Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In Need of My Patch

On Tuesday night I went to bed around 1:30 AM or so. I was quite tired and looking forward to some deep sleep. After almost falling asleep a couple of times, I found myself wide awake but I also felt a strange sensation in my arm - a tension like sensation. I shook my arm a few times just to get the feeling out. Then I had the same experience in my leg. Eventually I went back downstairs and laid down on the couch. If this was what falling asleep was going to be like, I would at least do it downstairs where I wouldn't wake Daniela and Beau.

I read for a while until I could no longer bare to do so any longer. I found myself filled with tension and an inability to concentrate. All of a sudden it hit me and my eyes were as wide as saucers - I never put on a new Fentanyl patch aka morphine patch. My morphine patches must be replaced every three days and last night at 3 AM, I was about 5 1/2 days past due.

Yup. I was in the early stage of morphine withdrawal. I immediately adhered a new patch to my leg and then took 2.5 mg of Roxonal (aka liquid morphine) - what I consider a half dose - since it would be a while before the patch made its way into my system.

If you have a concern about how much morphine I took between the patch and the liquid, you need not worry. My tolerance is quite high compared to someone who does not take morphine. If I gave you 10 mg of liquid morphine, you would probably throw up and then sleep for three days. I on the other hand, would take 10 mg of Roxonal on top of what I get through the patch each day and I would relax on the couch to a good movie or read a book. It's not the intention, just the result of 10 months of daily morphine usage.

So anyway, I figured I'd fall right asleep. Oh no. It was about 3:30 AM when I began to feel some relief. And at 4 AM - I couldn't believe it - I was wide awake and not about to fall asleep. By 5:30 AM I began to wonder when exactly I would fall asleep. At 6:30 AM I woke up and fell back asleep. Aaaahhhhhh. How peaceful.

Daniela & Beau came downstairs at 8:36 AM. I thought I would head upstairs and get in a few more hours of sleep. Well I never made it upstairs and I've been awake ever since - right now it's 10:15 PM.

What an odd experience to go through all of that last night and then to be wide awake all day today. On a good note, I went through two days without a new patch without any serious pain. Granted it takes a bit for the morphine to exit the human body when you've been on it as long as I have. But it's a good sign. I should be able to start weaning myself off of the stuff which I very much look forward to. Because not being able to sleep at night because "I didn't get my fix" ain't exactly something I want to continue any longer than I have to. And you can be darn sure I will adhere a new Fentanyl patch every three days as long as it's a part of my pain regimen.


  1. it took me a little while to figure out the Good News of yr recent biopsy (even with the big Cancer Free! banner up top) but i just wanted to say congratulations and well done and all that. and thank you for sharing your experience. TEENAGER salutes you and gives you and yr family a big old rock and roll group hug. keep on keepin on!

  2. Thanks Teenager!!!