Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Chronic Pain

I have run out of my pretty powerful pain killers and now have to wait until tomorrow to get a prescription from the doctor for enough to tide me over to my next bulk supply in three weeks time. What not having pain control does do is remind you, just how painful life is for you on a day to day basis as a muscle cramps here or a nerve ganglion there runs the whole gamut from pins and needles to suggesting you have just trapped your hand in a door and kept trying to slam the door closed, even though your hand is still there. All the while the base beat line of chronic pain belts away, not really heard but you can feel it all the same.

I have never been in poverty, the real living in B&B's, food parcel level of poverty. The poverty which reduces the next generation of a family to the 'Why give a fuck, just take what you can whether it is yours or not' levels of thinking which inhabit the subterranean levels of the triangle of human needs below where heat, food and shelter lie. Not exactly criminal in intent but an anti-social hinterland where choice and opportunity never reach. 

I do not understand 'poverty' because I have no experience of it but I do understand chronic pain and I perceive a similarity in how it drags people down to levels they never thought they could descend to as they seek to escape the sense of being trapped and not in control of your life. The sense of powerlessness, the useless aggression and the meaningless platitudes people who think they are helping and being supportive offer. In the case of poverty these platitudes are thrown around by politicians and their tame newspaper editors whose hard luck story comes down to having to live on beans on toast for a couple of weeks when their grant money ran out or had pissed it up against the wall in the Students Union, more like.

Tomorrow I will get my prescription. Thanks to the SNP I will go to the chemist and not have to find £8.90p to retrieve it. Within an hour or so of taking my prescribed maximum dose my acute pains will subside and the volume of the driving chronic pain base beat will be turned back down to something more neighbourly. Over the following 24 hours I will climb back out of my current pool of despond and be able to function as a reasonable human being impersonator once more.

Tomorrow, those without food, heat or a roof over their own heads, those who each dwell in their own pool of poverty, who feel powerless as they rely on food banks to feed them and their children will have no such turn around. There is no prescription available from the UK Government to alleviate the crushing sense of lack of worth, respect and the desperation they feel because the failed treatment of the austerity prescription imposed on them gives them no hope of relief of their symptoms, their sense of failure and the dead, Tory base beat of you have brought this on yourselves, so ya boo sucks.

In this I sense no difference between me with my chronic pain and those at the bottom of the social poverty pile except I will get help to improve my situation and they will not. I think it was one of the great 19th Century Quaker philanthropists, possibly Joseph Rowantree, who stated poverty is a condition which must be alleviated for the good of all in society because poverty damages and blights all of society. I would usually look that up and check but today I just do not have the energy - I just imagine what everyday being like today was for me, will do to a person.

We Scots asked the British Establishment nicely in 1998, we scared them witless in 2015 and I do not think it will be long before Cameron get's all his worst nightmares at once - the UK out of Europe and the UK Union cintered into lots of pieces as a result. 2016 could well become the year the Tories killed the UK Parliamentary Union with their EU squabbling, greed and self interest, leaving them with an England split between the London city state and the rest of its people.

There is a stirring in England which the BBC and other London media are trying to pretend is not happening by ignoring the protests unless they can be shown to be violent and aggressive. The more Cameron and his Tories pretend it is not happening, the more likely English cities are going to explode in violence, this has happened on numerous occasions before but this time the divisions are far larger and the anger deeper. The police in England may well struggle to keep this explosion of anti-Tory hate under control and more likely not put their men and women in harms way for a government which is treating them as just another 'commodity' to be bought and sold to their capitalist pals with no real thought to the impact on the police or the population they claim to serve.

This is why a Westminster Parliament, held in the thrall of neo-liberal austerity, needs to be challenged at every turn and why, I for one, will hope to see this insidious and evil austerity thrall broken or Scotland leaves the UK Parliamentary Union before 2020 and the worst of the violence across England comes home to roost.

Maybe it is just the pain speaking in my dystopian prediction, time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Peter.
    Both my wife and I suffer from chronic health conditions but are lucky to be able to fund a reasonably comfortable life together.
    My heart goes out to those whose lives are not only blighted by chronic pain but also the daily grind of having to try and survive.
    England and Scotland have elected two very different governments to Westminster.
    We Scots have sent our government south with a mandate to end the austerity which is creating desperate situations for the less fortunate in life.
    England has,yet again,elected a government whose aim is to eradicate the untermensch through policies of social exclusion and stigmatisation.
    We are not United in any sense of the word.
    The Tories currently have a small minority at Westminster which allows them to rule over us but they have to survive with that for 5 long years.
    Our time will come.
    Thanks Peter.