Pain Management is a lie.

Let me tell you my truths. I started pain management back in 2000 something. And here’s what I remember.

I remember passing out, in my car, at the bar, while watching TV. As if I was on heroin.

I remember face planting the wall, and passing out in front of my kids. I had a black eye for over a week.

I remember staying up, all hours of the night, chain smoking cigs and burning holes in my furniture.

I remember not remembering. Ultimately costing me jobs and affecting every area in my life. I would get in my car, and have no clue where I was going.

I remember the constipation. Going weeks at a time without a bowel movement. Sitting on the toilet praying to anyone who could help me, and stifling my tears so my kids don’t know.

I remember crying in the shower. Giving a break to the people in my life.

I remember the anxiety. The restlessness. The inability to find a comfortable spot. The feelings of isolation.

I remember the Dr appts. That made me feel like a criminal, a drug addict and not important.

I remember multiple attempts to fix my pain. Injections, procedures, meds, and I remember that hopeful feeling I would get EVERY time. That this time, things would be different. Better. But they weren’t.

I remember being kicked out of dr offices for asking too many questions.

I remember my kids seeing me at my worst while I was struggling to do my best.

And in all of this, what I DON’T remember, are days without pain. Because they don’t exist. And on all the medicine, either did I. It’s all a lie. They can’t fix me. And I refuse to die slowly.

Time.

A lot of time has passed since I started this blog. I remember it was right after I was let go from my last job that I decided to start writing again. Sharing my experience as a person in pain. The past few months have been a whirlwind. Victories, hurt, struggle and a lot of joy.

I got my pump removed on Feb 10th. What I thought was going to be a small surgery with minimal recovery turned out to be 2 weeks of immobility and continued issues with withdrawel. My Dr assured me that because my pump was at a trickle for the past 3 months that I would not experience any symptoms. I beg to differ. I was on a med, every day 24-7 for over 3 years. I don’t think you just go back to normal the day you stop taking the med. I know my body, I am paying attention. Needless to say every day it gets better. I am less emotional, less restless, I still have very little appetite but I am eating right. The pain however, without the pump or other meds has been very hard to deal with. Still, I am dealing.

My Mother, flew down to care for me during my surgery.She lasted 2 days. I expressed my frustration after waiting 24 hours that I needed a new tape. That the tape she was using was ripping my skin and pulling at my incisions. I got no sleep, it was hell but she felt cooking and shopping and meal prepping for her diet were more important than my care. So she left, while I was butt naked crying on the bed in the only position I could stomach, fetal. She took my car and enjoyed her time here in Cali by spending time with her best friend and my brother and his new baby. My brother never once called to check on me. My Dad never once called to check on me. And my Mom, well you get where I am going. My sister, who suffers from the same back pain I do, and my best friend who has her own kids and life, came to my home every day. To change my bandages, check my incisions, help me get dressed and eat, and just overall make me as comfy as possible. After three weeks I started to lose my mind and I slowly started making my way out of the house. Now I am approaching the 4th week and I no longer have on the binder or bandages. I am still caring for the incisions and being careful but my recovery is coming to a close soon.

So in the last few months, I have reconciled with my middle daughter, spoke to my oldest daughter, and best of all I made friends with my ex husband. The ex husband I’ve hated for the past 12 years of our divorce. Thats a LOT of fucking energy. I know what sparked it and I don’t care how it happened. I am just happy to have my friend back, and to co parent these teens. I’ve also started speaking out on my support for medicinal marijuana, as it truly has saved me through out this ordeal. I hid my pot use for years, mainly because I chose to work in the lives of others. What a hypocrite to work at a rehab helping women to be sober and I myself partake in pot daily. But its my medicine. Just as a diabetic needs insulin and babies need breast milk, this is what my body needs in order to fight back against the pain. The constant pain. I choose to smoke pot and not take a shit ton of meds. When has that EVER ended well for me?

Which brings me to the last news of this update. My drug test. Once again, my Dr gave me a medmatch form to do a urine screen. I know why, she knows why but of course it wasn’t said outloud. Now that I don’t have the machine in me anymore, she can discharge me. I know it and it scares me. But I refuse to give up medicinal marijuana. I’ve done it for too long and too many times. So I had to falsify my test, used someone elses specimen. When I say I had an anxiety attack while waiting to be called, I mean I wasn’t breathing. And then when the temperature wasn’t correct, and I knew my test would be invalid, I walked out of the clinic and threw up. My nerves were SO shot, I had to surround myself with friends for the remainder of the day and I am a private person. It blows my MIND that I have to go through this, just to get my little 30 norcos a month. So my choice? Not get the norco anymore. And on these days I have break through pain, bad flare ups, I will have nothing but weed. I don’t see an alternative, its the bullshit legal system.

So that’s the jist of my life in the past few months. I am no longer a cyborg, I am looking for work and I am out being social again. Life is good.

Nice delivery dude.

I know its been a few months since I’ve written. And a lot has happened. I still have my morphine pump in me, but finally have a surgery date in Feb to have that SOB removed.  I am only using norco as needed and lots of pot for pain management. My pain is in issue, my MRI shows progression. So one of the things my Dr’s recommended, is that I see a new neurosurgeon. I haven’t seen one in years, maybe there will be other options for me. Other alternatives than what I am currently doing or have tried.

I go to Sutter Medical center this morning, first time as a patient. I am seeing Dr. Fox in neurology, suite 501. I had about ten minutes to explain my life’s pain story, and with that info and only one recent MRI he came to the conclusion that not only will be not offer me surgery, but he has other patients with similar disc  issues and they don’t have a morphine pump. That if I’ve tried all these other alternatives like injections, meds, physical therapy, pump implant etc etc and none of them offered me relief than what is the point of doing surgery?

So what you are telling me Doc, is the past 20 something years, I was just being dramatic?

Fuck you Dr. Fox. Nice delivery. There’s a lot of ways to say a person is fucked, but insinuating that this pain is somehow in my head makes you the crazy one.

 

Diagnosis : I need a new spine

  1. Lumbago
  2. Lumbosacral Neuritis / Radiculitis
  3. Lumbar Disc Displacement
  4. Lumbar Disc Displacement with Myelpathy
  5. Lumbosacral Spondylosis
  6. L1-2 2mm circumferential disc bulge
  7. L3-4 2mm circumferential disc bulge
  8. L4-5 disc disiccation and disc space narrowing. 5 mm broad based disc bulge with central prodimance. This indents the thecal sac and narrows the canal. Facet atrophy greater on the left than the right. Narrowing is greater on the right than the left.
  9. L5-S1 disc space narrowing. Modic type 1 and 11 endplate degenerative changes surround the disc. 5 mm disc bulge with central and right parasagittal predominance. Superimposed marginal osteophytes present. Neural foraminal narrowing bilaterally and bilateral facet atrophy
  10. Shmorls Nodes ( sheurmanns disease )
  11. Sciatic
  12. Scoliosis
  13. Disorders of Sacrum
  14. Myalgia and Myositis
  15. Myofascial pain syndrome
  16. Fragmentation due to a car slamming into me in 2009

It will be interesting to see what an updated MRI reveals.  This isnt even all of my diagnosis but its what I could gather. After a while it just starts to become jargon and medical terms.  My pain has certainly increased. I can see and feel the changes in my body and the things I was told would happen, aren’t ALL coming true, but I’m certainly not the same person I was 5 years ago.