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Archive for January, 2017

Opioid Effects

We have all seen the commercials on TV…those commercials for medication to combat opioid induced constipation. We know that opioids as well as any type of medication (prescription or over the counter)…even the simple Tylenol can cause constipation.

My system is extremely sensitive…which has really limited what medications I can take. I have also had to modify my diet to a Low FODMAPs diet for my IBS-D.

My husband and I had been very hopeful for the opioid that I could tolerate. After all, it is helping me to get some sleep and helps take the edge off my pain. I have been eating dried prunes (they are not Low FODMAPs but I have determined what I can safely get away with), sipping warm water, and occasionally using Milk of Magnesia.

For the first few months, this was working great! Yet now, I am faced with the reality that my body is “on to me”. My husband noticed my swollen belly…around my stoma. Yes…the worry that had been at the back of my mind…is making itself blatantly apparent!

I will have to revert to what my surgeon had me do when I was recovering after my colostomy…I will start taking one tablespoon of Milk of Magnesia every day…along with as much fruit as my system will tolerate…in hopes that my system will respond so that I can continue taking the opioids.

Thankfully, my pain specialist and the maker of the pain pump are working with my new insurance to get the pain pump trial underway. My underlying hope is that I will have a successful trial and be able to go that route…forfeiting the opioids all together….only time will tell!

Dry Tears

The incredible stabbing pain

Coursing through my groin

Burning as with flames

Eagerly licking the dry wood

Growing higher and hotter…

Thinking is muddled

As distraction is impossible 

No measure of stillness

No medication can calm

The overwhelming sensations…

I cannot hide the grimaces

Moans escape on their own

For I am not aware that I made them

As the searing knives slice my flesh

And the ice picks pierce through…

Tears are not falling

Dry eyes hide the truth

That which is hidden from sight

No image depicts the war

That wages within…

If only the pain 

Could be captured on X-ray or MRI

To be shown as the cruel dictator it is

The thief that has taken so much

Yet is never satisfied with its spoils…

To hope for a less painful tomorrow 

Not knowing what will come

Grasping for breath to attempt to dispel

The downward spiral 

Of a body out of control…

Snuggles

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Small in stature…large in personality!  Our feisty new pup has brought the perfect balance of distraction and cuddles.  There is no better way to fight pain than to snuggle with a soft, loving, pup!

 

Wave Upon Wave

As the waves

Crash upon the shoreline11803762-sea-waves-breaking-on-the-rocks-stock-photo

So the waves

Of pain cascade throughout

Transforming every nerve

Into a volatile eruption

Senses overwhelmed

As spasms wrack an all ready tired frame…

Relentless crashing against the rocks

The waves continue to pound

As a hammer yet without mercy

Pounding and changing the shoreline

Demonstrating such power
As it rewrites the coast line

So with the intensity of pain

Every fibre of our being

Crying out…rather screaming

Albeit a silent scream

Unheard by human ears…1081-1242414452ggmy

Tide pools are hidden

As the waves come in

The tide ever rising

The sand disappearing

Its watery blanket

So the transmission of activity

Nerves not relentingThe grimace…the groan…

The feeling of weakness

The tears that well up

That refuse to fall

Release from the tight grip

Wishful thinking…forcing a bowed head

Prayers for relief

Just the slightest…please…

Waves continue

To batter the shore

The intensity will

It must refrain

This heightened level will not keep

As prayer for strength

To navigate this path…

The Psyche Frustration

Webster has many definitions for the word Psyche:

“1. Classical Mythology: a personification of the soul, which in the form of a beautiful girl was loved by Eros.

  2. The human soul, spirit, or mind.

  3. Psychology, Psychoanalysis. The mental or psychological structure of a person, especially as a motive force.

  4. Neoplatonism. The second emanation of the One, regarded as a universal consciousness and as the animating principle of the world.

  5. A female given name.”

I am referencing the second and third definitions. The reference to our state of mind.

Those of us with chronic pain make many decisions in handling our pain…our conditions…one of which is the use of opioids for some sort of relief.

As we know, the choice to use the opioids is often a necessary…yet difficult one….

Once the decision is made, we are committed to monthly appointments with our pain specialist to obtain the necessary hand written prescription.  We discuss with our doctor how we are doing…how the medication is working…any differences we have felt over the past month…then our doctor may suggest an adjustment to our dosage…or perhaps a different opioid.

Our pain specialists know that we are not making things up…that we are not creating a delusion…that we are truly sick…that we are truly dealing with intense physical pain…pain that will never go away.

We learn to adapt our lives…we learn to utilize the tools that our medical team provides to us…along with the many changes that are forced upon us.

We endure showing our ID when picking up our medication. At first it feels so awkward and strange…it is almost as if we are doing something wrong….yet…we know that we are not doing anything wrong.  We are utilizing an important tool in our toolbox against our severe, chronic pain.

The one requirement that I am still trying to “come to grips” with is the required yearly appointment with the Psychiatrist or Clinical Psychologist.  Now, please do not take this wrong!  I truly appreciate the work they do….the serve an important role…and yes…they are a part of our medical team.

What frustrates me is the idea that someone thinks that I am making up my conditions in order to take a pill. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever consider making this up! I know that I am not alone in this. (The “someone” of course is the government….since our opioid medications are Federally regulated.)

I do not like having to go once a year…I do not like the way they sometimes try to misspeak our words…I do not like having to constantly repeat myself, over and over…relaying the same stories…

Yet…that is exactly what I will do at my next appointment. I will have my husband by my side…as he will wheel me in with my wheelchair.  Then I will do my best to focus through the Fibro Fog…

Prayer

Prayer…it can be such an integral part of our lives.  I know for me, prayer is a vital life line.  It allows me to hand over my fears…frustrations…disappointments…concerns…as well as all that I am thankful for.

We learn many formal prayers….”The Lord’s Prayer”….”The Glory Be”…as Catholics, many more are learned…”The Hail Mary”…”The Apostles Creed”…”The Divine Praises”… I am sure several others have come to your mind.

We also learn to pray informally.  We are often told to use “The Lord’s Prayer” as a template for our own prayers…we are encouraged to use our own words…to speak to God as if he was in the room for us…like we would speak to a friend.

Often we can find ourselves in a rut…saying similar words as if by rote…going through the motions…not really allowing ourselves to open up and speak with our hearts not just our minds.

Many of us were taught the following pattern for prayer (referred to as A.C.T.S.):

Adoration – “Praise be to God!” -Psalms 68:35
Tell God how much you appreciate Him.

Confession – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
Tell Him where you have fallen short. Be as specific as possible.

Thanksgiving – Always “glorify him with thanksgiving” -Psalms 69:30
Thank God for His love, His faithfulness, His patience…express gratitude to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Supplication – “Make your requests known to God.” -Philippians 4:6
Tell God what is on your mind…whether it be for yourself…a family member…a friend…you can also just speak thoughts that you are having.

I know that I often pray informally…yet there are many times…especially when Fibro Fog is thick…or my mind is wandering all over…I find comfort in reciting one of the formal prayers…even if I cannot get all the words correct…it helps me to relax…to shift my focus.

Our Heavenly Father knows our hearts…He knows our needs…He wants us to commune with Him.  Whatever type of prayer…as long as it is from the heart…will be heard.

Lessons of Chronic Pain

I have learned so much in dealing with chronic pain…whether it be Pelvic Floor Syndrome, Rectal Prolapse, Spastic Sphincter, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, IBS-D, Polyarthralgia, Colostomy, Hysterectomy, Benign Tumors, fluid build-up, Peristomal Hernia…there have been many lessons.

I know that our Heavenly Father has used these illnesses/conditions to teach me many things…the lessons have not been easy…it has been a rough road that has had its many challenges…however, I have had the support of family, friends and, of course, our Heavenly Father.

I have learned:

  • To be humble
  • To allow others to do things for me
  • To say “No”
  • To be patient with myself
  • To take naps
  • To appreciate small talk
  • To not take anyone or anything for granted
  • To appreciate the view through my window
  • To enjoy a ride in the car
  • To accept my limitations
  • To understand that I cannot always follow through with our plans
  • To know that there is no way to predict how my body will feel
  • To know that I can choose my attitude
  • To better appreciate time in prayer
  • To take more time to listen
  • To prepare simple meals
  • To ask for help
  • To smile no matter how I feel
  • To always appreciate a hug or gentle touch (no matter how much it hurts)
  • To become my own medical advocate
  • To speak up for others with similar conditions
  • To never give up
  • To see the best in those around me
  • To encourage others
  • To be sincere
  • To use my wheelchair
  • To use my walker
  • To use electric carts
  • To see medication as a tool to help improve my quality of life

I know that there are many more…my mind now draws a blank…

Each step we take…to allow others to do for us…to utilize all the tools that we have been given…is a step in improving our mental health, our relationships, and our confidence.  Our bodies may fail us; however, our faith can keep us strong.

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