Off sick

Many apologies to those who check up regularly on this blog. I can see from the stats that there have been lots of visitors, but unfortunately there’s been nothing new to see for rather a long time….

Well, I’ve been poorly over the last two to three months. Some of you may be inclined to scoff when I tell you that the cause of my absence is toothache – but such is the case. ¬†Any of you who have had serious toothache, however, may well understand. I’ve had constant toothache since mid-October and it’s been driving me round the bend. I’ve had all sorts of strange dental complications, have been treated with lots of antibiotics and have been trailing back and forward to the dentist every few days, for weeks on end. So far, there’s no definitive explanation for the toothache; it’s all a bit of a mystery although the dentist has done her absolute best to help me. I’ve been referred to see a specialist in dental pain, and hope to get to see him next week. I don’t think the pain has diminished, but I’m perhaps getting better at coping with it, as I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’m probably going to have to live with it for a while.

I’ve discovered that pain and any kind of creativity are polar opposites. It’s been really hard to do anything much, but in the last couple of weeks I’ve been making an effort on the days when I have a bit more energy. Once I get going on stitching something, it really does help. The problem is getting to that point. I was reading something on a website the other day about coping with chronic pain; the writer recommended setting a couple of targets each day and achieving them. The targets can be quite easy things, but the main thing is to set them and then to follow through and achieve them. I’ve found this really helpful advice. If you achieve your two targets then you are rewarded with the sense of achievement, but also I’ve found it’s more likely that you’ll feel energised to do some more things. So, for example, today I set myself the target of filling in and sending off a couple of forms that have been hanging around for some time, and then doing some reviewing work for a couple of hours. I did both of these things, then walked to the post office, and then when I returned I felt like doing some stitching. I’ve stitched for an hour or so, and now, finally, I feel like writing a blog post. So. that will be quite a lot of things achieved.

If anybody out there has more useful advice about coping with chronic pain, I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve got a few photographs of pieces that I’ve been working on, so in the coming week I’ll aim to produce another post or two with some stitching in it.