Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Very bad day.

Doctor's appointment.


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Saturday, 28 January 2012

Pain exploded while I was in with the chins tonight.

I always put top-up pills within reach while I'm in there, but it still requires kneeling up and stretching - for ages I couldn't do it. I was just stuck there, racked with pain, lying in the floor with the chins climbing all over me. They knew something was wrong, well C did anyway - she kept coming and 'kissing noses' with me, like she does when she's feeling affectionate or she senses something's wrong. R was just enjoying the climbing frame.

I finally managed to reach the pills, but still couldn't get up, but now I had to keep the chins from chewing the pill packaging (or worse yet, the pills themselves).

I'm now in my chair but the chin cage is still all open. I can't breathe properly and it was agony getting out of the enclosure. I could really do with lying down, but I daren't leave the girls out but unattended and I can't shut the cage up.

It's a lousy end to a really-not-bad day. Great.

+3 hours
Still in agony. Taken 25mg quick release and 20mg slow release. Minimal results. About to take another 20mg QR; feel like shit, imagining how the pious nurses would tell me I'm not managing it properly. But let them lie here in this kind of pain, then talk to me about mismanagement.

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Thursday, 26 January 2012

It's been an interesting day: good, but bizarre.

Yesterday was awful - high pain levels, morphine doing very little. In the afternoon I started doing some 'therapy work', analysing some stuff that came up when things were going well on Monday.

The pain stopped, which suggested I was on the right track. (I've always found with these somatizing conditions that when you hit on the right issue, you get an immediate response. Sadly, things usually then regress, so you're back where you started, and that's what's so frustrating; each time it improves, you get excited, thinking you're there, then you find you're not, and it's really depressing. The key is refining your thinking to the point that the condition doesn't recur, or if it does, you can consistently turn it off, every time it happens.)

The pain and neck pressure had returned by bedtime, so I had to take pills (in fact a double hit, because the first dose didn't do it). I also tried carrying on that therapy work, but I just couldn't concentrate on that and trying to sleep, at the same time.

I got up this morning with the neck pressure feeling unbelievably fragile: it felt like the tiniest twist in the wrong direction, and I'd be in full-blown migraine, traction and morphine-overdose mode.

As I feared, within an hour, it had got really bad. I was facing a hideous day of desperately trying to find the 'magic position' that would turn it off, and balancing vast quantities of morphine with various migraine pills.

I started trying to utilise some of what I'd worked out over the last few days, but didn't think it was really working. Then a bit later, I suddenly realised it had stopped.

I thought it was just that I'd found that right position, but when I moved slightly, it didn't do what it normally does, and immediately flare up again. It just stayed down. For hours.

It did flare up again when I got a difficult email, but it went down again. On its own. That's the bizarre bit (and I know, it's taken me forever to get to the point), but it went down on its own. And it's stayed down.

Right now my landlord is here, so I'm having to see if I can sustain that whilst talking or concentrating on something other than myself. So far, I'm managing, though it's not easy.

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

It was all going so well. Monday was very good. Yesterday was pretty good but the pain did get too bad late on, and it was keeping me awake, so I had to take more pills.

I woke up today in pain then mid-morning it just exploded. I was trying to sit in my work chair, to get used to it, though I don't really think that's what caused the explosion. I've had to take top-up pills and they're doing very little, as is the standard midday slow-release dose.

I'm still in a lot of pain.

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I've talked about the things I'm going to do after the pain. It's a really long list and it won't be possible or practical to do it all at once. I'll be spreading these things out over years, so I can do each one properly and get the most out of each one.

So these are the ones I plan to start first (in no particular order):
*Join a kick boxing class
*Train to be a magistrate
*Return to my embroidery
*Join Rock Choir
*Go speed dating
*Go on a 'personal shopper' trip with R
*Teach myself Japanese writing
*Go to the cinema regularly

Top of the list after that will be taking a sign language course and going back to salsa dancing.

I'm already doing online dating (it's crap - where are all the decent men?) and as soon as I'm back as work, I'm going to allocate a sum of money for buying 'fantasy clothes snd shoes' - all the heels etc I haven't been able to buy for four years (though I mustn't forget the suitcase full of shoes that will seem 'new' because I haven't worn them for so long!).

I've also already booked two shows, as a very tangible incentive to getting better: a comedy show and a ballet. And of course I'm swimming, which I really want to continue, and gradually increase (each time I add two lengths - I did 10 on Sunday).


This has been a really good post to write, not for the list of things I'm going to do, but to remind me of what I'm already managing to do. It's a lot more than I realised, which is really encouraging (especially having been forced to take top-up pills this evening, after mentally fighting off the pain for eight hours straight).

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My back's killing me already, and it's only 8.30. It's because I effectively halved my morphine dose yesterday - what with taking no top-ups and cutting the slow release (by 10mg - the least amount possible). It's also because the day before was so bad, and I took a lot of top-ups.

I don't want to take anything extra though, if it's only morphine pain - that'll go in a couple of days anyway.

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Monday, 23 January 2012

Very good day. Despite yesterday being really quite bad (horrible neck pressure after swimming), today's been good. No top-up pills and able to mentally control the pain and the neck pressure all day through mantras. It's the first time I've been able to get any kind of handle on the neck pressure through mind alone. I even managed to cut back on the underlying slow-release morphine.

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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Pain-wise it's been a pretty good day.

I've managed to mentally suppress the pain and the neck pressure for the past nine hours. Nine hours.

I walked to the post box and back without needing my stick. And I did five minutes of stepping up and down. The latter really made my back sore, but it calmed down after a while.

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Friday, 20 January 2012

It's all seeming really hopeless today.

This morning's therapy session raised the possibility in my mind of not actually being able to get back to work at all. And the welter of psychological issues is making it seem highly unlikely I'll ever actually be free of the pain.

I think it was the therapist's incredulity that I was even thinking of returning to work, that started it off. It was like I was talking about visiting the moon. And there just seem to be so many tendrils leading into the pain, that I don't know how I can ever stop it. Just this afternoon, it's got worse and worse, till I'm now stuck in bed because the neck pressure was becoming unbearable.

And on top of the pain itself is the constant gnawing worry about the income insurance and the Pain Cliic taking away the morphine.

If there's no insurance, I'll run out of money. I'll lose my flat. I won't live in some noisy stinking council flat. I've kept going because of the hope of returning to work; if that's gone, there's nothing left to live for. I won't struggle through each day without pain killers.

I'm going to be forced to kill myself because all my options have been taken away. I don't want to die, but I'm going to be left with no choice.

I want this to stop. I really really want the pain to stop but I don't know how and noone seems to know how to help me. Please don't make me die for this

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Therapist made very clear today that am nowhere near ready to go back to work.

Very very upset.

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

I got very very angry and upset this evening.

Again, it was something silly that set me off (someone's bad manners), and again, my reaction was disproportionate.

I got absolutely furious, and felt utterly heartbroken. All of these things at the moment make me feel utterly worthless and completely impotent. I feel convinced that there must be something terribly terribly wrong with me, that I'm clearly so entirely unloveable. And I feel completely powerless to make people treat me properly.

It's an awful feeling - I feel so empty and alone and utterly vulnerable.

As on most of the past few occasions, I've responded by screaming - howling really - at the top of my voice. I feel I can only do that a couple of times, though, before the neighbours either start hammering on the door or calling the police to say I'm being murdered.

So when that didn't vent the feelings enough, I went to china smashing. I got out some of the cheap mugs I bought, back when I was having hypnotherapy, specifically for the purpose. I threw two of them at the floor so hard they almost exploded.

That helped, but within hours I was feeling angry all over again. I'm just so furious, and there's nowhere for it to go.

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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Hideous hideous neck pressure all day long. Finally went down for the first time half an hour ago, after a migraine pill and flow release morphine pill (quick release seems to have done very little today, so haven't taken much).

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It's so hard to maintain motivation when every waking moment is a struggle.

It's all very well when you're talking to friends and telling them everything you're trying, on order to get back to work. But at some point, they always go home, and you're left trying to keep it going, in the face of endless pain and pills.

Every time there's a setback, every time the pain starts again after it had stopped for a minute - it all makes you feel so hopeless and helpless.

One minute I feel like I can do it, I feel all positive and like there's no reason why it can't work. Then the next minute, I remember that horrible pain clinic appointment, or the fact that my Personnel manager is leaving, or that I'm scared the insurance won't come through, and suddenly it just feels impossible.

It's not the pain itself, it's all the other stuff. All the things that make me feel unsupported and judged.all the authority figures that think they know what my life is like just from some tiny snapshot.

And now even going back to work means more of that. The rehab people want to do interviews and reports. It's alright for them, they only have to hear it once. But each time I have to go through all the problems and all the ways it's destroyed my life, I just want to die all over again. I can't do it. I don't have the strength to get through this. I just want it all to go away. I wish I could just fall asleep and never wake up. I can't carry this all by myself.

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Monday, 16 January 2012


I had decided not to book the Dara O'Briain tickets because I felt it would be too hard if I had a bad pain day and couldn't go. I was partly worried about wasting the money, but mostly it was the fear of disappointment that stopped me.

I changed my mind though.

Fear of pain is as debilitating as pain itself; when you suffer from long-term pain, very often you wind up not doing things because you're scared it will trigger an attack, not because you're actually in pain at the time. It's a reasonable fear - that activity has triggered the pain many times before, and there's every possibility it will do again - but as the meditation taught me, you have to focus on now, not on what happened in the past.

So I decided to dump the fear of disappointment, and focus on the here and now instead. But I also think there's a benefit to looking at the future, though that's not what the meditation teaches. I think I need incentives, actual examples of things to remind me what it is I'm fighting for.

It's too vague to just be thinking about getting your life back. It's too narrow to only focus on getting back to work. And it's not enough to just keep adding to a list of things to do post-pain. I believe you need actual real-life things that *are* 'normal', there, right in front of you, driving you on. I think that's more valuable and more useful than all the 'practise sitting at a desk' sessions in the world.

One of those real-life things is the online dating. I've been on the site off and on for a couple of years, but it's been really disappointing. (Nothing to do with the pain - people just don't bother replying). But I'm currently emailing a really nice guy, and I'm enjoying the 'normality' of doing that. And there's the added implied incentive, the possibility of going out and doing 'normal' things with a 'normal' guy (this one or another!).

One of those 'normal things' might be going to a show, but I don't have to wait to do that with someone - I long ago gave up going to things only if I had company. So I decided to book the ticket to see Dara - now I have something concrete and tangible to work towards.

The show is the beginning of March, and I'm trying to return to work at the beginning of April; it'll be a good indicator of progress. If going back to work is a real possibility, then making it to that show should be reasonable. And if it's not, well the ticket was half the price I was expecting, so it's not too much to lose, financially. But let's not think about that. Let's think about me getting to a theatre for the first time in five years. Let's think about that instead.

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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Eight lengths of the pool today, steam and sauna, no extra pills required (though the sauna did give me a headache - I stayed in too long, but was enjoying being chatted up by two cute, competing guys!).

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Saturday, 14 January 2012

Well I know it's not going to be easy, but I did manage to do the 'choose how to react' thing this morning.

I was washing up, and things started crashing around everywhere. I could feel myself heading for a squash-spillage-freak-out. Normally when that happens, I focus on the 'why' - what's the old feeling or experience it's triggering? But doing that uses up time - by the time I've worked out the 'why', it's too late, the tantrum is already in full swing - or I can't work it out at all, and I just go headlong into throwing a fit.

So this time, I didn't bother with the 'why'. I went straight into 'react differently'. And it worked - I managed to avoid the tantrum, and felt much better for it.

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Relearn my life

Today's therapy session was awful, harrowing and draining.

It centred, surprisingly to me, on the fit I threw the other day over spilling a bit of squash on the carpet (full on Exorcist-style tantrum).

It appears that despite all the years and all the therapy and all the work I've done, I'm basically still inflicting my childhood on myself over and over, by providing the 'voices' of the psychological and emotional abuse (criticism, punishment, rejection, abandonment) all by myself.

So when I spill squash on the carpet, I don't need my father to tell me how stupid and useless I am, I do it myself. And I don't need my mother to reject me - I reject myself. The pain is the physical manifestation of those 'voices'.

So what I have to do, is cut the ties on all of that, relearn how to relate to myself and how to treat myself. I believe the best way, would be to treat myself as I would treat someone else, especially a child. If I wouldn't scream at you for spilling squash on the carpet, then I can't scream at me.

This will be unbelievably hard, after 40 years of mistreating myself. I have developed some mantras - below - and the therapist suggested I wear my Nan's ring, to make me feel connected to the only positive 'voice' of my childhood. She's also told me to adjust the pain spreadsheet to reflect the successes - acknowledging when I'm pain-free and, most importantly, all the times I resist taking pills and just sit there in pain (for example, six hours just since lunchtime).

That's easier - I've done it already. It's the relearning that will be the problem.


When reacting, think 'is this really me, or is it boil-in-a-bag parenting?' [from 'parent-in-your-head'].
In every situation, with every reaction, I CHOOSE how to react - ie positively. CBT theory suggests the feelings will follow the thought, in time.
Constantly ask - would I do / say this to someone else, especially a child? If not, don't treat myself that way.

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

I really hate that my brain and my body seem to be completely out of my control at the moment.

My mind is sabotaging my body and all I can do is sit here and watch. And suffer the consequences. It's terrifying and devastating and I FUCKING HATE IT

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I've started a new Bookmarks folder for web pages associated with things on the ever-growing list of what I'm going to do when I'm fit again.

The folder is called AS (After Shoulder) - in the manner of BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) - because that's what that new period of my life will be called.

So far, it includes a fab kick-boxing class I've found just down the road, Oxford's Rock Choir, which is currently recruiting, Dara O'Briain's comedy tour, tickets on sale now, and the Clipper Round the World Sailing Challenge, which is now recruiting for 2013-14.

I've also added a couple of new things to the goals list - a rally driving day, and picking up the 'proper' cooking I'd started doing just before the accident. A rally school has already made its way into the AS folder.

It's frustrating that several of these things are happening now, because it makes me want to go now. I'm tempted to book the comedy tickets, but is it too early? The show's not till March, and I'm really hoping to go back to work at the end of March, so maybe it's worth the gamble.

Similarly, I want to join the Rock Choir. But it's a lot of money, and depends on me being able to go out every Tuesday night (or whatever day it is). That's just not feasible at the moment.

All of this sounds very positive. It's not as good as it sounds though. I'm doing it to try and cheer myself up, in the face of pain that's been going mad all evening and has resisted all the pills I've thrown at it.

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Mixed day

Today, thus far, has been an unusual, but instructive day.

It started off badly, with me waking at 6am feeling that I was starting a bout of really bad cystitis, something I haven't had for years. Waking at that time alerted me to the fact that I also had quite a lot of shoulder pain, so I had to take the day's first pills two hours early.

The pain of the cystitis was so bad that I couldn't go back to sleep, so I had to lie there and suffer it and the shoulder pain, till the morphine kicked in. That took a couple of hours. I was desperate not to take any fast-release pills that early, so I had to just suffer (whilst getting up for the loo every 20 minutes).

I finally managed to drop off for a couple of hours around 8, then got up feeling not too bad. About an hour after getting up, I was getting very headachey (though the neck pressure wasn't like it normally is); cushions helped, so I put the sling on.

That helped a lot, but after two hours the dislocation pain in my shoulder was excruciating, so I had to take it off. The neck pressure exploded though. I really didn't feel like lying down, which is what I'd normally do at this point (with my arm in traction). So all I could do was prop my arm up with cushions; this enabled me to get a different position and angle of elevation, so the neck pressure stopped but the pain stayed bearable.

I'd still, at this point, managed to avoid taking any additional pills, which I was pleased about. I'd wanted to do the arm pedalling, but was worried about making the pain worse. After sitting with the cushions for a bit, though, I started to feel that my shoulder would feel a lot better if I got it moving, so I tried it.

It actually worked even better than I hoped; my shoulder felt good doing the pedalling, and the neck pressure also stayed down. When I stopped, though, the neck pressure was really noticeable again.

Originally, I'd hoped to try swimming today, but the bad start to the day, and yesterday's bad pain, had put me off. I've been wanting to try swimming again for a month or more, but I was scared.

Back when I was doing the meditation, I was swimming a couple of times a week. But then everything started to deteriorate really badly (Autumn 2010), and the Consultant advised me to stop. That was the beginning of the deterioration that ended up with me off sick for most of last year.

The only time I tried swimming after that was with my sister last summer. It wound up with her having to pluck me out of the water, after the pain exploded, I fell face-down in the water, and couldn't get up.

I was scared of trying again, because I'd be on my own, and if the same thing happened, I could drown before anyone noticed.

So I've been putting it off. In the run-up to Christmas, I kept putting it off, then over the hols. I was determined to go this week though.

Having had such a bad pain day yesterday, it seemed unlikely I'd make it today. And after such a bad morning, it seemed like an even worse idea. But when the arm pedalling went so well, and the pain afterwards felt better when I was moving than not, I suddenly really wanted to go.

It felt like the ideal time, and I thought I'd feel better doing something, than sitting still. So I went. I managed my goal of 6 lengths, but didn't go for the 8 that I had allowed myself. (I need to be very very careful not to overdo it, so I don't a) put myself off trying again and b) cause more pain afterwards.) I'll need to see how things go over the next couple days, because often I don't feel the effects of overdoing it till two days later (hence, yesterday was bad because of all I did on Saturday), but I did all I could.

Anyway, it all went well, and I was able to sit in the jacuzzi and steam room for a bit afterwards. The pain started to flare as I got in the car to come home, at which point I did take some top-up pills, because I can't mentally address the pain whilst driving. It's niggling away still, but I'm hoping it'll be OK, so I can do it again soon.

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Monday, 9 January 2012

Things started off badly this morning when the pain was quite bad first thing, but I managed to push it back. I'd still had to cancel a chat with Personnel, though, because I couldn't bear the thought of talking about the last few weeks.

I had to do some chores, out and about, and eventually the shoulder pain flared (in the opticians - they'll get my glasses right eventually I suppose) and I couldn't suppress it, so I had to take some pills.

That immediately lead into more panicking about the pain clinic taking away my pills, the income insurance getting turned down and what's going to be in the letter from that awful nurse.

All afternoon, the pain was bubbling away, with the pills doing little. They made me feel very stoned and out of it, but the pain seemed largely untouched. I tried lying down, but that made things worse, so I gave up.

Then, when I was getting some tea, I was thinking about a friend who has let me down several times recently, and who I suspect is about to do it again. I was imagining (rehearsing) what I'd like to say to her if she does, and the pain suddenly exploded.

It went mad. I couldn't even draw breath. I spent two hours trying to control it mentally, going back through all the notes I've made of tools relating to the various psychological triggers.

The key, of course, were those about abandonment. It was clear that the reason it upsets me so much, is that her letting me down feels like her abandoning me. And she's done it repeatedly, always with the attitude that it's OK to behave that way.

Nothing worked on the pain though, nothing I did made it go down at all. It just kept going and going and going.

Eventually, after two hours, I felt I had no choice but to take something. Given how little it had helped earlier, I took a bigger dose. But it's done fuck all. There's not really any side effects, which is good, but there's not really any pain killing going on either. I'm lying down, but I'm still in pain and I can't move, because then it gets unbearable.

The frightening thing, though, is that this means there'll be no point taking anything later, because I know it won't work. But I also know how bad it's going to be; with how bad it already is, and how much worse it gets at night, it's going to be really really bad.

I don't know what to do. I've tried so hard to get at it the other way. And all the time, I'm still desperately worrying about the pain clinic etc.

It's so frustrating and distressing when the pain is this awful, yet you know it can be OK, because it was yesterday. And yet you're completely fucking helpless to do anything about it.

I suppose the one thing is that if there was any doubt about the 'somatic' nature of my pain, today's episode has well and truly quashed it. The only way the pain could explode on cue like that, and resist medication that at other times has worked effectively, is if it's being created and controlled by my subconscious. My sodding subconscious that's sabotaging my every bloody move. Thank you very fucking much.

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I'm upset that after such a good day, I've had to take two doses of pills tonight. The pain builds at night, and that's when I'm least able to control it mentally; I can't keep it down without keeping myself awake.

It makes sense, if the pain is rage, that it would flare up at night. That's when my anger has always flared - I worked out a long time ago that it was the reason behind my insomnia.

But it's really hard not to berate myself for taking top-up medication, when earlier on I was able to control the pain fine without the stuff. I feel like I've ruined all my success by giving in tonight. Like I've cancelled it all out.

I need to remember that every minute where the pain is down, is a victory. Before, I was in agony and needing pills all the time; if now it's that bad only at night, that's a huge win. It doesn't take away what I've achieved. And I have to remember this was always going to be a slow process.

It's not about getting off the morphine -though that is a huge desire - its about getting the pain down and being able to function. Being able to work. I could work on morphine - I did before. So if I can get it stabilised enough, I could work even if I were still on the morphine. And getting off it will come.

It's just that I'm desperate to get off the stuff now. Partly because it would take away some of the power I feel the pain clinic have over me, and partly because I just hate the damn stuff.

But mostly I just want the pain to stop. I want to feel in control of my own body: I don't want to feel that my body is my enemy, fighting against me, tripping me up at every turn. But that's how it feels. Like there's a spy, sabotaging everything, but the spy is my own mind. And I'm so fucking angry about that I could shoot someone

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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Although I was awake till the early hours with bad pain and side effects of the meds I'd had to take late last night, since waking up this morning, it's been a good pain day.

I haven't needed any top-up meds, and it's taken very little mental work to control what pain there was. I went to bed for a while this afternoon, but that was down to lack of sleep last night, and side effects of the standard slow-release morphine dose.

I had to cancel talking to Personnel tomorrow, because I don't feel like I can sustain this good stage if I have to hash over how shit Xmas and New Year were, but that's OK.

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More things I'm going to do

I was talking to a friend the other day, who'd found the 'Things I'm going to Do' post interesting, so here's Part II. The list is constantly evolving, so some of these are very new, and some just didn't make it on to the list last time.

Go on a spending spree for the kind of clothes and shoes the pain stopped me wearing

Go roller blading

Learn French

Go back to Liverpool for a visit

Get one of the LYDC bags with short handles

Go to the Midnight Tango Show

Not just be able to do my job, but get promoted

Live on a narrow boat

Play volleyball

Go to a live comedy show

Do Wii Dance

Do the amateur round-the-world sailing challenge

Practise calligraphy

Go back to volunteering with under-privileged kids

Wear all my fabulous funky jewellery

Go to Venice

Do my Japanese writing

Take my niece and nephew to museums and stuff

Go whale watching

Be my friend's Own Personal Shopper

Do the Walk with the Wolves

Play basketball

Grow and style my hair

Spend Christmas volunteering instead of suffering my family

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Terror and rage

Raging panic attacks, it's hideous, I'm terrified. I feel so unsafe. Someone's coming for me and there's nothing I can do.

I'm terrified but I'm furious. I'm furious no-one's saving me. I'm furious no-one protected me when they should have.

I was seeing the pain as a cry for help against whatever this nameless threat is, but that's wrong. The pain isn't a cry for help. It's the fury I feel at being left to face that threat, alone and exposed. With no-one to help me but me.

I'm cycling round through fear to rage and back again, and now shoulder's flaring, despite all the pills I've already taken, and which we're working fine. Maybe the pain is both fear and edge, but I need it all to stop.

I can't make myself small enough to feel safe. And having the lights on isn't helping. I'm hiding under the covers and I'm roasting, it's so hot, but I'm terrified if I put even a hand out, he'll get me

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Saturday, 7 January 2012

I'm lying here in a lot of pain, waiting for the lot of pills I've had to take to kick in. But it's been an amazing day.

Some friends I don't get to see very often came to visit. We'd arranged for them to arrive before lunch, and said we'd basically see how long I could last before things got bad. My most realistic hope was that I'd get through the afternoon, but my secret wish was that I'd feel well enough to go for dinner with them. It didn't seem likely, what with the seating, pills, pain and so on, but it would be a huge victory if I could do it.

Well, not only did I manage lunch and chatting all afternoon, I made it to dinner too. In a real restaurant. Like a real person.

It's the first time in a year I've managed to eat out, and it felt like I'd been invited to the palace for tea! We went to Ask and I had a yummy pizza and and even yummier apple pie dessert.

The pain started to flare on the way home and it resisted the first round of pills and having a lie down (having bid farewell to my friends). So I'm now on the second dose, and I'm really hoping it kicks in soon.

I think tomorrow's going to be bad, as fallout, and that scares me. But I've just had a really sweet text from my friend reminding me that even if that does happen, it won't wipe out all I've achieved today.

She's right, of course, but it might be a struggle to remember that if things get really bad. It has been a fab day though.

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Thursday, 5 January 2012

The pain has been pretty good today - shoulder and back OK, neck pressure fine.

I had to drive over to the doc's to get a prescription this morning, and it got quite bad during that, but it went down again.

I'm hoping this improvement is down to the considerable therapy work I was forced into after that dreadful appointment yesterday. I'm hoping even more that it sticks this time.

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Awful awful awful appointment. I threw the mother of all tantrums - I behaved very badly and I'm embarrassed about it.

The only redeeming feature is that a lot of what she said in the ensuing discussion I think is really useful. So maybe it will be worth my awful behaviour.

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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Pain Clinic

I've fucked up and I'm terrified.

Because of all the faffing and letters complaining about the changes to the Pain Clinic, and the huge delay in them replying, I forgot to tell my friend who usually comes with me to hold my hand, about the appointment. And now I have to go on my own.

By the time I realised my mistake, it was too late. At first, I thought I'd already mentioned it, then when I realised I hadn't, I thought I could cope with it on my own. I couldn't bear her telling me she couldn't make it - she's so busy at work, there's no way at that short notice that she'd be able to - because I would feel abandoned and let down (unreasonably so). So it seemed better to just go on my own.

I forgot all about it till a couple of days ago - it's lucky I didn't miss it! - and I didn't give it a moment's thought till this evening. Then I started thinking I should prepare - work out what I need to tell them, formulate any questions, defend my decision not to change on to the new drug they mentioned last time.

And suddenly the reality of facing this appointment alone smashed me over the head. I'm terrified. I always feel terrified at these things; I feel vulnerable and got at and very lonely even with my friend there. Without her, it's so much worse.

She always stays the night before, and I'm really missing her calming influence. And just the little stuff, like not having to fight to park the car myself, navigating the roads when I'm that upset. Shit, what am I going to do!

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Monday, 2 January 2012

I haven't been able to bear the thought of starting a new year. I haven't been able to wish anyone a Happy New Year and I've vociferously sushed people who tried to say it to me.

One of my friends, though, in an email said it's the start of a new year, the year in which I overcome the pain.

She's right. Instead of looking at this as the next in a series of steadily worsening years, I should think of it as the most hideous of years having finally come to an end, and the start of my recovery.

I don't know if I can do that, but she is right. I can try.

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Sunday, 1 January 2012

The therapist said that the pain won't go down until I don't need it any more. Until the conflict and trauma that sparked it has been resolved, it will carry on.

Well it's been such an utterly shit Christmas and New Year, that as I was driving home from my friend's today - after another night of no sleep and too much pain - I suddenly realised that I would genuinely rather be abandoned by my mum than live this miserable existence dominated by pain and pills.

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I came to the party, but only because I was scared of what I might do to myself if I was in my own, watching another year tick by. The only way I could think of to stop me slitting my wrists, was to be around a load of people.

I had to run and hide when it got near midnight though - all those happy cheery faces, everyone wishing me 'Happy New Year' - I'd have cried, or screamed, or something.

I went back down after an hour, to join the rest of the party. But now I'm lying here in bed, two hours after it all ended, wondering how I'm going to get through the next few days. Or even the next few hours.

The pain's been really bad all day and I'm running out of pills. The doc's away and the Bank Holiday means I can't fill the post dated prescription that I told him would be too late, but he wouldn't listen. I know the stress is making the pain worse but I can't help it.

I won't be here next Christmas. I keep telling everyone I'm not doing Christmas again, but what I really mean is I won't be here.

I don't have the strength to do the therapy and survive the pain. I'm not going through a fifth anniversary of the accident.

Everyone has a limit, and I'm at mine. If it was such hideous manners to do it in someone else's house, I'd do it now.

I can't take this any more. The pain won't stop, I don't know how to make it stop.

I just want to be like everyone else. I just want a life, and people who love me. I can't live like this any more.

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