Monday, 14 November 2011

Pacing Plans


Remembrance Sunday is a very important day for me. Even before I became a Christian, I used to go to the memorial service and pay my respects. Nowadays I feel the need to go even more strongly than when I was serving.

This morning I took my son to the local service. As I was one of the few veterans attending we were asked to lay a wreath on behalf of the British Legion. Following the laying of the wreaths we walked a short distance to the church where there was a particularly touching service. In all I stood for about 25 minutes and walk about 400 metres on sticks but it turned out to be too much for me. I spent the afternoon taking things very easily, but all the while I could feel the tell tail signs of a flare up coming on. It finally hit hard at about 4 o’clock this afternoon and despite having taken all the meds and run through the techniques I use to manage such situations I am still sliding.

Fortunately, last Sunday I built the service into my week’s pacing plan and was careful to build in an expectation that the afternoon and tonight would be very difficult. I planned an afternoon of reading poetry and other activities which would minimise my discomfort. I also made sure that I let my family know what was likely to happen so that they would not be fussing around me, something which makes me feel guilty and depressed. In short I prepared myself and my support team physically and mentally for a difficult time.

I also decided that I would post the following poem in the late evening. The poem describes what it is like to have a flare up. It does not make comfortable reading, but I’m hoping that it will demonstrate to other pain sufferers that if you pace yourself and plan how you are going to deal with a flare up it is possible to achieve things you might not normally achieve.

I know this strategy doesn’t help on the occasions when you get caught out but the old Army saying known as the 7 P’s is worth remembering; Prior Preparation and Planning Prevent Piss Poor Performance.

Flare Up

The tormenting ache is obscured
replaced by searing agony.
I feel the flesh melt,
Imagine the blisters as they bubble,
blacken and crisp over.
The edges split and retract
to reveal red tissue below.
It blackens and the cycle starts again.

My mind tells me it’s not true,
burnt nerves can’t feel.
but this is no ordinary fire
no water can quench these flames.
Born deep within neural pathways
they burn as intense as
the a charcoal maker’s kiln
consuming all reason and sanity.

Bed covers lie thrown back
the soft linen had burnt;
as its folds crept like molten lava,
and scorched everything in their path.
The mind fights for control
looking to stem the flow
as if closing the sluice on a stream
but the gate valve is stuck.

Thoughts are marshalled,
challenged and found wanting.
Well-rehearsed counter points are delivered.
Slowly control is regained.
Unhelpful thoughts rally for a final push
but once again the mind delivers a ‘coup de grace’,
another battle is won
and the leg will bare weight today.

John Carré Buchanan
19th August 2011

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.

Visitors






Free counters!



Popular Posts

Blogs I Enjoy Following

  • Frog Army - Diane Scantlebury - From the pool And strangely squelching, A dark horde emerge In clinging black suits, Bare feet slip slapping On wet tiled concrete, As they tip water from Th...
    1 day ago
  • EAST MEETS WEST - My recent visit to Northern Ireland was primarily to attend the wedding of my nephew, Simon, to the lovely Kimiko. The happy couple live in London but for ...
    2 days ago
  • The Alley Cat - My latest poem is in the form of a, *Terza Rima* and to the prompt,* Cat*, for Guernsey Poets August open mic evening. *Link to Guernsey Poets* *The Alley ...
    4 days ago
  • Father - *To the face I can’t quite picture* *To the voice I can't quite hear* *To the smile so lost in memory* *To the moments you were near* *These are the though...
    4 weeks ago
  • Vertical Society Bullshit Jungle - Dear Japan I am tired Of vertical society bullshit This place is a jungle Balding managerial lions Lead prides of chuckling hyena recruits To the watering h...
    4 weeks ago
  • Scarborough Fear - If you should go to Scarborough fair There's a field of heather and thyme Where the breeze shall whisper the name Of a girl that used to be mine In this...
    5 weeks ago
  • Memories - I remember after moving here, all the family loved to visit. It was the place to make memories. Paddling in the river. Feeding the ducks. Watching the lam...
    4 months ago
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll - *I didn't realize how long it has been since I have been here to write* *Change often seems to create a sense of suspended animation* *where the outer wor...
    8 months ago
  • This Job, Not That Job - *What I'm reading: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon* *What I'm listening to: Incomplete by James Bay* Isn't it fun to spend your birthday ...
    1 year ago
  • ... gloriously exciting! - There is something gloriously exciting about anticipating ones next Chad assignment, sitting in the back of the relative comfort of seat 34J, the the dron...
    3 years ago
  • Time-Out - Every now and again in life we come across a bump or hurdle. It can come in our relationships, our finances or as in my case, health. Right now I've been...
    3 years ago
  • thumbs up - it was a battle. looking back i don't think we ever had a chance, but you don't just give up on a young man in the prime of his life. we had to try. he ...
    3 years ago