The pressure of looking after, lifting and being bashed by children is taking its toll on my useless right arm. There are three main areas of pain which are ever present. The first is the hypersensitivity of the skin from the neck all the way down to the fingertips. The second type of pain is a deep muscular ache in my neck, scapula and back on the right side all up in the shoulder area and stretching down the side. The third and most vicious type is the nerve pain inside my arm which pans from the neck down to the finger tips. The injury I sustained in the motorbike accident nine years ago affected my right brachial plexus. This is the trunk of nerves which extends from your spine and services the muscles throughout your arm. I think the medical term for mine was 'fucked'. A month after the accident I had new surgery (only 15 or 20 years old at the time - before that they just lopped the offending limb off) to take the sural nerves from both my legs, leaving me a fishnet stockings style scar from the back of my knee to the heel on both legs, and use these nerves to create pathways for the 12 damaged nerves sitting in my neck where the brachial plexus had been yanked from its cosy home in my spine as a result of landing on my head and shoulder from some height. Some of the nerves regrew over the period of seven years or so, some didn't. As a result of all this, the nerve pain inside my arm is ever present. The pain is unlike any other I have experienced. The bones in my hand and forearm can feel like they are being gripped by freezing cold, metal pliers and twisted in directions they shouldn't be going even though the hand is resting comfortably on my lap. As bizarre as it may sound though the pain has become my companion. I can't imagine anymore what it must feel like to have 'silence' inside your body. There has been a constant thrum inside mine for so long. It's a bit like listening to white noise. Not entirely unpleasant but you'd probably quite like to find the source and flick the switch off.
It's not all doom and gloom though. There is one enormous benefit of having a dodgy arm and it's this - I absolutely can't stand moving boxes round and carrying stuff up and down stairs so I have been generously let off this irksome task by the universe and those who make these kinds of decisions. Pickfords Removal Man has never been on my list of dream jobs. Just lugging stuff around irritates the living daylights out of me. Ever since I was young I have liked to travel extremely light. It must be genetic as my brother is the same. I recall at the age of 16 my bro and I landed in Kuala Lumpur, home from school for the summer holidays. My mother was horrified to learn that my brother had only hand luggage with him to last the following 7 weeks but not quite as horrified as when she realised that all he had in his hand luggage was a trumpet. Until my littlies arrived on the scene I had never owned a handbag or a wallet. All I used to take out was a credit card, mobile phone and a house key round my neck. In fact I clearly remember all those years ago when I was told by the consultant in gentle tones that my arm would remain fairly useless thinking "fucking wicked I never have to pick up another box again". I think at this point I should thank my lovely friends who have had to move my crap around London between flats and to my lovely husband who has had to move our crap all the way round the world.