The Day After.

It’s the day after pain clinic, and I have the best pain people ever, they take great care of me, and it’s always nice to see them, tell stories, and catch up. For all that the visits are good, the days after aren’t so grand. I’m having trouble sitting, and I hate taking pain meds so early in the morning, so I’m going to wander off and have a very quiet day not sitting. I’ve reached the ‘Spirits of Malice’ section of The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters, by Scott G. Bruce, where monks have given in to writing more salacious accounts of the undead, so that will keep me occupied.

I’ll leave you with a forensic account of someone who was in considerable pain prior to a vicious killing blow, a young Danish Medieval Warrior. A summary is at Medievalists, the full paper is available from Scholars Portal. I’ll see you all tomorrow. I think.


  1. says

    Thanks! Not quite done sitting, still setting up all the blog stuff for tomorrow, takes a couple hours. The book is very good. Quite enlightening.

  2. voyager says

    Not sitting is tough, especially when you’re feeling crappy. If you have a high countertop or table maybe you can prop that book up and lean into the day. Take care.

  3. says

    I know! I caved and took meds, and I’m still not done setting tomorrow up, so I’m crouched in my desk chair like a gargoyle, which is pretty much how I feel.

  4. jazzlet says

    Sorry Caine, its a tedious thing to be in chronic pain. I’m glad you have good pain people, mine have been very honest with me (nothing anyone can do except find the meds you can function best on, and offer some help with the mental management of pain that is likely to get worse over time) which is good, but somewhat depressing too. I hope you feel better the day after tomorrow or if not that the day after that and that tomorrow isn’t too bad.

  5. says

    Oh, I’m sorry it’s you too, Jazzlet. Not so bad now that meds have kicked in, but I’m feeling very spaced. It’s my spine that’s no good, so I go in for injections every 3 months, spinal, neck, shoulders, all that. They help, but they don’t last long, I really wish I could have a shorter interval in between, but as usual, caution reigns supreme here in uStates.

    You take good care of yourself.

  6. says

    That account is fascinating. There is a good take on what medieval warfare may have been like in John Keegan’s The Face Of Battle summary: avoid.

    I remember an account of a medieval knight who was boar-hunting and the boar ripped his kneecap off, and some of the other stuff down there. No microsurgery or anaesthetic -- they wrapped it up in linen and he rode his horse back home. What else you gonna do? Aah, the “good old days!”

    Histories of the eras of hand-to-hand combat indicate a lot of maimed people suffering lifelong injury. Japan’s monasteries being a place for parking samurai who had won, but by a narrow margin. The human cost in terms of constant pain, due to war, is unimaginable.

  7. says


    The human cost in terms of constant pain, due to war, is unimaginable.

    Yes. The face to face brutality might be gone, and your chances of dying outright have gone up, but war still causes the worst of injuries and lifetimes of pain. It’s no fucking fun living with pain, and mine, in comparison to war injuries, it’s nothing. I’m quite thankful I’m still mobile and not missing any limbs. Or major organs.

  8. says


    That account is fascinating.

    Did you see that big bone chip in the leg, from a ‘glancing’ blow with just the tip of a sword? Yeeeeeouch.

  9. DonDueed says

    Jeez, Caine, be kind to yourself and bag the blog when it’s causing you pain. We’ll manage somehow if you don’t post for a few days, or post less.

  10. says

    Thank you, Don. I’m in pain every day, just sometimes, it’s worse, and I like to give people a head’s up, so they don’t worry. The meds have kicked in, just waiting for food to arrive, along with partner.

  11. jazzlet says

    Thank you Caine. I try and take care of myself and am very lucky in having a partner who is brillint about helping. Glad you have support too. I have scarring (adhesions probably which are partially healed scars that are sticky …) round two bits of my colon where my fallopian tubes went for a wander and got stuck. Icky bit ahead --

    It means anything more solid than diorrhoea going through my colon hurts, which is a bit of a b^gger as you really do have to eat. And of course the opioid painkillers come with the side effect of constipation which really makes the pain bad so I have to take gloop that keeps water in my gut, too little gllop means it hurts a lot, too much and I have diorrhoea.

  12. says

    Jazzlet, oh, that sounds awful. I have no idea why, but the opioid meds I take don’t have any effect on my gut whatsoever. I don’t suppose a colostomy and resection would work? Although, even if it would, that’s a lot of major surgery.

  13. says

    Did you see that big bone chip in the leg, from a ‘glancing’ blow with just the tip of a sword? Yeeeeeouch.

    Sword edges are basically like giant chisels when they hit bone. I don’t want to think of how a medieval battlefield looked. Joinville’s chronicles of the crusades describes how the knights were red with blood to their waists after the carnage when they took Jerusalem. And they were on horseback.

    I thought the reconstruction of the fight was really cool. Hackitty chop bang whack -- it’s not like in the movies where a guy gets hit and drops.

    To everyone: reading the various comments about your pain -- ow, ow, ow. I feel like a selfish jerk because I was just complaining about a crick in my neck and a few small self-inflicted dings. I should be more appreciative of my dumb luck.

  14. chigau (違う) says

    A childhood friend of mine named one of their dolls Diarrhea (possibly Diarrhoea (they were pre-literate at the time)) because it sounded pretty. Their Family found this hilarious and used it as one of those “embarrass the baby of the family” things.
    / irrelevant anecdote

  15. chigau (違う) says

    Having perused the analyses of the remains, I am astonished to conclude that the Monty Python Black Knight thing was actually a documentary.

  16. says


    Hackitty chop bang whack

    A perfect descriptor! I thought the fight reconstruction was cool, too. That really helped when it came to visualizing what it would have been like. One staggering blow after another. At least the last one would have been an instant death.

  17. jazzlet says

    I’ve already had a total hysterectomy due to pain before they realised the problem was adhesions, and for four years I was pain free which was wonderful, but then it slowly started up again. Unfortunately any further operation would simply result in more adhesions, if you have them you’ll get more the more you are operated on. It’s one of those areas where people tried various things but none of them worked, in some ways I’m lucky as by the time I was diagnosed that had all been done so I’m not one of the people who had a series of operations none of which were ultimately effective.

    chigau no wonder the family laughed. The one spelling is American, the other English so either can be right.

    Marcus your pain bothers you, there really isn’t any point in comparing your pain to mine or to Caine’s and feeling you shouldn’t complain.

    I hadn’t realised that the wearing of body protection changed the way people fought, so swordsmen aimed for the limbs and head. The reconstruction was helpful, but did bring home the brutality too.

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