The problem with pain


Here I am in the New Year. Fresh starts and new beginnings and goals and hope and all that stuff. And I’m starting the year as one of the “lucky” people: I have a home, I have friends, I have family; I have excess of everything I need.

But it’s day 5 of 2015, and I am already feeling like it’s just all too hard.


Not the reconstructed ankle – that is amazingly good. In fact, I’ve been tracking down fun runs and training guides and bothering my physio to teach me to run again.

But the thing is, in the last few months my left Achilles has completely lost the plot. It’s swollen and scarred and shooting flames of pain and discouragement up my leg like there’s no tomorrow. And when it is doing a particularly enthusiastic job of this, I almost wish there was no tomorrow. No, I’m not a suicide risk. But if you have ever lived with pain, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s a constant reminder that I still have a bloody long way to go.

It’s a stab in the guts that sends the very clear message that even though my ankle is recovering beautifully, I still can’t do what I aimed to be doing. After seven years, this is beyond a blow. I’ve done the waiting. I’ve done the surgery. I’ve done the recovery. I’m doing the physio. And it is still not enough. Basically, I’m walking around feeling a bit like this:


I want to be all inspirational and shit, and tell you how I’m fighting it and offer a list of search-engine friendly hints and tips for managing pain – but I’ve got nothing.

The other element to this, though, is the way the pain and resulting lack of sleep makes me behave, and react.

I’m a fucking turd.

I’m cranky and I’m short with people and I’m anti-social. I want to avoid stuff that makes it worse, but I have a blatant inability to say no. I’m also stupidly stubborn, which is why there’s a roast in the slow cooker.

The problem is, I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be that cranky, limping, growly, avoidant person. I’ve worked my arse off to be where I am now, and everything is still, still impossibly hard. I wanted to be running. I wanted to be booking fun runs, not just admiring them from afar. But here I am. On the couch.

I just did a dash to the pharmacy and pelted the pharmacist with tears and words and limps and questions. He sent me home with a cream that is really poorly spelled, but apparently good for this kind of thing. I’m putting my hope and faith and trust into a cream that is grammatically incorrect. It’s a quandry, one my anal little brain has to get around.

I’ve been keeping busy:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And I am trying to do the right things. It’s just such a fucking blow, especially at this stage in my recovery with my ankle.

Solutions? Well, my GP is throwing ideas and approaches at me. But it comes down to something I don’t feel like I have a lot of: time. Because this pain is ludicrous. Because I’m quickly becoming a horrible person. Because I’m rapidly giving up.

So to distract myself, I keep hooking. I throw endless tennis balls. I drink coffee and try really hard to not be a turd.

I do have one good story to kick you off for the year: I was having a merry wee on the loo the other day, and as is my habit, I was singing enthusiastically to myself. I turned my head slightly to the left, and locked eyes with our neighbour. I pretended not to see him and tilted myself forward and scrubbed the vanity.

Time and place, friends. Time and place.

How’s your new year going so far?


One response »

  1. oh you poor love, i had surgery last year on both legs for a long term problem and whilst it worked, other foot problems caused by being in pain for so long have remained. Including both achilles. It is so bloody frustrating, I hear what you are saying. I can’t offer much, but I hear you xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s