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Lupus, migraines and middle-of-the-night pain

Posted Mar 24 2011 8:10am

Pain medication reserved for the worst discomfort

Here sits the computer in front of me as a last resort.  Earlier, it was the darkness of the bedroom.  My slumbering husband resting beside me in the hours before midnight, my eyes stared up into the darkness.  Getting up, and locating my pain medication reserved for the worst of discomforts, the maximum dose is elected.

Slipping back into bed I wait for relief.  Minutes, and then hours pass and it doesn’t arrive.  No position or thought can distract me from the intense pain in my body and the migraine that have decided to take up residence tonight in my weary frame.  Accepting that sleep is elluding me, I get up to try another approach.

Perhaps the comfort of a hot bath, with my body submerged in moist warmth and my aching head relaxing in the water will help change things.  An hour of escape from pain is spent reclining in my soothing wet cocoon.  Sipping a cup of hot tea with honey I enjoy a small warming measure of temporary relief.  But, this is no solution, and the migraine persists.

Sometimes a little sleep sneaks up on me in the tub, but not tonight.  My skin now looks like stewed prunes and I am somewhat more relaxed, at least.  The water is now too cool to continue being a comfort, so I drain the tub and climb out.

Too weary to bother with really drying my hair, but unwilling to wake my spouse with the hair dryer drone, I towel dry my hair.  Bundled up in warm pajamas and booties, the crocheted afghan and my softest down pillow are gathered on my way to the living room.  Now reclining in my favorite chair and footstool, I try again. 

Another hour passes, but pain persists louder than my exhaustion, and sleep is still a wished-for impossibility.

I wonder about the next day and how I will cope with a heavy schedule and professional responsibilities.  Thinking will be very difficult.  My lupus does not respond well to lack of sleep, and usually flares immediately after a sleepless night.  It is a stealth enemy who doesn’t play fair when I am weak. 

A distraction plan is needed

Now, my strategy changes to coping with my pain until the doctor’s office opens at 9:00.  This migraine is is clearly not leaving without serious medical persuasion.

So, I get up and make some instant mashed potatoes for comfort food, and turn on the light in the office.  Settling in with my warm wraps around me, I find myself passing the time in resignation at my computer.  The pain sits with me in my chair, crowding me in an unfriendly manner as it insists on co-occupying my seat.

Distraction and prayer are all that is left in my arsenal tonight, since neither normal nor drug induced sleep will be mine.  Pain is no old friend, but it is nothing new either.  I ask God to grant me relief or strength, whichever He deems is best for my needs and soul at this hour.

Now my distraction plan.  Perhaps I will work on some on-line research for my certification exam study group, or maybe even play a silly game on Facebook for focus away from my pain.  Lupus, migraines and the middle of the night pain sometimes dictate a different agenda than desired elusive sleep.

Now, I set my determined stubborn will toward making these miserable next three hours count for something.  When my refreshed husband awakes, the morning routine will help pass the the rest of the time until an early morning call to my doctor.

I am determined to not to be a complete victim of my body’s flaws.  I refuse to lay in the dark with suffering and pain consuming my thoughts.  Not me.  Not tonight!

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