Chris Tomlin O Come all Ye Faithful

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pain Management

I  woke  up at 3:00 AM--in horrific pain.  The kind of pain where you are driven to complete distraction and would do just about anything to be rid of it.  I took the maximum dose of morphine that I'm allowed--despite the fact that I do not like doing that...and despite the fact that I've taken that dose for the least three or four time slots where it has been necessary and permissibe ...And then once the back and neck pain slightly diminished--at least enough for my other pain to rise to the forefront and be noticeable...I had to rub my special pain concoction creme on my shoulders and elbow...desperately trying to get this monster under control.

Yesterday I attended a church business meeting and pot luck dinner following the church service.  Now for me to even make it through a church service is some kind of major victory...and it was only accomplished with -again - high doses of morphine.  Even with the medicine, I was close to tears when, mid business meeting, I implored someone to please leave early and drive me home.

For at least the last week, it seems that my life is one desperate attempt to manage my pain after another.  I've had to combine the two strongest pain drugs available at my highest allowable doses...just to keep  my head above water.  Obviously, if this continues there will be physical repercussions such as medical dependency to one or more medications.  I've fought this occurrence with every fiber of my being....for years....preferring to deal with pain than to deal with dependency.  But now, I feel that option closing up.  I'm tough.   I can endure more pain than anyone else I know.  Childbirth, hip dislocations...yeah they hurt.  But I didn't cry.  I didn't yell.

But this..

This pain is beyond comprehension.  Beyond endurance.  Beyond stubbornness.  And I feel my resolve crumbling.  I've discussed in past posts  ( http://cynthialottvogel.blogspot.com/2011/05/treatment-of-lifetime-of-pain.html ) the reasons that I am opposed to taking pain meds on a regular basis.  And just this week, I've already faced one of those reasons...in the face of my beloved pharmacy - who normally will do anything for me; turning coat and saying that my morphine dose was too high for reason and called the doctor to "confirm" the dosage.  Fortunately my doctor hung tough and told them "YES, that is what I ordered."  When pharmacists start playing cop...you know that this is just the beginning of the opposition and lack of comprehension you will face on every side.  People who can't fathom the depths of your pain. or understand that these drugs do NOT knock you flat on your back at these dosages.  Or approve of anyone even taking them in the first place...beginning to butt into your life to voice their opinion and to try to control what you can and can't do to control your agony.

I am as opposed to drug abuse--maybe more so--as the next person.  There are few things I hate more than a junkie's habit....and I especially hate it that they've taken a necessary treatment for many and turned it  into something suspect and less than honorable.  Folks, diabetics NEED to take insulin.  They depend on it.  I NEED to take pain meds to survive. I depend on them (NOT in the sense, at least yet, of physical dependence...but in the sense that my pain is so great I really believe that I would go mad or would literally suffer heart failure were it not managed).  My need is no less honorable than is the diabetic's.  It is equally out of my control -- due to an illness that is out of control.  I should NOT be culpable for the junkie's error or abuse.  I should not be punished for it or have my treatment options reduced or curtailed as a result of the sins of someone else.

I could rant on this for pages. But I will leave it at that.
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