Yesterday ended in the worst pain-related crisis to far.
In the morning, when the scheme manager saw the state I was in, she went off to shout at the GPs again. She got the guy who had turned out the previous day, and was as unimpressed as I’d been. Luckily, in the afternoon, someone else came out.
We had a chat – was I really suicidal? YES!!! And what can we do about that? Fix my intolerable pain!
We kicked a few ideas around, and finally settled on Gabapentin.
As he was leaving I asked, if it turned out there was no medical solution, was there a surgical one – amputation (I decided long before the current crisis that if it was ever offered I’d grab it with both hands). He said no surgeon would perform such an operation which, frankly, I don’t believe, especially if every other course of action has failed.
On reflection, raising that question at that time was probably dumb – doubtless he perceived it as suicide by instalments.
So the Gabapentin was delivered about 16.00, and shortly after the pain roared off the scale and pulled me under – I was flipping between unconscious and semiconscious until around midnight, when I slipped into an uneasy sleep until about 09.00 this morning, punctuated, not for the first time, by my waking up in the night screaming in agony. Things didn’t get much better once I was awake. Worse, in fact, as there was no escape from it.
The nurses arrived, bringing one of the staff nurses as I’d been in such a parlous state the previous day, and we had a long talk about medication – apparently I should have been told to take both the Zomorph (which I mysteriously typed as Zoloft yesterday**), and Gabapentin in addition to my existing pain meds. As I’ve written in these pages before, you must always ask the question, when getting new meds, are these as well as or instead of. I didn’t. However, knowing that particular GP as I do, the answer would have been instead of, I’m quite sure.
**Actually I think I fell victim to the spell checker – it offered me Zoloft and I unthinkingly clicked it.
Anyway, she stood over me while I shovelled down everything I had – Tramadol, Zomorph, Gabapentin and my illicit stash** of Naproxen – we forgot the Paracetamol.
**Naproxen is one of the few things that moderate my pain, but my GP won’t prescribe it because I had a gastric bleed. It was, however, nothing at all to do with Naproxen and everything to do with me puking for 12 hours because my bowels has stopped working. Got hauled off to hospital, pumped full of i-v laxatives, problem solved. At no point was Naproxen ever considered.
At the moment, then, pain levels are worse than I’m happy with, but considerably better than they’ve been – the difference between tolerable and FFS end it now! I really don’t know how I’ll cope if it gets worse again, though. The staff nurse asked me to promise I wouldn’t kill myself – I was horrified to hear myself say No!
If, though, the pain can be held at its current level until the drugs kick in (apparently Zomorph’s effect is cumulative, which I wasn’t told, and Gabapentin has to build up over several days, which I was told), that won’t be a problem.
How successful this will be in the long term I don’t know, as my GP has an innate resistance to the idea of effective pain control (and if he knows I’m taking everything I’ve got, is liable to stroke out!), but after the staff nurse has seen me tomorrow she’s going to meet with that GPs and insist that they come up with a sustainable pain control programme. Also wants them to refer me to a pain clinic. Perversely, though, I’d have to improve a hell of a lot before I could attend.