Week 3 Post-op Update

Today has been a bit odd for me.  I have very little pressure in my head.  The muscular tension type headache I had yesterday and for the past few days is no longer noticible.  I have what I haven’t had in over 3 years…a relatively pain free day.  Funny thing, I’ve been sleeping most of today.  Another thing I haven’t been able to do, rest well.

As a result my thinking is clearer, my mind not so strained to remember silly words that before I had used countless times without any effort. 

I was told by my pain management doctor that someone who is in chronic pain, especially with headaches, begins to lose the ability to deal well with life in general.  The reason has to do with the inability to be relieved of the pain.

Take a moment to remember the last time you had a headache.  What was the first thing you did?  Now imagine that all the steps taken to soothe the pain didn’t help.  And your pain continued to worsen.

Thinking hurts.  Reading hurts.  Resting hurts.  Sleep is elusive.  Loud sounds hurt.  Bright lights hurt.  Talking hurts.  Sleep is still elusive.  Daily life becomes exhausting.  I have read that chronic daily headaches can drive a person to madness.

Some prescribed medicines actually contribute to the cycle of pain through the rebound effect.  The longer and the more you take the meds the less effective it becomes and the more often you need to take the meds.              

In my case, I was prescribed some medicines to help me sleep.  I didn’t have a clue that one of the prescriptions had addictive qualities.  I was simply told it was better to wean off that medicine.  I had already begun that process and was on the last titer down before entering the hospital.  On days 2 and 3 after surgery I had episodes where all my muscles contracted at one time.  I would catch myself clinching my jaw and noticed that my back hurt because I was literally stiff as a board.  I assumed it was mostly a reaction to the stress from surgery.  It may have been, in part, but it was mainly from withdrawals.  No wonder the ICU nurse was so concerned about getting the surgeon to prescribe that med via IV (I couldn’t keep anything down, at this point).

Thankfully that was as bad as it got and my withdrawals from that med appear to be over. At least I didn’t wake up soaking wet from sweat, my dreams are becoming less frightening, and I am feeling more rested.

However, I am on another highly addictive med for the pain, prescribed after surgery.  I am thankful for the friends God has put into my life whom He has used their experiences to be of help to me.  Now I am taking all my meds with a greater awareness and cautiousness.  It is my prayer that all of this trial with my health would be used of God for His glory!

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Debbie 

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