Monday, July 11, 2011

The Problem of Pain

(Apologies to the late great C.S. Lewis for stealing his title -- it fit so perfectly that I just had to use it!)

I feel the need to blog about this because I'm frustrated, mad at myself, disappointed, and a little scared. I'm also hormonal and weepy so I need some extra help coping. Writing is that extra help.

At my 2-week incision check appointment today, I did not get a refill of my pain meds even though I wanted one. My doctor did not seem concerned that I'm still in a lot of pain, and so I chickened out and didn't ask for more meds rather than look like a wimp. I don't know why. I know I am a wimp when it comes to pain. It's part of who I am and I'm not ashamed of it. I believe in using medications to get rid of pain -- there is no point in enduring it if you don't HAVE to!!! But somehow this self-assurance just disappeared when I was in the presence of a doctor.

It went so much easier last time. At two weeks pp I was still in a lot of pain, just like I am now. The doctor (a different one in the same practice) asked me how I was doing and I admitted to the pain. She asked if the meds were working, and I told her they had worked well right up until I ran out. Then she asked if I wanted more and I said yes -- that simple! The second round of drugs really came in handy as I became more active and re-engaged in my life outside of my comfy recliner.

This time, I just don't know how my recovery will go from here. I'm still taking a bunch of ibuprofen, but it doesn't help so much when I try to be up and walking around for a while. I had hoped to start taking short walks outside this week, but right now I don't see that happening. I will probably spend most of the week sitting or lying down, trying to avoid as much pain as possible. Suddenly the goal of running again in a month is starting to look less attainable.

Another negative impact of pain is one of my favorite unhealthy coping mechanisms: EATING! And I'm not talking about just any eating...I'm talking about excessive desserts...especially my old favorite, CAKE! Pain makes me cranky, and cake makes me happy. Ice cream cheers me up too. If I can't take oxycodone, I'll just have lots of sugar instead.

Under other circumstances, I would want to try harder to overcome my tendencies toward emotional eating. But my post partum hormones are still all out of whack, and all I want to do is keep myself from crying. So I'll be indulging in the sugar, and watching my weight creep back up, leaving even more work for me to do when my recovery is finally complete.

On the bright side, maybe this is all a good thing, if a couple more weeks of misery serve as a reminder that I don't want to do this again!! You know, just in case the sweet baby snuggles start to erode my memory and make me think I could someday go for #5....

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