Medication free after years of narcotics for pain

November 26, 2012

I can’t believe that I am finally off my medication.  The pain still lingers in my body from fibromyalgia, but in many ways it seems better than what the narcotics did to my body over time.  The pain is more consistent, not fluctuating around my medication doses, where the intensity would increase as my body became reliant on the drugs for relief.  Though I did experience almost pain-free moments, the overall experience currently isn’t that much different from when I was on medication.  Has my body finally started to heal itself?

The psychological part of taking medication is still active in my brain.  I feel this panic sensation at certain times of the day, thinking I forgot my medication and feel fear at the potential for great pain.  It only takes a split second for me to remember that I don’t need the medication, yet the automatic reaction still lingers.  I no longer have to hide my medication when I am out of the house, or spend time cutting up my medication.  I don’t have to concern myself with the stereotypes of opioid users, though the stereotypes still exist with people who have fibromyalgia (including my own shame around it).  It will probably take some time to get used to this new reality.

When I first began to experiment with various medications prescribed by my doctors, I was in a great deal of pain. I couldn’t imagine living my life in this type of pain every day with no end in sight.  I am grateful that my doctors were able to believe me, and give me some relief from the pain.  I have no doubt that I needed something, but can’t understand why today, my pain is less.  Perhaps my body was better able to adapt with less stress, and better eating habits.  Over the years, I have tried many things to relieve my pain, and understand that a magic cure is probably not out there that works for everyone.  If this were the case, we wouldn’t have disease.  I imagine that the process of disease and healing is a complicated one, though there are many things we know help most, there are many things we don’t know.

The beauty of my own ignorance is that I can’t make claims for other people, nor give a clear path to follow.  This makes the process a personal one, each discovering what works best for them.  As much as I would like to help others have greater healing, I am not a healer.  The blessings of a story, is that we can listen intently, and take the pieces that resonate with us.  My story is in a sense interwoven from the stories of others.  Constantly experimenting for greater health, both physically and spiritually.  I hope that as I continue to make changes to my life, that I will continue to have less pain, and perhaps be cured from what ails my body.  However, of greater importance to me is that regardless of my pain level that I will continue to grow in a way that brings me spiritual peace and hope, as well as deeper relationships with those around me.

Blessings to each of you on your own journey….

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Chronic pain symptoms increase

August 30, 2012

I have had an interesting week making adaptations to my medication.  I added back my third mini dose for my vacation, as my pain was increasing and I didn’t want to deal with it while visiting family.  I have reduced it back to two again a few days ago.  The strange thing is in general I have not noticed a great deal of change in my pain level until now.  The slightly painful tingling sensation in my hands/arms and feet/knees has returned.  When I try to run or kick a soccer ball my legs feel heavy and everything takes more effort.  I try to distract myself with music and/or other thoughts to keep myself active.

I have also had a drastic change in my energy level.  I have periods through the day where I feel a bit “high” and hyper.  Having so much struggle with fatigue this is a welcoming symptom.  Other times in the day I crash where my pain level increases and it is difficult to concentrate.  Generally this is before my typical dose, but not always.

Since I am using such a little dose, I am surprised by the impact upon my daily life.  It makes me aware of the power of the drug I have been taking, as well as the body’s attempt to regulate when I make changes.   I can see the importance for me to make changes slowly, making the process more bearable.  I have a greater understanding of the dependence I had on the drug, and how after time the effect diminished.  Changing medications has always been difficult for me, but at times this is when I would experience the greatest symptoms and the greatest relief.  Since my dose currently is so low, I imagine that the symptoms I am currently having will be similar to what will be the end result when I am drug free, though probably slightly more intense especially when the “high” period ends.

I am still hopeful and feel like this is a huge step in improving my health.  It feels good to be doing something that is improving my daily life, costs less, and is effective.  I have so much to gain, and little to lose.  Though I will always advocate the ability to have pain medication options, I hope we can also have better pain management care.  I am grateful that I had amazingly supportive doctors, yet there was so much tha they didn’t understand and the options were limited and/or highly expensive.  Much of my personal journey has been through my own research, talking to others, finding support, and exploring my own options for improvement.  Taking it one day at a time!


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