Sunday, 26 January 2014

Please

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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.

Please

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.

36 comments:

  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.

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    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.

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  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.

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    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.

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  3. John, your poem left me speechless.. I wish you lots and lots of strength as you deal with your pain. Your poem makes me realise there are others around me who also deal with so many difficult conditions and how much more I can and should do to make their lives better.

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    1. Hi Thotpurge, Thank you for your kind comment and your support, it is very much appreciated.

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  4. So much pain! Every word, specially the title speaks of it. I could only pray from so far away. May you heal. Just a word. I feel if drugs help you & relieve in combating pain what's the need to get rid of it. Please stay well.

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    1. Hi Sumana, Thank you for your kind comment and prayers. The opioids do help with the pain, but they have side effects which make it less easy to handle the pain and they increase depression and ill health. The long term use of painkillers and anti-depressants for chronic pain is a seriously bad option, since stopping them things have improved.

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  5. There is so much pain and angst in your words.. wish you lots of patience and strength to overcome this difficult time.

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    1. Hi Sanaa, Thank you for your kind comment.

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  6. This is really well done. I was blown away by the rawness of it. It felt like a scream in a maelstrom. I hope that you can make some sort of progress with your illness, or at least find a place to exist within it.

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    1. Hi Rommy, Thank you for your comment, I am glad you appreciated the rawness of the poem, it was written with that in mind. Thanks also for your well wishes.

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  7. It is a pity that the drugs have unpleasant side effects ..,how about reducing the dosage gradually and finally wean yourself off.Keep on praying...have you considered moving to a warm climate? Swimming is a great stress reliever. Water therapy is helpful too.Hang in there...!!!

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    1. Hi Cressida, Thanks for your comment, I've been off the drugs for several years and have used excercise and mind tricks to manage pain. This helped me to completed a half ironman triathlon and re-learn to barefoot waterski. Despite that I am still in massive pain and I still pray for a short life.

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  8. pain must feel like a test too far at times and I can only wish you some relief but release is too final - You would be missed John if this plea was granted -

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    1. Hi Telltaletherapy, thanks for your kind comment and well wishes.

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  9. I can really feel this... the way getting of pain is such a blessing, but such a curse too.. I wish you all the best... and hope you can get rid of the pain in other ways.

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    1. Hi Brudberg, many thanks for your kind comment.

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  10. 'to haul yards' as to cut them and flutter free is not a bad option. Excellent metaphor with "Halyard"
    ZQ

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  11. John, I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. I applaud you for the hard challenge of going off pain pills. It is not easy. I can feel the longing in your poem, to fly free, unfettered. May your spirit find a way to do so, even if your body cannot.

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    1. Hi Sherry, Thanks for your kind comment and your support.

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  12. We, who do not walk in your shoes, can only admire your courage and pray for your victory over pain. Your words speak eloquently for those who live in unremitting pain.

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    1. Hi Indybev, thanks for your kind comment and prayers.

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  13. Oh John I feel your prayer deeply....to live with constant pain, that I cannot imagine. I too applaud and support you on your journey.

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    1. Hi Donna, Thank you for your kind comment and support.

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  14. I am sorry to learn of your deep pain. I hope a solution will find it's way to you, until then I wish you peace...

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    1. Hi Truedessa, Thank you for your kind comment and support.

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  15. This brought a tear. Incredible writing. Really, words fail, John.

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    1. Hi Wendy, Thank you for your kind comment, I'm glad you appreciated the writing.

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  16. John, your prayer tells to me how deep your hurt and how understandable your hope of release.
    We who have never suffered CRPS can only offer our support and our hopes that somehow you will be relieved from pain. I sincerely wish I could offer you more.
    Please know you will remain in my thoughts.
    The kindest of regards.
    Anna

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    1. Hi Anna, thank you for you kind comment and your support, it is much appreciated.

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  17. I am so sorry for your pain, but it allows one to get, "down and dirty." As Redgreen says, "I'm rooting for you!" I can only hope, this too, shall pass. You will be released, and you will be well and happy.

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    1. Hi Annell, thanks for your kind comment and well wishes, the releas in this poem is death, so I guess the; "well and happy" bit might not apply ;-)

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  18. Chronic pain wears so, more psychologically and spiritually even than physically. My thoughts are with you, John.

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    1. Hi Sarah, thank you for your kind comment.

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