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October 8, 2010 / zzirf

A Painful Life

Pain has stalked me for decades but just when you think you cannot take any more – you make it through anyway.  That seems to be the way of it and there is always something to look forward to – a day with pain that is easy to bear.  But I have to admit, I do feel neglected because I have not been given any prescriptions in regards to fibromyalgia for pain relief medications yet when I have had a tooth out, or something equally as obvious, I have been prescribed Panadeine Forte or some such codeine combination.  Most things I get these days are over-the-counter medications and they don’t really take away a particularly large percentage of the pain I have experienced.  And they rarely work on the “I ache all over” kind of pain.  A hot bath, a massage or an orgasm is a more effective pain reliever than anything I have ever swallowed for that sort of pain.  However at one stage, I did wonder if Ponstan (for period pain usually) was some help but I can no longer get access to prescriptions because I no longer have a menstrual cycle.  Damn. I think the effectiveness of Ponstan in fibromyalgia should be investigated despite the fact that it has been around for a long, long, time.  Also, I think it was easier on the gut than any anti-inflammatory I have been prescribed with the exception of Vioxx which was taken off the market due to cardiac risk.   Unfortunately I do have monumental gut problems which is another source of a different kind of pain. Muscular spasms.

There are times when nothing will stop the moans of pain from within my sleep – the gnawing, constant pain that feels like the most terrible influenza or a bad case of glandular fever.  And even if these episodes have happened to coincide with a virus which has worsened the pain, doctors have not been in the habit of handing out anti-virals so there is not much chance of getting a prescription for pain assuming you are “well” enough to even get that body of yours to a doctor’s surgery or clinic (or whatever the fashionable word for those places is today).

Glandular fever, the Epstein Barr virus, was found in my blood tests once and that was most probably the beginning of a downhill run that has not yet ended.  I was 16 then and I was acutely ill for a couple of weeks and chronically ill for several months.  I am 55 now and I have had many, many episodes of virus-like pain since I was 16 that have been lengthy. Although I have had micoplasma pneumoniae and influenza A found in blood tests during one of those lengthy episodes, I can have flu-like pain even when there are no other viral symptoms like a runny nose or congestion.  Any virus is a trigger for months of chronic pain so I prefer it if you stay away and keep your germs to yourself.  Take a week off work and get someone else to do your shopping so that you can stay at home and watch TV and stop the spread of anything that could trigger someone else’s overactive immune system.  And keep your kids at home too when they are sick.  Why would any thoughtful person want their neighbour to suffer because of our lack of quarantine laws in this day and age?  Lack of home quarantine laws make even less sense to me with the ever-increasing threat of germ warfare or biological weapons.

These days, chronic pain is a given for me and I have become less likely to “push myself despite the pain”, since my children became adults and had children of their own.  As each year goes by I achieve less and less.  Maybe I could achieve more out of a day if I was given effective pain relief but I am beginning to wonder if I will ever find out what that is like.  The video below may help to explain why I feel this way.

My response to the video is yes I have self-medicated.  Responsibly I think.  I wonder if I will be so responsible in the future.  Perhaps it will depend on whether or not I receive effective pain management and self-help techniques.  I have never heard the words ‘pain clinic’ uttered by a doctor.  I hear about the drugs for pain that people with heart conditions and cancer get prescribed and I wonder why, if chronic fatigue syndrome can so easily mimic the symptoms of heart failure, it is not taken as seriously.

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