Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 1791 - Oh, help.

When it rains, it pours.

So the pain doc wants me to wean off the Methadone eventually. I'm not sure what he wants me to take, since there isn't much else I can take in a realistic sense; anyhow, I've been half-heartedly looking for another pain management group in the hopes they will help me get control of the pain without insisting I increase my stress level, and thereby my pain level, by suggesting from the get-go that I consider how I want to wean off the drugs that enable me to function on a daily basis as at least a minimally contributing member of society.

Now, my mom has decided I am: 1) Addicted to my prescription meds. This is, in her eyes, happening in spite of the fact that I am monitored by my pain med doc, my psychiatrist, and a neurologist in addition to my primary doc. It's amazing that none of these physicians, who see me a heck of a lot more often than she does, haven't noticed this so-called addiction....2) Lazy and need to go back to work in addition to getting out and walking like she does to get some exercise. Never mind that I have a bad knee and have been told that walking or other weight-bearing exercises, for the time being, will only hasten the eventual necessity of a knee replacement. Add to this that there are very, very few people I know of who want a nurse on Methadone to control pain, one who nods off from the narcotic dose required to keep the pain manageable, to take care of themselves or their family members...3) Hubby and I are, in her words, perverted and sick. My sister, whose own life is a mess on good days, told mom hubby and I are into S&M which, though it would be none of their business if it were true, is a blatant lie. I don't have a masochistic bone in my body. I don't like pain. It hurts. However, she believed said sister, and proceeded to write me a letter telling me I'm fat, lazy, addicted, perverted and sick. Nice, loving mother, huh? Anybody want her?

About the knee...several weeks back I did something to it. I can't remember what, or when, but it probably had to do with chickens, since that is where I get most of my activity. Anyhow, I finally got off my butt and called the orthopedist last week. I saw him Tuesday. They did the perfunctory X-rays. He saw them, and then we all saw them. The left knee is on its way out. It's not going today, or tomorrow, but it's not going to last forever. Most of it is probably a combination of working on my feet for 15 years as a nurse and being obese. I will accept that. I'm not gonna hide it. Interestingly enough I had planned on starting Weight Watchers again with Abby this week; the orthopedist was happy to hear that. In addition, I had been considering a recumbent bike or one of those foot pedaling things, largely because between my environmental allergies and my pain, I don't do well with outside exercise. I either hurt, break out, or both. Indoor, non-weight-bearing exercise seems the best way to go.

He numbed my knee with the funny spray freezy stuff and an OUCH of Lidocaine and then drained about 50cc of fluid off said knee and injected some cortisone to help with the inflammation, all after managing to convince me that it wasn't going to hurt as much as cortisone injections into soft tissue do. I have a friend who has those kinds of injections and she locks up and is in horrid pain for a few days after her shots. I didn't want anything to do with that. Oh and by the way - he did a great job. He is a good shot and didn't lie to me, which I really appreciate. He says we can do those until they don't work, and then we can inject fluid of a lubricant style into the capsule to help movement after that, and then, in the future, we'll look at surgical management. This is my kind of doctor.

I talked it over with hubby and ordered a Schwinn recumbent bike this week. Once it's here, I'll be building a close relationship with it. It will help me lose weight, help my activity tolerance, and it will lengthen the amount of time I can wait before needing to undergo the knife again. I mean, it's only been 7 weeks since I had my right hand carpal tunnel surgery done; the left wrist and elbow (it was more involved than the right side) was done in November of last year. I'm starting to feel like a guinea pig. At least these scars aren't from self-mutilation, eh?

So, I have a sister or two that are upset that I hung up on them - my younger when she tried to tell me that I need to let my mom do what she wants to in my house, to which I said, "It's my house, and she plays by my rules or doesn't play. I'm not her patsy any more and she's not going to intimidate me or make me feel guilty any more." (Okay, so we're still working on that) My older sister - well, I hung up on her after she lied to me when I asked her if she knew what was up with Mom and then called me back several hours later to tell me she had told Mom hubby and I are supposedly into S&M. Now this sister has been married 3 times, she cheated on her first two husbands and then married someone who verbally abuses her and has cheated on her in addition to getting fired from a fantastic job at Disney because the person he was cheating with was his boss' wife...and she has a right to judge me?


Okay. So there we are. Bum left knee, maybe bum right knee as well - we just haven't looked at that one yet. Pain doc I'm not thrilled with because he seems to be hell-bound to get me off my pain medication and onto, what, short acting narcotics? He wants me to wean off the Methadone and, according to the research, there is "a chance" once I go back on it I won't need as much, if I need any at all. Okay. So what do I take in the meantime....or do I just get nothing, and go back to being in so much pain it's almost not worth living? I get the feeling he thinks I don't need this medication or he's getting pressure from the DEA, which wouldn't be a surprise since they seem to delight in tormenting physicians who actually act in their patient's behalf and give them adequate medication for chronic pain...and there is a big part of the problem. Many people in the medical community pooh-pooh those with chronic pain, even claiming that we don't need the meds that keep us going day to day. Just because you can't see or put your finger on the cause of my pain doesn't mean it isn't there. It just means it's invisible. It's still pain. It still hurts. It still interferes with my life. I still get judged, even by my own family members. And, I deal daily with the knowledge that I cannot work outside the home, which means even those of us with degrees and training end up in pain. Even those who aren't addicts or uneducated or what have you end up in pain, the kind of pain that leaves you begging God to take you home. Yeah, it hurts like hell. And to have people negate or minimize that pain hurts like hell, too, because it invalidates what we feel and experience, and what many of us struggled to hide because we knew what we were going to face when we revealed that we were taking narcotics to control our pain. I'm not the only one whose family members have decided that there is an addiction problem when the meds are being taken for a chronic pain issue. People tend to disbelieve what they can't see. If I was missing a leg, or two, would it make my pain medication prescription more justified? Why? Is the pain my nerves shoot across my face and into my eye socket like an ice pick heading for my brain any less valid than pain from an amputation?

Sorry for the rambling. I'm a bit muddled these days.

1 comment:

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Pain management is a big issue these days, and not in a good way. Would they hospitalize you to wean you off your medication?

I made them do that to wean me off indomethacin (the only medication that really kills the pain from my headache) and the consequential pain was so great they put me right back on it even tho it was ruining my pancreas - there was no alternative until I got the occipital stimulatr installed.

Weaning off major pain killers isn't always something good to try to do on your own at home even under physician supervision.

Wishing you less pain and less family drama for the next month! Wishing I had a recumbent bike - it sounds fun!