Chronic pain can make gratitude a trait you have to actively pursue. That’s why this week marks the first of my #than
- Feeling 22 (ooh ooh)! I was lucky enough to have a great weekend in London. I saw a show with my boyfriend and met up with a substantial proportion of my best friends to drink cocktails and watch West End Bares, hosted by the incomparable Graham Norton! I was in a big flare, but was determined to make the most of the weekend. With the help of several doses of codeine, once I started enjoying myself (and once the show started, CRIKEY), I couldn’t concentrate on the pain. Slurping my daiquiri and boogying whilst eating chips, I felt young for the first time in months. It was GLORIOUS.
- Related to this: MY INCREDIBLE FRIENDS. I don’t have a shedload but the friends I do have are the best. And my goodness, they’ve had chance to prove themselves! As I mentioned in my ’30 Things’ blog, when I took a break from university due to my pain condition, some of my friends seemed to drop off the planet. We went from talking most days to a bi-weekly ‘hey, how are you?’ to eventually no effort being made on their part at all. But the friends who stayed in touch – two of them, coincidentally, my ex-boyfriends, and two of the loveliest lads on the planet – continue to overwhelm me. They’re thoughtful, they’re loyal, they’re understanding… Several of them offer to travel to me if my pain is bad enough to make me want to avoid trains. They keep me fun and grounded, whilst also giving me space to be myself, on good pain days and bad. They are my world.
- Dieticians. A couple of weeks ago I finally got seen by a dietician for some help with my IBS (yes, like many vulvodynia sufferers, I have IBS too. Gentlemen, form an orderly queue…). Although the Low-FODMAP diet is positively no fun at all, mostly because it transpires onions, garlic and wheat are in EVERYTHING, I am grateful for the extra guidance I have received. I have also noted a slight improvement in symptoms, so it’s certainly a useful learning experience.
- Rain on the windowpane when I’m indoors. This week I sat learning German and watching droplets fall thick and fast outside, while I was warm and cosy in my converted writing shed. Utter bliss.
- THEME HOSPITAL. For someone who can’t usually even watch House because watching them struggle with undiagnosable conditions is a bit too close to home, this may seem like an odd choice of entertainment. But Theme Hospital is one of my favourite childhood games, so I was beside myself when I found out you could download the game for a tiny fee on Mac! I thought Theme Hospital’s glory days were relegated to the old era of the PC, but happily, I was mistaken. The last couple of days have been spent placing benches, hiring doctors, curing patients (and killing a few – whoops) and generally bathing in delightful nostalgia. The graphics are even comfortingly shoddy – just like my old Windows 5. Just give me a Nokia 3310 and I can take up permanent residence on Memory Lane.