Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thing a week 11 - I’ve been ill and I don’t like it.

On Wednesday I woke up and couldn’t hear properly with my right ear. This was an irritation at worst, inconvenient at best, but I thought nothing of it. I’d probably been sleeping funny, and since I’ve been sleeping unusually well lately I decided to take the rough with the smooth and got on with my day. I figured at some point I would get that strange pop sensation as in a plane or when climbing a mountain and my hearing of the right hand side of the universe would be returned to me.

By lunch time I had a dull pain spreading through the right side of my head and it felt like that side of my head was swelled up and I had a constant dull thud, thud, thud pulsating through my senses. It went beyond my hearing. Thud, I could feel the pulse in the back of my jaw, almost taste it. Thud, I could see see the pulse as a flash behind my eye, of the kind that used to come just before an insomnia nightmare migraine. Thud, vertigo, a strange sensation that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before, I certainly don’t remember it. My balance left me and I stumbled. I had to catch my self, support myself arm outstretched to the wall and stand still, eyes closed, until it passed. Thud. Thud. Thud. I took some paracetamol and the sensation passed and I was left with only the dulling of all noise to the right, a slight clumsiness and the self-knowledge that no matter what the mirror was trying to tell me my head had swelled to at least twice its normal size and still undulated to a now lazy but constant thud.

Then night fell and discomfort rose. Sleep, so often for me a distant prospect at best, was not even a blip on the horizon. Constant pain. Constant Thud. Faster Thuds as the pain grows, intensifies and becomes more acute. There have been times in my life when such a constant and immediate reassurance that my heart was still beating loud and strong and constant to the point when I could experience it with all my senses and it was overloading my perceptions to the point of exquisite agony would have been a welcome blessing. But not now. Not here. More pain killers. I plead with my body for some peace, a brief respite for sleep. It hurts to lay down my head and the room spins as my head moves. The pain relief overtakes the thudding and I feel the unpleasantness of being drunk. As I eventually fall asleep I apologise to all the glasses of water that helped me through the day.

Thursday started as Wednesday ended and painkillers became a part of breakfast. They were a regular companion for the next few days to be honest. The whole world became more distant. Dulled and somehow further away. No longer just the right hand side. The painkillers had taken all of me away to a place that was so similar to that wonderful terrible state that an insomniac knows so well. I can’t adequately describe it other than a dullness, a detachment from the world. A second hand experience from your own eyes. It’s a state of mind normally reserved for the insomniac and the new parent. Stay awake for a few days and keep functioning. You’ll find it. I realised this on Saturday. That’s when I decided to put the painkillers to one side and deal with the pain otherwise. I’d allow the pills to help me sleep, if I needed them, but I’d not walk willingly back to that distant world.

Now it’s Sunday evening and the pain has largely gone. I’m left with a slight ache behind my right ear and I still can’t hear properly on that side. I can hear the sea, as if I had water in my ear from a swim and the ocean refuses to leave, but I think my body has the ear infection mostly on the ropes. I feel on the mend.

Now after all that self indulgent whining I'll end this dirge of a blog before I go full emo. We all know you should never go full emo.

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