I have been attempting a couple of half days the past two days. But I have failed miserably. I have attempt to do some work this week since last week was a write off but I am still finding it difficult to sleep now.
Oh, did I mention this? I don't think I did. Since I acquired my new cast, my ability to sleep has been impossible. I can't sleep with it off and I can't sleep with it on. I have been getting maybe an hour here or there but fractured sleep isn't sleep at all in my opinion. I don't think anyone would agree with me more. So, I am back to feeling like a useless dork and having to survive on little sleep and what work I can manage. In other words, I am still a bump on a log. Who knew I would become so agitated at sitting still. I guess I am having to learn a new skill. I thought for a while that it would be EASY to sit around and do nothing all day. I quote a famous adventurer:
"You sound like someone who has everything they got and, now, they don't want what they got."
Yah, it is true. I think that deep down, there is a small part of us that wants to just sit around and watch Married With Children all day. I don't see a problem with that. But, now that I am being told that is all I am supposed to be doing -- it is driving me slightly nuts.
Anyway. Today, I got a short treat. I was allowed to go out. I was allowed to leave the house and visit the outside world. Allyson is not happy about this because it has only been a couple of weeks since my surgery and she is not wanting me to injure myself but I think she recognized that I was going nuts at home. I was running out of books. I was complaining like a two year old child. Honestly, I don't think she could take it any more. I wanted attachment. I wanted to see the outside world just once this week.
Thus, I was granted a short breakfast visit to The Edge Cafe. It was glorious! I love that place. The people are great, the food is decent, and it wasn't my sofa. It is the small things we fall in love with, isn't it?
While I was there, I was able to get a photograph on my tablet of me looking very... well, me.
I got my third cast today. It is a plastic piece of equipment that I can take on an off. I was told not to take it off for a couple of weeks as it would cause me pain and they would prefer if my leg was motionless for as long as possible.
A weird request, I thought. Why would I take this damn thing off? I don't want to take it off. It may be a bad idea to take it off considering my surgery was only a week and a bit ago.
But, according to what they have told me, there are many people who think that since surgery is done and they start feeling better, they re-break the ankles by stepping on them too soon and do some interesting damage -- titanium screws working on some creative carving. I intend to keep my screws in place and not do anything stupid. I am terrified of messing up the doctor's good work.
As a matter of fact, I am feeling a whole lot more lucid these past few days. I am still in pain and taking medication but I am weaning my way off them. I had a bad incident late last week when I forgot to take my medication and my regular pain killers. You see, something they failed to tell me is why I am supposed to take the Hydromorphone and the Acetaminophen together. The other night I forgot to take the Acetaminophen. About an hour passed when I found out. Unfortunately, it was also 4am.
You have never felt head pain like that. (Unless you've had a large iron bar passed through the centre of your head.) I wanted to die. It was one of the first times in my life when I felt that death would be preferable to the pain. It felt like a small black hole had formed inside of my head -- the dead centre -- and started to suck my soul into it. I cried. Pugs cuddled and looked worried. Ally looked on, unsure of what to do other than say reassuring things. But, wow, I hope never to feel pain like that ever again. I never forgot to take the secondary pain killer after that.
The ankle aches and is still very painful. I can't stretch it too far and the bone is very tender. But, dammit, this drug has to stop. As I mentioned, I am trying to get myself off these pain killers of doom. I am not needing them as much and am attempting to gauge my "real" pain level. Last week was a blur of activity and sleep. I don't remember a whole lot, a few bits and pieces but, really, I should have been hidden away in a quiet and dark place. I wrote a few blog posts and felt they were... too odd to post. If you've been following along with my blog history, that is saying a lot as I have posted some weird things in my time.
Wow. Pain. Not one of my favourite things to experience. I am sure none of you are fans of it either.
The last week and a bit I have been doing nothing but attempting to recover my sanity. It is very surprising just how quickly we can lose it. Since the surgery, my body has done into crazy repair time. I didn't know this would happen (we've all skinned our knee or bumped our funny bones, we tend to recover quickly, yes?) with such intensity. If there is something I have learned about myself it is that I don't understand my body as well as I think I do.
I have been high on pain medication and attempting to function properly. Have I been able to? Not in the slightest. I don't think I was prepared for this. I don't think I was prepared for any of it.
This is also the issue. My ability to think clearly is hampered by the very drug that is trying to keep me happy.
My word. I don't remember the last time I was confused this way. As a matter of fact, I don't remember ever feeling this confused. I do not recommend it. It is terrifying and amusing all in one tiny package. I tried to enjoy it the other day when I was thinking something stupid like "you should work a bit" or "it would be nice to take a walk".
Both are equally dumb ideas when you try to remember the last time you took a leak. I remember thinking that very thought just a few days ago. I was deep into a book (and feeling guilty that I wasn't working) and finding it impossible to follow the story line. It is a book I've read before but, hey, I couldn't recall any details what-so-ever. I was thinking about putting down the book when I mentally jumped into an internal monologue wondering when the last time I had taken a pee.
Normally, you don't really obsess over things like bathroom breaks but I was intense in my thinking. I was wondering about what time, when I had drank something last, and how would I get to the bathroom without crutches (yes, I had my crutches only two feet away). I spent some time going over the logistics of what surfaces I would lean on, would I need to crawl, or should I attempt hopping on one leg.
It was just crazy thinking. I also hear it is quite normal when you're recovering. I have to say, this sitting on the couch all day long thing is getting old. Guilt is creeping in from all sides (working, helping around the house, creative writing) and I have to keep telling myself that I should be taking better care of my ankle. I need to let it heal properly otherwise there will be problems down the road.
Drugs. They are not a good thing. They do help and are able to save us from all kinds of diseases. But pain killer medication is just evil (with a slight silver lining called pain relief) and it made me crazy this past week. I was unable to function properly.
And I lost control a few times. I surrendered to pain and all I did was cry. I didn't like it. I was in pain, yes, but the pain medication made it worse. Not in a painful way, but in way that made me unwilling to write or express myself. I turned inward and felt very alone.
The last six days have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, and an inability to appreciate just how vulnerable I am. I am grateful, don't get me wrong there. I am pleased that I will be able to walk again sometime in the near future...
(It will take months, I am told.)
...but I wonder if the price of losing small pieces of one's mind is worth it. It isn't the healing I am talking about but the method to control my comfort level. I am just borrowing trouble, most likely, but -- wow -- Dilaudid makes it very hard to concentrate on the recovery I am supposed to be conducting.
(You don't conduct recovery. You surrender to it.)
I am finding it very hard to think straight. I don't know if it is me just sitting around trying to work but failing really well at that or if it is the drug.
(Yes, it is the drug, Shane, it is. Don't you like me?)
There you have it. The drug has control and won't be giving it up for a little while longer. This is why I decided not to write anything this week. It all came out... weird. And not in an entertaining weird. A dark weird that even I couldn't embrace nor publish on my website. That is also saying something about me. Am I thinking differently for the long term or is this something new.
I don't think I even know.
There is nothing like hanging out with people. I have been sitting here for a week now. I have't gone anywhere. I have done anything. I haven't made plans. I haven't had beer. I haven't done a damn thing but feel lazy and out of sorts.
But that is the guilt talking.
But I had some good friends over today and we attempted to play The Game of Thrones board game. I hear this game is amazing once it gets going but we didn't get very far. It took far too long to unpack and I don't think we got through a single reading of the instructions.
It looks great, though. I can't wait to play it. But I have been tired. I think I am tired now. I should go to sleep.
Tomorrow, my friends. Tomorrow.