Concentration has never really been my strong point.
I tend to be distracted by references within articles and new lines of inquiry as well as by new topics, twitter and comics. It means that I have to write strict structural guidelines for chapters and articles to stop myself wandering off topic and it also means that there are certain things I know that I can’t do whilst I’m writing (one of which has always been have the television on)…
However, I am currently learning about just how firm my resolve to write can be.
Sadly, I am quite used to writing whilst in pain – from strapping up my (hypermobile) wrists to write my exams from A-levels onwards via pushing through the hangovers and stress headaches inherent in my postgrad life to dealing with the long-term pain of my shoulder condition. What I am less used to is the odd combination of pain with painkillers.
Traditionally I have taken NSAIDs (Over-the-Counter & Prescription) to counteract my joint problems but in the aftermath of my recent operation I was prescribed codeine. Unfortunately, despite the dosage I remained very much aware of the pain. It appears that codeine has the rather wonderful property of making pain something that I am able to be mentally unconcerned about whilst my body continues to protest – the drugs didn’t stop me from crying in pain because I tried to lift my hand over my head but they did stop me from worrying about whether I should or not.
More importantly, typing still hurts but that isn’t enough to stop me writing but my brain isn’t sure it knows that. This is a new kind of brain fog for me. It feels a little like being drunk, a little like being hungover, something like not having slept for a week and a lot like the aftermath of a panic attack. I can feel the words slipping away from me even as they form and I catch myself staring blankly at the computer screen more often than not. It is odd knowing that much of the fog is chemical and that the pain is mostly simply a distraction but that also makes it easier to fight.