Thursday, 18 February 2016

On a scale of 1 to 10

Since my car was hit from behind about two years ago I’ve been in pain. I wasn't expecting this long haul. Some of the problems, pain and injuries have resolved themselves. Ligaments have reattached, physio helped rebuild damaged muscles, bruising and aches have faded. But I've had a constant companion since the accident. A constant pain in the centre of my spine; half way up, halfway through, always there.

I’ve been asked numerous times where the pain lies on a scale of 1 to 10. I know why they do it, but I can’t number this pain too well. The physical pain is bad, but the effect on memory, concentration, emotion, its constant and unrelenting presence? Where do I put that?

So before a recent appointment I allowed myself a few minutes to consider my pain. I found myself writing, and this is what came out...

It seeps, and stiletto like, stabs through my spine.
Gut pinned, impaled, ever run through.
Violent drama now mundane.
Undermining, a cascade against imagination,
My train of thought ever Tayward rattling; perilous, gone.

And it stays, unbidden, unwelcome it stays
Like a toddler howling in infant woe,
Escalating in absence of reason it spins and climbs ‘til my ears weep.
Sleep as broken as 3 o’clock screams
What it needs I don’t know
It speeds past hope, past strength, my patience
It cracks.

...and I know that captures some of it, and I know it's self indulgent doggerel, but I mainly wonder whether to call that a 7 or an 8?

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