Sunday, December 18, 2011

Managing Pain

Managing severe pain is unfortunately a feature of my life. It has been for five years. I was listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio Two the other day and he said that he wrote in his diary the difficult stuff - as well as the good news. I thought I won't be publishing this on the web for now, but I have read it again and a couple of other blogs by other people and thought that it could help. Life is not a picnic. Or if it is, it is a picnic where it sometimes snows, rains, hails, mostly dull, a small amount of sun and the occassional blue moon. Today I have taken MST (morphine) at 6.30am, I took paracetamol and mefenamic acid about an hour ago and I've just taken some tramadol. That is a serious amount of pain relief. Yet still I am sitting here in discomfort, reluctant to get dressed, have a shower or do anything at all. You can't concentrate. You can't sleep, you can't do anything. All you can think is that the pain has to go. Without the medication I vomit and it is completely intolerable. At least I can type this now I have taken pain relief. Luckily for me, this pain has been diagnosed. It is endometriosis. Gynocological lesions. I have tried many, many things - in addition to the traditional Western pain relief medication. I've tried acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, shiatsu, the Alexander Technique, surgery, acupressure, exercise, yoga, meditation, talking about it, Chinese herbal medicine, chewing gum, hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis and hot water bottle. Yet each time it's back to the drugs. And the experts tell me I have to wait until pregnancy, the menopause or a hysterectomy for the pain to go. With pregnancy it will be a temporary relief. Perhaps that's the worse thing: my hormones or 'cycle' is such a mess that this pain is just totally unpredictable. It's happening every two weeks at the moment. Impossible. It is this unpreditability that is most disabling. You can't plan. When I am in pain I just have to put the brakes on, postpone, cancel, hold off, delay. There is not much point in doing anything pleasant as I just can't appreciate it. I'm just thinking 'What time was the last time I took the painkillers?' Then 'Is it too early to take some more now?'. People who haven't experienced chronic pain - even some who have don't seem to understand. I haven't got a broken leg. Blood isn't pouring out of my neck. 'Just do something to take your mind off it' they say. 'You'll feel better once you get to work'. Funnilly enough I feel worse with those two tips.

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