Pain Meds--My Take On It

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    There is no one more thankful for a pain specialist and opiods than I. Pain and other problems kept me bedridden a good part of the time 2 1/2 years ago. It was my Morphine which allowed me to get out of bed and become active again.

    That said, however, I believe it should be everyone's goal to get off pain meds or drastically reduce their use. I understand that not everyone can do this. A lot of us have back problems and other associated conditions which make this very difficult if not downright impossible. I am not here to make people feel bad about having to take opiods. Everyone is entitled to relief from his or her pain and I often suggest pain specialists to those who post about their pain.

    The problem with pain meds is that they usually are less and less effective over time. I read one study which showed that pain meds over time will actually "train" the body to produce pain. The more pain meds one takes, the more pain the body will produce. It's a vicious cycle.

    I just read a post about dental work and the doc saying that there is nothing more that can be given for pain because of the high level of pain meds already being taken. I do not believe this is true, because the body will tolerate very high levels of pain meds if they are increased over time; however, most docs are not willing to prescribe high doses of pain meds which would be lethal to the average person. My rheumy said he has seen patients with cancer and those in bad accidents who were not given enough meds to address their pain because they were alread on such high doses.

    So, what can be done? I didn't want to be on Morphine or other opiods for the rest of my life. Yes, they relieve pain, but for many of us, they have side effects which can limit what we can do. I decided to try to address my pain on several fronts.

    I knew that sleep deprivation can increase pain because it is during sleep that we produce human growth hormone and our muscles repair themselves. I started using a HGH stimulator which isn't as effective as the injections, but it helps and will only cause the body to produce as much HGH as is necessary. It is safe from that standpoint. I also started taking the ZMA sold here. It helps with sleep and works synergystically and safely with sleep meds. It contains magnesium which helps reapair muscles at night.

    I also started taking Klonopin which has been a God send. It not only lets me get 7-8 hrs. of quality sleep, but I awake without grogginess. There is evidence that it disrupts pain signals in the brain and my pain went down with its use. I've been taking the Klonopin for about two years with no side effects and no increase in dose. It is not addictive, but one does have to wean off of it if one quits taking it. There is an excellent article on Klonopin in our library by Dr. Cheney.

    Physical therapy was great at helping me reduce pain through flexing and stretching exercises which can even be done in bed. I now also do other gentle exercises like Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, and working out with weights and my big ball.

    Finally, I started the Gaui treatment almost 2 1/2 years ago. It is a treatment which demands patience and possible changes to supplements and personal-care items, but it is the only treatment which holds out the possibility of reversing the symptoms of FMS. It causes some flaring in the beginning, but if the dose is correct, the flares are no worse than normal flaring. In time, there are more good days than bad ones and the improvemed days just increase.

    Due to all these things, plus some hypnotherapy to help me start seeing myself as a healthy person, I seldom ever take anything for pain anymore. I still have some Morphine and ibuprophen around, but just for emergency pain.

    Please, anyone who reads this, do not take offense. I am not trying to tell anyone what to do. As I said, this is just my take on pain meds and again, I realize what I have done is not possible for everyone. To have to take pain meds is not a failure. I just wanted y'all to realize that when the pain is properly addressed, it may open one up to finding other methods of addressing it. I hope this may be helpful to others.

    Love, Mikie
  2. JP

    JP New Member

    Thanks for your post Mikie. Your progress gives me hope.

    I would love to eliminate all of my medications. I was so against chasing symptoms in my younger days. I was a massage technician, vegetarian, athlete and more. At 43, I am on 7 different daily medications and 2 stand-by type meds for emergencies. The stand-by meds can keep me from an ER visit.

    I have several health issues, from Hashimoto's to severe chronic persistent back pain. For years, I tried every alternative modality know to humankind. I had an emotional breakdown about two years ago due to my chronic persistant pain condition. I couldn't push myself for another second.

    So, I take these meds, chase symptoms and push my body to exhaustion every day to ensure sleep. Today, I work at finding peace around my use of medicines. I undermedicate my pain and there are days that I would like to take what I need and stare at the TV for the day. I am not able to sit or lay around for more than 30 minutes or so. I freeze up BIG time. Anyway, I appreciate your post and find hope in your words.

    Be well,
  3. HoaxedTotem

    HoaxedTotem New Member

    until they show strong signs of improvement with other treatments !

    I moved to Mn and they took me off what little pain meds I was on replacing them w/ NOTHING , and instead of wanting to kill myself 3 or 4 times a day it's more like a thousand times a day now , that coupled w/ somatization disorder , both of which carry high risk of suicide !

    And while all these vitamins everyone's trying to push off on people may or may not actually help , they aren't covered by insurance . I'd like to know how I'm supposed to pay for them while only getting $552.00 a mth & supporting two teenage boys alone ?

  4. Sissy70

    Sissy70 New Member

    I totally understand what you are saying. Now I think I was one that posted they couldn't give me any more meds after my teeth extractions, but your right they really could have, but what the dentist would have normally prescribed (percocet) I was already on. They could have changed my methadone prescription as I am on a very low dose of that, but my pain management dr saw no point in it for what I was doing. Now that he has my pain medication at a place where it is working once again (we hadn't changed anything for three years and I started to build a tolerance to 5 mg of methadone and was taking too many percocet for break through so now I am on 15 mg of methadone and it is working great so I barely take percocet now) I am starting a water excercise class at the Y that is called joyful joints and I am hoping that will not only help with the pain and help me lose some weight, but also strengthen the muscles around my joints so they don't dislocate as often as they do now. I was interested in trying the method you are using for the FMS, but my FMS is secondary to EDS so I am not sure it would work as well for me. It might be worth a try though as it's not just when my joints dislocate and go back in that I am in pain. I also have unexplained pain when the weather acts up or if I do too much. It might help that part of it, but I know it would not stop my dislocations so I would still be dealing with quite a bit of pain as my joints dislocate in my sleep they are so loose. So I'm just not sure if I want to invest the money and time into it if it probably wouldn't work for me anyway. I totally agree that if they are having great success with the method you are using that it would definately be worth it to get off of most of the other meds. I hate taking pills and would give anything to not have to take them. I worry about my liver a great deal. I know that I am not on high doses yet, but as I get older they will obviously need to increase it gradually over the years as I build a tolerance to it. I just thank God that I don't build up a tolerance to it too fast.
  5. iggie

    iggie New Member

    Just the person I need to talk to. My dr. took me off all pain killers including tylanol#3 because nothing is helping to easy the pain but did give me tylanol 500mg which I cannot take because of stomach pain.I am already taking losec for stomach problems. I have a wonderful chiropractor that does this techeque called trigenic its a gentle stretching of the muscle helps with the pain but workmens compensation will not pay for the chiropractic care because they consider it maintanence since I have won a pension and I will problable not get any better than what i am now which is not good. So no meds for pain on celexsa for depression and have fibro since 97 which I won the pension. Any ideas I cannot afford to keep paying out of pocket but I need chiropractic care for pain relief. Help
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    What has worked for me may not work for others, but I put it out there just in case. I agree that no one should just be taken off pain meds while in pain. Pain needs to be addressed. That's why I was on Morphine, to address my pain.

    I didn't just go off the Morphine one day. What I found was that as the Morphine addressed my pain, I was able to try these other treatments. The more of the treatments I was able to do, the less Morphine I needed. It didn't happen overnight. I probably didn't make that clear.

    My heart goes out to everyone who is in pain. Pain should never be allowed to continue. Doing that will just increase other problems. I am a big believer in the use of opiods for relieving pain. They are far safer than most docs believe. Pain specialists know this.

    I may actually really be an exception and maybe what I have done will help no one. I don't know, but I just wanted to tell my story and hope it might help someone.

    Love, Mikie
  7. IgotYou

    IgotYou New Member

    I appreciate your honesty and information on this subject. I have been suspecting that what you say is true; in fact, I started a thread a couple of weeks ago asking whether pain meds increased pain over time. Nobody who responded thought they did. But I still think they do because I know when I had to quit taking ibuprofen and had no substitute, my pain slowly decreased, so that without the medication it was at nearly the same level it had been with it.
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I am so sorry. I don't know what to suggest if insurance will not cover maintenance to keep you well. What short-sighted thinking. I know that Medicare would not continue to pay for my Mother's physical therapy for her balance problem. I guess they would rather pay for a broken hip when people like her fall.

    I wish I could help. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Love, Mikie
  9. iggie

    iggie New Member

    Is is short sighted thinking is right, I'm off painkillers reducing the risk of addiction and other major liver problems and have found something safer and reduces pain and they think its maintanenc. Why can't they get it through their heads it pain relief.

  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    SSD is the same way. Everything with them is B&W, no shades of gray. If they would practice triage and provide for those with a chance to get better using the least amount of care, it would free up the system to care for the worst cases. As it is, they, as well as welfare, do not provide for those trying to get better. In fact, if you do try to heal, you will most likely be penalized.

    It's a real no-win situation. It's like SS wants us bedridden, on drugs, and so depressed that we can't function. By all rights, they owe me for the two years I qualified for benefits, but they have dragged it out so long that I will be back to work before they get to it. Don't get me wrong; I would much rather be well and working than trying to live on the SS benefit, but I feel robbed. I paid doubly into SS because of being self-employed and they were not there for me when I needed them. Thank God, my Mother was.

    Love, Mikie
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I may not have made myself clear. When a person takes more and more pain meds because of developing a tolerance, additional pain can usually be controlled by increasing the dose. We can tolerate huge doses if they have been slowly increased over time; however, most docs will not prescribe that high a dose even for terminal patients, except in hospice. The point of my post was not for people to be worrying about getting cancer. Go back and reread the original post.

    I advocated the use of opiods for controlling pain. I do not believe we should live with pain.

    The point of the post was that once our pain is adequately addressed, there may be alternative methods of dealing with it, allowing us to eventually decrease our dependence on pain meds instead of continuing to have to increase our dependence on them.

    I went to great lengths to try to convey this message, but I guess I did not do a good enough job. I am not anti-opiods; I am pro-opiods for controlling pain. I just feel that if one has additional choices, it may be beneficial to check them out too.

    Love, Mikie