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Quality of Life

2

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  • Hi Suziee,
    Sounds like you are miserable, I'm so sorry for that, and everybody here knows exactly what that feels like. Take medication if you need it. If you're still in the process of figuring out what's causing your pain, you will need to feel well enough to keep fighting. And that's what it is sometimes, a constant battle with the Drs, insurance co, etc... I just recenly had to tell my PM dr what I thought we need to try next. Without some relief from pain I feel like just quitting everything. Does your husband think you'll be whacked out all the time if you are on medication?My situation will never be pain free,so I want to get to the point of tolerance,and I'll be happy, if that means taking a pain pill or muscle relaxer when I need them, then so be it! As it is right now, I sleep about 3-4 hours a night ,because of pain. I take diclofenac, norco, and zoloft daily. And a muscle relaxer when I feel a spasm coming on. Ive been told I'm a "tough ole bird" but I still need some help! So if your Dr will help you let him, and if you know you need help tell him.
    I sure hope you get some relief, as I'm typing this , I'm hurting, time for another painkiller. Then off to work.
    Take care and keep coming here!
    Sagehen
  • I am more than ready for some relief. Thanks everyone for your imput!! I just needed to hear some positive comments about pain meds. It really is starting to make me angry when people say "well, you can't be on drugs the rest of your life". So what the hell am I supposed to do? I am not going to settle for this quality of life and come to terms with this pain!!! The doctors just don't understand what its like to live like this day after day with no end in sight. I have jumped through all whoops and I'm tired.

    I have an appointment Tueday and I am going to ask point blank if they will send me to a pain management doctor. We have messed around long enough and I am not getting better, if anything I am getting worse. I know, my attitude sucks!

    Thanks everyone
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  • NOT ALL PAIN MEDS ARE NARCOTICS, BY THE WAY. PAIN MANAGEMENT IS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU. YOU'VE GOT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S CAUSING YOUR PAIN. THE APPROPRIATE MED MAY BE SEIZURE MEDICATION OR MUSCLE RELAXANTS OR ANTIDEPRESSANTS. IF, HOWEVER, NARCOTICS ARE THE RIGHT DRUG FOR YOU, TAKE THEM FOR GOODNESS SAKE. YOUR HUSBAND IS THE UNFORTUNATE VICTIM OF THE MEDIA BIAS AGAINST THESE DRUGS. THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO TAKE NARCOTICS FOR PAIN DO NOT BECOME ADDICTED. THEY MAY DEVELOP A PHYSICAL DEPENDENCY BUT THAT IS TRUE OF MANY, MANY DRUGS, INCLUDING BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION. WHILE, IT IS TRUE THAT PROLONGED USE OF OPIOIDS (THE DOCS PREFER THIS WORD--LESS SLEEZY SOUNDING) CAN LEAD TO PHYSICAL DEPENDENCE AND TOLERANCE (THIS MAY BE THE SAME THING) LETS LOOK AT THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS OF NOT TREATING CHRONIC PAIN: LACK OF ACTIVITY CAUSES WEIGHT GAIN, INCREASED BLOOD PRESSURE; HIGHER CHOLESTERAL LEVELS; DEPRESSION (WHICH CAN LEAD TO SUICIDE.) SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION ARE IRRITABILITY (LET YOUR HUSBAND LIVE WITH THAT FOR A FEW MONTHS), DECREASED INTEREST IN SEX (DITTO). I WAS A COLLEGE STUDENT DURING THE LATE 60S. I NEVER DID DRUGS RECREATIONALLY. I ALWAYS SHARED YOUR HUSBAND'S VIEW THAT NARCOTICS SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COST. THEN I DEVELOPED A DAMAGED NERVE IN MY SPINE. I AM TOLD I WILL HAVE PAIN THE REST OF MY LIFE. IF THAT'S THE CASE, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE IF I'M PHYSICALLY DEPENDENT OR NOT. MY ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT THE OPIOIDS MAKE ME REALLY NERVOUS AND PANICKY FEELING (WITH ONE EXCEPTION, THANK GOD.) I AM SO INCREDIABLY GRATEFUL THAT I HAVE THIS ONE DRUG TO HELP. IT DOESN'T TAKE THE PAIN AWAY. I'M GETTING READY FOR A TRIAL WITH A SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR. I WISH, HOWEVER, HE WERE ON YOUR SIDE ON THIS TOPIC BECAUSE YOU NEED ALL THE HELP YOU CAN GET RIGHT NOW. DOES HE HAVE A BETTER IDEA? WE'D ALL BE INTERESTED IN HEARING IT IF HE DOES.
  • It sounds like you are trying to deal with the fact that you are going to be in pain forever...before you even have the help with your pain.

    We all go through that,all of us in chronic pain suffer from the loss of what was.You sound like you are realizing that this is forever and are just now starting what so many of us call the grieving of our old selves.

    It's normal what you are feeling..but it is a process and that won't go away as soon as you get pain medication.Initially you will feel relief and might even be happy because you will finally have something every day that will help with your pain.The emotional stuff is another story and soon after the initial 'joy' wears off that will hit you full force.I only say this because I can already hear the start of it in your posts.

    You won't be alone there either though..we are all in different areas of getting to the same understanding.Some of us are already there.I don't know if I am completely,but maybe I'm as far along as I can get for now.I've had a head start though as I've been in pain for so many years.

    Tolerance is an issue of course,but it's so different for each of us-not only in the length of time that we become tolerant,but how we and our Drs deal with and manage it.It's actually big enough for a whole thread(lol),but personally speaking I don't seem to have the problem with tolerance that some people do.My meds were increased from 5/500 to 7.5 to 10 over the course of 13 months..but it was my pain,not tolerance that caused the increase.My Dr & I know this because in the morning when I took my meds I still felt the initial euphoria that a person gets from narcartics,but my pain was not getting as much relief over time.When I started on the 10mg I did get sick to my stomach at first,but my pain was helped a lot.I hope that makes sense because that's the only way I can describe it.

    PCP's can treat pain it's just that some don't like doing it long term and is usually why they send their patients to PM after treating them for a while.My PCP told me that she felt that I could get MORE and better pain care from PM and is why she sent me.I took it personally at first,as though she didn't want to treat me,but we talked about it and I understand now where she is coming from.I still see her for everything,but she doesn't prescribe the pain meds anymore.

    Maybe your Dr can prescribe.Tell him exactly how you feel,and then if he's not comfortable prescribing you can ask for a referral.
  • I would love to see any show like Dr Phil or The Doctors talk about the plight of the chronic back pain suffer and the stigma of having to rely on a narcotic medicine to function. And also to re educate the public that we are truly ill, and not judge narcotic use as evil, just because some people have used them illicitly. That poppy plant was put on this earth for a reason, to help pain sufferers, but it has been misused throughout the ages. Unfortunately for us, right now there is an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, and both patients and doctors are affected by it. When I walk out of the pharmacy, I clutch my purse tight to me and watch for people loitering. I have my keys in my hand ready. I know I'm an easy mark, since I use a cane and have difficulty walking.
    These are the times we live in, and there's a lot of paranoia all around.
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  • I wish I could ease the way for you to gently and softly transition to this new life.I wish I could tellyou the magic word to make all these issues fade to a low roar, I wish there was a way to tell those around you of the different levels of pain oyur experiencing.
    1. The physical pain
    a) the drain on your body and energy

    2. the mental anguish
    a) the unending fight to balance your life with:
    1) yourself
    2) your family
    3) your self out in and to the world
    And trying to make the world understand and if not accomodate, to at least respect the person and the wonderful life carried inside!

    As tot eh third paragraph... you seem cut from an honorable and wonderful cloth, trying to respect your husbands ideas)(ime not trying to be sexist) but as you love and respect your husbands wishes, so should he respect the bodily integrity of his immortal beloved. Ime sure he only wants the very best for you,and hence the comments,
    but
    there is the issue of your quality of life,Multifacited as the humaqn animal is, there are so many factors to consider.
    SO...
    I can only relate to you of what I experienced. dont let pain be the controlling factor of your entire being, your gonna see, once ypu adapt to the median level of pain,and get "used" to the breakthrough levels,sadly... you begin to redefin your life and its acepptable perameters, you never really lose any control of your life, you mearly go through a uncomfortable and extended transition phase, where you learn to accept the situation in a mature and open minded way, its not fair or nice, but to begin to get any semblance of a life you want to participate in, your gonna have to adapt, to say, bend in the storm, so as not to break, or to wear away to a bitter and sad end.
    pain meds, when looked at as tools used to fight the pain
    have no inherent faults, God gave knowledge to men to make these tools to alieviate the needless suffering, there is no reason to cause suffering to yourself, there is nothing wrong with having a modicum of solace in the fight against pain. too much pain too long may cause depression and other probs.

    I admire your wonderful fighting spirit!!!
    take every moment, every secon of your new and wiser life, embrace the change, know that inside, you are still the same wonderful and lively person you always were.
    that will never change,
    what makes you,"you" is engraved and written in your soul, every attribute that makes up your person willnever go away, you adapt and beecome a wiser person. dont fight the inevitable, accept the pain, accept all the sorrow, embracing life as it is is sometimes the only way to live with yourself in this body become prison.
    so
    you leasrn to make the best of what you can do,and learn to let go of what you once were, to..
    what you are
    and will be!

    All the drives and passions, loves, desires and energy will always be there.
    you just learn to do things a different way and at a different speed.
    you learned to walk once, and there was no sorrow,and little pain,
    all we do sometimes is get mad coz we have to learn to walk again, bu its ok
    you have many people around you ready willing and able to support your efforts,
    explain to them
    once
    whats happening
    and what you would like to happe in your life
    that way they wil have understanding and hopefully some patience.I hope these humble words have lifted you a little!
    feel free to come and vent or share with us.
    s
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I've been taking pain meds (opiates/muscle relaxers, etc.) for 8 years. I made a choice a long time ago, that I could not live the rest of my life in the kind of pain that I was in. My entire world had "shrunk" and I had no real quality of life. Luckily, my husband never had any issues with meds and he has always been as understanding as a person without pain can be.

    There will always be some people who never "get it". And sadly, sometimes they are family or close friends. I learned a long time ago, that I had to do what was best for myself and for my family, so I don't really ever discuss it with the people who fail to try and understand. Nobody would ever know how much or what type of medication I take. I look and act like any other "normal" person.

    I certainly can't tell you what is right for you, but I just wanted to let you know that it can be done, long term, and done successfully. I still have a certain level of pain, and I will never be back to the "old" me again, but I have a good life and I'm able to do the things that I "need" to and many times, the things that I "want" to do.

    You have to make the choice that is best for you. And in time, the people who truly love you and care about you, will see the light. It might take some time, and you may need to try a few different docs before you find the right fit for you, but in the long run, it is worth every second of the effort.

    Best of luck in whatever you choose. I hope this helped a little. Take care, Mitzi
  • Thanks for everyone's responces..I don't even no where to start. I think Robin is right on, I am grieving for the way I used to be and the thought of not being that person again is hard to wrap my mind around. What I thought was going to be a bump in the road has turned in to a hole in the ground that I need to climb out of.

    My husband will come around, I'm not too worried about him. He knows what this has done to our lives. All the good things that are going on in our lives are trumped by my pain. It has a life of its own at this point and controls everything I do or don't do.

    I just need to get a Doctor on board so I can get on with my life. I do go in for a second ESI on the 18th and this time it will be of my thoracic spine (where I hurt) and not the cervical spine (where I don't hurt). It makes no sense, my mri of the t-spine shows mild bulging discs, while the cervical spine showed quite a bit of stuff going on, thats why they chose to do the ESI there which didn't do a damn thing. So now I am hopefull that maybe this next ESI will help.

    I still need to get refered to a pain management doctor. I will mention it on Tuesday.. No, I think I will demand it!

    I need to stop being such a "mouse" and start asking for what I need instead of being told what they think I need.

    I have tried all the antidepressants cymbalta effexor, pristiq and none of them have helped the pain. I would like to try lyrica or nueroton but so far no one has offered them up.

    Thanks again you guys.....

  • Being proactive is correct but we also need support and guidance at the early stages we can be demanding of what we think we need, when in the longer term those things become less important. Ranchhand, make a good point that we transcend into the minimal us and accepting these imposed changes is never easy and just being grateful for what we have sound good until it is us who those imposed conditions restrict our daily life. His spiralling list take us to a place that we ourselves have no understanding or recognition and why should we, every day we decline in some capability and over time this accumulates toward restriction, very discreetly and slowly unseen by ourselves and acknowledged and just a blip rather then irreversible change.

    Some of this is about attitude and expectation we all like to think we are working towards collective and attainable goals and when just surviving is all that can be hoped for and accepted this is very difficult to acknowledge as the best we can expect.

    We look for hope in a change of circumstances and for some this existence of being is all that it has come to and we need time to adjust and grieve for the lost us, who we have become by default. It is no wonder we can become depressed and by the rate of our change, it is a surprise we have not become more severely depressed sooner and we should acknowledge that.

    That mouse analogy is wrong, you have survived and supported others while you yourself were in pain and put others before yourself, even in your hour of need, accepted all that disappointment with some good grace and resilience, you are still the person inside that you always were and that will never change, that is why you are loved and admired and you have and continue to do a good job.

    What can anyone say in accepting the new us, the journey we have made and what we have learned about ourselves on the way, we should be proud of our achievement, they may well not be those of the world outside, but they are important to our survival?

    Hug yourself, you have and will continue to shine, however faded you feel inside.

    John
  • Very well said.. Thank you..
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