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.
***Update*** I’m getting very close to having some great changes to my site. Hopefully you’ll be able to see the images better and more easily find things. Stay tuned and remember you can get your daily apple every morning in your email – just sign up at the top right hand corner of this page 🙂