Deep in the NightNurse slumber the wind blows. It’s a wind full of ghosts, fleeting memories that skit across the mind’s surface and then fade into the borders like the wraiths they are. When I surface, with a start, the real world appears as full of apparition as the one I’ve just left. Motes, glimmers, rattles, thumps, distortions that shift and blur. I tread water for a disorientating moment and then it all clears like bubbles surfacing in a glass.
The noise outside is the men relaying the pipeline that supplies gas to the street. I can see it, a giant yellow coil like a children’s treat being unwound into a hole right dead centre across a neighbour’s drive. It sounds Industrial, just like Cardiff once would have. Everyone waking to the hammer and thump of the steelworks, the rattle of the coal staithes, the trains steaming and clanging, and the ships hooting as they reached the docks.
From up here on the hill I can see where it all would have been, the whole post-industrial landscape laid out before me, now gentrified with apartments and neat cul de sacs. Places to house our rocketing population. How does that figure? When there was work aplenty Cardiff was half the size it now is.
The thing with colds is that no matter what you actually do they carry on just the same. Their durations are fixed. Work through them or give in and lie down. Makes little difference. Pretty much the only thing that works that I’ve found is drugging yourself up with Lemsips and hoping for the best. I’ve prepared a vacuum flask of these before now and carried it around with me all day. Down the road they are advertising Hopi Indian Underwater Nipple Massage (£35 a go) as sure insurance against catching winter colds. Good luck, I say.
I reach for the Prednisolone, the morning routine of tablets to keep the polymyalgia pains away. And then I remember. I’m on zero now, been here for a few weeks. The problem has been dealt with, diagnosed, treated, lived with at its maximum intensity and then lived with as it slowly oh ever so bloody slowly faded down the scale for 10 to none. Polymyalgia, the malfunctioning of the proximate muscles, common among older women, apparently, and those who live like sloths. A disease of the body that rattles and frightens you so much that you wonder if actually the whole thing is in the mind. But it’s not. It’s as real as bone snapping or bladder infection or thumps on the nose. You take tablets to ward it off and it goes away. If you are lucky then it does that permanently.
Am I cured? Could be. In a drawer I have a large supply of the drugs. NHS overprescription to ensure that I always had enough on hand to save me. There is nothing wrong with the drugs in these boxes but they won’t be recycled. They’ll be thrown away. I’ll take them back to the pharmacist from where they’ll be sent for some sort of secure disposal. I could try reselling them on the street, I suppose. But then who would want a fat moon face and night fears followed by nose bleeds and an inability to go out? I guess I’ll hang on a while, just in case the leg pains shimmer again. Best be sure.
And this blog. What do I do with it? I’ve still got the spinal cyst and my dealings with the NHS might have slowed just a bit but they’re still there. Maybe I’ll change the name and carry on. I’ll let you know. Watch this space.