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Gimme drugs! It’s time to start trying painkillers again

flowers Everyone seems really shocked when I say that I don’t take painkillers. Especially considering my pain levels are ridiculously high. And I have a crazy high pain threshold.

I always said that I didn’t see the point in taking them if they didn’t work.

The biggest “wow” moment during my EDS diagnosis was that opioid painkillers often don’t work for those of us with the condition. That was what made me burst into tears. Especially after years of arguing with the school nurse about how I wasn’t lying.

Vindication. Suck it, Nursie.

Anyway, I spent a really long time trying so many combinations of medication in an attempt to get my pain under control. Eventually I gave up. They didn’t work, and so I didn’t really see any point in taking something that didn’t have a positive effect on how I felt. I do want to make it clear that I’m not anti-medication like a lot of bloggers seem to be. It’s just that for me, everything I’ve ever taken has either not worked or caused side-effects that were worse than what I was living with in the first place. I think it’s really dangerous when wellness bloggers advocate for not taking any medication because the ‘body can heal itself if you just eat, drink, think the right way’ etc. But y’all know my feelings on that!

I was also pushed to go to pain management – let’s just say that it didn’t go well. CBT is NOT for me, and the woman I saw pretty much told me to expect less of myself. Which made me angry. And more depressed. Which led to me taking anti-depressants and the fun psychotic episode and subsequent PTSD that they caused. Thanks, lady.

So, for pretty much the best part of a decade (with a few attempts thrown in here and there), I’ve been painkiller free. But most definitely not pain free.

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you’ll know that I’m a pretty stubborn person. I have shit that I want to do and achieve in my life, and I’m trying really hard not to let my body stop me. I mean, it does, a lot. But shh.

At the moment my pain levels are spiralling out of control and I need to do something about it.

I had a phone call with my GP a month or so ago, but she was about to go on maternity leave (selfish) and wasn’t comfortable starting a drug programme for me that she wouldn’t be there to supervise. So she recommended someone else.

Yesterday I went to see him, and I was pleasantly surprised. He took my pain seriously, believed me when I said that everything we’d tried hadn’t worked, and didn’t try to fob me off with paracetamol. I’d seen him before, and it’s sad that I’m always surprised when I see a doctor that actually listens to me. It really shouldn’t be that way. Also, I happen to have a really awesome GP surgery where I live.

We talked a lot about my type of pain, what triggers it and how it affects me. We talked about my reactions to other kinds of medications and realistically what we could hope to expect.

Apparently anywhere above a 6 on a personal pain scale is unacceptable (which is funny because I feel like my 6 is probably a 2341,000 on a normal person), and that while it would be almost impossible to get rid of my pain. We could aim to get it to a 2.

A 2!!!!

He recommended that we try liquid morphine. I sat up very excitedly when I heard that. Morphine is legit. But, we have to be incredibly careful and monitor it a huge amount.

Discussions about the prevalence in people overdosing or misusing painkillers is becoming more common in the media. I’m not going to get into that here, but for people suffering from long-term chronic pain conditions, finding a way to safely manage painkillers is so incredibly important.

We’re starting me off on a super low dose (half a teaspoon every couple of hours) and then talking again on Friday to see how that went. We may adjust. The end goal is to get me onto a patch for a more controlled and long-lasting effect.

I started taking the morphine yesterday, and while I’m not sure if it had a big impact on my pain, I was in a significantly better mood and able to manage it better. Granted, I was a little bit high. But right now, that’s ok. I was high in a productive way.

My mum doesn’t trust me alone with the bottle (hysterical “I want to die” pain doesn’t really inspire all that much confidence, I understand) so she came over to my flat twice yesterday to give me my dose, and I’m currently at the house so she can keep an eye on me. We are a little bit concerned about how dose levels (if I need to go higher) and the possibility of addiction (junkie chic is so not in right now).

At the moment, I don’t know whether this is going to work, but it’s worth a try.

Wish me luck!


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8 Comments

8 Comments on Gimme drugs! It’s time to start trying painkillers again

  1. Anne wild
    August 10, 2016 at 9:37 am (9 months ago)

    I’ve just come out of a lengthy flare-up but managed not to use morphine this time. 2years ago I had surgery on both elbows(cubical release). Was referred to pain management and was given morphine patches plus gabapentin 300mg starting with 1 at night for two nights the adding tea time and working up to 4 times a day. On day 3 I had a bad “episode” at lunch time at work and was told I could go home…. Motorway was not the best idea. I had to pull up on hard shoulder and dial 999 I was so spaced out and had tremors and visual disturbances. I eventually had to stop the patches as I started to react, I itched badly and skin looked like it was burnt. My point is. It’s good to increase slowly, I feel mine was too much too quickly. My sister started on 100mg gabapentin. Having someone with you at hand is very sensible, just in case. I’m still taking 300mg but only 3 times a day and have oral morphine as a back up but still unopened. My daughter 14yr old) is only on paracetamol, dislocated almost daily and she needs something stronger but they are reluctant, I get that but it’s heartbreaking to see her in so much pain. I’ve started a diary of dislocations and have told her to be honest about her pain levels. I think we all have a high pain tolerance, it’s something we have to develop or we would just give up completely. I wish you good luck on the pain management. X

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      August 10, 2016 at 9:39 am (9 months ago)

      Gosh! Yes, definitely building up slowly is super important, and also working out whether the side-effects help or not or are too dangerous to keep going (something I know a lot about!)

      I hope your daughter gets the appropriate pain management soon – it’s crazy how complex it all is x

      Reply
  2. Silvia Logan
    August 10, 2016 at 8:39 pm (9 months ago)

    Natasha, living with chronic pain is not pleasant at all. I know that it feels extremely uncomfortable for you. It is good that this male doctor listens to your problems, because then he becomes more understanding of your pain and discomfort. I wish you good luck in your new medication.

    Reply
  3. Sheila Bergquist
    August 11, 2016 at 6:33 am (9 months ago)

    Good luck and I hope it works for you.

    Reply
  4. Rita Perry
    August 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm (9 months ago)

    Natasha, I really hope the morphine takes the edge off the pain. Like you, I felt the side effects gave me worse problems than my EDS and vulvodynia symptoms. YOU are such an inspiration to me and I love your blogs. Have just bought your e-book and love that too. Really good to show my family and friends who still don’t get it! Take care Natasha.

    Reply
    • Natasha Lipman
      August 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm (9 months ago)

      Thank you so much, Rita! I hope it helps, too!

      And thank you for your really kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed my ebook and my blogs :) Have a lovely day xx

      Reply

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