Category Archives: Chronic Pain

Keep Going…

Has anyone ever been through this before?! It’s not on the Internet if it is… or very well hidden! My catheter issues are exhausting me and causing even more pain than I already have… but without it, I can cope even less.

That point was proven yesterday, and part of the day before. And today, I’m really suffering for it.

Twice in 24 hours! I can’t believe it came out within just 8 hours… and I thought it coming out 24-72 hours was unnecessarily awful…! It’s caused unbearable pain, in me, who usually can’t really feel anything. I had no choice but to agree with them that the bladder and urethra required some time for R&R… even it it was just for a day, or a night.

After agreeing to leave the catheter out for as long as I could bare it, for at least 24 hours if possible, I did it. I tried and fought and it was horrible. Emotionally, physically, psychologically, it completely messed me up – which was something I did not require during a massive Fibro Flare-Up. Now I’m broken into even more pieces and too exhausted to barely move  – and don’t get me started on the fibro pain and even less moving parts than normal.

I lasted until 5pm yesterday, which is over 24 hours. It was a struggle, and… disgustingHumiliatingExhausting. Shaming. When you’re struggling to manage to change your own paper Grown Up Huggies Pull-Ups every 2-3 hours (if you’re lucky), struggling to move from a Fibro-Flare-Up, when there is no one to help you, when you’re stitting in your own ick because you just can’t move and are unable to – too exhausted to – change, and you don’t sleep. At all. Except for a short catnap between about 8:30 ad 9:30am… if that counts at all…

Eventually, I caved. I had to have it put back in. But it wasn’t happy from the start. As usual. By 1:00pm, it was already seriously trying to wiggle its way out. It’s pressing against… something, I don’t really know, I presume it’s something like the pelvic floor area, maybe?… and it’s setting off this pain like electric shocks and strange body-wide pins and needles and tingles – especially when the bladder spasms and pushes out more water.

At 5:15pm it was pressing so hard it wouldn’t take much more of a hard Release flood to take it out. It was at the 24 hour mark, so it seems inevitable. I don’t win, either way. I need that Suprapubic Catheter ASAP. Except the Urology Department doesn’t seem to be taking much notice of it.

It’s in Retention-Release, despite also slightly draining as well. During the Release, it leaks (bypassing), and creates an immense amount of that pain mentioned just before. It’s so overwhelming I can hardly breathe and makes my eyes really water badly, as well as making me feel quite lightheaded and disorientated. It’s not nice at all.

It’s hanging in there but not my much. One big Release is probably all it will take now…  😦

*

Also I’ve had enough about the OT and social worker. I cannot get anywhere with them, and they won’t talk to me (despite my dad and I leaving messages with them since last week), and thus I have put in a complaint against them with Conwy Services. I’ve also had to call what they call single point of access to request a referral to a new OT. My fourth one now.

This is also along with the fact one of the district nurses thought it was perfectly OK to go and call the incontinence nurse to ask about getting me medication for bladder spasms, and then take that request to the GP all without informing me or getting my consent. I’m hopping mad about it, and she’s not even in today… Naturally. I wouldn’t have even known about it if the GP surgery hadn’t call me to tell me my prescription was ready. So, confused, I obviously ask, What prescription? And apparently it had all been done and dusted for me without my knowledge, my input, my consent. I don’t even know what it is. Or if I have sensitivity or allergies to it, or whether it will conflict with my von Willebrand’s.

Now I have to wait until tomorrow to see what this is all about, and, frankly, expect an apology from them. I’m a very tired and grumpy Lel right now… you really don’t want to get on my sulky side… It’s not pretty, and I will say what I think!

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Catheter Conundrum…

This catheter situation is starting to get a little beyond out of hand. Yesterday, it came out twice. Within 8 hours of the first one being inserted, it was out. And I thought 16 hours was being ridiculous…

In the early hours of the morning, the night staff from the District Nurse office came to reinsert it. Fortunately the people there are lovely. And patient. I have to call them out so frequently (or go to their clinic, if I am able to) it’s beyond a joke – it stays in for 24-72 hours mostly.

img_0887The one that first came out yesterday had been in for 5 days… I don’t know what the secret was. But strangely enough, I had no sensation of it coming out (there’s usually a sensation of a stun gun that has a very sharp pointy end stabbing me and shocking me). The one that replaced it was in for 8 hours… so go figure. I barely felt that come out, but there was a bladder spasm at the time, and I vaguely felt it being shoved out.

To put into context, they’re supposed to stay in generally 8-12 weeks.

It comes out with the balloon intact. A filled 10ml balloon at least 3-4cm [or about 1.5″] in diameter. I can’t even tell you how teeny a urethra is, but it gets shoved out of it. Sometimes it feels like my body is trying to lay an egg… Every time this happens, that is what happens – and yet no one has done a bladder scan or checked how much damage is being done to the bladder and urethra by this constantly occurring. I imagine it’s a lot.

The worst pain comes with bladder spasms and what I term “Retention-Release“. This means the bladder goes into retention until the spasm that causes it is unable to keep the pressure on the full bladder. Then, when it cannot keep it up anymore, it releases… all at once, and causes horrible pain. Now, though, it’s through the roof. And if I can feel it, and it’s unbearable, then it must be bad.

This morning the bladder has been going into Retention-Release badly. There was less than 100ml in my night bag (attached to leg bad, which was empty). It wasn’t until 11:25am that it overfilled and released (after coffee, a diuretic). And it hurt.

It released about 300ml at once. It was agonising. It feels like… a stun gun with a very sharp and pointy end both stabbing you and electrocuting you at the same time. It’s like that constantly right now, but when it released, it’s unbearable. If I already didn’t know what utter agony was, I’d be screaming. But I do, so I don’t.

My urethra now feels like it’s being tasered to death. It is well over a 10 in agony. And as someone used to living with agony 24/7 for five years, I can tell you it is horrific if it affects me that badly that I care and feel the pain.

I cannot sit on it. I literally cannot stand, so that’s out. A little bit of being raised on my kneed on all-fours like a baby helps a tiny bit, but it’s not like I can keep myself balanced there forever, it’s not like my legs can keep me up… So I’m stuck with it.

I feel dizzy and sick (as in seriously nauseated) by the agony. Lying down doesn’t help either. I’m stuck with it, and I probably will pass out from it. And I’m home alone with no one to help me.

Paraesthesia is no joke – it is my pain, my agony, what causes screaming both inside and out. It’s the same intensity and agony as if you had been crushed and fallen several stories from a building and survived. But if you did that, you’d get Fentanyl, Ketamine, some serious Morphine. What do I get? Tramadol, and if I’m lucky some soft-crap Oramorph (just 10mg).

The formally-empty night bag now [at 11:48am] has over 600ml in it.

Come 12:17pm and it starts again. It floods. It comes out. I’m vibrating from shaking.

I’ve had to agree to keep the catheter out as long as possible now, up to 24 hours, or more, if possible. I’m not seeing it… But I agreed to try. Doing it though… Well, I’m not so sure about that. My bladder is still in Retention-Release. It’s very painful when it does release (all at once). I’m not going to be drinking much now. How can I, if the consequence is, effectively, wetting myself? In a grown-up nappy, sitting on a incontenence may for babies? And nappies that I have to change ever couple of hours?

The only reason I’m even agreeing to this is because my current Fibro Flare Up is so bad I cannot move or go anywhere anyway – otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere because of this, and I find that unacceptable.

I’m highly anxious. This makes me feel…Gross. Ashamed. Like I’m a baby again. Or a puppy that is still learning… I can’t stop it, I can’t change it, and I can’t help myself… There is nothing I can do about it. It looks like I might not even be able to be catheterised anymore, if this is what it’s going to do. I’m at a loss as to what I can do, and the professionals are at a loss as to why. All waiting for Urology to come and fix it. Except they aren’t listening, or making it quicker.

But that’s my life now… All about the waiting… and, thus, the suffering…

 


Does Nothing Ever Change…?

I’ve been to hell and back. I think maybe I’m still there… but at least my life isn’t on the line anymore.
27th January I got taken into hospital, half-conscious, and apparently in a bad way. They found streptococus and staphylococcus in my blood, along with a “horrendous” UTI and a bowel infection. I’m not quite sure how much longer I would have been saveable for.
Luckily, I’ll never have to find out. They saved me. It took 6 weeks of being under their care, during which I also contracted more UTIs and a mystery infection that sent my temperature to 40.9˚C. I hate to think how much Tazoan [sic?]they actually pumped into me, but I’m almost convinced my blood is now mainly made up of that and coffee now…
Sheldon–What Fresh Hell
It is completely disingenuous now to wondering it if was the right call… And, after all, I’m not in as much extreme pain as I was – is was about 1000/10 by then. Now it’s down to 9.9 or 10/10 … so there is a big difference.
However… To what end does it really matter, when you’re half-dead anyway? A brainless zombie who is still in the utmost of pain, lost in the system, broken beyond repair, not even the ghost or shadow of a shell of what I once was?
I have a catheter because I can no longer control my bladder – or feel it. And it doesn’t even want to stay in. I cannot walk or dress or wash myself. I can no longer drive, or shop, or go out, do chores, tidy up. I have no control over my environment because I can barely move.
I have difficulty eating, moving, functioning. I have zero quality of life.
No one would ever keep a dog or a cat in this state. The humane thing would be to let it go. And yet, because I am human, there is no humanity given. Instead, I must just somehow “put up with” being tortured every second of every minute of every hour of every day… for years. Five, to be exact. Well, it will be in a few short months.
Nothing ever changes. Fine – yes, I have painkillers now that make it a little better. But now the new storms have hit (Thank you, Storm Hector…), again. I’ve been rendered completely buggered once again. There is no mercy here. Just tragedy and trauma everywhere you look around. Unable to ever comprehend, never being able to correlate, just whathas happened here to me. How far I’ve fallen. How much has been lost… destroyed… 
Being eaten away, drained of everything I am, by a condition no one seems to know anything about. By one that took away everything I worked my entire life to achieve. That took away everything that I was. Who I was. What I was.
 High Pain DayI fought my way to the Summit of the mountain I climbed, and in one fell swoop I was thrown off, plummeting to the bottom of the deepest mine beneath, crushed, broken… and no one heeded my screams nor saved me on my way down. Now, I am a nothing… and I was so close to being a something… something I really wanted to be.
I was about to achieve what I had wanted my entire life – I was about to join a career-making opportunity, based on skill alone… despite not having a single official qualification for IT, and based entirely on my own brain and ability. Just a brush away from a proper salary, a permeant contract, a proper job. With one of the most incredible NHS hospitals in the country.
All gone because of something no one wanted to stop.
That plummet, bouncing, crashing, falling, spinning, all the way down past the ground level I began at, straight past it and crashing – broken into too many fragments to ever count – onto the bottom of its deepest mine… Looking all the way up… Wondering how in all Gods’ name did I get down there, and how in all Hell on Earth I was even going to attempt to get up, let alone get all the way back up there…
Holding On
Now it’s nearly Five Years hence. It’s been a living nightmare. A waking Hell. Walking the darkest horrors and enduring torturous months and years that Satan himself would balk at.
And I am genuinely wondering why I am here… How I came to be here… How was I ever supposed to be OK with the trauma of being left and ignored for all those years, until I was broken beyond repair. Listened to only because I came close to very nearly not being here from blood poisoning… and only then given a little help. Where were they when I needed it, before I got here? 
Before I was left crushed to dust with nowhere to go, unable to move or walk or even go to the bathroom… Before I needed a wheelchair and my parents to even begin to do anything?
I can’t have a shower unless it’s at a Premier Inn – who have amazingly easy to use img_0904shower wet rooms, and cute, comfortable bathtubs too. I went over 2 months without a proper shower – barely struggled, badly and horribly had one just after leaving the hospital. I only had one when I went to the Blackburn Premier Inn a couple of weeks ago. And I had my properfirst shower since I left hospital on 8th March. And I actually felt happy and relaxed after a shower for the very first time in a very long time.
Funnily enough, I can’t say anything like that about home. It’s not suitable for use. Yes, I’ve told them. I’m not holding my breath that they’re going to actually do anything about it…
That’s the world I live in… From being fully in control of my life, of my existence, of my choices, of everything… I am now at the Mercy of everyone. If I want to wash, if I want to change my Tena incontenence pants, if my catheter comes out, if I want to eat, if I want coffee, if I want to get dressed, if I need medication, if I need something from downstairs – or even from the other side of the room, if I want to use my own goddamned shower… You get the picture. For pretty much anything.
And the most insulting thing? I get paid to be ill. That’s what Disability welfare – stupid PIP and ESA – is … and it is pittance. It’s not even enough to be classed as pocket money. That’s your job now. To be unequivocally unable to do anything. And getting a tiny amount of finances to supposedly help you whilst you walk through the shadows of the Valley of Death alone, frightened, and without hope you’ll ever, ever leave again.
And the Government has the freaking impudence to think that not only can they put a price on that, that the price they choose is nothing compared to what you really need…
Somehow they think it’s enough… And if they think that, they’re either insane or delusional. Certainly certifiably stupid and ignorant.
Back to whence I came… Back to being trapped as a prisoner in my own body. Back to being imprisoned in my room. Back to not being able to wash properly. Back to struggling with agonising and debilitating pain that refuses to allow you to actually even move. Or even breathe.
Storm’s Calling… And Hell Is On Fire Once Again…
  

 


Runaway Catheters…

I really have had enough of this – and I really don’t know what I can do about it… Since I left hospital, almost every catheter I’ve been given has expelled itself, with full balloon, within 24-72 hours on average. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why. But what I do know is that once again I am at the mercy of another thing controlling my life. Again.

I can’t really go anywhere anymore – again – because I don’t know when it’s going to come out. I can’t sleep properly because it causes “pain” – strange sensations that are basically very painful to experience but aren’t like normal pain. They’ve given me Baclofen, but the dosage needs to be raised. But I know it’s not going to help that much with this (it’s great for Fibro spasms though)… From some of the sensations I get with them, it feels like they’re just not going to be tolerated… and my system will do whatever it can to simply be rid of it. And it does a pretty good job of it, too.

I should be seeing a urologist ASAP, but we’re talking about NHS waiting lists here… I’ll be lucky to see one before I take out my pension (which will be at age 85 at this rate…). I probably require a suprapubic catheter… though apparently sometimes injections of Botox into the bladder is occasionally used to stop this from happening too… Not the most pleasant idea, either way. But if it stops this? I’m all for it.

I’ve been through countless catheters in the last three or so months. The District Nurses don’t know what to do with me – except, just put another one in, of course. This one was by far the worst one though – it was trying to come back out from the moment it was put in. Sometimes I do wonder what kind of trauma has happened to the urethra, too… Flushing out rather large balloons constantly almost every other day for weeks cannot be very good for it. I know it hurts a lot to pass water when there’s retention buildup – which is quite constant now, for some reason. Then the force of the water expelling dislodges the balloon – and with every one, it wriggles more and more loose until it expels once again.

Regardless of how much longer can I take this – there really is the question of how long my urethra and bladder can take it… It’s going to end up harming them badly, shoving that balloon out several times a week. You’re supposed to average one catheter every three months, not three every damned week, after all. It must be causing great irritation. And I can’t manage without one. Oh, yes, that ship sailed a long time ago now.

If the District Nurses gave out Air Miles, I could go to the damned moon and back, I’m sure. I’d definitely be eligible for a free pen, at least. Or maybe a keyring.

I can’t even find any other reference to such a thing happening elsewhere. No reference to it online by other people, nor on medical sites or even where there is advice on catheters. It just isn’t mentioned. Not expulsions that happen nearly… Every. Single. Day.

It also doesn’t help when you have places to go, appointments to keep. Or a life to be lived. I have only just returned to some form of an existence after spending at least eight months firstly bedroom-bound, and then hospital-bound. I was expecting to be able to have at least some freedom to do a few things that I pleased. But no… at this rate, we’re back to being bedroom-bound again.

I am again not even certain I will be able to realistically make it to the appointment I have tomorrow, quite far away, for a new wheelchair consult. Well, my first wheelchair with them, because it took them bloody forever to get to me on the waiting list… But that’s a different type of gripe…!

I can’t realistically go out in the car for well over an hour each way, plus appointment time, without a catheter. If the next catheter only lasts 24 hours I’ll either not be going or I’ll be out there in the middle of it when it finally gives up the ghost.

I really can’t work out just how the hell it’s managing this… The thing just quite literally fell out this time. No spasm, no massive flow of water… It just fell out. Just like that. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it may be getting worse….

 

 

GrumpyBear

 

IMG_1109

… Urgh…

 

 


The Biggest Reality Check of All…

Someone I haven’t spoken to in a while over text sent me a quite innocent message yesterday, with Are you still alivewritten on it. A running joke when catching up after a while. It meant nothing, had no other significant meaning. They didn’t know it was not so this time.

This time, it wasn’t so funny. This time I really meant it when I wrote back, Yeh, just about

It was a literal answer… and one I was decidedly uncomfortable with. Especially when I didn’t tell them that, or why.

How do you answer someone else… Yourself… When the rest of the answer to that question is I could have died…?

I was desperately ill and point-blank refusing treatment and, well, in all honesty and reality, getting close to dying. Literally screaming myself hoarse in agony, until I was lost consciousness from the pain, for hours every day for a month, not realising my body was being attacked by a silent killer, tearing up my insides and leaving me barely conscious on a daily basis. But I still refused any help or medial treatment. The scars, the terror, the shame of the way I had been treated by medical “professionals” in the past meant I was too traumatised, especially in my current state, to go anywhere near them.

What an utterly terrifying thought… and nauseating right now, with 30/20 hindsight. I did it to myself. Unwittingly. But I still did it. And I quite possibly came a bit to close to maybe not making it. I became unreasonable, delirious, the agony too indescribable apart from being able to say it felt like actual torture.

Eventually, it seemed something in my brain snapped and I somehow, for some reason, decided to finally allow my parents to seek emergency treatment for me. I must have finally realised somewhere inside my subconscious my money was up and it was now or never, the last chance saloon. I don’t know because I don’t remember anything of that day except coming to around 5:30pm in a strange place, in a strange bed, somewhere that I only recognised as “a hospital”. Which or where I hadn’t a clue. My mother had to fill me in on the rest.

I was told I was dragged, barely conscious, downstairs and to the car, then taken to the out-of-hours GP service located in the main general hospital on Saturday 27th January.  The time on my discharge note shows it as being logged in to see them just after 12pm. They rushed me in to the Surgical Assessment Unit and ran tests, put me in x-ray and gave me a CT scan. They pushed fluids for severe dehydration and vast amounts of strong painkillers to stop me screaming. I was apparently there for five hours before I became coherent enough to come around, the pain subsided much, but still quite agonising – although nowhere near what it had been – and I had to be told what happened to me and why there were lines in my arm and why I was in a hospital. And especially the question, Which hospital?

After negative scans and intensive blood tests, it turned out I had blood poisoning and a “horrendous” [their words] UTI (urine infection). Specifically, I had contracted Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. And I’d probably had it for weeks, if not months. The entire time I’d been feeling very ill all the way to the point where I’d spent an entire month screaming myself into unconsciousness from the mind-exploding incomprehensible agony I was enduring.

I ended up being hooked up to some kick-ass antibiotics for 3 weeks before I was getting better. But us took 6 weeks before I was given the all-clear to finally go home with clean and clear blood with zero infections left in it. Even when the ococcus infections had been dimming down, I still got 2 other infections on top of it, and one of them remains an actual mystery to this day, but it was so bad I got a temperature higher than I’d even had with the blood infection – hitting 40.7˚C at its worst. They couldn’t find the actual cause (and they looked a lot) so they dumped me right back on the antibiotics (I’d just got rid of that damn cannula the day before, too!) for another week and a half or so.

So, I spent 6 weeks in hospital trying to recover from my stupidity. For the first couple of weeks I felt it acutely that it was a fight, a real battle, to get on top of this thing (or things) and get rid of it. Once I started to get the upper hand, it was a slow but assured ascent to the top of the mountain of recovery. A couple of minor setbacks is expected, and otherwise it was a fairly smooth ride, if not long. Very, very long…!

I was very lucky the people there were really good and helped me with my little Aspie quirks, and were quite happy to help and make it as easy as possible for me. I also  got a lot out of it that wasn’t just my life, or recovery too. I got actually got my life back in a different sense. Whilst I was there, I got more than I ever expected, and although the way I got there was, frankly, terrifying, I clearly needed to go there to get everything I got from it.

Institutionalisation, at certain points of extreme chaos, apparently suits me. It allows me to reset, obtain new and better habits, in a safe environment of regiment and set patterns. Whilst at hospital, their set mealtimes reset my non-functional non-eating habits that for a long time had kept blowing between starvation and binge-eating. Even stopped me being completely terrified of food after realising there were bland and basic things that could be eaten without feeling overwhelmed and shaking. I learned that some medication didn’t outrightly hate me and worked well – and for the first time in 4 years I had adequate pain control that did not require a distillery. It was such a relief. Even anti-nausea medication given alleviated the horrible nausea from the pain and allowed me to eat easier. Even Oramorph for when the pain momentarily got out of control again. Not one single side effect – just what it was made for, for a change.

I actually got people to arrange referrals for me to help with the fibromyalgia, as well as a few followups regarding what I had been through. This was the first time I’d ever received adequate assistance, support and referrals for my condition… and that was probably because this was the first time that medical professionals had spent 24/7 over 6 weeks to see what I was going through. I even had a wonderful OT (Occupational Therapist) organise my being able to see my dog downstairs whilst I was stuck there, and I ended up managing it twice, which was wonderful.

By the time I left, I really was ready to go home. As in I was clear of any and all infections, everything had been put into place, and I was going home with support and medication that was going to make my life easier to live with. It may not have been the best way to end up getting help, but somehow having a serious illness had managed to bring the never-ending freefall of Hell I had been spinning in, and send me in a completely new direction.

Yes.. Life Is Strange…