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How Do I Tell My Doctor I Need Pain Meds?
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An_250792 posted:
Apparently, I've had Fibro for 10+ years. I'm 30 now. It took a long time to get this diagnosed. I mostly complained of my neck and back. I jumped the first hurdle, which was, "How do I tell my doctor EVERYTHING hurts?!" I felt like such a hypochondriac. Doctors, neurologist, physical therapist, chiropractor....finally my new family doc pieced it together.

Late last year, we started playing with meds. Cymbalta helped slightly, but I don't like antidepressants. I'm not depressed. I'm in pain. Now, I'm on Lyrica, meloxicam (as needed), and cyclobenzaprine.

All of this helps to a certain degree, but I still have days like this that I can't do much. I'm eating healthy, losing weight (26 lbs. so far), taking tons of vitamins and supplements, and trying to exercise. Even bought a recumbent bike. We've changed my shoes (Dr.'s note to be able to wear sneakers to the office against dress code), and I'm following all of his advice implicitly.

I need help trying to broach the topic of narcotics. The only thing I've taken over the years that made me feel human again was Lortabs. I live in a second story apartment. I have to lug goceries, and cat litter up a flight of stairs. I have to lug my laundry down and across the street to the apartment's facilities....and then back up a flight of stairs. Cleaning the house is difficult. I can get by most days on my own, but it's things like this that seem like a mountain I can't climb.

But it's so hard to ask for pain meds. Doctors these days almost view it as a four letter word. I'm not an addict...I just want the pain to stop enough to get some weekly things taken care of. How do I go about this? I'm doing everything I can in my power to have more good days than bad, but I really need some help to push through. Has anyone else had trouble with doctors not wanting to prescribe pain meds?
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mnjeepguy responded:
You want what we all want, not so much for the pain to be gone, but to function. The issue lies in the overuse and missuse of these types of meds. Over time the body also builds up immunity to them and the dose has to increase to work the same way as a lower dose. If used only as needed this would not be an issue. The Dr's are affraid to give them out for that abuse reason. Be honest with your Dr, tell them it is not to numb, just to get through life. I have the same problem. Opiates help, plain and simple, but how do we convey that? Honesty is all we have. I hope this helps.
 
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dollbug responded:
Hello and welcome....MiMi in NC....perhaps you need to do some research on FM...most research for the wrath of the dragon will indicate that *pain pills work short term*...FM is not a short term issue. I know that some people think that pain pills are the answer...but the research does not show this. Sure they might work for a period of time and then they stop working and more is needed.

I have to ask...have you gotten your Vitamin D level checked yet? IF not, talk to your doctor about checking this. Low Vitamin D can cause pain for some people and it can also affect other illnesses as well.

Perhaps you need to try to find another place to stay on the ground floor. Sometimes we have to make adjustments in life, whether we like it or not. I sleep in a recliner...(not by choice though)...I do so to have less pain. I only wish that I could afford one of the adjustable beds...but I do not know if it would work for me or not. I sleep on pillows as well.

I am sure that there is something that will help you cope better....you just have to figure out what it might be.

I hope you will check out the info here under *tips* and *resources* and be sure and review the *member toolbox*....perhaps you will find things that you have not thought of trying.

Take care and good luck.


MiMi
IN GOD WE TRUST....MAY GOD BLESS AND GUIDE AMERICA....

My personal exchanges are Vitamin D and Pain and Wrath of the Dragon....if you care to visit..
 
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Willowe replied to dollbug's response:
Thank you guys for the response.

All I have done for months is research. I was low on Vitamin D and B-12. I had a script for 50,000 IU of Vit. D for 8 weeks. Now, I take 2,000 IU daily. Levels are in range. I also take 2,000 B-12 daily on top of B-12 shots nearly every month when I got to the doctor.

I'm going shopping tonight for magnesium. My initial reason was exercise. I got a really bad leg cramp while biking and the health forum I belong to recommended upping my potassium and magnesium. Then I saw what everyone here was saying about the supplement, so it sounds like something else I can try.

I know about tolerance and what causes it. Long term daily use is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the times I need to bust my hump cleaning around the house. Or when I have 50 lbs. of laundry to do. I have a very high tolerance of pain, and can muscle through most days just on sheer will alone.

I'm talking about the rare days when all I can do is cry. The days when pain is just too much. There HAS to be something I can take on those days. I see so many people high on pills for chronic back pain....for years. So why does research say it's okay for them and not me? Why is my pain not justified?
 
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dollbug replied to Willowe's response:
Hello again...I just wanted to tell you that once the wrath of the dragon has hit a person...our lives change...we can no longer be the person we once were...you can no longer *bust your hump cleaning*...you must learn that pushing yourself to the limit is no longer a choice...this process is really hard to accept, much harder to do...but it is very important. It does take time to figure out just how much you can do before you cross the line...but soon you will finally get it.

Perhaps you can do your laundry small loads at a time.

Perhaps you can clean one room at a time as well.

You will have good days and you will have days when things are not as good as you hope they would be...when this happens...you need to take it easy...regardless of how much needs to be done.

Nana B...(one of our special ladies here is a nurse) says that each of you must learn how to *dance with the dragon, instead of draggin the dragon*...and eventually you will learn exactly how to do this.

I think that soon you will learn how to *control your pain* somewhat...will you be painfree? Nope...I do not think you will. (we can always wish though)...but you will figure out how to manage it better.

Keeping yourself on some sort of schedule might be really good for you. I know that this has helped me. Eating around the same time, going to bed and getting up around the same time...getting enough sleep which is extremely important.

I also have chronic back pain. I use heating pad and my Stopain Spray which helps me a lot. I also have chronic fatigue as well and I have not found anything so far that has helped this. I continue to look though.

OK...hang out here with us and I am sure you will find the *right combination of tools* which will also help you cope better.

Take care.


MiMi
IN GOD WE TRUST....MAY GOD BLESS AND GUIDE AMERICA....

My personal exchanges are Vitamin D and Pain and Wrath of the Dragon....if you care to visit..
 
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katmandulou responded:
Hi An, and welcome.

I want to address your doc prescribing Cymbalta. Antidepressants work in the brain to not only lighten mood but lessen pain. Google "Cymbalta, how it works" and you'll see what I'm talking about. Pain causes depression, and vice-versa; they are believed to be related by using the same neurological pathways.

If it's working for you, take it and don't worry. I've been on another AD, and using it well for the past 8 years. I've asked my doc about other drugs (because the TV or magazine ad said I should ask) and he told me that if what I'm taking is working I don't need to change.

I wish you the bast day you can possibly have,
Lou
 
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Anon_408 responded:
One of my first thoughts was ask for a transfer to a first floor apt, when one becomes available. Mention your health requirements as the cause of needing the ground level.

Like mimi mentioned, with FM, pacing is really important. Rather then wait for 50 lbs of laundry, try doing a small load, more often, maybe when you go down for something out of car, take the load of laundry with you,

You will have made double duty of the trip downstairs. Drs. are very hesitant to prescribe pain medication for fibro, they are scrutinzed and looked at by the licensing board, you may not abuse them, but the script is included in his records, along with how many other patients.

I don't think the licensing board looks at why he prescribed it, just the amount he writes.
My thoughts, do the 10 min. rule, 10 minutes work, 10 min. rest. If there are other family in the household, could they be more accountable with chores?

Good luck, it would be nice if some of these suggestions would work for you.
 
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BetteK responded:
An,

If you can get on a better basis with your doc, do it. If you bring up the need for a first floor apt. at one visit and ask for a recommendation for one from the doc, that may help to do several things:
  • Establish that you are having trouble doing everyday things.
  • Show that you are looking for practical non-medical ways to improve your functioning.
  • Demonstrate that you do not ask for pain meds as your first line of offense against FM.
One of the milestones in my relationship with my primary was when I told how I had to get out of the car and stretch (foot on back bumper, stre-e-t-c-h that back!) twice during my 1 hour trip to work and 3 X on the way home.

If your doctor doesn't know all the ways your pain and fatigue have effected your life, she cannot appreciate that you are not JUST seeking some quick-fix pain pills.

BetteK
 
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An_250792 replied to BetteK's response:
Thank you all for your suggestions. It's really nice to have others that are going through the same thing. Even just having you guys here is reassuring.

I moved upstairs on purpose a year ago. I live in a bad neighborhood, and I didn't feel safe. There had been some issues with prowlers trying to look through my windows. I live alone, so I decided to move up a level. However, I am looking at moving again but it won't be until later this year. Packing and moving is not a thought I cherish. I'm going to need to start early, and hire some fellas.

Chores have had to be broken up into tiny little chunks. If I sweep the kitchen floor, I have to rest about 15-20 minutes before mopping. What happens is a snowball effect. Everyday I set out to do as much as I can, but more and more needs to be done so it feels like my home is never clean.

God bless my mother. She told me tonight that she's going to come over and help tomorrow. She's 57 and has a cold. It kills me that I'm putting my poor mother to work when I'm only 30. I should be the one helping her.

As far as the Cymbalta, it wasn't doing much good. Some of the nerve pain was lessened, but lots of side effects. I've been on antidepressants before, and I hate them. I don't like anything messing with my brain chemistry. For me personally, unless I lose the will to live, I'm not going back to antidepressants. I know it works wonders for many people, but I can't take them without major reactions. And, they've never helped with my state of mind. If I'm hurting, I'm hurting, and there's nothing a happy pill can do to change that... or the crying jags that follow.

I'm fighting to find my "new normal", whatever that may be. I've cut out caffeine and artificial sweetners. I drink a lot of water now. I just bought magnesium and potassium supplements tonight to add to my growing collection of supplements. I'm exercising on my good days, and eating a whole foods diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Most of all, I'm keeping a positive outlook...which has helped me the most. I'll never be normal. I've accepted and come to terms with this. I was relieved when I finally had a name for how I felt. Of all my symptoms, the ones that I can't stand the most are the mental fog and fatigue. If I could find a way to lift that heavy cloud over me, my life would drastically improve.

But, I also know I'm going to hit a brick wall at some point... where no matter how great my healthy living is... I'll be as good as I'm ever going to get. So, my sleeves are rolled up, and I'm working to sort out all my options.

I've decided I'm not going to bring up the pain meds until I've exhausted everything else. But, at least with all your thoughts and feedback, I feel like it's a discussion I'm prepared to have when (and IF) I have to.
 
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Willowe replied to An_250792's response:
Thank you all for your suggestions. It's really nice to have others that are going through the same thing. Even just having you guys here is reassuring.

I moved upstairs on purpose a year ago. I live in a bad neighborhood, and I didn't feel safe. There had been some issues with prowlers trying to look through my windows. I live alone, so I decided to move up a level. However, I am looking at moving again but it won't be until later this year. Packing and moving is not a thought I cherish. I'm going to need to start early, and hire some fellas.

Chores have had to be broken up into tiny little chunks. If I sweep the kitchen floor, I have to rest about 15-20 minutes before mopping. What happens is a snowball effect. Everyday I set out to do as much as I can, but more and more needs to be done so it feels like my home is never clean.

God bless my mother. She told me tonight that she's going to come over and help tomorrow. She's 57 and has a cold. It kills me that I'm putting my poor mother to work when I'm only 30. I should be helping her.

As far as the Cymbalta, it wasn't doing much good. Some of the nerve pain was lessened, but lots of side effects. I've been on antidepressants before, and I hate them. I don't like anything messing with my brain chemistry. For me personally, unless I lose the will to live, I'm not going back to antidepressants. I know it works wonders for many people, but I can't take them without major reactions. And, they've never helped with my state of mind. If I'm hurting, I'm hurting, and there's nothing a happy pill can do to change that... or the crying jags that follow.

I'm fighting to find my "new normal", whatever that may be. I've cut out caffeine and artificial sweetners. I drink a lot of water now. I just bought magnesium and potassium supplements tonight to add to my growing collection of supplements. I'm exercising on my good days, and eating a whole foods diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Most of all, I'm keeping a positive outlook...which has helped me the most. I'll never be normal. I've accepted and come to terms with this. I was relieved when I finally had a name for how I felt. Of all my symptoms, the ones that I can't stand the most are the mental fog and fatigue. If I could find a way to lift that heavy cloud over me, my life would drastically improve.

But, I also know I'm going to hit a brick wall at some point... where no matter how great my healthy living is... I'll be as good as I'm ever going to get. So, my sleeves are rolled up, and I'm working to sort out all my options.

I've decided I'm not going to bring up the pain meds until I've exhausted everything else. But, at least with all your thoughts and feedback, I feel like it's a discussion I'm prepared to have when (and IF) I have to.
 
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booch007 responded:
Hey, good morning!

I got caught with your heading.....please don't tell the doc...show the doc. Meloxicam is an anti inflammatory and it may be helping some of the ligaments being festered in this mess but is not the drug of choice for us.

I too had more side efffects from Cymbalta then help from it and stopped....vowing never to take a brain chemical altering drug again..til I met savella. Savella is so different. It is in the same class of seratonin and norepinefrin raising meds...but it doesn't raise the seratonin as much....(so less of the dry, brain buzzes etc that I had) I was using Motrin which was doing me just fine but i took too much and started bleeding......so my doc added Ultracet. Which helps me just enough.

Please remember that we are never painfree just turned down a few notches so distraction can take you the rest of the way.
For me with Savella it took a long time to take a med in this class, I also said I AM NOT DEPRESSED and don't want to play with my brain chemistry, then as I continued to learn...this is a brain chemistry problem without everyone showing all the symptoms.....so I caved in on the cymbalta (I got to say I told you so.....and stop it) then I met a new neurologist that cares for me as my first retired..and she asked me to please try the savella. Standard dose is 50mg twice a day. I take the 12.5mg tablet ONCE A DAY! With the end of the week having 2 tablets in the morning. It is a med I respect and saw that a little is all I need. Too many side effects above that dose. I was actually painfree at one point. NOT so when I cross the line like now.

So, using tramadol for most of us is the common thread and just explain that meloxicam isn't right. It also has side effects to your body...retaining fluid being the one that is not right for me....and increasing my B/P. It also can cause bleeding.

So my cocktail of help is Soma (as you are using flexeril...but did nothing for me) and ultracet 1-2 tablets for pain and savella 12.5mg and Vit D 2000, Vit Bcomplex, Magnesium 250 twice a day (for the muscles) also CoQ10 200 and my b/p meds.....I MOVE all the time.

The book I lean on is FM and Chronic Myofascial Pain by Dr Devin Starlanyl on amazon.com for 19.99..a bible for the layman. It shows you how to help your body and so much more. I am always thinking of changing the muscles around...using one group and then switching what I am doing to rest those and use another group. I even change shoes eachday to use a different pitch to the leg muscles.

I am quite high functioning though in big trouble here with this.

I fought for so long to find a way out.....we are too chemically messed up to get out. So instead of me "draggin this dragon around" I have just this past year begun to "dance with this dragon"..........

Good luck, we all have to figure our triggers and fixes and find the right mix of meds to help us out a bit. All my best, Nancy B


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