pain pain go away ……I have had enough

What does one do when the pain is this bad……..I knew I was in trouble earlier this evening when I could not stand to sit her in my comfortable chair (although this is where I am now – my default position). I went to bed initially about 7.30. Here it is almost 2.00am and again for the fourth night in a row sleep is eluding me. I feel as if both my legs and my left arm is in a start of combustion. The pain is searing, burning, torturing and for the first time in a long while I feel as if I cannot cope with it. Hence I am writing as this is one way that i am able to loose myself.

My tossing and turning is disturbing Hb so I have removed myself and am now watching TV and writing about this thing that is my constant companion. The pain pills have not touched the sides tonight and despite the earlier efficiency of he new concoction they appear not to help during a flare such as I am having at the moment.

I am currently reading a great book called Two Steps Forward written by Graeme Simsion and his wife Anne Buist. Its a story of renewal – physical, spiritual and psychological. Its the story written about two people who set out to walk, the two thousand kilometres, from Cluny to Santiago in the footsteps of pilgrims who have been walking the Camino for two centuries.

I have read Graeme’s previous books the Rosie Project and the Rosie Effect which I thoroughly enjoyed. As i am reading this current book I am thinking to myself wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to do something like this. Then as I said I got out of bed and had trouble even walking to the lounge room such is the quantum of the pain and state of my physicality tonight. So I think the Camino is definitely out of the equation.

I did have a funny moment yesterday. It was very hot here on New Years Day so I decided to have a swim. When I got out of the pool I received a always welcome call from my friend L., as I was sitting on the deck in my lovely new reading chair. Now those of you who have followed the blog and heard me talk of the symptoms of having CRPS is that on occasion (and for me it is generally preceding a bad flare) you have the feeling of ants crawling over your skin and biting you. As I talked and laughed with L. I was thinking to myself here comes a bad flare I can feel the ants on my skin. The phone call finished and when I looked down I actually had ants crawling all over my legs and feet. The formication was very real. HB has sprayed around the pool for ants today.

Part of my conversation with L was my expression of annoyance about people sending chain emails on FB and clogging the system. We started talking then about how times have changed and we both could recall how “distressed” our mothers would become if they received a chain letter in the mail. I spoke with Mum about this today and she said part of her problem with this was the anonymity of the whole process. I can remember one occasion very clearly when Mum got a letter inviting her to make a Novena for some cause or other. There were the names and addresses of several people in the letter inviting the receiver to sent the letter onto (i think) nine of there friends together with the people named in the letter. The letter invited the receiver to make the prayer and tell the people to whom they were writing how the prayer had helped them. Mum said the letter contained claims of people being cured from dreadful afflictions and the infertile giving birth.. The sender was to remain anonymous and Mum felt that if people were inviting her to pray for a special intercession they should have had the courage to sign the letter. She was able to recall talking it over which Dad when he came home from work and asking her friends if they had received the letter. She said that she consigned the letter to the garbage bin. I then was reflecting that if that was still practice today the mere act of send out 18 letters (9 included in the letter and 9 new people whose addresses were added to the letter to be sent out) would be a very costly exercise indeed. However Mum was able to remind me that stamps were not quite so expensive back then.

I am also feeling somewhat bemused about people making New Years Resolutions and posting them on Facebook for all the world to see. All the literature of course on setting goals says you have a better chance of achieving the goal is you write it down. I wonder if come June or July any of us will be asking those who have posted the “goals” online, how such and such is going. I also wonder if the person making the resolution will remember what they have posted. Now don’t get me wrong I am all for having goals and working towards their fruition my point is more about the way these things have crept into the public arena.

Someone did ask today if members of a group I belong to on FB if people remembered a particular nightspot which was very popular with young people back maybe 25 – 30 years ago. I did not share the story on FB but I remembered a story about my second daughter when she was in YR 11 did not come home from the movies at 11.30 as arranged. At 1.00am her friend’s mother and I were becoming a bit concerned and I made the comment to her on the phone that they must probably met daughter No1 and had gone to the nightspot. In the meantime another parent who I did not know and whose daughter I had never hear of, began ringing to finding out where his daughter was. At 2.30 my friend J and I decided enough was enough and we decided we would go and see if we could find our tardy daughters. Well all I can say is J had the good grace to get dressed appropriately for entering a nightspot. I was in my PJs. We found the girls in the nightspot and as we were driving them home we said we would laugh about this one day. (and we were right) My kids who are parents tell there kids about the night Grandmother came and made B come home dressed in her pyjamas in an attempt I think to let their kids know that they could be just as embarrassing as I was on that morning.

I thank the universe for the provision of Foxtel in this house so i have something to occupy me on nights such as these. I am a great watcher of Quiz shows and Pointless (a particular favourite of mine) is on. I suspect that the current atmospheric changes may be impacting on how my pain is reacting tonight.

 

Advertisements

Holidays

When I was a kid our family did not go on a yearly holiday as most families do today. My Dad always had his annual leave at Christmas time and we would spend the days at Newcastle or Merewether Baths or beach.

At Newcastle Baths the Police Boys Club assisted by Dad would provide free swimming lessons and this is where I learnt to swim. I recently visited the Baths for a swim and the smell of the sea water brought back so many memories.

Newcastle Baths is divided into two pools separated by a wooden walkway. One pool is quite large and square in shape. The other is an oblong shape where the swimming club would have there races with cork floats on rope dividing the lanes.

The swimming lessons would take place at the deep end of the large pool.  there were steps leading to the water on either side of the entry to the water. To start with the instructor would stand on one side of the step and someone else (sometimes my Dad) would be on the other side to help you if needed. You would get in one side swim to the other steps get put and line up again.  When it was you turn the instructor would tell you how to move your arms and how to kick your legs and away you would go. As the water was quite deep (or you had the illusion of it being quite deep) you soon learnt to swim. The instructor would give you a bit of a push and off you would go toward the person on the other side. As you progressed they would instruct you on how to turn your face into the water and how to breath and you were allowed to swim across the baths. This is where you learnt about distance as you had to keep going until the water was shallow enough for you to stand up. Learning this skill and the love of water was something that has stayed with me throughout my life, I can still swim and I still love to be in the water. Dad maintained his love of the water and for many years swam with the Newcastle Diggers and the Merewether Mackerals Swimming Clubs.

I remember sometimes my grandfather would come to Newcastle Baths, He would arrive on the bus. I don’t think he ever learned to drive or had a car because my memory of him is that he used to walk or catch public transport everywhere. Pop would arrive at the baths dressed, as he always was in his black suit and white shirt, black shoes and white socks. He would go to the change rooms and come out with stretch belted swimmers (they were very old) and get in the water. Before he would have a swim he would always stand in water up to his chest and finish his roll-your-own cigarette. After he finished swimming an untold number of laps he would then help us with the task of learning to swim. This would all happen early in the morning before the sun became too hot. Sometimes Mum would take a picnic lunch and we would walk over to Newcastle Beach where there was a pool (now long buried by the sand) with a map of the world concreted in the bottom. We would have lunch on the sand and then make our way home.

One of my sisters became a very strong swimmer and was allowed to join the swimming club. Each Saturday morning we would go to the baths and watch her in the races. Oh how I envied her being able to do this. After the swimming club finished – then and only then we were allowed to have a swim ourselves.

I remember two family holidays where we went away. Both were to the Port Stephens Area. The first was when I was really small and a friend of Dads allowed us to use his caravan at Halifax Park. I think we were a family of four in those days. I remember the excitement of being on holidays vividly even if I was only about 3 and 1/2 at the time. Maybe my younger sister was part of this holiday but she would have been quite young. What I remember about this holiday was swimming at the beach and falling over on a nail that was protruding out of a log. I was taken to the doctor who cleaned up the wound and gave me a tetanus shot. I had my leg bandaged for a few days and thus I could not go swimming. The other memory I have of this holiday is Dad fishing on the beach where we had been swimming and catching a most exotic specimen of a fish which “walked” up the sand. Turned out to be an axilotol or a Mexican walking fish….or so the locals said.

Next holiday I recall is going to Salamander Bay when I think we were a family of six. I think Carmel was a baby. The sister next to me R was only a toddler. This time no caravan holiday this time as we were staying in someone’s holiday cottage. That turned out to be a misnomer as it was a garage on a block of land that was on the Bay. When you went out the door at the back of the “holiday cottage” you were on the sand and in the water. What bliss. Pop also came to visit on this particular holiday and we all bunked in that one room where Mum prepared the meals and we ate them. I remember only to vividly the day we were having tomato sandwiches for lunch when Mum asked Dad what day it was. Like all of us on holidays they were not paying any attention to the time or the date. We ate when we were hungry and spent each day at the beach. Anyway Dad did some calculations and Pop concurred it was the 20th January. Much to their embarrassment and shock turns out they had forgotten to celebrate my younger sister’s birthday. That afternoon we visited the shop and a sponge cake was purchased and we all sang Happy Birthday a couple of days late.

My Husbands family would holiday every year at Easter, always for four weeks. Always to the same place. Dunbogan. Terry still maintains a love of this place and I must admit it has become a favourite destination for a rest and relaxation holiday for me.

Christmas Memories

I always remember Christmas as a magical time. Back then we would have a certain build up towards Christmas Day.

School would finish a week or ten days before the anticipated event. In those ten days we would “harvest” and decorate the Christmas tree. There was no such thing as an artificial tree for many years in our family.  Dad would often bring the tree home and we would wait till the next morning to begin decorating. We would make paper chains. There were the decorations we had made at school in craft, we would make silver stars and these were added to a few precious decorations that were bought out to ornament the tree. I recall that the tree would often look a little worse for wear before we would start but by the time we had finished it stood in pride of place in the lounge room in all its magnificence.

Then there would be the visit to Santa and the Santa photo. Mum would deck us out in our Sunday best and take us into either Winns or David Jones where we would line up to take our turn at talking to Santa to ask for our desired gift. Mine was alway a book of some kind or a doll when I was younger. I recall that Santa would never promise what he was not able to deliver. He would always say something like “I will do my best but you must remember that Santa has lots of boys and girls to visit and lots of boys and girls are wanting whatever” he would then say that he would leave something special for us if he could not give what we asked for, thus adding to the anticipation.

Then there would be the children’s Christmas Parties, for us, hosted by Dad’s workplace and the local R S L. Hundreds of kids and their parents would congregate in a local hall. There would be lots of party food, party pies and sausage rolls, sandwiches, cakes and lollies. Always make-up cordial to drink and cups of tea for the mothers. Santa would arrive  much to excitement of the waiting kids. Silence would descend so we could hear our names being called. Santa would call our names in age groups and present us with an age appropriate gift. All the 10 year old girls for example would receive the same present. I remember when I was about 11 receiving a beach towel which I though was pretty special to have my very own towel different from the rest of the family.

Then there was the Christmas house clean. I do not remember my childhood home being anything other that meticulously clean and tidy when I was a kid. But because Christmas was approaching the house would be cleaned from top to bottom and we would all have a part to play in this ritual. There was no reluctance from myself or any of my siblings as this was an important part of the Christmas preparations.

There was also the yearly visit to David Street, Georgetown. Now this was a magical evening. Dressed in our pyjamas and brunch coats we would set out as a family to walk the short distance to David Street where every house in the street was decorated and lit by fairy lights. I longed for something like that to happen in our street but of course it never did. We would often see school friends on similar family outings and after checking out each house we would make our way home discussing the merits or otherwise of each display. We would always all agree however that it was always better that last year.

We would go to be early on Christmas Eve. If we had daylight savings back then I am sure it would have still been daylight as we would go to bed early in any case. I remember I would be in bed feigning sleep and telling myself I would stay awake all night see Santa. I would soon be asleep and when morning dawned we would gather around the tree as a family to open our gifts. I don’t recall if Mum and Dad got presents as it seemed to be all about us five kids. After this off we would go to Mass where we would be keen to tell any friends present what Santa had brought us.

When we got home a quick breakfast and then Mum would begin lunch preparations. Always a hot lunch, baked chicken and vegetables followed by Plum pudding and custard. The plum pudding would always have threepence and sixpences in it and as a little kid I was always terrified that I would swallow one and be rushed off to hospital. Oh how carefully I would chew that pudding.

My Grandfather would always join us for lunch and this always made it a special occasion. As a very young child I used to worry about Pop as he lived alone and I did not like the thought that he would be lonely.

After lunch we would all help with the dishes and the clean up and we would be sent outside to play with our Christmas gifts while the adults rested. I remember I would generally receive a book so I never objected to this arrangement as it would give me a chance to get lost in a story. It seemed always to be a sweltering day except for the Christmas that I got a bicycle. That year it rained torrentially for two days and I had to wait till the day after Boxing day to try it out.

Remembering Christmases past has prompted many happy memories. This year there has been much sadness both in the wider community and personally with some friends facing major health issues and deaths of loved ones. I trust that as we come to the end of 2017 we will face 2018 with strength and courage and a sense of hope in the future and look back on Christmas day with a sense of wonder.

 

My Dad

Dad was and is my hero….sadly he is no longer with me physically but he is there with me in spirit all of the time. I hear his voice often urging me through difficulties and celebrating achievements. Dad lived a life blessed by the love of a faithful, loving wife and loving children.

Dad’s life as a kid was filled with much sadness but he told me had many happy memories from his childhood. He once won a fancy dress competition when his mother made him a costume “stop here for trams” It was the depression and there was much money so his Mum dressed him as a tram/bus stop. He could not remember what he won and said it was probably just a certificate and he felt very proud to have won and very proud of his mum for making his prize winning costume.

He remembers his school days at the Catholic schools at Broadmeadow and Adamstown as happy times as he had a thirst for learning. He instilled this in me as the years passed. He remembers receiving the sacraments and he told me once his First Communion was a memory that held a special place in his memory and filled his necessitous life with great joy.

As there was never much money, accommodation was by necessity shared and often overcrowded. He told the story of living in Lambton with his Mum and Dad, four siblings, Aunt and Uncle and their four kids. All in a small two bedroom house. I was talking to one of these cousins (R) and he told the story of getting knocked by a car at the front of the house (they played outside in all weather as there was not much room in the house). I asked R if got into trouble and if he went to hospital. His response was he was not the one who got into trouble but his older brother (J) and Dad were scolded for not keeping an eye on him. As for hospital he said, such were the times, this was not even a remote option. He R, was allowed to stay inside however for the rest of the day and this was a rare treat. Dad maintained a strong and loving friendship with these men through his life.

One of his enduring memories was of being sent outside when his mother was giving birth to the youngest of the his sisters. Dad knew that something of import was happening so he stood on a box outside the bedroom window and watched the whole event unfold. He said he nor his actions were never discovered on this occasion. He said however, when misdemeanours were discovered discipline was hard and physical. He bore no ill-will towards his parents for this as that was how parenting happened.

He always said he remembers his childhood as a happy time despite the hardships and difficulties. The family moved often and this is something that I could never quite understand. When Dad became too infirm to drive I would often take him out for a drive in my car. One particular day we were in Broadmeadow and he was pointing houses where he had lived. After the fourth or fifth house (mostly along Brunker Road) I asked why they had moved so regularly and quite matter of factly his response was “The old man was not good at paying the rent”.

Sadly Dad’s mother, my grandmother, died when Dad was just 12 years old. M, was just a tiny baby. Grandmother had pernicious anaemia and there was no cure or treatment. He recalled however, his aunties boiling up masses of liver (lambs fry) and his mum drinking the resultant liquid. I cannot even imagine doing this. Dad, being the eldest of the five children, gave up school at this time to care for his younger siblings. He can remember following the horse-drawn hearse through the streets of Broadmeadow to make the train journey to Sandgate Cemetery. The vision of the black plumes on the horse’s heads remained with Dad throughout his 87 years.

The family were living in Lambton at the time of his mother’s untimely death but soon after moved to back to Broadmeadow. The lived opposite the Premier Hotel where Hunter Pain Clinic now stands ( a place I visit often). Back in Dad’s day it was a Pool Hall and they lived on the top floor. My Grandfather’s job was to manage the pool hall. I suspect the move back to Broadmeadow was so Pop could be near his sister who helped with the kids when she could. Ultimately however, Dad was not able to care for his siblings ( the youngest being just a few months old) and they were placed in care. No foster care in those days…..sadly the siblings were separated the girls going to Monte Pio in Maitland and Uncle B to Murray Dwyer at Mayfield West. This decision caused difficulties in the family for many years. The female siblings to felt a great sense of betrayal and bitterness towards their father and Aunty for not being able to provide them with the necessities. Dad did not go into care because by this time he was almost 14 and went to work. He worked for the Railways and when WW11 broke out he wanted to join the Army but the railways was a “protected” industry. Dad decided that if he could not join the army he would stop going to work. His boss came around to the house and asked him if there was something wrong and Dad told him he wanted to join the Army so his boss signed the forms and Dad joined up.

He served in Borneo and New Guinea and whilst he was home on leave he met Mum at his Aunty’s home (where she was working as a dressmaker) and they married at the end of the war. If Dad been alive they would have celebrated 70 years of marriage this year.

I read somewhere recently that dying well is simply an extension of living well. My Dad died six years ago today. He died as he lived surrounded by those who loved him. He gently slipped away with Mum and his kids, some of his grandkids and great grandchildren by his side. He had “waited” I believe several hours for Mum to be with him when he made this last journey. His passing was as gentle as he was and he quietly went to meet his God. He was asleep, his breathing slowed and he was gone. Then the realisation that life would not be the same again became apparent. Just as they did everything together, Mum was there to hold his hand and prayerfully guide his passing.

I miss my Dad. His story goes on in his five children, ten grandchildren, sixteen great grand children and one great great grand daughter.

Something will always remind me that he is close and watching over me.

Back to CRPS

The original rationale for writing this blog was to raise awareness about what it is like to live with a chronic health condition namely Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I have moved away from this somewhat in that I have used the blog as a vehicle for sharing some of my childhood and teenage memories. This grew out of my writing a memoir for my great grand-daughter. I have always had a fascination for my great-grandmother and I can remember her when I was a little girl quite clearly. More clearly in fact the I can recall my grandmother as she passed away when I was about 3 years old. There are many questions I have a my great grandmother – some of which I have discovered the answers to and some of which I am sure I will never know. In the hope that my first-born great grand daughter, will be interested in my life, she will have access through my writing to the answers to many of her questions.

Leaving that aside let’s get back to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). I have found it very difficult to write about CRPS just as I find it extremely hard to live with this dreadful condition. The unrelenting nature and quantum of the pain makes living CRPS difficult. It is difficult to have to go to a doctor and educate them about your condition. This difficulty is compounded by having to fight for appropriate pain relief and when in hospital or the emergency department educating staff about the sensitivities of the painful side of the body. For example, taking blood or measuring blood pressure on the left side for me can be a nightmare. It is also somewhat frustrating when the doctor tells you how well you look when you are wanting someone to amputate you leg or your arm.

It is difficult to explain the reasons you are unable to do certain things, like go for a walk or go shopping. People see that a person with CRPS looks fairly healthy and will often make comments like “well you could do it if you tried a little harder.” It makes it difficult also when you make plans you might have to change or cancel plans quite often as you cannot tell what each day will bring or if you are going to be capable of participating.

Earlier in the week I had a great day and for me a very big day. I went on a coach trip to the Art Gallery of NSW to see the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman exhibitions and then to Doyle’s for a sumptuous lunch. When I got home I was feeling somewhat exhausted and the pain was elevated. I commented to my HB that perhaps I should not have gone given how I was feeling. HB’s response was “you can be in this amount of pain when you have been at home and not done much of anything so I am really pleased you went and that you have had a good day.” He was right. I often refuse or deny myself experiences because of a “fear” of what it would do to the pain levels and attempts to implement principles of pacing. Pacing is a technique which involves determining the level of an activity that can be done on a bad day, then practising 80% of that level whether you are having a good or bad day. You do this for a few days, then increase by a small amount. Before learning how to pace, people in pain often stop doing things on bad days. This was a pattern that I initially fell into. When I first got CRPS, if I was having a bad day, I would do nothing and would often spend the day in bed. I rarely do this anymore. When you are having a good day it was easy to do as much as you could before experiencing pain, then stop. This is referred to as a Boom-Bust pattern. This gradual increase method (pacing) practised daily allows you to succeed in gradually improving your tolerance to an activity – in the boom/bust pattern you can’t. Learning good pacing technique takes the threat out of activity and can have a really amazing effect on brain pathways.  One of the amazing things about the excursion was I sat with a lovely lady at lunch and she was asking me about the reason I was using a walking stick. When I started to explain the look on her face said it all. She explained that some years ago she broke her ankle and developed CRPS. It did not spread from the site of her injury and she went into remission but she went on to explain the pain has been returning of late and that is somewhat worrying for her. I describe this interaction as an amazing thing as it is rare to meet anyone who has experienced CRPS in a social context.

So after my big day out the pain was no better or no worse than it could be on any other day. I was however extremely tired the following day and spent most of the day resting. Unfortunately by the afternoon the pain was ramped up to maybe 9 out of 10 on the pain scale and that stopped me from sleeping last night and diminished my capacity today.

However today was the funeral of a very old friend and neighbour of my family and I was determined to go and pay my respects to a loving, positive woman who had been a friend of my mother since they were young girls. More than 90 years. They lived in the same street as our family. Neither had moved from the suburb of their birth until it was necessary for them to go into care,

This lady was an amazing knitter and when Mum was in hospital “recovering” from the birth of one of my younger siblings she would come and stay with us while Dad would visit. In those days kids were not allowed to visit hospitals. On this particular evening as she sat with us out came her knitting and I asked if she would teach me to knit and teach me she did. I think after one session of her skilled instruction I was on my way and every time the needles come out I think of her. I had not seen some of her children for over 45 years and it was just great to reconnect with them and it is my hope that this reconnection will continue. The point I would like to make about this in regard to CRPS was the comments today about me looking so “fabulous”. it is amazing what your best outfit, make-up and hair gel can do when you are in pain.

How things have changed.

Today I googled the address of the street where we lived when we were kids. My parents lived there till about 5 years ago. dad passed away in 2011 and prior to going into care Mum lived with us for a time.

What I found interesting in this exercise was I could recall without too much trouble the names of the people who lived in each of the houses in the street when I was in primary school. Now having said this it was not a very big street and did not have through traffic. There were 14 houses on either side of the street – 28 in all.

What I found interesting about this was I knew the christian and surnames of almost everyone including parents and children…now in the cul de sac where we currently live there are just 7 houses. We have lived here for 20 years and whilst i know the christian names of all of my neighbours I only know the surnames of three families and one of those is because it is on the side of his truck. How times have changed.

I also found, by my google search, that there had been several serious accidents impacting on the residents of my childhood street. As a child I was not aware of these events as they would have been considered tragedies at the time and obviously would not have been discussed in front of children. This tendency gave me cause to reflect on the societal differences between children of the 50s and children of today. As kids we were shielded from the tragedies that befell families and individuals. Not so the kids of today. Not only are these things discussed openly in front of  and with kids but even very young children are exposed to the “bad news” via nightly news bulletins and social media. Is this a good thing or a bad thing….only time will tell.

Rats in the bed

I originally started this blog to raise awareness about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). As many know I developed this condition following Total Knee Replacement (TKR) in 2010. It is of interest to note, that the by and of itself, the TKR was successful and the joint works very well. Why I developed this dreadful condition one can only guess but the literature and the doctors advise that the trauma of the surgery can lead to the development of the condition. I have spoken to people through Facebook who have developed CRPS as a result of a fall or a break or a sprain or simply a bump. One amazing young woman, I met when I was in rehabilitation, developed her condition when a chair was pulled from under her by a classmate playing a prank and she landed heavily on the floor.

I have not written about CRPS for quite a while and your feedback on my sharing of childhood memories has been well received and positive. I thought I would share with you a new symptom of CRPS that has developed much to my displeasure.

One of the interesting (?) things about CRPS is that there is no defined course of the condition. It can affect each person differently and the progress of the condition differs from person to person. In my case I have had a significant spread. CRPS spread from my left leg to my left arm and then to the left torso and side of the face. Then, that not being sufficient, it is in my right foot and arm. Some people do not have a spread and some symptoms don’t appear for some. One thing that is common however is the severe unrelenting pain. The pain score is highest on pain scales and is said to be higher than childbirth or amputation. For some people the pain does not retract. In my case I have days were it is bearable and days which are beyond unbearable. On these days of unbearable pain I am either confined to bed or the lounge. I try to make the best of the days when the pain falls to a manageable level.

One of the things I have experienced from the beginning of this journey is the feeing that ants are crawling on and biting my skin. Formication is the medical term for this sensation. It is one specific form of a sensation known as paresthesia.

At the weekend this particular sensation took a turn for the worse. At 2.00am on Sunday as I lay in the warmth of bed listening to the rain with my companion insomnia I had a new and never before experienced sensation. I leapt from the bed, ripping back the covers looking for the rodent that was biting on my leg. Hb awoke and assured me there was no rat in the bed. He thought I had been dreaming and soon went back to sleep. But that was not the case. The ants have gone and I now have the feeling that a small animal is gnawing on my left leg. Now I have never experienced a rat or any other animal gnaw at any part of my anatomy but what is happening now is like I imagine it would be.

I will phone the GP in the morning and let hm know about this. There is probably not much he will be able to do to diminish the sensation but I like to share the challenge.