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    Old 07-29-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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    Grannymac's story

    It began in 1970, when I fell hiking in the mountains of Colorado during highschool. I shattered a few vertebrae, broke my arm and suffered a concussion. I was determined to graduate HS, and graduate I did. I had acute pain from the injury, but it gradually died out.

    Fast forward a number of years - a number of rear-end accidents, t-bones, falls on ice, snow, clumsy falls in the house, and so on, and I began to suffer chronic pain. By the time it got unbearable, I was living in Michigan...and learned about "Canadian Aspirin" (with codeine). There was only 8 mg per so I was taking almost 4 tabs (32 mg, equiv. to Tyl #3) to ease the pain. Then, I ended up taking 8 (2 tyl #3's). Unfortunately, the tylenol in it probably wasn't doing my kidneys or liver any good. I guess I'm lucky that I have no kidne/liver damage. In 2001 I was dx'd with breast cancer, and was given Lortab post-op - finally, a pain med that worked without side-effects and without having to OD on tylenol! Fast forward a couple years, and I suffered from a hernia, that would take time to fix, so enter Duragesic to keep my pain under control until surgery. Ahhhhhhh....what blessed relief! After the hernia surgery, I persuaded my doc to keep rx'ing the duragesic - we went from 25 mic/hour to 100 over a period of 3 years.

    I finally started digging up a pain management doc. After a year or so, I asked him about less drugs and better ways of giving me the meds - like the Medtronic morphine pump. He hemmed and hawwed, and told me the ins. wouldn't pay for the medication (the pump, yes, the med, no). After I had changed regular docs and ended up at a better hospital, I sought out THEIR pain control center, and they were less drug oriented YAY! I tried facet injetgions and so on - no luck, so they referred me to another pain center that was inserting pain pumps in non-cancer patients.

    I went through the trials 12/07. What relief I got! It wasn't 100% It wasn't even 80%, but even 50% was a miracle! By this time, the pain was going down one or the other leg and I would almost collapse when that happened. I couldn't stand, and had to sit down. I remember one night at church, we have a rather long took me almost 30 min to get down the hall - I had to stop and lean on the wall every other was excrutiatingly painful!

    Now...with the pump - and walker - talked a PT into ordering it for me during one hospital stay - persuaded her that I'd be able to get out and around, and I have...a countrywestern hoedown, a day out
    , errands at stores, relay for life - organizing it and doing it, etc.; and breakthrough Dilaudid (take about 1 per day, unless I'm active, then I might take 2...I'm rx'd 4/day (last script was filled in March, 2008)...I have to go without it for another week...I had a script - didn't know it was good only for 60 days, and it was dated April - between the 3 hospital stays since then for pneumonia, and the fact that I don't take as much as I'm rx'd, I had enough left to last most of the way through July. Now, I have to wait until next month when I see the doc to get another script! I can tell the diff when I'm not taking the breakthrough, but I'm also not totally down, because the pain pump is keeping a lot of the pain at bay. It's only in the a.m. (when I wake up) and at times, mid-afternoon after a day of either errands, cleaning, etc. that I miss taking it. I'm using some old Lortab, but they aren't as effective.

    Now if I can keep GERD, COPD and sleep apnea from causing more pneumonias (I've had a record 18 since 2004; 9 since 2007) - aspirant, they think, I'll try to get back to exercising. I'm going to try to get into a pulm. rehab program - ironically, last year, my lung function was 'too good' - I presume at 33% it isn't 'too good' now :/ Excercising will be good for the back, and the lungs!


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