Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My laboratory

In the past few days I have had a few good conversations with Dr Z about pain and fentanyl (the medicine that the patch diffuses into my body). This doctor is so available, I know I can always reach him when I need to. I also know that when I am in an appointment with him, he takes other people's phone calls, so I feel Ok with calling also.

He helped me work out how to tailor this medicine to suit my needs. It turns out that things are very flexible regarding how to us it. Pain relief is the goal, and reaching that goal is not, by far, going to be the same for everyone.

The patch is prescribed to last for three days. But for me, the third day is as if I have no medicine at all in me; my pain level is quite high. Dr Z said that in that case I should change it every two days. The three days is not sacred. Together with that, if I experience "breakthrough pain", I could use a half patch; yes, it is OK to cut them in half. Who knew? I could also chose, instead of using another patch for breakthrough pain, to suck part- or all- of a fentanyl lollipop. Or, if the pain is only eased by adding a whole patch together with the existing one, I should buy the patches that represent that higher dose in one single patch.

He gave me prescriptions for the two different doses of patches, just in case I do wind up needing the higher dose (which is twice the one I wear now). I already have the lollipops here, so that is a possibility at hand as well. He gave me the tools, and I am to experiment and figure out, by trial and error, what works for me. He called it a "laboratory".

In the meantime, today was the first day of a new patch, and it was *very* successful!!
What made it successful is, perhaps, that I put it on at night, and went to sleep with the hopes of dashing the new-patch-side-effects and wake up out of pain. It WORKED. All day today I was able to enjoy a [relatively] pain free day!! This counts as the second magical day in four years; the first one being that one last week that I experienced being out of pain for the first time in four+ years.

I did way too much today, I totally pushed it. I went shopping with Shifra, which was very strenuous. Then I had all evening with the kids (dinner, and they were full of vacation exitement), topped off with the baking of six challot for Rosh Hashana.
Aaaak! I fell asleep at the end of that last paragraph... It is the next day now, and nary a few minutes from the very Holy day of the new year for the Jews. Sorry there is no logical literary ending here, but I gotta go.

To all my Jewish family & friends, Chag Sameach, Shana tova! May we all share blessings of health, peace and tranquility. See you next year. :-)


  1. Happy New Year, Sarah. May it be one with blessings of good health, and pain-free. :-)

    Hugs, Jackie

  2. שרה היקרה,
    מי יתן ותזכי לימים רבים נטולי כאב!

  3. so thrilled the patch worked. may you experience many more pain free days and nites and in the future, it will come naturally without the patches! gmar chatima tova to you and your family. rochel.

  4. I'm glad to hear of another wonderful low-pain day! I was wondering if the initial reaction that you have had to newly-applied patches is directly related to their beneficial properties. If so, that might be a clue to a broader range of therapies.

    I like the new banner! Lifeafternf goes green!