Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A small moment of clarity.

For those of you who have wondered where i've been other than Blog-land, i must say i've been in a very strange place. This strange place, Opiate-land, has messed thoroughly enough with my brain chemistry to send me Through the Looking Glass. i've been in some alternate place, close enough to be recognizable, but different enough to be a little frightening.

The super weird to me part is that i didn't even realize i was walking these different sidewalks. They were maybe a bit bendier than the usual sidewalks, and the other people beside me a little less recognizable. But still my streets, right?

Apparently not. i had a scare or two where i came very close to fainting--realized something not right was happening in my head, and went down to my hands and knees so as to not break furniture. Twice, i did this twice in a couple of days. Dean said later, "I think those were anxiety related." i just thought i was getting the flu, or getting a weird reaction to the higher dose of Fentanyl. i called the advice nurse who felt i should go right away to the emergency room. So we did, along with the rest of the patients on gurneys lining the halls. A bit busy. But once my blood pressure was checked in several positions and my pulse and my pee were taken (both of those in just usual positions) and then an EKG was done, it was determined i could go home. "If anything changes, let us know." i took home a smaller 112mcg dose of Fentanyl, which i've used in the week since.

Weird things in this new place i was living: i couldn't remember last week. i knew that in somebody's last week i did a few things--barbecued, picked up my granddaughters from school, showed them our new puppy, went back for a follow-up visit at the pain clinic, visited a friend. But it was like thinking about something someone else had told me, not like my own life. Bizarre. And i had spent a week doing crazy gardening--Must Dig! Must weed! Must trim all bushes on property! To the point that i've hurt my right shoulder so that i'm still feeling it.

So i decided to pass out again--hubby said, "Why are you panting like that?" joining me in the kitchen. "i don't know!" "Are you going to faint again?" "i'm getting that weird feeling again!" "You're hyperventilating, that's why." He helped me to the couch.

i then found myself in full panic attack mode, a place i have visited before and sworn to avoid forever after. And yet there i was on those dark, dark streets. i could feel the stripe of "fight or flight" adrenaline lightening run from toe to head, over and over. Hubby is reminding me how to breathe deeply, and dang it i was trying but it was so hard to do... All was dark and scary, and i couldn't see what scared me, there in the dark.

When i could finally track the course of events, i realize that when wearing Fentanyl patches, if you get hot, such as by doing yardwork in the sun then soaking sore muscles in a hot tub, the drug dumps into your system in a jolt. Bad business. But even before that final opiate indignity, strange things had been brewing.

Hubby and i went back over some of the strange actions of this person walking the streets of Through the Fentanyl Looking Glass and we enumerate: (hubby) growing detachment, confusion, dizziness and fainting, manic, (me) increasing sensitivity to sound like tv or my ipod's music, inability to remember recent times and events...the list went on. And none of these are things i want to cozy up with in a Crazy Land coffeehouse for a latte.

Not wanting to end up in a long list of not too mentally/emotionally stable people in my bloodline, i call the pain clinic and ask them to please begin to wean me off the Fentanyl.

i am now on my way to weaning. i will probably hurt. In fact i did this morning on my 100mcg patch. i will gladly use ibuprofen for my pain if it means i get to leave those dark streets where i lose my creativity.

It's been a long week. i'm still anxious--better at some parts of the day than others. i'm still walking, walking, walking (the dogs are loving it) and doing my exercises, both physical and breathing.

But i'm starting to think i may live. i'm starting to think i will be able to create again. These are good things.


limbolady said...

Man, alive, girl, talk about "walking thru the valley of the shadow of death" have done it, I'd say! Geesh. I would hate to think of the world without Julie's creativity, in many ways. I will be praying for you as you wean yourself off.

Silliyak said...

Glad you're back. I've wondered where all the new puppy momma stories/pictures were.

Just think, some people pay a lot of money to get to those places, but I'm with you, reality is scary enough.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your experiences with Fentanyl. I'm guessing you're like me and often react badly to meds.I hope you can find a better way to deal with the pain. Have you ever had acupuncture or done any yoga? I do light yoga every evening and now when I don't do it I can really feel the difference. My husband just told me yesterday that in my next life I need to get me a healthier body:)

Unknown said...

I am so glad that you are back from the twilight zone. I have been there a couple of times myself. Doing things and saying things that I would never say or do in my real state of mind. Like I can see the words coming out of my mouth and try as I may I can not pull them back. I really don't understand why anyone would purposely want to put themselves in a state like that. I guess there are people out there that find that drug induced place better than reality.

At any rate I am anxious to read about the adventures of blue as he is growing and making his place in the family. We are talking about adopting a little guy or gal and giving it a home here with us. My heart melts every time I see a shephard or lab pup..... but I know they will get huge and don't know if I can handle one that size with my illnesses. I just don't have the strength that I used to. It is all I can do to pick Seth up and carry him around like he wants me to do.

Any way welcome home sis! :-)

julia said...

Thanks for your kind words, all! i too am glad to be back--so what if i wasn't a stoner in high school, i've now had my experience with it!

Actually, Limbolady and i are going to take a yoga class starting in June (okay, so it's kind of "yoga lite" but we're just starting) and i've continued the exercises taught in the pain program, those do help! a couple of yoga poses in them, and i'm so delighted to be able to do them after NOT when i first started the class--

julia said...

oh--and i want to try acupuncture--just haven't yet- we did some acupressure at the pain class.

julia said...

Jo, i remember you talking about your Lyrica experience! yikes, the things we put ourselves thru, eh?

suzanne said...

i am glad you are finding light at the end of this long, dark and frightening tunnel. i hope that you find peace in your creativity as she returns to you. :) ciao bella

Anonymous said...

I do "yoga lite" myself Julia, it's enough to help keep the aches and pains at bay but not enough to cause more:)