Processing Morphine

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Did I mention I had  morphine IV? I think so, I believe I mentioned it in my last post Stages of Chronic Illness.

This was almost 3 weeks ago now. I was set to return to work on Sept 4 and back to the doctor Sept 11.

Firstly work on Sept 4 was different to work on Sept 11. School staff return to work one week earlier than the students. So the students only joined us on Sept 11. My gauging pain/ progress really starts from Sept 11 (but that’s another post).

Anyway, at the doctor’s visit we discussed my using extended release morphine. We had this discussion before but I had always said no, I was not doing that.

You see in my mind morphine said I had reached a stage that I was not willing to accept as yet. It said that I was “really” ill. Yes I know and I have known I am ill for years now but here in Barbados morphine is related to being terminal or at the very least “forever ill”. When you reach the point of having to use morphine on a daily basis you know that there is no going back. You will never be “well” again.

So all this was going through my mind each time the discussion came up. I knew I would have to get the IV ever so often but taking the tablets at home meant something different.

My cognitive dissonance was high. I was in a battle in my mind over whether I should accept the prescription and try the drug or decide not to do it.

My other concern was becoming dependent on it. That was the most scary thought 😦 I did not want to even process that but I had to.

So there I was in the office, wondering if I was fooling myself by holding out hope that my situation could get better. Was I fooling myself? Am I fooling myself? Am I in denial? Does my refusal to just accept that my life will always be like this say that I do not accept that I am ill? Does the refusal say I am not being realistic? All those questions were going through my mind and on some days still go through my mind.

Chronic illness has a psychology all its own. As I wrote in the last post Stages of Chronic Illness, this process is anything but linear. That is why I go forward and backward; why I think I have made decisions and then go over them again.

As a Psychologist, I sometimes beat myself up because I do understand all this. I get it! I can help others with it! I just can’t seem to help myself 😦

So, I finally said “Ok I will try it” to the doctor and left with the prescription in my hands. Off to the pharmacy I went with trembling hands, an unsettled mind and dissonance enough for me and a few others combined.

Morphine is such a controlled substance here that it is not stocked by most pharmacies. I had previously been able to get the fast acting morphine solution from the pharmacy without issue but they did not stock the extended release tablets. They had to order the tablets for me and that would take about 24 hrs. That gave me some more time to ruminate; and ruminate I did. I spent the time going over all the information I had previously researched and just making myself more nervous about taking the meds. I was a hot mess, to say the least.

I brought the morphine tablets home and after much prayer, took the first one. I really didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a level of pain relief that I had forgotten was possible.

I have been taking them now for almost three weeks, daily. My prescription is not very high 90mg a day. I have dropped it to 60mg per day and I am still able to function at a higher level  than before.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have pain and issues, especially at work, but I will write about that next time. However, I am doing better in terms of managing the pain.

My dissonance remains, I am still not comfortable with it but I can see the benefits.

In my perfect scenario, where I could not eliminate the pain, I would not be taking morphine; but hey, life is far from perfect.

I have Pelvic Congestion Syndrome and Endometriosis. That’s my truth. I am not in denial, I am not fooling myself but I am learning to Test and Adjust.

For now this is the best I can do and it will have to be enough.

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Author: mypcslife

I am a Psychologist by profession, wife and mother. Living in the Caribbean island of Barbados.

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