Sunday, 20 March 2011

Originally posted: 16/03/11 My body's trying to kill me.

You may have heard me before talk about my body as if it is something separate to me. I do this, not because I am crazy, but because I swear the thing has a life of it's own...


... Okay. So I realise that is something a crazy person would say but hear me out and make your own decision.

Every so often, when things are going fine in my life, or my mind has been distracted with other things, my body decides that for no apparent reason it is going to kick up a hissy fit and become broken. On these occasions there is usually no reason for why it does this, I have done nothing to upset it, I have behaved exactly as I normally do, but it will decide that right at that moment it just wants to fall apart. And let me tell you, when it does this, it refuses to do it quietly.

For those of you who are now imagining myself with limbs falling off and bones protruding out of my skin, you can relax. This is not the way my body likes to malfunction. It usually goes for the outwardly more subtle approach whilst inwardly I might as well be dying.

An example of when this has happened was only a month ago. I work in a hospital and on this particular day I was standing in the A&E with a friend from work. Literally just standing there. No movement was being made on my part.

I was talking to this friend when my bag fell off my shoulder. Not wanting it to fall to the floor I did the logical thing and lifted it back up onto my shoulder again. I should have known better. I should have guessed that logic does not apply when my body has not had attention in a while. My brain was busy elsewhere with work related things and my body decided at that moment that enough was enough. So when I moved the mere centimetres it took to put my bag back on my shoulder again my body decided to send a shooting pain down my arm.

It was a feeling not unlike cramp and at the time that was what I thought it was. I stretched my arm and tried to massage the pain out with my amazing self taught massage abilities. However the pain stayed put and no amount of stretching was doing it any good. It was at this point that I began to get suspicious. I could recognise one of my body's frantic grasps for attention when I saw one. I kept a close eye on the arm, waved goodbye (with the other arm) to my work pal and started to make my way home.

I had a relatively uneventful journey home and it wasn't until I had to get off the train that I remembered my arm had been playing up at all. Of course my body knew this and wasn't going to let me off lightly. Instead when I went to put my bag on my shoulder again as I stood up to leave the train, it sent a shooting pain unlike anything I have ever felt, down my arm and froze it so that I could barely lift it higher than my waist.

I don't know if anyone reading this has ever had the experience of being wedged in between two sweaty business men on a rush hour train and finding yourself suddenly completely overwhelmed with urge to scream that you feel you might explode, but let me tell you, it's not nice. It's not nice for you, it's not nice for the woman whose face is inches from your purple one, and it's not nice for the sweaty business man's shoulder you have just sunk your teeth into to stop yourself from making a noise.

I somehow in some way managed to get out of there and make it home. However once that door was shut, I was no longer the quiet little British girl who would suppress her pain until her eyes popped out to stop herself from making a scene. No, in this house, in my beautiful little maisonette, well I'm pretty sure the neighbours assumed I was being murdered that night. Slowly. Through torture (Side note: A little upset no one came to check that this wasn't actually the case, although not surprised due to all of them being British as well).

So it turned out that my arm could not physically be moved. For no apparent reason it had just stopped working. However because I knew my body well and was used to these little temper tantrums it would have for the attention it so desperately craved, I chose to ignore it the best I could. My reasons for this are simple. If past experiences had taught me anything, my body would eventually get bored of hurting me and as quickly as the pain had come, it would go again. I would just have to wait it out.

So I did for the next two days. This was not easy, you do not realise how much you use something when suddenly it no longer works. Washing my hair was interesting, it involved a lot of bending my head down to my hand so that I could rub the shampoo in. I developed a whole new way of putting on a coat and simple moves like opening a door looked like a dance move as I would have to lift my whole body up so that I could reach the door handle. The worst moments of all though were when I had forgotten about the arm and instinctively lifted it. On the second night, one of those led to a particularly interesting screaming match with myself in the mirror where I said some very hurtful things about myself.

I bit the bullet on day 3 and decided the body had won. As I hadn't registered with a GP yet I had to sit around in my local A&E (for the second time in as many months but that's another story for another time) for hours so that they could give me something for the pain. The doctor, on seeing me, told me that I had pulled a muscle and that it would take a week of popping pills and doing exercises before it would start to feel better. She then went on to say that if after a week it hadn't eased then I would need to see a Physiotherapist and so on and so forth.

I left the A&E feeling a little bad that I had blamed my body for this as it seemed to have been a genuine injury and promised it that I would have a little bit more faith in it next time.

That sneaky freakin body knew was it was doing though. The next morning I woke up, ready to start my intensive regime of therapy and suddenly, without any reason, the pain was gone. My body had got what it had wanted, it had had a trip to the A&E and all the attention it could ever desire from the doctor. It was satisfied so it decided to take the illogical pain away.

If you said I was crazy at the beginning, you must see now that I speak the truth. It's like a needy little kid that whines to you until your within a inch of you're sanity and give in to it's demands then it runs off with a smug little smile on it's face.

Theories on how to put it in it's place would be much appreciated.

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