How it is today

Another week and no matter how much I hope, I’m no closer to knowing when I’ll be healthy again than last week, or the week before that.

It was a typical week. I felt pretty ordinary over the weekend and into the start of the week, but then I picked up. As on previous occasions, I saw signs that overall I was getting better, despite how I felt.

Even then, I came up with a new theory to explain the increased pain.

During surgery, many of the nerves in the right side of my face were severed, leaving me without feeling from my nose to my ear – and including numb lips on the right. When questioned, the doctors were diffident about the chances of feeling returning. It might happen, they seemed to think, at least in part, but they weren’t terribly confident.

Yet, it seems to me that the numb patch has been shrinking over the last month. That’s a very welcome development, but, I figured, explained why I’m hurting more now than before. As the nerves reconnect and the feeling returns, so to does the pain I couldn’t feel before. The pain is greatly inconvenient but, I argued to myself, ultimately a ‘good’ pain.

There were other things I felt positive about. The regrowth of hair continues and there’s no doubt it’s of a more agreeable hue to the grey it replaces. I would describe it as a dirty blonde, more honey in colour when seen from afar.

The hair on my head is longer too, and much more presentable; and much of the swelling has subsided. There’s a chance I may actually look okay at the end of this, fingers crossed.

Other than the pain, there’s the waxing and waning congestion, plus the incredible fatigue I feel daily. I suspect some of that is related to the pain killers I’m taking. I fight the fatigue, but mostly have to give into it – I can’t keep my eyes open. I’m skipping my painkillers if I feel I can get away with it.

The congestion is generally much less than it was a month ago, but just when I think it’s on the verge of clearing it gets worse again. At times it’s disconcerting. Laying in bed, I can hear the air pass through the convoluted passageways of my half-blocked sinus. It comes a moment after I’m conscious of breathing, so at first it seems as if I’m hearing the breathing of another. Initially, I thought of Rigby. Because it’s so intimate, there’s a surreal and unwelcome sense of exposure to the processes we much prefer be kept in the background.

Then there’s my tinnitus. At times, it is very bad. There’s never silence. Sometimes I’ll think it’s raining outside and it’s just my hearing. At other times, it’s more raucous. I woke the other night to what seemed like an out of tune radio, but that was my tinnitus too, loud in my ear. Then, the other day, the fridge began loudly beeping because I had left the door open. It took me about 5 minutes to realise it wasn’t my tinnitus.

Bed is generally my refuge. It’s where I feel most in control of my situation, and where I can manage the pain best. That’s become harder, though. I’m not sleeping well, and I’m beset by troubling, very strange, dreams. I suspect my medication is a cause of that. There’s no pleasure in sleep now.

In the meantime I’ve been working. I’m meant to do 3 hours a day, but generally I do more than that. practically speaking, it hasn’t been hard. I’ve missed lot, but picked up a lot very quickly. I feel in command of the situation once again. Unfortunately, not everything has been done we’ll in my absence and so I’m kept busy trying to rectify mistakes and act on things overlooked. It’s frustrating, but it also serves my ego.

I’m being pressured to increase it to 4 hours a day, but I’m unwilling to commit to that as yet. There are days I feel so off that all I want to do is stay in bed and have someone lol after me – never mind that I’ve never had that luxury.

It’s not the work I worry about, but the obligation. I know that once I make the commitment I will meet it, no matter how feel. It feels unwise, and perhaps unhealthy. And I don’t like being pressured.

Ideally, I’d be convalescing far from here, among friends, with perhaps an ocean to contemplate. I need the rest and a change of scenery would do me a world of good. I’m far from well, and it’s probably better if I save that for when I feel healthier. I don’t need the stress of work, I know that.

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