I Done It – Again

Pain medications are both a blessing and a curse. I take morphine and Percocet on a daily basis to treat my chronic pain. My body has grown tolerant to very high levels of medications in every shape and form. I take my prescribed dose at The prescribed time every single day.

But sometimes life happens and I end up taking them later than normal. Sometimes I take them earlier than I am supposed to. And sometimes, like today, I take more than what I should. Either my pain level is totally unbearable or I am utterly exhausted and I just need to sleep.

Which is what happened tonight. Insomnia is a major issue for me and sleep is not something that comes natural. I have not slept without the aid of some sort of chemical combination in many years and I hate that.

So I took some extra medications tonight with the hope that I would go to bed and fall asleep right away. I crawled into bed next to my husband and he cuddled into me from behind. I closed my eyes and started some deep breathing to help me relax and wind down but then my head started to feel funny. It was an instant headache. And then my stomach began to burn.

My heart sank. I wasn’t going to get a good night’s sleep. I knew right away that this was going to be a miserable night.

It’s now 2am. My ears are ringing. My entire head hurts in ways I can’t describe and I’ve thrown up 3 times and I know it’s not the end of it. I really screwed up tonight. Taking extra medication is one thing but I really went overboard tonight and now I’m suffering because of it.

It’s my own damn fault.

Faaawwwwkkk.

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Methadone, Hospitalization and Surgery Are In My Future

Every time I get the injections in my wrist I have a 48 hour recovery. Where my wrist is pretty much unusable. First there is a day of complete numbness and then there is the next day where everything starts to come back to life and with that comes a lot of burning pain but I must say that this afternoon I have been feeling really good. 
But unfortunately my doctor told me that since the last time I saw him there has been some slight nerve damage done in my wrist that is irreversible. 
So what then proceeded to happen was an urgent referral was put in for the surgery that I am dreading so very much. He even went and got the surgeon who will be doing it and brought him back to the OR to meet me right then and there. we talked about a lot of things and have agreed that we will wait until the end of the summer to do the surgery because at least that will let me enjoy the summer without having to go through this lay up time. In the meantime that gives me a chance to figure things out and how this surgery and the recovery period is going to work. 
There are going to be some major medication changes in the future as well. Medication changes where he actually wants me admitted to the hospital in Grandfalls so that I am there under his care. Currently I take a combination of morphine and Percocet on a daily basis. Those medications over the past year have begun to fail me which means that my chronic pain condition has just been progressively getting worse and just basically ruining me from head to toe. He sat with me for a long time during that appointment and he was very understanding and patient and didn’t seem the least bit thrown off by my crying. 
The conclusion? 

Well I don’t know how much you know about methadone but pretty much all I knew of methadone at first was that it is a liquid that the pharmacy gives to recovering drug addicts and that in order to get it these people had to go to the pharmacy every day where the pharmacist gives them a drink of this methadone liquid and then that is their fix for the day. I was not aware that methadone is also used to treat cases of extreme uncontrollable pain conditions that have otherwise failed to respond to even the strongest of painkillers such as morphine. 
So right now my insurance is going through the process of approval and then my doctor wants to admit me to hospital for 3 to 4 nights so that he can take me off the morphine and Percocet and introduce me to the methadone treatments under his care. 
I will have to be monitored very closely during the morphine and Percocet withdrawals and also with the methadone introduction so that they can be sure I don’t have any sort of reaction to it. Especially with me being 45 minutes away from the nearest hospital he does not feel comfortable with me doing this at home on my own. I think I feel a little safer going this route. I trust Dr. Cole because he has been overseeing my pain management for several years now and he knows my situation he knows what works and what doesn’t for me especially with my bipolar disorder and overall mental health and I truly do feel like this dr genuinely wants the best for me. 
I am also very lucky in another way because he is the only doctor in Newfoundland with a license to prescribe this methadone. He said that there are people on waiting lists that wait months and years to get in for an appointment with him but I am very lucky because I am already connected and when I was leaving he put his arm around me as he walked me out and he laughed and said well I guess we are going to be joined at the hip for quite a while my dear. If you continue on with the methadone, then you’re going to be with me for a long time. I laughed and said I have a feeling that my husband is going to be OK with that because when I’m in a lot of pain he suffers just as much. A woman in pain is never a happy woman and I always remind my husband that a happy wife means a happy life so if it means that in order for me to be happy I have to be joined at the hip with you? 

Yeah. I think David will be OK with that. And then Dr Cole walked away laughing his ass off LOL

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

RSD is a very painful disease/illness.  It’s considered the most painful illness known to the medical community.  I have been dealing with this for the past 4 years and I continue to battle with it every single day and what it’s doing to my body.  It started in my left leg and has gradually gone full body.  I deal with the burning, stabbing, throbbing, and pins and needles everywhere.  The pain is never the same. The only continuous thing is the pain itself. Most days I take pain meds like candy.

CRPS and RSD are the same thing.  Multiple names are used for the same crippling monster. It affects females more then males.  Sometimes it is unknown as to the cause of this developing. Other times it can be triggered by a trauma and mine started with my broken back in the car accident. My skin is usually cold and the deeper surfaces are hot and have an exaggerated blood circulation. This is resulting in osteoporosis, increased risk of fractures of my bones, areas of extreme swelling and fluid formation between my bones and joints can be identified on MRI, and severe pain is always affecting every part of me.

In some cases of RSD the blood vessels to the kidney are affected causing episodes of sudden brief and temporary bleeding through the kidney accompanied by a marked elevation of blood pressure. This can also cause nose bleeds, severe headaches, dizziness, and even passing out spells. Avoiding ice, encouraging light exercise, moist heat, epsom salts and hot water, and the newer antidepressants as the best treatments for RSD. Daily scheduled doses of morphine and percocet are also a part of my current treatment. All of which seem to be failing me miserably because I am currently experiencing more pain and discomfort than ever before.

And after my most recent appointment with my doctor, a new treatment for me to consider – medical marijuana. Now where do I go from here?

You Can Find Me At The Bottom Of The Rabbit Hole 

Morphine is categorized as an opiate. It is obtained from opium in its raw form from the poppy plant. 

(When I read this the first thing that came to mind was war, since the poppy is a symbol relating to it. Ironic. The opium is something related to a different kind of war. And oddly enough, this war of addiction also loses lives. Knowing this will unfortunately cause me to think of morphine. It’s how my brain works.) 

Since it is a powerful analgesic drug, it is prescribed for treating severe to acute pain. Morphine is also often used to relieve pain following operations. 


As long as morphine is taken according to the dosage prescribed by the doctor for treating pain, it is safe. However, if the individual starts taking it in doses that exceed the prescribed limits, or if it is used for other purposes than medical use, it can rapidly result in addiction.

(Damn)


The reward systems of the brain are activated by the addictive characteristics of morphine. The anticipation of the reward becomes very intense, which causes the individual to want the drug continuously, which in turn results in him/her making morphine the focus of his/her life. This capacity of morphine to chemically alter the brain from functioning normally by activating its reward mechanisms is what causes addiction to the drug. Besides, morphine also impairs the consciousness level of an individual, hampering his/her capability of being fully cognizant of his/her surroundings and to think properly. 

(For example, trying to eat while I have morphine in my system can get tricky. Mind you this is ONLY when I take it in excess. It’s happened. Yes. Which is why I am currently going through the most intense withdrawal I have ever gone through on my own. Taking extra doses leaves me in a bad place because the pharmacy has a strict protocol for me and I can only get my prescription filled weekly. I cannot get it until exactly the morning of the 8th day, so I take my dose that morning. Anyways, when I increase doses on my own, or take it any way other than orally, I react differently. My mind seems to shut down. Heartbeats gets slower. And communicating becomes difficult. I shut down all over. And getting a fork to go straight to my mouth to eat something is ridiculous. It is shameful for me to even know what using morphine wrong feels like. But I do. I have screwed up in the past. I’ve gone overboard with it more than I am willing to admit. And for that I am currently being eaten alive with guilt.)


Once the body gets used to morphine, it requires increased amounts of the drug to produce the same pleasurable effects. This is when an individual develops tolerance to it. While tolerance to morphine usually develops in a few weeks, sometimes it can happen in just a few days. Once an individual develops tolerance to the opiate, he/she will undergo withdrawal symptoms if the amount of the drug is reduced by a certain level. The withdrawal symptom’s severity usually depends on the length of time the drug has been used and the amounts taken. The withdrawal symptoms of morphine generally include a whole range of physical sensations such as: uneasiness; abdominal cramps; diarrhea; nausea; vomiting; insomnia; chills; coryza; rhinorrhea; severe bouts of sneezing; lacrimination; perspiration; muscular spasms and twitching; involuntary kicking; acute aches in the abdomen, back and legs; cold and hot flashes; restless sleep; goose flesh; mydriasis; increases in blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and the temperature of the body.


If untreated, the addict then gets trapped in a ceaseless cycle of attempting to quit, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, the craving urge, and relapsing. And even if the addict refrains from relapsing, the metabolites of the drug which remain for many years in the fatty tissues get released into the blood, which increases the chances of craving and relapsing continuing for a long time. If left untreated, even microscopic amounts of metabolites can make the individual feel as if he/she has actually had the drug, setting off the feelings of craving and relapsing, even after years of being off the drug.

Three Days

Having a wisdom tooth removed is a very dangerous thing. For someone like me. 

The extreme pain requires strong pain medications. Extra prescriptions for extra pills to ease the extra pain. For a recovering drug addict that is prone to frequent relapse and is easily triggered by the slightest thing who also has little self control and doesn’t currently have a firm foothold in sobriety – this is a bad thing. 

Also

solid foods are not permitted for an extended amount of time. After several days a visit to the storage room to dig out the scale is a sure sign that the ugly voice of an old enemy, the eating disorder, has wiggled it’s way back. 

Three days post procedure and I’ve suddenly realized that I have once again entered a dangerous territory. 

Disturbing Results

WOAH.

Hold on for a minute here. Breathe. You have been in this place before. And you got yourself through it then, just like you are going to do now……

Made a very bad decision tonight. In hindsight I should have known better. I know this could never lead to anything positive. Never. Knowledge truly is a double edge sword. It started out with me taking an extra dose of morphine this evening. It was bothering me, the thoughts of how taking morphine long term (4 years straight) for chronic pain could eventually lead to internal damage of some sort. So I began to do some research on the topic and out of nowhere, I read this:

Snorting morphine is the best way to take it, in my opinion. My advice is solid: remove the coating by either scraping or sucking it off (I prefer scraping it) and crush what you have left until it’s a very, very fine powder. After it’s crushed it should be even finer than dry sand; on the fineness scale, it should be somewhere around “nobody sneeze”. When that’s done, rack it up and enjoy! Should hit you within five minutes or so. I’ve heard very good things about rectal administration too, I just haven’t been able to try it yet; from what I’ve heard, though, I’d recommend trying it.

It was very unexpected.

Very triggering.

I regret ever typing the word morphine into google.

Not Functioning

Not doing so well. In a very low place emotionally. Many tears have fallen. I am currently in a self medicated stupor. A combo of morphine and Ativan has put me out of order for this evening.

Good night