I was on a Fentynol pain patch for three years.
Pain patches are used for people in severe chronic pain. They were a blessing for me but they were also a constant reminder of the beast called pain that lives in my joints, tendons, and muscles due to Ankylosing Spondylitis. I had to switch them every other day and from location to location because of a site reaction that happens in most everyone. I was a patchwork of red welts high on my buttocks just below my waist line – the only place I could hide them from everyone but my husband. My heating pads (plural) were my constant companion which after time caused a very strange skin mottling – really lovely. These are some of the hidden affects of chronic illness – the things that slowly chip away at your self worth and spirit. Things that I don’t want to talk about or admit. But when my AS was finally controlled to a fair extent by Remicade I was able to ease my body off the pain killers and eventually off the patch.
February 14th will be 3 years since I’ve taken anything stronger than an advil. The story of how I was able to get off them is one for another day but it was a very difficult experience and only possible because of the Remicade infusion I receive. Without controlling the disease many people need the pain killers to live. When I eventually didn’t need them my body still did. This effect is what people who haven’t been through this don’t understand and just think everyone who’s ever taken a pain killer is addicted – and that is ignorance. If you know someone who is in pain and needs meds – please be kind. Become informed before you judge. There are so many people who don’t have access to the medications that could help them – and this is a collective ignorance. But please know, if you are on a pain patch and want to get off them – it is work to accomplish, but it can be done. If I could do it you can too – don’t let your fear or your Doctor stop you if it is what you want to do. If it isn’t – then I know that you know best what you need for you. No one else knows this but you. Trust in that.
Day 122 was painted in acrylic.
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