Downward Spiral

** Written under the influence of lots of drugs and lots of pain. **

It has been a few months since my arm/shoulder/car accident pain has spiraled to the staggering level it's currently at.

You don't need to tell me it's my own fault, I already know.

It was so intense, I didn't sleep at all Thursday night.  If I'd known where the closest Boston hospital was, I would have gone there in the middle of the night.  (Nothing was working for pain relief.  There are no words to describe how bad the last 48 hours have been.)

I spent yesterday curled in a ball whimpering in pain as I flew back to Orange County.  

Doesn't that sound like a fun, five and a half hour, flight?  

(By the way, we came home early to escape the air-traffic madness expected from Hurricane Earl.)

The other fun thing?  When my arm/shoulder gets really bad the muscles in the upper right quadrant of my body begin spasming like crazy, including my neck muscles.  Guess what that leads to?  


Oh yes, in case heart-stopping pain isn't enough, I got the bonus of a killer migraine to go with it.

Fun times!

I knew my trip to Boston would be hard on my arm.  Traveling is difficult even with two good arms, but trying to manage luggage, etc. with only one working arm, and lots of pain, is a difficult challenge.  To help me, Dr. Painless gave me an arsenal of tricks, supplies, and drugs.

My time in Boston was spent going full speed, from one activity to another.  My camera was a permanent fixture, strapped to my body, the entire week.  I wore pain patches on my arm, and chose to ignore every warning sign telling me I was SO overdoing things.  

"Why aren't these patches working anymore?" I wondered after a day or two.  

Of course, they WERE working.  They just weren't strong enough to make a dent in such an astonishing level of pain.

I had seven days in Boston to conquer the city, and I was determined to do just that.

Maybe I'm trying to prove to myself I'm "normal" and can do everything I used to before the accident.  Maybe I was determined I wouldn't let my "disability" ruin one more thing in my life.

For me, when I begin to have a pain flare up (for whatever reason), I have to stop everything.  I have to rest my arm, baby it, force the damaged nerves to calm the hell down.

Except, this time I didn't.  I kept going, and doing, and attempting to shoot photos, and ….

Now, I'm lost –

Drifting so far out in the sea of pain, I don't even know how to get back.

I've had a lot of bad flares up but this, oh this, is entirely different.

I can't think straight.  I can't function.

I curl my body into a ball, grit my teeth, and try to focus my mind on anything else.

I'm taking double doses of pain meds, in addition to a host of other medications.

I'm basically a full-fledged, walking, talking pharmacy right now.

And yet, I'm still experiencing awe-inspiring pain.  

Pain is like that sometimes.  Given the right triggers, it multiplies upon itself, gaining strength and viciousness with every movement.  It becomes its own living, breathing, entity.

It's a holiday weekend.  

If it weren't, I would call Dr. Painless and beg him to meet me at his office or the hospital for pain injections.  

I should be unpacking and doing all the other chores that need attending after a week away.

Instead, I'm staring at the clock and counting the hours as they pass.  I hope each day will bring an improvement.  Or should I say, I'm counting on each day to bring an improvement?

And I now know, without a doubt, I will have the electrodes implanted in my arm and shoulder.  

I will do anything –

If it might help me escape this pain.

© Twenty Four At Heart

15 Responses to “Downward Spiral”

  1. Lynda M Otvos

    I am so sorry that you are suffering so; unable to help I can only send hugs and keep a good thought for you. I have NO clue how badly you must be hurting…

  2. Kristen

    I think you need to call Dr. Painless and see about getting something to get you through the weekend, holiday weekend be damned. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks, helping out patients on the weekend can’t be helped sometimes, I’m sure. Just reading about your pain makes me tense up, I so wish that you didn’t have to experience it. 🙁 Many hugs to you! Please call your doc!

  3. karen

    Call your doctor immediately..don’t try to suffer through the weekend.
    When the spasms are that horrible…(I have neck/back muscle spasms that cause migraines that I’ve been in the emergency room for)… I put ice packs on the shoulder/neck area and it alteast freezes the spasms and gives me enough relief that the headaches calm down and the pain calms down too. Have you tried ice? (not as the answer, but to cut into the pain)… I use those blue Ace gel-filled packs because they are the most comfortable and reusable.

  4. Jan

    Suzanne – CALL THE DOCTOR. Trust me, he’s used to it – he’s a damn pain specialist, not a podiatrist! Do. It. NOW.

  5. Jenny in MN

    So sorry you are suffering. Call the doctor. Perhaps you can get injections asap into the spasms and at least that would help one tiny portion of the complex pain puzzle. (I’ve been in the ER for spasms and the injection was way more helpful than oral drugs). Good luck and sending you gentle hugs.

  6. LPC

    I am so sorry. Absolutely call your doctor. That’s the point of emergency care. I think you need to calm down those nerves right now. Best wishes.

  7. Jason

    Geez! I am so bummed out for you! I hope you find relief, and soon. I can’t believe the pain meds aren’t even working.
    I have to say I admire your ambition, though. A LOT. I think many people would just sit back and watch TV for the rest of their lives and not do what you’re doing, which is really, really living life.

  8. mel

    I’m just reading this now. I hope things are a bit better, I know the pain is constant and I’m just wishing you as much consistent relief as possible. hugs, lady.


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