Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The unexpected cost of pain control

I was remembering about my time in in-patient rehab following my time on the ventilator, learning to speak and walk again, how I fought pain meds tooth and nail.

Despite 6 ½ hours a day of intense therapy, I wanted to be a super-hero and take only the lifesaving meds: heart, anti-seizure, blood pressure, and the like. One night though, late, I was in bed on my side grasping the rail in pain, trying to keep my sobs to myself.

Eventually the two nurses who’d checked me in from the other side of the hospital (crying at the time) and spent a lot of time with me just talking, came in. Someone had gone by, heard me, and let them know.

They told me they’d seen others like me try to mask it, the pain, and it only served in less effective therapy, higher stress, & raised blood pressure, all because of being stubborn.

I told them (with my best "mask and fake you're ok" smile) that my family prefers to call me "bull-headed."

One of them said, not smiling, they call that "dead," because they see people stroke out & die from that stubbornness, directly. They wanted me to understand that I just can’t sit and suffer like that.

So I took the meds and haven't fought them since. I have never forgotten the lesson I learned that night.

1 comment:

  1. keesha, i want you to know that even tho life has taken some unexpected turns, i think of you almost daily. i'm thrilled for you about the mother of the year and the makeover, and sad about the financial issues of pain control. i hope your roses are blooming madly and giving you joy!
    love, Whims