CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

How would you cope?

Once again it's raining in the UK and my entire body is screaming out in pain because of the humidity, which according to the BBC is 95% today. That's not to say things are perfect on days when it isn't raining, but when it does, it's so much worse and, it happens more often here.

My muscles burn as if I have a fever, I have all manner of other flu-like symptoms, my neck, back and shoulders ache, my legs ache, my knees are incredibly painful too, in fact everywhere hurts.

My head aches, my eyes are permanently sore. Immediately I stand up it feels like multiple-gravity is weighing me down and I feel overwhelming fatigue and an incredible urge to sit down. Walking to the opposite side of the room is exhausting enough to make me breathless.

If I sit in a chair, with my feet down to the floor, my feet begin to go numb and I get pain in my shins and ankles within seconds, while the latter swell like balloons. The toothache-like pain I still have in my hip after a fall 7 years ago makes sitting incredibly painful anyway, so the only comfortable position is lying down with my feet up.

Now, because I don't have a comfortable position at the computer, I quickly get aching arms and a terrible pain in my hands and wrists that I've not had before.

There's a time on most days when I am crying in pain. Even the constant dull aches are bad enough to make me nauseous and, on many occasions, the pain becomes sharp and sudden enough to take my breath away.

My sleep is disturbed too, mostly because of the pain: either I can't get to sleep until the early hours or I wake up early in the morning, which leaves me exhausted and incapable of concentrating on anything of consequence.

Additionally, I no longer have my double bed with superior latex mattress and heat pad that was the only way I could manage this pain, even in Tenerife's climate. Here, I find the bed so uncomfortable and it makes matters worse. On more than one occasion, I've woken up and, you know when you're still in that half-asleep, half-awake stupor, midway between dream and reality ... I've ached so much that I've thought, I'll be OK, as soon as I can lie down.

A split second more awake and, I realise that I'm already lying down.

Nine days out of 10 in Tenerife, I could manage ordinary, day-to-day things.

Nine days out of 10 in the UK I simply can't.

The constant pain is close to unbearable and I truly don't know how much more I can take.

Pamela is a former accountant, recovering journalist and international cat herder, disabled and chronically sick with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Cervical spondylosis, fluent in three languages; English, Spanish and Rubbish. Mostly writes in the latter. She likes Genealogy, Model Railways and Cats.

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