After years – decades – of begging for effective analgesia, I got Tramadol, prescribed by APH and continued once I was out. This took care of what I think of as my “old pain” – the pain that goes back to the lightning strike in 1983 which damaged almost all of my joints – but did nothing for the increasingly agonising pain of my lymphoedema.
Twice last night I woke up screaming – god knows what the neighbours must think but, sorry guys, this hits while I’m asleep and I have no control over it. Though, frankly, I’d have bugger all control were I awake – when pain reaches that level the response to it is very hard to contain (and before anyone lays any stiff upper lip, bite the bullet, bullshit on me, if you think that way you really haven’t suffered enough to have a perspective or an opinion).
Yesterday – pushed almost to the point of suicide** – between getting up at 07.30, and midday, I took 200mg Tramadol, 2000mg Paracetamol, 60mg DHC and 400mg Naproxen, and it barely put a dent in the pain.
**Not being melodramatic – this pain has long since passed the point at which it’s tolerable.
I was obviously in such dire straits that the district nurse, on leaving here, went straight round to the medical centre to lobby for morphine for me.
By evening I had morphine, in the form of Zomorph. Predictably, I also had the lowest goddamned dose possible, 10mg, with the advice that I could go to the dizzy heights of 20mg if I had to.
10mg killed off the headache that’s plagued me for over a week but didn’t do much else and, by the time I got it the pain had abated naturally (it’s worst from the early hours through to mid afternoon).
This morning, I took 20mg. Absolutely no effect at all – even the headache started to creep back! So I’ve taken another 10mg which I’m hoping will kick in soon (Zomorph is good for 12 hours, allegedly, but for me it takes 4 hours to have any effect at all). Even 30mg is a pathetically low dose for a drug that goes from 10mg capsules up to 200mg.
NB: I must find out, given the low dose, if he expects me to continue with Tramadol as well.
When the GP arrived yesterday to talk about this, I resisted the temptation to tell him I felt suicidal, lest it seem like blackmail (not to mention the risk of being sectioned). I think I have to tell him, though, as unless I get something better – or at least a much higher dose of Zomorph – the temptation to end it will become irresistible.
I asked for a referral to the lymphoedema clinic, only to be told I don’t have it, just plain vanilla oedema. Not that he’s even seen my legs, you understand, none of them have, and one flatly refused to look because “It’s horrible!”. Yet I’m refused access to effective treatment for a condition everyone else knows I have, and anyone who cares to choke back their breakfast, brave the stink (hey, I have to, you gutless bastards, and so do the nurses), can see for themselves.
That I do have lymphoedema is not in doubt, it’s text-book, and matches the description and photos on the Lymphoedema Network’s website – I’m between Pic 3 and Pic 4.
Oh, and the additional 10mg of Zomorph? Bugger all use. I reckon I need to get up to 60 or 100mg. Failing that there is no point in continuing with it. Not worth putting up with the side-effects which worsen almost everything that’s wrong with me
What I really need is something like Oramorph, that kicks in quickly, not a low dose of something that takes hours to filter its half-arsed, sustained-release, way into my system. Fuck that.
I cannot – I will not – live a life so dominated by unremitting agony that I can barely function, and it’s positively obscene to expect me to do so.