View Full Version : My name is ____ and I'm an addict
06-05-2004, 04:29 PM
Hi, my name is hikeeba, and I'm a drug addict.
I'm just starting to come to terms with the fact that I don't just need meds for pain, I need them because I'm addicted to them.
I've never abused my pain meds in any way, never taken more than what I was prescribed or what I needed right away for pain (my main IC symptom is constant, sharp abdominal pain - I have a lot less urgency and frequency than most.)
But about a month ago, my pain was doing pretty well on its own and I skipped my usual med dose. And I went into withdrawal within 2 hours. Out of nowhere, BOOM, I felt like I suddenly had the worst flu in my life. I was sweating, shaking and dizzy. I thought I was having a stroke! I took my meds, and in 10 minutes I was totally better.
Since then I've run out of my meds twice, and both times I was in agony. Not just the pain, but the withdrawal. It felt like my bones were digging their way out of my body.
Now I don't know what to do. Non-narcotics aren't enough for my pain, but I don't want my addiction to get worse. I've talked to my doctor and he agrees since I'm so far from having my IC improve, I have to remain an addict.
Because I'm still on meds, it doesn't seem right for me to go to an NA meeting. Maybe we can form our own support group? Still Drugged ICers Anonymous? Is anyone else being pulled between the extremes too?
In the Valley of the Dolls,
06-05-2004, 05:00 PM
:pray: :pray: :kiss: :grouphug: :grouphug:
You have a great idea....if there are others like you out there I hope you find each other. I would hate to be in your possition.
I will say a prayer for you and others like you....I am so sorry this has happened to you.
06-05-2004, 05:29 PM
I can relate to exactly what you are saying. I was on Vicodin and Perocet for pain and I too became hooked on them. I went through terrible withdrawal that ended me up in the drug detox ward at the local mental hospital. I went through two weeks of hell getting off of those things, all the while my IC was kicking my butt. Since I was on the drug unit my employer foreced me to go through the 12 step program, getting a sponser and all that other B.S. I was ******. I didn't belong there. I was in there with hard core drug abusers who used th drugs mainly for the sake of a buzz, not for pain like I am in.
So now, no Doctor out there will prescibe me any kind of narcotic pain killer. None. My doc prescibed the ever useless Uristat and all that does is turn my pee blue and constipate me. I have had it. I am ready to move to Holland with Calli and make a trip to the Coffee Shop. ;)
I hate that you can't get off of those things, but right now, in the pain you are in and in the amount of time you take to start going into withdrawal, it may not be the best time to try and come off of them. It messes with your mind and you may become suicidal from the pain. I know I did and was institutionalized twice for attempted suicide and since I am still in unbearable pain I find myself wishing that the attempt was successful. I'm tired of living like this and I am so ready to check out. If not for my family and my dogs I don't think I would still be around.
I am in a major flare right now and going through it with no pain killers. All I can do is ball up in a ball with a hot water bottle and cry. My family is ready to get rid of me. I have had this stuff for over a decade. I did go into a remission of sorts that lasted almost 3 years. Why I don't know. It just went away and then came back twice as bad. I have been in this flair for almost 6 months now and I don't see an end in sight. I am taking Elmiron and it may take up to six months to see a difference, which I do see a little now, for a day or two, but then the pain is back and foreget the day before my period, that is a hopeless day and I have to miss work and just soak in a hot tub for hours. They are the days that I really would love a strong pain killer, just to get some rest. I haven't slept more than two hours in a row for about 4 years. I am worn out, just sick and tired of it all.
Sorry to whine so much. I hope you get some medicine that will help you manage your pain.
Hang in there, it may just get better.:pray:
06-05-2004, 06:56 PM
Holy cow, IBN - I'm not the praying kind, but I will definitely be sending you my good thoughts.
You wouldn't happen to live in a medicinal marijuana state, would you? I tried it, and most of the time, it has helped. Naturally, to smoke enough to really help you're a total zombie, sitting on the couch unable to move except to eat Fritos, and with your past a doctor may be loathe to back you, but there has to be something somewhere non-narcotic they can do!
Thank you for your story. You've definitely inspired me to start moving myself down to a lower dosage very slowly and carefully.
06-06-2004, 12:22 AM
i am so sorry to hear your pain.I have a very good friend who because of debilitating pain has been taking pain pills foryears, exactly what the doctor gives.Andshe has dealt with the same issues. But you know what she can function during the day because of the medicine. Have you talked to the doctor concerning a combination of medicine to help? I am sending my prayers to you. Sandy:pray:
06-06-2004, 02:31 AM
Okay --- you are taking pain medications because you are in pain. You are taking exactly what your doctor orders and nothing more. Your doctor thinks you should continue with your medications to keep your pain under control.
When your pain symptoms improve, your doctor will be there to help ease you away from the pain medications. Until then, I suggest you take the medications --- you need them to be comfortable enough to function.
Would you suggest that someone with arthritis stop taking the medications that control the pain so the patient can walk? You have a disease that can be extremely painful for some patients --- you need your medications!
I do not consider you an addict --- you may be dependent but that's totally different.
Sending encouraging hugs,
06-06-2004, 03:44 AM
06-06-2004, 05:51 AM
I do agree 100% with Donna here and the post does upset me:( people do not get add. to pain medicine when they have to use it to get relief many have to use it to just get out of the bed! There is no shame in taking pain medicine as long as you not taking no more then what your doctor give you
06-06-2004, 08:47 AM
I also totally agree with Donna. She said exactly what I was thinking. Please don't be down on yourself for needing painmeds.I pray that you can get over feeling like an addict, and consider yourself a person who has chronic pain, which needs to be treated in order to live a productive person :grouphug: Best wishes to you.:kiss: Sheri G
06-06-2004, 04:27 PM
I know how u feel. I never took pain meds be4 i got ic in 2002! I took a vicodin given to me by my doc for a migraine, & I walked into a wall, now i can take my demerol & lortab 10/500 for the breakthrough pain & still be standing! I take demerol every 6 hours & percocet or lortab 10/500 for the breakthrough pain!It's crazy huh! My family says that everyone has pain, just deal w/it! Only those of us w/this disease know how PAINFUL!!!!!!!!!!! it can be! I have an interstim w/ no luck also. My docs say now its a question of only pain management, i don't see much hope for my paon to go away anymore. It's pretty much been a constant since Jan 16, 2002. I've been tking some sort of narcotic pain meds regularly since then!! But the vicodin isn't strong enough 4 my pain! We're caught between a rock & a hard place.
06-06-2004, 04:40 PM
I was wondering if any of you gals have ever had a problem with Uristat? I have been taking it off and on for pain, it doesn't work, but I always hope, and it constipates the heck out of me. I thought it may have been the Elmiron, but I quit taking the Uristat and the constipation went away. Now it is back since I am taking the Uristat.
I just want some nice pain killers that will float me off to sleep or at least let me have a few hours without biting a hole through my lip. I'm not kidding about that either. The last time I went to my Primary care doctor he thought I had a bad cold sore and I told him "no, that's where I bite my lip to keep from screaming from the pain" and he thought I was making it up, until I showed him the hole clean through my lip. He said that was a problem, but did he give me any pain medicine? No way. "take Advil". I'd like to tell him where he can take his Advil. ;)
Anyway, my flare seems to be calming a little. I have all but stopped eating because I don't know what triggered it to be so bad this time. I have lost 11 pounds since Thursday and I'm not even hungry. I think it's the combination of Wellbutrin, Elmiron, and a sinus pill. Whatever, it gives me energy. Something I lack most of the time.
I am hoping to get out and walk my dog tomorrow.:dogrun:
Sometimes it makes me feel better, sometimes it makes me feel like dying. And here in the south you have to run faster than the mosquitos in 90 degree heat or you will be eaten alive. I would really love to move up north, but my husband has an 84 year old Dad he takes care of and we can't leave him, and I also have 4 more years at that hidious Philip Morris to work until I get my 30 years in. I will be 47 if I make it that long and then I plan on laying on a beach with a hot water bottle and a bottle of prelief so I can have a few margaritas.:rolleyes:
Listen to Donna, I don't think it could be said any better.
By the way, when the time comes to get off the pain medication, let the doctor help you through it!
06-06-2004, 06:51 PM
Donna, once again you dear sweet and wonderful woman have given words that couldn't be more true.
I always feel I should wait until the last second before I take my pain meds and I am now finding if I take them when it start they work better and I dan't need as much.
I have a real fear of becoming addicted. I only take my pain medications when I can't control the pain with heat, and drinking lots of water.
Addictive personalities run in my family, it goes way back. Grandftather was an alcoholic, grandmother was an alcoholic, Dad was an alcoholic, my aunt was addicted to Vicodin after back surgery. Maybe, my fear is a little unreasonable, but it's a fear. I realize, that I need the pain medication. ( how could I not?) I want access to it, for when I need it, I just don't want free access to it!
06-07-2004, 12:14 AM
I too agree 100% with Donna.....I have been on meds most of my life ......such as for my epilepsy that my body would get dependent on...and boy did I hate it when I would seizure more when taking meds late than I would before ever taking that med.....but I was slowly weined off those meds.
Donna is right.:kiss:
I am a recovering alcoholic and I totally agree with what Donna posted. IF you are taking them exactly as ordered by the doc - meaning how many to take and how often, I don't see it as a problem. IF you are doing that, be very careful saying anything about being "an addict" to any medical profesional. I would really worry you'd get cut off. :(
06-07-2004, 11:23 AM
I was thinking what Donna was. You may be physically dependant, but that can be very different from a drug addict. Your body will go through withdrawal when you stop because it is used to the meds. I suggest you stay on them. (or whatever your doctor suggests).
and don't be hard on yourself.
Been there, done that.
You are doing the best you can with what you have.
06-09-2004, 07:02 AM
that maybe what you have is dependence vs addiction? You say you dont use your drugs the wrong way or take the wrong dose, etc. Addiction is abuse, tolderance or dependency is simply the way our body adjusts to what we put into it. I too take pain meds, and without them I shake, puke, cry, and am in severe pain. Its my body's way of saying Sandy, you need these for pain, its ok, take them, and when and if you are well, you will be able to taper off of them. I studied this intensely in nursing school, dealt with patients who swore they were addicted, but in truth, they NEEDED the drugs honey.
The feeling you have is just your body reacting to something it is used to. Same thing when you need to up your dose or change your med for relief. Its no crime, its no shame, and its really nothing to be so upset over, and I dont mean that in a flippant way.
We do what we have to do to function and from what I read from you, that is ALL you are doing......functioning to the best of your ability. Please dont feel as if you are an addict, you probably are not.
Addicts will do anything, and I do mean ANYTHING to get their fix. To us, its not a fix, its a must to be able to go on each and every day.
Please dont be so hard on yourself, a lot of us are where you are.
06-09-2004, 06:20 PM
Well said Donna, this issue just keeps coming up, I wonder why the withdrawl and addiction is confused so much. ]
Thanks again Donna,
06-16-2004, 10:28 AM
I'm visiting this site after probably two years away, and it is still a remarkable place.
Now, after reading your post, I can't help but share with you what I've experienced. When I went to a pain clinic in 2001 for chronic pelvic pain and IC, I was prescribed Oxycontin in a low dose, 10 mg. Over the years my dose was increased but after some time it stopped really "helping" with the pain.
I too had become dependent on Oxycontin. I could not stop taking my ever increasing dose. If I did, I felt like I was, like you, very sick and on the worst acid trip ever. I was taking 20 to 30 mgs every three or four hours just not too feel that withdrawl feeling. The doctor explained that I was "chasing my withdral". I found, blessedly, a private treatment center in the city where we live and am now on detox treatment with Buprenorphine. It helps to wean the dependent one off the narcotic by filling the receptors that wait for the narcotic. There is no "buzz" involved. However, the physician treating me says that it may provide small analgesic effect. I am now completely weaned off the Oxycontin and am slowly weaning off the Buprenorphine.
I am not saying AT ALL or in any way that those of us suffering should not seek relief or use pain medicine. But for me, the Oxycontin took over my life in a very complete and scary way. I was in bed most of the time with my sweet, small children trying to be very understanding. I had to make sure that my pills were with me at all times. Yes I still have pain and am in bed, BUT, I actually feel better off the Oxycontin. It is my experience that narcotics can help with really bad pain but only for a short time.
I feel compelled to share what I've gone through. I was fortunate to have a very understanding family and to have found a wonderful practice in my town, with a great doctor and counselor.
I pray that you find the answer you're looking for. Please feel free to write with any questions.
06-16-2004, 07:03 PM
Thanks for your story. It has opened my eyes to why my doctor may be so hard to deal out the drugs to me. I too have been addicted to some kind of medication at one time and went through terrible withdrawal. It wasn't pain medication, it was some kind of anti depressant/ anti anxiety medication that my stupid shrink just cut me off of with no warning. I was fine for about 3 months, except for the shakes and then completely broke down. Sucidal, freaking out all the time, feeling like I was living in a bubble and couldn't reach out of it to anyone. I had to stay in perpertual motion all the time, so I was up for almost two months. I mean no sleep. I lost nearly 49 pounds in two months. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep and I was scared to death. I don't want to go back there again. I had to go through a detox program, that I didn't feel I belonged in and felt humiliated and of course since I had to take time off from work to do it, it is now on my personal records that I was in detox.
I want something for pain right now. I am burning and aching and wanting to scream so loud, but I just keep biting a whole through my lip instead. I don't want to ever go back to that place I was before, but I really want some relief from this pain. It is wearing me down. This is like a no win situation.
You said you had been away for two years and are still in bed. How are you coping now with no pain medication? Are you on anti depressants? I am not bed ridden. I feel like being bed ridden, but I have bills to pay and they wait for no one. I miss about two days of work a week, it's all I can afford. The rest of the time I just pray to make it through the 12 hour shift and not kill someone in the process.
I hope you feel better soon. Your story really hit home with me.
Take care and don't stay away so long.
Carol, your story is eye opening. Becoming addicted to pain medication is a big fear of mine. I try to use mine sparingly. Mind you, my symptoms don't seem as bad, as some of the people here. I can only be greatful for that.
IBNPAIN - It's a fine line between addiction and the need for the medication. I know you need it. Lord, how do we know when it's too much? How do we know when we are using it because we are addicted instead of using it for pain? This is such a fear of mine. It's always better if we use the pain medicine before the pain is unbearable. So, does that lead us down the path of addiction? Jeez, it's such a hard thing to deal with.
06-16-2004, 08:36 PM
I agree with ICN Donna, that no one here on this thread is addicted. There are IC'ers who have become physically dependent (a very different concept than addiction!) and have had problems with withdrawal, tolerance to meds, etc.
Addiction is when you take pain pills because you want to get high, not because you have pain.
Dependence is when your body is used to taking pain pills, and you have been taking these pills because you need them. When you are dependent, you can not stop your meds abruptly without feeling great discomfort.
Dependence and addiction are two entirely different things.
This is a frustrating issue, because the American public in general has confused addiction and dependence - even doctors sometimes!
06-17-2004, 02:18 AM
It's still makes me pause and think; that in this place, the IC Website, a place of so much pain and suffering, I have always found such angels. Wonderful people laid low yet given such hearts of support and encouragement. Why is it that we are sometimes brought to our best at our worst times? :grouphug:
I too was diagnosed with IC years ago, however my main source of pain is of the chronic pelvic sort. Lots of scar tissue, etc. The question/answer of pain meds continues to be a frustrating conundrum. I still love Oxycontin! It's an entirely effecient pain reliever. The problem (for some) is that our bodies can start needing/asking for more. We are so sensitive to pain, because we're constantly harangued by it. Any rachet up of more makes us panic, "no NO!" My doctor upped my dose of Oxycontin in complete sympathy for my pain. But for me, the increased dose over time had me sleeping much of the day, foggy in my thinking, etc. and only slightly dulling the pain. And, in honesty, as an insecure person I found it relaxed me in social situations. I was also relying on it for courage.
Now, I'm still on the Buprenorphine therapy. Did you know that they can prescribe Buprenorphine to heroin addicts and they can slowly withdraw minus withdrawl symptoms? There are still those psychological cravings, which is why clinics treating with it also provide counseling as part of the treatment. The psychiatrist treating me says there's no rush to cut off the treatment, as I do feel (as mentioned before) that there is slight analgesic effect. Now, I'm not saying this is a pain treatment! Please don't misunderstand that. The Buprenorphine only works for those coming off of narcotics. If someone not on drugs took it it would actually put you IN withdrawl and make you feel very sick. Another cool thing is that it can only be taken under the tongue, so, if, for example, someone addicted tried to take it intraveneously, it would have absolutely no effect.
Now, I still have pain and end up in bed, but am trying anything and everything else, including light stretching and exercise (Pilates), eating anything non irritating, and the tub and hand held shower massager are old friends!!!:D. I'd like to check out the herbal part of this site as well.
Coming back here reminded me how many need prayers and support. So here is one more rooting and beseeching on the spiritual side.
Thanks and may God heal all of you courageous darlings,
06-17-2004, 02:23 AM
Carol, bless you. I hope you feel better soon.
These stories make me realize that even if they give me narcotics, it won't help me. That I'll just increase the dose and even then, no relief. That the only way the pills will work is if I take them only very rarely.
So I have to live with peeing 40-50 times a day, with no relief. Wow.
That's a hard one to swallow.
06-17-2004, 02:40 AM
To Carol W.,
My heart goes out to you. I wish you could curl in a ball in bed too! I'm horrified to hear that your doctor let you go on taking a drug that took over your life and put you in hell. Have you been to a pain clinic in your area? They would know why you reacted how you did to that medication and find something that hopefully will help you. You know, both my husband and I have felt many times in the past that the "Shrinks" are typically useless, scientific pill dispensers with little rapport. I know that's a terrible characterization (and doesn't describe at all the psychiatrist helping me now) but that WAS our experience.
And I so relate you your feelings of humiliation. When I first sought out a detox program, my insurance routed me to the clinic that is used by heroin addicts and alcoholics. And I don't mean to say that I am better than anyone, however, I really didn't belong there. I am a 38 year old wife and mom of two lovely girls, and they wanted to send me 100 miles away to detox. How I cried! I couldn't leave my family. Impossible! I took it upon myself to "let-my-fingers-do-the-walking" and found a private practice that takes insurance in the Yellow Pages. It has been a Godsend by offering outpatient detox.
As far as your employment record, its PRIVATE. Skrew what personnel may think. And I'm sure there are more than one in upper management who've been through detox!!! ;)
Carol, there must be some place you can go for pain relief. We pay for our own insurance (Blue Choice) and have the basic program, but it's still very comprehensive. I encourage you to find a pain clinic.
Would really like to hear from you,
06-17-2004, 04:49 AM
some of y'all are listening. Donna said it so elequently. I have studied it, and know the difference between tolerance and addiction. If you have a good doctor, any of you, that monitors what you take, if you get your meds at the same drug store every month, dont try to cheat somehow by taking extra or more than you need, and you are truly in pain, then you are NOT ADDICTED. You have TOLERANCE to meds, the same as you would to aleve or tylenol or advil if you took enough of it for long enough, its no different to your body. Your body says, ok, yes, this helps now, and in a few months I might need more to help ease the pain.
This is NORMAL physiology of the body, completely, absolutely normal.
When you do come off the drugs your body WILL react, but it STILL doesnt mean you are addicted, it means your body is TOLERANT and still needs the drugs, but it can be managed with a good doctor. I know because I stopped oxycontin in 3 days after 80 mg 3 x a day!!!!!!! I was put on a duragesic patch, and yes, I had the shakes a bit, but otherwise fine, totally fine!
I know there are those that will argue that everyone is different, I know this, I am/was a RN, and there is not one single reaction for everyone, it always varies, always....But, think of it this way, if you use over the counter nose spray because you have allergies and your nose is stopped up and nothing helps, you use the nose spray 2 x a day for a week, well guess what, at the end of that week, your nose will be stuffy and want the nose spray.
It takes your body a couple days to get over the NEED for the nose spray, but it does get over it.
I wish I had room to copy the articles and things from my nursing books, my pharmacology books, what my pain doctor has given me, etc.
It aggravates me, because 99.9 % of the people out there in this big world that are on pain meds take them because they ARE IN PAIN and need them, and its posts like this that doctors read or hear about that make THEM hesitant to help someone in desperate pain. I know this first hand as well because I lived in mentally and physically debilitating pain for so long I WANTED to die......When I took my pain meds for the first time after being belittled by about 10-15 different doctors, I was elated, I could walk, I could talk, and most importantly to me, I was PRESENT mentally and physically for my kids.
I dont say any of this to offend, I KNOW I KNOW that everyone is different, and nothing is impossible, but please, dont everyone think that "oh no, just because 3-4 people say this happened to them I better stop taking my meds and just suffer"
Animals dont suffer, they are taken care of when they are in pain, and we certainly should be too.
Take care, and please please know this is meant with respect and care for everyone of us out there in pain.
06-17-2004, 05:48 AM
Hi, Sandy thanks so much for your post.
I want so much to have my life back. I may not need pain meds all the time -inbetween flares I am comfortable, but my flares last many months so I end up being in pain at least half the time if not more often, and peeing 40-50 times a day on average. Day/night I mean. And I don't sleep at night.
I have not been able to cope with the pain, and I think far too often about thoughts I should not be thinking, that are not good for me.
Maybe pain meds ARE okay for someone like me. I'm still afraid but....
I would never let an animal suffer like I have been suffering.
06-17-2004, 05:50 AM
P.S. My husband told me today he thought I was being a wimp by wanting to take pain meds or something else. He said I should just not think so much about the disease, not let it affect my life, just get on with life and be normal.
I have showed him articles that say IC pain is comparable to end-stage cancer pain. I have shown him my voiding diary that shows I urinate 40-50 times a day.
Even his own mother yelled at him when he was saying "what's the big deal, so you have to pee a lot, why are you whining so much?" She had UTI's so she said "it IS painful, David...."
I'm so angry but there is no way I can make him understand what I am going through. He admits he does not understand.
Basically he is inconvenienced by me having this disease and so he's ticked off. He's not an especially compassionate person, I have to say.
06-17-2004, 05:51 AM
Thank you, Sandy. You have said it well.
I feel very strongly about this subject. Nobody who takes pain medications to relieve pain should ever be made to feel guilty or afraid of the very thing that can help them to live a normal life. That's why there are doctors out there whose specialty is pain control. They are specifically trained to treat pain in their patients and skilled in knowing how to prescribe treatments and medications.
I think it's extremely sad when I hear of someone who is laying in bed in pain when that pain could be controlled and that person could be living a life. When the pain is gone is the time to consider weaning away from the medications.
I encourage anyone in pain to work with their physicians to find the best way to control that pain. Just be sure you are taking pain medications in the dose ordered on the schedule ordered and are not taking more than ordered.
06-17-2004, 06:10 AM
Thank you, IC Donna! :kiss:
You are totally right. I think I"m being kind of foolish by being so afraid of withdrawal, tolerance, etc. I mean, here is a medicine I know will help me - I have taken Percocet before and it gives me 4 hours of relief/sleep - which is a godsend - and I am so scared to take it that I'm suffering instead.
I mean, that's what the meds are there for, to help people who need help.
And others have said that they were able to get through withdrawal.
I'm a pretty tough person, I got through two kidney stones without making a scene or crying, at the ER they thought I had passed the stone already because I was so calm and polite and not hysterical. I think I'm very stoic in my own way.
I remember a doc examining me for an earache, middle ear infection. He said, it's red, I can tell you are in pain, but it's not anywhere near ready to burst so I won't lance it - if it were near ready to burst you would be hysterical, I've seen patients like that and they are screaming etc. Well within five minutes my eardrum burst, he was wrong. Because I did not exhibit the usual pain hysteria, I had been raised to keep pain to myself and fake it.
Anyway, if I can get through all that, maybe I am strong enough to also handle withdrawal when the time comes.
And I have had 4 1/2 years of IC pain, well I've had some remissions too but more bad days than good, and I did all that without anything to help me, and I'm still here so I'm strong.
Today though I am trying one last experiement. I keep wishing the tricyclics didn't hurt my bladder so!
So I read a post here today where a nice lady said to take Prelief with tylenol or else your bladder would hurt.
I took antihistamines with my tricyclics, but never prelief. I guess I thought the pain was an allergic reaction, not an acid reaction. I never realized that pills had acid in them, you know? Never even crossed my mind until I read that post.
So just today, about half an hour ago, I took a Pamelor and 4 Preliefs (good strong dose of them!) to see if it would work, if I could get the relief without the increased bladder pain after a couple of hours.
I sure am keeping my fingers crossed! Boy will I be happy if it turns out the prelief/pamelor combo works for me. If the prelief takes the "bite" out of the medicine for me.
If it doesn't work - I will try to be brave and sensible about taking the pain medications.
My husband is so tired of me being sick and tired so much of the time. I'm tired of being that way, too. If I have to take pain meds to be relatively normal, then so be it. You gotta do what you gotta do.
06-17-2004, 05:15 PM
:grouphug: :butterfly :grouphug: :flower:
06-17-2004, 06:47 PM
Lori, I don't take pain medications full time, but I have taken them as needed for all of my 29 years with IC --- and so far no addiction problems --- if I'm in pain, I have learned to take the medication before it gets horrible.
There have been times I have taken the meds regularly for several weeks.
06-17-2004, 07:14 PM
I use to worry about what other people said about taking medication for pain,easy for those to say,when they are not in your shoes.I have dealt with addiction in my family alcohol and drug abuse,and i can assure you there's a big difference between an addict and someone who needs pain medication, first of all the practicing addict doesn't follow the doctors orders and takes meds whether they need them or not!!!!!! i agree 100% with all 3 of Donnas posts. It's about the quality of life,and any good doctor will properly wean you off when the time comes.In the mean time don't torture yourself and you also need to know that there are many people in NA that do take alot of other medications hmmmm does that mean they're abusing them? No!!! I hope you get some relief and that you stop feeling guilty!!!!! hugs,to you all, there were alot of great replys to this post!!!!!!Coleensunshine ps I lived in the bay area for several years too!!!!!!!
06-21-2004, 07:52 AM
Hi everyone. Let me just add to what Donna was saying.
Addiction occurs when you take medication to escape life and escape responsibility. It's when you're taking medication to "get high." A proper use of pain medication occurs when you are using it to BE responsible... and to do the daily activities you need to do to live appropriately. So, it's very rare that IC patients or any chronic pain patients actually become addicts.. and research supports that.
So, what you've described is not addiction, it's a "tolerance" to the drug. All that means is that your body has adapted to the presence of the drug. My body, for example, has a tolerance to thyroid medication. I can't just stop it cold turkey without developing symptoms. Granted, that's not a perfect comparison to a pain medication tolerance, but it's pretty darn similar.
There is no shame in developing a tolerance... but what it does mean is that you don't go off "cold turkey." It means that you slowly wean yourself off a medication over time... say a week or so.
Some patients also make a mistake in using their pain meds... because they wait too long before they use them. They don't "like to use" any medication.... so they just wait and wait and wait until they are in agony. But, of course, they've waited too long and the pain is now out of control. There's more inflammation, more nerve involvement and it's going to be harder to fight.
I, for example, have used pain medication (maybe once a month) for years. My goal is to catch the pain EARLY.. when it's not as intense.. and when the pain isn't out of control. When I do that, I can stop the pain with a very small amount of med. But, if I wait until I'm crying... and if I let the pain get out of control, it will take more, for a longer period of time, to control. In otherwords, I was a fool for letting it get out of control.
Also, it's also pretty amazing the number of people who call sobbing in pain only to share that they are drinking coffees and sodas. I had one lady who drank, I kid you not, 12 ginger ales a day.... and she was dying in pain. No medication would have helped that situation. The daily acid wash in her bladder was horrible. Worse, she went through interstim to help with the pain (didn't work of course) ... and not one frickin person told her about diet. Arrrghhhhh!!!!!!!!!
Let me say this again.... I believe that if you're drinking even one cup of coffee a day, then that could be a huge part of the pain. If they continue to drink it the coffee, then it's their own fault. eh?
Robert Moldwin's "IC Survival Guide" has a great section on pain and using pain meds without shame. Check it out.
06-21-2004, 08:07 AM
This is a great and well written post...We can all learn from it..
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