[Tripping On…] Right Side Pain

There is a pain on my right side that is becoming increasingly more intense and increasingly less tolerable. This pain is under my right rib and toward the middle of my torso. I’ve felt small flashes of this pain throughout the past few days. Yesterday, it hurt as I was walking out of a store toward my car. Today, just now, it hurt with such severity that I can’t ignore it, so we’re exploring it.

This pain doesn’t quite feel like a pinched nerve.

When I had that, what started off as a slow burn turned into numbness along my left leg. This feels closer to what it was like when my body was approaching the final days before surgery where I was in so much physical pain that I’m sure I lashed out at more people than I should have, and I’m sure that my body was crying out in pain in its own way. It feels like what should be a soft bit of my body has turned into a jagged edge.

It feels like a knife when I exist in certain times of the day.

I can’t figure out where exactly the pain is or how it feels, but I just know that it became at its worst just now. I had been making such good progress reducing my intake of Oxycodone that I was starting to feel like I was feeling better. I don’t think it was with an arrogance that should be punishable that I wanted to reduce my intake. I think it’s better that I did reduce my post-surgery painkiller intake because how long was this pain actually there? Was it there the whole time? When we numb our bodies or our minds, we prevent ourselves from feeling out these sorts of core pains in our bodies that can be fixed.

My concern is that this pain will either not be fixed or fixed incorrectly.

I didn’t experience this pain prior to surgery, but what if it was there all along? I’d been dealing with pain for so many months that things had just started to equalize. My willpower, no matter how strong, is finite. I am only a human being. I wonder if the pain in the two discs that were formerly in my spine were a majority pain and this was a minority pain? I wonder if, even through my own careful observation, I failed to notice this because it was an insignificant pain in comparison to what was fixed two weeks ago?

It feels almost like what I’d imagine a broken rib to feel like, piercing into my body.

I’ve taken more Oxycodone since I first noticed the issue. I will admit this. I took one and it did not help after wading out the pain over a thirty-minute period, so I took another. That’s probably not enough time for my body to have fully digested the medicine, but the way I’ve noticed how my body processes medicine, I can’t always go off of what the medicine release times are; whether to wait 30 minutes, I might feel it in 30 seconds, or, if the effects take place within two hours I might not feel it at all.

It’s been over one hour since I took my first Oxycodone this evening.

My posture has been about as good as it can be, all things considered, so I don’t think it’s based on how I sit. I’ve felt this when I walk, so I don’t quite know the pattern, but it’s becoming more intense when it does happen. It’s not consistent and there aren’t any repeatable sensations. It’s not like if I were to sit at a certain angle, walk at a certain pace, or be away from painkillers for a certain amount of time. I don’t know what it is, but writing that it is happening like I am now is helping me to try to answer these questions.

I meet with my new spine doctor for my follow-up appointment tomorrow.

Before I began writing this essay, I had made brief notes on where this pain was located. I can point to the X and the Y coordinates [under my right rib, toward the middle] in my body to maybe help the doctor locate where this pain is coming from. I wonder if it relates to the bandage I have over my healing wound? This morning when I was getting my bandages replaced, I experienced an overwhelmingly sharp pain while the old bandage was being pulled off. I hadn’t felt any pain from this process before so it was concerning for me. It felt like the suture tape that was put over my healing wound was being torn off. It was not. I think it was a hair that had dug into a particular part of the adhesive.

I don’t know if it’s related, but thinking through it, it could be.

Through my experiences Tripping On The American Healthcare System, I’ve found two truths: First, write down on physical paper your questions clearly and precisely. I have a text document nearly one page in length with my questions to bring up tomorrow, ranging from questions like these to logistical considerations. Second, the more important the matter, the more I would recommend bringing someone with you. The old pain doctor, for example, completely disregarded me and gave me false information. He told me that he could not help me any further, that if my pain was severe that I should go to an emergency room he recommended, and if I went, they’d resume my care. They did not. They made no contact to him, he made no contact to them. If I had someone there to assist, they could have helped coordinate or call him out on his bullshit. I will be bringing someone along tomorrow. Up until now, I’ve known, but have not recorded, these conversations.

I’m still not sure if I should record them or not; if my pain isn’t addressed… maybe.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: With my addictive behavior in consideration, I have been trying to manage my pain without relying on painkillers. It’s easy to overdo it. When the pain makes me feel hopeless, like it is an overwhelming pain with no fix, that’s not quite the time to take painkillers. Having fully experienced the pain, then shutting off the pain sufficiently, let me write about the pain from more of an outsider’s perspective.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template
Written On: 2020 September 14 [9:54pm to 10:18pm]
Last Edited: 2020 September 14 First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.