Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Relapse & Rebound

Well...I had to go way up on my meds. This recent pain relapse wasn't going to disappear with each out-breath of meditation or by visioning a river of healing blue water flowing through my body. I haven't been at this level of meds since I first developed my pain syndrome. Even though I feel grateful and lucky that the meds do work for me - I have to say, in all honesty, each step up, each time I spilled one more pill onto the pile, I felt a sense of defeat. I really don't want to be a person who is dependent on pills.

Richard is happy to have me back as a whole person rather than the whipped and broken puddle of a person I am when the pain takes over. He is glad for the gift of medication. I pinball from glad to mad to sad, and eventually let the medication ball drop into the gutter and get on with daily activities.

There is, I admit, a unique joy I feel when the pain recedes but is still close in memory; and the charm of daily routines is not yet faded by complacency and habit. In these moments I can feel delight in the mundane, and I can lean into that "glad to be alive" sense that only comes from having survived something terrible.

So I pour the pills onto my open hand, count each one, notice its size and color, toss them into my mouth, and send them on their journey with a big gulp of water and a sense of gratitude,... and resentment.


Rochelle said...

awww, {hugs} - I feel your pain... literally! I hate being dependent on pills & supplements too. It's so frustrating. But, alas, sometimes it really is the only course of action to feeling better. My thing now is I've been taking too many for too long and am getting a horrible gag reflux. I will spare you the details, but it's not pretty. It's making it increasingly difficult! Grrr.

Well, keep that head up, and keep doing what you can to feel better for now. Sometimes what we need is the things that make us feel better short-term so that we have the energy and pain-lessened days to be able to work on the long-term stuff. I wish you all the best! :)

Barbara Kivowitz said...

Thank you, Rochelle. Your support means a lot. And your advice about short term and long term is something I keep needing to remind myself of.

Anonymous said...

Same is going on here. I'm sorry to hear your pain is worse but glad to hear the meds are working. The weather seems to bring on my pain flares and we've had some wierd weather changes. I need to move somewhere that it stays cold all the time. I hate hot weather! Wishing you better days soon!!

Barbara K. said...

Interesting, Sherlock. Now that you mention it, I think weather changes do have an impact on my pain level.

Wishing you better days too.

Aviva said...

I can empathize. I went cold turkey on pain meds last Thanksgiving, but I've been so flared for the last couple weeks that I'm just not coping at all with the huge spike in my pain levels.

FWIW, I definitely flare worse and more in hot weather. I was always intolerant of heat, but these days, I just can't cope with it at all. :-( Makes everything worse, from joint pain to inflammation to fatigue.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog.
I wax and wane with denial and acceptance of my illnesses. I too hate having to take the medications and wean off only to find myself once again reliant upon it to lead a semblance of a normal life.

Barbara K. said...

Hi Aviva & Welcome Anonymous

Aviva - now that you mention it, I think I have pain episodes when there is dramatic changes in weather.

Anonymous - sounds like we share the same roller coaster ride.

I wish us all better days

Maureen Hayes said...

Oh how I related to this post. I HATE needing my pain medication, but am also grateful that (most of the time) it helps me to be able to function. I went through and awful period of pain myself recently and was reminded what a difference the medication makes.

I am sure your doctor has probably said this to you but I say it to myself when I need to be reminded, "If you were diabetic, would you feel badly about needing to take insulin? Why do you make yourself feel badly about needing something for pain which is just as real an illness as diabetes?". hope this helps some and that you continue to get relief.

Barbara K. said...

Hi Maureen - I am so sorry to hear about your bout with pain. I hope you are having better days now. And you're so right about the insulin metaphor. And yet, sigh... I just want to be a "normal" and not have to take any medication.

J said...

My wife is thankful every morning she can wake up and take something that helps her live. The only thing she resents about being on pain medicine is other people judgments.

The support of a spouse is very important. Most pain sufferers don't "look" sick, so they are treated poorly by family and friends.