Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Most unusually I feel really stoned from the bedtime morphine.

Normally, that's the one dose that gives me no side effects, but tonight I've got the lot. I was already feeling really sick before taking it; less than half an hour after the dose I feel very stoned and it's hard to breathe.

No idea why it's affecting me this way. It could be because I had to top-up around 7, but that's not that unusual, and doesn't usually affect me that way.

Having to rush straight to bed before I can't move.

+1hr. The stoned-ness wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't also still in pain. I refuse to take any more pills though, that would only make me feel more shit. Pain is so bad that it's hard to breathe though.

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I managed to rest most of the afternoon in the Mother Ship, rather than having to go to bed. But about an hour ago I found myself feeling deathly tired and with rising pain in my back and shoulder.

I took the scheduled slow release pill and went to bed, but it didn't improve. So I've just taken three top-ups. I don't know if it was the right thing or not, but it felt like two wouldn't work, which would lead to a second two, so I pre-empted it with the three. I'm still exhausted though.

Maybe I should've gone to bed earlier, like I originally thought. Please don't let me have overdone it and stuffed this up. It was feeling positive the way things were going today: it was a nice change.

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I haven't felt suicidal since last night's revelations about being stuck in childhood terror, and the bus.

I think that realisation was important, but I don't know why. I've felt down today, but not actually suicidal. That's a good thing, especially as I can still feel, so it's not a complete shutdown, like before.

Physically, I feel weary and sore as though I've walked three or four miles: not surprising, given that I walked around for an hour this morning when normally I barely move.

I haven't had the 'morphine back pain', which is very good news. I've only taken basic pills and yesterday I only took 10 mg extra, so I finished 20mg under my limit. At the moment I'd say I feel better for having greater control over what I take.

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I want to go back to work. I want to go back to the pool. I want to be able to drive to see people. I want my friendships back.i I want going into town to not be a big deal.

I want what you all already have and probably take for granted. I want my life back.

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This is how crap my life has become: I'm as excited and feel as adventurous as when I used to go to a foreign country on my own. And what have I done? I made it into the local town by myself for an hour.

It's the first time in something like six months that I've tried it.

It was so nice to be outside. The air smelt like autumn, it was lovely. It reminded me of cycling to school at the beginning of a new academic year. There were flower boxes outside, so in places it smelt like geraniums and verbena and all the stuff R and I used to put in our hanging baskets.

I managed to go into the health food store and stock up on the lactase tablets that allow me to eat lactose without being ill; the dates to blunt the taste of the Lofepramine and stop mr feeling sick; the ginger sweets that cut through the nausea when everything else fails.

Then I sat on a bench - not because I needed to, but because I wanted to stretch out the excursion.

Then I came home. My back is sore, my right eye feels like it's in the back of my head and I need the sling to stop my shoulder kicking off the neck pressure and screwdriver-in-the-eye. I will need to go back to bed soon, but for now I'm OK-ish.

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Tonight's going to be as bad as last night, I can feel it coming.

I can't do this any more. I don't want to spend another night lying here thinking about how to die, how to let people know, what to do about the chins. I just want to have the fucking guts to get on with it. But I'm too much of a fucking chicken.

Do you know, I'd willingly go back to any point in my life now. I'd swap this moment for any other I've ever had. Being raped. Being terrified. Fearing for my life. Being beaten down by overbearing bullies and uncaring parents. Any of that would be preferrable to this.

Do you have any idea how fucking shocking that is to me?

I used to think that even as horrific as it all was, the aftermath of the accident was worth it for the things I'd learnt about myself, the behaviours I'd been able to change. I even said that to the counsellor, a couple of years after the crash.

But not any more. There's nothing in the world that's worth this. I'd go back to when I was 13 or 14 and we all used to long for the alternate Thursday when my dad would go out and we could all relax. I'd go back to him shouting and screaming that I'm too stupid to be his child. I'd even go back to lying in bed, listening to him come up the stairs, praying he'd go into his room not mine. I'd take anything over this.

Why can't I just have the guts to do it? I thought I was brave, but I can't be. Otherwise I just go and get the fucking knife and get on with it.

Fill up the chins food bowls, stick the extra water bottle in, write an email and get the knife. The pills are all there ready, it only needs the knife. Belt and braces, two for the price of one.

I already know there's nothing to live for, there's no hope so WHY AM I STILL FUCKING HERE? I'm just torturing myself by not doing it. Because every day I'd the same stuck here, all alone.

It's like finally, I'm living the ultimate terror from my childhood: that the current horror was permanent, that you really were waking from a nightmare to find yourself still there. I'd be so scared of whatever was going on - my dad attacking me or screaming at me, my mum leaving me, just abandoning me to him - and I'd be terrified it would never end.

But then it finally would. Someone would come, something would happen, and it would end. For now. But I was always terrified that sometime, they wouldn't. And I would find myself stuck there forever. And now I am. And no-one's going to come, because no-one can fix this. So even if they do come, they're as powerless as I am.

When I was really small I was terrified of somehow winding up on a bus on my own, and it driving off without anyone realising; me at the window, watching my mum and little sister get smaller and smaller as we drove away.

They wouldn't know where I was, I wouldn't know where to get off or how to get back. The terror lay in not knowing what to do to get out of that situation. This is like waking up and finding you really are on the bus, and it really has driven away. And you really don't know how to get back.

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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I have to stop watching heart-warming documentaries about people overcoming adversity.

It just makes me feel jealous and resentful. Why is it me that gets stuck in the forever-hell of something that won't be overcome?

What did I do to deserve this? There has to be something, you don't get punished for nothing, so what did I do?

It's not fair.

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Watching programme about injured soldiers on an arctic trek.

How come they get blown up and shot at and can still walk to the North Pole, I'm in a poxy car crash with no hospitalisation and I can't even get out of the fucking house? Why?

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Shitty day

I've managed nothing today but staying alive. I suppose that given how I feel, that probably counts as a victory. But I feel too shit to be able to see it that way.

I've managed about 3 hours out of bed. I've managed to eat a bagel, and I did put away the shopping that arrived so unexpectedly. I'm freezing cold, especially my hands and feet. I've spent the whole day watching DVDs or reading, wrapped in a quilt or a heatpad. I should be eating again now, but I can't face it.

I've taken only the basic morphine so far - which would give a daily total of 70mg - plus a 10mg top-up an hour ago. That was mostly due to the pain in my back, which I know isn't real pain. Until the last half hour that's been my only pain, then my shoulder started.

I suspect I've set the initial morphine limit too low, and I'm punishing myself trying to stick to it. The average over the previous week was about 150mg, so trying to stick to 70 is probably bloody stupid. But I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know if any of this is a good idea. I think I just need to know if it's possible.

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The back pain has been hideous this morning. Along with the utter hopelessness of the depression, it's left me unable even to crawl out of bed.

That back pain has been morphine-related - ie my body thinking it needs more, but my shoulder has been OK, so there *was* no need for any more.

Having been forced out of bed by a delivery arriving a day earlier than I expected, my back feels a bit better. Possibly because, since food had just arrived, I was able to forced myself to eat something.

Doesn't make any difference to the wanting to die though.

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I prayed to my dead grandmother last night to take me away from this. She didn't come.

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Huge suicidal episode this morning. Fell asleep feeling that way about 2am, and woke up feeling even worse.

I can't bear living like this anymore. What's the point?

Can't bring myself to eat anything. Maybe if I just don't bother, I can starve to death.

I don't want to have to do it myself. It's too hard. Can't someone just do it to me?

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I had to take top-ups last thing because my back, shoulder and neck were so bad. I've spent ages with my knuckle jammed in my spine trying to turn the screwdriver off.

What is there to say that I haven't already said? I want it to stop.

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Monday, 29 August 2011

Last Chance Saloon


I''m considering something. One final, last ditch attempt at staying alive.

You see, if the pain really is psychological in origin, it makes sense to think that, no matter how much morphine I take, the pain will always break through. I would have to, so the psychological need it exists for can still be met.

It would explain why, no matter how much I take, I'm still as debilitated as before. Why I'm still stuck in bed, unable to do anything or go anywhere.

It always struck me as anomalous that the book made no mention of what to do about pain killers. It's not just me either - there are discussion boards full of people asking the same question. With no answer. But it seems to me that if you're trying to unpick psychological pain, you have to lay that psychology bare. And that means no drugs.

You see, if the pain is going to break through no matter how much morphine I take, that presumably means that the morphine isn't doing anything. So if it wasn't there at all, I'd still be in the same amount of pain as I am now. It wouldn't be worse.

It would just be the same pain but without all the other stuff - the constipation, the stoned-ness, the panic attacks. The depression would be so much better without it. The abuse would be so much easier to deal with because it would come at me in manageable chunks. Chunks that I've dealt with safely in the past.

And if I could deal with that, maybe, maybe I could unpick the pain and make it stop. Especially if it's going to work, this newly-discovered ability to turn off the screwdriver-in-the-eye, through releasing the neck pressure by pressing on points of tension adjacent to my spine.

I know, it sounds like I'm having another Holy Grail moment. Maybe I am, probably I am. But if I'm going to kill myself anyway, perhaps I should give it a shot, just to see. I can still do that if this doesn't work out, it just means pushing the date back a bit. And surely it's worth that little delay?

I'm wavering on this. The pain in my arm after resolving the neck pressure is bad enough that any other day I'd have taken at least three top-ups. So what makes me think going without is a good idea?

OK, so I wouldn't be so dopey all day. That just means I'm conscious and feeling every moment of pain. But I'm still unable to actually do anything that might distract me like, say, work.

When I came off it before, there was no noticeable increase in pain. But there was no decrease either. So I can assume it'll stay at current levels. With no respite, do I actually think I could tolerate that?

And then there's the terror I feel of actually coming off it. This time I know how bad it'll be. But I can't just get started, because if I don't reduce it gradually first, it'll be even worse.

Maybe I should split the difference and go onto the Palexia (the new drug). But maybe that would involve the horrors of morphine withdrawal, without actually getting off it.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do and there's no-one I can talk to, because everyone's too busy. What do I do?????

I suppose the most sensible idea is to put a cap on the amount of morphine I'm allowed to take, and stick to it for a certain period of time.

If we're saying that the pain will always break through at the same sort of level, if I can't stick at a prespecified level, then I wouldn't cope off it. (That reasoning also means the Palexia could work - my argument was always that it gave no leeway for topping-up, but we're saying here that that's irrelevant, because the pain will always break through to render what you've taken useless.)

(BTW I did wind up taking three top-ups at 7pm. I chose that not slow release because it would clear my system quicker.)

Given that in the past week, I've taken as much as 190mg of morphine in a day, and at the least 110mg, it seems reasonable to set the initial limit at 100mg, whilst aiming for the existing baseline of 70mg. Today, assuming no more top-ups, I'm at 85mg, so spot-on.

The only downside is that already I can feel my body wanting more; I've got the aching in my back that I know from the last time I came off it, is a early sign of withdrawal. So I'm going to have to either set the initial limits at a higher level, or put up with that till my body adjusts. It eases whenever I take some, but the period before each dose will be unpleasant. And there's the knowledge that if I carry on with this, it will only get worse.

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The neck pressure is really bad today, it's causing terrible screwdriver-in-the-eye. But I think I might have found a way to turn it down.

I'm lying on my left-hand side and I was prodding down my spine, feeling points of tension. There was a point about half way down, just to the left of my spine that was even more tense than the rest of it - and there were several really bad points down the right hand side. So I prodded it at, like very primitive acupressure.

And it seems to have eased it some. It would help so much of there was a way to control the neck pressure, instead of the only resort being morphine.

4pm. I did work! It actually did work.

It traded screwdriver-in-the-eye for numbness down my arm - or rather, the pain you get as numbed nerves come back to life. But it's worth it - I think it's an acceptable trade

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I was dreaming last night I was back in Colombia.

I'd swap back for that in a heartbeat. Being shot at. Scared of kidnapping. Being oogled and groped by locals obsessed by European women. Living with a 'friend' who treated me like shit. Living off mayo sandwiches because I'd run out of money and she wouldn't share.

I'd go back to that in a heartbeat if it meant no more pain.

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Sunday, 28 August 2011

How did last year turn into this year?

Last year I was turning 40, planning spa parties with friends, discovering I could still swim, starting the meditatation, taking maybe 5mg morphine in a whole week.

Now I bed-bound, haven't worked in months, nearly drowned last time I was in the pool and I'm taking upwards of 100mg a day. I couldn't give a flying fuck about my birthday either (apart from deciding whether I even want to make it that far).

What did I do wrong? It must have been me, it must have been something I did, but I don't know what.

I was following the meditation course, and the pain started to increase. I had to up the morphine and cut the activity - on doctor's advice. Was that wrong?

Just tell me what I did wrong and let me undo it, please? I want to work, I want to swim. I want to get out of this fucking house. Please, there has to be an answer somewhere. Just tell me what it is and I'll do it. I'll do anything. Please.

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Reeling, again

OK one minute, shit the next.

I was doing OK this morning, though conscious that all the feelings seemed to have been shoved down inside, out of reach again. Then a friend suggested chatting and I went to pieces (I was glad she suggested it, it was just the thought of having to talk, about anything, was unbearable).

Gradually got over that (and kind of glad to know the feelings were still there, somewhere), then this evening, again, doing OK, then all of a sudden I feel like absolute shit again. For no apparent reason.

I just want to cry and scream and tear out my eyes and scratch off my skin. It's horrible. Was it taking the final morphine of the day that did it? Another of those 'waking from the Holy-Grail-style silliness of thinking there's any kind of a solution' moments? Or something on the telly? In the crossword? I don't know.

All I know is I feel like absolute fucking shit. And it's times like these I wish I'd already just bloody done it. How long are you supposed to feel like shit for, surely there's some kind of fucking limit, if only for Human Rights purposes.

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Have I got it all backwards?

It's another day where the pain won't stop, despite the morphine.

I took 20mg at 7.30am, 30mg at 11am, 15mg top-up at 2pm and I've just taken 30mg. Apart from the top-up, all of it was scheduled. But the pain is still horrendous, to the point that I can't even get out of bed.

I already feel very sick. There seems no point taking any more morphine - if it hasn't done anything so far, it's not likely to. Not till I'm completely shit-faced and throwing up, anyway. Which makes me wonder why I'm taking the fucking stuff in the first place?

If I'm going to be in pain anyway, maybe I'd be better off without the nausea and the stoned-ness?

Or is it that the morphine does numb it down some, and I'd be way worse without it? That's what I thought when it was so bad last week, when I genuinely felt it was morphine or suicide. But I'm starting to wonder.

Let's face it. The current approach isn't working, is it? I'm house-bound, bed-bound a lot of the time. Is there any, any chance that popping all these pills is making it worse not better?

Maybe before I take the final plunge, before I give up on everything, maybe I should try and see? It might mean I could get back to work. I could drive over to see my sister. I could find some reason to carry on living.

Or am I just having another 'Holy Grail' moment?

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Do you know how many lovely, brand new items of clothing are in my closet that I've never gotten to wear? That I never will get to wear?

Shoes with pretty heels that I assumed eventually would be OK, because the pain would've gone. Going-out dresses and wraps that would be perfect for parties, or dates. Funky tops that would look fab for work or play. Coats and jackets that I can't even put on because the fabric is too heavy or stiff.

All those things that I bought intending to wear some time in the future, and that are now just sitting there, mocking me and the empty shell of my existence. My pseudo-life.

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Ten years

Ten years ago, I was becoming intimately familiar with the M6. I was travelling regularly up to Liverpool, visiting the Uni, looking at accomodation, finding my way around.

It was all so scary and so exciting; it felt like my life was just beginning. And it was. I was finally about to realise my ambitions of study for a degree, living abroad, becoming fluent in another language. I was moving far away from my family and my past. I was starting again, all on my own.

R and the life I lived with him - the life that always felt like it was someone else's - was becoming just a memory. The girl who needed power suits and promotions to feel that she existed was being replaced by one who lived to study and learn.

It was an amazing time and I loved every minute of it. There was so much possibility, so much potential. If I close my eyes, I can feel it all again. I just wish I could go back there.

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I've noticed that if I'm lying still, the Lofepramine tends to compound the relaxant effect of the morphine.

The doc has said several times that it can help with pain; I've never noticed that, except inasmuch as relaxing the muscles can ease the pain.

I could really do with something to help today.

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Saturday, 27 August 2011

I've just been writing a list of notes on where things are, what to do with certain things and so on. The kind of practical detail that helps those left behind, but don't really fit in a Will.

I hope it will be useful. Interestingly, it's not bothering me in the slightest to do this - no tears or upset, just the feeling of getting something sorted.

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There's a lot of people I'd like to say goodbye to. But you can't say goodbye with them *knowing* it's goodbye.

I suppose I could write them letters, but it's not the same.

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There's a month's supply of morphine in the cupboard.

That should mean a few weeks not having to bother with doctors or trips to the pharmacy.


It means there's getting on for 3000mg - 30 times what I normally take in a day - just sitting there.

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Friday, 26 August 2011

I've had a date in mind for a while now.

With the brief respite of all my hopes lifting yesterday, and then crashing back down again today, that date has come back to the forefront.

No, I'm not going to tell you when it is, in case I do change my mind. But it's there, and I've spent the whole afternoon thinking about it.

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Reality bites

Every now and again, I think I've found the Holy Grail, the Magical Answer, the Golden Cure. Something that enables me to beat the pain, to make all this go away, to get my life back.

First it was the meditiation. Then the book. Then yesterday it was my own strength of mind.

I find something and I think that's it. I get the warm and fuzzy feeling that tells me it's all over. I get all worked up and excited and I think that's it; it'll only be a couple of weeks before I'm back on my feet, back at work, back out having fun. I'll be free of the pills and the appointments and the hopelessness.

For a while it works; the pain goes down, I feel positive and hopeful. And then it all falls apart.

With the meditation, it was when I started having trouble 'going under'. With the book, it was when my past exploded back into my present. And yesterday it was when I woke up this morning.

Yesterday, after that doctor's appointment, after all the thinking and feeling, I suddenly felt really positive. It was all going to be OK. I wasn't going to let this pain rule my life any more. I wasn't going to keep chugging pills, I wasn't going to dance to it's tune any more. I was going to ignore the pain, refuse to acknowledge it, and it would go away.

That wasn't what I'd been expecting to feel; when I started writing the blog post, and I said 'I don't want to be in medicine any more, I'm done with it all', I meant that if the pills won't work, I'll pull the plug. But instead, I found myself feeling hopeful, feeling that 'being done with it' meant it would stop, not I would.

I know it sounds really naive now, but I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. All evening, I would get a sudden wash of hopefulness and I'd think back, and realise that was why. It was like the inverse of the feeling you get when you wake up and everything seems fine because you've momentarily forgotten the reality, then it crashes down on you. The divorce, the death, the life-changing accident: whatever it is, it suddenly comes back to you. This feeling was like the opposite of that one.

But then this morning, I woke up. And the pain was bad, the neck pressure was causing a screwdriver-in-the-eye, and my back was killing me. And ignoring the pain, refusing to acknowledge it, had absolutely no effect. I was still in agony and I still couldn't do anything. I had to take the pills that yesterday I'd been convinced I would never have to see again.

And suddenly, nothing has changed. Suddenly, I'm back where I was yesterday morning. I back in bed, drugged and feeling like shit. And there's no waking up from it.

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Thursday, 25 August 2011


Despite all the pain, I think I probably looked like I was coping too well, mentally, today at the doc's, and when I got back I was really worried it would count against me.

He'd started asking about my mood, how much time I spend thinking about my dad etc etc. I've been so focused on the pain, I haven't been able to think about anything else. I talked about my breakdown at the shrink's, and the fact that my emotions then seemed to just shut down till I spoke to him on Monday. I told him about the crying fits and the book, plus the therapy I've had for all this in the past.

When I got home, though, I was wishing that I'd been more emphatic about my need for additional support, (like I was on the phone on Monday). But I've felt so overwhelmed, wiped out and numb by the pain of the past few days, that he took me by surprise.

It probably means I won't get any additional support, though to be honest, I no longer really want it. I've had enough therapy and talking and analysing. I don't want any more - I quit.

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I don't want to be on the inside of medicine any more.

I don't want any more prescriptions. I don't want nurse-led Pain Clinic appointments. I don't want to see the psychologist any more and I don't want to go to the Complex Needs people.

And I absolutely do not want to start digging through what my heart-breaking, soul-destroying parents did to me.

I've had enough of all of it.

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I think I'm fucked.

I took four slow release pills at 2pm. This was designed to prevent any further top-ups this afternoon, and it worked yesterday.

Today though, within minutes of taking it, I was feeling terribly sick - bordering on actual throwing up - and the pain was still awful.

An hour later, the pain is still unbearable. I can't take any more morphine - I'll throw up. So I have no option but to just exist with the pain.

I don't know how long I can do that for.

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More morphine battles

So like I said, I made it to the doctor's. It wasn't a great appointment. Actually, it was pretty bloody bad. But it was honest.

I told him how bad things have been, and how much morphine I've taken the past two days. I told him why - that it wasn't working and I had to take more and more to get any relief. I told him it made me throw up.

He said he didn't want me taking any more than that, because it obviously wasn't working, and anyway 'you've got to come off it some time'.

Back to having to come off it.

So I told him that I had had two choices these past two days, to keep taking the pills till I got some relief, or suicide. I told him there was no way I could have borne that pain, so without the pills I would have had no choice but to slit my wrists.

He moved on. I told him about the spa and he said it was good that I'd tried swimming again, despite the fact that I nearly drowned. He also confirmed that it's the morphine causing the nasty sweats I've been getting lately (I was starting to wonder if it was early menopause!).

Then he came back to the morphine. He said if it wasn't working yesterday, I should just have not taken it - I would have been no worse off without it. I argued with him. I said I would have been worse off - without it, I would have killed myself. By taking the pills, at least I'm still here today.

Then he started on about the new drug, which I refused. He'd been fine about that when we emailed, but now he wasn't. He was musing about the Pain Clinic - how 6-monthly appointments aren't doing much for me.

He was clearly very reluctant to give me any more morphine, and was looking for any other option. But there isn't one, we've already established that. And I just had to keep on telling him that until something changes, morphine is all I've got. Without access to some pain relief - however limited - I would die. I would choose to die.

At least this time, I was calm about it all. There were no hysterics that could be construed as a junkie's tantrum. To be honest, I just felt tired of the whole thing. It's not worth fighting over, this life that I'm living. Anyway, he eventually conceded that stopping the morphine isn't an option in the forseeable future. And he gave me the prescription.

I'm worried about it now though. I'm worried that I was too honest, that he'll try and get me off the morphine and he'll lock me away while he does it, so I can't hurt myself. I'm worried I should have kept my mouth shut, so I actually have the freedom to do it, when I want to. It's my life, after all. And I want it to be my death.

I'm probably overreacting; they keep saying what a 'low risk' i am, however suicidal I feel. They probably don't believe me about this either. But it makes me feel I should just get on with it, in case.

Towards the end of the appointment I was ranting about how little help there is out there for me, about the Pain Clinic, the emotional support, all of it. 'I pay my taxes, I have a right to see the doctor of my choice - and have him tell me there's nothing he can do for me. . .' He said it was good I was angry, because it meant I still had some fight left in me. I disagree. I feel nearer to the end every day.

I may be angry, but to me, that just means the moment when I say 'the hell with this' and mean it is getting closer.

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Best laid plans, and all that.

The pain was too bad last night, I had no choice but to top up just after midnight. It helped, after a while, and I did manage to sleep some.

I didn't take the planned slow release pill at 2am. I took the 6am one early, at 4, and only half the usual dose, all so I would be clear to drive at 7.30.

It worked - I was safe to drive, and the pain was bearable. It stayed that way through the drive there, the appointment and two-thirds of the trip back. The final part of the drive was excruciating, and so bad that I couldn't make it to the pharmacy.

I had to take the triple slow release dose and four top-ups before I could even get out of the car. But I'm home now, and safe in bed. The pills are starting to kick in.

Somehow, though, I still have to get to the chemist, or it's all been for naught.

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Small victory

I've just managed to have a shower, and it was pure deliciousness.

You know you're in a bad way, when having a shower is worthy of a blog post, and you headline it 'Small victory'.

I did it because I'm hoping to go to the doc's first thing; showering and driving on the same day is no longer possible.

I took 40mg of slow release morphine at 6pm, and I've been OK since. I haven't needed a top-up, I've managed to sit up in the lounge and get to and from the kitchen as required. For the first time in days.

I'm hoping this is a sign of the current crisis drawing to a close. I've found in the past that sometimes, the only way to stop the pain going crazy is to drown it with morphine, almost shock it into stopping. I'd hoped the awful amounts of yesterday might do that, but no.

Because I knew what I was expecting today, pain-wise, I hit it with bigger doses, less frequently. The net result is 10mg more, in total, than yesterday, but light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm in a catch 22 regarding the doc; if the pain goes back to 'normal' levels, I've got enough morphine to last well into next week. If it carries on like the last two days, I won't make it through the weekend (especially not with the added day from the Bank Hol). So I have to see him tomorrow or Friday, in case. I'm aiming for tomorrow so if it fails, I have another day to fall back on.

I'll be taking 20mg slow release at 11, and I'll boost that with another 10mg at midnight. Hopefully, that will allow for zero top-ups, and leave enough morphine in my system to be able to move in the morning, but little enough to mean I'm safe to drive.

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It's taken an hour of faffing to find a new position that sort of works. Throughout that time, the neck pressure's been building and building, giving me a horrible screwdriver in the eye that i'm terrified will turn into migraine, like it did yesterday.

This position isn't as good as the last one, but the last one isn't working any more, and this is better than nothing.

The pain in my shoulder is getting steadily worse, despite the triple dose at 2.30. I'm scared to take any top-ups though, because I already feel dizzy and stoned and I can still taste the sick from last night.

I don't know what to do.

4.30. I had no choice but to take another top-up dose - the pain was just too much. I took four again, because any less at the moment is pointless. It means today's morphine intake will be as bad as yesterday's (if not worse - that's based on no more top-ups, but there's no guarantee it will be possible).

And there's still the question of getting to the doc's tomorrow or Friday.

6pm. It was time to take the next slow release dose, which left me with the question of 'how much'? I decided the likelihood of the pain breaking through the current 'standard' dose was too high; to avoid another 20mg top-up, I increased the slow release dose by 10mg. It's a gamble, I just hope it pays off.

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Pain levels are as bad today as yesterday. I've taken four top-ups together, because three was doing nothing. But I don't see the point of taking the quantities I did yesterday, because it did fuck all for me. All it did do was make me completely fucking stoned and sick.

I have, however, found a position that for 40 minutes has stopped the neck pressure. I found the sling helped for a while, while I was sitting up, but gradually the neck pressure built back up, so it only lasted about an hour and a half.

I lay down and after a bit, the pressure eased. My left arm is going numb in this position, though, and my glasses are digging a whole in my nose. I'm going to have to move in half an hour, to take the next set of slow release pills and i'm scared I won't be able to get in the right position again. But if I don't take them, the pain I can already feel in my shoulder will rage out of control.

I'm going to make that next dose a triple mostly because I'm scared of the pain. But I don't actually believe it's going to help. There doesn't seem any point topping up though, unless I go straight to four pills. And I'm not sure even that did anything, though it could be partly why this position has relaxed the nerves.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011


In the past 24 hours, I have taken a total of 180mg of morphine.

Some of it was at midnight, so was almost yesterday, the rest has been since 6am. It's by far the most I've ever taken. It's a hideous amount. Yet for all that, I got approx 4 hours of actual, proper relief. The rest of the time the pain just turned down a bit. And I do mean a bit - the intensity went from 8 to 7. That's it.

The pain is building again, and has been for about two hours. I'm determined to get to midnight, so it'll be a 'new' day. But I'm definitely going to need more before trying to sleep.

Let me be very clear. I don't like taking that much morphine. To be honest, I am repulsed by myself for taking it. I feel like a failure for needing it. I feel like a liar and a fraud for the fact that it wasn't working. I feel like a junkie who *claims* to have a legitimate need, but actually just enjoys it. Except for the fact that I *don't* enjoy it - it made me throw up and piss myself, for crying out loud.

But I can't help feeling that way about it. I feel filthy and revolting and so sickeningly disgusting that I can't bear to think about it. I feel like someone caught masturbating in the bathroom, or a bulimic caught purging after lunch, or a chocaholic caught with Dairy Milk all round their face (or at least, I feel how I imagine someone in those situations would feel, since I've never actually experienced any of them).

I just mean that I feel the most gut-wrenching sense of guilt and self repugnance, that I struggle to put it into words.

I know that's crazy; I know I haven't done anything wrong. I know that I lay here for hours trying to think of any alternative to taking morphine - any alternative at all - and the only viable one, the only thing that offered any other chance of stopping the pain, was suicide. (Oh, I considered cannabis, I tried it, and it was as useless and as nauseating as the morphine. Just in case you're wondering.)

It was a case of take that much morphine, or kill myself. I couldn't stand the pain at that level - I had to numb it by swallowing however much morphine it took, or I had to numb it, and me, permanently.

Which is what I will have to tell the GP when I see him later this week. I assume even he will have to agree that I took the least destructive option.

I just really really hope I don't have to go through it again tomorrow, because I can't guarantee not to decide that enough is enough, and take the other option next time.

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I feel very very sick from all the morphine today. But I know that unless I want the pain breaking through again (or more precisely, breaking through even more than it already is), I know I have to take another 30mg in the next half hour.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.

7pm. Terrific. Threw up and wet myself all at once. Really regretting taking those additional 30mg, because that means it can only get worse. But what bloody choice did I have?

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Pain is unbearable today. I can't do it any more.

So far today 80mg Oxycontin, 15mg Oxynorm. And I still can't catch my breath for the pain.

3pm I've just taken another four Oxynorm (20mg). I don't care any more.

4pm. It stopped. It's taken 100mg of morphine and ten hours of agonised waiting, but it finally stopped. I don't think it's going to last long - already my arm and back feel odd, the familiar precursor to pain on a heavy medication day - but for a little while, the cloud lifts.

Unless you've lived this pain, there's no possible way you could understand the relief. It would be like asking a blind man to appreciate the colour blue.

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Worsening stretch continuing to get worse. Shoulder pain getting worse and now neck pressure too.

It started to build yesterday, lot lot worse today. Building to migraine. Again, triple morph coming nowhere near it. TENS machine burning holes in my back.

Running out of food and pills.I don't know what to do.

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Double slow release at 11, three quick release at 12. Still in pain. Paracetemol and food to try and boost effect of top-ups. About to try and sleep. Don't hold your breath.

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Monday, 22 August 2011

Can't get to the shop

I'm running low on a number of essentials, but I haven't been able to get to the shop because the pain has been so bad and I've been so out of it on so much morphine.

The problem is that I'm having to take a big dose first thing, based on the past few days, and that never has a chance to wear off, because the pain gets worse and I have to take still more.

With current pain levels, I daren't take a low 'driveable dose' first thing, so I'm just going to have to hope the pain goes down instead of up throughout the day, so then I'll be able to get to the shop later on.

I have the same problem with prescriptions; I'm going to need more morphine soon, buy now he won't post the script to me, that means a two-hour round trip. Today, I couldn't get further than the kitchen all day ...

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Spoke to doc

I spoke to the doctor today, to ask for his help in getting the emotional support I need.

As I half-expected, as soon as I started talking about it, the feelings came flooding back; I was in tears within minutes. Under the circumstances, it was a good thing, because it gave him more imperative to do something, hearing me like that. He said he'd talk to the shrink and make sure she knows I have a genuine need.

Unfortunately, all this made the pain worse. It's been extra bad for the past 3-4 days; today it was even worse, but the morphine couldn't touch it. I was popping pills - long and short release - like Smarties, to no avail, and in desperation I was about to try a joint (I didn't because I wasn't sure if it would react badly with the Lofepramine I'd just taken. And there's the fact that I only have a tiny bit, and no access to more [it being many months since my inital foray into this alien world.]).

This evening, the pain is still too much for the meds to cope with, and I feel very very low. I wish I could just have a fit of hysterics, and get it overwith.

I have no idea how I'm going to get through tonight, either pain- or emotion-wise. The only thing I can think of is to just neck a whole load of pills and hope it knocks me over.

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Pills doing fuck all for the pain today. Taking more and more, and still no sodding relief.

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The chins are smelly, and getting smellier by the day, but I can't clean them out - I'm in too much pain.

I've been trying to do it for three days now, but no luck. Today, I can't even get out of bed. The last two days I could, but I made the mistake of doing other jobs first.

They all needed doing, but those jobs were easier than cleaning out the chins, so I chose them first. I did it that way so I could feel I'd achieved something. I knew once I'd done the chins, that'd be the end of my day, I wouldn't be able to do anything else, most likely I'd be stuck in bed instead. So I did the other jobs - I'd be able to say I'd done two, three or four things that day, not just one.

But each time, I've had enough after those jobs - the pain's been too bad to do the litter tray. So the girls get smellier and smellier.

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The feeling is starting to come back in my soul, and I've figured out the weirdness.

I can feel the feelings starting to rise up again and I remember this happened once before. When I was on morphine the first time, and seeing the hypnotherapist, things went a bit crazy at one point and all the feelings seemed to switch off, just like this.

It's a defense mechanism - when the feelings get too overwhelming or destructive, my mind just turns them all off for a bit, to protect me.

I remember, because it felt like this when they started to come back. It's like starting to get the feeling back in a numb arm; gradually, the sensation returns, you get pins and needles, it feels a bit like you're wearing someone else's arm for a while, but eventually it all settles down.

Which means it will this time too. Good; although it's nice not to be crying incessantly, it's very strange and unpleasant, being divorced from your own feelings. All things considered, I'd rather have the bloody things back and sort through them properly. Though I know I won't be saying that next time the waterworks stick on.

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Sunday, 21 August 2011

I've been feeling weird for the past two days.

For some reason, the torrent of emotions switched itself off on Thursday night. I'd been crying uncontrollably all day following the shrink appointment. Late on, I suddenly realised that I didn't actually know what I was crying about. I asked myself - and the crying stopped. Just stopped; I no longer felt like crying. It felt like a relief at the time, but now it's clear it's a disaster in disguise.

Yesterday, I was OK mentally (physically still shit - triple morphine at lunchtime for the past three days, or I'd be necking top-ups like Smarties).

In the evening, though, I felt weird. I was jittery and jumpy, I wanted to gorge on junk food, scratch my skin off, pick spots, shop, shop, shop. I couldn't rest. But I couldn't cry either. None of the emotion would come out.

I tried doing the list-work from the book - nothing. I tried 'being with the feelings' - zilch. I couldn't get at the feelings. It was like a boil - getting bigger and sorer by the minute.

And it's happening again today, and I have no idea what to do about it. I'm giving serious thought to taking up smoking, in the hope it would give me occasional moments of feeling good, even if they were a chemically-induced fake high.

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Friday, 19 August 2011

Oh good, Saturday tomorrow. Another day, exactly like every other bloody day. I can barely contain myself.

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Do you have any idea what it's like to have your every waking moment filled with thoughts of death? Not just thoughts of death, fantasies of dying. It's exhausting, that's what it is.

My whole time, I'm lying here thinking about those final few moments. What it will feel like? What I will be thinking about? What will happen after?

What's the final straw? After all of this, I wonder what the final 'too-much' thing will be. Or if there will even be one. Maybe I just get too tired, run out of motivation to carry on?

And who finds me? When? Who? How? What do they think? Say? Do?

Mostly I think about the chins. I can't bear the thought of them starving to death, just because no-one worries about me soon enough. But not too soon either - I don't want anyone getting here too soon, and thinking they're helping by trying to save me. Ambulances, hospitals, all that stuff.

I don't want any 'cry for help' failed attempts. I've been crying for help for months. There has to be just one, single, successful attempt. I just don't know when.

I don't want to give up too soon. That's why I keep not doing it. Every time I get to the brink - about a hundred times a day - I stop because i think maybe it's too soon. What if I'm not actually ready yet? How do I tell?

I already know there's no hope. I already know nothing's going to change. I'm just torturing myself by hanging on. And torturing the people I love. How is that fair? To me or to them? How is it fair to keep hanging on, when I know there's nothing to hang on to? Why can't I just let go?

It's probably as simple as I'm scared I'll miss out on something. Like a child who doesn't want to go to bed, in case they miss something going on downstairs. I think that's why I can't do it. Because I'm scared there'll be something worth living for, just after I'm gone, and I'm scared I'll miss it.

But you can't keep living on the off-chance that there'll be something worth living for. It's actually the same as all the time I spent deciding whether or not to leave R. I knew all along that I wanted to. I was just scared to miss out on the one mythical thing that would have made living with him worthwhile. Bearable, even.

I did leave him in the end though. Finally, I reached the point where the possibility of something worthwhile wasn't strong enough to offset the reality. It will be the same with this, eventually. If it happens the same way, there will be a dream that leaves me in no doubt that now's the time. I just wish it could be now.

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Oh dear

I feel totally creeped out.

I know it's because of the huge amount of morphine I had to take before bed, but it doesn't feel that way.

I had a friend here in the evening, who I haven't seen in ages. I was nervous about seeing her, because she has lots of problems herself, and I wasn't sure how I would cope if she started talking about them.

In the event, it was actually OK. So much so that I found myself pouring my heart out to her. I told her all about the book and the problems it's caused. She's the first person I've spoken to about it, because my sister isn't good with stuff like that, and I haven't seen anyone else. I also ended up talking to her about my dad, and all the childhood issues that are plaguing me. And then there was the whingeing about my other sister.

I think it was partly practice for seeing the shrink tomorrow - I'm finding it really hard to talk about the current problems, especially to her, since I know she's lost interest. And partly it was just because I haven't had anyone to talk to for so long, and I got carried away.

But now I'm wracked by guilt and I can't sleep. I'm convinced I'vd frightened my friend away by deluging her with personal info, and I'm scared I'll never see her again.

We've never been that close - she's a friend, but not a share-secrets-friend. I think slamming her with all the torrid details of my father and my neuroses over what he and my mother did to me was way too much, far too soon.

It's probably the morphine talking, I do know that, but I can't help it. I just wish I could go to sleep. And I soooo don't want to see the shrink tomorrow. To be honest, I'd rather dig my eyes out with a spoon.

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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Flared up couple hours ago. More pain than I can bear. More morphine than ever before. Can't feed the chins. Can't get undressed. Can't even take myself to the loo. I want out.

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Made it to the car dealership and back again, getting Ozzy serviced and through his first ever MOT.

The trip to drop him off was fine first thing this morning; quick drive, 10-15 min walk back. Although the pain didn't kick off particularly during the day, by the time they called to say he was ready, I was asleep, exhausted. All I'd done in the interim was put the washing on and then out. I'd taken one double dose slow release (as soon as I got back), and that was it.

I knew when they called that I was too tired to walk back there, but I had to. I made it, then there was a long wait (who knows why) and now I'm not only twice as exhausted, I'm also in pain. I'd had to delay the latest slow release pill so I'd be OK to drive there - that worked, but it's also probably why the pain has kicked off again.

I pleased I managed the whole thing, but I'm worried. I have to drive to the shrink on Thursday, and two driving things (even just a 5minute one) is more than I can cope with. It's because it enatils such planning to work the pills round driving, and so much stress and worry about pain levels versus stoned-ability-to-drive-ness. And I can only face that once in a week. But this time I have to do it twice. On top of a friend visiting tomorrow who I haven't seen in ages and who I'm a bit nervous of seeing.

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Monday, 15 August 2011

Pain today once again exteremly bad. As yesterday, have had to triple several morphine doses, to avoid taking handfuls of quick release pills. This is leaving me feeling very stoned and very sick. It is keeping the pain at bay though, so I guess it's worth it.

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18th October. That's the 'urgent' appointment the Conplex Needs people have given me.

If I can't get some help, I'll be dead by then.

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Pain has been extremely bad this afternoon, I expect because of yesterday.

I slept well last night, though had to take two top-up pills at 1am. I was OK this morning, and my sister and I went out to buy her a few bits for her new house. After an hour, though, I was feeling incredibly tired and in some pain. Unfortunately, that was just the start.

We came home and I went straight to bed. The pain built steadily. I could feel where this was going, so I took three top-ups to try and head it off, but it just kept getting worse. The 2.30pm slow release gave those earlier ones a boost, but two hours later I was still unable to sit up because of the pain. I took another two top-ups and was finally able to get up at 6.

It all still felt very fragile though, so when it came to the evening slow release, I not only doubled the basic dose - I tripled it. The objective, of course, was to avoid any further top-ups, having already taken a total of seven since midnight.

That 7.30 dose left me feeling completely stoned, of course, but at least the pain feels distant enough that I can ignore it.

10.15. I'm still so stoned, I can't keep my eyes open, but the pain is already blasting through. I can't catch my breath. It's a good job I'm already lying down. Will have to increase the last dose to 30 too, but it'll take an hour to kick in and I don't know if I'll make it through that without topping-up. Swimming yesterday was a really, really bad idea.

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The other sister

I've been borrowing DVDs from everyone lately.

The sister I don't get on with has lent me several, and she's given me quite a few to keep, where she'd recorded the programme off the TV, then bought the box set, and no longer needed the home-recorded ones. I've been very grateful.

I'd asked if I could borrow the latest ones in a series I'm following. She gave them to my other sister to bring over. As soon as I looked at them, though, I knew something was up. They weren't the box set ones, they were home-recorded, and I could see the handwriting on them wasn't hers. It was my dad's.

She claims to have no contact with him, because of him abusing her, but she's quite happy to accept his help right, left and centre. She'll get my mum to ask him to download stuff for her, print out 'covers' for programmes she's recorded, or copy DVDs.

I hate DVD piracy at the best of times. It pisses me off that my family think its fine. So it's bad enough that she sent me pirated copies of the DVD. But on top of that, they all know that when I say 'no contact' with my father, I mean No Contact. I will not have anything anywhere near me that's come from him. So it's bloody insulting to ask him to illegally copy DVDs and then give them to me.

This sister has zero social skills and takes everything personally, so I knew she would kick off at me rejecting the DVDs, but that's her problem. I texted her, putting it in the nicest terms possible, whilst still being clear that I was sending the discs back. What astounded me was that, although she confirmed they were from him, there was no hint of an apology for potentially upsetting me.

I think it would be basic common courtesy to apologise for something like that. But no, nothing. Fucking clueless.

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Swimming nightmare

I'd asked my sister to come with me to the local spa club yesterday, because I thought the steam might help. I've also been thinking for a while that I wanted to try swimming again, but it seemed potentially dangerous to do that on my own; I needed someone there the first time, just in case.

We've never been there before, but it was quite nice. We started off in the mineral pool. I had my bouyancy jacket and we were just gently skulling up and down on our backs.

We'd been in there less than 15 minutes when I started getting numbness in my left arm and a shooting pain in my lower back. Within minutes it was so bad I was gasping for breath, I couldn't let myself float in the water and I couldn't stand up because I couldn't straighten my left leg.

I got my sister to try acupressure on my back, and I leaned on the side for about half an hour. Then I sort of hopped through the water to the steps: I still couldn't use my leg.

I couldn't get out of the pool by myself, so my sister had to manhandle me out of the water. It was really difficult, because I couldn't use either my left arm or leg, and I was in excruciating pain. A couple of times I fell back into the water, face-down, and would have drowned if she hadn't been there to fish me out: I couldn't even roll over.

Half an hour in the hot tub eased the spasming back muscle enough for me to stand up and walk to the steam room. I hadn't been in there long before I could feel it twinging again, though, so I had to get out.

We sat cooling for ages, then My sister suggested just floating in the pool, not swimming: three steps into the water, that muscle was heading for full spasm again, and I had to give up. It was just ss hsrd getting out.

On top of all this, I felt hideously stoned for the rest of the afternoon. It felt like my sister was trying to be Schumaker driving home, but I know she wasn't, it was just my skewed perception of things.

I can only imagine it was the minerals in the pool that caused the latter, and maybe the pain too. It means I was right not to try swimming on my own, and it leaves me too terrified to try it again. Which also contributed to my tearful evening (previous post).

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Tears - again

My sister did make it over yesterday. I wasn't doing too bad - I was up and dressed and able to move about.

We had a pretty good day, but later on in the evening I suddenly found myself feeling very strange. It was that feeling I've had many times recently, where it feels like a huge tidal wave of emotion is building up inside me. A few times, that's come to nothing, but not this time.

I wound up lying on the bed sobbing with loneliness. My sister was still there, it was the fact that she would ultimately go home and I'd be left to deal with it all again that I couldn't handle. And the fact that, no matter how much anyone tries to help, I still feel like I'm in this alone, simply because they have the option to forget about the pain for a while, go do something else; I never can.

And it was the unfairness of it all; other people have problems, sometimes terrible ones, but eventually they come to an end. Mine never do. No-one has any solution for me, nothing works and I'm faced with this going on forever.

It must have been horrible for my sister seeing me so upset and not being able to do anything to help. I know it made her feel bad when I talked about her not having been around since we had *that* conversation. I wasn't trying to make her feel guilty, everything just seemed so utterly hopeless and I've really struggled with her silence. But I do understand it.

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Friday, 12 August 2011

My sister is supposed to be coming over tomorrow. I never thought I'd say this, but I really hope she doesn't. It hurts too much to see her. It slaps me in the face with all the things I'm missing.

Last time I saw her, it made me think about all the things I wish I could do with her and the kids. All the things I'll never do.

It made me want to fight back, to find some way to beat the pain and make suicide unnecessary. But all that does is raise false hope. Because there IS no solution to the pain. There IS no other option. I'm still faced with: live with the pain, or don't live.

I was resigned to that before I saw her last time. I'd got used to the idea and it was just a question of time. But seeing her turned it all around.

So I fought back, I went back to that bloody book and I started trying to find a solution, believing that there was one out there. But there isn't. Ever since starting the book, I've had nothing but hell. Maybe it works for some people; I suspect it's just wish-fulfilment bullshit. It certainly doesn't work for me.

I don't want to fight back any more. I don't want any more therapy. I'm done. I just want to give it up and let go.

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Electric shock pains

The electric shock pains are back. They started about an hour ago.

This is the worst of the many different types of pain I've experienced in my shoulder over the past four years. It's the one that used to regularly leave me stranded for long periods of time, the one that's the hardest to breathe through, the one that's most difficult to ignore. The pain streaks down my shoulder and through my arm, up into my neck and across my back. It feels like someone is attacking me with a cattle prod. It feels like torture.

And it's resisting the three top-up pills I've already taken. This pain was the reason I originally had to increase from one top-up pill to two, and from two every four hours to two every two hours. I'm already at three then two or three then three, two to three hours later.

I'm already doubled up on slow release pills. If the electric shock pains are back in force, then I am royally fucked. I will have no choice but to increase the morphine quickly and drastically. The etoricoxib helped to gradually bring the pains under control, but that won't help the immediate agony. Or the fact that my morphine levels will quickly reach a point that makes the doctor balk. And then he'll probably panic again.

The shrink has nothing left to offer (she cancelled on me today). The Complex Needs people couldn't have been less interested in helping me.The Pain Clinic is becoming little more than a glorified band-aid. If the GP panics and won't allow me enough morphine to give meaningful pain relief, I'm done.

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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Apparently, catharsis was short-lived.

I feel so very low. I wish I could just take a boxful of pills and watch it all disappear.

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Written to Pain Clinic

I have just sent a very strong letter to the Pain Clinic about the ridiculous plans to deny patients access to their own consultants.

I'm sure it won't make a scrap of difference, but I feel better for doing it. I told them their wonderful new system will leave patients in additional pain, and that this is a barbaric way to treat people. It'll probably mean I'm not allowed to see a nurse either. Big whoop - they've never yet been able to answer a question I asked them. Which I also mentioned in my letter.

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Do you have any idea how horrible it is to have your mood just suddenly plummet, fall through the floor, for no discernible reason? It's bloody horrible and bloody scary too. If I only knew why, it wouldn't be so bad.

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Backwards day.

I spent most of the day stuck in bed, knocked flat by a morphine dose that the day before I couldn't even feel. All day, I couldn't keep my eyes open.

And now I can't make myself go to bed because I'm not tired. That same morphine dose is back to going nowhere.

Is it too much to ask just for a bit of consistency!?

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Letter from sister

I got a letter from my sister today. It was a very sweet letter. She's been having a really difficult time she our conversation about my future.

I figured something like this was going on, because she'd pretty much disappeared in me. I guessed it was because she didn't know what to say to me, but it left me feeling low and abandoned, and is part of the reason why I panicked over my friend not being around the other day.

I couldn't say anything to my sis, because I understand, but at the same time I was privately angry and upset. She's due to come and visit at the weekend, though, and said she wanted to get it sorted first.

She explained and apologised for her absence, told me how much she doesn't want it to happen, but was ultimately very understanding of the situation I'm in.

I've written back, hopefully setting her mind at rest that nothing has changed and she doesn't need to feel awkward talking to me. I suspect she either fears I will want to talk about it all the time, or fears I will expect her to bring it up, neither of which is the case. I just want things back to normal, where she's someone I can rely on to cheer me up.

She was adamant in her letter that I not take any action by myself, that I shouldn't be alone at that point. That's so sweet of her, but if just the conversation, and the advanced warning has freaked her out that much, imagine what it would do to her to be there, but not be able to do anything to save me, in accordance with my wishes? I don't think that would be fair to her.

The shrinks continue to say I'm a 'low risk', though that's partly because I don't tell them everything. The fact that I'm not self-harming is another reason, apparently (it seems the urge I've felt, but resisted, to practise cutting is a known precursor). And there's the fact that when I tell them I'm thinking about it, they don't take me very seriously.

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So, it's not a big surprise to learn that the past two days have wound up being the biggest morphine days to date.

To avoid lots of top-ups like Monday, I doubled all the daytime slow release doses yesterday, took the optional 2am dose and added an extra 10mg to the 6am one.

It worked - no top-ups till just before midnight, but once again I had to take another three quick release pills less than two hours later because the first three weren't working. I've just taken the optional dose but am hoping to take slightly less throughout the day and particularly to keep the 6am dose to 20mg.

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Blank slate

Today's revelations have been scarily central to my personality.

I realise that many of my likes and dislikes are there specifically to prove to myself and the rest of the world that I can cope. That I'm a coper, someone who can *superar*, as the Spanish would say - overcome, beat - the challenges of life. But in reality, if you take away the desire to prove myself, I actually feel completely the opposite.

It started when the thought suddenly came to me as I was dozing through the meds this afternoon that I never wanted to go to Colombia for my Year Abroad. I wanted to go to Mexico, and I'm angry with myself for going along with the Colombia idea.

Similarly, I don't enjoy solo holidays, it's a joyless experience visiting somewhere without someone to share it with. I don't like moving to a new city, starting from scratch every few years.

I don't like high pressure jobs and I'm not actually all that ambitious. I enjoy spending my leisure time lazing about chatting, watching TV and reading; I don't enjoy mountainbiking or long hikes. I like embroidery and knitting and dress-making. I enjoy reading new languages but I really don't like speaking them. Motorbikes are pretty to look at, but that's as far as it goes.

And I think I will ultimately regret the decision not to have children. I'm already starting to.

I know all this sounds like I'm suddenly deciding I don't like any of the things I can no longer do. I guess that's true, but it's coincidental. The point is that some of the very cornerstones of my personality - and I expect there are more to come - have suddenly been uprooted. The book would talk about the pain being a function of my rage at myself for all of the pretense.

That may well be so. I feel a bit like a newborn, or some kind of amnesiac, though, who's now having to figure out who they are.

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There's something big and huge and terrible and it's dancing around the edge of consciousness. I don't know what it is and it scares me.

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Technically-speaking, we're into a new 24-hour period, so you can rationalise it away, but the truth is I've just had to take another three top-up pills and one slow release because the three top-ups I took an hour ago had barely touched the pain that had already broken through the two slow release I took at 10.30.

This is a really bad development. Slow release pills are supposed to last 12 hours, not two. I took 145mg of morphine in the 24-hour period that's just ended. Ideally, I shouldn't be taking any more till 6am. But I had absolutely no chance of sleep doing that, so I had to do something.

I just have to hope that when I wake up, things will have calmed down again. Otherwise I'm going to have to triple the slow release doses through the day, to avoid all these top-ups. And that's an awful lot of morphine. I just couldn't seem to feel the stuff today though.

The book would suggest all this is because I'm getting closer and closer to the root psychological cause, and my unconscious mind is working harder and harder to prevent that and hence keep me in a state of bliss-less ignorance. That could very well be true - I felt very emotional and unstable over the past hour or so and doing the exercises revealed some more interesting stuff about all the things I've been forced to emotionally carry for others over the years. (The 'carrying' things is, I believe, why it's my shoulder at the centre of my pain - the point of support that bears the weight of anything we carry in our arms. Again though, it's fear and sadness, not rage, that seems come out of it).

As interesting as all this most certainly is, the reality is that the book has so far done nothing but make things worse. There really needs to be some positive outcome soon. I started this work to stop the pain, feel better and dump the morphine. Not be in more pain, be overwhelmed by psychological suffering and pop pills like Smarties.

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Monday, 8 August 2011

Just got an email from the doc. He says he totally understands my reluctance to try the new medication. It's a big relief, it makes me feel he's still on my side, and that's very welcome given the problems of a few weeks ago. It's good timing too - something a bit positive at the end of a truly awful day.

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Hideous day

Christ, what a horrible, horrible day.

The boatload of pills I took after lunch did finally kick in, but it took a couple of hours. Before that, all I could do was lie there and try to keep breathing. A friend was coming to see me, and for most of her visit I was just lying in bed, eyes shut listening to her chat.

After a couple of hours, the pain went down enough that I could open my eyes and talk, but I couldn't sit up and I didn't even try to stand. Just two and a half hours after the last slow release dose, the pain was building again. I figured there was every chance of needing another six top-ups if I went down that route, so I took another double dose of slow release instead.

That was a couple of hours ago; I still feel completely stoned and cross-eyed, but already the pain is breaking through. I've taken twice as much morphine today as the basic level (the most ever). I really hope I don't have to take any more. I think it would just knock me out if I did. There's so much in my system now and it's still not actually stopping the pain - the next step would just be unconsciousness (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, to be honest).

The pain's been so bad all day though, that I haven't eaten a thing. I couldn't physically get to the kitchen before my friend arrived, and even once she was here, I jhad no appetite. So I'm going to try and eat something now, before the pain gets even worse.

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Pain excruciating today. Doubled slow release doses. Took 3 quick release - no effect at all. Three more hour & half later. (half hour ago). Now feel stoned. Pain still there and still can't breathe. Brought 2.30 slow release forward to 2pm to try & dovetail with quick release.

Nothing else I can do. Out of options.

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Pain just exploded in my shoulder when I twitched in my sleep. I was dozing because I woke up this morning with bad neck pressure and already a screwdriver headache. My shoulder was sore, but I was OK staying still. Till that twitch and the sudden agony.

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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Feeling very odd. I've come over extremely tired - I feel almost paralysed by fatigue.

And I can feel emotions welling up, like a rising tide. It's frightening, because I dont know how it's going to come out, but it feels like it could explode. Something feels very wrong. I feel very threatened but I don't know what by.

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Pain Clinic

Finally got the letter from my last Pain Clinic appointment.

His recollection of the meeting was a bit different to mine; he seemed to think I was in favour of changing to the new drug, Tapentadol. I don't remember that, I remember me reserving judgement and saying I'd have to think about it.

The doc had emailed me about the letter. He said he knew nothing about Tapentadol, but that he thought the changeover would be potentially difficult because of having to reduce the Oxycodone first.

I've done a lot of research into this new drug; I haven't found a single person who thinks it's worth changing over. They've tried it and found that, although there are fewer side effects, there's also less pain relief. The manufacturer's website says the only reason to change is if you can't bear the SEs of Oxycodone any more.

As I'm coping with the SEs, and anecdotal evidence shows no increase in pain relief, and given my ridiculously fragile mental state at the moment, I emailed the doc back saying I don't want to try it at the moment. I suggested we hold it in reserve for if we eventually find the Oxycodone is no longer viable.

The doc seems to have returned to his usual supportive, understanding self, so I'm hoping he'll be OK with that.

In the meantime, I'm drafting a letter of complaint to the hospital about the 'new look' pain clinic, where patients aren't allowed to talk to their consultants...

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It's taken me till now to find the interest to get out of bed. I'm having to force myself to eat, despite having had nothing since teatime yesterday, but again, I just have no interest or enthusiasm.

It was gone 5am before I fell asleep properly; I slept till 9.30 but still felt (and feel) totally knackered. I managed to get through the night without teats, but had to take extra pills because the pain was so bad. It still is, which probably contributed to my apathy towards getting up.

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Woken by the pain after less than two hours' sleep. Took the contingency-early-hours-slow-release-pill I recently added to the schedule. Trying to wait for that to kick in, rather than take a top-up too, but not sure I'll make it.

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I'm not attempting any psych work tonight. I can feel the tears just holding back. I dont want to set it off: I don't think I have the strength to feel all that again.

I've taken top up pills for the worsening pain, and read till I can barely keep my eyes open. Given how little sleep I got last night, I'm hoping that will all allow me to drop off quickly. I'll put a DVD on though, because as soon as I start thinking, I'm done for.

Just the thought of trying to sleep is making me want to cry. And I have t been able to turn the lights off for days. It's a good job - if the lights had been out when I screamed myself awake two nights ago, I don't know what I would have done.

I'm scared. Of the dark, of the memories, of my own mind.

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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Spent the afternoon delving through my CD collection, trying to ground myself somehow. It's not something that happens often - this was the first time in this house, and I've been here three years - but it seemed necessary. It wasn't helping by my stereo giving up the ghost an hour in though.

It started with a sudden burning desire to listen to the CD that I used to listen to all the time in the months before the accident. I was tooling round in my little VW Polo, my first car in five years. It was quick and sturdy and lots of fun to drive. It had a sunroof and a good stereo system. Everyday, driving to and from work listening to Snow Patrol, very very loud and signing along. It's the last time I can remember being happy.

Not that I was without worries - I was living with friends and needed to find my own place, but I needed to find a permanent job to replace the temping job first. But I was happy. I was enjoying driving again after a long break, my knee had healed from the motorbike accident, the countryside was beautiful, the roads were good, the car was fun. I was good at the job I was doing and was constantly asked to stay permanently, I liked living with my friends, I got on really well with their kids. I'd completed two degreaser and done really well in both, I'd loved studying, but was confident I'd made the right choice in stopping, I was going out more, building a social life in a new town. Everything was good. Everything was possibility.

The flood of memories from listening to those songs was like a tidal wave. It's the first time I've been able to enjoy hearing them, instead of flinching at what i knew was to come next - all of it ending at 4.45pm on a bright sunny April day, three weeks after starting my dream job.

I listen to that album over and over, then I basically trawled through my CD collection, before finally landing up on what in my mind has always been the soundtrack to my abuse: the music I listened to endlessly when I was first having therapy. At the time, I was constantly remembering stuff, fighting through the flashbacks, and these two CDs were always there. One of them I found too hard when I put it on and I had to turn it off, but the other one -Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes - was OK.

It doesn't have the pull I might have expected, but it was good to hear it again; I probably haven't heard it in ten years. It's clearly Snow Patrol that's going to keep dragging me back. I still doubt I'll be able to listen to the album that was playing st the time of the accident though.

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You probably shouldn't read this

My best friend has been with me through all this. She's done a huge amount for me and I'm so grateful. But now she says she can't do it. I get that - I'd take a holiday too, if I could, but I don't have that option.

Thing is, as much as I understand - and honestly, I do, and I don't blame her, she's got a lot going on herself - I still feel like I've lost my best friend. I feel like she died. And I'm grieving for my friend and I don't know how to get through this without her. And I know I've leaned too heavily in her and I know that's not fair and I'm really really sorry, but I don't know what to do now. I don't know how to get through this if she's not there in the background. I know it's not her responsibility, but somehow, knowing she was there made me feel not-alone enough to keep going.

And the timing. Just as all the work from that bloody book is making me face up to how abandoned I've always felt by all the people I thought I could trust - parents, partners etc - and how much I've tried to carry on my own that I shouldn't have. Then I lose my best friend. I can't stop crying, I feel like my heart is breaking and I know it's all the other losses polarising into this one, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

I'm sorry you're reading this, I really am. It's not intended as a guilt-trip. If I could put it up here without you reading it, I would, but I can't and I have nowhere else to go.

The medical profession has dumped me, my friends are all too busy, my family all too fragile. This really is the only place I have left to talk. And I have to get this out because it's not getting any better stuck inside me. It's just coming at me in waves. Maybe once I've said it to the world, I'll be able to ride them a bit better. So please don't hate me for needing to vent.

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Why has everyone disappeared just when I need them the most?

It feels like all the pain from all the years, all at once.

I don't remember it ever feeling like this before. It feels so real and raw and new and there's nobody anywhere to help me.I can't do it on my own. Why is there no-one to help me? I can't live through this. I'm going to die. It's going to kill me. Please, don't leave me in here all by myself.

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Friday, 5 August 2011

I considered putting extra food and water in for the chins when I fed them tonight, so I'd know they were OK for a few days, if I decided enough was enough.

In the end I didn't, because that might make it too easy. At least this way, I'll have to go and do that first.

I don't know how I'm going to get through tonite, so I can't guarantee it won't happen anyway.

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There aren't any words for how shit I feel. How alone. How helpless. How hopeless.

I can't do this on my own. I just can't. Please help me

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Depression so bad I haven't even been able to get out of bed today. The aloneness is unbearable.

I wish I didn't have the chins. If I didn't, I could saw through my wrists. It would take seconds.

I've gone from having a life and friends and all the opportunities in the world, to have none of that. My life's over, my friends are gone and there's nothing left.

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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Shoulder pain is evil today.

I didn't wake up till 8am, so the timing of the pills is all over the place. I've taken the right amount, but it's not helping; I've taken two top-up pills and they're not helping. I can take some more in about half an hour.

I'm lying in bed, breathing very shallowly because if I breathe properly, the pain kills. My left leg is numb. It must be from how I'm lying, but I lie this way all the time.

God how many pills is it going to take today to make the pain go away.

2.30. Took three top-up pills an hour ago - pain is now bearable as long as I don't try to move. Feel very stoned. Could happily take another couple and go to sleep. Am lying here fantasising about suicide. The book doesn't work, the pain never stops and I woke myself up last night screaming in terror. My head is full of horrors and my body is broken.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

It's going to get bad tonight, I can feel it coming. And there's nothing I can do to head it off.

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I think I'd be better off without all the revelations. Each time something's revealed, I get all excited and hopeful. Then it doesn't work, or it brings on more memory and depression and I just feel worse. The peaks and troughs are unbearable.

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You're on your own

So, my call to the Complex Needs group.

The reception bloke was without doubt the most obstructive, rude, unhelpful little oik I've come across in quite some time. His sole intention was clearly to keep out as many people as possible. He had the radio turned up so loud that I couldn't hear a word he said, yet he had the audacity to complain that he couldn't hear me.

It pisses me off no end that the health service which is supposed to be there to help us all, is invariably ex-clusive and almost impoosible to access. I've paid my National Insurance contributions for 20 years. I never request or accept assistance unless I have a genuine need, I don't waste people's time. If I'm asking for help, it's because I need it, yet no-one seems to notice that.

The very nature of mental health issues makes that the process of asking for and receiving help is even more difficult than it would normal be. What patients need is empathy and respect, not to be treated like a kid in a canteen trying to score a second helping of dessert.

When I did finally manage to get the idiot on the phone to help me, it transpired that the guy I need to see is on holiday for three weeks, so it'll be September at the very earliest before I can be seen. Probably a lot longer.

So once again, I'm left struggling by myself, and no-one in the medical profession gives a toss. 'National Health Service'? 'National you're-on-your-own Service', you mean.

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Terrible neck pressure today.

I woke up with a thumping screwdriver-in-the-eye headache, and it's just kept getting worse. No position helped, so my only option has been pills. The slow release ones have had limited effect, so I've had to take quick release ones, and more than since I changed the pill regime.

It's really disappointing, after last night's epiphany, I was hoping to find the pain going down and things getting better. Instead, they're worse. The epiphany was all about the pain - I still haven't quite figured out how to apply it to compressed nerves.

On top of that, I contacted the Complex Needs group, per the psychologist's instructions and the doctor's recommendation. Ii didn't go well - see next post - and left me feeling both furious and hopeless, in equal measure.

I wound up hurling china around the kitchen in an effort to get rid of that rage; as a note to self, it's probably better to do that when you're not barefoot.

Monday, 1 August 2011


I get it. I finally get it.

Shit, no wonder there's so much pain.

Not so much a case of 'the penny drops', as 'the whole freakin bank of England comes tumbling down'.

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I figured out something last night that I think is probably huge. Everything, physically and mentally is way worse today, I suspect because I'm right about that discovery.

I have no idea how to cope with this. I've had to hike up the morphine to deal with all the pain. If I'm lucky, it'll send me to sleep too, so I won't have to think about all this stuff.

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Feel like utter shit. Depression is really bad, shoulder and back are killing me. Can't bear this.

Please just kill me now. Please just kill me. Don't make me keep living through this hell.

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