Tuesday, 10 January 2012

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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