing as I explained to her that no, it isn’t a luxury as for the past 14 years I’ve required a bed rest of around12 hours per day, sometimes more, (non-refreshing sleep being a component of, and exacerbating the distressing symptoms of ME).
Well, I’ve managed to get thus far without any tears but am now desperately in need of a rest; well it is 11.30am … time for wrist and elbow supports once again, the armpits … etcetera, etcetera …
And on it goes but, at least for now, I’ve staunched the flow.
Monday, July 23, 2018
A BODY FEELS (THE HEAT)
Each footstep jolts
the ankle, knee and hip
provokes a frank response
to the humid heat
Today the weariness
extends its reach
beyond the old
familiar aches and pains
Almost as if each limb
and digit has undergone
some sauna torture.
As irritated bowel
And subservient colon
conspire against the bladders need -
bladder reciprocates the deed
and every oozing pore
Screams out for mercy
first hasty draft 18.50 - 23 July 2018
Sunday, July 01, 2018
Wearied by humid heat, each minor task seems Herculean, even more so when it involves a trip into town. For many years now I’ve been unable to face travelling any distance but, it has become increasingly difficult to steel myself sufficiently for the very short journey into the town centre. Chauffeured by ma belle Helen it’s only a matter of 5 to 10 minutes in the car, but even that becomes quite arduous when the stifling heat seems to amplify the sensory overload of passing traffic and scurrying pedestrians both whilst journeying and on arrival at one’s goal.
Earlier this week I had to travel into town to collect my new glasses, of the spectacles not the drinking vessel kind; a short trip on a day when the heat proved overpowering to me. An additional problem, on this occasion, was a diarrhoeal flare up of my IBS. A quick visit to the toilets at the shopping mall found all cubicles temporarily “out of order”; the subsequent scurrying to a large store, and ride up the escalator, proved somewhat disconcerting as the whole abdominal area felt as if an excruciating fermentation or percolating process was occurring.
Having reached the necessary facilities in the store both cubicles were occupied as I waited cross-legged and anxious for a unit to become available. As I’ve said before, visits into town are always a discomforting experience for yours truly but, this time, the humidity of the day alongside my turbulent abdominal spasms caused additional distress, on top of a familiar state of sensory overload.
It was really touch and go as to whether I managed to keep the appointment to try on and collect my new prescription eyewear. On the verge of a panic attack, I did manage to collect the optical item although I was more interested in getting back home than giving myself sufficient time to fully check that they were OK. Whether or not they proved satisfactory was of far less importance than the rest and facilities waiting for me at home.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Come early evening and tiredness verging on exhaustion takes passing hold of me but, as a notoriously bad sleeper, I hoped not to drift off at such an early hour. Of course resting / relaxation, in the form of a movie, was the order of the evening; my usual evening entails the playing of CDs and / or DVDs at some point, rarely anything too taxing on my limited resource of stamina. Admission time; I did sleep through some of the movie but, come the time when my beloved was ready for bed I was feeling wide awake. I wonder if my readers will understand the sensation of being simultaneously wide-awake and yet 95% drained of energy both physically and emotionally.
You will have noted that as I headed to the bedroom, to join my beloved, the signs were not exactly propitious. Those forebodings were proved correct! As I prepared for bed a generalised sense of discomfort / dis-ease overwhelmed me and, the night turned out to be one of tears, screams and bellowed expletives.
Restless legs took control after an initial burning sensation of sore tenderness took control of my toes, and that alongside of a tortuous throbbing ache in both knees and hips. Within a short time, a tenderness of the armpits lymph nodes began to rage alongside screaming aches in elbows and wrists. My mind seemed to be preoccupied with a relentless darkness as I sought for comfort and rest.
The darkness of the room created an overwhelming sense of isolation, in spite of the fact that my beloved was soundly sleeping beside me, almost oblivious to my cries to and against the Almighty as I tossed, turned and struggled to find a state of composure. The blessed, albeit temporary, release of sleep took many hours to attend to my needs.
Another day of rest is desperately sought and, I little care whether it’s opioid, prayer, or straightforward Mother Nature assisted.