Category Archives: Books & Reading

Changes

How did it even get to this?

Ten months ago I could do everything myself – dress, shower, wash, get or make food, work, walk… Somehow, thanks to some twisted version of a whole host of events I can do none of these things alone. I have to wait for someone else to help dress me, wash me, walk me… Any dignity I had is now firmly out the window.

I still can’t get my head around having my independence taken away from me. I have always had mental health issues, and that is one thing – but to not to be able to move or breathe without immense pain, get up from the bed/floor/my beanbags without my brain exploding with agony, or go to the bathroom without psyching myself up for the trip or asking for help… even the option of reading a real book  has been taken away, because I can’t hold them anymore because they feel too heavy.

That last one really hurts. I’ve loved books since I been breathing. I had a library card from virtually about the time I was born. I was out with kids’ books and into Agatha Christie by the time I was about 11 or 12. I used to set reading time goals for myself and work hard to break them. I used to keep really detailed records of it to make sure I was getting better, reading longer books in the shortest amount of time. Now I’m reduced to reading the books on the Kindle/Kobo apps on my iPad – nothing against them, per se, it’s just that there’s nothing like holding and reading a real book. There’s several still on the bookcase that I got before I got ill, and I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to read them again.

My fingers, hands and wrists hurt a lot, taking things I took for granted away from me. I was even starting to get my head around maybe I wouldn’t be able to walk well for much longer before his all happened. But to have all my body mainly taken away from me to a greater or lesser extent… That’s come as a quite a shock. It hurts in more ways than one, which just makes it all the worse. I keep waiting for the meds to work, or to find something else that eases the pain so I can do the few things that make me happy. Like reading a real book. It’s sometimes even very painful to type, or – worse still – use the game controllers for my Xbox 360 or Wii U, or the mouse on my Mac. And that’s just as bad. Not being able to move, or type, or use a mouse has stopped me from being able to work – but I’m still not entirely sure that’s worse than not being able to play games…

In all seriousness, though, since I am not able to actually do my work for now, the few things I have to occupy my hyperactive brain are games, writing, reading, maybe watching some interesting TV shows… Not doing data analysis or playing with databases. Not going out to work, or earning my own money. The boredom sometimes drives me to distraction, especially when it’s difficult to move my hands and fingers and I can’t even play. At those times I’m glad that I can at least watch some pretty shows or movies, and listen to some classical music – or better still, the soundtracks to Mass Effect 2 and 3.

I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that chronic pain sucks. It also sucks even more when you don’t even know why, or whether it will go away – or at least ease a little with meditation. So far, the meds aren’t working and I can’t take the good painkillers. I feel stuck in limbo, and I’m clutching to the few things I can at least still do, even if they’re not much. Of course, everything else just makes it worse – it’s not good to be like this when you also have mental health issues and depression and stuff… Talk about them all making each other worse.

It’s not all bad. Some days have those little things that just make you smile or feel better. I just wish they were slightly less few and far between. But until I feel a little better, I can say that something I am really grateful for (apart from my family and dog) is Kindle and Kobo. At least with them I can actually read at least… And in many cases, save money to do so too! That’s definitely one of those little things that makes me smile.