Life is full of surprises. Five or six weeks ago I thought my future was very bleak. The winter had been very hard on me with regard to pain and my disease has progressed quite a lot in the last year. I thought that my quality of life was becoming poor and I could not see how I could show my dogs. I have always said that once I got to the point that the quality of my life was such that each day was a chore, it would be time for me to opt out.
I had a chance conversation with a person in Tesco’s who was taking the drug gabapentin which helps them with their spinal cord damage. As I have the same problems it stayed in my mind.
A few days later I made an appointment to see my doctor because I had reached the end of my rope and I asked her about this drug gabapentin. Elizabeth smiled at me and just said “what a good idea”!
I am completely astonished at the difference it has made. From the very first dose I slept for six hours without waking up. I have slept well most nights since. I have not slept like this for years because of pain. I would wake every hour and have to get out of bed or just change my position which was difficult. Often I slept sitting up in bed or sitting on the recliner armchair downstairs. The drug does not sedate me. What it does is acts as a nerve block. Therefore I am not in pain whilst asleep.
I had been with out good sleep for so long that I had not really realised the effect that it has on me. I am not such a grumpy sod after all! My good mood and sunny disposition is my natural self not the result of drugs making me high which is what I thought at first.
Other people have also commented on how well I look how I have colour in my face and how I do not look pitched and in pain. This pleases me although at the same time I am really surprised because I thought I covered well.
This is not a miracle cure. I have learned that even with good pain relief I am still affected with fatigue from doing the same activities.I may not be feeling the pain as strongly but it still has its affect on my body. It also has done nothing for my balance nor has it taken away the need to use walking sticks or my wheelchair.
I went to a major show on Sunday for the first time since last July. I really enjoyed myself and had forgotten just how much I enjoyed these events. Because John was with me I was able to use my wheelchair and I spent most of my time sitting in that apart from when I was in the ring and because of my tablets I felt pretty good. However I started to have serious problems with my gut by the late afternoon. When I awoke the following day I was extremely tired and my gut was the worst it has been for a long time. So what I now know is that the stress on my body has to express itself somehow! Fortunately one of my medications will stop the gut spasms so that I will not have my dog show days ruined.
However I am extremely pleased with my current situation.
I am also very pleased that I finally have a vehicle that is suitable for me. I know that it would appear to be sensible that a disabled person would understand what their needs are but in fact I have learned this but slowly. The car which I have been driving for the last year, and the previous car, were not at all suitable for somebody with my difficulties. I have to say that none of these things crossed my mind.
I did not realise that if I drove a a car with an automatic transmission it would be much less wear and tear on me. I also did not know that I could have a wheelchair Crane fitted into the back of a car with a suitable opening.
If you read my blog yesterday you will know that I now have a fully automatic Ford Galaxy a seven seater MPV. It has a crane in the back and what looks like a remote control which I used to get it to lift my wheelchair up move it out and down onto the ground and vice versa. The freedom this gives me is thrilling.
One of the things I find so exciting about life and keeps me interested is that there is always something new to learn. I have learned a lot about my needs recently and also about my personality.
There is a man who I meet a few times a week at the swimming pool. He is more agile and mobile then I am and he goes there to swim every day. He is 90 years old!. I fully intend to be doing my swimming when I am that age.
I prefer to swim along the edge of the pool so that when and if I have spasms I can easily grab hold of the wall because I would be able to do that more quickly than a lifeguard would notice I was in trouble. The thing that surprises me is that when I get in to the pool if that lane is occupied by another swimmer they nearly always move to allow me to use it. I have never asked anybody to do so and I would not dream of doing so. I am touched by their kindness. Even this 90 year old man moves for me.
Give yourself a Gold Star if you read this far! xoxo