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Mother who doesn't understand medication

soapiessoapie Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have spinal stenosis and have had 2 surgeries for a fusion from L2 through L5 because the first one didn't take. my concern is one that i'm not sure has ever been on this forum before or not. I am 36 years old and have 3 kids and I live with my mother after a divorce and because of my health problems. I am 3 months out after my 2nd surgery and am on 125 mcg fentanyl patches with percocet for break through pain and lyrica as well. I have come way down on the percocet from before where I was taking 8 pills per day to now where I am taking around 2 to 3 per day. because I am not used to them like i used to be, when I take one I get very tired and start to nod off. My mother is very unsupportive of my pain control. She is convinced that I need to go on either the show "Intervention" or "Addicted". This simply crumbles my heart!!!! I'm just trying to live day to day in horrible pain and I don't understand her thinking. Anybody out there who has been through this or can help me PLEASE, PLEASE write to me, I don't know what to do?.............


  • It sounds like you are doing the best you can with the pain, just 3 months from surgery and with 3 kids, you do need to take care of yourself. I wonder if you could convince your mom to read some of the posts on this forum so she could see everyone recovers differently, some are on more meds than you, others less, but that the pain is real. Maybe she doesn't understand what you are going through, many people have problems understanding life with pain if they have never experienced it. Sorry I don't have any other advice. I hope you continue to visit SH for support. Take care!

  • I am a recovered alcoholic/addict for 5 years...You know in your heart if you are addicted . As for your mother , well , that's what they do . I have seen it time and again where the parent is more affected by the others use then the person actually taking the medication/drugs .Typical codependency , in other words its about there comfort level and not yours . Sure they care , they worry ...I would have a talk with her and ask whats this really about . I dont want to get to much into this and open a can of worms , I sponsor people through the 12 steps and read my AA book alot . But this is typical behavior of codependency on her part . She would feel better if you wouldnt take pain medication and it would have nothing to do with your feelings . Thats why there is alanon for people that have problems with others using . I dont know your story , but I wish you luck .
  • I asked my Pain Management Dr. to speak with my husband and he agreed so we set up an appointment. He says you can't "just get over it" pain that is and medications and treatments are used to help deal with the pain. Not sure if that would help you since you're recovering from surgery and not seeing your PM Dr. You could just tell your Mom that you've cut back your pills which you have done so. After that keep your pills in your room so she has no idea what you do. Just because you're staying with her doesn't mean she should worry about you're being an "addict" which you aren't. But it doesn't seem to matter what age we are sometimes when Mom is all worried. Right?

    I hope it gets easier on you as you heal from your surgery. Who needs more stress right. We're dependent on meds for relief of pain but not addicted as drug seekers seek the high and we don't get any high just some pain relief. Take care and prayers for your healing. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi & Welcome -

    I'm so sorry you're going through this - it's hard enough trying to recover and trying to care for 3 kids as well. I'm w/ Leftback on this, maybe your Mom will have a better understanding if she reads through the posts, especially the pain forum section. Also, how about having Mom come w/ you to a followup appointment, maybe the doc can talk w/ her and explain that you need the pain meds to help you heal. You've found a great place for info & support here @ SH, please let us know how it works out.

    TC & Hugs,
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Anyway you can take your mom with you to your pain management doctor? If not, there are some good publications out there about pain management. What may be concerning your mom is that you nod off when taking some of the medications. Any chance you can reduce the amount you take during the day when you want to be more alert? For example, I take Soma 250 mg for daytime and 350 mg for nighttime.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I agree with all that was said here by the others. Maybe go and find the information online about not being an addict when there is pain. Then you could print it off for her to read. I would seriously try to take her to a doctor's appointment so she can hear it from the doctor on what you need for medications. Maybe then she would understand that you are not addicted to pain medicine.

    Good luck hope you find some help to ease her mind.

  • I've been taking pain medications since 2008 before my ACDF surgery and continue to take them. I'm just 3 months out from my TLIF and for the first month afterwards, my husband was very worried about the medications I was taking because they were of course stronger than my normal meds due to just being out of surgery. He has never had a problem with the normal pain meds and muscle relaxers I take, but these were just stronger and had a different effect on me.

    What I did was call my surgeon and told him I'd be bringing my husband at my next appointment and would he please explain the need for my medications, what this recovery is like, and what to expect for the future during recovery. I told my husband I wanted him to go because he hadn't been before and with this larger surgery, I wanted him there to make sure we both understood everything.

    Well, we went in and talked to the surgeon and my surgeon explained everything then turned to my husband and kind of gave him the "business" about medications and why I needed them.

    For a few days after that appointment, my husband didn't say anything more about the medications, but when I started tapering off the biggies and back to my normal meds, he told me that he felt the surgeon really read him the riot act about my meds, "as if you called him ahead of time and told him to." That cracked me up, but I've never told him that that's exactly what happened.

    He never says anything about my meds and if he sees me hurting, now asks me if it's time for me to take something.

    So maybe taking your mom to one of your post-op appointments and having her go in with you. You might even want to do what I did and call your surgeon and ask him ahead of time to explain things to your mom.

    Good luck. As if all this stuff isn't hard enough, we sometimes have those closest to us whining about our pain meds. If only they could walk in our shoes for just one hour, I think they'd understand that not only do we need our meds, but we still have a high tollerance for pain because the meds never take the pain away completely.

    Take care and good luck. Please keep us posted.

  • I doubt my response will be popular but maybe your mom is at least partially right. I undertsand about the ongoing pain and the pain after surgery but your first post doesnt sound like you have much hope for feeling better. This might be what your mom is noticing and not knowing how to help you.

    Family should be there to help you but that does not mean we can just dump on them permanently or completely. It sounds like maybe your mom is tired of taking on so much responsibility and is trying to make you understand this. Where is your ex? I'm sure he is like most men and won't do anything unless told. Often even in the worst situations fathers will step up for their kids.

    Most important of all you need to go to your PM doc with your mom. My experience is that when a med makes you groggy and tired you don't need it. What you might need is a change in meds or help in getting off completely. Stopping narcotics is a serious thing and should only be done under the close supervision of a doctor.

    The fact that you are looking for validation of your feelings means that you are questioning yourself. So take the next step and get some help. Have an open conversation with your mom about how you feel. Tell her you want her help to find out if there is something different or something more you can be doing to get better. You are too young and have 3 kids who need you so you can't just sit back.

    We are all here to support you but you need to take that first step. Good Luck and let us know what you decide.
  • I agree with those that said it would be good to take your mom to an appointment. Maybe your PM dr. would explain why opiates are a "last line of defense" in chronic pain care, what kinds of controls he has, etc?

    Or at least, find some literature on addiction that shows how it is diagnosed. Ummmm... here is one link, I didn't read the whole thing, but there is tons of info out there that explains the difference between "dependence" (the body's natural response to long-term use of opiates) and "addiction" (the increasing use of the drug for the "high.")

  • This was a very good article thanks. CHarry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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