Running Out – a musing



Today I write of a strange vitality, the harsh wonder of experience. I am running out of painkillers, in a manner I had not anticipated, and while on a family holiday.

Having misjudged my situation I now have 7 Tramadol remaining. Aching from various mental stresses the day before yesterday (yes, mental stuff becomes physically manifest) I attempted buying Cocodamol here in Portugal…but left with strong Ibuprofen instead. Turns out you need a prescription for Coco.

Now I am down to rations.

I had thought I was doing well. No Cocodamol for months now, days off the herbal painkiller Kratom, as well as reduced doses. I brought none of it with me this holiday. I still do not think doing so was a mistake but I did badly miscalculate my needs.

To try and remedy it I had an extra Prozac yesterday. I know, I know, it has longer term effects, but based on how much of the holiday is left I thought the extra Serotonin would help my many pains.

Wish me luck.



I Am My Own Hero 2 – a musing

Part 2 – The Long Search Ends


From late 2010 I developed excruciating pain in my right wrist. it was so bad that I could barely think. I reached for as many painkillers as I could, every day. I had physiotherapy, used creams, did stretches, had ultrasound to loosen it, hot water bottles, ice packs, massage. All improvement was short term. The pain and stiffness was here to stay. Now the pain is far less but I lack a lot of the movement I used to have with that hand.

No conclusive cause found to explain the hand pain.

Late 2011 my left arm is numb when I wake up, shoulder extremely painful. I attend more physio, have more tests, do new stretches for the nerves, hospital visits, massage, and so on. Again, all improvement is short term and no cause is discovered.

Early 2012 I develop pain and stiffness in my neck and entire back. More tests, visits to a chiropractor, massage, more physio, new exercises which help my body overall but do nothing for the pain situation long term. No cause found.

Mid 2013 the left hand develops similar pains to the right. No cause found there either. Physiotherapy is ongoing from then until now, sporadically requested when the pain becomes too much. I experiment with everything I can. Herbal remedies, exercise, various painkillers, stretches, rest, meditation.

Late 2016 my request for part-time hours at work has led to a whole new battery of tests and a possibility arises. Fibromyalgia. I look back over my life, my entire life, and see that there was so much I didn’t pay attention to, realise how much of my daily life is effected by a myriad of symptoms. Pain, tiredness, anxiety, frequent urination, Fibro-fog (totally real, I didn’t believe it at first), terrible short term memory (my long term is excellent).

I am my own hero.

I always have been. I identified with all those others, Miles Vorkosigan, Lovecraft, Plath etc, because of the struggles and trials they had to deal with to do what they loved, what helped them to get through it. I look back and see that I have done the same. It makes me happy, and proud to be who I am. Writing has been my saviour, something to help develop myself, work towards goals, improve my knowledge. Writing is the only thing I care about in this vortex of unending pain and tiredness.

I’ve got time off until January 9th and I then return to work in 2017. I have spent this time rearranging my life, looking forward to my next steps now that I am armed with knowledge about myself and can plan with my capabilities, strengths and weaknesses known at last.

I am my own hero.

Who’s yours? What will you strive for in 2017, and your future?

Thanks for reading. =)



I Am My Own Hero 1 – a musing

Part 1 – Heroes

2016 was the year when I discovered that I am my own hero.

Undeniable fact, empirically verified by many others, arrived at by a lateral process of elimination. You always have that thought, that you’re somehow different, that things are that little bit more difficult for you than others, harder in some way or another. Finding out this was real has been a life-changer for me, and something that I have been seeking for 6 long pain-filled years.

From a young age I have been drawn to a special kind of hero.

Batman? Nup.

Superman. A little bit, but not much.

The typical superheros held no lure for me, although the anti-heroes of Western cinema, like Fight Club’s Tyler Durden, interested me with their nihilism and alternative viewpoints. Still not up there as ‘heroes’, someone to emulate, admire and draw strength from, though.

Miles Vorkosigan is the earliest example that I can remember, a chance book gift from my mother, purchased from where is anyone’s guess. He is the protagonist of a space opera series called Memory, written by Lois McMaster Bujold. Admiral Miles Naismith Vorkosigan was born short, hunchbacked, with brittle bones and a serious inferiority complex. I liked him and drew parallels with him instantly. Couldn’t have told you why back when I was 12.

Elric of Melnibone, star of Michael Moorcock’s Elric stories. The heir apparent, an albino prince born with defective blood that means he is tired all the time and often pained, living day to day semi-normally thanks to a variety of strong herbal concoctions.

Now: Sylvia Plath. One of the greatest poets of the 20th century. A visionary, an artist, someone who saw into the interstices that make up what we term ‘existence’. Her writing has long been a source of perverse comfort to me, expressing what I am unable to in succinct, precise lines of wonderful poetry. Mad as a hatter, and committed suicide by putting her head in an oven. Even more of a hero than in life.

H.P. Lovecraft. The seminal horror writer and poet, a man who was incredibly well known in his time for prolific correspondence. After he died he became far more famous for his many horror stories, notably those concerning the occult and old gods from beyond our conceivable dimensions. A sickly child, he struggled with ill health all his life and spent much of his time in bed. A hero the likes of which may never be seen again.

The list goes on, could be extended very, very far. Stephen King, Roger Zelazny, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jack Kerouac, Katie Jane Garside (check her out, her music is super unique). You get the picture.


Next: Part 2 – The Long Search Ends



What we Call Humanity – a prose poem

I feel myself

Cut loose,

From the throng,

A wanderer solitary.

I find myself

Cast adrift,

Bobbing on strange seas,

Black sky burning.

Cut loose,

Cast adrift,

Tethered by only the most

Essential qualifications

Of humanity, or what is

Called as such by many.

I am floating far beyond

The pale and timid morality

That binds, one person to another;

A road long travelled

Is no easier to swim than walk.

In a dream I saw a man

Cast from the shore, bound

In chains of iron, wrapped like

Houdini or another magician,

Struggling to get free

As bubbles rose with screams

Of horror trapped within,

Released onto the surface

Of the lake calm despite what sinks

Deep below its still surface.

Thrashing, clanking, wrenching at iron,

I watched him struggle in his chains,

Wondering why I did not help

Then realising twas my reflection

As I looked up to the lake surface

From below, already too deep.


The above is a description that I’ve been thinking of for quite some time, in particular the image of watching myself drowning while wrapped in chains. Given my recent health problems I feel it is quite apt. All that I write is cathartic, so do not fear. I’m not about to jump into a lake wrapped in iron chains. 🙂 Thanks for reading!


Fragile Creativity – a musing

I need not emphasise to any artist how fragile creativity can be.

It is like trying to squeeze fizzing lightning into a jar. To translate the thoughts and inspirations into something which others can enjoy, that is the key. Yet sometimes that breaks down, becomes impossible. I wrote prose for the first time today since the 27th of November, and it felt good. Slow, halting, but so, so very good. Cathartic.

Onto the serious stuff: there is finally an answer for my various and widespread health issues. A condition known as Fibromyalgia. We’re just waiting on the Vitamin D deficiency tests to come back, but even if they show a deficiency it would not explain many of the symptoms I’m having. The constant pain and tiredness have been long documented, both on this blog and on my previous one.

It has been an incredibly long and difficult journey to find this answer, although now we begin treatment. I am scared and nervous, although it has been 6 years since the pain first began, and so I’m open to options, willing to try things. I fear for my creativity. Crisis is the fount of creativity, and I wonder how my ability or desire to write may be altered as a result.

I began taking Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Tramadol yesterday. Of course it will be about a month before the anti-depressant really starts to work, but already the Tramadol (taking about 5/6 a day so far) makes a difference to my pain and energy levels.

I am going to be making a serious effort to keep writing, even if it is not necessarily prose. Poetry will be good, and I’ll have to keep telling myself not to judge what I’ve written too much, to just express without internal criticism.

However long the journey has been to reach a diagnosis (so close, so very close) the road ahead is going to be difficult, too. I don’t know what will happen however, I’m glad to have reached this point at last. By experience I am a dark personality, using my writing to serve as catharsis, and many things over the course of my life have been explained by this condition.

Anyway! I thank you all for reading this and for the support and likes that I’ve received ever since I started blogging. You’re all wonderful and I appreciate every single one of you.