A Day Without Pain

I wish I could live a day without pain. A soft 24 hours to relax with no part of my breath held, waiting for the dam to break, sensation after sensation rushing through my system, leaving no nerve untouched. I don’t remember what it feels like to not have pain–to not be jarred awake by┬ánauseating intestinal cramps urging me to run to the toilet, or a throbbing rear end that was cut open less than four days ago, begging me to do whatever I had to do to not let the dam break.

But Crohn’s disease has taken away my ability to decide. That dam is not one I’ve built or one I control. I know, now, that once the disease truly moves in, measuring the walls of your body to see if its furniture will fit, inviting its friends, arthritis and abscess to visit, it’s almost impossible to quiet it–to kick it out. I haven’t found an eviction notice that works: Methotrexate or Remicade; Remicade every six weeks, the dose doubled with Imuran on top; or Humira each week alone.

As I held the Humira spring-loaded injection pen to my left thigh last night and gritted my teeth when I felt the burn of the medication being forced beneath my skin, I had no hope that I would feel anything but side effects today and I was tempted to move the wasp pen before it could finish.

But I didn’t. My gastroenterologist added Imuran to my list of medications, and a part of me is hopeful that this will be the eviction notice I need–the one that will finally work. So I kept the pen flat to my thigh and I gave myself more pain on top of pain and I swallowed a yellowed 50 mg Imuran tablet ten minutes later, knowing my head would hurt before bed, nausea rolling for hours.

It was hope that opened the pill bottle with a sore hand, tearing back the wrapping of the cold Humira pen. Hope wiped alcohol across my thigh, and hope forced dinner between my lips to cushion the area to which Imuran would lay waste. And it will be hope that walks me through the next 24 hours, resting with painkillers, dreaming of a day without pain.

On the couch with The Choop

Dreaming of a day without pain

14 thoughts on “A Day Without Pain

  1. I “liked” your post because reading your words made me feel better about my own pain and the words I can’t think of anymore to describe all that Crohn’s has taken from me. It was actually quite selfish, I suppose. But, make no mistake – in no way do I like what you have to endure today, or any day with this abominable disease .

    While today may not be the Day Without Pain you dream of, I hope you get many more moments of little or no pain than you expected… and the comfort you need in between.

  2. I found the Humira pens to be more painful than necessary. I use the plain syringe. It has a teeny, teeny, tiny needle. No pain at all…just a little burn from the medicine as it’s injected.

  3. You capture living with active Crohn’s Disease, so perfectly with your fine writing, I hope you at least get a few hours or even a moment without the pain you feel.
    From a Crohnie brother.

  4. I am a newly diagnosed person and I have to say that reading stories like yours, even though sometimes frightening, do let me know that I am not alone. I wish you recovery and pain free days. I have never known an illness like this that can be so debilitating and depressing. I am very lucky to have a great support unit in my family and friends.

    • Hi! Thanks for reading and commenting! I’m sorry that you have the dreaded Crohn’s, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve met a ton of other “Crohnies” who are in remission and have stayed in remission for many, many years. It could be that Crohn’s becomes an unpleasant, but distant memory once you find your right med/diet combination. I will keep my fingers crossed!! Either way, you are definitely not alone. ~ Christina

  5. Pingback: What Hurts? | managingfibro
  6. Beautifully written, and just…..yes. This is what it’s like. I hope you can figure out a cocktail that will bring you lots and lots of pain free days. Re: Humira-I find it’s less painful if you take it out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before you inject. My nurse told me to take it out, get in the shower (I guess to help you relax?), and then inject-but that time, it’s warmed up enough. Also, for whatever reason, injecting on the right side of my stomach is pretty much pain free, but every other spot is super painful-I’m sure you’ve tested every area, but maybe you can find a “sweet spot” too?

    • Thank you, Emma, for the tips! I will try them. I usually try to warm up the pen, but I think most of the burn comes from the reaction I have to the medication. I get a large red swollen spot where I inject that goes away in 24 hours. It’s a localized reaction so it’s not a concern, but I will keep looking for a sweet spot. Thanks! ~ Christina

    • I started crying with compassion and empathy for you, when I realized I’m also crying for myself. Crohn’s is a terrible monster and I hate it. I was diagnosed 7 years ago. I just found your blog today. Thank you for writing, thank you for helping me feel connected. Sometimes I think the isolation of this disease is worse than the physical symptoms.

      • Thank you so much, Jeannine for reading my blog and for your lovely comment. I am so sorry we’re in the same boat together but glad we’re not in it alone! ~ Christina

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