Has anyone else tried to explain to the world that pain meds (narcotics) actually cause you more pain? I have a strong understanding of medications and the mechanisms by which they take action, but I cant seem to wrap my head around this one.
When I had my gall bladder taken out years ago I was suddenly woken up by a dose of reversal drugs to drain me from the morphine dose they gave me in recovery. I had gone into respiratory arrest and the theory was that they had given me too large of a dose. But with my mom being a nurse and a mom, sitting beside my bed watching me stop breathing, that was the end of any morphine for the rest of my life. A few years later I had my first endo surgery – a lap that cauterized the endometrial tissue from as many areas as could be reached using a scope. The recovery was a lot like the gall bladder recovery with no hard narcotics and a few doses of Tylenol extra strength.
Along the way I noticed my body reacting to other kinds of drugs such as causing drowsiness from non-drowsy allergy meds, or an adult dose of nausea medication making me more nauseous. Yes, there are people like me in the world who are ultra sensitive to medication dosing and therefore we have to be very careful when taking particular drugs. I figured with my understanding of genetics and metabolism, I chalked this up to something I just have to have a heightened awareness of.
A few months ago when my endo pain flared up again, I went to the hospital for the abdominal pain and was sent home the same night. A week later the pain came back and I said ‘screw this, something is wrong!’. You can read my full post on this adventure but in a nutshell the first doctor listened to me and my body. I was in great care. But as the shift changed and the new doctor took over, I urged her to listen to me about my sensitivities to narcotics. She argued with me, talked down to me, and syringed a dose of something brutally strong in my IV. Before you could count to 10 I was in agony! Pure agony. I was already delirious and had no strength left to argue with what she was going to do to me. Luckily/Unluckily I didnt have to deal with her for too long as she was on a mission to discharge me…hopped up on drugs.
As you know I am going through this endo journey with the first step being skipping my periods for 3 months. It has not been smooth sailing. In fact, last week I was in so much pain I had to go above and beyond the naproxen, and dip into my store of T3. About 30min later I was struggling to breathe. My abdominal pain – the one where it feels like my ribs are in a vice – was getting tighter and tighter. No position was working. I finally dragged myself to the bathroom floor to lay my sweaty body on the cold tile floor. It was like I had been winded and the air was struggling to get in or out. With one eye open I grabbed by phone to text my boyfriend. He called me right away and told me I should call 911. Call me cynical but I was not ready to endure hours at the hospital for another doctor to tell me these drugs are invented to help me, not hurt me. No way. I was in no mood to explain anything to anyone.
Instead he called my friend who just so happens to be a ND. She ran up to my apartment with her husband, also an ND, and dragged me to the couch so they could take my vitals. My blood pressure was super low, but I was getting enough oxygen. They told me to wrap a sweater around my ribs so that I didnt have to hold on so tightly. The rest of the night consisted of tea and breathing exercise while we waited for the drugs to pass. Once the pain has subsided I fell asleep, hard, for the rest of the night.
All that to say, dont let anybody tell you what your body can and cannot take. There are reasons behind our pain, and this to me was a sign that I need to think of ways to cope with the pain outside the realm of these strong medications. Especially if they are going to make the pain worse. You and I both know our life with endo is about educating people who should know about what we are going through, and part of that journey is explaining things about our bodies that they need to consider when treating us. Dont keep quiet. This is your body.