4am I take my one large med (60mg morphine ER) which lasts a good ten hours. Enabling me to sleep for four more hours, take care of my large German Shepard puppy, the cats. Cook whatever we’re going to eat: and work. I’m a writer, so work is a joy. It’s only torture when I’m not well enough to do it. Hey, I realize I’m one of the luckier ones. I do get to work around four hours a day, and that’s more than some. I write feverishly, coming up with wild ideas for the current thriller and banging them out as fast as I can because the next scene is looming on the horizon. But let me tell you, it’s draining.
2pm By 2pm, the octo-ray is wide awake. I have an invisible monster, an octo-ray which sports 20 razor-covered tentacles and the spike tail of a manta ray. Now, the tentacles are squeezing my lower back, digging those blades in. I take break-through meds (5mg oxycodone,) but they were severely reduced because of the whole 90 MME Thing. That is, you can only have 90mg of Morphine Milligram Equivalence) . I take 90mg of morphine, so they reduced my three 10mg break-through meds to two 5mg. Which of course don’t work: I must take them both to get any relief. If I do that, I have nothing at all for later. Depending on how bad the damn pain is, I take one or both around two. Because at 4, I get my other 30mg morphine ER: half the strength of my 4am med, but it is what it is. It does cut the pain for about four hours, but then the octo-ray is fully awake and raging – 8 tentacles grab you in one spot. You worm around on the bed, trying to get relief and suddenly that’s it! There’s the good spot. You go on reading but shortly – that spike nails you right in the old left butt cheek. This one is bad enough that you must pace for a bit. You do that, the damn octo-ray gets worn out from digging in. Again, you’re sort of OK enough to lay back down and read. No question of trying to work during this time. Ever been really into something and a bunch of tentacles wrap around your back, each sporting a shiny razor blade in flames? Not really conducive to a great working experience.
6pm I’m reduced to watching crappy reality TV shows, waiting for the next strike that makes me pace. Because I pace my butt right downstairs, feed the puppy, work with her until a plethora of tentacles all hit at once. Then I bring the big girl in, spend hours throwing her the ball from flat on my back. Smart girl that she is, she sits a few feet away and is delighted to catch that ball for hours: only my wrist flips back and forth. And, wonder of wonders, I have no pain in my wrists.
8pm The entire octo-ray is awake, ready to dance. It shoots out tentacle after tentacle, squeezes and slices here and there while his spike whaps you in the gut, or the back. Sometimes the legs and isn’t that fun? I mean, how good does it feel to have an octopus doing the Watusi on your legs!
12am By midnight I’m ready to strangle the octo-ray, chew my way through my pillow – whatever comes first. Instead, I take night time meds which mercifully knock me out for four hours.
I wake at 4am and then… This is how my day goes. We’d be delighted to hear about yours: thank you for reading.