Friday, June 03, 2005

Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout

This morning as the sound of my scout's voice wafted through the door I stuck my arm up to hit the radio. And then quickly withdrew it. I attempted the manoevere again to no avail. I tried to shift myself into a better position. The moment I did that it seemed as if someone had grabbed hold of my middle and twisted my upper and lower body in different directions. Which, by all the normal laws of physics, should not happen.

Stop it with the twisting, I yelled.

Or I would have done if there had been any point. Or any actual twisting, rather than just the shooting pain across my middle. Instead I settled for feebly and gingerly edging myself over.

Would you stop it with the twisting, you f**ker.

No, it wasn't working. I rolled over again, vaguely glad of the fact that there was no one present to observe the sight of me behaving like an arthritic eighty year old. Albeit one wearing miffy pyjamas. When I'd gotten myself into a position where the first thought was not to shout some heavy duty expletives, I looked down to my middle, just to check that my body was still in the correct alignment and that the lower half of hadn't popped round the wrong way during the night, like some defunct store manequin. No, everything seemed to be as it should. My feet were still the right way round.

But that didn't solve the issue of the twisting feeling, or the aching pain that was gathering around my right hand side. My back had been sore for most of the week, but I'd put it down to the beds at Evil Eye. They might want to invest in matresses for those things. But this couldn't be the reason for the twisting.

As I was pondering whether it was going to be feasible for me to find my painkillers or whether I was going to need the heavy duty morphine, I realised what I'd missed given my preoccupation with the twisting. My throat felt rather like it had been scraped with a sharp metal instrument. My nose felt clogged in that particularly unattractive way that requires extensive blowing. And I knew what the twisting pain was telling me.

You're getting ill. [Cue cackle and some more twisting].

It's not that I have some particularly developed, over-articulate hip bone, but ever since my haematologist in his wisdom thought it necessary to stick a wacking great needle in there to suck out some of the bone marrow, my hip has been a fool proof indicator of illness. It's a shame that it can't indicate something more useful. Like the lottery numbers. But instead it contents itself with gleefully announcing that I am about to be ill. Now I don't know the reason for this, maybe it's just that when I'm ill I'm more susceptible to feeling its odd pains. But I've come to see its activities as a warning light for when I should abandon my plans, curl up in bed and fester in my own illness.

I guess I probably should have seen this coming in that I haven't been properly ill since Christmas. That's probably the longest time I've gone since my immune system first started playing havoc. Which I count as a good thing, a real life indication of what the blood tests statistically say. But I equally know that when I get ill, I have to stop and accept it. There's no point me trying to battle through it, doing as I did in sixth form and attending lessons with a scarf wrapped around my head because I had the earache from hell, because my body doesn't work like that anymore. Just in the way that it can't pull those all night work fests that it used to be able to do. Maybe, in its own little way, my hip enacting the twisting, torture mechanism of its own creation is making sure that I don't keep going. That I retreat to somewhere warm and quiet until I feel better and it can stop the twisting.

So today I pretty much did that, I turned up the heating, slunk off back to bed with a copy of Dealer's Choice*, some ibuprofen and a lemsip or twelve. Tonight the twisting pain has moved into being what I can only describe as toothache down my hip and thigh. So on its behest I've cancelled my plans to go to the theatre and have pencilled in an afternoon with Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake.

Tomorrow, if everything goes to schedule, you can look forward to me blogging about my phlegm. Nice.

*Paddy's first play if anyone is wondering. I'm re-reading his oevre in light of my current obsession.

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