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There are now three of us in this dance. Two weeks ago Mr M joined us. Aware that his presence was inevitable, I finally agreed to his joining the party. Not everyone gets along with Mr M but Dr S. was sure that it was now time for us to meet. “You can’t stay on Ibuprofen,” he told me firmly. “It does terrible things to your stomach, and that’s the last thing you need.” However I was rather nervous and I wasn’t at all sure what I would do if I was one of those patients who do not tolerate morphine at all well.

The first week was rather bizarre. During the day I kept seeing things that weren’t there, and at night I would often surface from some dream to find myself talking very loudly about some important point I was trying to make. As I lay there struggling to wake up properly I found I couldn’t get myself to shut up. It was all very weird and embarrassing. During the day I had a very dry mouth and felt very lethargic and tired. I also wasn’t in the least bit hungry. And I won’t mention the other common side effect. So of course I had to take another drug to cope with that.

Over Labour Weekend some of my family headed up to Mangawhai Heads with me in tow. It was good to be able to talk to my friend’s pharmacist husband about my symptoms. He assured me that my body would start adjusting and in another week or so many of the symptoms would subside or disappear completely. I can report that he was right. I am no longer in danger of waking half the neighbourhood with my middle of the night rantings. And I am not seeing things that aren’t there. The lethargy has also subsided.

But best of all – and after all this was the whole point of my introduction to Mr M – I am no longer in pain.