I made my first trip to the ER for relentlessness, unbearable pain. In almost 7 years, I have managed to avoid this. It was in my sciatic nerve. No one has done any scans yet, so we really don’t know the source of the pain.
The pain was the worst I’ve experienced. I was all balled up in pain, for 6 days at a level 9. (I never say 10. I am fundamentally opposed to it.)
I have undergone 17 surgeries, gave birth to 2 babies, and have CRPS, Lyme disease, uterine cancer, and Raynaud’s. But I have never been shot or stabbed, or had a limb ripped off. I feel that there could always be something worse. So my 9 is as serious as it gets for me.
To address the pain, I had to have 2 infusions of several narcotics and steroids combined. It was intense, but it got me over the hump. I came home at a 3-4. I can now tolerate PT. I have no doubt that my absolute largest hurdle was my pride. I am still struggling with this pain. I have some muscle relaxers, narcotics, and 5 days of steroids, which really pisses me off. I know that I need them right now, and I am taking them. Most chronic pain patients will tell you how much we HATE having to rely on pills to function. Vulnerability is exceptionally difficult for me. I type this with tears, not looking for attention, but only to share with you my lesson learned.
Confidence is wonderful, but pride is arrogance. It stands in the way of progress. I should have gone in sooner. I was terrified of being called a drug-seeker for going to the ER for pain relief-even though I take NO NARCOTICS AT ALL! It is a very sad day when we cower in our homes suffering instead of seeking the help we truly need for fear of ridicule.
My experience at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois was wonderful. “Dr. Joe” as he had me call him, was fully knowledgeable on CRPS and Lyme disease. As a strong advocate, I had come armed with a pile of information, expecting to have to teach him. He looked it over respectfully, but he already knew. He was kind and helpful. My fears were quickly put to rest. ”
Nurse Margaret” quickly banded my affected limb so no one would touch it, grabbed a pediatric needle and pulled out all of her tricks as a seasoned nurse, so she was able to get my IV in on the very first stick. Most nurses take 10-12 sticks to get my IV because my veins are so damaged from all of the ketamine infusions.
I am still struggling with pain in my sciatic nerve. But I can walk now. I can manage life, and hopefully with PT, I can begin to recover now. I am so thankful that I pushed past my arrogance, fear, and pride and went to the ER for help. I feel blessed beyond belief to have had my husband beside me. Due to our worldwide network of warriors in our chronic pain support groups, I never once felt alone.
Now back to the fight!
Editor’s Note: Gracie is a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report and a well-known pain advocate and learn more about her at www.ggpainadvocacy.com
Follow on her on Twitter @graciebagosy