21.10.03

The Night of the MAO's

"My brother is watching CSI, and its backwards, and you have to decipher it." Chapter, on MAO's.

My Fiancee, Chapter, gets headaches. She has an incredibly high threshold for pain, and so normally, while they are not good, they are bearable in some sense. She has advil and tylenol, but if the headache is light enough that she only needs those, she usually just grits her teeth and gets through it.

Then she has a permanent prescription of T3's. These she affectionately calls "Skittles". It doesn't happen super often that she needs to take them, it happens enough though.

But every once in a while, Chapter gets headaches that stare T3's in the face and laugh. Demoralized, the pills skitter through her body with little to no effect, except to sometimes make Chapter sick. For headaches like these, Chapter pulls out the Big Daddy of all headache pain killers. MAO's

MAO = Medically Administered Opiate. These MAO's pack more punch than Morphine, literally. They come in nosespray form. In my experience Chapter gets headaches like this 1-4 times a year. I think the doctors must like having someone who needs this stuff, cause they keep trying new ones out on her.

While the MAO's do kill the pain, you can't take a drug that strong without side effects. The common ones that Chapter experiences are: Vomiting (usually once, soon after the MAO is taken), then minor hallucinations, and completely jumbled up memory. Sometimes when she takes these, she doesn't last long before falling asleep. Other times, she doesn't fall asleep at all. The doctors have told her she can take gravol with it to ease the nausea and maybe help her sleep through it.

So conversing with her during these times can be very interesting. "How long have we been talking, cause i keep forgetting we are talking, and I know we have been talking about something sometime." Chapter, 30 min. into our conversation tonight.

I make it sound funny here, but often its not. I remember the first time I spoke with Chapter while she was on MAO's, and I was scared. She told me about the colors flying around in the air, and how she thought we should stop polluting... Having no experience with this, it freaked me out. On top of that, I have never had a headache, so i can't identify with the pain, but having bad enough pain that you need to take drugs stronger than morphine.... It sucks. It can be frustrating because I wish i could do something, wave my hand and make it all go away. But I can't, and so all I can do is be with her through this. I have learned much about the value of companionship, and though I doubt it sometimes, Chapter claims that my presence, in person or on phone, does help and make her feel better. At the very least, I am a distraction from teh pain, and if thats all I can do, then I will do my best at it.

Being faced with pain, wounds, and hurts that we can do nothing about is hard. But there are many things like that in the world. Many people have deep wounds that I will never be able to heal; but I can listen. I can be a shoulder, or an ear, or a clown if I need to. I can love even in the face of pain that I can do nothing about. Yeah, its hard, but so what?

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