Second class care

I woke yesterday in pain and the pain continued through out the day, by the time it was evening and I had permissions to actually go to my bed and stay there, I really didn’t know how to sit any longer. All the pain was from round the lower edge of my ribcage, worse on the right hand side than it was on the left, but it was eating away, increasing it’s intensity at every chance it had. It was a pain that just pulled me down and down as the day went on. I found myself cursing over and over at the fact I turned down yet more painkillers from my specialist, determined to remain clear headed, even if that meant accepting the pain. I think it was around 8pm that I found myself sat hunched forward, pressing as deeply as I could into the center and front edge of my ribs. Applying pressure is something that often works but I had never tried it on that area before and I found quite clearly that it just didn’t work. I sat there wishing that it would just go away and that I could get just a few minutes of peace, but none came. I tried all of the different things I could think of but nothing worked at all, it just increased and by the time I went to bed I was even finding it really difficult to walk. Despite all that I have read, I can find no reason for exactly why it was as bad as it was last night.

Pain is so varied and so difficult to truly explain, but it is also the one thing that regardless of medical condition, we all seem to have in common. I could sit here and put into my words a description of how that pain felt to me, but I am quite sure if you had the exact same pain, you would use very different words. Even the scale of 1 to 10 that they keep asking me about, isn’t actually a gauge of anything, as that level 10 is all dependent on the worst pain we personally have actually felt ourselves in our life times. a life time probably very different from the doctor asking the question, so how does that help them at all? Last nights pain for me was probably around 8 to 9 by the time I went to bed, even knowing that doesn’t help me with one of the biggest questions I still have, how bad does it have to be to call out for help? I have conditions were pain is an expected factor, but how much pain is classed as expected and where is the point that it changes to beyond what I should be expect to live with?

Through out the years where I have had medication to help with the pain, I have never felt that it did anything else than just that, help with it. I can’t remember the last time when I can actually remember being free of pain. Being able to control my pain simple seems to me to be a case of not doubled up in agony every day of the year, but that does seem to mean that I am for at least a few of them. It hasn’t seemed to make any difference which doctor I speak to or who I ask about this, none of them seem to be either able to help, on occasions I have actually been left feeling they don’t want to help. Not because they are unsympathetic, but because they don’t want to be the person who prescribes me yet more medication. It isn’t really that surprising that I have found myself just left out there getting on with it all by myself, but is that right? Is it really a case of millions of people around the world living with at times unbearable pain, with no one helping in any way?

So why didn’t I call for help last night? Why didn’t I phone my Drs? Well the answers are simple. Firstly I have as I said already been left with the impression that there is nothing more they can or will do. Secondly, in the last few years when I have needed help during the night, I have had to go to them. No doctor has been sent out to me and I have had to get to the A&E department, where I have been given something to help and then sent home. Well I can no longer get to the hospital, if they came and manually carried me out of the flat to an ambulance, I would then have to stay at the hospital until the morning as they don’t have crews to operate the stair climber except in the mornings. Being housebound seems to mean that once again you are a second class citizen, right down to the medical care you can get or seem to deserve. No matter how bad the pain is, I have no choice these days other than to get on with it. This has always been one of the things that has worried me about my health deteriorating, it appears that my future is actually having to deal with more and more pain, with less and less help. It’s not just my future and that to me is actually unacceptable, pain control should be the most basic and simple thing that everyone is entitled to.

Right now I am already sitting here with pain of around 5 or 6 braking through the level of medication I have already taken this morning, but I know all to well that actually means nothing. By tonight or even this afternoon the pain may well have gone, or it may follow yesterdays path and have me doubled up, desperate to find peace without having to once again lie down, as that seems to be the only place where the pressures on my body are changed and eased. The whole issue of pain is one that there seems to be no easy answer to, but surly with all the knowledge of medicine we have now, it should be the easiest of things to actually control.