Sunday, 26 January 2014


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My continued battle with CRPS has been particularly difficult recently. My decision to go drug free has had mixed blessings as cost/benefit analysis of side effects versus pain relief and depression plays out.

It has taken eight months to come off the opiates and anti-depressants and my first 'drug free' day (ie. no base line) was marred by the need to resort to breakthrough opiates during the evening, a fact that depression was quick to focus on.

Last night as I sat head in a bucket and racked in pain I wrote the bare bones of this poem. It is not cheerful, but it goes somewhere towards illustrating what living in constant pain is like.


Dreams lie scattered, shreds in life's wake.
Tattered and torn, an ensign in a storm.
Cut the halyard, set it free
to soar - unbound - on the tempest.
God on high, hear my prayer;
Cut the halyard, set me free.

John Carré Buchanan
25 January 2014

My friend Rick Shepherd kindly put this poem to music.


  1. The overall feeling of this is 'excruciating' - a powerful poem which conveys some of the dreadful pain you must be experiencing.

    I just wondered: would 'shreds' be an alternative for 'crumbs' in life's wake to go with the tattered ensign image? Just a thought.

    1. Mama Mpira, Thank you for your kind comment and your suggestion, which you will see I have implemented. One of the issues I face is the inability to think straight 'shreds' is a much better choice of words.

  2. John, I never know what to say when I hear that you're in so much pain. I wish there was something I could do to take the pain away from you. Your poem is not a happy one but we have to real with our feelings/emotions. I'm on a lot of medication at the moment so I know how I always have to be careful when it comes to the side effects. It can be like a vicious circle at times, because I will refuse certain drugs due to the effects it can have on my body. I'm praying for you John.

    1. Rum-Punch Drunk, thank you for your continued support. Knowing and understanding how drugs affect your body is a vital component of living with pain. It is often made harder when doctors are involved, the treatment models they use are not always beneficial, and from experience the moment you say no to them, you become the 'difficult' patient and a whole raft of other issues come into play. I hope and pray that you too are as comfortable as you can be.


I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.