Archive for January, 2011

24 therapies in 4 years.

Still naively sure there was simple answer; I headed back to my GP. She recommended me to the local pain clinic for treatment of scar tissue and nerve damage. If only it had been that simple.

I have tried the following to end this pain:  Steroid shots into my rib cage, neurological medications, anti-depressants, heating pads, a tens unit, bio-feed back, gluten free, caffeine free, alcohol free diets, chiropractic, acupuncture, ERCP for SOD 3, gas-ex, fiber, birth control pills, yoga, yogurt, therapy, weigh loss, meditation, a standing desk, every pain med on the market, patches, physical therapy and osteopathy.

Every time a  method fails I suffer the pain of a break-up; You were suppose to be the one who would fill this void, but you’re useless like all the rest. I have never had the heart to completely give up, I have, however, had plenty of Docs give up on me.  They just plain run out of ideas and either apologize or tell me I’m crazy. I make them feel inept.

The constants for me in the last two years have been vicodin and fentanyl patches. In combination, at fairly low dose I can keep things at a dull roar. Its like having a headache in your ribcage, all day, everyday. If I took the meds it would require to take the pain out completely, I would lose my life drooling in bed.

Phantom Gallbladder

My daughter decided we were done breastfeeding at 10 months, about the time I was ready to throw the pump out my office window. She and I make a very good team. Within a few weeks I started having phantom gallbladder pain. I say phantom because the actual gallbladder had been removed 3 years previous –  to end this same gnawing pain. Imagine my surprise.

I ran back to the surgeon who filled me with barium, chalky drink of the devil, and snapped images from every machine known to modern medicine. He then brilliantly concluded there was nothing wrong with me and sent me home crying with a bottle of vicodin.

The pain quickly became a daily occurrence, staring at 10am and running straight through to bed. At first I tried to catch extra rest, take a day or two off, be good to my body. But really, what working mother has time for that. I was realizing quickly that this was not the mommy time I imagined for my infant. I did what I needed to do, to be the mom I needed to be. You would have never guessed that I took pain killers with my morning coffee.

Type A

We lost our first baby on the day we were to hear the heartbeat. I was blissfully unaware of the 12 week trial period in which one prays every time they wipe.  I’m not sure what was more wrenching, the betrayal of my body or the guilt over that last glass of wine. We bought a little wooden box, a heart carved into the front, and poured all of our devastation into it.

Ironically, we discovered that I have a slightly bi-uterus, a heart shaped uterus. If implantation happens on the stem part of the heart there isn’t enough nutrition to create a viable baby. I entered into a high risk pregnancy with a terror only known to parents in their first term. I compensated by  becoming THE BEST Type A, rule following mommy-to-be in the world.  When my daughter came into the universe, screaming that healthy scream we all hope to hear, she had never seen a drop of coffee, dose of Tylenol or hot tub.

I was super mom and this infant, this reward I’d been given, would be all of the things I imagined she could be. This being, more beautiful that any being ever sent to our world, would be the finest thing ever to happen to me.

Peeing on a Stick

My legs are crawling, I have an intense migraine, I can barely concentrate long enough to  tell you my name and I am peeing on a stick. The beauty and joy of the first term, the magic of pregnancy? Not really.

I am withdrawing from a opiate medication several times stronger that Morphine. It’s week three and Christmas Eve. I’ve ask Santa to bring me relief. It seems he’s brought me something else. The faintest blue line. My second child is quietly waging this war with me.

It’s not a surprise. I ovulated on the first day of Hanukkah and I swore I could feel the sperm hit the egg. Maybe the blessing in the last 4 years of pain has been this awareness of all things moving in my body, this awareness of a gift I never thought I’d receive.

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