The last few days have been rough to say the least. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve used the correct term as it still feels like an understatement.
The pain started on Sunday, I tried to ignore it and push on as normal as I was determined to attend my Godson’s first birthday. I made it to his birthday party but so did the pain. I wanted to leave it at home but unfortunately it follows me everywhere.
If I’m honest pain and I have been getting along recently. Mainly appearing when predicted, not in my face every day, but hovering in the background shouting out every so often when it needs more attention.
At the birthday party I couldn’t get involved in the “sit on the floor” games kids love to play, instead I had to occupy a safe zone on the sofa. The pain slowly took over. My knee started to feel like it was simultaneously on fire and being hit with a hammer and chisel. I put on a brave face as I wanted to enjoy the party. I wanted to ask for help but the words didn’t leave my mouth. As soon as they rose in my throat I swallowed them and chose a deep breath instead.
Pain and I made it through to the end of the party; we sang, cut the cake and even posed for a few photos. But by the end it was clear pain had won our secret competition, it’s victory seen clearly on my face and in my limp. We said our goodbyes as quickly as possible, counting down the minutes until I could get to my painkillers. Ten minutes felt like ten hours as I focused on being able to put pain back in its box. I needed to put it back in its place and so I stood my ground.
Pain is a stubborn one, even with the strongest medication I could throw at it, it wouldn’t just simply disappear. After an hour or two it faded enough that I could fall asleep. Only to realise in the morning we were playing a game of hide and seek. When I woke, pain was right there causing my left knee to swell up like a balloon. Pain had come back with avengence. I could barely move my knee and had to use my walking stick.
I needed to engage heavier artillery to manage this pain. This time I reluctantly invited morphine to challenge the pain, hoping it would vanquish the pain enough but not dull my thoughts. Which it did, along with sending me into a deep slumber.
When I awoke thankfully, I felt better. Pain subsided and weakened for a while longer in its box. Like any unwanted guest, the impact is always felt, the frustrations, the tiredness but also the knowledge and acceptance it will return again.
Even as I write this now I’m still not feeling 100%, using public transport with the walking stick was a necessary challenge today. But, one I need to face and accept. Pain, I dislike you but I accept you. You will not define me.