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Words can cut like a knife

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Chronic Pain
Has anyone had friends say " Your not the same person anymore"? Hell no Im not the same person! You go through what I have been thru in the last 10 years and then tell me if you would be the same. Last night a few girlfriends took me out to celebrate my birthday. We went to the city Octoberfest and had a great time. It was almost like a 30 year class reunion! Seen many old friends I have not seen in years. First let me say this, I am very personal about my health issues and it is something I just dont discuss with just anyone. I dont want to be defined by my issues. Dont want anyone feeling sorry for me. At the festival alcohol was served and of course I did not drink due to all my medications I am on. What is it about friends that cannot leave the fact alone "I am not drinking this evening'. As the night went on and my friends getting a little tipsy, they began with "Your no fun anymore, come on just have one drink with us". Those words hurt!!! These girls know all I have been through and the meds I take on a daily basis. I know they meant no harm by this statement but it still hurts. What does everyone else say when someone says something about how you used to be? How does everyone else handle the alcohol situation, do you drink at all? Most people after I say I am not drinking this evening still continue to send me drinks. Sorry folks just venting


  • It is an uncomfortable situation, but a necessary one. I usually just tell folks I am a designated driver and therefore cannot drink. It works for several, but not for all. I found that a lot of folks respond quite well to "I gave up drinking as it just didn't sit well with me."

    For the most part it does get easier, but just when I think it has gone away, the stigma about not drinking pops back up.

    Sometimes I just get a non-alcoholic drink and sip on it for hours.

    Your life has changed and you can't turn back the clock. You are capable however of winding the clock and keeping it operational for generations to come.

    Sorry your friends hurt your feelings. Hey at least your friends here, totally understand.

  • I been in same situation many times now. Everyone drinking having fun around me while i am holding my water botle me knowing i just took a valium and norco just to be here and i am ready to take another 1 if i have to just to be at the party or concert.

    You dont have to drink to have fun and its no diferent then when we was younger and some friend were snorting the white powder saying come on.

    I dont think they mean harm they just dont know any beter. I dont like to go in to my whole medical story either when i finaly get out with family and friends who love to drink and i never was 1 to fold in pressure to do something i dont want to do, or knowing i cant do it because my own personal reasons.

    When they say something like you are not the same person just tell them the same neither are you lol.

    You cant take it personal and just have to laugh it off. You just have to accept them as they are also in a way. We all have friends who are idiots but we known them for so long we just accept it. Besides we lost a lot of friends also not being able to keep up with activity for the most part in life.

    So who ever still has a few friend who are still around just have to be greatfull they are still around to mess with. Friends can insult each other and even get in a bloody fights and in 2 hours still be the best of friends.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • lol, my best friends said the same things to me a couple of years ago. They said it makes them sad to see me this way, that sometimes "Oh, there she is!" and then a little while later "Nope, there she is gone" lol. To which I said, as Alex noted, well, you guys aren't the same either, we've all changed, just as life does to each and every one of us as we get older.

    Funny thing about drunk people, once they get something in their heads, it's hard for them to drop it. If I'm out in a situation like that, I usually have my standard cranberry and club soda (vodka would be the missing ingredient in that) so nobody really bothers me as it looks like a "drink". In general though, I tend to avoid places where there are a lot of drunk people, as they tend to be more annoying than anything else, lol. (I was neeeever annoying when I drank, nope, not me, never! LOL)
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Pain can most defintely take a toll. I have had people say the same thing, or similar as well and yes, it hurts. I remember that letter somewhere on these boards, it really said it all---how pain can affect people. It said everything I felt, but could never put into my own words.

    Susan, maybe if your friends walked (or limped/hobbled) a mile in your shoes, they would understand. I can understand your hurt and frustration!


  • I often just tell them to buy me a round of dr pepper cause who really knows what's in that stuff anyway. Or no thank you I'm doing drugs tonight , usually shuts them up.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065

    Person X: You are not the same person anymore

    Ron: You know, you are right, I am more improved now

    That shuts them up pretty quickly, especially those that know what I have been through.

    Oh come on, have another drink, it wont hurt

    Ron, I already had one, no thanks

    Ron being stupid, yeh why not?

    Luckily, I am not that that stupid that often! I've learned how to adjust so many things. When to take my medications, when I shouldn't or wait to. With my doctor's approval having a glass of wine depending on when before or when after you plan to take your pain medications.

    Its probably the hardest when I am at someone's house or there is some type of wine tasting going on. Which we do quite often. When I setup a wine tasting night, there will be at least a half dozen wines. Its easy for me, since I will do what real wine tasters do, just a very small amount in the glass. When it gets harder, is later in the night, when people want to pour me some more wine. But people do understand.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • People get stupid when they are uncomfortable. My husband stopped drinking 10 years ago. I still have a drink occasionally when we are out with friends.

    What we learned back then was that people just don't know how to handle the situation. THose who were still drinking a lot became nasty. THose were the "sure you can have one" or "you aren't any fun". The truth is that when you aren't drinking you realize that those drinking friends are the ones who aren't any fun. They can't have a conversation and they tend to get mean and nasty.

    The glass or two friends were even stranger. They acted like being around alcohol would turn us into animals. I remember my parents being so uncomfortable...they still are today. These people are so tense that it's hard to be around them.

    What we discovered is that our circle of friends changed. Life long friends stopped inviting us over. We made new friends who shared our new interests. I think the thing to remember is that life is ever changing. If you keep your heart open some will leave but others will enter.
  • Lol. Glass or 2 friends are even stranger. Good 1 lol.

    The fact is a few drinks always helps let lose a litle bit. Nothing wrong with having a few.
    We dont even bother with people that get full blown stupid drunk.
    Most in my family cousins and few friends drink to have clean fun"

    And just cause i cant always drink along with them dont mean i dont have fun just the same.

    The ones who are afraid to even have a drink not because they are on medication are who seem so stressed they stress me out. Lol.

    Some think a litle alcohol will turn them in to the devil. If they serve wine in church it cant be bad,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    I've always found those that take ANYTHING too far or obsessed with something become a problem.

    Like those that:

    - Shouldn't drink its evil
    - Smoking will make you die
    - Not exercising will shorten your life
    - Not paying your taxes will make you a bad person
    - and on and on

    Anything done in moderation generally is ok. What makes it much more difficult to swallow and when people try to 'preach' their beliefs on you.

    So, if they dont drink or smoke, are thy justified in forcing you not to?
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I started drinking when I was 13 and stopped by 20, so I don't have the same exact experience regarding alcohol. However, people in general expect me to drink because it's a part of American culture. All of these comebacks have worked great for me... (of course, I play a straight face well and tend to be sarcastic)
    1) Am I really only fun if I drink or was I just so drunk before that I don't remember doing stupid stuff that entertained you guys? Oh boy, story time...fill me in. (*leaning in with intense interest*)
    2) If you really don't enjoy my company we can part, (*serious, very short pause*) but if you just want to buy me a drink, I won't pass up a freebie. (*grin*) Bartender, I'll take a huge virgin strawberry daiquiri; it's on her! Yay! Thanks, I'd never spend the money on a fancy drink for myself. It was so nice of you to offer. (*teasing grin and raised eyebrows*)
    3) I'm sorry. Was I looking glum or distracted? I was bored, but I was trying not to show it. Isn't there anything we can do to have more fun than just sit and suck down brain cell-killers? My mind needs more than the lame entertainment of my youth.
    4) (*delivered seriously with several pauses and varied voice inflection*) Well, you know, one night, I experimented and didn't drink and it was so hilarious watching how stupid and silly people got, I became addicted and haven't been able to give it up since.
    5) (*matter-of-factly, with an "expert" tone of voice*) It may seem that way, but that's because your perception is impaired by alcohol. It is a fact, afterall, that you never say I'm not fun when you're completely sober. (*pause*) See, logical. (*big teasing grin*)
    6) Well, you'll have to help me come up with some creative new ideas because I discovered I've developed a pretty serious allergy to alcohol. I break out in a horrible rash of irrational behavior like caring more about what people think of me than about the potentially deadly side effects of mixing alcohol with my medication and not living to see all my wonderful friends again. (*stilted smile*) So, what ideas have you got for me? Let's have some fun. (*genuine, warm smile*)
    7) [when you're really annoyed and for a friend who can handle a little bite] I'm so sorry (*empathetic face*). I hope someday you'll discover joy is a choice and pleasure is fleeting. I'm joyful; I don't need a drink to have fun.
    [Well, as you can see, my way of having fun became being funny. Bear in mind that you're friends just don't know what to do and it scares them. They want you to drink because it helps them be less scared, realizing you aren't just like them and they're powerless to make everything better for the person they care about. With your closest friends, away from the situation, discuss this openly with them. Expressing empathy towards them, by modeling, can go a long ways toward helping them express it more appropriately to you.]
  • "Or"... If I only have one drink (or none) and get that "come on, have shots with us." [me] No thanks, makes for a very short night, but thanks.... "You're no fun anymore". [me] Someone has to be assigned to watch you guys get and act stupid!!!" Of course, ended with a huge smile - it really is funny to watch to stupid come out....(G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Started drinking at 13? And you stoped at 20?

    At 13 sure i might have had a sip of some wine or beer just to taste even some whiskey with parents there. If i would of started seriously drinking at 13 my dad would of beat my ass.

    Just before becoming of legal age sure most of us already started drinking especialy because legal age is diferent from state to state and much diferent in other countries,

    Other countries drinking is legal at a much younger age then here in the united states.
    But if its done in moderation then person has no reason to stop.

    Anyone who has started drinking already at such a young age and it became a habit forming up to age 20 to where they had to stop its obvious it was not a good idea.

    Brain at 13 has not come anywhere close to being mature enough to drink.

    The fact is that some people have a chemical make up where if they have a few then they cant stop. So those people should not drink at all for sure.

    Some people are mean drunks and some are just simply happy drunks

    Nobody likes being near a mean drunk while they are drinking, but nobody minds a happy drunk that drinks sometimes and is able to let go some of the stress of every day life.

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I'm a little loopy after taking my meds and it just appears that I'm drunk...lol. The people I hang out with know about my health issues and don't pressure me to have a dring. If I go to a Christmas party where I don't know everyone, I'll have a Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers. No big deal. ((Gentle Hugs)).
  • Ps. I have to admit. You be a hell of a.brain twister in a bar i give you that lol.

    I call that reverse Phsycology. Been there done that. It can be funny sometimes for sure,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I do not drink when I go out, If I have one drink the muscles that I use to guard my spine relax and oh they ache so bad, that it is not worth it, not to mention the fact that I am afraid I will get drunk and fall and that cld be it. I tell them my pain gets worse and I get drunk too fast due to the medications and what if I fall who is wiping my butt for the next twenty years .. that usually ends the pressure, and honestly who wants to be the same as they were 30 years ago, I hope everyone has grown up and realized its not all that to party all the time. I myself wouldnt want to be the same person I was ..
    Take Care
  • I started drinking at 14 and never stopped. Personally, I have no issues combining as much alcohol as possible with meds. I don't really worry about it - ever. I know we shouldn't but it hasn't been an issue for the past 12 years - so why worry now. I just drink beer, but I drink everyday and I drink a lot. Luckily, it doesn't really affect me too much, I'm pretty used to it.
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy...
  • My medication says not to take it with alcohol. It used to be that if I wanted a glass of wine/ gin martini (fav) I would simply hold off on the medication. Now I can't I have huge pain all day plus I don't want to get sick or in trouble with PM so I just abstain.

    Hubby would drink with the meds too. He has a drink or two a few nights a week (when he isn't working or going to the gyn). I did have a half glass of apple ale last week. Hubby brought home a grinder from our favorite brewery. Yummy :)

    My neighbors have always come over for the holidays and dinner /poker etc. I stopped having them over due to the fact that I have to clean before and after and I can't any more. Plus hubby gets mad when they drink all his booze :)

    Today my neighbor came over on her work coffee/lunch break. She said Hey when are you going to have a party again? .... Huh?You know what I am currently going through- why don't you invite us over to drink/eat/be marry etc?

    She says her house is too messy.... Geeze- I some how am expected to clean & cook for them? Last time they invited us for a party, they called in the morning and said we will bring the food to your house!

    OK- I am done venting.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    Face it, just because we are spinal patients and take pain medications does not we can never take a drink.

    Sure, the labels indicated that when the medication is taken with alcohol, the effects will be intensified.

    I think a lot of this comes with common sense. For some of us, that means NO alcohol, ZERO and that is fine. For others, that may mean a drink every once in a while or perhaps nightly with dinner.

    I am not in the position to judge or to say someone is right or wrong when it comes to this. It is a matter of personal choice.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • You read a bit more into my tale than what I said. I didn't start drinking "seriously" at 13. That was when I had my very first drink (at a bar and the only one in my group not carded; I was tall, mellow, and not overly made-up). However, after years of severe depression, I started college with access to alcohol as a remedy. When my drinking tripled in just more than a year and it no longer soothed the pain, I knew I was out of control. I checked myself into an outpatient program. An AA sponsor helped me discover I was addicted, not to alcohol (emotionally - yes, but physically - no), but to running away from my pain. I chose to remain entirely sober for 7 years (AA requires only a continued desire to stop drinking, not that a member be an alcoholic), while I got stabilized on medication and leaned to use basic coping skills. Twenty years later, I could drink if I wanted, but I lost the taste for it and rarely finish one when I do. However, when I'm really hurting (emotionally or physically), I refuse to anesthetize myself with alcohol even a little. So, I still have opportunity to employ my classic lines. :)
  • Oh boy. Time for spiney intervention. Lock the doors. Mouse aint leaving,

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Ron, I think you mean well saying we shouldn't judge, but drinking while taking many medications is a big gamble. Honestly, how many of you know exactly how much alcohol is in that mixed drink tonight and what percent of alcohol it is? How many of you know the tolerance effect of your medications, that is the mental perception of sobriety when the medication is still having the same physical effect on certain parts of your body? How many of you know how the food you've eaten will metabolize and how that will affect alcohol absorption? How many of you are aware of age-related hormonal fluctuations and the effect on metabolism? of the effects of stress? of environmental factors? of organ function decline? You get the picture, but let me make it a little clearer with three short, true stories.

    1) After a farming accident, John, 27, had been weaning himself off the pain meds he'd been on for nearly three years through six surgeries. His buddies, in town for a reunion, planned to met at the local tavern. John had taken his pain meds an hour before he left, only the second dose all day and nearly half the dose he once took. He slugged back a beer and a shot with a few friends as he walked in. Within minutes, they got a call from another friend stuck in a rut on a back road. Two of his friends took off in their truck. His other buddy and he in his. John felt fine, looked fine to his buddy. The alcohol hadn't really had time to "kick in" afterall. John's truck was found flipped on one of the back roads, driver and passenger dead. Cause of death: unknown, but intoxication-related likely (these were roads John drove all the time).

    2) Elbert, 61, had been having bad headaches. He used his wife's pain medicine from when she'd broken some ribs; she'd passed away the past year. There was plenty left over; she never used all the doses, anyway. He'd been taking it a couple months. The pain had gotten worse, not better. He'd lost his appetite. It hurt so bad, his gut hurt too. Elbert didn't show for church or Tuesday night Bingo. They found him, head busted open apparently on the toilet, but the cause of death was internal bleeding due to the effects of the drugs.

    3) Maggie was 25. It was her birthday, actually, but she had more than one reason to celebrate. She'd recovered from a car accident on her 21st birthday. She'd lost weight. She should have been feeling great, but she hadn't been. Her doctor had started her on a med for depression. It said not to drive until she knew it's affect on her and warned her that alcohol may intensify the effects of the med. But she felt fine that afternoon before going out with her boyfriend, except for the nagging pain in her knee. She decided to take just half of one of her pain pills. It wasn't contraindicated with her other med. Part way through their movie date, Maggie died of respiratory failure followed by cardiac arrest. The first was my second cousin's buddy. The second was the husband of a woman who'd I grown close to (before she passed) at the nursing home where I worked. The third was the daughter of a childhood friend. It's not just about judging; it's about life. It's your risk to take, but is it worth it?
  • I think Ron is refering to we know what medications we take. We know if its safe to have a drink or 2 with the medication then we can. If anyone taking something that you seriously should not have a drink with then of course you should not do it,

    Even the Dr can tell you if its ok to have a glass of wine or not every now and again. Depends what medications you are on.

    For the most part my Dr for me said its healthy for having a glass of wine after dinner or even before bed.

    The key here is you are the only one that knows what meds you took and if its safe or not to have 1 drink or not.

    If you are not sure then you dont do it. Its that simple.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    Thanks exactly what I was talking about.

    It goes along with almost every other thing that spinal patients need to do - That is first get approval from your doctor.

    Calesse , those examples are sad. There are thousands more like that. Many where no alcohol was involved, only medications.

    Besides at this point, we are all drifting away from what the original intent of this thread was. That was
    Words can cut like a knife

    Lets stay on topic from this point on.

    If anyone wants to continue discussions about alcohol, habits, etc please go to:
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • How about these words? I'm sorry, I just can't handle being around you anymore right now...I don't have enough energy for you...I mean, I know you don't mean to, but you drag me down...I mean you're always in pain and I can't do anything about it...

    (*Btw, sorry for the sidetrack; last note on the other topic - Each person knows themselves best; I don't suggest no one drinks, but that they act with more caution than they might have thought necessary.*)
  • Prior to be ACDF, I was approved for intermittent FMLA. So, if I had a bad day and could not drive, walk etc. I could call in and be covered by the FMLA.

    As many of you know, when in a ton of pain we can be up at all hours of the night. When I had a really bad night I would send a text message to my boss, and follow up with a phone call when he got into work.

    On two occasions I sent him a text in the middle of the night saying I could not work. One day it was because I could not move my arm at all. The other time it was because I could not stand up (residual problems from my lumbar surgery).

    My boss had the nerve to text me back (and yes, I do have a hard copy of his replies) that me calling in taking FMLA for the day was "unacceptable." Sad from a supervisor when I only used FMLA 7 times (days) in a 12 month period.

    Callisse: That really sucks. I don't know who to feel sorry for, you or the person who said that. With that said, my lovely bride is fantastic and understanding. But I can sometimes see that look of despair caused by my pain / problems and not being able to do anything about it.

    View my history for all the gory details.
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