Pain, pus and planning

Two days ago I had a minor operation on my toe. You’d think it was nothing – no big deal. The whole hospital and gowns and three surgeons and four nurses seemed like a bit of a mountain when you considered the molehill that was an itty-bitty ingrown toenail. But I was in the hospital for five hours. For a twenty minute ‘operation’.

Now, that in and of itself wasn’t a huge issue. More of a non-issue really. It gave me a couple of days off of work (very necessary) which normally would have been brilliant for my writing work but when one has an injury to their toe they have to sit with their toe  above their heart. So blood doesn’t gush out of my toe, obviously.

This is an uncomfortable position to write in. My feet up up in the air, my back is propped up to facilitate me using a laptop. This is an uncomfortable position for anyone but I am extremely inflexible. Add to the odd posture the pain medication (and when I don’t take the meds, the pain itself) and it makes for a hazy brain staring at the ceiling kind of a day. Or few days.


So my writing has taken a backseat. It’s a bit like when I used to like sick days from school – not that I had many mind you – they were an opportunity to get things done that I didn’t usually have time for. On the down side, I was sick, so nothing got done.

This strange blast from the past (whatever the opposite of deja vu is) has made for the last few days to be relatively unpleasant. I don’t do well on my back all day (no jokes about that please) and every time I stand up, unless I’ve taken painkillers less than half an hour ago, I have a burning fierce pain in my toe, like someone is slowly filling it with hot lead.


Describing pain has become something of a hobby of mine. I am working on a project at the moment that is reaching down into the depths of my experience. It’s not my physical pain that I’m having to describe though; the project doesn’t have a name yet, it’s very amorphous around the edges but the whole thing has a very personal feel. I’ve spoken to another writer friend about it and he thinks that it’s possible I’m the only one who could write it. I don’t now if that’s true but it’s a flattering thought. It will be a journey of discovery, I have no doubt.

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