BBC BLOGS - The Ouch! Blog It's a disability thing
« Previous | Main | Next »


Post categories:

Wheelchair Dancer Wheelchair Dancer | 07:50 UK time, Sunday, 18 May 2008

For the past 5.5 hours, I've been lying on my back, in bed, trying to sleep. I can't. I just can't. I've been feeling the hot red pain shoot out of my back and across my butt. It seems to skip my legs, but there's an orange ache in the sole of my foot. Unrelated, I assume, is a similar blast in my shoulder when I move it or try to lie on it. But perhaps it's all related? I don't know. And I don't care. I can't sleep.

I have an anti-pain self-hypnosis podcasty, mp4 thing for moments like this. But I can't stand the feeling of earplugs in my ears - they seem to be forcing my jaw open and I can't get the volume right. The soothing voice on the podcast tells me that pain is a warning system and that I don't need the part of pain that is hurt. I'd like to tell the voice that he, too, will be needing a warning system if he doesn't watch out.

I've begun to imagine the speaker as a man of a certain age. He is not grey yet, but he has definitely lived the good life. He tells me to find my pain on the infamous ten scale; I imagine what I could do to him on the infamous pain scale. I wonder if he knows how he sounds on tape and is embarrassed by the sound of his voice. Does he cringe at the pauses? The fragments? The sound of his breathing?

My anonymous voice tells me the effect of the hypnosis will endure long after he has finished speaking. He's right, you know. I still want to kill him, and I haven't listened to him for a couple of hours. I am wound up. It seems that the quilt is too heavy. I like my sheets; they are usually cool, slippy, smooth. But tonight, they are filled with cat litter and what seems to be food crumbs.

This is not the worst pain I have ever been in. That's why I haven't taken anything. I can't decide whether I can't sleep and so I am focusing on the pain, making it seem worse than it actually is -- therefore I shouldn't take anything -- or whether the pain is keeping me awake -- clear cause to take something. The lack of sleep (it's been days of this) is making me slightly unclear in my head. I've been drinking espresso like nothing on earth (yes, it doesn't help) to stay awake in the day, and hot chocolate, soup, and herbal tea to go to sleep at night (not all at once).

OK. Here we go again. The voice tells me to breathe and sink deeply into the bed; does he know that beds can hurt? His instructions get detailed. I always get stuck on the way he says "fascia." It seems weirdly out of place. Fascia. Say it a couple of times. Fascia. Time passes; the voice pauses; he's waiting for me to perform his last exercise. I don't finish in time. Dammit. He's bringing us out of the hypnosis now. I haven't finished this blog post yet, but he's already asking about the pain scale again.

I know that in twelve minutes' time, the whole thing will start again -- there's a gap in the recording. The pain in my foot has a new friend: the ache in my ankle. My calf hurts now, too. I become deeply aware of my surroundings: the coffee cups on the bedside table, the soup bowl on the floor, the cat in the bed, the .... I can turn the sound off, but I can't get him out of my head. Shut up, dude. I need to go to sleep.

Visit the irate, wakeful Wheelchair Dance.r


  • Comment number 1.

    Try lorezapam, it will knock you right out. That is what I take during those sleepless nights. I have been dealing with chronic pain due to my brain tumor and rheumatoid arthritis for a long time now, and I used to write about it too on my old blog. I have since changed my tune because I thought some may find it annoying and take it like I was complaining.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.