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JFK and Painkillers

As many of you already know JFK was a sufferer of chronic back pain among other things. This article from ABC lists off his medications used, among them were codeine, demerol and methadone.

I post this now because I've been seeing and reading of more and more people against pain meds for chronic sufferers and this article shows that these meds don't simply reduce people to babbling zombie druggies but that people can actually be highly functional and critically thinking while using narcotics in a medical sense.



  • Another little known fact is that FDR routinely used cocaine for his sinus issues. Keep in mind though back then, it was legal to use cocaine in medications.

    The biggest battle spiney's have regarding medication is to defeat the stigma that goes along with continued narcotic therapy. There are emerging reports that people suffering from chronic pain and have been on meds for a while operate vehicles, equipment and process information just as good as those people who don't take medications. It's a matter of tolerance with the medication and finding the right dosage to take that handles your pain and doesn't wig you out of your mind.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    That is so very true. Over time, people do develop tolerance for pain medications. I've been on/off pain medications for over 30 years, straight full time for the past 8 years. Right now , I am on a more or less maintenance mode of oxycodone 5mg.

    I drive, I work part time, I use both indoor and outdoor power tools including a chain saw.. I've never had an issue and I have been evaluated by a couple of doctors.. Now, if I increased my normal dose, thats when I would have to hold off from the things I normally do

    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
  • edited 05/21/2014 - 9:32 AM
    Agree with both of you.

    EMS - Yes I suppose this should be taken with a grain of salt, I read another article stating he was also on amphetamines and constant lidocaine injections into his spine until a Dr. was so worried that that course was slowly killing him he finally stopped those treatments and started physical therapy.

    Dilauro - I agree too that tolerance probably plays a big part and also not being over-medicated. I also dont have problems with school/work/driving/power tools on pain meds. Still I try to play it safe such as tonight I have to go on an hour drive through mountain roads so I will not be taking my breakthrough med until I get home. I have done this commuting drive with breakthrough meds and have been completely fine but this being just a 'there and back again' trip so I can hold out in pain.

    The more I read about JFK the more I'm both inspired and confused. This guy dealt with serious ailments sending him to the hospital every step of his life from the age of 3 till his death and I'm completely baffled how he had the drive/energy/determination to become President. I'm sure the money helped but it only went so far, I literally just don't understand and am honestly very envious.

    If you're interested, here is an article regarding his health throughout his life, I seriously think this guy was superhuman or something, definitely an inspiration.

  • The power which comes with the Presidency will motivate a lot of people to get there. To quote Spiderman's Grandfather and Sheldon Cooper, "with great power comes great responsibility"...and Marilyn Monroe!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I just noticed my last post was #666 for me. Just posting now to get off that number! Not that I'm superstitious or anything.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • happy birthday mr president happy birthday to you happy birthday mr....... well you get the point, no pun intended. where is bobby now when i need him?
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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