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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Sunday, September 23, 2007

In the beginning...

... there was Fizzy Leg.

Fizzy Leg has been around - on and off - for about ten years, give or take. Fizzy Leg is the result of the sciatic nerve having got itself semi-trapped in some joint or other in my right hip.

Fizzy Leg comes and goes. It doesn't hurt, but it's a damn nuisance all the same. It's a pins and needles kind of effect. Or, as I read once in a novel which I have otherwise completely forgotten, "a case of the sparklies". Although that makes it sound a lot cuter than it actually is.

Rubbing and slapping the affected area makes no appreciable difference whatsoever. But I still do it. Shouting and swearing at the leg makes even less difference. But I still do that, too.

Surprisingly, not only is it irritating enough to prevent me from getting off to sleep in the first place, it can also be irritating enough to wake me up if it doesn't really get going until one of those rare occasions when I have actually managed to fall asleep.

You know when dental anaesthesia is wearing off a bit and you can feel your jaw with your finger, but you can't feel your finger with your jaw? My right thigh is often like that. Half fizzy, half numb. It's mostly a cold sensation, but occasionally - and quite disturbingly - it's fizzy and warm. At which point I tend to be quite conscious of the fact that it's a good job it's on the side of my leg which faces out...


Anyway, no longer content with simply being fizzy, my beloved sciatic nerve has recently decided to try out some new and more ambitious sensations.

We started with Prickly Leg. Quite similar to Fizzy Leg, but with that bracing, additional "just fallen in a patch of nettles" edge to it. Nice.

Top favourite of late, though, is Stabby Leg.

Now, I've no doubt nerves are wonderful, miraculous things, and we'd be lost without them. And, really, I have to take my metaphorical hat off to any nerve which can create such a variety of interesting sensations. But Stabby Leg really bloody hurts.

Stabby Leg is a bit like being jabbed viciously and repeatedly in the thigh with a sharpened pencil. Or being bitten by an insect with inordinately powerful jaws. This is Not Fun. And no amount of swiping at it and yelling, "Ow, ow, you bastard!!" (an exclamation which can tend to lead to a certain degree of consternation in the office environment) will Make It Stop. Plus, of course, it laughs in the face of pain meds.

(Yes, I know you know what a sharpened pencil looks like: I just think blog entries without illustrations can be disappointing. And, quite frankly, this particular blog entry is so dull that it needs all the help it can get...)

And why am I boring you with this relatively-minor symptom resulting from the car crash which is my lower back? Because I've been trying to get to sleep and the poxy thing has forced me back out of bed, is why. I'd phone Pop and whimper pitifully in his direction, but he'll have been fast asleep these two hours. So I've blogged instead. But feel free to ignore. This is, after all, just something I'm doing to take my mind off my leg. And also - if I'm lucky - the change in position from lying down to sitting up at the computer - will reposition the nerve just enough for the stabbing to stop.

Ho hum.

The Editor


Blogger marmiteboy said...

I wouldn't say it was an INTERESTING development. A crappy one maybe. I think I'd prefer fizzy leg to stabby leg, even if I was being stabbed by such a cool pencil.

I'm lucky. I don't get fizzy leg or prickly leg. I sometimes get stabby leg but it happens only occasionally thankfully.

What I do get though, especialy if I'm physically tired and particularly sorely, is jumpy leg. Jumpy leg is a bugger. My leg jumps involuntarily and there is nothing I can do but retire to bed.

8:22 am  
Blogger Mary said...


hey, at least you managed a blogpost worth writing, and readable in English too. I just clutter my desktop with notepad files containing things which could, possibly, become blogposts if I gave them attention in the cold light of day.

8:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sounds a bit like what I get. Do you think it's right legs only ? Mine happens when I stand around for any length of time. It progresses to the leg going sort of numb, after which it becomes problematic as to whether I can walk to the nearest place to sit down. My worst time EVER so far was being stuck in a loooooong queue at Newcastle Airport because of the insecurity arrangements, and I only just made it.

No more airports for this Septuagent.

6:05 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Marmite: that was the cool, objective part of me talking. In between stabs I actually do find it quite interesting just how much one weeny little nerve can do to make your life a misery.

But, then, I'm one of those strange people who finds it interesting - rather than devastating - to watch myself age.

Mary: thank you. Not my best work, but at least it makes sense. Or very nearly. Although it breaks my unwritten rule about not whinging about symptoms on the blog.

Septuagent: I can virtually guarantee that Fizzy Leg will kick in if I am standing either at the kitchen sink or the irnoning board. So with me, it's the standing up and bending forwards slightly wot does it.

And lying down in going-to-sleep sort of way, naturally.

Fortunately, mine only extends as far down as the knee. So I may lurch about a bit, but I'm not in any real danger of falling because I still have feeling in my lower leg and foot.

I consider standing at airports to be much over-rated method of passing the time. There's nowhere I want to go to that much.

7:31 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

it's not a whinge, it's a text-based exploration.

8:50 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Oh, I like that... :-)

9:34 am  
Blogger Donimo said...

My, you're clear-headed late at night! Your descriptions of sciatica pain are bang on. My right leg and your right leg could be Doppelgangers. Or something like that. Sleep is indeed a challenge when the electricity can't be shut off and the wiring is shot. Personally, ice packs are my dearest companions. An icy behind is my Rx for a sciatica sleep aid.

2:13 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Despite having a freezer so full of ice-packs that the food barely gets a look in, it hadn't occurred to me that an ice-pack might be able to stop Stabby Leg in its tracks. I generally use them on inflamed soft tissue.

Next time the stabbing starts, I'll give it a go...

9:36 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

I sleep with an ice-pack every day (you should feel her feet!)

Doesn't stop the stabby leg though which... yes... is on the right-hand side!

11:35 pm  

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