How do you handle a chronic pain flare at 3am with a sick child? Well this is what I did recently.

I have been awake since 3am …

… my back is bad, like really bad and my nerve pain is on fire from my lower back and down my left leg and it is literally driving me insane. Those of you who have been unfortunate enough to experience and suffer with nerve pain know that there is nothing quite like it. It’s an unforgiving, unrelenting, debilitating and soul crushing pain. 

What do I do?

I have tried stretching, my spikey ball and my heat pad in bed after some Valium and ibuprofen. I have resorted to my heated wheat bag on the recliner and some endone. Add some mindless games on my phone trying different (quiet as the family is sleeping) distractions – like a previous post I’ve share here

My eldest, Olivia, who has literally just got over the nastiest gastro bug I have ever seen, now has a cold and is struggling to get back to sleep as well as she’s all blocked up and sniffly and my temperament right now isn’t great.

Trying to stay in some sort of control

I am trying hard to be supportive of her frustrations and concerns but can barely think straight enough to help her enough. I remembered the demizen though … so hopefully it kicks in soon and she can at least get some more sleep. I, regretfully , snapped at her, for asking me what she can do … because I can barley manage myself and what I can do right now. Not my proudest parenting moment – but one I went on to explain and apologise to her for. She has had a shit week herself. Last thing she needs is me and my external pain crankiness. 

But it happens … and when it does I ALWAYS make sure I try my best to explain what’s wrong with me, that what she did wasn’t actually wrong and that I am deeply sorry. (I do this with both kiddos and even my husband when I have been really unacceptable with my pain fuelled behaviour). It is NOT and excuse I know, but all I can do after is try and make amends for what I have, often involuntarily, done and said.  

What next?

No doubt I will end up asleep out here again on the recliner as I did yesterday morning when I was up at 5am due to my back pain. It’s been an extra hard week so far. I think perhaps the extra cleaning and washing etc with Olivia’s terrible bout of gastro didn’t help my back and all that. 

But I am also only on week three of changing my main pain medication from the fentynal patch, which released a continual amount of pain relief in small amounts for 72 hrs per patch, to a 12 hour slow release tablet called Palexia. I had tried this maybe about 4 years ago, but it wasn’t the right fit at the time. So far this time around it’s mostly been ok, factoring in its only been three weeks and my body is still adjusting to the change. 

I am booked in for more injections in early October … and right ow can not wait. This time round I will be receiving the following: medical branch blocks, sacral iliac (SI) joint injections and Radiofrequency Neurotomy. You can read about my previous experience with these here.

I will keep you posted how they go.

And eventually we start to get somewhere

It’s been over an hour and half … from what I can’t hear, I think Olivia was finally was able to fall back asleep. And the edge has been taken off my pain. Hopefully I can sneak in a little more sleep before it’s time to wake up. 

I’ll add in here … this is one of the beauties and benefits of homeschooling though. We can all sleep in until whenever we need to … and go from there. 

What do you do at 3am in a pain flare?What works for you? I would love to hear your experiences.

Michelle xx

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