So has going to Speedway been as bad as I feared?
In my last post I talked about what I go through to enjoy my passion for Speedway. So far I have been to three speedway meetings. The last one was particularly frustrating as the weather that day had been the classic 'will it won't it be rained off'. We decided to go for it as reports from the track were that they hadn't had a huge amount of rain. Unfortunately we were at the track when they decided to cancel it because of the weather just thirty minutes before the start time. So although I saw nothing, I still had to suffer the 'payback'.
It has been so much harder than in previous years. The pain increases far more during the meeting to the point that it breaks through my enjoyment, as much as I try to ignore it. Which goes to show how bad it is, because I'm loving the speedway so much. Shout myself hoarse I do! I have always lightly rested my programme board on my knee. Was amazed to find that it is now too painful. I placed a fleecy blanket over the knee. Yep, still painful. It must sound crazy to anyone reading this. If it hadn't happened in both meetings I wouldn't believe it myself!
By the time we get back to the car I can't move my legs at all. Getting me out of the wheelchair is torture. Putting my legs down hurts like hell. I then have to deal with the shooting, stabbing pains going through my feet as I place them on the ground. Getting out of the chair and into the car involves Eric pushing me up, whilst I push on the right arm of the chair and pull myself up with my left arm. It is a real struggle and excruciatingly painful. I spend the minimum amount of time standing, instead collapse onto the car seat. Eric has to lift the fleecy cosy and swing my legs into the car, whilst I use my arms to twist the rest of me around. No way I can do it myself.
The journey home provides yet more torture. There is no optimum speed anymore, every speed sends waves of burning pain running up and down my legs, every bump escalating the pain further. I can't feel my legs, all there is is pain. It is very disconcerting not being able to tell where your legs and feet are. Hard to describe but the best analogy I can think of is walking a dog when it's foggy. You know he's not far away but for the life of you, it's impossible to place him. I sit there doing my best not to think about my legs, but fail miserably. A journey of about 20 minutes feels like a lifetime. All I want is get back to the comfort of my chair, get the shoes and socks off that my feet detest so much. I've gone so far beyond the point where I can cope.
For the first time ever Eric had to get a neighbour to come and help get me from the car into the house. Having swung my legs round, I was unable to put my feet on the ground at all without feeling as if there was a stake being hammered through them. It's a horrible place to be mentally. All you want to do is get inside but equally making yourself move even slightly is so hard. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Every tiny movement will be unbearable, but the longer you take the harder and more painful it becomes. Definitely a case of mind over matter. Between the two of them they got me to my feet and we shuffled incredibly slowly towards the first of the half steps that lead into the house. Hands safely on the bars, Eric lifts my left leg onto the step. I pull myself up. One down two to go. Still being supported I shuffle forward to the next step. Again Eric lifts my leg onto the step. I pull myself up but the toe of my right shoe gets caught on the edge of the step. I'm stuck, can't do anything about it. Hannah, knowing no better grabs my foot and puts it onto the step. The pain, oh God, the pain! Just as well the bars were there supporting me because I just slumped sideways onto the right handrail, screaming in agony. To be honest the rest is a blur.
Finally I am back in my chair, with a hot cup of tea and Bella lying across my lap, licking me. I am always guaranteed a wonderful welcome by all the dogs but Bella and I share a very special bond. She spends the vast majority of her time lying across my lap and is a huge comfort. She has an uncanny way of missing my legs when she jumps on and off or when she's on my lap. Whenever I've been out she spends ages licking me, wagging her tail. Hates it when I go out, regardless of the fact that it's a rare occurrence. Looks thoroughly miserable, bless her. Life is all the better having her in my life. Especially when I'm feeling at my worst.
Over the course of the next few days I sit in my chair slowly coming back to life with pain levels gradually reducing to their 'normal' levels. The first morning is awful. I wake up and everything hurts, well that's how it feels. Sea of pain where my legs should be. Eyes bloodshot and very painful, vision blurred. First tablets at 6am and then it's a case of sitting there in the hope that I improve. No chance! The weekend is lost to sleep and when I'm not sleeping I can do nothing but sit and fester. Can't even read to try and take my mind off the pain. Only time I get up is to use the commode. The amount of heat that pumps off my legs is astonishing, or bizarrely they may be freezing cold. One thing is for sure, CRPS throws everything it can at me, punishment for daring to go out and watch the sport I love. It is normally Tuesday when my pain levels return to anything like their normal levels. And then of course the process of preparing for the next one begins. Wednesday provides the only window of opportunity to go out, escape the prison cell that is my chair in the living room.
As there were three meetings on the trot (including the abortive one) it became increasingly difficult to recover to the point that I simply didn't manage it at all. Every day as bad as the one before. No going out, no tiny bits of exercise. Life has just been about trying to be in the best condition to go to speedway again. My CRPS has flared to the extreme. It is only now some two and a half weeks after the last meeting that it is settling. I would have written this blog post weeks ago but it was absolutely impossible. I did try to increase my slow relief morphine from 40mg to 50mg in the hope it would help. As it made little, if any difference to my pain levels I am reverting back. Senseless to take something with the extra side-effects if it isn't helping.
As I sit finishing this post, it is Tuesday. There is a speedway meeting this Friday, followed by two others in succession. I know what to expect now, but it won't stop me. My determination to go to each meeting remains as solid as ever. CRPS will just have to do it's worst.