Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bite My Shiny Metal Ass

I do not like the way Vicodin makes me feel. If I take it before bed I never really sleep. I drift in a sort of daze like I'm half in a dream. I don't like having to take it during the day, either, because I have 2 kids in my house that might require emergency transport somewhere at any moment.

So to the pharmacy tech who rang up my refill yesterday and gave me a Look, I say, "Fuck you."

I've had some pain off and on in my life, but chronic pain is a new and different animal. When Livvie was born they gave me a scrip for Vicodin and I took a few after I got home and then didn't touch them again until about 8 months later when my migraines came back and I had no meds in the house for them. It has driven people to the verge of bitch slapping me because I'll mention that my head hurts and they'll say, "Did you take anything for it?" "No."

Last fall I had serious pain. The docs could only assume that the pain was being caused by the re-absorption of Jonas's twin for some reason. They gave me Vicodin. Eventually that pain went away. I thought I was in the clear, and then for some reason in late winter I developed something called ligamentitis. The ligaments connecting my crotch area to the tops of my thighs were inflamed, and I could barely walk. For awhile I tried a cane to help me, and then the doctors took pity on me and prescribed Vicodin again. By the time Jonas was due I was freaking out that so much had been pumped into his system during the pregnancy, and I asked for an induction so my pain would leave and he wouldn't be getting anymore. The nurse I spoke to told me he wasn't likely harmed. It didn't really make me feel any better.

After my C-Section I had some pretty severe pain. Other than wisdom tooth removal I had never had surgery in my life. And abdominal surgery fucking hurts. This time I took my pain meds until I ran out. I started to go through what I can only assume was withdrawal. I felt like shit. I was happy that I didn't have to take meds anymore, though. When I was a kid my parents couldn't get me to take pills. I was a liquid meds kid. I used to gag on pills.

By August 19th, though, my back was in severe pain. I had assumed it was from trying to sleep on a cramped little sofa with Jonas trying to push me off it all night for a couple of months. But then my legs went numb. Yeah, no. Marched my ass to Urgent Care and the doctor pointed out that the locus for the pain was right where the idiot had repeatedly jammed my epidural catheter when she couldn't get it placed correctly. I wasn't given any meds. It was recommended that I have an MRI.

The details of the next month are boring to even me.

Chronic, unceasing pain basically leaves you wanting to put a bullet in your head. It leads to depression. Having reduced mobility and being unable to complete even simple household tasks leads to deeper depression.

I finally saw a back pain specialist and got some pain relief. I am aware that taking pain meds on a constant basis can lead to a rebound effect, so there are days when I push through it and then pay dearly the next day. There are days when it doesn't hurt badly enough to require meds at all. There are also days when the prescribed dosage won't even touch it and I have to take two at once. Instead of the big guns she prescribed the Fisher Price My First Vicodin. 325mg. I really don't think that's a bad thing, because it probably won't lead to as many problems. Although I fully expect one day to see my liver leap from my throat and scuttle down the road.

So, yes, holier-than-thou pharmacy tech. Fuck You. Try living like this someday and see how you end up.


HazardGirl said...

oh sweetie :( chronic pain fucking SUCKS and until someone has had it, they have no idea...i am so sorry that this is going on...

Anonymous said...

"Chronic, unceasing pain basically leaves you wanting to put a bullet in your head. It leads to depression. Having reduced mobility and being unable to complete even simple household tasks leads to deeper depression"

so very very true! and after 2.5 years of fighting it i gave up playing super woman and went to a pain clinic as my ortho recommended many times. and QOL IS better. sometimes i can even reach a coffee cup on second shelf, or even food shop w/o shaking by the time i get to last aisle.. whoohoo. pain sucks. pain meds suck. but when you get so beat down by chronic pain you can't take it anymore, pain meds beats the crap out of being in pain every second of every day.

Cyn said...

My back hurts just reading this.

Dagny said...


it sucks.

mine will never go away either. It's now a part of me. Probably not the good part.


Julie said...

You know, Dagny, I always felt bad about your back, but now I feel absolutely awful about it.

Pain sucks. It's asinine how much it effects you.

c. fulton said...

hey julie, i love ur blog, im getting sucked in.... the star wars, the dog... love it. i hurt my back in '99 and became disabled in '03. ive been on every narcotic and a million other drugs for the pain. i used to fantasize about slitting my throat or driving a 9 inch nail into my hip. im happy to say that this time last year i started to recover.... my pain is barely existent most days and ive been drug free since february. after 10 years of drowning in the sea of pain management i finally discovered a few things. 1: pain management is bullshit. the doctors are just drug dealers dependent on you returning every month... if they actually relieved pain they would be out of work. 2: narcotics keep you in pain. just like a junkie wakes up and has to seek drugs to prevent the pain and sickness of withdrawl, the pain management patient wakes up in withdrawl from the meds and thinks its their physiological pain, and pops another pill. its the same thing.... we swear it isnt. but it is. 3: back pain isnt necessarily coming from the discs, nerves, and whole host of what doctors claim is your problem. a lot of people's back pain can be relieved by stretching their hamstrings.... they connect into your lower back and pull on ur weak lil spine all day, creating havoc. lay on ur back in bed and raise ur leg to the ceiling and see how u wouldnt make a very good cheerleader anymore. use a rope or towel looped over the bottom of ur foot to help stretch ur hamstrings that way, its less stressful on ur back. last fall, i went to barnes and noble and cleared the entire shelf of books about back pain, stacking them on the rolling seated walker i was dependent on. 30 books i threw in the dirt, well, cast them aside cause they are a bunch of crap. 2, exactly 2 i found helpful. i wondered why in 9 years and a couple dozen doctors, not one ever recommended either of these books. then i remembered they needed me in pain so they could keep billing me. 4: back pain leads to being a really weak excuse of a person.... i had no muscle left to support my own spine. no one teaches us how to use our bodies to carry ourselves. i was addicted to soup at panera and happened to notice a sign in the window next door... physical therapy, yoga, pilates. i had been to a million rehab and PT places that were a complete waste of time... but some reason that sign convinced me to give it one more try.... im glad i did. between the pilates based PT, daily hamstring stretches, dumping my pain management doctors and getting off the opiates, i feel a lot better. i am now convinced that 7 herniated, degenerative discs, 2 completely torn open, and various damaged nerves doesnt mean i have to live with chronic pain. im still learning what i can and cant do. i may not be in constant pain but my spine is still technically a wreck... i have to remind myself that the roller derby is not an option. i hope u find a solution to ur pain situation.... i wish someone could have convinced me to try something different a long time ago. i believed in the doctors and what they told me to do and take. i thought they knew best. now i realize they are just another business. if it works for people, im all for it, but most people i met in pain management were still in pain. it took me 9 years of constant pain, 3 of which i spent in bed 20 hours a day before i was willing to try something else. please dont do that....