I can’t help it and I’m really sorry but f*#k this pain is bloody killing me today. I’ve had to go to Cardiff to have my wheelchair serviced and what with the journey, the poor night’s sleep last night and a really stupid trip over the edge of the bedroom door yesterday, I’m really struggling. I’m slumped here, watching every second go past waiting for the clock to show 5 o’clock so I can take my next painkiller. I feel so flaming ridiculous, like some kind of pathetic junkie but I need something to help me get some kind of control back over this pain.
Imagine having someone screw a corkscrew into your hip and for them to just keep twisting and screwing it in, never stopping, just twisting and twisting and twisting and twisting. The pain is horrific. Every movement you make just increases the twisting so you restrict your movements as much as you can. Every couple of hours you know that the pain can be dulled and helped by each part of the combination of drugs you have been prescribed. If one of those parts were to be refused or restricted then the pain would increase. Even the very thought of that happening is scary. I don’t mind admitting that the thought of losing even one of my meds scares the living daylights out of me. I remember only too well what life was like before I was prescribed my slow release morphine patch – it was simply horrendous, I could barely move and one attempt to stand up out of a chair ended up in the A&E Department. I never want to be back in that much pain again, I had no life whatsoever and was in a very, very dark place
The Pain clinic has really helped me in the last year; an amazingly supportive team of doctors and nurses have taken time to listen, to hold my hand and to wipe my tears. They have listened to my anger and frustration and have given me strategies to deal with it all. It’s also given me some control over the pain using a combination of slow release morphine, codeine and some other drugs that deal with neurological pain and on the whole it’s fairly effective. But not today. Today is just simply awful.
Today I hate it.
Today I just want it to end, I just need it to stop.
Now I’m ok(ish), ok enough to sit relatively comfortably and get on with my stuff. I am embarrassed and ashamed to have been in that position and now I’ve had my painkiller, I’m back to whatever the hell ‘normal‘ is. But being as desperate as that, does that make me an addict? There’s been so much in the news lately both here and especially in the US about the problems of prescription drugs being ‘abused‘ – the so called ‘Opioid Epidemic‘. All about how people who were prescribed strong painkillers for a temporary condition that had become hooked on the opiate in those drugs and were then continuing to use them long after the initial injury/condition had ended. We all know about it from the struggles of Ant McPartlin, our dearly loved other half to Dec, and his very public addiction to and subsequent withdrawal from the prescription painkiller Tramadol. Is he what we would class as an addict? If you say the word, is it somebody like him who comes straight to your mind? Does he fit the description? I so sympathise and empathise with him, he is a decent guy who has had a bloody awful time of it all, having to deal with the withdrawal and all its horrible side effects, all of it with tv cameras, paparazzi and probably everyone I know, watching to see how he was doing and watching to see if he would slip up and fall back into dependency, how we love to stare and by god how we love to judge eh?
It’s a massive problem I know and I’m not being flippant because I know there are huge factions of society being blighted by addiction, its associated crime and the damage it does to families and communities. But I also know that there is a whole group of people just like me who are struggling, who are in pain every single hour of every single day and who need these drugs just to have anything resembling a normal life.
These controlled drugs give me some quality of life and allow me to live and more importantly sleep, does that make me an addict? I am certainly dependant on the drugs but addicted? I’m not sure but what I do know is that chronic pain by its very nature is unforgiving and unrelenting and I can understand why people turn to anything to try and get some relief.
It’s weird, I intended to write something completely different today but I just couldn’t, it’s been a difficult day but never mind, things will be better soon, I’ll take my meds, I’ll take some time to rest and I’ll be more my old self in the morning – as the wonderful Scarlett O’Hara said “Tomorrow is another day“!