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 nauseating 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.