If you've been a follower of this blog for any amount of time, you know I run. A lot. I'm a pretty active gal. You also know I I have had some neck issues over the years and more recently a couple of surgeries. You can get caught up here (scroll to the Splenda and mCat part of the Christmas update) I'll wait while you click.......
(who knew that after this my life would go straight in the crapper?)
Okay.. so I had a couple of surgeries to fix my neck but unfortunately what happened after my surgery is far too common and sadly, not often talked about.
Pain. Uncontrollable pain. Pain that makes you stay in bed. Pain that you hide and only share with your closest confidant's. Pain that you get tired of talking about and rating. Pain that becomes the unwanted partner in your marriage and the ugly family member no one wants. Pain that makes you watch the clock and count the minutes until it's time you can take more medication. Pain that makes you want to sleep and never wake up. Pain that makes you feel like death might be a better option.
After my surgeries, the pain I was experiencing wasn't getting better. My surgeon was out of tricks. He'd tried the medications he felt comfortable trying and was at a loss. I decided to go back to my pain specialist who had helped me previously with some back issues and was successful. He looked over the medications I was on and made changes to them, increasing doses and creating combinations that I later learned were deadly.
Relief. Yes. Finally some relief. And I could function. I could drive. I could serve at the temple, fulfill my calling at church and even work very part time. Sure I couldn't remember a darn thing. Between the Gabapentin, the opiates, the benzodiazepines.... I had no memory and a foggy brain - but I could "function" and I was getting by with relatively minor pain. I was even running a bit.
For a while.
And then gradually, the pain crept back...and with a vengeance. Unrelenting. As the pain increased so did my tolerance to the medication until we were doubling the doses.
Finally one night, a dear friend had a frank discussion with Splenda Daddy and me letting me know that the doses I was on, and the combination of things I was taking would have nothing but a bad ending. It was time to do something or plain and simple - I would die.
With her help we found a place to take me inpatient to help me get off all these dangerous things.. There I learned that although I was taking the medication exactly as prescribed, my body/brain created conditions called hyperalegsia and allodynia (I'll provide links at the bottom to read about them).
I spent four days inpatient de-toxing from the drugs and then another couple of weeks while some of them continued to work their way out of my system. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. And to this day, it's not easy.
Later this week I am facing surgery for a broken elbow and I have to admit, I'm scared. I am a no narcotic girl. There will be no Lortab or Percocet for me. I can't take the chance that my body will kick back into hyperalegsia or if I even take them for a day or two, that I won't suffer withdrawal symptoms when I stop and I'm here to tell you - I don't wanna do that again!
So I'm scared. I'm scared that when I wake up and the anesthsia wears off, I'll hurt. I'm tired of pain. So, so tired it. I want my life back. Pain free. Fear free.
If you're so inclined, toss a prayer, good vibes, healing juju.... my way wouldja?
PS - If you or a family member is struggling with pain medication dependency, there is help. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org I'll see if I can answer your questions or direct you to some help. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
PSS - this took a lot of bravery on my part to write and post. Please don't judge me. If you feel like you have something negative to say, go find somewhere else to say it. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I try to be good people.