Saturday, December 18, 2010

Meds (A love hate relationship)

I am a nurse so a large majority of my time is spent giving people medications. Before my chronic pain began I used to think many people who took a lot of meds and still complained of pain were "drug seekers", as we affectionately called them. While there are some people who are out only for the "high" received from taking certain medications, a large majority of people who take what seems like a lot of pain meds are truly seeking relief from their pain.  I used to think that if one takes an opiod pain medication, such as hydrocodone, their pain would be gone or greatly diminished.  (I know you fellow chronic pain sufferers wouldn't want me as your nurse :))  I had no idea! One good thing I can say has come from my experience with chronic pain is more empathy towards others who are suffering. Even if it's a form of suffering I have never endured I feel as though I can better show care and concern because I understand what it's like to truly hurt.

I told my husband the other night that I would use cocaine if  it would take away my pain (ok that's probably a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point)!  I have definitely come a long way since I first started dealing with this pain. I used to shun any medcation because I thought I would become an addict. I looked upon medication as something to be ashamed and this is coming from a nurse who knows that medicaitons help many people with various problems.  My first physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, Dr. C, who is in my hometwon (I have started going to her again) told me inspite of my background and knowledge I needed to get rid of any prejudices I had against taking medications.  I was preturbed at the time that she would say something like that, but I've come to realize she was right.

I went to see Dr. C again this week. She is a very caring and understanding doctor. She has a baby about the same age as my daughter and her Dad works with my Dad so I think she can relate to my situation which makes her genuinely concerned.  I am currently taking a large dose of Neurontin (Side note: my grandfather who takes this medication for chronic back pain takes a tiny dose and says he's too "droggy" he can't think straight, and he's almost twice my size. Goes to show how medication affects people so differently) and she feels that if after my pudendal nerve injection (Dec 28th) I am not improving then I may need to consider trying other medications for chronic pain.  I don't like admitting that I hurt that bad, but I know she's right.  One of the problems with central nervous system pain is that if you don't get the pain under control it tends to go crazy and become harder and harder to control.  The problem with medications is you are always fighting the side effects, which can sometimes be just as bad as the pain. Do I want to hurt so bad I can't tolerate going to a Christmas function or do I want to have a pounding headache?  It's not a choice I don't want to make, but I am beginning to accept my pain, and I want to be able to live life as best I can insipte of it. So this past Thursday my Mom watched my daughter so my husband and I could go out and finish Christmas shopping.  It was a marathon day for me, but by taking a small dose of pain medication I was able enjoy the day with less pelvic pain and a mild headache and some dizziness (unfortantely I feel the effects of that day today though)  I hope that one day I may be able to live life without medications again, but if not I will take them and be grateful for them.


  1. How long have you been taking Neurontin? Has it helped you at all?

  2. I know I have reponded to you already Jane, but I wanted to post a response on here in case anyone else reads this. I am currently taking 2400mg of Neurontin. Yes, I think it does help me. It doesn't take away my pain by any means, but it helps me to function better than I did before. It took at least 1200-1800mg daily for me to notice any effect. I have now been taking Neurontin for 4 1/2 months.