220. Not quite road worthy.

Tonight I hit the gym for the first time since my crash. I could hold it off no longer. The inability to excercise has been incredibly frustrating. I can’t afford to rest too long or the weight will creep back on.

Tonight was a test of what my hip and back could handle. The limp home suggests, just a little less than I put them through. I was sensible, sticking to low impact machines, at a lower resistance than normal. I couldn’t wait to get on the spin bike, but the pain induced bolt upright position that I had to hold, suggests it will be some time yet before I’m road worthy.

Loopy x

208. Wound management.

I really should know better. I’ve been doing this long enough!

Dressing brands make promises of longevity, absorbancies and water proofness. When you’re dealing with burns (often full thuckness) as I do, it requires the Rolls Royce of wound care management tools.

Burns result in exudate (the cells and fluid released during inflammation); copiuos amounts in fact, that can rapidly seep through sleeves and garments.

Burns are extremely prone to infection. The skin is our largest protective organ and our first line off deffence against invading pathogens. Furthermore as tissue dies it provides an all you can eat buffet for staphylococcus and his other microbial buddies.

To reduce scarring and achieve improved pain management the healing environment should be moist, and sealed from the elements.

I use Meplilex border Ag when I can. A foam dressing, with a gentle silicone adhesive boeder that can deal with the exudate, combat bacteria with its silver impregnated layers, and provide optimism healing conditions; or so they claim. It’s also thick enough to reduce the odour that accompanies burn healing. Think of your food waste bin, full of meat, during hot summer months in the run up to collection day.

I’d asked my GP for a prescription of said dressings, but my stock is now low. The reality is that these things bend and flex with the contours off your skin. Inflammation induced itchiness forces you to claw and scratch at them. Burning over,or near to old wounds where kelloid scars have formed creates airpockets and channels in the adhesive. All off these factors render them useless within a day or two or immediately following a shower. When my stock is low I try use them sparingly; if at all. They’re incredibly expensive to buy with regularity.

Today’s decision to ration their use created quite the conundrum for me this afternoon. I was going to the gym and knew I’d be showering after. The previous dressing had fallen apart for all the reasons mentioned above and it stunk, so had to be removed. A new one before the gym would waste it, so I left my arms unprotected, covered only by my rash guard. The wounds continued to weep, and a couple of hours later the fabric of my sleeve had congealed with the wound site. IT WAS STUCK!!!

Many of my burns heal with hypergranulation; essentially a process whereby tissue and tiny blood vessels grow back exuberantly above and beyond the original site, creating little delicate flesh mounds. It was one of these that was stuck!!

I soaked my sleeve with water, to no avail. I was forced to “tug!!!” All I can say is Ouch!!! Newly formed nerve endings were severed, blood vessels burst and flesh ripped.

In the context of lecturing I’m used to creating sessions and activities that have “learning outcomes” This was a perfect experience to teach someone not to burn again, but that’s not what I’ve taken away from it.

Despite the trauma, the pain, the odours, the recovery proccesses and the sheer difficulties associated with exudent wound management, and hiding it all from everyone else; I crave it. I need it! It’s my valium, my reality checker, my grounding strategy and my fucked up comforter. It’s my one controllable constant.

I will hoever, be more careful with my wounds.

Loopy x

199. Massive endorphin boost!!

And oh god I needed it!! I’m so grateful right now for the constant gentle supportive nagging that I’ve had about finding hobbies again. I totally forgot how much I used to enjoy judo and how much fun it is to chuck 15st dudes around. Tonight’s class was all wrestling; proper wrestling!

Let’s face it, these things tend to be male dominated and you know what? That’s part of the rush. I’m 5 ft 3, and currently weigh 55 kg, and I’ve just spent an hour grappling with guys twice my size.

I got floored several times and my flat chested fried eggs, are now pancakes!, but it was awesome.

Last night I had hit rock bottom, and cried a flood before bedtime, but tonight, I’m feeling rather elated. I’m going to be bloomin sore tomorrow.

Loopy x

165. Changing my trajectory.

“So what are you going to do today?” This is a question I guess I’ve come to expect.

Think fast Loopy!; “umm I’ll probably go to the gym after lunch”. In truth I had no intention of going to the gym today. I was going to go to bed. I don’t like lying though, so I went to the gym! I’m glad the question was posed and I’m glad I turned my lie into a truth.

It was good; bust my lungs on the rowing machine good, burned a shed load of calories good, released some happy chemicals good.

I’ll go again tomorrow.

Loopy x

158. It’s 12 am

It’s 12am and I’m awake.

I’m awake because I’m in agony.

I’m in agony because I’ve been stupid.

I’ve been stupid because I’m losing control.

I’m losing control because I feel agitated and alone.

Loopy x

154. It’s not the pain.

One would think that self harming is a painful endeavour, and indeed it is, but your psychological state acts as an odd analgesic. There is pain yes, but when I deliberatly burn myself it pales in comparison to say an accidental paper cut or spilled hot tea over my hand. It’s a strange phenomenon.

For me the worst part of burning, is not the pain, but the itch. You can sleep through pain, but an itch that can’t be tamed is unbearable. I’m in a little pain this evening. A new wound over an old eased some tension today. It blistered immediately. I’m dreading the impending prickling and tingling that this new wound shall bring.

Loopy x

127. 2 in a row!

It was a pleasure to blog yesterday as I was documenting good spirits. It’s even more of a pleasure today as I’ve now had 2 good days in a row!!  It’s been quite a while since that has happened. Again I don’t know why. Maybe its the meds, or maybe I’m just slowing readjusting to life outside the walls of the psych ward, but whatever it is; it feels good.

Today has also been a productive day in terms of taking steps to recovery and returning to lifes daily rituals.  I took little man to nursery this afternoon.  It went much better than I had anticipated.  He was a little clingy, but there were no tears or tantrums and I was even able to leave him for a little while.

We then braved the commute home during rush hour, squashed like sardeens into the sweat box that rumbles along tracks and stops at every hole in the hedge. I put headphones on little man today and allowed him to watch cartoons on my phone.  I never wanted to be one of those parents that shoves a scrren in front of their toddler at every oppertunity, but today it worked.  He was content for the entire journey and more importantly my heart rate stayed within normal limits. I guess if it makes my commute less stressful then it’s worth it.

I also had coffee today with my closest work confidante.  It was lovely to see her again, and I don’t have to hide who I am with her which is such a relief.  We chatted about all sorts but she also mentioned that another colleague is off sick at the moment.  Off course I don’t wish illness on anyone, but I was just a little happy to hear its not just me landing people in the crapper, picking up my responsabilities.

I also know that I have someone I can talk to when i return who understands the difficulties of mental ill health, the challenges of returning to work, and she’s someone who will take the piss out off me at every oppertunity and will help me to see the funny side off all lifes dramas!.

I’ve just come back from the gym and my endorphins are pumping. OH has put little man to bed, the house is peaceful and I’m going to have a cuppa.

Loopy x.