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Discussing pain meds with loved ones

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Pain Medications
Maybe it's just me, but my hubby and I have to occasionally talk about the medications I'm on because over time he slowly seems to forget that I need medications to function throughout the day - sometime less, sometimes more.

One of the main reasons that this comes up with us is that I have days when I seem rather spacey. He mentioned the other day that I seem this way and accused me of overmedicating. I had to explain to him that I'm very aware of my medications and how to take them, when I need them, and that it's a rare day that I even take the maximum dose prescribed. But then I said to him, "Don't you have days where you get out of bed and can't seem to wake up all day? Where you feel kind of out of it and just not yourself?" He said, "Well, yes, in fact I'm having a day like that today."

So I told him that I, too, am human like everybody else and have those same kind of days. It doesn't mean I've taken too many meds, it means that I'm like you - I have a day now and then when I just can't seem to wake up and I'm not myself. I'm really no different that you are, but I'm a prime target for accusations because I'm on daily meds.

Part of this came from the fact that he's pretty ignorant about medications, and because I'm having additional problems above my cervical fusion that are causing some pretty difficult pain, my doctor has added Mobic (anti-inflammatory) and Lidoderm patches to the pain meds and muscle relaxants I already take and have been for quite some time. He didn't understand that Mobic is nothing more than an anti-inflammatory, and the Lidoderm patches are like Novocaine. Neither of them have any mind altering effects. My doctor knows the pain I'm in and is simply trying everything in the book to help manage my increased pain until I'm able to try injections.

Basically I'm on the same meds I have been on for a long time, but adding these two kind of threw him over the edge.

So I guess the point of this thread is that we occasionally need to explain to our loved ones (or whoever else) about our meds, what they do, and that like any normal human being, we have our spacey days from the get-go - we get up that way just like they do. We're not always "on our game", but neither are they, and it's not due to medications. Then, when a new med is added to the mix, it's helpful to explain to them what this med is, what effects they may or may not have, what it's intended to do, and why it's replaced something else, if that's the case.

I've found that at this point, three years into my spine problems, that my hubby understanding that this is a lifelong problem for me is not the biggest hurdle - it's now come to discussions about depression and my medications.

Explaining everything about our meds so that a normal can understand can make a huge difference in how they see it - and us. And explaining that we also have days like they do where we simply aren't ourselves aren't necessarily the meds - we're human like they are in many ways.


PS - Personally, hubby and I have worked out the issues - I've done some things that have helped stave off the depression and I've already told you how we worked out the med concerns. We're now ok and he's back to being understanding and caring without accusations.



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,852
    Cathie, you know we've talked about this whole concept in the past. Having a spouse that really understand what you are going through is difficult and can easily put a strain on any relationship.

    Pain medications is such a difficult topic. Today's society has put such a negative stigma on these medications almost to the point in that if anyone uses them they are a drug addict.

    Spinal patients understand the need for these medications. Without them, their day to day existence could become miserable. Luckily the majority of patients like ourselves understand this and respect these medications and know that they can also become destructive if used in the wrong way.

    But how can we educate our spouse, our family members and friends about all of this? I do not know of a good way. You know the term, If you havent walked in my shoes, you can not understand what I am going through. Well, I think the same applies here. If the people who question our medications had to deal with the day to day pain, then I am sure they would understand better.

    From the other eyes, I can understand how they believe these medications are evil.

    - Bad days and mood swings
    - Loss of Appetite
    - Not wanting to do anything
    - and more

    You know my answer to any of this.. Two way effective communication. Thats about the only way to
    balance all of this. We can take our loved ones to the doctor with us, we can have them watch TV shows, we can give them articles... All of that is good, but nothing can replace the one on one talks.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hey Cathie - thanks for sharing.. now I know I am not going nuts. I have those days more often now post surgery than before of just being out of it and it could be days where I took very minimal if any meds. I was relating it to change in life style as I am an on the go person - demanding job- young kids and now have to pretty much sit around and do nothing and I think that also dulls the mind a little .. or not - who knows!
    I am fortunate as my hubby has severe arthritis in his knees and understands pain everyday and takes more meds than I do ...
    Good post - thanks!
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