The Air Hurts
At this writing, it is 3:54 am and the house is silent, except for an occasional snore from one of the bedrooms and the steady hum of the fan on my laptop. It is quiet-too quiet. There is nothing to distract me from the freaking leg except what I find, surfing the Internet.
Recently, I explained it to someone by suggesting they imagine someone plugging their big toe into an electrical socket. Pretty big jolt, right? That's what happens to the top of my foot to the middle of my shin pretty much 24 hours a day. Every day.
How does one live with this, the RSD, the nerves that tell your brain that some heavy duty shit is going on in your body when it isn't? You deal. Sometimes, it's easier to tune things out. I've been blessed with a relatively high pain threshhold and some hyper children. It makes daytime into evening okay. Especially since Vern Troyer has decided to vacate the premises and find someone else to play "Jab the Machete" into their calf.
Once it gets quiet in the house, that's when things get harder for me. I have to be really tired to sleep, but the pain gets harder to tune out. Any slight sensation on the foot or calf results in senses working overtime, without Andy Partridge singing the peppy song, though. Socks? Can't do them. Long pants? same deal, though that has gotten a little better. Blankets? Oh God, no, they are torture.
I am a restless sleeper, moving frequently in my sleep. By trial and error, thanks to sheer exhaustion, I found that the flannel body pillow that I needed to sleep while pregnant with Chef Jr is soft enough to wrap around my foot and not awaken me when I shift during slumber.
Then, sometime during the night, my foot comes free of the thing, and I am awake, the nerves protesting some invisible army attacking them and my brain protesting that "Shit, can't we ever get a night of uninterrupted sleep?" Options offered by my neurologist aren't exactly practical for the way I sleep.
Some nights, I figure I'll just prop my foot atop the body pillow and arrange the blanket on the rest of me just so. I don't know how I'd tolerate cold winters up north anymore (and Aimee and Giggles, I don't know how YOU do it), when I'd want to be snuggled into my cocoon of warm blankets.
However, propping my foot up isn't the answer. Because the AIR hurts. I know, you're thinking that I'm completely bonkers. Even in a house with no heat and no A/c turned on, there is movement of the air around the room. An extremely gentle 'whoosh' that the average person my not even notice. To a person with RSD, it's hard to ignore, because the half degree temperature change back and forth as the air ebbs and flows is like nails on a chalkboard. It cannot be tuned out.
Granted, my case of RSD isn't nearly as bad as others I know in real life. It's gotten to a point that I can live without the painkillers and the Lyrica (partly that pain threshhold, partly the financial issues). It makes me wonder how the hell the rest of them with worse cases get through the night.
It's 4:15. The house is silent. I wish there was some way I could shut off the air so I can get some sleep.