Constance Pain

It was that dreadful long day we all hate, known as pain management day. Today was going to be another day of the doctor attempting to taper my pain meds, due to the new CDC guidelines. Me explaining this just isn’t working for me. Once again I’m starting to stay in the house 24/7 and becoming very depressed, due to increased pain.
I was prepared this time. I brought my disc of my last MRI (they hate proof) and pictures of my car accident “open” on the counter so he couldn’t “unsee” it.
I wanted him to see what had vanished from my life. It’s not the loss of the 50k vehicle in plain sight that I wanted him to see. It was the loss of my whole life that I was hoping he’d understand. People always say “oh you have been through so much.” Honestly, most never grasp what a life-changing event that I live with. Of course, it’s a given I lost my health, but do the doctors (and others) truly realize that to this day not once have I awakened without pain. It’s been non-stop for 15 years.
When explaining, I always start with something simple because they can wrap their head around it. Just imagine your worst migraine (everyone has had one or a bad headache) that you have for a week, that would be awful right? They reply, “oh yeah yeah.” How about if you had it a month?  “Oh yes, that would be miserable.”  How about every single day of your life for 15 years straight and multiply that pain by ten? They perk up to listen.
Most of these pain management doctors have never even experienced chronic pain. I had an amazing career, making well over 100k in the early 2000s, plus an annual bonus and all my benefits paid. Today I don’t even make in one month what I made in one week, since the day I was ejected out of my SUV and became disabled.
Who would want to trade what I had, for the way I live now? Let’s not forget all the schooling I took and paid for, all lost on D Day. I don’t mean literally gone but, when companies find out I have a serious closed head injury and I’m on X, Y, and Z medications, they don’t want the liability.
I think losing my career may have been one of the hardest things to deal with.
I was in a nearly all-male industry, only 3 women in the company’s 120-year history had reached my position. I was proud of myself finally. It was something I felt confident in. Gone.
Then there’s being the wife and mother I once was. Yes, I did it all. I played basketball with my girls, went to cheerleading games for one, rode roller-coasters, found time to exercise etc. I can no longer do any of that.  Nor could I climb the stairs to my master bedroom, where my husband slept nightly at the time.
We are divorced now. I believe the lack in him understanding chronic pain and my loss, along with my PTSD, all played parts in my divorce.
Most say “bygones are bygones” I know- but not for me, and not for the pain doctor today. I want him to see the start of it all and how bad the accident was. He comes in and I see shock & awe in his face. The normally stern faced doctor became soft and caring for a moment in time. He was also intrigued because he asked where was I ejected from?  I showed him the sunroof and back window missing. I explained conflicting reports of the witnesses saying it happened so fast they weren’t sure which it was, but I “was shot out like a cannon”, one would state. The fact is, no matter where I was ejected, I was on the ground across four lanes of the highway waiting for care flight. I gladly showed him the other pictures, even though it tore me apart to do so. I wanted him in that moment and in my chair.
I told him everything about my job, my marriage, my current lack of activity because he continues to lower my medications, and how my pain never ever ends, non-stop every minute of every day since. I explained I’m not the cookie cutter CDC norm of 90 MME. He shook his head and said “no by far you’re not. I have some tough cases like yours, but my hands are tied. This 90 MME for chronic pain is due to become law.” He adds that some politicians are saying that the current government later hopes to set all opioid dosages even lower to no more than 50 MME (See our FAQ for a discussion on MME.) Ironically he stood up and started bending his back in different directions a bit.
I said, “Having some back pain doc”?
“Yeah”.
“Is it really wrong for me to say good?” I didn’t mean to be facetious, but I couldn’t help myself.
“I can’t imagine what you go through with all of your chronic pain every single day.”
I smiled a bit. “Now you are getting it”.
Sight seen. Seeing is believing.