I want to end my pain

I never thought I’d end up like this. There’s longevity in my family. I have four aunts who are aged over 90 (two on each side) and I always hoped/assumed that, as long as I looked after myself, I’d make it into old age too. I don’t think that any more.

We never know what’s ahead of us, but I never would have imagined that, just into my 50s, I’d be crippled with pain, for which there seems to be no cure. I never thought I’d end up like this.

For more than two years I have been suffering, and despite all manner of interventions, I am worse than I have ever been, broken and in constant tears.

The doctor told me that I am on the strongest pain meds he can safely prescribe, yet those meds are almost totally ineffective. Two nights ago, after watching a football match (and thank God for the distraction of the Euros) I went to take my meds, only to be horrified to realise that I had taken them before the match. They had made no impact on my pain. 

I am supposed to be getting a spinal cord stimulator, but I cannot get any dates from the hospital for when this will happen, and there’s no guarantee it will make any difference. 

Our big annual novena begins here in Limerick tomorrow. My colleagues are all looking forward to it, but I am not. Up until last year, I used to be actively involved in planning the themes for our novenas, I used to write the booklet for each year, and was regularly one of the main preachers. Now I am on the periphery – pain-riddled, lost and broken.

I want my pain to end. I want to be free of it. There is no worse feeling than waking up early in the morning with your back on fire, and realising that there’s another miserable day ahead.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a few days of relative respite but what followed is worse than what I suffered before. It’s not worth living in agony for months at a time in hope of a few days’ respite in the future.

The only reason I have been determined to hang on all along is for the sake of my mother, but my strength is running low now and my will is ebbing. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to go on living like this. Death is inviting. I keep thinking of the peace it would bring. Unless there is a miracle, I won’t see many more birthdays.

Author: frommypulpit

I'm a Redemptorist preacher and writer, with an interest in history, politics, and sport, who is living with chronic back pain.

3 thoughts on “I want to end my pain”

  1. Gerry,

    I’m still waiting to see the post regarding what “alternative” pain medications you’ve tried. The question I have for you is if you have ever tried cannibas, orally? I hope you don’t mind me asking as this is a controlled substance in many areas. I live in Canada and I know many people who use it with great success. It is prescribed by medical doctors here.


  2. So in speaking with Tony Flannery and Sean O’Connail, it appears that cannabis is a banned substance in Ireland and is not recognised medicinally. Have you considered a trip to Amsterdam, Gerry. I’m not sure what your personal thoughts are on such a controversial treatment but this type of treatment in Canada and the USA used to be, but is no longer considered risque. I tried looking up Redemptorists in Amsterdam but it looks like you all left there in 1985.

    I’m having a hard time reading these messages from you as you can probably tell.

    Three years ago, a close friend of mine asked me to film a small message/biopic for her. She needed this done because her boyfriend, who was living in Sweden at the time, had been struggling with bouts of addiction and depression that brought on random thoughts of suicide. She wanted us to film a message of hope for him because she knew he was going through a rough spot, so we set out one fine day and recorded it. The weekend I finished editing it, I received word from my friend that her boyfriend committed suicide. I was devastated. I had never met the man but seeing how committed the people around him were to keeping his spirits on high restored the sense of humanity that I sometimes lose in the shuffle of everyday existence.

    A small piece of me died along with Oskar that weekend when he did the unimaginable. I had never met the kind soul but he forever imprinted on me with his departure.

    I offer any support I can Gerry to your search for treatment.

    Sometimes speaking with someone outside your inner circle can make a difference.

    Samaritans Freecall 116 123

    1 life Freephone (24hrs) 1800 247 100 or text the word HELP to 51444

    Northern Ireland

    Samaritans Freecall 116 123

    Liked by 1 person

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