Monday, July 25, 2011

Pain FREE?

Jun 28th I got up really early, did all my prep work and headed out the door with my hubby to the hospital. I was scared but calm and a bit in a daze just taking one second at a time. I remember the little cubical they gave us and trying to chit chat with my hubby doing everything I could to avoid anything surgery related. They hooked me up with the IV stuff and started to wheel me out. All I remember is getting to the nurses station which was pretty much right across from my little cubical. I guess that's when I zoned out but apparently my husband said I started getting weepy when I got closer to the surgery area. The nurse said oh, don't cry we'll take good care of you. My hubby Jan said leaving was the hardest thing he's had to ever do in his life.

Minutes later or what I thought was minutes later that was actually hours later, I woke up. First thought? I remember thinking OK, I'm in pain. Wait this isn't so bad. Hmmmm, I can handle this. It was like really, really bad but bearable cramps. WAIT, cramps? Ok, that's weird I just had everything removed and I'm laying here with feelings of cramps? I found humor in that and also found peace in my pain. It wasn't unbearable and my fears of this moment were gone. Yes, I was under a lot of drugs and I welcome them. I have no idea just how much pain I was really in because of the wonderful, I love you pain killer they gave me right into my veins. They wheeled me to my room were I might have dozed off from time to time but pretty much stayed awake all day talking to my hubby and a friend. I felt pretty good.

Day two I was still on the IV of drugs but was bound and determined to walk on this day. They wouldn't let me on the first day because I was all hooked up to a few things so I would stay in bed but today they were removing some of those things so I could walk. I was told by my doctor, my hubby and nurses that the best thing you can do in the hospital is walk. So, I was ready. No matter how much pain I was walking the floor. First time getting out of my bed was a hoot. They had to show me how to roll myself out and with an IV and that little cart of stuff you have to take with you everywhere that wasn't fun. The pain however reminded me of just what I had been through. It was a consistent reminder of what I could and couldn't do.

I have been told that I can be very convincing. I had made up my mind that I was getting off all the tubes, IV, etc on Thursday. I was preparing my case for when the doctors arrived around 8:00 am. And would you believe it, I talked the doctors into removing everything. I mean everything. They even removed my IV thing in my hand. My one doctor the oncologist was so impress with my walking and stuff that he was all in, my other surgeon who put the colon back together, not so much but he reluctantly went with it. That would come back to haunt me later in the day. I was in pain but I wanted to be in pain. I didn't expect to have surgery and not have pain. I wanted to heal and the pain meds slow that process down. My walking was getting better and I now wanted to go home. All day I was doing great! I was told if you throw up 1 time you are back on everything. Then a nurse came in and gave me this big ole horse pill. I took it but didn't ask what it was. Several hours later, it all came back up. She came back and this time she gave me 2 of those big ole horse pills. This time I asked, what is this and she said just a couple of pain meds - VICODINE. I didn't say anything and took them. Later, several hours later that too came back up. My skeptical doctor got a phone call and then the fun began. Tube her! The nurse came in and said the doctor has requested we put a tube down to your stomach. Earlier in the day my oncologist doctor told me I was an awesome patient, I followed the rules, I didn't just lay in bed and I was easy to take care of. That ended the moment I heard tube! I'll be honest, I didn't want the tube, I felt like it wasn't necessary and the only one nurse I really didn't care for seemed to be really looking forward to doing this thing. I said nope! Not going to happen. You guys aren't tubing me. They left and then came back and said the doctor said if you don't do this you need to sign a form that you are are not going to follow his request. Long story is I gave in. Short story is they messed up. I wasn't sick because I couldn't hold anything down. There was nothing wrong with my stomach or colon. I was sick because they were giving me Vicodine on an empty stomach. I hadn't eaten since Sunday and now that the IV was out they started me on pills like Vicodine and my stomach couldn't handle that. It took me awhile to connect the dots but when I did I started on my next plot of getting this thing removed. That was the day I said NO MORE PAIN MEDS! Done, I'm not taking them, I don't need them and it's crazy you keep bringing them to me. I'm done with the pain meds put that in my chart. They did and from that day on I was pain med free. Not pain free but med free.

So what is my point here? I didn't want to be completely out of pain. The pain was something that told me where I had been, how I needed to be careful, what I needed to do to get better. As long as I was out of pain, I was going to be less motivated to do what I knew I needed to do to get better and to go home. I never expected to be pain free. The pain I was in wasn't really bad unbearable pain so why take something for it? I didn't want to rely on stupid meds that people got addicted to. I wanted to allow the pain to be a reminder of what was ahead, what my goals were, what I could have and that was healing. The pain was a reminder that the more I worked the closer I was to healing. The day they finally said I could go home, I asked them not to write me out a prescription for any kind of pain meds. Yet, when I was home going over all my stuff they gave me a prescription for 40 Vicodine. That was so unnecessary. I never filled it, never needed it or wanted it. It did open my eyes to the responsibility both hospital and doctors have to many addictions we have in this country.

What are you doing to cover your pain? What do you have in your life that you use to cover up your pain? It could be anything, it doesn't have to be something bad even. But, it's something that you have put in the way of God's healing power over your life. Something that is slowing down your healing process because you are hanging on to the pain meds of choice in your life. God doesn't want us in pain all our lives! Not dealing with it though prolongs the pain, slows down the growing process we could learn from and keeps us from healing. My challenge is to find the pain you have been covering up, deal with it by facing it, hand it over to God and start to move forward and remove that thing you use to cover it up. That's when you will find healing, peace and the road to a joyous life.