So continues the strangest and longest of holidays:
A month in the south of France, a day at home, a week in hospital, a day at home, two days in hospital, and back home again. My illness involves short(ish!) bursts of extreme abdominal pain followed by periods of minor discomfort. The nurses have a pain reference and they ask the level between 1 and 10. This is arbitrary of course, one person’s 5 is another person’s 10, but it is better than “it hurts” or “it doesn’t”.
I have my own pain reference.
Up to 5, I am still able to read my Kindle, but for shorter and shorter periods. When it is down to a word, pause and squirm, we are at 5. (I highly recommend a Kindle for hospital. It is light enough to hold in one hand even when you are encumbered with a drip…and with 50 books on it, never a danger of running out of distraction.)
From 5 to 8 (I consider that I haven’t gone beyond my own 8), increasingly desperate distraction techniques are required. My last week in the south of France was spent at a jazz festival learning some Brazilian Indian traditional songs. I find that reciting the song that I had to learn as a solo is a good pain distraction. It is in Portugese, which I don’t speak, and just sufficiently difficult, and fast, to require a lot of concentration.
When I was readmitted with a robust 8 on Saturday, I was forced to find new techniques during a long wait in emergency. The pain was concentrated in my upper abdomen, and I found with an involuntary moan that a certainbass note vibrated in a comforting place. Humming of this low note, combined with tapping out the clave rhythm for the MARACATU on the side of my trolley kept me hanging in there, but probably didn’t endear me to staff or others waiting.
Anyone got any other ideas for natural pain relief?
At the moment, gall stones are suspected. Perhaps if I get the frequency of the note right I will be able to vibrate them away with my voice…
I am an ex-Londoner living in rural Brittany, France, for the last 18 years, with my family and far too many animals and wood stoves: these ramblings, some of which are cross, are about life in the countryside, and how to cope when your high heels are replaced by clogs.