Saturday, 7 April 2012

Running the Pain Gauntlet

The last twelve hours just reminded me how very hard it can be to live with a chronic - and complicated - illness.

I'm allergic to morphine. Lethally so. It lowers my blood pressure to crash-trolley levels and has somehow crept onto my various drug charts with enough regularity to confirm the fact.

My only option for pain relief is pethidine, and when I'm stuck on "Groundhog-Day-Vomit-Marathons" it provides the only comfort I've ever known.

The problem is, pethidine is a "dirty" drug. Effectively, a man made form of heroin, it is said to be much more addictive. It is neurotoxic, only works for a short time (4 hours) and can only be given in tablet or injection form .
Scientists have invented many more innovative delivery methods for morphine - Oramorph lollies, oral syringes, patches and even small tablets that can be tucked into your gums to be absorbed more effectively.

Pethidine in 2012 is considered outdated and unpleasant. Few pharmacies hold it in stock and even some hospitals no longer use it on their wards. However, if you're allergic to morphine and can't take things like NSAIDS, ( None Steroidal Ant-Inflammatories) that leaves just two options : paracetamol and pethidine.

Well, paracetamol, whilst a super-drug,  doesn't help my bowel pain at all.

So that just leaves pethidine.

Regular readers will know that this is the bane of my life. It has put me through more trauma than any illness or complication.

- I'm routinely dismissed as a junkie or a hypochondriac - even clutching my various letters from pain specialists, GPs and a repeat prescripton as "proof"
- Some doctors simply won't prescribe it any more
- Scripts are nearly always written incorrectly and because pethidine is a controlled drug, pharmacies will not fill the order until the script is 100% correct. Hence a new round of pethidine ping-pong with Suey limping backwards and forwards between the doctor's surgery and pharmacies
- It often takes hours for me to get a dose as an in-patient, leaving me in horrible pain outranked only by the emotional pain of being abandoned, let down.

It would be sensible for me to build up a little stash for emergencies, but it never works. I only like to use pethidine when I'd score my pain levels at 8 or higher. Just imagine the will power required if you have something in the house that can ease, say. a 5 or 6? I've tried asking my Mum or Hubby to keep a secret lot for emergencies, but I always end up using them instead - unable to "grin and bear it" when I know something is within my reach that will make the pain stop

 You'd have to be Wonder Woman to resist. I am not Wonder Woman.

When it comes to this level of pain - tears springing to my eyes with no warning, panic setting in, writhing, vomiting - I'm completely helpless and hopeless. Too many long nights waiting for help that never came have given me Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) triggered by even the mention of the word "pethidine"

I don't like keeping a heroin-copycat in the house. I live in fear that my amazing children will somehow find a  syringe lying about or a broken glass ampoule top. My GP and I have an understanding. I only ask for a script when things are desperate and she prescribes it for me within hours, freeing me from the 2 day repeat prescription rule.

Yesterday was a bad day. On Thursday I'd eaten cauliflower cheese for supper and immediately knew something had gone wrong. All night and all day yesterday I hoped it would ease off, but it just got worse.

By about 8 O'Clock last night, I knew I would have to run the terrifying gauntlet of trying to get a prescription. For pethidine. Which everyone hates. From a random out of hours Dr who has none of my notes.

Miraculously, a Dr phoned within minutes and couldn't have been nicer. She wrote the script out there and then and tried to fax it to a Tesco's pharmacy nearby. It wasn't in stock.

Poor Dave rushed all the way to Horsham (about 20 miles from our home), picked up the script, and raced as fast as he could, back down to Brighton.

I'd found a pharmacy that was open (Weston's on the Lewes Road) but despite begging the pharmacist to wait just a few minutes, she refused, and when Dave got there at just 3 minutes past ten, they had locked up and gone home.

While several of us phoned every pharmacy within a 50 mile radius, Dave went on to the Boots in North Street, but despite claiming to be open until midnight, that was all shuttered up too. We phoned all 3 hospitals in the area, to see if they could suggest anything, but none could. (or would?)

By about 10.30, I told Dave to give it up. I would limp through last night and we could get the meds first thing in the morning. At 8.30am, Dave was literally waiting at the door of Boots. But the farce goes on!

No-one in Worthing stocks the meds I need! We spent all morning, phoning every pharmacy for miles, but no joy.

In the end, one pharmacy found 5 injections to keep me going, and now I need to go through the whole process again to get a different script written up with the right dosage people DO tend to keep in stock.

Anyway, the whole point of this rather rambly post is to show how exhausting it can be, just to manage your own condition! Navigating the behemoths of the NHS and the DWP saps so much strength, you could almost say it was a full time job........

********

I wrote this poem when I was a mere 21 years old. Still as apt for me today as it was 17 years ago

Doctors


He won’t believe me I know he won’t,
In his 4 x 4 and laboratory coat.


He’ll call straight back, she said he will.
I’m to tell him it hurts and explain that I’m ill.


He won’t be listening, anyway.
With his dinner waiting and golf to play.


He won’t sit down or examine me,
He’ll wait at the door, impatiently.


He won’t stay long, I’ve seen it before.
He’ll shove in the needle then run for the door,


But on the way out, he’ll find the time
To lecture me sternly for all my crimes.


He’ll scold my weakness in calling him out,
For eating or breathing or lazing about,


And all he’ll see is my skeleton frame.
He won’t check my notes or remember my name.


He won’t believe me, I know he won’t
In his 4x4 and laboratory coat.


*****


He hasn’t called back, they never do.
We’ve called again, but I’m 4th in the queue.


He’s probably still at the golf club bar,
Or had one too many to drive his car.


But really, don’t worry, I’m used to it all.
I learnt not to scream, there’s no point at all.


It only confirms what they know to be "Fact",
My selfish psychosis all part of the act.


He won’t believe me, I know he won’t
In his 4x4 and laboratory coat.
















36 comments:

  1. This rings so true for my family in relation to my wife's illness. She has her prescriptions made up by Boots who collect the scrips straight from the surgery - supposedly. Never a month goes by when they get it right.

    To be fair to Boots they're usually pleasant enough, but the surgery staff always give us the third degree if we're chasing a problem up. 'Well you need to leave two working days' - yes, and I have evidence to prove that we left over a week (not that we should need to - her situation isn't going to stop requiring medication any time soon).

    Then it's 'Well I'll request another prescription - but it will take another two working days'

    No it will not because my wife needs it now, you will find a doctor, and you will apologise to them for your errors, and you will get them to sign a prescription.

    Bearing in mind that my wife used to work as nurse there before she had to give up work due to her illness, this is somewhat odd behaviour. Fortunately the Drs are pretty accommodating once they are approached for a signature - I do wonder whether it would be the same if they didn't all know her personally, two of them as family friends.

    The most ridiculous one is the Frovitriptan - prescribed for menstrual migraine. Since my wife had her ONS stimulator fitted, regular pain levels have dropped significantly, but just before her period, and for about three days, she gets a spike back up to the old 8's and 9's and has been prescribed the triptans for 3 days before and 3 days after the start of her period (which would be easier if the other medication she had didn't affect the timing of her period but that's another story).

    If there's any mix up on this, we are in a pickle, because it's needed bang on time - not a few days later. Also it's rarely routinely stocked by any pharmacy - even by the branch of Boots that gets her scrips. So we trail round half the northern home counties looking for emergency supplies.

    Of course it would be nice to have a few tablets in hand in case of just such an emergency - but no - 12 tablets for six days - one twice a day.

    And of course they always think you're a junky. In the past my wife's turned up at A&E or surgeries in other places, in massive amounts of pain. They seem to float the offer of opiates as a test to see whether you're just trying it on to get a fix. "NO - di-morphine does not work for this type of pain, plus it makes me sick, plus I have a serious reaction to domperidone" - then they start to get it - a little bit.

    Keep on keeping on.

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  2. I hope you are feeling a little better now?

    Good doctors who look at you and listen are too rare.

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  3. Besides other disabilities i suffer with ibs...which compared with what you have isn't even a 1 on the scale...but this













    Sounds like you'd have more luck with a drug dealer (sarcasm)... its terrible you have to go so far and hunt for a pharmacist...and that the local hospitals cant help...hope your a feeling better today x

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  4. oops half my post missing.

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  5. I can relate also. Had some problems with my surgery before. Put prescriptions in that I need for Codeine Phosphate and Amitriptyline, direct from my very good chemist. It then can sometime take a week to get back from my docs. Then I have run-out of something, and find myself in constant pain, or unable to sleep at night because my "bowel is awake" spending each day hoping the prescription is ready to collect. Then ringing the surgery to ask why the chemist hasn't got it yet, with them blaming the chemist, when I've already found out that it went to the docs ages ago. The surgery also like to say that the chemist have not written on top of the form what surgery I am with, which is complete rubbish. I then have to get an emergency prescription put through because I just cannot be without these drugs. I argued until I was blue in the face once because a prescription had taken 7 days to get back. And also on one occassion when I was told, "the doctor is checking your prescription of (Amitriptyline) to make sure you're not taking too much, that is why it's taking so long." as a doctor there should have been knowledge that Amitriptyline is something you titrate up when you need to, sometimes my condition is worse some days, that others. I got very angry and asked to speak to my doctor, who got it all sorted out, thankfully.

    Hoping you are ok again now Sue. Well as ok as you can be? xx

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  6. Oh Sue, hope you now have some relief.
    Really responding to you blog firstly to take time and get a bit better and as had experience similar myself , fortunately Not in pain.
    My Consultant said try these oral steroids if you don't improve and I'll send a letter to your GP to prescribe but you might get some problems so I was warned. Yes the madness of running that Gauntlet started, I thought surely my consultant did nt mean this difficult? Now I've read your blog I now realise I have nt been going mad, so in your time of pain- Thank you as others empathise to similar situations.
    Thank you x
    Not been able to read you poem yet as I expect that resonates too.

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    Replies
    1. Read your poem now. Fortunately my lifetime family GP did take me seriously, even though i had strange symptoms but it was the length of time it took for diagnosis then 18yrs ago. That was when I questioned myself about having a mental illness but it was the obvious to all in end and just needed medical evidence which was a 2 yr lengthy process. But it did make me sadly question myself.
      If I'd have gotten a negative response from my GP I surely would have had a mental breakdown.
      Again take care.

      Delete
  7. Dear Sue I really hope you're on the mend today. There really should be a local NHS solution to this problem, illness flare ups ect never stick to the 9 to 5 weekday pattern. The last time it happened to us the on call GP arranged for us to pick up the filled prescription from the our local general hospital(we are in Edinburgh). Ok, so someone had to jump in a taxi to pick it up but what a better solution than all the distress you and your family had to go through. There has to be a better way.

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  8. Hopefully you are feeling a little better for now. I recently started on a new medication called Tapentadol, which I take twice a day; the patch was burning my skin. We are still working on my dosage but it has a lot less side affects than the patch. When I first started on it, it gave me bad headaches but they have gone away now. It might be worth a try for you.

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  9. Oh Sue, what a nightmare! I'm sure you've thought of this, but is there not a local pharmacy which can keep pethidine in stock for you, for when you need it? I guess it would need to be a pharmacy that's open 24/7 though...

    My problems are much less acute than yours, but I've never, ever been so glad that I'm not allergic to morphine!! I live on the stuff lol! Actually, it's not funny, is it?! I also have a pharmacy attached to our doctor's surgery that knows what medication I'm on (lots of different things, too many to remember all at once lol!) and has it in stock. If I need a new med, my doctor can do a script and pop it in next door to the pharmacy.

    I often read of people having problems with GP's etc and feel so thankful that my GP is so very, very supportive. I just wish, for you, that there was better co-ordination locally to ensure you can get the medication you need, when you need it. Is that too much to ask of our NHS?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jane,

      I do have a lovely pharmacy who always have it in stock for me, but they don't open on Saturdays and as it's Easter weekend, they weren't an option.

      Isn't it ALWAYS long holiday weekends when stuff like this happens?

      Delete
  10. Sue, what you go through is awful, & I hope you sort out & find relief very soon.
    What worries me somewhat, is that IDS probably wants you & your hubby out at work in the morning!

    Your poem's great, thanks; enjoyed & sympathise!

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  11. *hugs Sue... Getting meds is a nightmare... Hope you got yours now...

    I can just about tolerate morphine for a few doses but then I get the classic anaphylactic shock symptoms and have to be changed to something else, usually a synthetic opiate. Been on amitriptyline (for me as an anti dep and a boost to pain relief 150mg a day)for years and since the fiasco two years ago, other synthetic opiates, gabapentin (again duel purpose for nerve pain and minor seizures) and a mood stabiliser quetiapine. Put in my repeat script last week and when script was delivered, the quetiapine was missing. Phoned surgery to be told they don't prescribe certain things anymore and that was one of them! I now have to wait for my consultant to write to them again... She also said they had written to my consultants asking why I was on such a high dose of ami... I have a very strange feeling that If the Welsh Assembly start playing silly bergers with the NHS as in England, I'm going to find myself looking for a new GP as I would be classed as too expensive...

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  12. I use Tramadol for acute pain.It is a synthetic opioid.You can get it in SR,slow release form or ordinary.Of course its prescription only.Highly addictive,but to me effective.It might be a alternate worth trying if your doctor would prescribe it.

    Here is a article on it on wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramadol

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  13. Hi Sue, so very sorry to hear how bad it had got for you. I hope it has improved a little now - I would hopi it had gone back down to a 5 or 6 but miracles raely seem to happen. Thankfully my own GP has got a bit past the old "it might work but it is highly addictive" which is good but I made the mistake of going to a pain clinic which advocates putting up with things. When I asked if the man had ever experienced the sort of pain I go through I was told that was none of my business. I thought it was, if he could not appreciate it how could he help? The result was a massive row and I didn't help by asking how many of his paients had simply built up enough of a supply to take away the pain for good by way of a dignified exit. End result was a cap that means I am forever on the edge, or would be without outside help. Knowing it isn't going to stop doesn't help but I guess duty to our families keeps us all going on form day to day or hour to hour. Your poem sums it up so well that I felt you had been with me on my journey through the system. Are doctors being affected by the same propaganda that is being given out I wonder?

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  14. Oh!!! This mess needs sorting for all sick and vulnerable and NO we should not have to back up ourselves? Speaks for itself this is exactly why now homeless wheelchair users are on the streets of London ( reports I read)
    Come on somebody read and do something, I believe this blog represents us that can try n do, but what about the voiceless??

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  15. like you sue morphine lowers my blood pressure and as it's already very low i am only given it in hospital as for pethidine that makes me violently sick so like most other pain killers is ruled out

    I can only take paracetamol and that is all and morphine when in hospital so i know how your feeling
    We have a 24 hour walk in clinic in crawley so i guess
    that something

    stuff always happens in the holiday period and invariably happens to those most in need

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  16. Hope you have a peaceful night so you can enjoy Easter.

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  17. I HAVE A NUMBER OF HEALTH PROBLEMS AND I CAN RELATE TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING I AM BACK AND FORTH BUT BECAUSE OF THAT YOU ARE WASTING THERE TIME AND THAT IS NOT RIGHT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CARING PROFESION

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  18. I have had plenty of mix up with pharmacies regarding drugs for Mum and myself and I can emphisise with your problem Sue(and anyone else who have contributed to this post)

    And I am watching Mum suffer with her Rectum cancer and how Mophine takes ages to kick in(and not knowing how long Mum has)they say pallative care(yet if she could build up her strength just maybe a colostomy could work)or are we clutching at straws.

    It was offered as a possiblity but at present its just a case tryingontrol the pain, try and keep her eating and drinking. And perhaps thuis is no longer an option.

    We have to take each day as it comes but seeing Mum suffer I can equally appreciate what its like for so many others.

    What a situation trying to get the drug that will work.

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    Replies
    1. How awful for both you and your mother. It must be dreadful to see a loved one suffer and feel so helpless. I hope they can find some pain relief for your mother. I wish you and your mother all the best and sincerely hope your mother gets the treatment that she needs.

      Delete
  19. Brian McAlorum8 April 2012 at 13:43

    Dear Sue,

    As always… thank you for sharing, and I sincerely mean that! It is always a pleasure to read your writing. As a then whippersnapper of 21-years-old your poetry was/is very representative, expressive and beautifully written, and your journey has definitely been marked out for you at such an early age indeed…

    Your blog reminds me of the John Lennon lyrics: “Whatever gets you through the night – it’s alright, it’s alright”. “Whatever gets you through your life – it’s alright it’s alright”.

    If it’s any comfort at all – I know how you feel! I can “fully relate” to your pain experiences and indeed with your hunt for pain relief. I used to use 200mg of Pethidine Tablets daily for several years (though I am aware in your case “tablets” would be as helpful to you as an ash-tray on a motor bike). My pain relief repertoire these days are Co-codamol Effervescent (Paracetamol 500mg/Codeine30mg) and Dihydrocodeine 240mg daily and just recently added for SOS use Oxycodone 5mg Capsules.

    Marcus Aurelius once wrote: “Accept what comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs”.

    Certainly not words we want to hear when we are being tortured by pain, but in sharing our vulnerabilities we can become stronger in other ways – as it is apparent from your writings. Our pain strips down life like the hot sun burns away the clouds – but what remains is all too evident like the beauty of the blue sky. As much as pain curtails the life we would never have wished for, with it brings our destiny in an unusual disguise.

    Forgive me for rabbiting on Sue but as it is Easter I am also reminded of the words from JC himself: “Not my will, but thy will be done”.

    Many many blessings to you…
    Brian

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    1. I thought you might like this one too Brian :)

      http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/sonnet-to-chance.html

      Delete
    2. Brian McAlorum8 April 2012 at 19:53

      Sue,
      I was speaking with a friend the other day, and the word “conversation” came up. It came up in the sense that in general as a society that we are not having the “conversation”. He was in fact alluding to the “the truth”, and how we as a society quickly skim over to our detriment this “conversation”. It is this “conversation” that’s makes us human, and without humanity it is all too evident the direction we are heading.

      Your poem “Sonnet to Chance” is a conversation – it is the truth. It hit me square in the heart, and is a very beautiful heartfelt truth. I know exactly where you are coming from... because I feel it!

      Brian

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  20. Sorry Sue to hear about your horrendous experiences no one should have to suffer pain unnecessarily or have to go to such trouble to acquire medication. I always make sure I have a few doses in hand because at the best of times things can go wrong when requesting a prescription.

    I don’t know if this information will be of any use to you though I imagine by now you must have tried just about everything before taking Pethidine,

    I have four kinds of head pain including arthritis of the jaw for which I take two Co-codamol with 1mg of lorazepam which is a tranquilizer. The additon of lorazepam makes the Co-codamol more effective. In fact without the additon of lorazepam the Co-codamol is not really effective at all. However I can only take this combination when the pain is severe because the lorazepam is very additive and will stop working if taken too often and is said not to be very good for you as one doctor put it “it burn’s a hole in your brain” he wouldn't prescribe it. Sounds scary I know and what exactly he meant by that I have no idea . Though I rather think it is more of a problem when taken in large doses on a regular basis. However he did not understand I wanted to use it only very occasionally as an adjunct to a pain killer. I am not very good at explaining things.

    My present doctor has prescribed this as a bit of an experiment to see if lorazepam will continue to work if taken in combination with the co-codamol only when the pain is severe. So far, fingers crossed, I have taken about seven in the last five months or so and it has worked fine for the pain. But the pain has to be really severe before I take them, so I still have to suffer a good deal of pain.

    Besides as a sufferer of chronic headaches taking too many of this kind of analgesic pain killer such as co-codamol can cause rebound headaches. Co-codamol may upset your stomach so you need to eat first. Lorazepam also works well with Co-dydramol for pain but not advised if you have chronic headaches.

    Of course as with all medications it may not work for everyone and may work for one kind of pain and not another. I have different medication for different types of pain. What works for my migraine unfortunately does not work for my arthritis or the aches and pains from my fibromyalgia, for which nothing makes any difference.

    Hope this is of some help, though it sounds as though your pain is extremely severe but just thought I would share this information with you just in case it may be of use to you.

    I hate to think of anyone in such pain without any relief I know the fear and anticipation of pain without the backup of medication can in a way be nearly as frightening as the pain itself. I know that for years I suffered with migraine for which nothing worked until Diclofenac and it was hell, the pain was just awful. I get anxious should my medications not being available.

    All the best to you hope you and your family enjoy the rest of Easter.

    Loved your poem

    On another topic not related to this post

    Below is a link to an entry in the Daily Mirror blog which may be of interest to some of you if of course you have not already seen it.

    “32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit”

    After being assessed by ATOS as fit for the work, between January and August last year, 1,100 claimants died after they were put in the "work-related activity group


    http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/04/32-die-a-week-after-failing-in.html

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  21. He won't believe me!!! Yes, not only the doctor, but all of them. No one ever believed, and that hurts more than the pain itself.

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  22. My friends son has diabetes and as he is a teen with growth surting a plenty, he is having difficulty managing his bloods effectivly. He has been hospitalised having fits in the night due to low bloods. This month he was told to use his strips sparingly as there was a shortage and his prescriptoin could not be fully filled. His parents travelled miles to get it filled as he really needs them. How does repeated hospitalisation save money? He is on a list for a pump and has been for a few years, maybe he will get one soon? You got to love the budgeting on this? minimal use on something that can cost a life of a young boy.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks Christine,
    I wasn't hijacking Sue's site by bringing our own situation into it, we are one of so manuy but I think I would have always felt empathy with Sue and many others but in such a situation it certainly brings it home to you.

    Its one thing to lose your parents or a loved one and do it in the order that its supposed to happen but you want it to be a "Nice" ending if any ending it can be...

    I can only be there for Mum(hope one day I'll get her home for however long that may be)and hope that they will consider some options that may mean Mum is here for sometime to come.

    It tugs at your heartstrings when she says she is homesick and cried last night as she went to sleep. I spend as much time as I can with her, holding her hand, talking to her, trying to find nice things for her to eat/drink and keeping her mp3 player going with all the music she loves.

    Where there's life...

    Its better than a few weeks ago where I was called into a room by a young Dr and they had Mum not lasting the weekend...

    Coming back to what this blog is often about(the way the disadvantaged are being affected by changes to benefits etc...I know how hard its going to be(though Mum is my immediate priority)it seems crazy that in this cetury they'll say this is a developed country and you have central heating and you have a grant to have loft insulation, cavity wall insulation etc...great the only problem is how many of us can afford to switch it on and use it.

    I went to bed last evening shivering and to stay warm I remained in bed! It was warmer outside or in the supermarket or Mum's Nursing Home.

    It used to be cheaper to heat this place when we used to have an open fire and a coke boiler!

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    Replies
    1. My heart goes out to you, your situation sounds just awful, it is not right that in addition to coping with the illness of your mother you should not be able to heat your own home. I once thought this country was the best country in the world to live in because of the security of free health care and benefits when they were needed even though these have always been inadequate. Now they are impossible to live on. This country, thanks to not only the present government but also to some degree the last one, has gradually returned us to darker times that many of us thought were long gone.

      I hope that some options are found for your mother to improve her situation and that you are soon able to have your mother at home. Once again all the best to you and your mother

      Delete
  24. I think Mum was getting the same care(as much as she is at the home)but when Mum was so poorly at the hospital the Nursing home was the option we were given(initially)they did say if she continued to improve as best you can in the situation, home might be an option...still she's only been in the home approx 3 weeks(even that's too long)

    I think she has slowly managed to gain some weight but the main problem is slow but will continue(they'd originally said old age/natural causes were more likely to take Mum)and they did not think it would spread as such...

    I've read of your own situation Christine so can emphisise with you too.

    I was talking with a check out person in the local supermarket who is always asking after Mum(and prays for her too)she lives alone and works and friends say "You work you should be able to keep the heating on 24/7" She can't and doesn't. It was in the supermarket or outside than in here.

    And today the was a report on the radio saying they are having to upgrade the network that delivers Gas to the customers and the cost is enormous and guess who is going to pay for the work?

    So if we are struggling now what chance of things getting better. More will be affected.

    I can understand why people spend their days drinking endless cups of tea in a café or in a library if there is one still open in the town.

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    Replies
    1. Just a last quick message to you with some information which may be of help concerning your energy suppliers.

      38 Degrees and Which are getting together to arrange a better deal for consumers: “we’re hoping that we can use people power to negotiate the cheapest energy deal for thousands of consumers“.

      38 Degrees are offering people the chance to be part of a UK first – using collective power to get the best energy deal

      https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/pages/the_big_switch_phase2


      Not sure if this will be of help or how much cheaper this will be but might be worth a try. I think it’s just so shocking that people have to live in cold unheated homes. My home is made of stone and is so damp but cannot afford to keep the heating on all the time as is recommended.

      All the best to you and your mother

      Delete
  25. Sue, I have so much sympathy for you with regard to this. I have a similar condition to you and I just don't know if I could go on living if I couldn't take morphine at the bad times.

    I've had very similar problems getting hold of morphine (as its also a controlled drug). Once on a weekend my husband spent most of the day visiting pharmacies attempting to get a prescription filled in an emergency and this was for a really quite small quantity of MST (some didn't like the doctors handwriting and wouldn't take printed or faxed prescriptions for a controlled drug and many of the pharmacies 'apparently' had no MST in stock). Pharmacists often just don't seem to want the responsibility of filling prescriptions for controlled drugs, but it is there job to do so!

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  26. Thank you, thats very interesting information. I need to share with my friends.

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  27. Are you allergic to Bruponorphine? It's a synthetic morphine often used to help heroin addicts but it's a very effective painkiller too. Addicts are prescribed it as it blocks the rush of morphine, it doesn't have the same need to increase dosage as the body doesn't get used to it and after a certain dose it doesn't increase pain relief. GPs prefer to prescribe it as it doesn't have a high addiction rate.

    I wear a high dose patch (lasts 4 days) and then use a sublingual form for breakthrough pain. It doesn't have the same constipation side-effects but it does slow things down. And it's effective. Very. My gastro consultant switched me as the morphine levels I was taken were so high. He took me into Palnned Treatment Ward for 5 days- detoxed from the morphine and spent the rest of the week getting my doseage right. It really helps as you have a good base level of pain management and some days I don't need the top up pills (which are absorbed through your mouth and start to work in less than 5 mins.

    Your pain clinic would be able to point you in the right direction.

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  28. I am reading this and have had problems with my partners prescription. He has a cd drug and have found with some chemists 20 questions and then get told it'll take 2 or more days which ain't good enough. Have now found a chemist very accommodating and they even hold a emergency stock incase when prescription is put in and they don't have any in stock.

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