Prescription Medications Can Help with Pain Management: My Experiment
I've had some major health issues in the last several months and have been on and off a ton of medications. Presently I've been taking prescriptions for tramadol, tramacet and ibuprofen for my most recent injury. I experimented and went off the medications to see if they actually work, and here is that story.
So I've had a heck of a ride on the health train for the last 19 months, admitted into the hospital 13 times, 4 surgeries and one more to go, only one I hope. Right now the biggest and most pressing issue is my shattered femur and broken pelvis. I'm in pool therapy and physio several times a week and am relearning how to walk. The pain has been an issue, a big issue. And then again, eight weeks ago I landed in the hospital for an obstructed bowel; a reoccurring emergency as a result of last years perforated bowel surgeries. This visit put me back about a week as far as my mobility recovery goes, maybe more.
Off the Pain Meds
When I got out of the hospital I decided I wasn't going to take the pain medications as often as they were prescribed. I wanted to stop feeling like I was drugged up constantly and in that place of being surrounded by a soft body pillow. I decided I would only take them when I was really in pain. Of course I hadn't taken into account all the prescriptions I was on for the week in the hospital were contributing to my feeling of fogginess, and maybe I wasn't making this decision with a clear head, but I made up my mind. I was leaving the hospital wanting to get all the prescription drugs out of my system. Besides, I wanted to know if the pain medications really did address the pain that weight bearing brought with it.
So that was 3 weeks ago. The days have been long and my mobility really stopped progressing. The pain has been so bad in the last 3 weeks that I had to walk with more supports than usual; I couldn't just use the cane. I needed the scooter more than ever to get around. Getting out of bed in the middle of the night was torture. I had stopped doing very much around the house because it took too much effort and I had become so slow at doing anything - again. When I went off the medication, although I was trying to regulate myself by limiting my activity, it backfired. I need to still be able to exercise, even if it is the form of stretches, moving around the house and my therapies. I was quickly becoming not only limited in my range of motion but in my willingness to try to push myself because it was too painful. I had also started to become depressed because of the lack of progress or regression.
I met with my surgeon and I'm not healing as fast as I could, apparently it was a really bad break. So he is going to wait 5 more months then remove all of the hardware. He said I may have a limp for the rest of my life. He also said that I have until surgery to get as good as I can. After the surgery I'll have a few more bonus healing months but that's it. So in my mind if I can't move forward in my healing due to pain I won't heal properly - ever.
So 4 days ago I decided to start taking the pain medications as prescribed again. Yesterday my depression left me. I started to be able to function again without too much pain again after 2 days on the medication. I still am in pain at the end of the day but not so much at the beginning. I wake up and am able to get to the bathroom with relative ease (for my condition). I've started to be able to cook and do dishes again. I am not spending all day thinking about the pain either.
So from this experiment I realize that even though I don't want to take pharmaceutical drugs and rely on them to help me get through the day, they are benefiting me. I have gone off and on them enough to know that I won't become addicted. I can definitely identify exactly how they are helping my body cope with the trauma. If these drugs are going to help me strengthen my muscles and ligaments, allow my bones to regrow and heal, if they allow me to exercise the muscles needed to make them functional again, I need to take them until I can walk again without the limp - like it or not.
Acupuncture done right ...
- Awakening Wellness Centre | Acupuncture Victoria BC
Awakening Wellness Centre Victoria BC offers acupuncture, massage, colon hydrotherapy, Chinese medicine and spa services for pain, stress, digestive problems, weight loss, and other health concerns.
Have you been taking medications longer than you'd like to be?
So I didn't have to remain on medications until the surgery. I stopped the prescription medications completely 2 months after this was written.
I went to an alternative health practitioner who completely relieved ALL PAIN after 3 acupuncture treatments. My hip was 100% pain free after one treatment and a second session took care of areas of my leg that needed extra help. My shoulders and neck have some reoccurring mild pain from using the cane but not nearly as severe as it had been for the last year.
I will be going into surgery clear headed and physically in the best shape that I can be. Being off the medications this long has brought me back to myself again. I can think, remember, make decisions without being foggy and I have got my creative side back. I can think on multiple levels and solve conceptual problems. If I am am not physically back yet my mental state will help me get through the rest of this.
The prescription medications were good to help get me past the acute pain, and I am thankful they exist for that reason, but I am very glad to be off them.
I believe that the acupuncture treatments I received as well as breathing techniques I was taught by Lars Fenske were and are instrumental in helping me deal with and manage my pain and I will continue using acupuncture when needed. I hope to minimize the drugs put back into my body for as long as possible.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or alternative health care provider before taking any herbal supplements, home remedies, new products or changing your health regime. Even though we are responsible for our own health, we need the guidance of trained professionals.
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