I turned 53 this week, and the plan was for my parents to put up a little picnic and for us to go for a drive in the car at lunchtime, stop somewhere pretty and eat it (we’d normally go to my favourite restaurant for lunch, but have knocked that on the head due to the rise in UK cases of Covid). But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice & men………..yup, they oft go awry.
At 2am Tuesday morning I woke to find Bertie pitter pattering around the bedroom. I’d forgotten to close his doggie gate, so I said firmly “bed!” but he stood there looking forlorn, head down, ears back and I realized that something was wrong. He’s had a severely herniated disc in his lower spine for years, but it doesn’t affect his movement and any associated pain is controlled by daily paracetomol and Gabapentin prescribed by his Vet. Very occasionally, though, it seems to get suddenly worse and I realized he was walking about because he was in too much pain to sit or lie.
I got up and gave him an extra Gabapentin and another dose of paracetomol. This is my agreed plan with the Vet when he has these acute episodes. I then put him on my bed and stroked and rubbed his back to try to soothe him off to sleep. It didn’t work and it broke my heart to see him in so much pain 😥.
His last really bad attack was in 2018. That time, he was given a week’s course of Tramadol to take which really helped and I had a few tablets left over. In my 3.15am stupor and without my glasses I couldn’t read the ‘use by’ date on the bottle, but I gave him one anyway. I then got him settled in his own bed and stroked him until he started to relax. At 4am I got back into my own bed and, although he woke again at 6.30am, we both nodded back off until 7.30am.
But he was obviously still in a lot of pain and could barely sit or lie down. So I gave him another gabapentin and some more paracetomol at breakfast. My dog walker came at 9am as usual and took him on a very short, gentle walk during which time she said he was totally fine and acting normally, which is a brilliant sign because if the disc slips any further it could paralyse him. It’s only when he tried to sit or lie down that the pain seemed to really bother him.
At 11am I gave him another Tramadol and waited for the Vet to call me with a plan. This was to max out his pain relief for a week in the hopes we could get the problem to settle down. So he’s now on gabapentin+paracetomol at breakfast, gabapentin at lunch, paracetomol at 4pm, gabapentin at 8pm, then tramadol at 10pm. It’s a good job my phone has reminders is all I’m going to say 😁. It’s working well, and although he’s still not back to his usual self he can at least get comfortable enough to sleep.
However, there was no way he could cope with being jolted around in the car so my birthday picnic had to be abandoned and we just had lunch at my parents’ house instead. The house we’ve all been basically stuck in since March. Such is life in 2020.
To add insult to injury, the day before my birthday Aunt Flo arrived. She’d been awol for 72 days but like the proverbial bad penny she keeps rocking up with suitcase in hand. Did it have to be on my birthday though? Really?! I started my periods at the age of 11. That’s 42 years of four weekly torture due to severe endometriosis and adenomyosis. Enough all-fucking-ready.
Speaking of torture, I’ve been awake half the night with pelvic pain. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and contact my GP about my current pain issues as nothing I’m doing is helping, and having had this flare involving both my pelvis and right arm for nearly a year now I think I need professional help. It’s pointless being referred to my local physio team, though, as they are clueless about hEDS so I’ll ask for a referral to the city hospital as I know they have a couple of physios with special training in hypermobility disorders.
It’s fair to say this week hasn’t been without stress, but I still managed to have a lovely actual birthday. My parents did their best to make the day special for me and I had lots of lovely messages from friends and family 😊. If you’d told me last birthday that this year we’d be in the midst of a global killer pandemic, with lockdowns and “social distancing”, fights in supermarket aisles over bog roll or the last packet of pasta shapes I would have thought you’d been eating too many magic mushrooms, yet I’ve survived (so far) and that’s all the gift anyone could wish for.
To end, I just want to send my love to any of my readers affected by the horrific fires on the American west coast. I can’t imagine what you are going through and I pray you stay safe and well x