I turned on a morning show just as a doctor and interviewer were ending thier segment on prescription/opiod drug abuse. It was only in the last 2 sentences that the question was asked about chronic pain vs. acute. The doctor responded that opiods were given when someone has a sprained ankle, which was not appropriate. Chronic pain was more like with migraines or chronic lower back pain. Then the segment ended.
I see article after article on TV and the internet. Magazines have opiod abuse as their cover stories.
Sometimes the author will differentiate between acute pain and chronic pain. It seems it is more rare when they have some of us with chronic pain talk about the pain, its effect on our lives, and how we feel about taking narcotics for the pain.
What they tend to miss, and I think I may well be speaking for a majority of us, is that we hate these drugs. We do not like the way they make us feel. I hate the codeine headache I get when I have to take an extra pill, I hate how dry my mouth always is, I abhor the feeling of groggyness, I cannot stand that it does not help much, sometimes it feels not at all, but, but that is all there is.
I can hear people replying "Then don't take it." After all if I am not sure it is helping why would I take something I say I hate?
I will tell you why. I continue to take it because it is the only time I feel like I am exercising some power over the pain, that there is something I can do to help myself.
I would prefer it not be a narcotic. I have been given everything from the smallest dose of codeine to morphine and even tincture of opium. Nothing has had much success. Very rarely I will ask for something stronger but I never stay on it. The side effects, for me, are worse, and the gain, nothing more then what the codeine gives me. And the codeine now and again does seem to help. I am not going to stop taking something that may, at some level, and at one time or another, actually help.
Go to the support groups or chronic pain sites and read the stories of those who have CRPS, MS, RA, other chronic pain diseases. It is heartwrenching to see what the pain does to people. It is even more painful to see what happens when medication is withheld or reduced because their doctors, or the DEA, is afraid they may abuse the drug. Drugs which, for the vast majority of those in chronic pain, do not get abused. We work to be able to think the best we can, do the most we can, over medication only dulls this.
The drugs if they help are necessary. Why would someone sell medication that may be all that allows them to get out of bed in the morning or if they are really lucky allows you to work?
We are the rest of the conversation. Somehow we need to get our voices heard.