A Day in the Life.
I spend a lot of time sitting down. Reading, playing PUBG, solving sudoku or surfing the net. When I stand up, my knees sound like someone is crushing an empty cola can inside a leather bag. I walk like a penguin, and can’t get far without support. A walking stick is sufficient for short distances but I need a walker if I’m going further. Such as down to the shower block. Walking upright hurts. I have found that leaning forward with my elbows on the handles eases the pain.
Inside the caravan I get support from the table and bench surfaces. Or I brachiate from the overhead cupboards. Standing at the sink bench to prepare food and peel potatoes is as painful as when I walk. I can’t do it for long. So I lean on the bench top with my elbows. My knees lock , my back is at a happy angle, and I can get on with the task at hand. But I still must return to an upright position when I finish. More pain. Unlocking knees. Straightening back.
I go for long slow walks in the night. There are a lot of sounds from the bush surrounding the camp. I enjoy listening and trying to identify the source. My walker has a seat so I can rest and listen when I need to. I know one must exercise. I do it at night because it is cooler, and because I am not observed. I’m shy about my condition. I’m fat. It is easy to say if I lost weight it would not hurt so much. Don’t you think I know this?
Swimming is heaven. Weightless, buoyant, I can swim all day. With water supporting me I can walk miles up and down the shallow end. It feels wonderful. I push myself to build up my leg muscles and burn some kilojoules.
Then comes the time I must get out, shower, and go home. Stepping out of the water and back into gravity is hell. It’s all I can do to keep my composure. Inside my head I’m saying “fuck, fuck, fuck”.
On some days, especially after exercise – and shopping is the worst – the pain is so bad that on my doctor’s advice, I take a double dose of Pregabalin. That seems to work, but the dose appears to be sufficient now to put me in a slightly euphoric state. Sometimes I help it along with a can of Sommersby Cider and if it is close to bed time, perhaps a tot of whiskey. I did this yesterday, because it was my birthday.
Often this euphoric state, supported by the regular morning and afternoon doses, lasts until the next day, in which case I don’t drive anywhere. I skip the pool, and do no shopping. That’s when I kill it on PUBG, or write. Otherwise I sleep. I sleep a lot by day, under a fan. Especially after a swimming or shopping expedition. That is what I shall do next. This will inevitably lead me to be awake and active at two in the morning. I was this morning. Then I slept from six to ten. Four hours is the longest I sleep. Because bladder. I have to drink copious amounts of water for my kidneys. Usually that means the longest stretch of unbroken sleep I get is about two and a half hours.
The irony is that I have to drink a lot of water, or coffee, tea, Pepsi Max, etc, and I also must take a daily diuretic. And still I retain water.
* 604,464 hours.