The Pain Game

I know I’ve said before that physical pain is always much more complicated for me, and I figure probably much more complicated for folks with a bipolar diagnosis in general.

Tonight is the 40th anniversary of the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s premier in Seattle, and I was planning on going to the landmark showing. Of course, this plan came somewhere between the time where I felt totally fine (no burst ovarian cyst) and felt just a little like shit (burst cyst, but delirious). The thing is, if I could walk (shuffle) into that theatre tonight and sit still and the biggest issue I knew I would face was the pain associated with jumping up to do a dance number, I might just load up on painkillers and go anyway.

But that isn’t the case.

I stopped taking the narcotic pain medicine yesterday. I had a hunch that the opiates I’ve been subject to recently (morphine, hydromorphone, percocet, vicodin, and demerol) were all screwing with my mood and triggering dysphoria (among other unpleasant side effects, chiefly dizziness so severe I couldn’t stand or walk and vomiting).

So I stopped taking them. My head was (is) hazy. I took on yesterday like I could conquer it… and then the dysphoria came anyway. I feel tired and slow, but the waves of mixed symptoms of restless agitation associated with mania and the awful self loathing and crying of depression left me a writhing mess by the time Corey got home from work.

Pain is never straightforward for me anymore. It is never simply pain. It always seems to bring some kind of mental drag-through-the-mud with it, and when mind and body are equally shattered, all I can do is clutch a pillow and wait for it to be over.

Naturally, my first thought was to go back to taking the opiates, but beyond making me feel more physically ill, they have a profound effect on my ability to think clearly. And when one feels particularly jumbled and suicidal, my ability to think (relatively) clearly is all I have as a defense. Trying to rationalize when I can’t form a sentence seems impossible, so either way I am in a bit of a losing position.

Having said that, my physical pain is getting better. I found a position I can sleep in that doesn’t hurt like the dickens and I didn’t have to wake up several times to take extra tylenol last night. I’m much more concerned at this point about the mental melting that has been transpiring, and I’m hoping less pain will mean less dysphoria. Actually, I need it to mean that, I am hosting a tea party on Sunday.

5 responses to “The Pain Game

  1. Serious pain-killers always throw my mental health for a loop, too. Not quite as badly as steroids, but close. Hope your tea party is wonderful!

  2. It will pass. It (almost) always does. You’ve got a lot going on right now to throw some swings into the bipolar mess that we live with…. For myself, remembering that they’ve passed in the past, and will most likely continue to do so, keeps me going. Opiates scare the shit out of me. I can’t do them without being fucked up for a week straight. I avoid MJ like the plague because of it.

    Have an amazing tea party. =) It will be fun and a distraction. Distraction is superb for times like these. Keep being awesome!

  3. I pray your pain abates and your mood stabilizes.

  4. I hope you feel better. I struggled for years with ovarian cycts ruputuring and it is extremely painful. Hang in there..

  5. I have a buddy with bipolar who told me that he undergoes pain during his episodes but I didn’t understand how that could be. Thanks for helping me understand better.

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