They, the people of medicine and care, talk about wounds and sores looking “angry”, but they have no idea of the true nature of physical anger. The anger one’s own body unleashes on itself, the anger one feels as your own body attacks you, betrays you. Yes I think that’s the right way to describe it, it is a form of deep betrayal and loathing one feels for what my body inflicts on me every day. I struggle with the term “pain-killers” when thinking about the control of the body’s betrayal, as they are not able to kill the pain at all. In fact the stronger ones (usually the stronger they are the more you just don’t care about the pain), but the pain is there, it has not altered the pain but your state of mind. Perhaps they should be more accurately called “awareness killers”, as this is what they really change, you just stop caring about the pain for a while.
When my pain killing injections wear off, the pain rumbles through my tissues until I could near trace on the surface the pathway of nerves, but I know like a distant thunder storm that rumbles beyond the horizon, there is so much more to come, to experience, whether I want to or not. This is another issue I cite in the argument regarding pain, that it is rather rude and certainly not as considerate as one would want. It gives no consideration to the time, place, or to what I may have planned before it decides to roll in of its own accord. Like a drunk at a party it crashes into me, into my mind without a care in the world when I am trying to concentrate on what is happening, some of which may be rather important. So yes, it just thuds into me without invitation, consideration or care, such poor manners.
It knocks me off balance mentally and clears my mind of all content other than the awareness of its presence, making any thread of previous concentration vanish without a trace. Its ability to clear every bit of data from my consciousness is as impressive as it is oppressive, conversational pathways detonated into fragments that are now a jumble of nonsense. Continuing with the theme of a drunk one can, if not distracted, become consumed by it. I mean who can ignore a drunk when they are spitting words coated with wine at you, utterly unaware of the fact they have just barged and spilt the best part of their drink over you, as they go to shake your hand, unfortunately the hand they have their drink in. But this pales into insignificance as they also pour their nibbles over you like low speed, salted, savoury shrapnel of nuts and crisps. And still the drunk has no care or awareness they have barged into you and those you are with.
In the case of the pain crashing your mental party, its ability to clear all data and information from one’s mind is impressive, so thorough this wiping clean effect that, ironically, it even stops me thinking that I need to take pain killers. But if the pain subsides for the merest moment of rest, then I have the brief opportunity to gather my scattered forces of defence, and actually take the medication I need.
Then, as with the approaching storm, the race is on knowing the storm is racing towards me. The cessation of pain for that micro moment is a frequent signal I have come to recognise. It’s the equivalent of that moment of silence before a huge explosion occurs, everything slows to a frame by frame motion as the pain gathers, takes a deep breath and prepares to unleash. The rumbling of the storm turning into radiating pulses thundering below my tissues, running at speed along nerves and bones, wrapping muscles so tightly that I wince and shut my eyes. The thunder now clashes loudly as lightning flashes across my eyes that are shut tight. My jaw is stiffened and my teeth grind tight together so not a sound escapes. The thunder rages round my shoulder and up to my neck, whilst the lightening seers every nerve under every muscle down my arm.
Then the connection is made with my spine which is set on fire by the lightning strikes of searing sensation. I dare not move a single muscle as the storm lies now directly overhead, and as oppressive as any I have experienced, had forced upon me, had unleashed its fury upon the unwilling recipient – me. I actually find myself praying at times for the medication to slide into my body and diffuse itself into my blood, my cells my burning nerves. But until this time the storm has won the race to claim me, makes me sink into my chair in humble sufferance of the power of the tornado ravaging my muscles, nerves and mind. I cannot move or breathe without gasping in acknowledgement to the power of this retched parasite that paralyses and torments me. But I know it won’t be long before the soothing numbness of complete apathy will slide across me, leaving me carefree, numb. Better numb that the violence of the storm, the searing heat from nerves on fire which strikes over and over slashing at my spirit to keep going.
But I will keep going, the race is not over yet, the medication is here, is starting to wrap itself around me like soothing arms, hands caressing pain away. This is what it’s for, but this is not the reason I can tolerate the storm that hits me daily, every 4 to 5 hours or so. It’s not the thought that I can have these mind numbing meds so all will be fine. The reason I keep going is that I am loved, I am cherished, and I have arms around me all day, every day, love that calms the savage beast of pain within me, far more than any other drug. Perhaps it is a form of drug, I really can’t get enough and it is the reason I continue despite the barriers I face, the prognosis I face. I am loved by my wife, my Angel Carol, loved by my children, my Mother (despite her own loss and the loss we all feel, she oozes unconditional love), and the love of my wider family. But the main comfort I have through this dreadful time is that from my Angel, it is not an exaggeration to say that without her love I would not be here now; without her unconditional cherishment of me I could not carry on. My Angel is the reason I take a breath, the meaning behind all I do. All I aspire to achieve is for her. I am utterly in love with my Angel and this is how I can and will cope with anything my body puts me through. My Angel is the answer to the reason I continue every day.