Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.







For those who don't know me I live in constant pain: cramps, compression on the legs, mysterious aches... it's horrible but one learns to cope with it, using drugs, breathing exercises and, erm, sheer courage.

The cause is a severe deterioration of the nervous system in the lower part of my body, originally caused by radiotherapy in massive doses to treat a dangerous cancer in 1967. The second dose in 1971, for the lungs, is what causes my breathing problems but that doesn't hurt much. It's just inconvenient to feel like you're drowning.

But last night, boy, have you ever been hit in the privates by a cricket ball? Have you ever been fairly badly scalded or burned? Have you ever been stung by a bee on the eyelid? Have you ever had a 240v electric shock throw you across the room? This pain was everywhere and because it wasn't a real pain caused by something somewhere but a nerve pain coming out of nowhere it filled the whole world, my entire body, my whole existence. It lasted about 90 minutes.

At the start I thought it would go away quickly as these things often do, but it got worse and worse and worse. I was moaning, crying, gasping for breath and eventually screaming. I took all the Tramadol that I dared take and all the special heavy drug I have for nerve pain. and then three paracetamol on top.

Cora was brilliant; she got me breathing; she did all kinds of things to distract me while the drugs slowly began to cut in. And eventually, one and a half hours later it became tolerable and I was able to sleep. I feel dreamy today.

What I learned form all this is that my everyday pain which I would once have described as agony is , in fact, nothing. I now know what torture feels like, I think. Perhaps I have a hint of what the last hours and minutes of childbirth might be like, I don't know. In any case I'm kind of glad it happened, though afraid it might come again.

Because now I know that I can take more than what was oppressing me and I can laugh off my everyday suffering. This is a huge bonus. I was ever so cheerful when my neighbour asked me how I was and I told him straight for once. The neighbours sometimes hear me crying out in the calm of a Cornish night, you see. I want to reassure them.

Big experience kicks smaller experience into the void... seems to be what I learned last night. Better take some more Tramadol, though, just to be safe.

And some people, people I saw in hospital, go through even more than that. And some people, I know a woman with spinal problems, are in agony every single moment no matter what they do. I'm grateful that my suffering is reasonably under control and any time I get when I'm not in pain I sometimes find myself laughing for no reason at all, just because life is so easy.

I'm not sure how this will help anyone with their business problems but if money worries was all I had going against me I'd be in heaven, really.

p.s. no herbal cure recommendation, please; this is so far beyond what trivial solutions might reach and offering me lame advice would just make me angry.









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Annie Heggie

annh-172025

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

Wow, what an experience & I complained about my more than once a night both leg cramps which have stopped thanks to Mary Miller & IChingsystems, worked for me could help you

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John Paul

johnpaul-94865

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

Steve, you remind us of the triviality of most peoples pain - it's just sad that you have it and frankly have to exhibit it to create some perspective.

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John Murray

johnmurray12-703381

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

Steve Really sorry to hear this and hope you don't go through it again. Keep your chin up and great to see you are able to keep it in perspective. Best wishes John

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Andreas Wiedow

andreas_wiedow

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

How's your yoga going on ?

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Jo Berry

joberry-638766

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

I had babies without pain relief and though it took me to my limit it is very different to the pain your describe as it has purpose, an end and always choices. Your pain you describe has no purpose or reason and is operating in the unknown with no knowing what will stop it or the reason or when it will come back. Thanks for sharing with us, you inspire me to live more fully and laugh more today.The love you and Cora have touches me deeply and not for the first time!

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Derek Sorensen

dereksorensen-69312

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

I've never endured pain like you describe, Steve, and I hope I never do. That "other people suffer more" is something we all understand in an abstract sense but to hear of the extreme pain of someone you care about is a lesson in perspective. When I first damaged my back I thought it the most agonizing thing I had ever experienced; I managed some little sleep over those first few nights but it was tortured by nightmarish images, a metaphor for the pain I wasn't experiencing physically. I think pain almost always seems worse at night. Something you said: "... I'm kind of glad it happened, though afraid it might come again.": It's so strange that when terrible things happen, when they are over, we feel grateful for the experience even though we hope it will never be repeated. As if living through an immediate, focussed terror helps us come to terms with the general terrors of day-to-day existence.

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Maurice Poole

mauricepoole-96500

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

Sorry to hear of your dreadful suffering, Steve. I hope there will not be any recurrence of an event like that. For your interest, amongst your list of discomforts, yes I have had a bee sting my eyelid when a lad, but as for 240V throwing one across the room, I have had many electric shocks but the worst were in an industrial setting when I had 530V DC across hand to hand and for several minutes felt the jolt in my elbows. But it did not throw me anywhere. Neither event seems to describe to me what you had to endure. The first tells me of emergent knowledge of allergic reaction, the other made me the more determined to complete the job I'd started and I did just that, but only after collecting another jolt from right hand to left ankle. I have told few of it till now, but lessons were learned I assure you!   Maurice

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Carolyn Williams

carolynwilliams-253741

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

Being able to nurse you through that kind of pain is the bonus and sounds as if your incredible lady Cora does just that!. The only understanding of that being able to cope/control that level of pain will come from my daughter Steve. Suffering an e'coli induced abscess on her kidney she ended up having to seek out the pain management team in hospital, as she was on morphine, tramadol you name it she yelled for it. There was so much going into her drip I thought I'd never get her back sober.... But the secret is about the nursing, calm and care and LOVE. You have 'bucket loads' of that. I wish you a painfree weekend and a loving cuddle with Cora, lady love in your life. A scene looking over Mumbles, Punch Lane Cliffs to Langland from my trail trek earlier C;)x

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Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

katieellenhazeldine-186355

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

How weird. I had something like that last night, had to use codeine which I generally avoid, I've been knocked out most of the day in consequence. I kept dreaming about the Moon card and rockpools. Very sad and sorry to think of you in such pain, sorry for Cora, too. I know what you mean about the crying out. I once looked for a dog that was whimpering,as I was putting washing to air, to realise there was no dog . Pain being severe, I must have removed part of myself from myself. Freedom from pain, what a joy, freedom from fear... Grace is a healing chalice. Grace is many things, but I think one of those things is the ability...maybe it's a mattter of temperament, to find happiness in a moment, joy in small things outside ourselves

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Robert Craven

robert-craven-22343

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

RSH Thanks for sharing... your reality... your personal point of view. RC

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Martin Dewhurst

martin-dewhurst-30038

Phew, I learned a lifetime lesson last night.

Three letters come to mind as I read this ... wow. It's incredible what the human body can stand and still live on. And I can only imagine how relieved Cora must be to see you reach the other side of such an episode. And for you a glimpse of your own strength, as if you needed it, ever. Big experience kicks smaller experience into the void... 100% agree. You're amazing Mr H.

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