End of the Rope
"Oh I'm at the end of the rope with these kids" they will moan, and proceed to allow them to carry on doing the same stuff they have been getting away with for days and weeks at a time. Money problems, attitudes, other people - an awful lot of people will say this saying over and over again, but they throw it around as much as they "hate" this or "hate" that.
You don't hate it, you just don't like it. Quite a difference.
As Inigo Montoya once said, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
But I digress.
When I say I reach the end of my rope, I mean just that. If I carry on, I will fall. You may have noticed, that since Thursday morning when I was "whining" about how rough I felt, I have all but disappeared off the face of the earth. One lovely lady on Twitter chased me up to make sure I was OK, but other than that, my contact with the online world has been limited to hiding on WoW, saving Azeroth. My Twitter and My Facebook have both been neglected because I've just felt too crappy.
So let me retrace my steps... FYI: Long Post, ranting and pain ahead..
Last week, I felt shit. Proper, sat-on-the-path-and-stepped-in shit. My hands hurt, my legs hurt, my joints hurt, my neck and shoulders hurt. I hadn't really done much, but I felt crappy. Wednesday morning I got out of bed and nearly fell back into it, not because I had done anything, but because I hurt so much.
That was six in the morning. I then spent fifteen minutes putting on boxers, shorts and a tee shirt. And, when I say "I then spent fifteen minutes putting on boxers, shorts and a tee shirt" please don't think oh he's so dramatic or anything. I hurt so much, THAT is how long it took to apply three items of clothing. I couldn't do my socks - my body refused to bend. At eight that morning, I managed to get one on, and the second one on by nine. Now, I didn't spend all morning trying to put my socks on, but I swallowed a handful of meds and tried, then tried a bit later, then had another shot.
And so on.
Thursday, because it was nice, because it was cheaper, and because it is probably better for me, I cycled Tam to school instead of sitting my chunky backside on the bus. However, my bike could use some work, but because A) I can't afford someone to actually do the work, or B) I don't know anyone willing to fix it's issues for free, riding my bike involves some effort.
Tam had to keep slowing down for me because I kept running out of steam. I took my meds about 45 minutes before we left, and before we even made it halfway, I wanted to cry. By the time we made it to school - 45 minutes later - I wanted to die. The thought of riding BACK just filled me with dread.
I got on. I almost fell off. I tried again, but my body refused to comply. Being that buses refuse to accept bikes on board, I had one option. Push it home.
So after a 45 minute ride, I then had an hour-and-a-bit of a walk back home. I got in, wheeled the bike through the house, and proceeded to launch it out the back door. I was hurting to the point I was crying without realising it, I was frustrated because I used to run cross country and was fit as anything, I was upset because I KNOW I am getting worse, and that bike was the current source of anger and hate and pain and frustration.
My bike is still laying on the ground in the back garden.
After taking more meds - probably earlier than I should have - I flopped on the sofa to chill out. I stuck Avatar on - the extended version (oooh flash!) and proceeded to pass out. Tiredness, exhaustion, too many meds - I don't know, but I didn't wake up till half two when Kellie rang to see how I was doing.
Friday the kids went back to their mums, and Tam was happy to take the bus to school Friday morning. I wasn't - I was pissed off I HAD to take the bus, but it was all I could do to walk, let alone drag my bike back in.
We were out Friday evening - being that it was James' birthday (36, though he will strenuously deny it) and a group of us were heading to the casino.
Now, before you happen to judge me (not that my regular readers will, but I'm feeling all stroppy, so..) we don't go to the casino very often. When we're there, it's for the laugh of it. We know the house always wins, we know there are no systems nor methods nor techniques to win, and we know that we're probably going to burn in hell for gambling (well, maybe/probably), but still.
Added to this, I can't gamble. I don't mean "I don't gamble" and I don't mean "I am bad at gambling" but literally, I can't gamble. We think it's one of my OCD talents coming out to play, but when given the choice of all those numbers, rows, columns, groups, and TWO colours, my brain shorts out and I just stare like that dead goldfish bobbing around in the water current.
So, I go to socialise, Kellie goes to win our fortunes. On the 50p bet tables. Give her a few years, and we'll be rich.
I felt like deep fried crap, but wasn't going to cancel. It was my friends birthday, I needed a night out, and it was a chance to catch up with people and pretend like I am a NORMAL person.
So, before we left, I dosed up on all my painkillers, AND took some flu medication for good measure as I feel all gross at the moment too. I don't know if I have something coming, something leaving, or it's just a mixture of all my aches and pains and general yucky stuff...
A few pints later, I was a BIT tipsy. Now, as a general rule, I don't get drunk. Kellie has never seen me hammered, James & Kerry have never seen me drunk, Ed & Les have never seen me drunk, and Kevin has never seen me drunk.
But, add shit-loads of pain, add pain meds, add cold meds, add a few pints on an empty stomach, and voila! Slightly drunk Dan. What doesn't help my case is two individual items that people see and assume "Drunk" where in actual fact, it's just me. They see me having had a few drinks, and just assume I am pissed.
For one, when I am in lots of pain, I can't focus my words right, and I slur. I trip and stumble over my words and people just assuming I've had a couple of drinks at lunch time. No, really. Search 0ddness for "slurring" and I am sure something will pop out about it in relation to me being in pain.
Secondly, my movements. We left home at about half five, in a car, got to James & Kerrys and got in their car, got to the casino at about half six. And were stood up the entire evening. I can't stand up straight at the best of times, let alone when I have had a shit week. So I am not standing up straight. Slumped, slouched, fidgeting, leaning against things... You get the idea.
So, add some beers, see someone staggering and hear them slurring, Dan's pissed. Granted, I was a bit drunk, but I was so far away from being pissed it's not even funny. The worst part is, these people have seen me drink PINTS of beer and be fine, then suddenly, I'm about to pass out I'm so drunk on a few!?
I know I know, I'm being all defensive and stuff. At the end of my rope, you might say. And the worst thing is, someone strongly denying they are drunk just makes it look like they are defending themselves even more about being drunk.
We got in somewhere around 2am, and being that I was "so drunk" I cleared up the carnage of destruction we made before we left with the ironing board, Kellies hair and make-up stuff, put dirty clothes in the basket, tidied up the washing up, sorted out a drink and stuff... THEN I went to bed.
Saturday morning I got up and my legs could hardly support me. I nearly fell on Kellie as I stood up. So I sat on the edge of the bed, braced myself and stood before heading downstairs, nearly falling arse-over-tit over Gimli, the black cat hiding on the dark stairs. For the most part, I chilled out Saturday, and Sunday, still in agony, I was planning on doing very little. I did a bit of washing up, then washed down the side-by-the sink. Then cleared the window ledge and rearranged the plant pots... Then cleared up some papers...
Three hours later, the kitchen is spotless, and I am fucked once again. So for the rest of the day, I've done nothing. Played a bit more WoW, watched some episodes of Monk, got the kids sorted for bed, watched a movie, and now, here I am, bemoaning my pains, moaning about me and myself.
But it's my blog, why shouldn't I. There are people out there - possibly even you reading this - that think my pain is over-dramatised, that I blow normal aches and pains out of proportion, that I make it up for sympathy, for attention, for someone to say "there there".
But I don't. And now, being that I am at the end of my rope, you can think whatever you like. I'm done with hearing back from people that you think it's all in my head. I'm done with your facial expressions when I say "I've not worked for years due to chronic pain"
I wouldn't even wish for you to walk a mile in my shoes. If you don't get it - don't get me - then so be it. There's the door. I'd rather you just wandered off into the night than fed me false pity. I don't WANT pity. I want to stop hurting. Next time you're complaining that you are in pain, think about that pain across your WHOLE body, and nothing you can do stops it. For days on end. Think about laying in bed wondering if you will feel better in the morning, but are happy when the morning comes, and it's just "the same" pain and not "worse" pain. Think about that half hour walk you took with your kids earlier - now consider that you will pay for that for the rest of the day, and all of tomorrow with pain. Think about that book you've just read - hell, think about that CHAPTER you just read - now try and remember what it was about, and imagine how it must feel to read something then have NO IDEA what you just read...
This week, I am going back to the doctors. I believe I have given these new meds sufficient time at a sufficient dose to help me out.
I am taking more co-codamol than I have in , well, ever. The Pregabalin is doing nothing. I am going to ask to be referred to the Pain Management Clinic and the CFS/ME Specialist. I need something to be done to fix me. I'll take "improved" over fixed. I'll take not wanting to cry when cooking dinner takes the wind out of my sails over anything. I don't care if I can't be "cured" I just want to be "better than I am" and not have hollow platitudes like "Mind Over Matter" and "Push Through It" and "Get Over It" thrown at me again and again.
I am, very literally, at the end of my rope. And unless I get a hand climbing back up, I'm worried I'm going to fall off the end*.
And with that, at midnight, I bid you all a goodnight**.
*No, this isn't a euphemism for offing myself.
**No, nor is this.