Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Takes It Toll

2014 was a long and painful year of self realisation for me

It all started with a viral infection on the ball of f my left foot. A doctor treated the infection with dry ice. This really only made the virus angry and like Incredible Hulk you wont like it when it’s angry. The virus fought back.

What started like a pimple size lump became a large marble with a diameter the size of a 10c piece. The treating podiatrist decided to just cut the whole thing out, with the use of a scalpel and no anaesthesia.

The result a whole in the bottom of my foot that needed to be filled and padded for weeks until it heeled over (pun intended). The stigmata like wounds on my foot made me believe that I was indeed the Messiah. This was short lived as not only would there be no walking on water but in fact there would not even be any washing of the feet. Doctor’s orders don’t get the wound wet, thus I showered with my foot taped inside a shopping bag

I was hopping mad for weeks, literally. As the position of the infection and subsequent wound was such that I was not able to put a shoe on the left foot let alone put my foot on the ground.

Having overcome my feet issues I then suffered crippling back spasms that would make it painful to sit down, difficult to stand up and a physical challenge to walk. The only relief really being to lay down. Laying down is not overly conducive of many household or regular work related tasks. I did start considering a future career in bell ringing.

Drugs would help relax the muscles but not reduce the pain. The best drugs were also the worst leaving me to endure a weekend of withdrawal after only 5 days of taking the drug.

As the back locked into position, my gluteus and hamstrings would also gradually but persistently tighten.

At its worst the back completely locked into position. One night after watching movies at a friend’s house I went to leave to go home only to discover I was stuck in a physical shape that perfectly matched the sofa on which I had been sitting. As I stood, locked in at roughly 90 degrees I found myself staring at the floor.

As lay down putting I had the choice of either having my head on a pillow or my feet on the mattress. I was like the cartoons locked in position. As my head went sown my feet went up. Nine months, the pain – although no longer crippling – persists. I should be a tester for ergonomic furniture. Five minutes in a bad chair and my back tightens. An hour in a bad chair and I will limp for two days.

Despite the back troubles (mainly thanks to the drugs) I was still able to trek to Everest Base Camp and back. It is the “back” part that is the painful part. On the way up there is general soreness and exhaustion. On the way back down there is the relentless pounding absorbed by the toes and leg joints. No injuries on the way up. On the way down 7 blisters on my feet; general swelling on both big toes to almost double in size; a knee that would no longer bend; and a hip that clicked.

The accommodation en-route all had emblazoned somewhere on its dining walls the adage “no pain no gain”. Ironically the real pain is in the decreasing of altitude and the losing sight of the peaks.

Sure this was self inflicted, and healed without treatment in a matter of weeks, but still. The recovery proved to be not such a big hill to climb

2015 I am hoping to be pain free. Though performing at the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival will be sure to take a financial and emotional toll. Check out my shows webpage here.

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