Freedom From Giving a Damn

I’m in a stupid self-perpetuated cycle of waiting until the last possible moment to request a refill of my pain medication, and then having to stretch out my current supply so I won’t be without.  I’ve got the tapering system down perfectly – very few physical withdrawal symptoms (reducing from 300mg to 100mg makes me sneeze constantly for 3 days, but so does grass pollen).  My mind also runs circles around me at light speed.  This is my brain off drugs and the return of the mindswirl after a drug-induced quiescent period is extremely overwhelming.  Not to mention I just plain fucking hurt everywhere more than anywhere else.  I’m sure I sound like I’m stuck on repeat because I do this entirely too often.  That’s life, yo.  Same shit, different day.

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My husband doesn’t like to see me suffer, and he also doesn’t like me as much when I’m in serious pain.  I’m not as nice when I hurt.  I don’t necessarily get mean, but I don’t think things through as much before speaking (blame mindswirlies).  My pain tongue is sharp and pointy.  Despite what he thinks, I won’t die without my pain medication.

If there’s one thing that motivates me to go to my appointments more than anything else, it’s the pain.  The possibility of having that pain fixed or reduced.  After a few years and zero help on that front, me and the PCM’s resorted to as-needed pain medication.  If you’re a doctor and you give me pain medication, you won’t see my face again unless my stomach is falling out of my mouth, or I’m otherwise about ready to die.  If I’m at a 4 or 5 instead of a 7 or 8, I don’t care enough to show up for the routine wasting of time.  I enjoy complacency.  I enjoy being able to sleep for more than a two hour stretch.  I enjoy not being in extreme pain.

Notice I haven’t said anything about enjoying not being in any pain.  That’s just a dream.  They call it pain management, not pain relief.  Sure, you get SOME relief from the pain being managed, but it doesn’t completely eradicate it.  Short of being hooked up to an IV pump with endless dilaudid and never pooping again because of it (another dream of mine), I don’t think I’ll ever experience a day even remotely close to a zero.

One of the things I don’t understand is the notion that long-term prescription opioid use causes increased pain the longer it’s used.  There is such a thing as tolerance to the drug in question, but it doesn’t mean the pain gets worse.  It’s used as a reason to avoid prescribing them for uses other than acute pain, even though there’s no solid scientific evidence supporting it.  Just anecdotal reports cherry-picked by the anti-opioid propagandists.

While we’re on the topic of acute pain, I’d rather break both ankles every 3 months than deal with my normal pain.  No universe, this isn’t a challenge for you, so cool your fucking jets!

If you’re in severe pain for long enough, you become accustomed to it, but it doesn’t make it any less miserable.  Pain medications reduce this burden, and once you get used to this new baseline, quitting will obviously cause your pain to rebound to previous levels.  In my experience, they aren’t made worse.  I’m just reminded how much pain I was in to begin with.  It’s a spiffy thing to forget.  It’s more difficult to tolerate when I know I have an option to not be in as much pain.  Does this make me a wimp?  Or an efficient manager of resources?

Outside of mental turmoil, chronic severe pain physically effects the body on multiple levels.  Cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, neurological, and a partridge in a pear tree.  Persistent pain screws everything up.  The CRPS flares in my feet and legs are more frequent and severe when I’m not taking my drugs like a good little girl.  My abdominal pain is worse, which increases my nausea and decreases my appetite.  Granted, the pain and nausea make me less likely to eat stuff I know I shouldn’t, but there’s a reason I weighed less than 90 pounds not too terribly long ago.  All of the antidepressants, meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness in the world won’t do squat to help me function in my “normal”/optimal range, which is admittedly unsatisfactory anyhow.  My whole body on fire means I rarely get to experience those few decent hours each day.  Simple math lesson: three hours is greater than zero hours.  To me, it makes all of the difference.

Why suffer excessively if I don’t have to?  Four possible explanations are a touch of madness, reevaluation of what hurts “real bad” versus what sort of hurts, the very real likelihood of having my pain medication cut off, and attempting to make myself do things I don’t want to but might do if I’m uncomfortable enough.  Masochism, basically.

If honey badger don’t give a shit, she’s going to sit on her ass at home and play PC games instead of going to see her sadists doctors.  I need to see the orthopedic back specialist to get my funky spine squared away so I can at least say I’ve been there, and done that.  There’s this thing that can happen when the nerves at the base of the spine get compressed – cauda equina syndrome – it can lead to permanent incontinence and even paralysis of the legs.  That was the last thing my PCM said to me before he tried to shoo me away to ortho.  His attempt at putting the fear in me.  Whaaaatever, dude.  You may as well tell me Elvis didn’t really die on the toilet, he lives on the moon.  The joke was on me when I temporarily lost feeling in my sensitive bits.  Elvis really DOES live on the moon.

This whole idea that I’ll magically become a perfect patient by abstaining from pain medication, thus increasing my motivation, isn’t working out as planned.  A zebra can’t change her stripes.  If anything, it makes me more disillusioned with the state of healthcare and life in general.  Perhaps I’ve finally realized the futility of it all.  That means I’m free!  No more doctors!

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HAHAHAHA, that’s a good one!  <filling out refill request>

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9 thoughts on “Freedom From Giving a Damn

  1. What, are the sadists withholding your pain meds?! You wanna know what I think? No? Too bad, I’m telling you anyway 😜

    I think this woke crock of shit CDC assholery is really a ploy to rid the country of us sickies! It’s eu-fucking-genics, ethnic cleansing, genocidal criminal warfare against us burdens to the temporarily able bodied bureaucracy. Hey, if even half of us switched to heroin or black market fentanyl and OD’d, what a difference that would make! The world would be a much better place for us being either in permanent, unrelenting, paralyzing pain (and not keeping our doctor appointments, saving millions), or even better, permanently out of our misery.

    Pardon my ranting. Or don’t. Your post came along just as I am in the middle of a months-long pain episode. I’m thinking this is going to be the New Me. If so, maybe not so very long, unless dilaudid, ha! One of my ER doc co-workers prescribed me some of that once. I came to work all crooked because my back was in spasm. Seeing as he wanted to make sure I kept showing up (warm bodies), he gave me this stuff. I took it when I got home the next day, and had the first pain-free day I’d had in years. I hoarded that shit for emergency use only. Why is it such a crime to take an ancient medicine (tincture of opium) and get free of pain? What is wrong with these assholes who think we’ll get better some day, or maybe we won’t ever get better, but either way, we definitely should not feel mildly to moderately decent? Whew. Think I’ll go take the dog for a walk. I feel the need to limp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an interesting and unnerving theory. If they’re going that route, they may as well legalize all illicit drugs so the addicts have an easier time killing themselves off too. Or, take it one extreme step further and start mandatory genetic screening and euthanize anyone who is a healthy carrier of any sort of disease or defect. Fuck it, call the Borg. They can take care of the whole planet. Humans are pests anyhow.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. GIR!!!!! I utterly hate the 2-3 week period when I’m stuck stretching meds, but like you an extra trip to an office or the pharmacy just isn’t high priority…until it’s high priority. Accepting that I’ll be in pain of some kind and level my entire life was a hard pill to swallow but accepting that the world around me would rather see me in more pain just to avoid ‘possible’ dependence, complications or increased pain doesn’t make me feel very positive about health care, government or just society in general. I feel like I’m cheating the system by going to my GP who is rather prescription pad happy to discuss pain treatment avenues instead of my other specialists who would rather experiment with another evil anti-inflammatory that my gut can’t handle but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ouch, yeah, NSAIDS are bad news when you have bowel issues. Sometimes they’ll prescribe a PPI to go with them to protect your stomach, but what about your poor small bowel? It takes a thrashing. If you do indeed have IBD (I truly hope you don’t), it can cause a flare up of symptoms. I learned this one the hard way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I couldn’t even imagine the condition of my stomach if I didn’t take the PPI, to make matters worse, NSAIDS don’t really do all that much for most chronic pain patients, so it’s really not worth it…. though all those Advil and Alieve commercials sure do make ya think otherwise!

        Liked by 1 person

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