I am not generally a fan of the 1 out of 10 pain scale that doctors use in the American Healthcare System. It’s a way of applying objective numerical data to subjectivity. The pain I am experiencing right now is not something I could properly convey to you without giving you examples of how I’m feeling or how my body is physically breaking down, and I write excessively. If I said it was a 9/10, that feels objective.
Truthfully, this is a 10/10 pain, but who says that, really?
Let me focus on this pain and I will tell you how it feels to the best of my ability. The biggest thing that this spine pain feels like is a complete drain of all of my energy. My body temperature has dropped some degrees since I’ve experienced the height of this pain. It is difficult for me to move any part of my body. I am sitting now because when I was in bed about a half-hour ago, my lungs felt like they were going to collapse in on themselves with the pain of my lower back and leg infecting the rest of my body.
This was something that someone had wrote in a livestream chatroom about a month ago that I resonated with, screenshotted, and thought about how I can continue to relate with that on a weekly basis. I went on short-term medical leave back in April 2020 and by July 2020 I found myself in the Emergency Room because the pain I was experiencing then was like nothing I had ever experienced before. As I wrote about then, and since, my “10/10” pain in July amounted to little more than being given some anti-anxiety medication along with anti-psychotic medication. I was hyperventilating in the ER because of the angle that the nurses put me in was putting pressure on the part of my spine that, two miserable months later, I would get surgery on to fix.
Today’s pain is much worse than that July pain.
I don’t believe it’s fair and right for the American Healthcare System to operate in this way, because what happens is if you guess the wrong number for how you register your pain compared to how they perceive it, the doctors and nurses don’t take you seriously. I am in such a condition where I have to ration out the remaining painkillers I’ve saved from my spine surgery to last me this long. Between the time I left my bed and got here to start writing, I had to take one of my remaining Oxycodone to regain some semblance of physicality.
What happens when I run out?
I waited in bed while I asked myself that question. Will my life reach the point where I can’t get out bed to take a painkiller which I will be the first to admit is not entirely effective because the most it does is mask the pain. It’s not a good thing to take because once it kicks in, I might forget that the pain I am currently experiencing, and experienced before I took the painkiller, is how my body is actually feeling. I can’t move at all without experiencing some sort of pain. I am sitting now, so my tailbone pain flares up the most, and that pain feels like a jab against my tailbone. Other times, my left side feels like it’d being jabbed with a knife or slammed with a baseball bat.
Other times, my body becomes numb and I have to fight to move at all.
At what point am I going to lose my bearings of reality because of this pain? I have maybe a dozen Oxycodone to last me perhaps indefinitely. I don’t know for sure if the doctor’s appointment I’ll have on Wednesday, December 09 – months ago from this publication – will be fruitful at all. I have to assume the worst. Two-plus weeks ago, I still felt somewhat able to move around. That was around the time I went to see the doctor. One-and-a-half weeks ago was when I went in for the MRI to see what’s going wrong. I had trouble moving around then. I didn’t do much to abuse my body then, like bathe or go down the stairs from my apartment to throw out trash, and I didn’t take any painkillers for a few days to better coax the pain from my body.
Now, I wonder: if I took an Oxycodone along the way, could I hide this pain I’m in?
How many more weeks of pain can I tolerate? I didn’t move my body around at all to deserve the pain I’m in today. I was as obedient as possible to take care of myself, and yet, my body seems to be reaching a point where it is running out of tolerance for this pain. The most I can do is distract myself from this pain for as long as possible. It doesn’t work but sometimes I pretend it does. I don’t know if my body is just going to stop working soon. I could be taking too few of painkillers and my body could go into shock over the pain. I don’t know. The most I know is that I am not feeling well right now, and I don’t think I could imagine being in much worse of pain.
My body would probably go into shock at that point.
I have less than 3 days before that doctor’s appointment. I have every reason to be optimistic that I will get some sort of long-term pain relief. If I went to the ER today, I have no evidence to tell me that I would not receive similar abuse to that July ER visit. If the doctor’s visit goes well, he could have an actual plan for recovery for me, which could actually relieve this pain. That’s the most I could hope for in life now.
If that doesn’t happen, I don’t know what to do next.
|Quotes:  I won’t cite the specific person but I did keep their specific writing. I don’t know what they were specifically talking about, but, I wish them well.|
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I can only take these Oxycodone medications left over from surgery when I feel this sort of 10/10 pain. It’s perverted that I can’t get any sort of help from this and I have to endure it alone, but hey, at least my pain tolerance will be superhuman if I survive this.|
|Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 December 06 [1:21pm to 1:43pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 December 06 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|