Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dad's Pain

Dad has a lot of pain. And I'm not talking about myself.

He has had chronic headaches, for decades. He's got irritable bowel syndrome and lymphocytic colitis, so he has a lot of belly pain. He has acid reflux, so he often has chest pain that is hard to distinguish from heart problems (he had a heart attack and bypass surgery in the 90's). And it seems he's developed arthritis in his upper back and sternum.

One of the doctors that treated him for his chronic headaches gave him prescriptions for morphine. Stupid doctor. Reminds me of the joke, "What do you call the person who graduates last in the class in medical school? Doctor!"

Dad became addicted to the morphine, his personality changed, he started threatening Mom, talked about killing himself, and isolated himself (and because of his suicide threats, isolated Mom, because she wouldn't go anywhere without him). We did a family intervention, put him through drug rehab, and hoped for the best. He has a new doctor, one who knows about the morphine problem and who won't give it to him again!

Well, a few weeks ago, Dad's belly pain got so bad, he couldn't eat dinner or breakfast the next day. So, we took him to the ER.

While I was in the restroom, the doctor gave Dad morphine.

Ever since then, Dad has had one pain after another. It moves from place to place and escalates. And he keeps asking for more morphine. We keep refusing to give it to him. From what I understand, once the brain has experienced an addictive drug like morphine, it can "create" the trigger that used to get it. So, Dad's brain had a taste of morphine, and now it wants more. I don't know how long it will take for the desire to go away. It's been more than a month already.

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