When Is Enough Enough?

I lived with my father as he slowly died in increasingly excruciating pain over years and years.  When my mother was home, she forbid him to say, “I hurt,” and she withheld his pain medication “because it made him sleep all the time.”

He slept all the time anyway, because that was the only way he could reduce his pain level.  He groaned in his sleep, though.

Unfortunately, I have inherited the disease that caused his pain: degenerative joint disease, with the added agony of degenerative disc disease.

For the past few weeks the combination of mental and physical pain has me close to the breaking point.  I can’t take opiates because they make me itch, and my skin condition makes it impossible to scratch without tearing off pieces of myself, leaving a wound that takes a month to heal.  In addition, the docs in this part of the country are so afraid of opiates that they refuse to prescribe.  So I’m stuck with using mj, which is somewhat illegal here.  But I have things to do, so I can’t use enough to really relieve the pain, because that would put me in bed.  So I’m screwed.

The psychic pain–there are no words to describe. 

Part of it is endogenous.  Part is environmental–the part of the country I’m stuck in at the moment is grey and damp, two things I can’t stand.  The sun came out for five minutes today and it was balm to my soul.  I’m out of here just as soon as my task is done.

My task is to clean my stuff out of my father’s old studio, where I lived for the last four years of his life.  It took me four days just to clear the spiders out.  Now I’m sorting  through things, making three piles: throw out, because of damage from humidity; give away, because I’m not going to use anymore; keep.

Just to to the situational depression off, Atina is not doing well.  This week her labs were worse.  Her kidneys are getting leakier.  They’re no longer holding her blood proteins in her blood.  They were leaking protein before, but her serum proteins were holding their own; now her kidneys are leaking more than her body can produce to keep up with the loss.

Today we took a short walk in the woods.  It’s been raining for weeks, and since it had stopped this morning (but is back now) I thought it would do us both good to take a walk.  But she wasn’t interested in playing in the creek, and although she carried her ball, she didn’t want to play with it.  And she simply collapsed halfway through where I wanted to go, which is only half a mile on flat ground.  I had to sit down and wait for her to recover.

Now she has fallen off the driver’s seat, which is where she normally sleeps, and is passed out on the floor where she landed.  It looks like she’s nearing the end of her sweet life.

When will my misery end?

I want to stay alive until my son finishes his Ph.D in May.  I want to see him off on the next part of his journey.

He and I have talked about what we lived through with his grandpa, and that I have the same illness, with the added fun of bipolar.  We have had the talk about what will happen when I can’t stand the pain any longer.

It’s one thing to talk about it, and another thing to live it.  I know he’ll survive.  But losing one’s mother is a terrible thing.  And living in agony is a terrible thing.

There will come a tipping point.  I keep on living for others: for my son, for my dog…should I get another dog?  Can I live that long?

In three years my income will be drastically reduced, to the point where I literally can’t live.  I guess that will be the end of the line, if it doesn’t come sooner.

Leave a comment


  1. JustYourAverageAmericanMom

     /  November 6, 2015

    ❤ I hope you find relieve. :/

  2. The Grundlands

     /  November 6, 2015

    This post breaks my very soul. Speaking selfishly, I would prefer you love until you’ve written, or at least recorded, ALL of your stories. Oh dear friend I feel your pain. Not the same pain but the same family. This world is truly not meant for sensitive souls like yours and mine. All I can do is keep on keepin on and rage against the machine. Humanity has gotta win out, right? Whatever wherever whenever, ad 120 if you wish… .I love admire respect and cherish you and will be so sad when you’re not here anymore.

    • I don’t know…I don’t believe in perfection, but neither do I believe that seriously broken people have an obligation to finish 120. It’s the psychic pain that does it. Physical pain I can deal with, but the brain pain is unbearable. I can see why people with these kinds of pain can become drug dependent. I don’t do that, out of personal choice, but I can certainly understand why some people do.

      I love you too, my sweet. You are one of the handful I will miss. Although I don’t believe in an afterlife much, I saw with my dad that the dying soul has longings for those it treasures most.


     /  November 6, 2015

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I wrote post on bipolar, depression and anxiety. Take a look at it and just maybe you’ll get more relief.

    In magnesium is also something I take for back pain.

    Hang in there , GOD’S not done with you. He’s a miracle maker….

    Abundant blessings , Emma

  4. 🙂 I wish I had words for you Laura
    But I don’t I’m spent myself
    These new meds I’m on are killing me
    I am trying to hold on
    I never shared this before
    I have psoriasis over 90% of my body
    I have had it for over 10 years
    The injections that I take are not suppose to have side effects
    But it does for me
    It’s slowly driving down a road of no return
    Stay with me a little longer
    I need your caring soul
    You have come to be a good friend
    You recognize my words from day one
    Your knowledge and wisdom is so……
    Keep the lite on
    And your body will follow
    As always Sheldon

  5. Laura, I’m so moved by your words. Earnestly praying for joys you dare not even hope for.

  6. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  November 6, 2015

    It’s so hard to have your body betray you. I hope that there is another fate line for you and things change. I wish you the best. 😓🌞

  7. Laura, only you know how you are managing this overwhelming situation. More than the future its only the present that should be corrected and rectified.

    For my own battles, I keep doing something or the other for we all need strength and that support to pass through. I tried meditation also but for hyperactive mind like mine it has to be done in the physical presence of a real Guru which did not happen.

    I have started Buddhist chanting Nam myo ho Renge kyo and this is certainly reducing my anxiety that my mind posed all the time.

    God bless you

    • Ashu, I’m sorry that you are suffering. Nam myoho renge kyo is a good chant, but the cult that it has become associated with is not so good, so I hope you just stick with the chant and don’t get sucked in by the Nichirin Daishonin people. I lost a very good friend to them. He is like a complete stranger now, obsessed with worldly success and material things. I think the Maha Mitrunjaya Mantra is superb, and I love some of the Sikh mantram like

      Ahd guray nameh
      Jugad guray nameh
      Sat guray nameh
      Siri guru deh nameh

      The Morning Sadhana of the Sikhs gets me through many days. I find it interesting that even though there are hundreds of Hebrew chants, the ones that speak to me are Vedic or Sikh. And You are finding a Japanese Buddhist chant comforting to your soul. I think these might tell us something about previous lives.

      • Dear Laura,
        Suffering is mental, I have realized this. So I try to keep my mind in check.Regarding chanting, you know I keep myself away from all the cults and groups. They turn into political parties, most of the times v intolerant of others.

        All Mantras have a power which is v specific. MahaMrutunjay is chanted when someone is battling with life or physical danger. Sikkhism is a v modern way of life. Sri Guru Nanak Dev was a real liberator for females. Only Gurudwaras allowed females to enter in menses which was unheard in those days.

        Regarding chanting and spiritual practises, I feel when we are free from our mind, our soul picks up the best for us, which is essential to pass through that phase of our journey.

        Feel like quoting Rumi,

        Oh soul,
        you worry too much.
        You have seen your own strength.
        You have seen your own beauty.
        You have seen your golden wings.
        Of anything less,
        why do you worry?
        You are in truth
        the soul, of the soul, of the soul

  8. I feel the heart ache & pray for the best for you & your family.

  9. I couldn’t handle opiates either, and they don’t help my pain much. I take an all-day advil called meloxicam, it has been a life-saver. Maybe you’ve already tried it, but if not, maybe it might help a little. Sending you good thoughts and vibes. ❤

    • Thanks for the tip! I’ll ask my doctor whether I can take it. I’m deathly allergic to aspirin, but I do take celebrex, which takes the edge off. I can definitely tell if I forget to take it!!! It makes my asthma worse, but there are trade-offs…be well and take care!

  10. Laura, I am so sorry to hear that you are in so much emotional and physical pain. Horrible that so many of us have co-existing disorders. Not that it helps any – but SUNY published research positing the existence of a genetic spectrum disorder ALPIM (anxiety, laxity, pain, immune, mood). For those of us struggling with multiple health issues, it is hardly a surprise. Hopefully, medicine will help those in the future.

  11. Sorry TY not “Try”

    • Actually “try” gave me food for thought, about what could I do in the short term to make myself feel better…sometimes I think this autocorrect thing has a mind of its own…😉

      • LOL! I don’t have DJD/DDD but I do have psoriatic arthritis (similar to rheumatoid arthritis in Sxs & they’re both immuno) so I understand the constant physical pain I also have psoriasis (a given). That along with several mental illnesses SUX!!

  12. Take care of you please xoxo

  13. Sorry your dog is not doing well and you are in pain. I have DDD too. It’s no fun. I know you don’t want to be in pain and I certainly don’t want you to be in pain, psych or otherwise. I hope you reconsider your decision to end things, though I know my words may be meaningless. I too have a plan, always. I wish I could help ease your pain. thinking of you

    • Thank you so much…I know you suffer greatly, and I know you have a plan. I think having a plan is a great relief, because struggling to not have suicidal thoughts/longing not to be alive is harder than acknowledging those thoughts, to me. For me, anyway, knowing that I do have the option to leave the planet if things get overwhelming, is a great comfort. Thank you so much for letting me know you care!

  14. OK I don’t know how many of you are still on board here, but I want to thank every one of you for your kindness and caring. I’m feeling better (on the way up???), and just to prove that I’m hypomanic already, I made some purchases…No, not the impulsive kind 😆! I’ve been thinking about them for quite a while. I’ll tell you about them in a new post!

  15. Love & prayers. Xx


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