Good news for a change!

A visit tonight to see the Consultant at Ross Hall, about Son’s problems with his hands. It was one of those meetings which you dread, not knowing if the news will be good or bad. It turned-out to be like the curate’s egg…good and bad.

The prognosis seemed to be that it was not Wartenberg’s Neuritis, but some other form, of unknown origin. It also seems to suggest that it will ‘ burn itself out’, but no time scale was mentioned or offered.

But the pains will still continue for some time, and the number of pills will increase to try to control the pain which is incessant (except when sleeping).

So all is not yet right, he is still desperate to get back to work, and feel that he is again contributing to the business.

 …..however, there is an end, if not in sight, then at least just santaover the horizon. Maybe this year, Santa will be kind after all!

So thanks to all those lovely people who have passed-on their good wishes, their prayers, and, in some cases, their experience…we will keep you informed.

Disability….and inner strength

For over 30 years my professional life has been involved with those who have a disability.

Most of this time has been exclusively helping those with a hearing impairment, assessing hearing loss and providing hearing aids and other equipment to make their life a little easier.

It started when I realised that my father-in-law was not doing terribly well with his hearing aid, and I hope that I was ultimately able to help.

Much later, the Young Lady of the House had problems with one eye, and still has effected sight. Daughter, who did a lot of walking at her job, then had knee problems, ending with two operations.

We have other friends who have suffered with constant pain for many years.

We can also look at those folk who recently escaped from the sinking cruise ship, the soldiers coming back from war theatres, those who are struggling during their suffering from malnutrition and disease in the Third World. All of those show in varying ways a surprising strength. I would not wish to be involved in any of these situations, to see how I would handle myself.

Now with Son’s continuing problems, I am convinced that the human animal constantly surprises me with how well it can handle discomfort, disability, and physical pain, sometimes with great humour.

Now if we could only bottle this inner strength!!  Maybe you know the answer……

Son’s continuing problem….

Son had to give a lot of blood to the medics on Tuesday so that they could carry-out a number of tests to try to establish the cause of the agonising pains in his hands. Unfortunately they will take about two weeks to produce results.

The Nerve Conduction Tests had to be put off when we arrived at the Hospital, which made him rather disappointed (to say the least!). Following an overnight stay at Ross Hall, it was re-scheduled for next day at another Hospital. It proved to be extremely painful to undergo, and seemed to worsen the situation.

Heavier medication has made him very drowsy, and he often gets mixed up with the day and time. To see someone who is normally very active and pushes life to the edge, so deplete of energy, is not pleasant.

When he gets through this, I think that a trip to the dentist will hold no terrors.

The continuing pain….

For twelve weeks, Son has been suffering terrible nerve pains in hands and arms, and it has now just been given a name (it has only once before been seen by one of the specialists, in his professional career!) ……not that that has helped the reality…the pains are still agonising and debilitating. How he has put up so long with it, I don’t know. He admits that he could not live alone with it….you need the presence of human company.

The Consultants have called for another batch of tests and we await the results and their deliberations……with hopefully a rapid and positive answer to this distressing condition. The newest pain-killers seem to be having some effect.

His, and our, friends have been marvellous, with constant phone calls to pass on their thoughts and best wishes.

The best prescription seems to be football……Aberdeen has been playing quite well recently…..maybe it would be possible to get a couple of tickets on the NHS! Only trouble is that they might lose those matches!

….and Son makes three!

After quite a few years of being ‘Darby and Joan!’ and the relative peace it brings, Son is now quite often at our house as he suffers the agony of nerve pains. He can get peace and quiet to snooze when he needs-to, from the effect of the pain-killers he has to take, as they occasionally ‘knock him out’.

Like all such medications, they have their side-effects, and remind us that there are rarely black-and-white solutions to the problems of this world. Almost every action taken has a repercussion, which then demands a solution, and possibly further action etc etc.  He is now on a cocktail of pills, and will hopefully be able to get off them slowly, as and when the body is able to recover.

One can only stand and watch, wait and hope, that it will not be too long, so that he can return to the bosom of his own family………..taking his pills with him…….

What a Pain!

A nuisance,  distress, suffering, agony, ache, ….all can be explained by use of the simple word ‘pain’. Is this because we have no universal definition of pain, so we use our own subjective feeling, in much the same way as we use the word ‘beauty’ or ‘pleasure’?

Scientifically, it is a signal sent from a seat of ‘disturbance’ in an area of the body, which activates in the central nervous system a response (via motor neurons) to take actions to prevent further damage happening (e.g. moving one’s hand away from a flame), and also learn, so that it is less likely to happen in the future.

We all suffer at one time or another, from toothache, to a bashed thumb, from a bad back to a thumping headache, or even migraine. And yet, unless there is obvious physical damage, such as bleeding or injury, it is very difficult to feel pain for others, or indicate the extent of our own pain.

Recently I have seen Son in obvious agony over a period of time, but could only empathise properly if I had experienced the same pain for the same length of time.

The word itself comes from the Latin poena, meaning retribution or punishment, but I cannot feel this to be a fully useful or valid meaning. There may be some fault laid at our door in that we can and do abuse our bodies by neglect, or over-exercise, by over-eating or starvation, but there are still situations where we cannot be held to have contributed.

This is still an area where we must ‘go it alone’ in our life. We can only receive compassion and give sympathy to a certain extent, and when the pain-killers have worn off we are left with an un-platable, but very real experience.

Fortunately, for most of us this is for a limited time, but one can only admire the fortitude of those who carry this beyond their forseeable future.

Oh, dear….and senior years loom ahead for us!