Sunday, February 24, 2008

Those Egyptians Sure Know Their Cotton

I'm checking in from the Buccaneer Resort in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Everything is wonderful. This is a very laid back island that suits us just fine. But we'll talk beach and sun another day. Today we're going to talk about pain.

From a young age I've been told by health professionals that I possess a very high tolerance for pain. When I was 11 years old I suffered a very serious broken arm and Dr. Zettas told my parents he was going to attempt to set it without the use of general anesthesia. He didn't think this was possible but he was reluctant to put a child under general anesthesia. Later he returned and told them he was shocked at the fact that I'd barely flinched and never protested to the procedure.

For at least ten years I've been patting myself on the back at my ability to tolerate the chronic pain resulting from my Lupus. Nothing however could have prepared me for the pain connected with the Shingles.

Shingles.....what a totally innocuous name for a hellacious condition. I've struggled to chronicle the intensity and nuances of the pain. Electrifying, stabbing, burning, aching, hot and dangerous, wave after wave has swept over me. I'm stunned and humbled. It immediately became apparent to me how someone might accidently overdose on pain medication. You struggle to grab enough brain cells to remember if you took your medication, when you took it and whether it's time to take more. Every brain cell is focused on nothing but pain and I remembered an accident victim reflecting that at when point she knew there was no place to hide.

I simply cannot understand how burn victims or people who have suffered grave injuries can manage to not lose their minds. One night I was thinking of Alicia from Posie Gets Cosy, who had shared the journey after her accident and I'm in awe of her bravery and ability to go forward.

We had planned to spend the night before our flight at the Hilton Hotel in O'Hare airport. We had a Nigerian cab driver who drove like he was in Nigeria. The dangerous manuevers didn't bother me in the least. In the face of the pain I was experiencing a traffic accident seemed like child's play. In the cab it occurred to me that if I continued on this trip I might need to be airlifted to Puerto Rico or Miami if things got really bad. But I trusted my doctor's assurances that things would slowly subside in several days.

We arrived at the hotel and I spent a frantic night tossing and turning and rising every four hours to medicate. I was laying in the dark contemplating that waves that washed over me and waited for the meds to kick in. As the pain subsides your senses return, highly charged. Everything feels zen like and quiet, the most wonderful feeling ever. All of a sudden I had a great appreciation for the bedding. The sheets were cool and fine, the highest quality worthy of the Hilton. My next thought was, "Those Egyptians sure know their cotton!" I wallowed in them, smelled them and contemplated waking the farmer up to apprise him of my epiphany -


I vowed then and there to shop for the most luxurious sheets I could find. When I told the farmer my plan (the following morning} he heartily agreed to help finance my bedding plans.

Today is the first day I've been able to operate without great difficulty.

The steel drum music starts in about 10 minutes so I must run.

Wish you were here!


Thirkellgirl said...

Life *is too short to sleep under rough sheets. I'm so sorry for your pain, glad you're feeling a little better, and I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time.

Mary said...

Oh, I am so sorry tht you've had to go through such hell! Glad tohear you're feeling alittle better, and hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

Sabina said...

Wow, that is really something. Life's experiences...

Hope today finds you feeling much better!!!

Sabina :)

C.C. said...

My thoughts are with you as you endure this pain. I hope it subsides soon and that you get the most luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets you can find!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Glad you are feeling better (we are with great sheets!!

Thank you so much for your sweet words to help make kari's fourtieth fun and fabulous!

kari & kijsa

George said...

Luxury linens will cure just about anything, won't they? Hate to laugh at your shingles, but they sure gave you a really good post. Thanks (found you through 'Six Months of Settled')

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Zanne, I am so sorry that you have been dealing with this horrific pain. I hope that you are feeling better even now.

Wonder how much you're going to have to shell out for those sheets. If I know you, we'll be hearing more about that one day soon.

(You picked a fantastic week to get out of Illinois!)

Ginnie said...

Oh, Suzanne - I have heard from others how bad shingles can be; I hope you get through this quickly. And good for you - if high priced sheets help, go for it!

Crossed said...

Tuesday Morning has Sferra sheets on sale, (at least in Indiana). Would highly recommend them. Love the set that I got, and they convinced me that luxury bedding is better than cheap bedding. Hard to do with 2 dogs however.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Hope that you decided to stay for another week. ;>

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I have a very low tolerance to pain and I can only imagine how awful shingles must be. But St Croix........and beautiful sheets...oh yes, that almost makes the suffering worthwhile:)

Vie Chaotique said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Sorry to hear about your illness. I had shingles in my early twenties and it was not so bad. My mom had them and said it was worse than her cancer or chemo. Hope you feel better soon. Aveeno soap and creams help.