"Living With Chronic Pain" (Part 2)
I've had to deal with living with pain all my life. I was on pain pills for seventeen years. Since I was 19. That's when I got in the car accident. I had a slipped disk in my back and one in my neck. Later on, I got another slipped disk in my low back and all the ones in my neck are slipped. That's seven I believe in the neck. It may be because of the exercises I did. I used weights to do crunches with my abs, so I may have got them from those. My back and neck pain got worse over the years. So did my brain injury. Because of the car accident, I got Post-grade and Retro-grade Amnesia. I couldn't remember the car accident and other things in my past. I also have a hard time retaining new information. It's almost like on 50 First Dates. It's like my slate gets wiped clean after I go to bed. I sometimes forget what I did or something I learned. If I read an article or wrote one, I forget what it was about or I have a hard time explaining what I learned to someone. I'm just very forgetful and that comes with age but top it off for me, it's my brain injury as well.
I have severe back pain that I still have to deal with. Like I said before, I was on pain pills for seventeen years. I went from Darvocet, Percocet, Oxycontin, Morphine, and than Opana. A lot of people get addicted to them. Your body becomes addicted first. Your body becomes immune to them and you have to go up in dose. I would watch the clock because it says every 4-6 hours, so I would take them every four hours. Than I started taking two at once. That clock became my life. I was addicted but I was in serious pain as well. Little did I know back than that it's like a roller coaster. You just need to go up in dose and I would tell the doctor that my pain is really bad and these pills are not helping. It was true but I would exaggerate how bad the pain was. Little did I know that they really do stop working because your body is immune to them by now.
Than, I would tell the doctor again that they weren't helping. I would wait like three months or so before I told him they weren't helping. Than he chose to put me on Percocet's. I got really out of control with those. I would take them every four hours and sometimes two every four hours. When I would run out early, I would tell the doctor it was because I took them every four hours instead of every six hours, which would mean that you run out faster because he didn't give me the right amount of pills for every four hours. So, I was than up to fifteen percs a day. My husband was stationed in Ft. Irwin, CA. at the time. I just had Joshua, my youngest son. I took them while I was pregnant but it was before I got out of control. I hated being on them while I was pregnant but with my pain, it was just unbearable and they thought I would be bed ridden during my whole pregnancy. I wasn't and I know because the pills did help me. I still had Brian to chase around. He was 3-4 at the time.
I did get out of control after I had him and the doctor figured out I was developing a problem with them, so he offered me to go to rehab. I wanted to but I just couldn't leave my kids like that. They would have to watched by a stranger because my husband had to work. So, I had to battle myself and discipline myself into just taking them the way I'm prescribed to. I did and I did good. I was able to just stop and take them right. My kids needed me awake and functional not all messed up and tired all the time because the pills make you tired. I did it on my own though.
When we left CA., we ,moved back to North Carolina. I was put on Oxycontin. That was a bad idea. I really got addicted to those. They were so strong that as I was walking to the bathroom, I fell asleep and busted my head on the entertainment stand. I had a huge bruise from it. I kept falling asleep, even while I was going to the bathroom. Than my body got immune to them. They bumped up the doses from 20 mg. to 40 mg. Later on they put me on Morphine. I was really addicted to those to. I had to watch that I didn't run out early and when I did, I didn't tell the doctor. I just had to deal with withdraw. I had to do that a lot. Even when I was on Percocet's, I ran out like a few days early. Than it would turn into a week early so I had to suffer withdraw. They bumped me up to Opana's. I was told that these meds were meant for someone with cancer. I know the pain I felt was like having cancer. I had deep bone pain. They had me on Opana 20 mg. one a day and than 40 mg. Opana up to four times a day. I was really addicted but I really couldn't see that because the pain was bad and I knew I had no choice but to stay on pain meds. Otherwise I just couldn't do things because of the pain.
My addiction didn't effect my kids in the sense, I didn't go out drinking and partying. I wasn't real high on pills to where I couldn't take care of my kids so I figured there was no problem. I knew people on the "Intervention" show, they were taking like 50 pills a day and some more than that. They were also drinking and or smoking pot. I was only taking two pills a time and I was taking them every 2 hours. I saw no harm in what I was doing because I was functional and able to do housework and take care of my kids. Little did I know though, that it did cause me to have serious anger issues and it was making me too tired to want to play with my kids. So, I started seeing how it was affecting me as a Wife and Mother. It was a constant battle in my mind. I'll explain more in part 3.