My brain has been staging what I believe to be a very violent coup for the last couple of days. I have a hunch that it involves an exit of some sort from somewhere around my right eye. Oy, my stars it hurts, and Great Loving Ceiling Cat I have been tempted to help it along over the last day or two.
Pain drives to you ends that you wouldn’t normally be willing to seek. Even more interesting, I discover as I move through some of my worst days, the fear of pain can be just as motivating, as I find myself in a panic, sometimes losing my cool at the pharmacy when being told that my script for one thing or another needs to be delayed or can not be filled as per my doctor’s directions due to one policy or another. Fortunately I have been through several meetings with various administrators at our hospital about the “singer provider” programs, which I know to be nothing more than devices contrived to catch drug seekers, so I survive in the web of rules. Barely.
Not everyone knows how to navigate the system as I do, to ensure providers that they are legitimately living with chronic conditions requiring actual care.
But still, I find that even with all of this administrative understanding, and one offer to be a Patient Advocate for my eloquence and fierceness of fighting for patient rights, I still find a simple thing like filling a prescription that allows me to live my life in a manageable manner a trying affair.
My doctor attempted to write my script to allow me sixty days of medication, both because it would allow me to not have to come in every three weeks, and because our evacuation books require it. The hospital pharmacy and the policy won’t allow me to obtain this much at one time. Only thirty days, and that is it. The pharmacist took the time to tell me that the policy could be set aside if I had a real condition, like a seizure disorder, but not for me.
Funny, because my medication is specifically approved for my specific condition, which is a pain disorder, and going off of my medication for even one day causes a relapse of that pain, and side effects that aggravate that pain.
I forget, though, that pain is not a real condition. Not one to be taken seriously, anyway. When I complain to the doctors about my migraines, almost certainly they tell me it is because I am taking too much pain medication, and I am experiencing snapback. But I am using the pain medication only for the migraines, because I have so much trouble getting it for anything else, and have to squirrel it away just in case of migraines. It’s a cycle, and one I am sick of explaining away.
It’s the reason that I have become adjusted to living with a certain amount of daily pain, that I hardly notice how it affects my daily life, so that when I get something abnormal, like a migraine that a normal person would consider a level “7” or higher on a pain scale, I rate it a 6 (it’s super legit, right?), but really I think I may be experiencing the Stigmata, pound it with some pain meds, and try to sleep it off. I crack jokes about how it feels, about how I want to jump out a window or how I understand how someone one thought that drilling holes in heads actually cured headaches. I skip using pain meds on days I probably should use them so that I can use them more on high pain days. The migraine blinds me, it makes me see stars, it makes me dizzy when I stand, but I stave it off and push through with as much as my stomach can handle.
Then, the doctors and pharmacists can be kind of right, due to the stringent rules they set up.
It seems that pain is to be treated as if it isn’t real, and that those of us who live with pain are simply poor, suffering drug seekers.