Sunday was a beautiful day and the garden called, loud and clear, as we have an abundance of pears all over the grass. Obviously picking up pears was not going to be my job, but that was easily delegated – with some resistance. Duncan has been doing a good job of turning the garden waste wheelie bin into a perry cider vat. I thought maybe I could manage some light gardening on the raised flower beds in our very steep garden. It is so hard sitting back and not doing jobs that I can see desperately need doing! Gardening has been a tricky one ever since my back problems came back to haunt me as, other than the grass, I have always been the gardener with some help from my dad at times. So it has been really hard each summer since I stopped work as the rest of the Saul household are unable to understand the concept of digging, weeding, hoeing, cutting back and generally cultivating the garden. There have been more rows about the garden than anything!
So I turned on my stimulator slightly higher as there was a nip in the air, and headed out to do some weeding. The cold was irritating my nerve pain immediately, but the stimulation meant that I was able to stay outside for a little while, even if I wasn’t able to actually do much! The digging and reaching was actually beyond me and I was exhausted so quickly – I guess that I have learnt my lesson as everything was so painful last night. Everyone always says we medics make the worst patients! Guess what I spent the afternoon doing? Watching rugby whilst peeling and cooking pears, pears and more pears. In fact if anyone local would like some just shout!!
Today I have really struggled with pain and my wound sites are so sore. The implant site has become very bruised and it is possible to see the outline quite clearly beneath the skin – it is really sore if anything catches it. I hope that with time the tissues will settle and no longer be painful, and that adequate scar tissue forms at both sites to hold the stimulator battery and the electrode leads well in place. It is a tricky balance with the pain control at the moment and one factor is I’m on a reducing dose of oxycontin – double strength synthetic morphine, known as hillbilly heroin in the States – so I’m unsure quite what causes increases or decreases in “my pain”. At times the stimulation, if not strong, actually feels like it is adding to it as my leg feels alive with movement, and I just need everything to quieten down. Strange when at other times, it kills it dead! I have to emphasise again, it isn’t a cure. But several of my friends from St Thomas’ are due to have trials imminently and I don’t want to discourage them.
Meanwhile we have stewed pears, poached pears and a rather good pear and chocolate upside down pudding that I rustled up………