There has been many, many nights and days I lay in my bed in pain, walked through Wal-Mart in pain (chewing on a vicodin or two) to get groceries for my kids, got in my car to go pay bills…in pain….parent meetings at their schools in a full blown crisis!! Many days in my past has been filled with some sort of sickle cell pain.
Some of these episodes was manageable, I dealt with the pain, doctored on it myself, and sometimes just down right over looked it while I handled my day’s events. With even a burst of energy usually happening right before the pain sets in. Now anyone that has sickle cell knows there are different levels of sickle cell pain, and there is a point of , Ok…I can tolerate this it’s not so bad….
However there are times (many) when it reaches a level of, “Make it stop now” I can’t take another minute of this!!PLEASE just make it stop!!… That level there is, “Break-Through Pain”. When the pain becomes intense, so intense, sound, light, movement, even conversation all makes it worst. And with in minutes the pain is everywhere, and 100 times worst than it was 20 minutes ago. Many of Us in the world of Sickle Cell Anemia knows this, “Break-Through Pain”…all too well.
Over the past year of 2011 I’ve had one episode of serious, “Break-Through Pain”….I had to get to emergency, get fluids, oxygen, pain meds and a unit of blood. However this was something that use to be every three months for me. There was a time when I felt, “Break-Through” pain I was at Urgent care getting checked in to receive blood regularly.
I try real hard to avoid those days now, and even though they are not completely avoidable I do try to change my mind, body, and soul when those days show up. When pain starts and I’m at home….most of the time I can control it and work through it now. I don’t allow it to elevate or control me. I begin to control it starting from within. I pretty much shut everything down and focus on the area that is having the damaged cells get stuck. And I start to drink increasingly amounts of water. I began to take the amount of meds that will allow me to tolerate and deal with the pain, I apply heat in rotations and I control my breathing and I limit my movement & talking, tv goes off, Ipod with relaxing music goes in the ears and I begin to place my body in a relaxing state.
This has helped over the past year and I know now what it feels like to have the Break-Through pain slowly back up and turn away. In the past I was moving so fast with husbands, work, kids I never slowed down long enough to understand or even listen to what my body was doing or saying. It defiantly has taken sometime to get to this point. And since my pain threshold is on a large-scale I always waited too late to catch that final moment that, “Break-Through Pain” would show up and last for days on end.
Now when I see it, hear it, and feel it coming I softly and gently let it know…”Not today Break-Through Pain”….I’m not letting you in.~