I am fading away. For some time now, I have noticed that I’m losing weight, but, despite my best efforts, I can’t stop the pounds from falling off. I have never been overweight. At my heaviest, I’ve been about 12 stones, but today I weigh just a few pounds over nine stones or 131lbs. It’s not a healthy weight.
Some people with chronic pain put on weight due to lack of exercise. I am the opposite. My chronic pain is knocking the weight off of me.
I went to the swimming pool for the first time in months last week and was shocked to discover just how frail and skinny I have become. The water from the jet pool was too strong for me, it nearly blew me away. I could barely lift my legs to get out of the water. Though there were several older people in the pool, I felt the oldest and weakest of the lot. And the most frightened too.
It’s not that I don’t eat – I do. And I love sweet things. It’s just that I can retain nothing. Day by day, pills and pain are sucking the weight and the life out of me.
If anyone knows a good way to increase weight, that doesn’t increase constipation, I’d be delighted to hear about it. Because not only are my clothes becoming too large for me, if I don’t build up some strength soon, it will be much harder to fight my way back to recovery.
There may even be some scientific evidence for it, but I think chronic pain, or more likely, the medication I’m taking for the pain, is slowly making mush of my brain.
I’m certainly more drowsy than in the past and that is a definite side effect of the pills, but what I feel much of the time is more than drowsiness, almost as if there is a void where my brain used to be. There are days when I sit down to write and I can’t think of anything to say. I sit down to read, and nothing sinks in. I end up watching repeats of The Big Bang Theory, which at least has the advantage of distracting me from the pain as well as killing time.
I try to think or write and it’s like turning the ignition key to start the car and nothing happens. Or the engine heaves and splutters before slowly cranking into life.
It frightens me because I never had a problem expressing an opinion or being creative in the good old days before my back gave out and my life ground to a halt. I had no problem putting together a homily or posting a witty comment on Twitter. Now I try to think of things to say and nothing enters my head. I want to comment on issues of the day but come up empty.
All I like to do is sleep because then I enter a pain-free realm, a world of the unconscious where there is no suffering or struggle simply to stay alive and interested and focused.