Narcotic Misconceptions

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Posted by jackie ( on November 04, 2000 at 07:42:16:

It really is upsetting that in the year 2000 their is still the misconceptions with narcotic usage, by people and doctors.

I will tell you a little of my over all story about narcotics etc.

At the age of 19 years old I was hurt on the job and had several buldging discs in my low back. This condition progressed into a severe herniation, bladder retention, stomach/bowel paralysis etc. The last 3 years I have had to use a walker so that my spine doesn't compress and put more pressure on my already torn/buldging discs (which in turn lead to bilatteral carpel tunnel and 2 surgeries). This doesn't not include the car accident that damaged the rest of spinal discs and caused the headaches etc. (I was in therapy for 22 months = 3 times a week for the car accident with no improvement)

I was shoved from one doc. to another. the same answer was always given this is not a surgical problem, you just want narcotics, you need a psych evalutaion. So I went for the Psych evals always to be told this isn't a psychological problem it is a physical. You are not exaggerating, out for money, etc. and off to another doctor I'd go. This went round and round for 14years, before I finally found a surgeon, who was absolutely appalled by the treatment of the other doctors, not to mention the insurance company for all the denials on treatments, surgeries etc. I truely thank god for my primary care doctor who believed in me unconditionally.

During this time I have been on numerous medications from steriods, anti-inflammatory's, and YES even Narcotics!!!OOOOHHHH.....

Before surgery I was taking 30-40 mg of valium a day, 5-6 high potency vicodin, AND on a morphine patch at 75 ug a day. Sound like a lot hu?? NO! this barely touched the pain, But it keep me functional enough to not be totally bed ridden. Did I get "high" from the drugs NO!!!! The only thing you can tell is that the pain is easing up their are no highs if you are taking narcotics for real pain, unless you have been given a dose that is to high and/or you are not used to it. Believe it or not the DOCTORS STILL SAY I AM UNDERMEDICATED!!

I still take 1-2 High potency Vicodin a day, Morphine patch of 25ug, and during really bad flare ups I take MORE vicodin and also Valium. Oh and don't forget the Demerol I was just prescribed to take with ALL of this for the headaches.

Chronic Pain (ANYWHERE) is different for everybody. I unfortunately am one of the people who build tolerences to dosages quickly (sometimes in as little as 1-2 doses). A drug tolerence is also with you the rest of your life. You don't just quite the drug and 20 years from now you react normal. Does this mean I am a narcotic junkie. NO I DON'T TAKE THE MEDICATION FOR A HIGH..I TAKE IT TO SURVIVE!!!

People with "true" chronic pain take narcotics for #1 Survival #2 to be productive citizens. NOT FOR HOW HIGH CAN I GET...Yes their are many that abuse narcotics, but the questions to be asked are #1 Do you have to take it because you can't "live" with out it #2 Do you "crave" the medicine #3 are you being deceptful or obtaining these drugs illegally or going from doctor to doctor????? ETC....

All the chronic pain patients I know including myself don't get high, can live without taking medication (but would rather be as productive as possible and not bed ridden).

It is bad enough when you have to educate every person you come into contact with because "Narcotic's are EVIL" but when you have to also educate the medical field...This gets really old.

Example of this: after my surgery (which I was told by surgeon that I "Technically" shouldn't have been able to walk the last 5 years) the surgeon was just giving me my morphine patch the first day. I had to explain to him that the patch doesn't affect "acute or postop" pain only pain that is chronic/constant in nature. Or going in to clinic or E.R. with a headache and need a shot..It is always the same thing "Oh well you are already on Narcotics" Then you have to explain this again that these are daily not occassional medicines.

To be perfectly honest these don't even make me sleepy and if you would meet me you would not know I was on them unless I shared this information with you.

So please don't give "Narcotic" a bad rap..In my case they have been literally a life saver. Just because someone takes them doesn't mean that they are "druggies" or "psychologically deficient" Thank for letting me vent. Jackie

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