Baked Rambling · Health

Cold Mornings In Florida

An elevated, yet relaxed mind is steering this early afternoon πŸ˜ŒπŸ§šπŸΌβ€β™‚οΈπŸŒ±πŸ’š

It’s COLD for a girl that’s lived in FL most her life! Most with rheumatic disease, any sort of arthritis for that matter, know how especially fun mornings are when the temperature drops and barometric pressures changes. For myself, it adds an extra layer of stiffness to my lower back. That is its most prominent focal point, anyhow…

That is what I had typed into an instagram post before realizing it was too long to realistically put on my post about a cold morning and how I was taking action to reach a higher level of pain relief. Shall we review how I got here? It’s where my mind seems to want to take me, I’ll allow it…

The Waking…

I was first awake today at 4AM, something that is not unknown to those with chronic pain. Thoughts briefly kept me awake. (“Can I disable the touchpad on my MacBook while typing? Is the OS that intelligent?”) I didn’t wake in the middle of the night by choice. I calmed my thoughts and found sleep once more…

I woke up to “start the day” shortly before 10AM. I could hear Joe in the restroom, I picked up my phone and stayed under my blanket until he came out. I noticed as I reached for my phone that my lower back felt quite a bit stiffer than the average morning, post switch from opiates to cannabis. I remembered we had a cold front move through overnight. It isn’t freezing in the house by any stretch of the imagination, above 70˚F in fact. None the less, that cold front brought about more than cool temperatures, it brought multiple weather changes, including the barometric pressure. (I’m speculating to an extent on the barometric pressure being the sole cause of my increased discomfort this morning.) I would imagine there were a great deal of Floridians who awoke with an extra layer to their existing pain somewhere in their body. Cold mornings can make discomfort become pain. There is a difference.

What the kids put hats on in Florida when it gets cold.
Sandman was spotted at Fort Myers Beach, FL.
Original source unknown.

Having worked in pain management, I became quite proficient in assisting patients in identifying the characteristics and qualities of their pain. It’s a process. I’m unsure as to what the statistics would truly be, but in my opinion, more than half of pain management, chronic pain, and inflammatory pain patients have difficulty qualifying and quantifying their pain in a manner that will assist in determining where to focus first. Anyhow, it’s a process that I became very good at walking patients through, whether it be acute, post-surgical, rheumatic or chronic pain. Are you able to describe your pain?

Example of standard pain scale used in medicine.

I’m extremely pro-cannabis. I’m not completely anti-opiate. They do serve a purpose when prescribed responsibly. I’ve taken one Percocet since my last dose on February 20, 2018 (wow, coming up on a year!). I know the day I took it, I know the pain I was feeling when I made the decision that I was going to take one. I’ve been fortunate to not develop any mental addiction to opiates, but physical dependance develops regardless. If you’ve been through the process of your body withdrawing from an opiate pain medication, you are aware of how displeasurable it is. You might agree that after having withdrawn and learned to manage my pain in another fashion for nearly a year, the decision to take one of the Percocet you have left is not lightly made.

“The sadness and depressed mood can last from six weeks up to six months.”

Nurse Practitioner in Dr. Debra Roggow’s office.

I would like to jump for a minute to a side subject that’s rarely discussed. The depression, or lack of joy, that accompanies physical withdrawal from opiate pain medication, yet can last much longer. I was unsuccessful in staying off of opiate pain medication twice after making the choice to stop. The first time was way back when I was only taking Tylenol #4. I was miserable, literally. I felt absolutely no joy. I felt nearly nothing. This is a real issue that should be on the table, if not already. When a patient discontinues a long time regimen of opiate pain medication, there is a sadness that can lead to a depression. When I called my pain management physician back in 2002-2003 regarding the sadness I felt, I was told it could last 6 weeks to 6 months. I wasn’t willing to experiment with adding to my depression back then, which kept me on an opiate pain medication regimen until I was taking morphine sulfate extended release (generic for MS Contin) 15mg three times daily. These are meant to be taken twice daily and last twelve hours, however I always broke through at eight, hence the three daily dosing. Forty-five milligrams of morphine going into my body daily. I won’t google this with my current mood swings, but I wonder at what strength does morphine start to interfere with breathing? I remember after a surgery, I had a PCA hooked up that delivered 2mg (I asked) of morphine immediate acting with each press of the little button. Detour Ahead…

Detour….

Detour: I’ve only been under general anesthesia once in my life. I have a strong multiple sibling family history of MH (Malignant Hyperthermia). Both of my brothers have had a positive reaction to general anesthesia: One coded, the other’s temp shot to 106˚F. We take it seriously, which now reminds me I need to order that medical alert ID. There’s been enough research now to know the trigger and prepare the antidote in five minutes rather than 45 minutes, or however obnoxiously long it took two decades ago when my brother coded at MacDill Regional Hospital during a knee surgery. Again, we take it seriously. Given that, I’ve only been put under general anesthesia once in my life and the OR table was not nice to my lower back.

…End Detour, back to our regularly scheduled broadcasting.

In recovery, I kept waking up crying in pain, therefore i was told several times to push the button and self-administer 2mg of morphine. I have no sense of time, mind you. The next thing I know, the recovery nurse is waking me up, quite rudely I’ll add, and telling me to breathe deeper. My O2 saturation had started dropping. They told me to push the button, I pushed the button… after 6mg of immediate release morphine sulfate, my breathing degraded ever so slightly. So, if four to six milligrams of morphine can affect my breathing, even a little, WTF would happen if one of these 15mg extended release pills malfunctioned in its time release? With the sadness that consumed me throughout withdrawal, I chose to stay on opiates.

Yay for cannabis! With medical cannabis use, I was able to discontinue my opiates without the depression and consuming sadness. It’s an absolutely liberating feeling. As I stated, opiate pain medication has a place in society, as does cannabis pain medication. This morning I woke up stiff in my lower back. I made a decision to dab, as I generally reserve it for urgent, at-home need for a higher level of pain relief or to elevate my mood out of a depressive state. This morning, I used a distillate concentrate called TruClear God 1:1.

This post, containing pieces of Jaime’s higher thinking, has been made possible with the help of Trulieve’s TruClear God 1:1 dabbed in a small glass rig. No, this isn’t a commercial, it sounded funny in my head as that’s what I dabbed. I have a rule about when I blog depressed or elevated, I don’t allow myself to delete anything I’ve typed. It gets looked over once for spelling/grammar, by my partner Joseph Cripe (BA journalism 😜). I find images that reflect my feelings in the post or support the subject so the reader has a wider perspective, and then it is posted. I don’t read everything through until after I post it, as I’m afraid I might delete everything.

Signing off for now, Hope you have a fantastic day. πŸ˜πŸ§šπŸΌβ€β™‚οΈπŸŒ±πŸ’š

One thought on “Cold Mornings In Florida

  1. Wow! I can relate to that! While I’ve never taken opiates on a regular basis, one time my Spinal Stenosis β€œgot hold” of the base of my skull and sent me to the hospital in severe pain and very high blood pressure. They couldn’t stop either. For two days they asked me if I wanted morphine and I declined. At the end of the second day I let them inject the morphine and I finally went to sleep. When I woke up pain was gone and blood pressure was fine. Lesson learned…I never let the pain in my head get to that point! I also have fibromyalgia and live with neuropathy in my arms and hands but medical marijuana has made it tolerable and allowed me wonderful sleep. BTW I also live in Florida and the weather thing really hit home for me. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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