A nightmare

(Reposted from facebook). The date today is actually Feb. 1, 2012, but I went back in time to put this journal entry as a followup to the Tired Of Always Having To Play Catch-up entry.

Morning Dream
October 20, 2011 at 6:01 am

I had been hanging out with Patricia somewhere on the peninsula, when it was time to return home. Something happened, where my car broke down or I missed my train or something. I called Catie, who agreed to come pick me up. I gave Catie the wrong directions, and we ended up going North on Highway 101 instead of South. We didn’t want to get caught up in San Francisco traffic. Catie knew a short cut, and suddenly we were on a skyway. Catie was no longer driving; we were alternately on a fast rail transport and in the back seat of a limo, heading along this skyway which ran along Highway 101 and the 280 interchange.

Suddenly there was a 3-year-old boy with us in the limousine; he had dark brown wavy hair and reminded me of a boy at the school I work at, but in the dream he was Catie’s second son. I don’t remember his name. He was walking around in the back of this limo, and for a moment stood in front of my sitting body. He placed his hands on my knees, put his head on my lap, like children do when being affectionate. He had been talking with me about something while I also had conversation with Catie.

I got a cramp, and my face twisted in pain. The child looked up at me in pure empathy and asked, “You feeweeng otay, Miss Step?”

I looked into the child’s caring eyes and softened my face. I smiled and replied, “Yes, I’m feeling better, now.” I tousled the child’s hair, and he smiled. Then I added, “Miss Steph needs to take her medication.”

Right at that point, I woke from the dream with level 8 endometriosis pain. I managed to get out of bed. It was 4:27am. I found and took a whole Tylenol 3 and promptly burst into tears from the pain.

I put myself back to bed with the heating pad, and laid there gritting teeth, moaning in pain, and doing breathing exercises for the next 30 to 40 minutes until the drugs kicked in. Finally, I was able to drift off to sleep again for a bit.

During sleep, my brain has always found creative ways to tell me I need to wake up to take care of myself.

October 20, 2011 at 11:58 am
I’ve already consumed 1,400mg ibuprofen today while barely maintaining at work. Severely short-staffed, otherwise I’d be home in bed. :(

October 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm
An actual 4.0 earthquake hit while we were performing our classroom’s first earthquake drill of the year, on the same day as the California ShakeOut drill. Much of the state did their drill at 10:20am, but we put ours off til the afternoon. The director came into the classroom and told us to keep the students under the desks, as we’d had an earthquake. She had no idea we didn’t feel the quake, and had no idea we were doing a drill. Some classrooms did feel the quake and dove under desks. So strange that we did not feel it!
Once the children learned there really had been an earthquake, some began to cry as we were given orders to evacuate the building. The school was given a quick examination, and officials let us back in. We talked about the quake, and the children finished off the day. I cannot remember what my pain level was through all of that, or if adrenaline set in from all the chaos.

October 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm
A 3.8 earthquake hit while my husband and I sat on the couch, either watching TV or eating dinner or both. I was drugged up on Tylenol 3 and still in pain from endo. I posted to facebook, “2nd quake in a day – as big as the first. I wanna go home!!!”
By ‘home’, I meant Michigan.

October 21, 2011 at 12:41 am
My husband had come into the bedroom to say goodnight. I was laying there in bed, all drugged to the hilt, talking with my husband, when another earthquake hit.
I couldn’t take it anymore, I burst into panicked tears, sobbing that I’m bedridden, and earthquakes keep happening, and how am I to get to safety if The Big One hits next, etc…my husband looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I was grabbing for his arms to pull him close to me for protection. I explained that we’d just had another earthquake. He didn’t believe me, so I grabbed my iPhone, which thankfully was right next to me, and called up the USGS website. Sure enough, a 2.1 earthquake had just occurred, in the same spot as the other two quakes. Now, a 2.1 is a minor quake – most people might not even feel it. This is the smallest quake I have ever felt, but I think I was in a heightened state of awareness/sensitivity that night. Three in one day freaked me the f**k out, I will tell you right here and now.

Think about it for a moment.

You’re bedridden with an incurable chronic pain illness, and a natural disaster occurs. You may or may not have one person with you at that moment. You are unable to react in a quick and potentially life-saving manner to get yourself to shelter. This was the first time in my life that I saw my illness as something that could kill me, because in my worst state of pain, I could DIE from not being able to move fast enough to safety.
That thought made me want to live in a bunker and never chance going out during an endo flare ever again.

I don’t know how I did it – maybe it was all the pain medication – but I was finally able to get to sleep that night, and as per my usual, I was stubborn the next morning and tried to go in to work.

On October 21, I had finished more than half of my work day before the pain ramped up around 3pm. I had been taking Ibuprofen all day to manage the pain, but just as my class let out for afternoon daycare, the pain spiked up and I nearly blacked out from blood loss and pain. Here’s what I wrote in facebook:

“My workplace is severely short staffed and my head teacher is always bitter about me taking time off due to the pain. Today the workplace got to see what it’s like when I don’t stay home on bedrest like I’m supposed to during an endometriosis flare. I nearly collapsed on a child while fastening him into his carseat at the end of the day. What happened was I was blacking out from all the blood loss and pain. Then I lost my balance and nearly fell over before opening the door of the next car.
The extended care supervisor thankfully is empathetic enough to sense when I’m in trouble, and took me by the arm, helping me to get my things. Then the owner of the school, also very kind, insisted on driving me home.
Now I take Tylenol 3 and go fall over safely in a bed.”

The next day thankfully was a weekend, not a work day. Again, my posts to facebook:

October 22, 2011 at 11:47 am
Heading into another endometriosis flare, after a morning of minimal pain. Just popped the Tylenol 3. The pain is ramping up faster than the drug will have time to kick in. I was stubborn AGAIN and did not overlap my meds. When will I learn; just because I was not in pain doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be soon.

October 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm
pain… winning

October 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

October 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm
Dissociation from pain finally kicked in after over an hour. I’m on 1 Tylenol 3 and 600mg Ibuprofen.

For those who ask why I only take Tylenol 3 and Ibuprofen for the pain, please see the growing list of all drugs (and therapies) I’ve tried to manage the pain.

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