Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh what a night,

Late December back in......

Oh wait, it's February and this was last night.

Usually, I'm an excellent sleeper. Go to bed, lie down, wake up 6-8 hours later.
Except those mornings where I wake at 4am and get up and make coffee.......but still with a 9:30 bedtime most nights, that's still 6 hours sleep, allowing about half an hour to go down deep.

Last night? Ugh. Now I have an inkling of what insomniacs go through.

Except it wasn't my mind keeping me awake.
It was my right leg, which was aching quite a bit, and my right ankle and foot, which at some point I wanted to chop off for a bit of relief.

I have varicose veins, 99% of which are in my right leg. From the groin right down to the toes. Just like my mum. My left leg is mostly fine.

Well, yesterday after the standing, walking and getting up and down the stairs several times at work, my leg had had enough. The aching began in the hip and knee on the third or fourth trip upstairs.
By the time I'd walked home, the ankle and foot were swollen and painful.

This doesn't always happen, so when it does, I get cranky.
I put a couple of wet flannels in the freezer while I showered and then massaged the foot and ankle a bit.

I wrapped one frozen flannel around the painful swelling, put my foot up on a couple of cushions, and rested there while I read the paper.
Then I switched flannels, because the first one had thawed and warmed, and read some more.
A couple of chapters of my newest book, Fever Dream.

By then the swelling had gone down a bit, so I got out the laptop and started reading all the new posts waiting for me.
I continued rotating the frozen flannels until bedtime, then I propped up the leg on my spare pillows and tried to sleep.

My mind was ready to drift away, but the leg wasn't ready to stop aching.
Lie on my back? Solid aching from ankle and foot.
Lie on one side? Aching from ankle, foot and knee.
Lie on the other side? Aching from hip to toes.

Definitely not a win-win night.

After a couple of hours tossing and turning, my foggy brain said get some Deep Heat on it.
So I limped into the bathroom, covered the whole leg in arthritis strength Deep Heat and tried again to get to sleep.

No go.
Another hour, and I was hungry as well. Just as well, because codeine can't be taken on an empty stomach.
So 2:30am saw me in the kitchen making a cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee.

Ate half the sandwich, took the codeine, finished the sandwich and coffee and went back to bed.
Once the codeine had time to take effect, I finally fell asleep and didn't wake up until 9am this morning.
Luckily, it's my day off, so I could just putter around until it was time to catch a bus and meet my K for lunch.

It's not often my leg aches this much, I can only think it's because of the heat causing the swelling, which then affected the rest of the leg.


  1. OUCH! can you try something like Hirudoid? (not sure if I got that name right)

  2. Why didn't you take a painkiller straight away? Don't listen to donkeys saying they're harmful, pain is worse.

    9:30 bedtime?

    That's Adelaide for you.

  3. Pick the nights when things won't be so good, and take a pain killer. Leave the martyrdom to me.

  4. Ah geez, that sounds like absolute torture, River! Loving Andrew's plan ^^

  5. hope your leg has settled down.

    Try voltaren cream instead of deep heat next time, it feels cool and soothing. My physio recommended it.

  6. Toni; Hirudoid? I'll check it out.

    R.H. I should have, I usually do. The 9:30 bedtime came about when I was working the opening shift and had to get up at 4am for six years in a row, in winter I'd be in bed by 8:30 or 9. I can't function at work without enough sleep.

    Andrew; I really don't know why I didn't take the codeine with dinner.

    Being Me; it wasn't fun, that's for sure.

    drb; the leg is fine today, a little ankle swelling, that's all. Voltaren doesn't work for me anymore. I gave up on it a couple of years ago.

  7. River, like Toni I suggest Hirudoid [spelling does mot look right] Mine is in the bathroom and hubby is asleep so I will not check it now. Works a treat! Believe it is the same as attaching leeches..or is that leaches?
    Good luck...

  8. Hirudoid works for me and you know how many times I fall over and get bruises and pain in the knees. I'm more concerned that this pain comes after the back manipulation the other day.
    Flow on from that could have caused swelling down the leg and for pete's sake, buy an ice pack for the pain not frozen cloths. And see the doctor again since you might need those tight stockings they use after operations to stop blood clots moving up the body. Have I frightened you enough? Good, my work here is done.

  9. Work three months straight of night shift then you'll know what insomnia is, you walk around like a zombie for a week or more :-).

  10. I'm with some of your other fans - take a painkiller early on: I've found that it does help (I have varicose veins too and now have plantar fascitis - not sure of the spelling - in both feet). I hope you have a much better night tonight!

  11. Chez; welcome to drifting. I'm shopping tomorrow, so I'll pop in to the chemist and check the Hirudoid.

    JahTeh; I've had the varicose veins for years, and this has happened before, just not very often. I don't think it's anything to do with the back manipulation. Those tight stockings are useless for me, they have knee high ones for those with veins below the knee and thigh high ones for those with higher veins as well. My veins go all the way up into the groin area, they don't make stockings that high. I don't think they make them in pantyhose style.

    Kath; I've remembered why I didn't take the coseine early. Because I'd taken aspirin instead. It thins the blood a little so it flows easier and sometimes, a lot of the time actually, that's enough. Taking codeine too soon after aspirin isn't a good idea. Plantar fascitis - is that fallen arches? I have one and wear arch supports in both shoes.

  12. I'd think about getting them stripped. My sister did and hasn't looked back.

  13. Baino; had some stripped way back in 1983. Now have a much worse new bunch.