Thursday, September 15, 2011

On Cartman and Chronic Pain

I haven't been able to sleep in over 24 hours. It's not a big deal, but for one thing. I'm in pain. Real pain. And other than crying into my pillow so my neighbor above me or on either sides can't hear me, I have no relief. I can't take anything other than Tylenol (which doesn't work for me) or Tramadol. I'm trying to get through the pain without taking one of those.

I never really had pain before. Yes, I get monthly cramps that are so bad I wish I had been born a guy- but that fades after a couple of days. I had real bad tooth pain a few years back before I got my first (and only) root canal. I've had back problems my entire life from being too endowed by Mother Nature. But to be entirely honest, if a doc asked me to put my pain right now on a scale of 1-10, and I could take away teeth pain and put that on a separate scale- I've only gone to the 10th one time in my life- for about 3 weeks non stop. That was when I had tardive dyskinesia from Haldol poisoning back in the Spring of 08 and couldn't move any of my muscles in my body. I still remember a nurse in the nursing home I was put in temporarily telling me the only other patients that scream like that are the burn victims. That was a ten. I've never experienced labor, but according to the nurses I have met labor pains pale on the pain scale that severe burn victims go through. Who knows. If I ever have a child, I can figure out where that pain lies.

Tonight my pain is about a six on my scale. It's driving me up the wall. I can't sleep. I'm in an ice cold sweat, questioning whether or not to get up and change the sheets. I figure no, I would just sweat through them again. The pain is in my kidneys, and my bladder. My legs and feet are so swollen with edema, I cannot move them. They are elephantine, the doctor guesstimates between them I am carrying around 25 pounds of excess water. (I actually have pictures I took with my phone, but I don't want to post them lest someone looses their lunch). My GP tells me to keep my legs elevated, and wrapped in "T.E.D" socks to help the edema go down. It's been almost two months now, I've cut out all salt from my diet, gone on a renal diet and still, I cannot move my legs. My feet look like planks of wood with little stumps for toes.

One of the side effects from my kidney failure last year and subsequent dialysis is dry skin. Not just dry skin, we're talking alligator dry. Sahara desert dry. I slather on Aloe lotions, Cocoa Butter lotions, every day. And it still itches, I want to scratch. I can't. If I do, it flakes off, like some type of horrible dandruff. So I just keep moisturizing and wearing black when I go out so you can't see how greased up I am. Let's face it. I'm at the point where I'm ready to take a page from Cartman and put all this stuff in the bathtub and just soak in it.

Cartman bathing in Calamine lotion, and a few Terrance and Philip fart jokes. Because the world needs fart jokes.

I'm learning to live with the pain every day and just try to work around it. It's hard. I don't want to let it destroy me.

How do you deal with chronic pain?


Peace Be With You said...

"I haven't been able to sleep in over 24 hours. It's not a big deal,"

Not a big deal!!?!! Studies show how critical sleep is. I'm sorry you're having such a rough time and hope you find relief soon.


David Stein said...


I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with pain and not being able to sleep. I hope that your pain subsides. Do you ever drink tea? Black tea helps reduce stress and might be worth trying, at least to calm the nerves.

As for your question- I've never experienced chronic pain, however, I do have arthritis in my knees ( made the situation worse, because I used to do martial arts and I would train hard. We would have to put all of our weight on our knees, constantly bend them. At that time, my knees were always in pain and instead of asking for help I just pushed through. I'm now paying the price).

When it gets really cold my knees lock and it feels like someone is jabbing a knife into them. The pain gets so bad that I can' eat, I can't sleep and I can't think. I can't take any pain medication due my addictive past, so I mainly just try to ignore the pain and complain to everyone I talk to. It goes away eventually, but it's very frustrating.

I hope you feel better. And I hope your pain goes. away.

Hang in there,


susan said...

@Peace Be With You, I did get a little sleep, it's in fits and starts- like the way my cat naps. Many short naps and then a very long one. The sleep did help. I just wish I could sleep longer than an hour or half our at a time.
I'm going to get some Melatonin today. Maybe that will work.

@Dave, I've been drinking black tea and chamomile tea.The pain ebbs and wanes, then comes back full force. I just try to ignore it, or try to zen out listening to the cat purr. I hope you feel better too.

Neil | Butterfield said...

Sorry to hear that you are experiencing such pain. I hope your suffering stops immediately.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

I'm really sorry....and hoping you get some relief. Can't imagine my brain if I didn't sleep for 24 hours.

Astral Samurai said...

You know when I had scioliosys surgery when I was younger I wanted to get out of gym.

The doctor who performed my surgery gave me a flat No. Infact he said, "what you should do is run, move around, the more you use your back the better you will feel."

At first I was just thinking fuck this guy. But it sank in eventually and I started running, moving. Got off my ass every day to run.

Granted I am not in your position but maybe you should just push yourself physically as much as you can. Try to break your limits!

-Astral Samurai

Formerly knit-obsessed city girl said...

I ended up taking Lyrica to deal with chronic debilitating back pain. It worked really well but tended to make me feel fatigued. Only downside was that the withdrawal was a bitch.

HTC In Pakistan said...

hey I like the helpful information you provide in your articles .
you're having such a rough time and hope you feel happy soon.

betasheep said...

Have you tried bag balm for the dry skin? There's all different kinds. It's used for cow udders chapped from milking machines. It can't be marked for human use because that would require a lot of expensive testing. Not only is it an emollient, it's also good for treating minor skin infections. I swear by it.

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