Thursday, July 17, 2014

*But literally: just enough.


God it has been a shitty, shitty day. Week. Couple of months. Couple of years. (Peppered with just enough non-crap and actual happiness to make it worthwhile, I suppose.*)

"Say what? She's going to near disappear for most of two months and then come back with this complaint-clusterfuck?" Yes: yes, she is.

You may have noticed that I have been largely absent, and that is because the part of my brain that writes the words (at least the words that make sense) has been taking a sabbatical ~ unscheduled and unapproved, I assure you ~ and every time some words make an appearance, I feel like they're not good enough, or sensible enough, or long enough, or enough enough for posting, and so... radio silence. (Here, at least. My tumblr, what with it's gifs and reblogging and queue never-ending is still going strong, and you are welcome to find me there anytime.)

But I'm breaking my word-fast today because my brain is boiling over and I can't rant about it on Facebook without getting a whole lot of well-meaning, but completely ridiculous faux-advice; Twitter's out of the question because 140 characters just wasn't cutting it; and honestly I would like to start writing here again and coming back and admitting I suck at consistency is sometimes the hardest part.

So, yeah: it's been a tough little while for me, and I'm having a hard time making my brain act like a reasonable adult brain, when all it wants to do is stress-eat (or never-eat), read (mostly Avengers' fanfiction, which, WTF: Now I have a lot of feelings about JARVIS, which ... is probably unreasonable? Seems unreasonable when I am not actively reading about a personified Dummy named DJ** who is super adorable and has to be reminded to wear pants), and move as little as humanly possible because everything hurts.

And I guess people say that a lot "everything hurts," and probably I say it even more often, because I feel like it has lost ALL meaning to people, including myself, because the reality of it is so freaking overwhelming that you can't really think about it all that much without overloading your brain. At least I can't. But I've been realizing just how much Everything and Hurts and All The Time is truly limiting me, and so, I made an appointment with a new pain clinic.

Even though my last three experiences with pain clinics were - in reverse chronological order - useless; 'hey everything you're already doing is exactly the stuff we'd tell you to do, so you're kind of shit out of luck'; and 'hey, i don't think it will really help, but i could try to stick this really big needle in the base of your skull and see it if will numb things for a while, wanna try that?' And I'll note here that I am kind of pissed that I didn't try the big, probably won't help but who knows needle in the skull, at this point, because fuck: did I mention that everything hurts???

My skin hurts. It hurts to wear clothes. It hurts to have the fan blow freaking air at me, even if it's 90 degrees and I'm dripping with sweat. Sitting in a chair hurts, sitting on my bed hurts, laying on every pillow I own (and I own a LOT of pillows) hurts. I've been spending my painsomnia nights designing suspended animation machines that make me float, where literally nothing is touching me, and they sound like the most wonderful things ever to exist. (Except that they don't and I can't design things, so basically, I lay around being jealous of cartoon cupids who can lounge on clouds, because damn, I bet that doesn't hurt.)

But: Pain clinic #4. First appointment: Really nice nurse, excellent office staff. Doctor's kind of an insensitive ass who didn't understand POTS or the wheelchair or why I wouldn't at least attempt to give him a urine sample in the bathroom that was too small to fit my wheelchair (so I'd have to try to walk, which: no.), but not a complete idiot or anything, and usually nobody gets the POTS, so I shrugged it off.  We did a mouth swab and he poked me all over, because taking my word for how much it hurts is never going to happen, I am aware of this by now. And then he comments on my hyperalgesia, which: duh - I just got finished telling you that I almost cried when I put my bra on that morning, but by all means, please rest your hand on my shoulder while you're talking. Also took not of my shading skills  - because you KNOW they all have that little naked generic human form and tell you color in the areas where you have pain, and, well, they mailed me my form, so I had plenty of time to be VERY SPECIFIC about where the pain was the worst (darkest) and where it was just tingles (lighter) and where if you touch me, I most likely will be unable to control myself and will want to punch you in your face (those were red. I like to issue clear warnings. Which he clearly did not heed because shoulders are RED.)  "Do you have enough pain meds to tide you over for a month?" "Yup." "Okay, see you then."

So, today was appointment #2, and the nurse is still nice and the office staff is still excellent, and the doctor walks in the room and says "The mouth swab we did last time didn't show any traces of DRUG I AM TAKING, so we're not going to be able to prescribe any additional medications for you from here on out." Literally, the first sentence out of his mouth.

And I... didn't understand what the heck he was trying to say? Like... "I don't get it." I must have said that a few times, because he started to get impatient with me a little. And I was still trying to process the whole "not going to be able to prescribe medications" bit, because: I'm sorry, that's the whole reason I'm coming here??? So, then he starts talking about "Well we have a few ways to measure compliance with medications, and your drugs didn't show up in your swab, like we would have expected them to if you were taking them..." and he blathers on a little bit before it actually unscrambles enough in my brain for me to blurt out

"You think I'm selling them or something - that I'm not taking them?"

Which: probably not the best response, but I was gobsmacked. I mean... It still is sitting there in the part of my brain that is trying to make sense of the whole thing and ...

Now he's looking at me: "No, I'm obviously not saying that. I would have no way of knowing that. It's just that IF you were taking them, as you say you are, then we'd expect that it would show up in the swab, and the fact that it didn't...." And his face tells me very clearly that yes, yes he is saying that but he is not allowed to say that aloud.

And here I'm going to have to give 6-hours-ago-me a little slack, because I have thought of A HUNDRED MILLION BETTER RESPONSES than getting choked up and almost bursting into tears, but that is, in fact, what happened. I just... couldn't process it. So I tried to to get him to explain it to me like I was five: "If my prescription says take as needed, and I'm trying to keep from becoming, I don't know addicted or completely tuned out of my life, and I freaking PUSH THROUGH THE EXTREME PAIN OF MY EVERY DAY LIFE to save those pills for flares and really bad days and the like, you're telling me that that's a bad thing? And now you won't give me anymore of the stuff that gets me through those really bad days? This.. makes zero sense."

And now, tears are slipping out, and I. Hate. Crying. During. Arguments. Because it makes me feel weak and it feels like playing a dirty card, and the other person obviously sees it as a sign of a lesser argument or something, but I DON'T KNOW HOW TO STOP DOING IT!!! Granted (and again, with the slack-cutting) I held back the sobs that were sitting right there, clustered in my sinuses, clogging in my throat, but some tears definitely slipped out and he knew it, and he was all "Well, if you're not taking it as prescribed then it's non-compliance, and we can't give you anymore meds, in that situation."

And I'm still trying to understand the whole "AS NEEDED" part, and he's still rambling, but what it basically boils down to is "If you hurt as much as you say you do, you would obviously be taking this every minute of every day, like the doctor told you to, so No: I don't believe you, and No: I won't give you anymore."

And at that point, my brain, so GOD DAMN FUCKING SICK OF NOT BEING BELIEVED ABOUT MY OWN GOD DAMN BODY, just refused to accept anymore input. He said more things about "maybe another clinic will see you, but I doubt they'll prescribe for you either. Or take your non-insurance." and I knew I had about 2 minutes before every sob I was holding back just burst out of my throat (possibly with this morning's breakfast), so I just said screw it. Fine. Nodded while he told me how glad he was to meet me, nodded at the very nice nurse who looked at me and knew I was going to explode and didn't try to stop me as I just rushed past her desk and into the waiting room where I told my mother that we had to leave Right. Now.

And I didn't make it 3 seconds out into the corridor before the dam burst, and my poor mom looked like someone had shot her and kept asking what she could do, and all I could say was just "Go. Just go."

Super-fun-happy-awesome-times!

So now it's some hours later, but I'm still angry. I'm angry about - and so unbelievably weary of - not being believed. Not, for one single moment of this entire 20 years of being sick having everybody on my side. And, usually? Having almost nobody.

I'm so tired of having to fight with doctors in addition to fighting whatever the hell is going on in my body. Of having to explain to and make excuses for and prevaricate with and never fully trust the people who are SUPPOSED TO BE HELPING ME. Of having to do so much of this on my own, and knowing that I am messing it up but not knowing how to fix it. And having nowhere to turn.

I just.... don't want to do THIS anymore.

I am so sick of fighting for every minute of every day. Of being punished, or paying the high price, for any moments of happiness, because my body is just ...  the way it is.

And the more I think I've accepted that, that this is me and my body is not my enemy and I have to find SOME WAY to live as much of a life as I can? The minute I start to think I've got a handle on this shit? Everything blows up in my face, and I'm suddenly a newb again, and all I want to do is hide my head in the sand till it all goes away.

And it never goes away.

And time still passes.

I don't know. This is a super depressing post, and I'm sorry for it, but ... I thought I was doing the right thing! That's the worst part. I literally thought that NOT taking a very potent pain medicine three times a day, every day, and... suffering, yes: but... I'm used to that! And, at least I'm there! And... at least I'm present in my mind when I'm there! and then I take the full doses after, because Flare! Of course flares! Because that's what I know, and that's how I live, and that's what I thought was the right thing - save the big drugs for the worst days (or even the slightly almost worst days, because we have other drugs for the worst, worst days), and muddle through - THAT IS BASICALLY MY WHOLE GODDAMN LIFE AND NOW YOU'RE TELLING ME: NOPE, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.

Nope: you're not taking ENOUGH of the medicine, so I'm not going to help you at all.

Well, that's a mind-scramble, if you don't mind me saying so. Because half of my doctors say I take TOO MANY meds, and now you're telling me I'm not taking enough AND you're not even going to give me a chance to try it your way, just 'don't bother coming back.' Yup: Mind. Fucked.

So, here I am, reevaluating ... pretty much everything - which has been happening a lot lately, and part of the reason this was so shattering today, because I THOUGHT at least this was something I had a good handle on, but it turns out that Nope: this is a screwed up as the rest of my life and now... FIX IT ALL RIGHT NOW.


So, you know: no pressure or anything.

God I need a nap.

That's me, for today ~ How are all of you? (Are there any of you?) I'm mostly keeping tabs on my regulars via Twitter/Tumblr/Your Blogs that You Sometimes Actually Write Words At Because You Are Magicians or Something, but

Hi! If I haven't seen you in a while. Hope you are well!

Probably your brain is not as scrambled as mine, in which case, I'm giving you a sticker, because you're awesome. (I'm giving myself a sticker too, though, because I'm at least TRYING to be awesome, scrambled brains and all.)

Talk again soon, I hope? In a less ranty, less "oh god oh god why" kind of mood, we can all hope.

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**Seriously: You should read this series. If you want to have Bot-feels (which I didn't, but Oh Well.) And because DJ. I'm sorry, only because you might get sucked in. Fanfiction is like a vortex or something, and NOBODY WARNED ME. I'm not going to warn you either, but... good luck!

1 comment:

The Goldfish said...

You are awesome. You don't have to put much effort in.

I'm so very sorry this happened today. It's absolutely baffling and I don't think you said the wrong thing at all. What do you say? What can you do? An addict who cleans up can prove they're clean by testing negative. But it would be too easy for someone dealing their prescription meds to take a dose in order to test positive.

Of course, if you were doing that, you'd have taken a single dose when you went to the pain clinic, because that's exactly the sort of thing a drug-dealer would know about...

It's a terrible rule. It's a terrible system. You've been a good patient, doing all the "right" things... it really is terrible.

The only weird thought that comes to mind is that I'm aware that if you were worried about your teenage kid taking drugs, you could take a hair and send it off to be tested for opiates and some other drugs. I've no idea of costs, what drugs they can look for or whether a pain clinic could be swayed by such information. I only mention it just in case it's not occurred to you.

Hope you are able to relax a little, somehow. Thinking of you. Will e-mail soon.