#chronic pain #chronic illness
Easter saw a different pain in our household, with hubbie experiencing the nearest to childbirth that a man can. Initially he blamed back pain on a football club that he runs for 6 and 7 year olds, but as the intensity rapidly increased over a 2 hour period we both knew that something more was going on. So I packed him off with my dad as chauffeur and the 17 year old as escort to A&E, with a strong hunch what was causing the problem. Son was given strict instructions to keep in touch, ask questions and let me know what the doctors said. Do you think he did? Eventually I received a text with one word……MORPHINE! What does that mean, Olly??
My hunch was correct and blood tests came back showing renal colic, or kidney stones in layman speak. Allegedly the most acute pain and akin only to labour. When I finally did speak to my dear son, he informed me that by the time his father arrived at casualty he was in agony and the initial drugs didn’t even dent it. Oliver expressed his concern by reading his book! The symptoms were classic(extreme pain at the edge of the lower ribs radiating to the side), except that there had been no grumbling warning signs, and subsided as the stone dropped into the bladder. A scan the following morning showed clear kidneys, no abnormal blood tests and no predisposing factors – just one of those things!
My news is that I’m a week off the opiates. HURRAY! I’d be lying if I said that the last few weeks have been easy – in fact these lower doses have been harder to adjust to than the huge doses of last year. Restlessness, stomach pains, upset stomach, increased pain, insomnia….need I go on? The sleepless nights are unwelcome and painful, yet already my memory is returning and my desire to read and write. The funny thing is with certain drugs that the brain slowly but surely turns to a cotton wool fog, but at first the benefits seem to outweigh the side effects. But then the opioid shaped holes in the memory, the concentration and the well being start to turn the brain into a Swiss cheese. I can only imagine that this must be a little what the onset of dementia feels like. My inability to think, to remember, to concentrate has stopped me from functioning normally and in certain school governance meetings I have felt just out of my depth. This, combined with faints that may or may not be a type of seizure – hurray! – has left me unable to function as I want to.
My GP was surprised when I told her my news this morning. She is hopeful that I may also see some better bladder function return, but my poor guts don’t know if they are coming or going. It will probably be a good 6 months before I am entirely free of oxycodone, so I have no plans to touch the pregabalin as yet. But I do feel pretty proud to say that I’ve gone from 120mg twice a day to zero in 6 months…….I went to a book club last night and I’m even using Twitter. Good riddance brain fog!