Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Death Patch.

So i've successfully lived through day 1 of what i'm lovingly calling The Death Patch (Fentanyl.) i picked them up on Monday (where i managed to fit in a little trip through the wonderland that is the huuuge Michael's craft store nearby.) i nervously grilled the pharmacist.

"Um, do you know about the recall of the patches where they had cuts in them and the drug all poured out at once onto the person and they died?"

"Please repeat?" she said, looking quizzical.

"Well, i read a thing that said there were Fentanyl patches that had been cut and people died when they put them on."

"Ah!" she said, her face clearing into supposed understanding. "Don't cut them!"

"No--they got them from the pharmacy cut and didn't know, and they died. How can i be sure yours are okay?"

"They are okay," she said.

"Well, okay," i said, chewing my lip. "Where do i put the patch on my body?"

"I would put it on the upper arm."

"What if i'm wearing something with short sleeves? Can i put it somewhere else it won't show?"

She gave me a quick up-and-down and said, "Well, it needs to be somewhere there is muscle to absorb it."

i see the problem. Not a lot of visible muscle. "Okay."

i bled her for any information i could think to ask, and then read all the tiny print on the pamphlet that came with it when i got home. i didn't understand a lot of it, but i read it. Can't say i didn't make an effort to be an informed consumer.

Once i'd read everything as thoroughly as i could, squinting to decipher the itty bitty print made for very young eyes (mine are not,) i pulled a patch from the package. Out came one of those "tear here" sort of packs. Inside was a sandwich (except if you can't cut them you probably shouldn't eat them either) of clear plastic, a smallish clear sticky patch in the middle. Heeding the "do not touch the sticky side it's full of nasty chemicals" warnings, i carefully (and paranoid-ly) put it on my upper arm. i patted it off and on all day reminding myself of its presence.

But i have survived. It is now the second day. i am to change it each third day. We shall see. i am still hoping for some relief of the constant burning ache in my body.

My hubby worries about me being so forthcoming with this sort of personal information, the ins and outs of my medication trials. But i told him, "the few people who read my blog sort of regularly are either friends or family, and most of the others seem to have dealt with some sort of chronic pain of their own." And therefore i excuse my tendency for the therapeutic blog blurt.

The thing is, i find this journey down Drug Lane to be a fascinating one. Will this next one end up in a happy meadow where all things are sunny and good? Or will i just end up face first in another cow-pie, like the last 2 things i tried?

So, please feel free to walk along with me, just watch your step.


Anonymous said...

I certainly relate to you challenges of navigating these treatment options! You have my sympathies! I remember when I had to take Flagyl, which made me terribly sick before it made me better. I told myself that I always wanted to remember how sick I was, because by contrast each day of improvement or relief was a great blessing. I hope your treatment helps you. And speaking of treatment, I owe you an email about Fibromyalgia. I'll get to that soon, I promise. Take good care!

Unknown said...

I hate when I write a comment and Blogger eats it... like it just did.

Recap of what I just wrote: Just remember...I am a country girl and in my life time have walked through many cowpie mine fields just to use the outhouse. A little cow pie here and there doesn't bother me.

Have a blessed day!

julia said...

hey, Bliss--thanks for the encouragement! Altho i dislike the thought of being more sick before it makes you better...hard to hang on in those moments.

Jo, i'm so glad i haven't had the cowpie AND outhouse experience, just the cowpies are enough for me! ;-) But thanks for walking with me.

Hinsley Ford said...

"Please repeat?"
Oh I wish I could give you a gentle hug. I'm at my worst pain point that I've been in a couple years or so. I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't think people get your whole body becomes a trap, a prison, and there is no way out. I know people with chronic migraines feel that way about their head - which is terrible - but then extend that to the body in its entireity. Sorry if I spelled that wrong. Not having a good day. Have you ever tried having an implanted morphine pump? Today I am just taking my usual Contins and break through meds, but called my doctor for the first time in a few years to see if we can do something different for breakthrough pain. They are working like sugar pills.
Anyhow, :::wiping away tears:::lots of love and thinking of you.

julia said...

DANG, Hinsley, why is the pain so bad for you right now? but thanks for the good and supportive thoughts-- No, i hadn't even heard of an implanted morphine pump! Sounds a bit scary! i think i've come a long ways toward learning to work with my pain and all--you know, pace myself etc. i keep hoping something like The Death Patch will finally do the trick! And it just depends on the level of the pain what i can do to distract myself, i'm sure you know that one, too!

Connie said...

Hi Julia--Thank goodness you have a good sense of humor to deal w/the patches, side effects, etc. I do so hope something works for you.
Your grandchildren are just the cutest-I find I can talk to mine easier than my own children. They are a bit older, though, and have hit a few of life's bumps, also.
If you want to send me your email, we might ask/answer a few of those questions regarding the food sensitivities. Even eggplant sounds good to me now.......
Have a good night on this new standard time. Con :)

julia said...

Well, i've always had an odd take on life, and i know that when i've lost my sense of humor,i've lost balance-- it does help, for sure!!

i have more grandkids, older ones who are local. They're 15, 10 and 8. Pretty fun!