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How did starting narcotic pain medicine change your quality of life?

itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
edited 07/13/2017 - 2:53 PM in Chronic Pain

This can be a touchy subject but lets look at the good side for a moment, and I am not trying to compare The Blend and look at all other things there is to treat pain as there is so many. I simply , for my knowledge and others, want to know how your quality of life changed between the time right before you got on pain medicine for a chronic condition and then after you were on it long enough / found right one for it to make a difference.  I am not looking for a lecture on downside ( addiction, risks of morbidity, etc ( we should know this if we plan to take it)) of it in this post , just simply the benefits you experienced and how it mattered to you. Of course if it didn't help that is good information also, and its risks are valuable information no doubt so don't take it wrong that I want to keep this one to positive benefits.  I will ask negative benefits later and how they weigh in your mind vs. each other.

 Its something on table for me, but I am holding out yet with new job I don't know what the future holds and I certainly want to try it vs. SCS first if comes to that.  Because if my doctor and work says I can take pain meds and it keeps me from going off disability again I will certainly be open to it.  This post is certainly something I am thinking about now in case my decision to return to work is an epic mistake and my mind is going through scenario's.

Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.


  • Hi itsautonomic! I know this is a huge delimma and a particularly complicated decision. Yes, there is a lot to consider. In our case, although there were certainly negative aspects, I firmly believe that narcotic pain medication saved my sons life. I don't think he would have survived without it in the months before we could find any help from any other source.  The physical pain which resulted in so much emotional and personal pain was just too much. He went from not sleeping for days and days at a time (actually passed out due to severe sleep deprivation),not being able to go to school, and doing absolutely nothing but pacing the floors before medication to sleeping at least a few hours every night and could go the school once on medication. I would do pain management/medication again if necessary. Hopefully it won't come to that, but he and I are both a lot wiser now and hopefully would avoid some of the medication pitfalls we experienced along the way. As you know, thankfully following surgery he was able to discontinue the medication (with the help of daily massage/yoga/accupuncture.).  I know you are very aware of the concerns and I know you are weighing the positive possibilities against those. For my two cents, I'll just say it was worth it (I still have my son) even though there was certainly a high price to pay.  I wish you the best, as always! And I'd love to hear about your new job!

  • peanut006peanut006 MichiganPosts: 147

    I was injured in a horrific car accident when I was 15. I had to be home schooled for the last two years of high school because of pain and medical problems.  Years and years of injections and procedures.  Finally had a double level fusion which gave me some relief but not much and eventually my pain came back with a vengeance.  After years of being unemployed and difficulty and working diligently with my pain management team, I found that I'm completely stable on one pain medicine and a muscle relaxer at night (and an esi every few months),  I work 55 hours a week (mostly on my feet), I come home at night, cook my family dinner, clean my house,  do homework with my children and sleep a solid 4 hours a night.  My pain medication has given me my life back.  I can do yard work (minimally and in moderation and sure I pay for it!), I can do my job,  I can be a complete and productive member of society.  And I know without my medication it wouldn't be possible because I've lived that life too.  I take it as prescribed,  I'm careful and diligent as all we CP patients need to be,  but I thank God everyday that I have a wonderful doctor who helps give me the ability to live my life!

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  • AkiraAAkira Redlands, CAPosts: 82

    My PCP had me on hydrocodone and my life activity level was on the recliner.  Finally got referred to PM doctor who put me on oxycodone where I was able to get some quality of life back.  RFA and ESI helped to make me believe I can get back to work, but I still have flares at certain unpredictable times and my pain meds don't work.  From what I learned here on this site is that my level of pain meds is considered low.  Maybe it's time to go to another stronger level of pain med?  So I can get back to work.

    As a CP patient I am always hoping and looking for the right "Blend".

  • I went from laying in bed with ice packs all day and frequent trips to the ER that about broke us, to where I am today.  I still have alot of issues but I am able to get up in the morning and most days enjoy living.  I know there are lots of people with much higher pain levels and in alot worse shape physically than I am so I try to be thankful for what I have but pain meds truly made a big difference for me.  At one time I was almost completely unable to even do simple house cleaning.  And let me clarify that what has done me the most good are the long acting meds.  I was able to function so much better when I started taking them. 

    I still wish I could hold down a job.  I miss having a "work" family and feeling like I am really working for my pay.  But again, I try to be thankful for what I have and remember how far I have come.  The most difficult thing for me has been to just accept where I am in my pain journey and feel OK about it.  To love myself with all my faults and insecurities and just do the best I can one day at a time.  It's hard but I'm learning.


  • Oxycodone allows me to be functional again. I can do almost anything I need and want to do. It is like something that quells a bad headache, it works. I'm not concerned with long-term issues with it, I need to keep working and running a household single handedly. Nobody is going to do my wash or my grocery shopping for me. I have cats to take care of. My garden needs me. 

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526

    Aaron, another great topic.   How did opioids  change your quality of life.

    This is a difficult question for me to answer, only because I've been on opioids for most of the past 40 years

    I like to break my answer into two phases.

    1. The early phase: 1968  through 2000
    2. The new phase:   2000 through today

    In the early phases, I was in a mind set that medication could cure everything.   Thats because every time I had some spinal condition that needed surgery, I was given basically as much pain medication as I wanted.   I do not remember any other medication offered ( ie  Nerve, Muscle relaxer, etc).   And this worked.  Some of the doctors were throwing more pain medications my way, more than I really knew want to do with.   But each time, after medication, I felt I could do anything and I did.   Which in the long run proved to be a major problem for me and surgeries.

    After 2000, I paid much more attention to my medications.  I knew that with them I was feeling ok and could do the things that needed to get done around the house, just like any other household.   And I have to say, that is how opioids did change my quality of life.

    It allowed me to do so much more, it started to make me feel human again

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    edited 07/14/2017 - 3:41 PM

    Thanks everyone, powerful stuff so far.  Going from having no quality of life to a person back in the world is really something @peanut006

    Hey @lacarpenter!!!! It's been a while, good to hear from you.  I am so glad your son is stable and your story is exactly what I think shows the power of the blend.  Your son used meds to make it through, had surgury and got off the meds and now is able to manage with other modalities which personally I believe most would do if they reached a point where they could manage with more natural things.  I do hope he is well, that was some very rough times you both had.

    @n2braves thank you, I hope things get even better so you might work again.

    @akira, it's a long process to find the right blend, some of us have to keep adjusting it as life hits us with soomething new

    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,357


    Great discussion, thanks again.
    Most of you know my story, back surgery 9 yrs. ago, lasted 5 yrs. After that, unrelenting pain, hydrocodone, fentanayl patches, injections, PT, nothing worked. And I vividly remember the night I wanted to find the nearest bridge.
    My PM ran the drug interaction test on me and found none of the meds I was on was going to help. That's when we decided to go with the pain pump with morphine in it and oxycodone 10mg for breakthrough meds.
    Talk about changing my life!! I'm still limited on what I can do and will never be able to do but this is way better than the last 4 years of hell I went through. 
    I also started seeing a psychologist 3 yrs. ago which saved my life. He has taught me so much about letting go and accepting the now me.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 677

    All great responses,

    What it has done for me is barely keep me moving,

    Pain is still there every morning , evening and night

    Afraid to take more for ear of going too much.

    So hard to sit and type on this computer.

    Well back to walking then laying down

    Great post Aaron. Take care and.  God.  Bless 

  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561

    Take care @Mikethepike ,  I am always hoping you turn the corner on your issues because they are so confusing and I know you have been struggling to find aomething that helps you.

    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
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