It's been a horrible week. As I write this I have, for once in my life been sensible and have decided not to go to archery tonight. A rare moment of weakness you might say? Perhaps.... or perhaps not. To be honest I don't feel up to writing this but here I am. Better get on with it then!!
I have done nothing this week other than archery on Saturday, after which I had the horrific shivering episode (see last blog post if you haven't read it - it's all in there) and then archery at home on Tuesday. The rest of the week I've done nothing apart from play the odd video game (when I could), read a few pages of a magazine or my book and sit in my chair festering. I have had massive problems with my legs, eyes and head. I have lost complete days because my eyes have had to be completely covered, being intolerant to the slightest amount of light. The pain as ever has been awful, but when your head, eyes and legs are all thumping, burning, stabbing with pain at the same time, life isn't much fun. In fact it isn't life at all. I have sat in this chair willing myself to sleep to get away from it, with mixed success. Each time I woke my immediate thought was 'has it gone?'. Again with mixed success. Of course the pain in my legs never goes but to date my eyes have generally recovered over the course of a day. I then go for a period of time before they flare badly again.
..... continued, Saturday morning
It is a worrying development that my eyes are featuring so frequently in my payback now, although we already know that they are affected by CRPS. I suspect the intense concentration needed to focus on the target arrow after arrow is at the heart of that. Like my legs, using my eyes too much (by CRPS standards) causes payback. It explans the regularity of them flaring in recent times. The trouble is that there is no way to distract yourself from the pain when the eyes and head are affected. The activities mentioned earlier are my staple ways of trying to take my mind off the pain. Indeed when your mobility is so compromised, activities are reliant on using your eyes and brain. Take these away and what's left?
It seems that whatever I chose to try and do CRPS does all it can to stop me. The harder I push the harder it pushes back. Of course this isn't breaking news, it's been an ongoing battle between doing things and the payback that results. However the events of last Sunday in particular have really given me a wake up call. More than this it has forced me to acknowledge the reality of my situation. I'm struggling to find the words, to express how I feel about it all now but there's a definite paradigm shift (Newtonian Physics to Quantum Mechanics anyone!!).
..... continued, Saturday evening
I think the fact that this is my third attempt at writing the nitty gritty of this post, shows just how hard it is to admit to yourself the brutal reality that is your situation. I have always prided myself on doing things that by rights I shouldn't even attempt but really enjoy. This is regardless of how I feel before and during as well as the consequences they bring. Speedway was my line in the sand. Archery joined it. I have of course tried to do archery more often than I should have and paid the consequences. I always thought to myself 'there's nothing physically wrong with my legs, I can't make them worse. It's just pain, then the inevitable payback and I can sit that out'. That's worked for the last seven years but the events of last Sunday morning have shaken that philosophy to it's very core.
I want to make a joke of it and say 'hello, my name's Jane, and I'm severely disabled and chronically ill'. I never understood why people say I'm brave, an inspiration or they don't know how I cope like I do. I'm not saying I do now but it has dawned on me just how bad I actually am. It's a sobering thought I can tell you. I felt a bit like it when I was filling out the ESA form, spelling out the various symptoms and just what was involved in enabling me to do anything. The fact that I am reliant on Eric for absolutely everything. My payback is consistently worse and more debilitating (if that's possible). It takes longer to 'recover' and I rarely leave the house. Not because I've given up, far from it. No it's because it just takes so long to recover. Oh, and because I will insist on doing things like archery again before I should!!
I now have 50mg of morphine flowing round my body 24/7 as well as the other 14 (at the last count) meds. 50mg!! 60mg with Oramorph!! Hard to process that when you see people on the TV seriously hurt being given 10mg of morphine and their pain vanishes. It all helps but nothing takes my pain away, or the burning and everything else CRPS throws at me. Touches it at best. It's madness to be taking that yet still be unable to do anything other than shuffle a few metres clutching onto Eric. Is it really any wonder why I end up in such a terrible state doing archery?
Worst is that it will only get worse, CRPS just keeps coming it seems, affecting more and more of my body. Where will it stop? Will it? Who knows the answer to that, I certainly don't? There certainly isn't any cure on the horizon. But if I'm going to carry on doing archery and speedway and perhaps getting out for the occasional walk with the dogs in my wheelchair I have to get better at the two things I'm absolutely lousy at... PACING and BEING SENSIBLE. Not words you'd expect to find in my vocabulary. Well if the last week has taught me anything, it is that I have got to be far more careful, oh alright... sensible. Not going to archery was the right decision because I do feel better for it today. I never want to experience that shivering nightmare again that's for sure.
Payback certainly won't stop me doing archery, just as it won't stop me going to speedway. Those lines are still firmly drawn in the sand. But I will be trying to be just a bit more sensible and pace myself better. Who'd have thought it!!