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Sometimes It Is Lupus: Health Writer’s Month: Painsomnia

    Today’s Health Writer’s Month topic is: Third person post. Write about a memory you have but describe it using the third person. Use as many sensory images (sights, sounds, textures, etc) as you can. Don’t use “I” or “me” unless you include dialogue.

    Hmmmm stand back and write about myself as if I was someone else? This could be interesting (or quite boring, or maybe even disastrous). Oh well, let’s give it a go.

    Painsomnia. She knew the term, had known other lupies to use it. She’d even had a few nights where pain had interrupted her sleep – but never this bad before.

    This night it was her ankles. They felt as if they were the size of beachballs. The pain was so intense, she wasn’t really aware of any other part of her body.  Deep breaths. Try to relax.

    Her own breathing, the snoring of the elderly dog beside the bed, the purring of the cat beside her feet, the hum of the airconditioner, the scratching and scrambling of some night animal outside the window. Why did they all seem so loud tonight? Surely the sounds were the same every night.

    “Relax” she said out loud, “relax”.  Her ankles didn’t hear, or didn’t want to obey.

    She had to do something! To do something, anything meant getting out of bed – meant using those same traumatised ankles to hold her bodyweight.

    Pain pills. She could take some meloxicam – hadn’t had it for a couple of days.  All she had to do was walk to the kitchen.  Every step was agony. Her feet were swollen as well as her ankles, the pile of the carpet felt like needles sticking into her feet. In the half-light she found the appropriate pill, and took it with a glass of water that seemed extra-cold. She padded gingerly back to bed.  Somewhere in the back of her mind she could hear the almost-forgotten voice of a deportment teacher saying: “A woman doesn’t walk into a room, a woman glides into a room.” Not tonight. Tonight, just making it where she was going was enough. Gliding could wait for some time when her ankles felt like ankles.

    Lying awake…. Hoping for the meloxicam to kick in…. Her stomach started to churn – meloxicam without food will do that to you. Her ankles were still screaming at her. The airconditioner, the snoring dog and the purring cat were all getting louder. So much noise! So much pain!

     A hazy thought forced its way into her mind – ankle supports. Somewhere she had elastic ankle supports. She hadn’t used them for ages – wary of putting elastic around her ankles when she had a condition where circulation could become a problem. But now she was beyond the point of desperation.

    It meant getting up again. She tried to delay it, tried to think of anything other than the pain. But it was inevitable. Once she’d had the thought she would have to act on it. Again, the torture of the harsh pile of the carpet attacking her tender swollen feet. She searched in the half-light, not wanting to turn on lights and disturb the animals for fear that she would have to go to some effort to get them (particularly the geriatric dog) settled again.

    Eventually she found them.

    There was something reassuring, comforting, in just having her sore swollen ankles compressed in the elastic.

    She lay back. “Relax, breathe deeply,” she told herself.

    The cat moved and leaned against her right ankle and foot. The soft purring was actually soothing.

    Slowly, the pain eased. The night sounds of her bedroom became comforting and familiar once more. Gently, she relaxed into sleep.

    This post was written as part of Wego Health’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.