Saturday, August 27, 2016

Not The Best Morning Ever ...

There's a thousand ways to hit rock bottom.  Most people's experiences involve a bottle of some sort.  Maybe drugs. 

Mine involved pain.

Have you ever stepped off a curb onto what you thought was a shallow rain puddle ... only to find yourself ankle deep in water?

That's the closest analogy I can make.  I've had a complete hysterectomy.  I've had my gallbladder removed.  I've had a hernia repair.  So I know the pain that comes with recovery.  I thought the water would be shallow.  But I guess what I didn't realize is that every pain is different.

I went into this thinking that my AV fistula would be a walk in the park.  I've had an abdominal incision from one hip to the other.  How bad could a cut on my arm be?  I remember walking around my dining room table with a pillow pressed to my belly because the pain was so bad.  I remember grasping onto my couch to pull myself up because I couldn't use my stomach muscles at all.  So how can I fall apart from this?

I woke up this morning a little after five o'clock hearing the door to the garage shut and the lock turn.  Stoney had told me the day before that he might run to Meijer in the morning for a few things.  He has problems sleeping and, in a happy coincidence, he likes shopping early when the stores are empty.  So hearing him leave wasn't only not unusual ... but it was expected.

Still ... the sound of that lock turning brought back some very bad memories of the past.  Of waking up to an empty house.  Of someone making up outrageous lies about why they were going out in the middle of the night.  I know.  I know Stoney is nothing like the other one.  I can trust him ... and I'm not exaggerating when I say that's trusting someone is an odd feeling.

So a little after five, I found myself wide awake playing on my phone.  Hurting.

The obvious question is why I didn't take a pain pill then.  It was eleven hours by that point since my last dose ... but the God's honest truth is that I didn't think of it.  I was laying there thinking about texting Stoney ... and knowing that was a clingy, silly thing to do.  Telling myself just to go back to sleep.

After forty five minutes or so it hit me.  I really hurt.  My arm ached all the way to the shoulder and the incisions burned.  I got up and got a pain pill and a bottle of chocolate milk ... and just as I was opening it, Stoney came home ... loaded with bags from ... you guessed it, Meijer.  I drank my milk ... eventually took my medicine and we talked for a bit ... and I tried to lay back down to sleep again.

But the pain got worse.  And along with the throbbing and burning ... now I was noticing little things.  Like the thrum from the fistula.  Dialysis fistulas create this ... "thrum" in your arm.  It's a good thing.  It means the fistula is viable and pushing blood.  But it's disturbing when it's new ... that electric pulse in your elbow.   And no matter how I moved my arm, I felt the thrum.

Along with that, my thumb was numb and tingling.  And along with that, the stitches were poking into my arm.  The night before I'd taken off my bandages and decided to sleep with nothing on my arm.  But now the hard, black ends of all the little stitches were poking into that tender inner-elbow skin.

All that and the throbbing and burning.  And it was all too much.

I was weepy but I got myself together enough to walk back to the kitchen to ask Stoney to put bandages on the incisions so the stitches would stop poking me ... and I just ... fell apart.  I cried like a baby.  Not just tears ... ugly, braying sobs. 

Stoney hugged me and comforted me and carefully bandaged my arms.  He looked at the clock and showed me that it had been twelve hours between pain pills ... and that was just too much.  He took me back to the bedroom and arranged the covers and pillows to make a comfy spot and tucked me in.  And in fifteen minutes or so, the pain lessened ... and although it never actually goes way ... it was enough to sleep for awhile.

I just said yesterday that things will get better ... only for it to get worse.  It's disheartening ... on countless levels.  I don't want to be a junkie ... but on pain medicine I can take a hot shower.  I can get a bottle of water.  I can not break down into a sobbing mess. 

And I can write this.

So let's try this again.  It will get better.  It has to get better.

It has to.

Better living through chemicals.

It's just past 8 and
I'm feeling young and reckless
The ribbon on my wrist says, 
"Do not open before Christmas."

Fall Out Boy - Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name Of This Song

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