Beyond Pain

Posted: February 28, 2014 in Drugs/health/life
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SCD

Pain.  Acute, harsh, and without relief.  Beginning from one mutation in the genome and setting the cadence of life for the rest of your existence.  Hemoglobin, the protein that is supposed to transport oxygen throughout the body has revealed an abnormal configuration, redefining itself and bending your red blood cells to its own design.  Like an osteoporotic man who, far from being full of life is bent, curved over a cane.  Perhaps it foreshadows your future with the pain bending your body to its will.

It’s not supposed to be like this.  Blood cells are designed to flow through vessels with ease.  They aren’t supposed to become stuck in the periphery, jolting and scraping you from the inside out like a relentless animal clawing to be released.  There is no release from the grip the animal has because even if you were to drain every last drop of blood from your veins, your marrow would produce even more of these devious and defective cells.

Hereditary.  Incurable, except for the life-threatening bone marrow transplant procedure that renders your body’s defenses completely unprotected for a time.  Only by the skill and diligence of the medical team will your life not end by a misdirected cough.  Then if you make it through the months of treatment, there is the very real risk of graft versus host disease that could kill you before your disease ever would.

And without the transplant comes the crisis.  Sickle cell crisis.  Perhaps once a year, perhaps once a week.  A fire burning harsher than before with crippling pain that you try and eradicate from your voice as you speak with the 911 operator.  Problem?  Pain.  Scale on 1-10?  10.  Yes I’m being skinned alive.  Ten minutes?  Thank you.

To quell the pain you inundate your system with meds simply to function.  When the 5, 10, 15 pills a day don’t suppress the beast, you clamor for something stronger.  IV morphine, dilaudid, whatever the flavor of the month is.  Whatever pushes back the gut-wrenching, mind-dulling agony back to the depths from whence it came.  And if a nurse’s needle isn’t enough will you turn to something else?  One joint?  One line?  Will there ever be an end if you travel down that dark path?

Maybe you’ll succumb to it, but not now.  One positive urine and it’s a wrist slap, but more and the only relief will be of the illicit nature.  Until then you pray, hope, yearn for the day that a brilliant mind solves the case.  To provide hope would be brilliant.  To provide a cure would be freedom.

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Comments
  1. Josh Kizler says:

    I hope there is relief to the pain.

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