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Quality of Life

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Chronic Pain
What do you do when your quality of life is no longer there. When you are unable to do the things you once enjoyed and doing the things you have to do are so painful you dread each and every day. I feel like I am between a rock and hard place and I'm sure most of you feel the same way. (I am on tramadol right now but the Doctor only gave me 20 and told me to make them last. Whatever!)

I guess I feel like this pain is not going anywhere soon and the Doctors are at a loss so far as to what do. If you start taking narcotics for chronic pain then you are looking at probably taking them the rest of your life. And then there is the probablity of your body becoming more and more tolerant of the drugs so you require more and more to achieve the same pain relief. Where does it end?

I can't live like this but the thought of seeing a pain management doctor and being on drugs scares the hell out of me, and my husband is of the mind that I might as well hang it up once I start down the road with drugs to control my pain.

I feel like I'm screwed either way. Part of me says to hell with tomorrow, I want to live today! It seems like I have tried quite a few things P/T, ESI, Tens, ultrasound therapy, massage therapy and they all make me feel better for a whole 30 minutes or so then I am back to a 7 or 8 on the pain again.

Can you live the rest of your life on pain meds?
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13

Comments

  • I've been on narcotics since February and my hope is my anular tear will heal and my body will absorb the herniation. It can take as much as 18 months. There will still be people who will require surgery. There's quite a few success stories here and also alot of people who've been on narcotics for years. How long have you been on meds and your history? We're here for you. Take care. 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
  • I was taking hydrcodone when my pain first started but havn't really been on anything to speak of since July. Whoops, I went to the ER one night and they gave me 15 hydrocodone, that was a month or so ago. I just had to have some relief before I went out back and took care of my ownself.

    I have had 2 mri's one of my thoracic spine which is where it hurts and one of my cervical. The MRI of my t-spine only showed two mild disc bulges but my cervical spine showed quite a lot of stuff going on but I don't have any neck pain. I had an ESI last wednesday in my Cervical spine with no results.

    I just keep getting worse and worse and the doctor doesn't know why. I have just changed doctors because my other doctor refused to send me to any specialists. I was like, if you can't fix me lets find someone who can. My new doctor is not much better but at least he is willing to send me to some specialist and see if we can't rule some things out. But what I have gotten so far from these Doc's is that I may have to just learn to live with the pain. Huh, no way.. this is not living this is existing.

    I don't like the thought of taking drugs long term but that may be my only choice. I guess I just wonder how people get along taking them for years and years. Don't they eventualy quit working?
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  • Suziee.....what choice do I have really-a life of pain-no thank you.I still have a good deal of pain with my meds,without them I would be miserable..especially having had them this long(15 mos).

    I went from April 2002 until August '07 without pain medication.Before 2002 I was taking a different kind of pain med for 11 years and quit that cold turkey(funny phrase).I refuse to go back to those 5 years and 4 mos of pain,and my pain is worse now than it was then..so yes,I can live on the medication.

    Sometimes it is what it is,and we make that choice or decision because we've thought long and hard,traveled many a road and saw this as the path to least painful resistance.The decision comes with responsibility and I have to remain strong willed so as not to let myself become abusive with my meds.I was before ..not this kind,but before 2002,and I know that if I'm not incredibly careful that it could happen again if I let it.

    I can never take my meds early or more than my 4 a day..otherwise I would know that I would be taking the fork in the smooth path and into dangerous territory.

    Your question is a good one and others with different opinions will possibly disagree with me..and that is ok because I'm speaking from personal experience only.

    I'm sorry for your pain..if it's spinal,or cervicle as I think it may be I really don't see it just going away.The Drs know this,so why they don't treat you is beyond me.Even if substance abuse would be their concern(for chronic pain patients it usually is not BTW),but even if it were they could treat you and hold you to a contract.I'm not saying this to offend,only to help..but of course that is a personal choice.

    I take my meds every day and I am a private person here in this real life.What I mean is I don't go 'round telling anyone that I take medication..my health issues are just not something I sit around talking about with friends/family,only because I don't focus on that when I'm out with others.My point is that nobody has ever mentioned a difference in me(and I have a couple of outspoken family members).I didn't act or dress different..well actually I think I did get nicer and when we go out I care more about how I look,but I'm the same person.

    This is how I'm trying to explain my experiences with pain medication,and why it was the right,and so far the only choice for me to have a quality of life that is close to the normal that used to be mine.We are all different,but our choices are few sometimes.

    All the best.
  • I suppose my husband is making me feel like drugs are the very last choice and once that choice has been made then I am "doomed". Good grief, I feel doomed every morning when I wake up.

    I didn't choose to have this pain and I certainly didn't think 9 months ago I would still be dealing with it and that it actually could get worse.

    I am 48 years old and have never had an operation or any medical procedure in my life (ESI) so I have never established a relationship with a doctor of my choosing. I have been just going along all dumb fat and happy only to have my back give me a wake up call.

    Bottom line is I can't get it through my husbands head that if it comes to taking meds to control my pain that it won't be the end of the world or my life. If anything it will give me my life back and we can begin to enjoy our life again.

    I understand the Doctors don't want to give out narcotic's and I am okay with that but at least refer me to a pain specialist who deals with pain every day and has the knowledge and expertise in treating someone with chronic pain.

    I know I am preaching to the choir.. Everyone here is pretty much in the same boat. Some are sinking while others are grabbing for a life line and some are on dry land.
  • I understand your concern about maybe having to take narcotics for a long time, or possibly the rest of your life. You along with your doctor should make that decision, and the benefit should outweigh the risks. And it's a question of do you want to stay in bed all the time and miss out because you're in too much pain to do anything, or take narcotics so that you spend less time in bed, and you can do a few things. It may allow you to visit family, travel, do minor chores. Everyone is different as far as what they can tolerate.
    My spouse wouldn't take meds, that his personal choice. But he would want me to take something rather than be in agony. It allows me to function fairly, not to the extent that I did before my back problems started of course. But also I have good and bad days.
    Think of it this way. It's like a heart patient having to take heart meds for the rest of his life, a diabetic can't go without theirs, neither can an asthmatic, or someone with rheumatoid arthritis. Our condition is chronic just like theirs and pain medication allows us to have a better quality of life.
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  • Also,I certainly don't mean to sound rude toward your husband,but the 'very last choice' for most Drs,and me,is spine surgery..because down the road a person is likely to be taking medication for their pain...even after surgery it happens sometimes,more often than we want to think.Then you have had surgery,which causes(it's a fact)weakening in other areas of the spine,more likely chance of needing surgery again in the future,AND are on pain medication...anyway,or again.

    And I don't mean to sound pessimistic,but this can be a reality for some-though the lucky ones have successful surgeries and things work out GREAT...? Really,because I know people who have had surgery(back)and I have never heard a TRUELY happy ending.What I hear is that it MAY make your pain somewhat better,maybe the same,or possibly worse.I don't like the sound of those odds and so I have decided not to have the surgery unless as a very last resort.I've had many other operations and some with hardware [tho not spinal] and the pain is not gone in those areas.Spines are serious business and nobody should enter that type of operation IMO unless they HAVE to.My Drs agree(so far-lol)

    Perhaps your husband has seen the stereotypical drug user and thinks that all people that take pain medication,or pain killers as they say on TV-are the same.Maybe you should tell him about some of the people here that have good jobs and are raising wonderful children in loving homes and take their medication because they need it.You have to admit,you don't see people like us portrayed anywhere ..and when people think of taking pain meds every day they think of what they see on television or hear on the news/papers,etc.It's only their fault when they know better and choose to think the worst..otherwise they just don't understand the concept.I hate to admit this,but I was the same way before I knew better.

    BTW~I'm 48 too,and was 47 when my PCP referred me to my PM.I don't regret it at all.Maybe your new Dr will refer you soon.
  • I think my husband thinks that sooner or later your body builds up a resistance to all pain meds and then what do you do? I do know that you can or do build up a tolerance for certain pain meds. So do you just sort of switch around so that it doesn't happen?

    As far as back surgery goes I don't think I have heard of anyone having a successful one and if it was successful it didn't last long. That would be last on my list of things to do. I was really hoping that the ESI would help but nothing.

    I was thinking the other day the "Dr. Phil" should have a show with people that are in chronic pain and have to take narcotics to have some quality of life. He has had all the abusers on so maybe its time to turn the table on pain and narcotics. I may just write him, I think it would make for a good show.
  • and I will live the rest of my life on pain meds if that is what it takes to have any quality of life. Don't worry what others think. You are the one that either must take the meds or live in pain. Good luck.
  • Hiya Suziee, >:D<
    I read your post and it made me feel sad inside :( . I can relate to everthing you have said, :''( like others here will read your post and think you were talking about them :O . I really dont want to sound harsh >:D< , but when you have chronic pain day in day out :''( , you are happy to get some relief , no matter where it comes from (medication, PT, massage, etc) #:S What i have learned is that doctors, specialists, surgeons, will not help you unless you help yourself :? . If they want you to try some medication to help your pain @) , then try it, then if it dont work they can say they have tried every option :( . When you first go on to the medication, yes you will feel sleepy, but as time goes on your body will a just to the medication. :D Its ok for anyone who has never suffered this kind of pain to tell you that you do not need the medication :? , if your doctor didnt think you needed it then he wouldnt advice you to take it :? .If you have to take medication for the rest of your life then so what @) The medication will give you a better quality of life :) Ignore what other people say, you have to be a little selfish >:D< Start on some medication @) , then gather all the people that are close to you , explain how you feel and about your pain and that you are starting on some medication and how its going to make you feel, and that you would be grateful of any support :S. Please let me know how you get on with all this >:D<



    Angie x :H
  • :H I haven't read though the other posts but here's my take on it. I've been managing my pain with meds for 2 years now and I finally have something that works. I HAVEN'T MISSED A DAY OF SCHOOL OR WORK SINCE GETTING MY NEW MED! :D I am happier with less pain. My boyfriend :X at one point didn't understand. Then he Googled my condition and ended up reading to me for 7 hours. I could see the understanding paint his face. =D> <:P Now, he's happy I'm taking meds because he's seen me on meds that don't work. He appreciates my meds because they make life better for him too. :D With less pain, I'm happier, so as a result, he has less stress. I won't say we can do more, even though we kind of can sometimes, but the things we can do are less plauged with the evil pain cloud image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> hanging over us! When he didn't understand, we fought a lot about my meds and my condition. Now, it's easier to focus on other things because we always have that understanding about my back/pain/meds.

    I have so much more to write but I'm heading to work so I will try to write more later. Suziee, you are a good, loving person and you deserve relief. Don't be afraid. Please... Life is so much better when pain is controlled...

    Much love and understanding,
    Lisa >:D< :* >:D<
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