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Physical Dependence/Addiction

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    Pain_Man
    Banned

  • Scott McCrea
    replied
    Yankee Candle...

    Great post. Always glad to have professional back up. Especially from an RN. You guys actually do the work; doctors just kind of glide in and out and send bills.

    I exaggerate. But only a little.

    Not that long ago I would have been shocked at what some of the doctors told you.

    Not anymore.

    I've had some terrible docs.

    One actually threatened to write to Social Security a phony letter stating that I was fine to get my claim denied.

    Isn't that just completely amazing?

    Another one, my first, the above guy was my second, told me that unless I had an expensive diagnostic procedure for my back (I have sciatica) he would cut me off completely from my pain meds. (What really happened, was they cut his reimbursement for my five minute visits from 50 bucks to $12 and I feel he just wanted to get rid of me as a patient because I wasn't helping him make his Lexus payments; I've heard he's gone back to doing mostly anathesiology because it's more profitable.)

    I wasted zero time and got another pain doc who turned out to be a bigger jerk than the first guy.

    Finally, I am with my current doctor who is an Osteopath. He's also a Chinese immigrant from Taiwan--so he's a lot more flexible than many MDs.

    Unlike the other docs, he seems to actually CARE about his patients. He also does GP work, so my wife has started seeing him as well for chronic sinus issues.

    Doctors and insurance companies: Grrrr! Sometimes, I don't know who's worse!

    Leave a comment:

  • Pain_Man
    Banned

  • Scott McCrea
    replied
    In re: Julie Smith's post

    Julie, do I understand correctly that you are cutting Duragesic patches into pieces?

    I hope we're not talking about the same thing here. I hope you're on a morphine patch or something.

    Fentanyl, the drug in the Duragesic patch, is THOUSANDS of times stronger than heroin. That's why it's dosed in millionths of a gram. The greek letter (Mu) you see on the package stands for millionths of a gram.

    To cut the patch up or damage it is to risk destroying the thin membrance that regulates the flow of drug from the patch to your skin.

    You also risk releasing a life-threatening dose into your body. Especially if you've already got large amounts of CNS depressants in your system already.

    CUTTING UP DURAGESIC PATCHES CAN KILL YOU.

    Like all narcotics it acts directly on your respiratory (breathing) center in your brain. Releasing a massive amount (such as the 10mg in the 100 microgram patch that I take) could easily end you up in the morgue.

    If you're really doing this, STOP!!!! You're risking your life.

    Not only that, but if you have children or pets (especially birds who are very susceptible to all types of drugs; my old man accidently killed a parrot with vodka 40 years ago--but that's another story) this makes what you may be doing even MORE dangerous.

    I have a four year old girl and a pet rat. When I change patches, I always wash my hands before I touch anything or anyone else.

    Someone cutting up the patches, is increasing the chances they will get a large dose on their hands and, if they aren't careful, could OD themselves, or someone, something else.

    I just CANNOT emphasize how incredibly dangerous this practice could be. It would be like leaving a loaded pistol and a bottle of bourbon on the table with kids in the room and then heading for the grocery store.

    Anyone doing this is just asking for tragedy.

    ***********************

    Usual disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a pharmacist. Nothing I write is intended as medical advice; nor should it be taken as a substitute for qualified advice. I am only writing from my personal experiences in the hopes that they can help others.

    You should ALWAYS consult your docs before changing anything about your treatment regimen or taking any new drugs--including over the counter ones.

    Leave a comment:

  • YankeeCandle224
    Guest

  • YankeeCandle224
    replied
    This is a post I wrote a few days ago re: "I'm a pain pill junkie, or so they say" on this forum. I am an RN and know the difference as well between dependence/tolerance,and addiction and wanted to post my reply here to back your post up. I agree with you and wish more people understood this, mainly the docs.

    There are MANY pain docs who have no right to call themselves pain management doctors. I've been to so many and they want to do this epidural or give me Ultram which makes me violently ill, or had one tell me to go buy a bullet and bite on it. To those doctors I say kiss my ..........Finally I am on top of my pain for the most part, after looking long and hard for doctors to listen to me and to look at me like a person, not a hysterical woman. Anyway, heres the post I posted the other day.


    Veteran User
    Member # 6214

    posted 01-11-2004 03:37 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First let me say, there is a HUGE difference between DEPENDENCE and ADDICTION. No matter what you take, asprin, advil, or percocet, your body will build up a tolerance to it over a certain amount of time. This is normal human physiology.

    My parents think I am a junkie, my mom actually called me one on the phone, and at that point I wasnt even taking pain pills for the fibro.

    I read above that if a person is in chronic pain, and takes their meds as rx'd , doesnt frequent the street corners for a fix, alter the drug by crushing or snorting it, you are NOT addicted, but you probably ARE dependent.

    Good doctors know the difference and know that every so often meds for pain must be tweaked and fine tuned for the person and that everyone is different.

    I take enough meds that a normal person would be flat out cold, or dead, if they took what I do in a single dose, but because I've been taking the meds for about 2 1/2 years, I am tolerant/dependent, and my body has adjusted to the dose.

    Right now, with this suspected IC, I have had to increase the amount of hydrocodone that I take for breakthru fibro pain. Without it I am a withering, flopping dying fish on my couch. I am in severe pain without the extra help.

    I know that my uro and my pain management doc will get together on this and 'tweak' the hydrocodone, so that I have enough on hand for painful episodes like I am going through now with my bladder and urethra.

    This IS a never ending debate, but I guarantee you that 99% of the people that do the research with real people in real clinical trials will tell you the same thing I just did.

    It's your body, your choice, no business of anyone's but you and your doc's and whoever you choose to tell.

    If a family member doesnt like it, tough. I've had to totally stop talking to my parents, and while it hurts, and I miss them terribly, they are toxic people in my life, and judge me when they do not even know 1/3 of the story, nor do they care to know.

    Please, please, dont let your family upset you, or anyone else about your use of pain meds.

    It's none of their business!!!!!!!!

    Hugs, Sandy

    Leave a comment:

  • Pisces228
    Registered User

  • Pisces228
    replied
    To Marci: YES! Absolutely you should see a pain management specialist. I'm the wife of Pain_Man, who posted this original message. My husband would not be able to get out of bed if it were not for his pain medication. I have seen him curled up in a ball unable to move because the pain is so bad. That's no way to live!

    Just remember: The reason there are "Pain Management SPECIALISTS" is because so many people are in PAIN! Whether it's IC, back problems, or some other debilitating condition, this world is full of people who experience moderate to severe pain on an everyday basis. Hence, the plethora of doctors (at least in Las Vegas, where we live) who have chosen to go into the pain management branch of medicine. These physicians are here to HELP you so PLEASE go see one!

    Don't put yourself through any unnecessary torture because you're afraid of becoming an "addict" or afraid of the stigma associated with taking narcotics. YOU and everyone else on these message boards are the people who these MEDICINES are meant for! You are not a bad person because you need help with pain. And you will not become an "addict" if you are taking medication FOR pain. Addicts are people who take drugs to get high and run away from their problems. YOU are someone who would be taking medication to TAKE CARE OF your problems.

    Please go see a pain management doctor as soon as possible. If you have been properly diagnosed through hydrodestention and cystoscopy, for examply, then you should have no problem getting started on a monthly pain treatment regimen.

    Best of luck!

    Pisces228

    Leave a comment:

  • marcy
    ICN Member

  • marcy
    replied
    I'm so glad to have come across this message. I suffer daily with ic. I was breaking up a 7.5 percocet and taking that for relief but now only a 7.5 works. The problem is my doctor gives me 30 a months and that's not enough. I feel bad asking for more but what can I do. I'm waiting for the InterStim procedure but I know that won't help the pain. I was in the hopital for 3 days last month for pain control. Should I be going to a pain management group? I know what it's like to really suffer and then to finally get some relief from pain meds. How dare anyone acuse us of being addicted. Furthermore, I don't care all that much. I just want the pain to go away--if only for a few hours. I don't want to hurt my urologist feelings, because he had been so supportive and caring, but really should I be in a pain management group?
    Thanks all for letting my vent.

    Marcy

    Leave a comment:

  • Julie Smith
    Senior Member

  • Vicki Brown
    replied
    I use the patches on my pelvis and also for back pain. They do help and I found a way of keeping them longer. I cut them and use smaller pieces and get the same relief.

    After trials with many pain meds the one that works best for me is maxidone and I only take on a as needed basis. I'm terrified of becoming addicted and probably take less than I should because of that. My dr. also wants to me take valium 4mg. 3x day for bladder spasms. Last time i saw him and told him i had stopped taking valium because I was fearful of addiction he explained why I needed to keep in my system. Every time I see my dr. we talk about my fear when we discuss meds. I'm on a lot of meds for other things and the last thing I want is more medicine! On top of many medical problems the last thing I need is addiction.

    I think finding the right dr.(this is my second) and talking honestly is the key. My dr. treats hundreds of ic patients so he knows the pain we endure.

    In my dr.s' office he has a poster that says "pee all you can pee" isn't thta cute?!

    I love this message board and talking to all of you. May we all find relief and feel better sooner rather than later,
    Julie

    Leave a comment:

  • Marti
    ICN Member

  • mfwolfe
    replied
    I wish there were a way to post attachments to this board. David Brookoff is an oncologist that began treating IC patients. I have the text of a talk he gave to a meeting of ICers. He is adamant on this subject: You deserve to have your pain controlled. He says addict are people who use drugs to run away from their lives. Patients are people who use drugs to live their lives. He said "I have never seen an addict take drugs so he could go to church; patients do so all the time". You deserve to have your pain controlled so you can live your life - run away fast from anyone who denies this.


    cheers
    marti

    Leave a comment:

  • Pain_Man
    Banned

  • Scott McCrea
    replied
    Thanks to my loving wife who has made more sacrifices than could have ever been expected of her. "Thanks" is so insufficient, it's almost embarrassing to utter.

    Thanks to everyone for all the positive feedback. I hope I was also able to reach those who are in very real anxiety about becoming "addicted" to their meds.

    It's a needless fear, one that can only increase IC symptoms as we all know what stress can do to us!

    On the other hand, if you do find yourself exhibiting addictive tendencies, seek help. Of course, it's a terrible "Catch-22" if you do become addicted; even if you "beat" that problem you've still got the pain to deal with. It's a good thing that addiction is rare!

    But again, thanks for all the positive feedback/kind words.

    If you know anyone whose suffering anxiety over this issue, please feel free to pass my post along as an email.

    I wish, eight or ten years ago, someone had clued me in to this information. I had to learn it the hard way. If I can spare anyone else the problems I had "in the old days" then I will be very happy indeed.

    If you can help just ONE person it makes it all worthwhile. Because, when it comes right down to it, all we have is each other.

    The outside world can never understand the brutal reality of IC. So, if we don't stand together, if we don't provide the open hand when fellow sufferers need it, no one else will. We don't have a "brand name" disease. We don't have a fatal disease. Our disease involves parts of the body our culture is still uncomfortable with (unless it's to sell beer or make a political point), but if it's a disease--eeew! Yuck!

    Stay strong! And, God bless you all.

    Leave a comment:

  • Pisces228
    Registered User

  • Pisces228
    replied
    Hello "Pain Man".

    I was surfing the IC message boards this evening, when I came across your post. Well, I could immediately tell by the tone, sentence structure, and general message being conveyed that it must be a message posted by my significant other.

    Yes, ladies and gentleman, Pain Man is Pisces228's husband. And I am very proud of you for passing along this information because you have obviously provided other IC sufferes with valuable information that they will take to heart.

    I just want you to know, and others here who suffer significant pain on a daily basis, that you do not have to let depression get to you. My dear husband, I know that you often feel less than a "man" because you are disabled and can't take care of our family in the way society deems "acceptable." But that does NOT mean that you cannot and DO NOT have the ability to HELP people.

    You can do brilliant things within your limitations. All of you who have IC please remember that the people who truly love you DON'T care that you're not "perfect." We just care that you are happy.

    So, thank you again Pain Man, for reaching out to help others. I hope this shows you that you CAN make a difference even if it's not in the way you had thought or hoped you would. Keep up the wonderful effort and attitude!

    I love you.

    Pisces228

    Leave a comment:

  • Jessica in Arkansas
    Member

  • JessicainArkansas
    replied
    That was absolutly the best message I have seen hear on the boards!!
    I have told that story I do not know how many times and people do not seem to get it!! The media is full of hype and can I say bull****
    The "War on Drugs" has caused many a person who could benifit from one natural thing or another to needlessly go without treatment by a knowledgeable professional and seek management on their own, this is where addiction comes in. They have repeatadly lied to you and are in the schools teaching these lies to our children in their DARE programs, I say how DARE they!!
    I too do not mean to be political either over this issue, I mean no harm or harshness, this is not what I want to imply
    I am in 100% agreement that the number of people becoming addicted is just a MERE 1%, you are the first person that I have come upon that is aware of this very real and proven statistic, if any are interested talk to any Professional Pain Management Doctor or Nurse and they will tell you IT IS TRUE 1%!!!
    Bravo to you to get the word out there, I have endlessly talked about it over the chat rooms here with people who have been "brainwashed" into the "what if I get addicted" group.
    My Gastroenternologist said yesterday that if they were to bring out Asprin,Acetominophen, and Ibuprofin today by the FDA guidlines, it would be almost impossible to dispense because of all the side effects and complications it causes.
    The fight is not fair, I have hopes that my Gen X can pause and look back at the laws and otherwise nonsense Government implacations that have regulated this FREE country and take this country and FREE it up.
    "Imancipate yourself from mental slavery none but ourselves can free our minds","Won't you here me sing, these songs of freedom, is all I ever had, redemption song". ~Bob Marley

    Leave a comment:

  • Zookeeper
    Registered User

  • Zookeeper
    replied
    Thanks so much for posting this.
    I was one of the many people who refused to get on pain pills because of addiction and long term need of them with all my medical problems & what not.
    I know that it is the best thing that I could do for myself & my own sanity.
    I thank you so much for this great post.I hope that it may help some others to understand that they are not a junkie if they do have to get on pain pills but in need of relief from the over whelming pain they maybe experiencing.
    Take care & hopeing everyone can be as pain free as possable.
    Love always, Zookeeper Kim

    Leave a comment:

  • lotsofgirls
    Registered User

  • lotsofgirls
    replied
    Thanks for this pain_man.

    I have just started a pain clinic assessment and due my fear of narcotics I was taking way too much tylenol and risking liver damage. My new pain doctor has ordered no more tylenol. I am to increase my narcotic use until I am functioning and comfortable. So I am still working that out and we most likely will change the meds that I am using as well.

    I was one of those that took themself off cold turkey and it was brutal and not necessary. One thing I would recommend for every ICer with severe pain, is that you find a doctor is competent at pain management. It makes a big difference.

    I was also told that I would not be addicted if I was taking these meds for pain. If I was not in pain and taking them it would be different.
    Considering I am 24/7 in severe pain, I guess addiction is not an issue.

    Thanks for the discussion, its important to support each other on this subject.
    Cath hi

    Leave a comment:

  • Tami Stambaugh
    Registered User

  • Tami Stambaugh
    replied
    I agree 100% with everyone. Physical dependence is definitely what you would call it for us. There is a huge difference. I wish we could pull together and get the physical dependency on la show. Especially to show the world the difference and how good meds. help real people in the world like us!!!! Wouldn't that be awesome!!!!!!!!!!! What do yall think???

    Tami hat blah

    Leave a comment:

  • Dixiefireball
    ICN Member

  • dixiefireball
    replied
    I do agree with the other ladies that was a wonderful post! I too was worried that i was an addit to the pain medicine because if i ran out i had withdraws but i relized i'm not i have to use this medicine just to be half normal and i still have some pain.
    I hope this reaches everyone who feels like they are an addit because they have ic and feel bad because they have to use pain medicine and would rather be in pain then to use them in fear of becoming an addit.
    God bless you grouphug

    Leave a comment:

  • ICNJess
    Support Volunteers

  • ICNJess
    replied
    Hi Pain Man,

    I just wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful post. Thanks so much for posting that.

    Hugs and love,
    Jess

    Leave a comment:

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