Last year I had 3 ½ ER visits. The half was urgent care, which I guess counts. All of these were related to my stomach, and I never thought in a million years would I ever end up in the ER for pain. I mean, the only people who end up in the ER for pain without any obvious injuries are drug seekers, right?
I’ve been working 13 hour shifts on my feet every other day for the past two weeks, and it has been BUSY. At one point, my coworker became ill and I was handling the needs of 13 patients on my own. My theory is that my muscles were so tired that everything in my lower body was repeatedly subluxing (where the joint kinda comes out of the socket) and the joints became super inflamed. It’s also possible I’ve slipped a disk in my back.
Stigma is a powerful thing. Honestly, I don’t think you get it until you get it. But after work last night, I laid on my floor for 2 hours in pain that I had never experienced before and I had to be talked INTO going to the ER by a friend and then talked INTO a shot of pain medication by the physician’s assistant, then AGAIN by the nurse who gave it to me. I wish every chronic pain patient could have the PA I had, because he was incredible. He basically said “You were in enough pain to come to us. Now stow the stigma and let us help you”.
So last night I got a shot of Morphine and Phenergan then had the trippiest experience of feeling my hip in a weird position and having absolutely no pain.
I’m not really in a position to talk about the opioid stigma, because I still am biased. I received a prescription for a different narcotic (because even though my only experience was having my pain go away, dear lord I am never ever going to touch that stuff again even if someone set me on fire) but instead I bought extra strength Tylonol. Which I’m pretty sure is the equivalent of trying to put out a factory fire with a spoon. Also my family is still freaking out and I’m pretty sure it’s gonna take me 47 years to calm them down.
What I can talk about is chronic illness. After three years, I’ve learned that it throws a wrench in the works and occasionally it gets out of control. Then we need a little bit of help. But that doesn’t mean we are suddenly severely damaged and we should be handled like eggshells. Honestly, freaking out only makes me question everything about how I’m handling my life and maybe I AM incapable of being a responsible adult. I can’t be the only one.
I am not eggshells. I am like one of those toys with the weighted bottom. I’m never down for long before I bounce back.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!