Sunday, December 15, 2013

Let's Talk Pain

  Anyone that's spent a little time around me knows I'll say "ouch" at a lot of things, then go on with my rat killin. One year at a Highland Games I lost the Trig and slammed my right foot into it during an  open stone throw. It was my last throw, and if I hadn't broken two toes and fouled it would have been my longest throw. My parents and my sister were there, so I hopped back to where my old man was sitting and yanked off my shoe and sock. The toe next to my big toe was tucked under my 3rd toe, and the third toe was trying to touch my big toe, like you'd crossed them and just kept going until they broke. I was still a little shock and they were still mostly numb, so I straightened them out as best I could without passing out and went back to the games. My old man looked at my foot and said "Jesus, that looks bad". He was right, it wasn't good. Even getting a response out of my dad was unusual, so I knew it was screwed up pretty badly. I braemar like threw the heavy weight for distance, got a measurement on, then told them that was my only throw, and I went to the first aid tent. They taped my two broken toes the each other. I asked how that was going to help and shouldn't they tape them to two unbroken toes. The lady grumbled, dropped ashes off her Virginia Slim Ultra Light onto my foot and retyped it. Long story short, I finished the day. Did awful because the damn foot hurt so bad I could barely walk let alone throw stuff.
 I guess what I'm saying is I can stand a fair amount of pain, overall, and still do my thing. I've had pain levels right before lymphedema therapy of 8 on the 1-10 scale, and left with a 4. Eight is pretty high, but I can bury that for a while and still get along doing my regular day stuff. Generally pain is something I just put up with, since I've had pain of some kind for over 30 years. Lots of joint pain. I'v'e broken all but one of my fingers, and the only ones I lost time at work over were the shattered ring finger, the index finger I almost cut the tip off of and the thumb. I found I couldn't do squat without the thumb. The doc said four to six weeks. I was at work after seven days at home. The three times I broke my ankles, I was off work 6 weeks each for those. I usually cut the casts off after 6 weeks because the beer and donut diet just made me fatter.  So yeah, I can stand a pretty decent amount of pain before it really starts to bother me. I hit that spot yesterday evening. I wasn't even expecting it. But there it was, big as brass tacks.

  They cut out about a 1/3 or more of my jaw on the left side. I believe the only part left is my entire chin and just a small amount of jaw on the left side, all of my jaw on the right side. The cancer in the left side of my jaw were several small spots, not enough to cause pain. I now wonder, seriously, if the cancer hasn't moved into my right jaw. I've got a solid place underneath the jaw line that is rock hard and not tender to the touch. Generally, that's the way my cancer has behaved. It makes these lovely hard spots in my tissue, like swollen glands, then isn't tender to the touch. For me it makes it easier to find. And yes, this spot is getting bigger. Right now, as I blog away, I'm riding the five dot on the scale of pain. That's typical for me, as of late, but I don't feel as perky as I have in the past, and it's bothering me something fierce. I will work on wiping it out an d I may be successful. It's part bio feedback part self hypnosis, and I have a pretty decent rate of return with doing that. Generally I can get the pain down to ZERO or 2. Generally. But today feels differ, like nothing I try is going to work. I changed pain patches, so that help, and went to two scopolamine to control my mucus. Those may really help me kill off this 5 pain.With any luck, and I've had a dab of luck, it will be gone prio. Do  not underestimate the ability of pain to suck the very life out of you. It'll get there, I think, because that's what it does best.

  Last night I noticed my jaw starting to ache. Generally it doesn't do that, it's normal pattern is to be sore,  then hit me with a sudden, very strong pain. Hard enough that I've had it make me sit down. But it never lasts. Both the ache and the sudden pain have been going away  pretty well, so I haven't paid much attention to it. I did mention to my Hospice nurse on Tuesday that it was happening a bit more frequently and he set me up with some Morphine. My thought at the time was "yeah, I'll use it once in a while and not sweat it any more". Turns out by Thursday, I was pumping that stuff into me two or three times a day. The kid and I went to see the newest Hobbit movie at 0001 Friday morning. I was having hell with a lot of mucus, but didn't have any pain. I slept a lot Friday during the day time, but come 1800 or so, man, my jaw was really starting to thump. The kicker with me getting the Morphine was one of those sharp, sudden pains became a sharp hang on pain. And growing in intensity. So yeah, morphine. I slept, it was nice. Pain free and snoozing. I only woke up twice to clear my trach, that's pretty good, actually.
  Saturday it wasn't so bad, I did have to run home to suction myself after Liz and I went running around doing "research". That's what we call going to estate sales, since I'm croaking one of these days, I told her she needed to go to a lot of estate sales to find out how to price things. We joke about that. Anyway, I was worn down a little anyway, so sitting around wasn't so bad. But I felt weird on top of that. I'm swollen as well. That is steadily getting worse, I can hardly wait for my lyphedema therapy Monday, I should get relief then. I'm sitting around and my jaw starts to ache. Normally I can rub it a little and stop it for several hours. No such luck, it just kept building up. So I took some Morphine. "Down Goes Frazier!", I was out. Woke up four hours later at 1830, feed myself, and settled down to watch the boob tube and relax. It started in at 2100, took morphine, that slowed it down to manageable. It's once every hour dosage. 2200, I took another dose, still just slowed it down to manageable. It's not working very well. I told my bud Brittany that if I had the chance I'd run Fat Girl under a truck. She said "not you". She's right. That's the cowards way out besides, I've got too many friends I think of as family to do that kind of thing. That affects everyone, and not in a positive way. So yeah, I'll tough this out.
 The pain by 2130 was becoming unbearable. I was tempted to text Liz and have her call Hospice to see it there was something they could do. Liz worked last night, and I hate to bother her at work. I had thirty minutes to wait. I gotta tell ya, that was the longest thirty minutes of my short life. I've never in my life had something hurt so bad it made tears come to my eyes. This did. It was that sudden "knock your dick into the dirt" pain that left all at once, only it didn't leave all at once. It stuck around. It got worse. I think that jaw, be it cancer, or a nerve thing, hates me. At last 0000! the box says ".05-1.0 dose, once an hour as needed". Cool, I load up the 1.0 and sit back. It worked. I don't remember falling asleep, but I did. Woke up at 0200 to clear the trach, then at 0530 to clear the trach. I slept until 0730 this morning. I would like to be up before that, but I'll take those 7 or so hours of sleep anywhere I can get them.

 Today I'm sore, running about 6 on the scale. I can deal all day with a 6. I figure, sometime later, that I'll be back on the Morphine, and hopefully I won't be waiting 3 hours to take care of the problem. I believe I'll go with the full dose. That should do two things: (1) Knock my ass clear out and (2) Take the pain clear away for 6 or seven hours. My biggest problem today is the swelling. It's really bad today, and is causing me loss of motion and the ability to breath as well as I'd like. I have to literally pull my head back so the airway at the trach, is open. Other wise I'm trying to breath out of my nose and mouth, and I don't get enough air through those two places to help much. I'll figure something out.

 Back in the day. Before I met even my first wife, I had a couple of years where I was a little rowdy. I wasn't afraid of any damn thing, and I did pretty much what I pleased. Not much changed as I got older, I just hang out in better places. So this peckerwood from Beaver OK comes into Yosemite Sam's and the first thing out of the saddle walks up to me, taps my shoulder and says "I hear you wanna kick my ass?" Nope, not me. I don't fight.  I tell him. "I think you're a pussy, say you're a pussy!" Okay, YOU'RE a pussy, and turned back around to drink my beer, which I grab by the neck in case this goes sideways. Then I hear his buddies laughing, I turn around and he's pissed. I'm thinking he's either gonna walk off or throw down. I was right, he walked off. An hour or so later, his little buddy is out turning back flips on the dance floor. A biker I knew told him to stop, he bumped into him twice. My biker buddy was being pretty decent, thought. Normally once telling someone was enough for him. The guy says okay okay, I'll quit. Then turns around and starts another one. My biker buddy grabs at one of his legs as he goes over. The result is the little dude from Beaver lands smooth on his head. It took him a bit to get off the dance floor, and he didn't go up there again that night.
 Well, now the first Peckerwood from Beaver OK is in where the bikers sat. He walks up to Tiny. Tiny is 6'6" or so, probably close to 400#. The Peckerwood asks Tiny the same thing he asked me, about hearing he wanted to kick his ass. Tiny said "Sure". Then hit the guy square in the forehead. It sounded like a ball bat on a watermelon. To his credit, Peckerwood's body didn't know he was out before his brains knew. He straightened up, put his hands up like he was a boxer, then kinda melted into the floor like a limp candle. His buddies carried him out. The next time I say him in Sam's, he didn't fuck with anyone about fighting. I guess he found out that not everyone is Liberal was as afraid of him as some folks in Beaver.

 Give someone a neck rub today. They are nice, and it's a good way to relax.

Hugs and love and shit

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