Thinking+Hormones+Pain=Someone isn’t going to be happy

I’ve been trying to cut back on the pain medication this past week.  Why, you ask?  Well, several reasons.  Slowing down my GI system unpleasantly is one, a basic avoidance of medication in general whenever I can help it is another, and the third reason is paranoia.  I’m so afraid of being labeled a drug seeker.  Doctors immediately become suspicious about anyone complaining of pain; for my previous doctor to prescribe a bottle of Vicodin, I had to sign several “contracts” stating how I would use the drug, promising to only fill my prescriptions at one pharmacy, surrendering my rights to my first born… ok, that last one was hyperbole.   But you get the point.

This is one of the hazards of having an “invisible” illness.  One that can’t be quantified by lab tests, or by visual examination.  I walk into the office and I look fine.  I walk ok, I smile, laugh, move ok.  I look like any healthy person on the street.  But check in with me later in the day when simply moving through a normal day has worn me down, tired me out.  You still can’t see the pain I’m in, though I might be limping a bit.  You can’t feel the aches in my hands, the burning of the soles of my feet, the fire burning in my lower back.  You could watch me cook dinner though, watch me as I have to sit down while I cut and slice and chop, and invariably despite the sitting, by the time dinner is done, I’m on the verge of tears.  You definitely can’t feel how utterly exhausted I am.

I had a bad day today.  A fight with the kid, exhaustion, over-stimulation, trying to do too much, and I’m probably premenstrual.  I went into the kitchen to get some lunch, had the aforementioned fight with the adult child, ended up never making lunch.  By four pm, I was cranky, hungry, irritated, angry, in pain (not having even taken a Motrin today) and was trying to figure out what to make for dinner.   I did take a pain pill then, at least, but was so overwhelmed that I could not plan dinner.  The Beloved fed himself and the child while I tried to de-stimulate with solitaire.  Finally, I made myself dinner (vegan sausage sandwich, kale salad, Fritos) which was delicious; but by then was so tired that literally, the effort involved in lifting my fork to my mouth and chewing was almost too much. I know how melodramatic that sounds.  Even having felt that way, later, when I’m not in that state, I can’t quite remember the depth of that kind of exhaustion.

Later, after the Vicodin peaked, I was able to do some laundry, clean up after myself in the kitchen.  And that’s why I take the Vicodin.  It allows me to function, least a little bit.  I only take one a day usually; on a bad day I might take two.  Never taken more than two in a day.  I feel so defensive about it, which makes me so angry.  I should not have to avoid taking medication because I’m afraid my motives are in question.

My one consolation is that I’ve gotten really good over the last few years at recognizing the sources of my discontent, and don’t generally take it out on the people I love (though Eric might disagree with that today.) At least I don’t have to add the guilt of that to my ills.

 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kimberly
    Apr 09, 2011 @ 20:16:29

    I’m sorry that you had a rough day. I do understand that feeling that you are being examined for the medicine you take. I hope that tomorrow is a better day.

    Reply

  2. asbestos
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 16:30:43

    I think with your conditions(s?), avoiding medication on principle isn’t a good idea. Using the least you need is an excellent idea — but I wonder if you might do better to take 2 ibuprofen than to push yourself to take nothing. My own experience of pain is that if I take a little early on, I don’t need a lot (assuming I’m not doing something stupid, like vacuuming) — but if I wait too long I’m screwed (this is for back pain, not the surgery). I’m sure you know that — but just throwing in my two cents worth.

    Reading your post, I also wondered if maybe you should schedule afternoon doctor’s appointments — so they see you in pain. And they can hear you report while you’re IN pain, which might make for more accurate reporting.

    It’s a hard hard journey — you generally do extremely well. Hopefully today was a tad better 🙂

    Reply

  3. Jessica
    May 03, 2011 @ 14:53:42

    Sending thoughts and prayers your way. Long term pain is so difficult to deal with. Have you tried any alternative pain therapy such as guided meditations, music, Reiki, etc?

    Reply

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