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Tramadol Nightmare Finally Ends

                          

Tonight marks the seventh day I’ve been completely free of any tramadol. The peak of withdrawal for me was this past Friday night. I woke up with sweats, jerking muscles that were cramping, I puked a few times, I had an excruciating headache, and once I got out of bed the panic set in. I was up all night. I could not stay asleep. When I did sleep it was in increments of thirty minutes. It was a very rough night. That next morning, I began to wonder if I needed to enter a detox facility. It was that bad. As the day went on I was exhausted but as I kept focused on music, and moving around it got easier. I am now on day eight and all the withdrawal symptoms have departed!

I feel pretty good considering all my physical infirmities. My nerve tumor pain is high part of the day, but I manage through it here at home. I had a very successful day yesterday. Yesterday I was able to go out to a doctor’s appointment, make a grocery store trip, make a Walgreens stop, make a stop at the gas station, and do my dishes at the sink! This might sound trivial to some of my readers, but for me, that is extraordinary while only being on naproxen 500mg.

I have noticed a few changes since detoxing from the tramadol too. I have been struggling with severe fatigue for years now and concentration problems. I always walked around feeling foggy, and so fatigued I could barely hold my head up most days. This last week I noticed that the foggy feeling has subsided completely. I think more clearly. I believe the tramadol must have contributed to that cloudy thinking. The fatigue I felt was probably intensified by the tramadol as well. I am still tired in the middle of the day but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was while I was taking the tramadol.

I don’t see my pain clinic until the 24th, but when I do they will have to come up with another plan for my case. I am rejecting to be treated any longer with any type of narcotic, or any type of pain treatment that my body will become dependent on, that if I choose to stop taking it, I have to deal with withdrawals like I had to face with tramadol. There has to be a better way to deal with pain patients. There has to be a way to help us without turning us into pill addicts, or physical addicts. They’re doctors who work hard to get these special degrees. They should be smart enough to figure this out.

I strongly believe marijuana should be utilized in this area. If marijuana was utilized for chronic pain patients, it would prevent addiction across the board. Science shows that cannabis is promising for pain relief. “Science also shows that addiction is very low at only 30% likely to have a dependency problem and that the 30% who develop dependency are people who have psychiatric issues before use” (Hasin).

It is time that our nation takes the stigma that surrounds cannabis and completely remove it. We must begin taking rational steps in solving problems we face with addiction to opiates and other opiate type medicine, like tramadol. Cannabis is one logical step! We must begin taking logical steps in treating chronic pain patients and stop imagining they do not exist, that they do not matter, or that their quality of life is not just as important as any other patient treated in our nation. Cannabis would help so many avoid opiate addiction, it would help improve the quality of so many lives across our nation, and it would be affordable to them. If the Obama administration is serious about this new initiative to help fight opiate addiction, he will move to help legalize cannabis nationwide on the federal level for medical use with a proposed bill to congress before he leaves office. The ball is in your court Obama. Help us, not the prescription thugs!!

Sources

Hasin DS, Saha TD, Kerridge BT, et al. Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United  States Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(12):1235-1242. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1858.

 

Moving Forward in 2015

     movingforward

It is a new year! I can hardly believe it is 2015 already. I will be 37 in one month. I never imagined I would be where I am today. I drive a school bus part time and I enrolled into community college. I started my first semester January 12th. I have a week in so far. It is challenging with being sick and disabled but I am one determined woman. It must be that thing called ambition driving me. I am going for my teaching degree.

I have come far in my life. I was reflecting back on my life and all I have been through and it really does amaze me. From a chaotic, traumatic childhood, a lost teenager, a drug abusing young woman, a disabled grown woman to a sober, wife, mother and a college student. It has been one long road to this point in my life. A road full of missteps, loss, sadness, trauma, delays, joy, corrections and triumphs. I think that makes me remarkable. Yes I am remarkable.

There are so many people I have lost through the years. I wish I could reach out to them and show them that I am finally on the road to healing completely. If only there was a staircase to heaven. I am working hard to achieve a dream I’ve had for quite sometime that before I let fear, and missteps prevent me from going for that dream. Not anymore. I am taking power back over my life and over my happiness.

I will always be a working disabled woman. I think I am finally reaching the point in my life of true acceptance. My disability and health problems were an excuse for a long time. I do not use that as an excuse anymore. Self pity is what I suffered from. It took me a long time not to be so angry about having a disability so young. I still get frustrated over it being more challenging for me to do things compared to a well person. Riding a bike, dancing to music, cleaning my house, getting out of bed, getting dressed, and doing things with my family. I am finally learning to pace myself with those things and if I can’t do it on my own to ask for help or try again later.

Some mornings I do not think I can make it through the day. Somehow I do it. Somehow I get dressed, go to work and go to class. At the end of each day I am amazed sometimes that I made it though. I like to think I get that from my dad, may he be resting in peace.

My dad. It was very emotional for me after my first day of classes. I cried briefly as I was leaving the campus. My dad would have been so happy for me and so proud of me. I often wonder can he be happy and proud where he is? Where ever that is…

There are a few things I have learned by becoming disabled and I honestly do not think I would have learned them otherwise.

One, people matter, the people you have in your circle matter a great deal. They can lift you up, or bring you down. They can make your shoulders heavy with weight or help you carry burdens you have. They can make you cry, or they can make you smile. They can make you angry, or they can make you happier. Everyone knows this of course but to practice having the positive ones around you is a lot harder to practice. I have learned how to do just that, surround myself with positive and discard the negative. You have to believe in your worth in order to be sure you discard the negative people and hold on to the right people.

Two, no one can survive alone and isolated away from human connections. It feels great to make someone smile. It feels great to know others might face the problems you face. It feels great to say I have some great friends in my life.

Lastly, love abundantly. Life ends for everyone but memories can last forever. You impact the world daily with every action and even when we are gone we can impact the world. It is best to leave a lasting, loving, positive impression in stories shared with those who loved you.

Going to college will hopefully leave a lasting impression on my daughters. I want them to be strong, independent women who will not allow anyone or anything hold them back from what they want to do or become. I also hope that I leave a lasting impression that you should never give up and quit without a hard fight.

I hope I live to see the day my two girls go off to college, or get married and have a family of their own but I have come to the realization that I might not. My dad died when my youngest brother was 13 years old. My dad was only fifty when he passed on. We never know when our time is coming but we know tomorrow is never promised. I try to make the most of today everyday. Even in all my pain, struggles and monkeys on my back I make the best of it because that is how I want to be remembered.

I want my children, family and friends to share stories about how strong I was, how loving and determined I was in my life.

This life of mine has not turned out like I dreamed as a very young child but this life I am living has nothing in it I would trade away. My life up to this point has made me who I am today. I am pretty impressed with who I am today and I believe many around me are too.

I have a long road ahead of me to get my teaching degree, I know. The difference between Rachel five years ago and the Rachel today is I am ready and excited for the challenge and the adventure. May God stay with me every step of the way and lead me where it is I am meant to be like he has my whole life thus far.

rememberjourney

Surviving trauma, one day at a time…

roadrecovery

Who I am today was created by the trauma I survived when I was a child growing up in a chaotic environment. My mother was a schizophrenic with chaotic reactions and violent answers to her delusions. I received the majority of her violent episodes. Actually I am not sure any of my brothers received any violence from her. Perhaps I was the only one she lashed out at. I cannot speak for my brothers. I can however share with you my own personal trauma and things I developed to help me survive the nightmare of having a schizophrenic mother. Things I never knew I did until I entered therapy.

There would be times that months would pass without her chasing me around the house with a fly swatter. There were also times it seemed to happen so often I just wanted to die. I never knew what was coming next. Peace or war?

As a very young girl, grade school age, I didn’t understand what was wrong with my mother. I simply thought she hated me. I thought she was jealous of me for being the only daughter out of five children. I spent years wondering what it was I did to her and why she didn’t love me like my dad loved me so. She did not get a diagnosis of being schizophrenic until I was entering my teenage years.

I have very few pleasant memories of my mother. Our relationship was a very volatile one. I have many beatings I can recall. I can recall the verbal abuse I endured. I can recall the dishonest games she played in hopes that my dad would punish me. There is something that happens to the mind and memory when you live through a trauma I learned from therapy. The severity of cognitive impairment on the brain can depend on how long you endured the trauma and how severe the trauma itself is or was. My therapist said it is a miracle that I did not end up having split personalities.

I have often wondered why I could not recall clearly how old I was with some of the events that happened to me. I learned in therapy that my brain had created memory bubbles that would retain very limited information or memory of the traumatic event. It is or was a survival technique I have and you have as well. Another thing I learned in therapy was that many people who live through trauma have a tough time recalling time of the event, or how long it might have lasted. The brain does this to help protect itself from the trauma. The brain attempts to dissociate. Dissociating is also known as compartmentalization of the memory or memories. This process can cause confusion, anxiety, paranoia, fear, withdrawal, feelings of being disconnected or numb, guilt, shame, shock, denial and feeling hopelessness. Childhood trauma can cause permanent effects on the personality of the person who lives through the trauma. There were many years I had to piece together through therapy to get an understanding as to when it was happening and how long it went on. I have many events still confusing for me that will take more therapy to piece together. I am a masterpiece in the making. I say masterpiece because I survived it all. I may have damage left to repair but I am alive and I am sober.

I would have nightmares many nights. I remember my first thoughts of suicide came to me when I was around eight or nine years old. It was around this time I started putting pen to paper as an attempt to escape all the terrible things happening to me. I started out writing dark stories and dark poetry. I would draw dark figures and draw my nightmares onto paper. The writing started out as a cry for help but when no one heard the cry I decided to start creating my own worlds where the bad things eventually ended for the characters. I dreamed of and created paradise. My writing became a tool for survival.

My dad did not have a nine to five job. My dad worked from home, repairing electronics. He must have known my mom was mentally ill many years before she was diagnosed and is most likely why he worked from home. It was his way to help prevent harm to us. Unfortunately he was gone sometimes for long periods going to the auction house to fix electronics, to make money. This is usually when she would have violent episodes. When my dad was around the physical abuse never happened. Though I remember a few times he walked in while she was in the midst of beating me and he stopped it. I recall sometimes the verbal abuse would happen even with my dad home. He would yell at her and tell her to shut up or knock it off and she would.

My mother was obsessed with demons when she had many schizophrenic episodes. Her mind would tell her that the devil was trying to get me or she would swear I had demons inside of me that she had to get out. Getting those demons out usually involved her chasing me around with switches, thin tree branches from the trees out front, an extension cord, or the metal part of the fly swatter. There was a few times she put me in the tub with very hot water when I was around seven years old. I can recall one time she put ice cold water in the kitchen sink and forced me to hold my hands under it.

As far back as I can remember I was afraid of my mother. For a long time I hated her for these things I had endured. Growing up thinking that your mother hates you can make you a very angry, messed up child, teen and even an adult. I thought she hated me because I would see her treat my brothers so differently. She would cook potatoes, pancakes, whatever they asked for. She would refuse to get up with me to help me get ready for school. My dad would be taking my brothers to high school and I would be left home while mom slept to get myself ready at age five. I usually went to school with nothing to eat, my clothes mismatched, sometimes dirty, and probably inside out if my aunt or dad didn’t help me fix them.

From the very beginning of my school life I avoided forming friendships. I had already endured enough abuse that I felt ashamed, embarrassed and scared. I would not have friends come over to my house until my middle school era and even then I can count on one hand how many came over.

Not only was I living a life of sexual abuse from others, physical abuse and verbal abuse from my mother, but we lived in a very poor household that was not clean. My dad always had the house full of televisions and electronics and my mom was a hoarder.

I did develop one friendship where I could share my secrets to a safe person outside my home. That friendship was Andrew. I was able to share everything with him. That friendship lasted his whole life. I went back home to bury him July of this year. It was one of the saddest things I have done. I will forever be heartbroken that he is gone. I think having him growing up helped me to survive.

The sexual abuse and the abuse from the schizophrenic episodes my mother and having an abusive man in my life at age 18 has shaped me into this very guarded, skeptical, damaged woman today. This is what I am going to discuss tonight. A clear repercussion of being abused for almost half of a lifetime starting at a very young age.

I form very few strong connections with people. If I deem them trustworthy I allow them in to a point but always keep myself detached from them. I learned that this is a survival mechanism I formed growing up. Even now at age 36 I am constantly preparing myself for things to fall apart especially if things are going well in the relationships.

Growing up with such trauma in my life has rewired my thinking. When I start to have a successful relationship emotionally I am preparing for the sky to fall at any moment. This pattern formed when I was a little girl for a way to protect myself from trauma, and hurt. I detached myself from the people around me and the traumatic events happening. It helped me survive, and it helped me be numb from it all. Though this was a very good survival tool growing up, this detachment pattern as a grown woman has become a huge challenge to overcome. I am still working on noticing the steps I start to take in detachment from my family, and my friends. There are times the detachment is so quick and easy. The quick and easy detachment is easy to understand. If someone hurts me badly they do not get do-overs. I cut them out of my life instantly without looking back. I have done this with friends, and even blood relatives with no regret.

Sometimes I do not realize I am disconnecting. It can start very subtly until I have put myself at a safe distance to completely remove the person from my reach and my life. In these instances sometimes I can bounce back towards those whose surround me and attach myself emotionally. The trouble staying attached to those around me comes from fear and paranoia that they are going to hurt me, break my trust, or cause me trauma. I always feel like I have to guard myself from harm coming my way. This pattern was created in me through years of traumatic events I had to live through. I am making slow progress to stay attached longer or detach myself for shorter periods before I go back into the relationships in my life but it is a trying effort.

I am a very complicated and confusing person when you are in my inner circle. The person this is hardest on is my husband. There are many times throughout our relationship that I have completely disconnected from him because of hurt he has caused. Over the years the hurt built up and became a whole lot of harm done to me emotionally that I ended up so disconnected from him that I wanted to divorce him. I truly thought at some point in our relationship that it was over. I did not think I could come back. I still have struggles in staying connected to him. I still have trust issues with him. We are a work in progress.

If you are close to me, you are in my inner circle, and I can be a very confusing relationship for you while you are in this circle. I can push you away without any reasons apparent to you. You will notice I am shutting you out but will most likely have no idea why I have pushed you away, or distanced myself. I am more likely to notice I am doing this today with having years of therapy under my belt now but there was a time I was completely oblivious to my actions. The lack of understanding my disconnect from people and what I was doing has cost me many relationships over the years.

If you find me distancing myself from you and you are in my inner circle the best advice I can give you is respect my space and give me time. I always return to my inner circle unless the act against me is so devious I cannot move past the action against me. If it is something I cannot move past the disconnect will most likely be swift and permanent. I distance myself from my inner circle often to evaluate my relationships often. I am constantly asking if my inner circle is trustworthy and I will think over moments shared with each relationship and judge them on it. I have serious trust issues as I have talked about before. Every relationship I have had has either hurt me physically, emotionally, or verbally except for my friend Andrew, and my dad.

I learned in therapy that the loyalty I seem to possess came from my dad. I think he stayed with my mom, even with her being seriously mentally ill, out of loyalty perhaps to his kids. I never viewed his loyalty as being loyal for love. My trauma made me a cynic about loyal love. I believe my relationship with Andrew helped me have a more positive outlook about friendship. Therefore allowing myself to hold friendship to a higher standard and place over love. In other words I view friendship as forever, and love, or men as something that comes and goes, easily replaced.

My loyalty to my husband most of our relationship has been out of friendship. He has always been my friend first. This is how I eventually allow myself to love deeply. Our friendship eventually evolved into deep love. The things he did over the years that hurt me eventually numbed that love for him and when I became completely disconnected from him my loyalty to him became loyalty to my children. In other words if we had not had our beautiful daughters I would have walked away and never looked back. We have children so my loyalty to them pushed me into therapy with my husband. This of course was formed inside me from my view of my dad sticking it out with my very ill mother.

I learned in therapy this is my pattern over time when dealing with being hurt by those close to me. The pattern my husband and I have lived through is all about my past trauma. It has been a tough, long ride on a roller coaster. I still have work to do and so does he. Perhaps this will be something we have to work at the rest of our lives. The goal is to not return to the point of me being completely disconnected from him.

Another thing I do is constantly look for outs in relationships. I seem to constantly look for the reasons to cut and run from them. In some cases I seem to use other people as an out. This over time has created an insecurity in my husband. This pattern I have from past trauma now has built in him the idea that he is easily replaced. Of course he is easily replaced on the surface with my warped sense of what love is supposed to be, what it is and isn’t. My insecurity dealing with love makes it a constant battle to try not to repeat these offenses against him.

On the surface it seems he is easily replaced but deep within me I know he isn’t. I know deep within me I love him with my whole self and that alone makes me terrified of the hold he could have on me or has had on me in the past. It makes me vulnerable and another thing I cannot deal with properly is vulnerability. This is something that is born out of the trauma I lived with for half of my life as well.

I respond negatively towards jealousy, attempt to control me, lying to me, cheating me, being too needy, having lack of acceptance for me, and if you are too judgmental against others who are different I will start locking myself away from you.

These are the things I need in all my relationships. I need you to remember you cannot keep me to yourself, or be possessive. I need you to understand I do what I want because I am a free person and love my individuality. I need you to be honest with me about everything so I can trust you. I need you to accept who I am even the dark and twisty things about me. I also need you to respect others and differences in them. I need you to show me you are an honorable, pleasant person, who can be trusted with the darkest secrets I may have to share with you. You do this and I will love you like no other friend can. If you can’t do these things all I ask is that you do not approach me or attempt to hold onto me as a friend. Save time and hurt and just move on. I have high standards set for my inner circle and if you can’t meet them you will not get in. I was made this way by scar tissue from living half of my life in trauma.

The scar tissue reminds me I have survived some very dark times. Therapy reminds me that not every relationship is hurtful. I remind myself to trust myself above all else. I can only attempt to be a better person and attempt to have healthier relationships in my life. I cannot go against the things I believe in. Meet my standards or meet the freezer.

standbyme

Living with chronic pain & being a recovering addict = chronic battle

sickandtired

I want to talk about being sick and a recovering addict today.

Let’s talk about being sick first. I just recently had a rheumatoid doctor diagnose me with Anklyosing Spondylitis (A.S) and well though we have thought for a long time I’ve had this disease we waited as long as we could to medicate me with immune suppressants. I came to a point in the disease I had no other choice but to start on humira. It is an injection I take every two weeks. I give it to myself now.

I was waking up so stiff I needed help to get out of bed when I finally went to doctor for medication for the disease. It became horrible. I have been on humira since May of 2013. I have noticed considerable change in my body with the medicine. It has been such a change that I wish I had gone on the humira sooner then what I decided. I avoided the medicine out of fear that it suppresses the immune system. I am still concerned about it making me sick with cancer, or flu like stuff one day but the relief I have received thus far is worth the risk.

I have so many health issues. It wears me out. It is exhausting being so sick with so many problems. None of which have a cure either! It is a daily battle for me to get out of bed and carry on my day as normally as I can to fit in to society. Some days I just hold myself up at home because that is all I can do those days. I have a tarlov cyst that is a constant source of pain. I have a neuroma that is a constant source of nerve pain, burning sensations, and fatigue. I have fibromyalgia which has become a nightmare of burning muscles, weak muscles, over active sensory problems like over sensitive to light, sun, noise, smells, and motion. Now on top of those things I have A.S. Which is a progressive arthritis of the spine and joints. The A.S leaves me fatigued, pain in the back, knees, elbows, feet, hips, neck and lower back. It is so damn exhausting!

There have been many nights I have thought about ending it all. To be honest the only thing that keeps me around are my beautiful daughters. I love them so much. I love being their mom. They are why I live. I know it is sad to read that I am suicidal and probably makes you wonder how stable am I to even think these things…well it might not be normal to think about ending it for you…but I know living with chronic pain the way I do makes it very normal. I am not a risk to myself because I have found something to live for even in the darkest hour of my pain, illness and fatigue. My kids. I have not found a way to stop the ideas from creeping into my thoughts at times but I don’t act on them. I don’t think I ever would for a few reasons. The biggest being my wonderful daughters. The second is my faith in Christ. I know I suffer these ailments for a reason. I am not sure the reason yet in my life but when it is all said and done it will be clear why I had to live my life the way he chose. The final reason are the friends I have today. The support they have for me is like coming up for fresh air in the middle of an ocean.

I try very hard to stay positive. I wake up and tell myself something positive and remind myself through the day that I have so much to be thankful for so do not focus on the pain. Some days this is so hard to do…some days I am so tired from fighting against the pain that I have no energy left for anything and that to breathe takes everything left in me.

Living a life like mine isn’t easy. It doesn’t help when you don’t get support or understanding from those around you either. I know I have had friends think I didn’t care for them as much as I say because I don’t hang out with them often. I don’t call them a lot. I am not sure what to do about that. My energy reserve is very low and most of what I do have has to go to my two kids first. Usually I have none left to share with anyone. When I am working it is even worse. Hell my kids then get very little of my time. I work, cook dinner and go right to bed only to repeat this same routine five days a week. I get a summer vacation when school is out so that is a nice break for me. The summer break allows my kids to get more of my time and energy. Unfortunately my friends do not.

Is that fair? No I don’t think it is. I only know that I can’t change the way I feel. I take one day at a time. I hope I have friends now that understand this part of me and know I do love them regardless of the time we spend together. I have lost lots of friends over the years because I am sick. They got pissed off I couldn’t do what they wanted me to do and quit talking to me. The friends I have lost I know now were just users. They were only my friend because I could do something for them at the time. When it came down to the point in my life I couldn’t help them they weren’t interested. Sure, it hurts to lose friends in the moment, but as I have had time pass I have come to realize they were really never friends. They were what I call users. We all have these in our lives at some point. Some hang on to them longer then they should if you ask my opinion.

Anger is a huge issue I have. I fight the anger demon daily too. I get so pissed off at my circumstance. It eventually leads to loneliness. I feel angry that I’m sick and can’t do the great things I want to do then I end up feeling lonely because I realize in this battle I am truly alone. I am the one who has to walk with the pain, sleep with the pain, wake with the pain and no one knows this but me. It gets hard for those around me to understand because I don’t look sick. I look like a vibrant 35 year old woman but my looks deceive you.

The pain is a third wheel in all my relationships. It gets pretty damn exhausting carrying this wheel around everywhere I go. It interferes with friendships, my marriage, my relationship with my children, hell it even interferes with my own self on a daily basis. It is crazy I have to wake up every single day and have a plan on what I will spend my energy on. I have some energy for a shower, some energy for my kids, some energy for cooking dinner, doing laundry that day, and energy to give to my husband when he gets off work. Hell most of the time I have NONE when he gets home and it is very frustrating. It gets even more frustrating when he doesn’t seem to grasp understanding of what all is wrong with me.

addiction

I am also a recovering addict. The health shit I carry around interferes with my sobriety on a daily basis. I am an opium addict. I became an opium addict in 1995. I left home to clean myself up in 1999. I have had one relapse in sobriety and that was in 2006 after my first back surgery when a doctor put me on Oxycontin. I abused the pills for about a year and in 2007 I went cold turkey again and have battled everyday since to stay clean. The Oxycotin battle went well into 2011. My addiction did not start with pills though. My addiction started with smoking it in a pipe. I think about opium every single day at least once. I think about how numb it makes you and how you feel no pain on it. I think to myself often if I could just smoke a pipe of opium I’d have no pain at all and could be normal…being a chronic pain patient makes being a recovering addict even harder to do.

Right now I wish I was high. If I were high right now I wouldn’t feel the pain in my lower back, my hands wouldn’t be aching, and my neck and shoulders would be completely relaxed. These are just some things I think about on a daily basis. What stops me from acting on these thoughts? Well simple….my kids. Again they are the reason I try to be a role model. I want them to have the best life possible and grow into responsible, caring, normal adults and that requires me to stay clean.

I am very fortunate. I know many addicts don’t get away from the grasp of opiates. Hell most end up heroin addicts. I know this. I’ve lost friends to this trend of opiate abuse that lead them to heroin. If I had not left home when I did I probably would have been led to heroin too. I would have used it to medicate my pain away and would have ended up strung out on it and eventually killing myself. I know this without a doubt. I know once you do heroin it grips so tightly that it is a miracle to get away from it. I take one day at a time.

I avoid opiate users. I have had doctors note my medical file to avoid long term prescriptions and if ever prescribed it must be very small amount and there must be no other options. I am glad I was educated enough at the time I left my hometown that I knew to have a successful shot at staying clean you had to change your entire life scene. That is what I did and I think that is why I was successful in getting clean and staying clean for so long. I honestly think I would not have relapsed at all had I not been put on Oxycontin for pain. These things happened for a reason. I am not 100% sure the reason but I know Christ has one. Maybe it was to make me a better mother then what I would have been had I not done these drugs. Maybe it was to show others that it can be done. YOU CAN GET CLEAN and stay that way. Maybe I became an addict because I was suppose to leave my hometown so I could have a shot at a better life. I don’t know. All I know is I am thankful. Even when I wake angry about it, even when I feel so lonely in it all, even when I think that things would be better if I ended it, I end up where I belong. I end up being thankful and remembering why I carry on. I remember how I cleaned myself up and understand that in itself is a remarkable feat.

I know having chronic pain for the rest of my life is not going to be easy. It hasn’t been easy yet. I know living with my pain leaves me very vulnerable to relapsing again. These things I make sure I don’t forget. It keeps me vigilant against the monster lurking just around the corner in a pill bottle, a pipe, or powder. I take one day at a time and pray often. I love my friends that understand my problems and are there to support me when I need them. I love them for understanding that even if I can’t hang with them often I think of them often. They are the other reason I stay clean and carry on.

Everyone has their own story to tell. Everyone has their own struggle to fight. This is just a piece of mine. Thank you for reading. It felt good to let it out.

 

Neurostimulator- health update

I finally had a neurostimulator surgically put into my back to stop the nerve pain down my legs. The pain was so bad I could barely walk anymore. I looked all over for someone to help me. It took the mayo clinic to put it frankly to me about my situation. They told me bluntly that there is no surgical fix to my problems and that I’m looking for something that isn’t going to be found. They said the best advice I could take is search out a pain clinic and see what can be done to manage my pain.

I did just that! MAPS were the place where I’d find my ability to walk again with no more nerve pain shooting down my legs! After trying injections with no long-term success in stopping the nerve pain my last two options were laid out on the table for me. The first choice was a morphine pump, which I was not going to take no matter what. The second choice was a neurostimulator that would surgically put into my back that would trick my brain in receiving tingling sensations before the pain single was sent. I had low hopes.

They set me up for a trial to see if it would be successful. I was set up for a week to see how it would work. It was FABOULOUS! I couldn’t wait to get it permanently put in! After trial was a success we set up the surgery date for it to be put in. It was done in February of this year. Since the implant I can walk now with no nerve pain. I can sit for longer periods of time without having to get up every ten minutes due to pain. I am still limited in many ways but at least the nerve pain is completely gone now.

The implant should last five to six years. A normal implant would last up to ten years, however, I have to have mine on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that takes battery life off of machine and how long it could last for me. I am very pleased with the results of this implant. Technology is amazing and by the grace of God I can walk again! The machine also helped me eliminate many meds I was taking. I went from 12 prescriptions to TWO!!

I would recommend this option to others who have neuropathy, sciatic nerve problems, or any other nerve pain.