Yippee! (Krissie)

Can’t put this on Facebook but I just had a medical professional be sensible about opioids.  First, some history.  About 8 years ago I had a crisis with my legs, and could barely walk.  I went to see a rheumatologist, who put  me on 15 mg. of Vicodin a day.  I slept in a recliner for five months, used a walker to get to the bathroom, and barely moved.  She upped the Vicodin to 30 mg. and I slowly got better.  I cut back the stuff in the daytime, taking it once a day and once a night instead of twice a day. Then I cut it out during the day and just took took 2 pills at night. at night.  A 20 day supply lasted me a month and a half, but things got worse in the country and everyone got fussy.  I tried to explain that I don’t get any positive feeling from them – apparently addicts get some kind of “warm” feeling or something.  Doesn’t do a thing to me.  I also am totally lacking the addictive gene.

They don’t listen.  They’re so used to justifications and people playing games (and opioid addiction is a tragic, terrible disease) that whatever I said went over their heads.  After 8 or more years on the stuff, with me decreasing the dose, they still thought I could get addicted.  And they started giving me stuff that tears my stomach up again as an alternative (hence me feeling like shit for the last week).

However,  I did realize I got so twitchy and defensive about the meds because everyone else in my family was addicted to them, as well as tranquilizers and alcohol.  I somehow missed that addictive gene (or maybe it wasn’t genetic and I just had a different personality).  But I felt like I was being accused of it and it pushed my buttons.  Once I realized that was my problem I chilled.  And since they were so worried I cut my meds down again to 5mg  a day with no ill effects.

I just talked to a nurse about my latest run-in with NSAIDS and she talked about maybe I should consider taking a smaller dose of vicodin during the day..  I said I didn’t want to and she asked if it made me drowsy.  I said no (it doesn’t – I drive, I act, I write with no dulling of senses).  I just didn’t want to take more meds – I’m used to living with a certain amount of pain.

But finally someone open-minded!  It was so refreshing for someone to suggest upping the meds (even though I didn’t want to do so, but meds, despite their dangers, are to make things better and sometimes people need more.  I just don’t want to take more).

And I no longer have to feel so defensive now I realize where that’s coming from with me.  They can pass judgment all they want and suspect me of furtive behavior.  It’s annoying that they can’t get over it but fortunately, I can.

Hell, growing older ain’t for sissies!

6 thoughts on “Yippee! (Krissie)

  1. Lynda says:

    I’m sorry you’re having such pain and trouble with meds. What I wasn’t clear about was whether the opioids actually make life more bearable for you. Vicodin doesn’t do a damn thing for me, and Norco, the alternative form used at Kaiser, makes me break out in a rash. Fortunately I’m good with ibuprofen. Been taking it for years. But the thing I’m getting from your post is that you’re finally connecting with a healthcare professional who actually listens to you, and that’s a good thing. Love and hugs!

  2. Alis says:

    This is a great thing to hear. I’ve recently gotten a doctor who listens and is reasonable, too. It’s well nigh miraculous and you leave feeling SO different after dealing with them. Congrats to you!

    My husband is facing having to change meds for his arthritis and he’s got the same addictive family background crap, but he KNOWS he likes the opiods, so he’s adamant that he doesn’t want them (and of course that means they try to prescribe them–sheesh!). Meloxicam worked for a little while, but who knows how he’ll do with the Celebrex. He’s got a pretty steady stomach, so maybe it’ll be cool.

  3. Kieran says:

    I’m very interested in how everyone’s livers are doing when you’re on NSAIDs for a long period of time. Do the doctors check your liver enzymes periodically?

  4. JenniferNennifer says:

    It can be hard to be convincingly innocent when one is innocent – maybe the guilty do a better job than we do! Glad to hear you have found a reasonable doctor. Fingers crossed for you feeling good.

  5. Jill says:

    Our doctors at the hospital (in-patient and out patient ) seem frustrated by trying to go by federal guidelines for pain meds and yet keep their patients comfortable. When we do survey’s at the hospital one of the questions is “was your pain well controlled ?” Patients do not answer this positively.

  6. Jessie says:

    My MIL in her late 90’s had problems with her back and hips and the only way she could sleep at night was by taking oxycodine. Her take was that if she was going to be addicted by her 90’s, she was entitled. As she said, she could barely walk and couldn’t drive, it wasn’t like she was going to hold up convenience stores to support a habit.

    The reason Oregonians passes the Death with Dignity law is because so many people are worried about dying from some painful illness and not being able to control the pain. And now with the fed’s becoming involved, I wonder how many people will just decide they would rather die than live with pain anymore.

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