Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Month Already?

I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged. I have done so much! Spent a week at the beach with my amazing boyfriend, a week back at my mom's house in Sacramento, completely redoing my front porch (oh the joys of buying a foreclosed home!), daily walks with my dog and getting ready for school. All of those little things are so much easier to handle now that I don't have horrible headaches.

I use my stimulator sporadically. I will turn it on when my pain reaches a 2 or 3 and generally leave it on for a full day. I notice the stimulation is stronger when I press on my forehead, so sleeping on my stomach can be a little uncomfortable. Usually around hour 25 it really starts to annoy me, so I'll switch it off for a day or two. Then the cycle starts again.

Something I have really been struggling with is getting off of pain killers. I wasn't sure if I should broach this subject, but I think it's important. My use of opiates has been fairly consistent over the past few years. I have never had an addiction problem, yet I often do not discuss my usage because many people do not understand taking them responsibly. I always hear a story about how it's only a matter of time before I become an addict.

I strongly believe that to become addicted to opiates you can't be in pain. At least not chronic, overwhelming pain like many of us are. There are some doctors who do not believe in prescribing pain killers unless a person is terminally ill. This is beyond frustrating to those suffering with chronic pain. To be honest, those pills saved my life. There were days when I was so hopeless and in such dire pain that I was suicidal. However, there are also doctors that will hand out prescriptions like candy, and these doctors cheapen the real pain that some people are in.

What I am having issues with is physical dependence. Much different from mental addiction. I don't think I realized how much my body needs this medication. I've been trying to wean off slowly, but it's easier said than done. I just can't wait to be done with them!


  1. My doc falls into the category of those who think opiates are only for the terminally ill. I did take them for a short time, but was never allowed more than two a day.

    The good news is that it was no big deal to stop taking them - I definitely was not addicted.

    The bad news is that on those desperate days of horrendous pain, I have no rescue meds.

    I have heard that the key is time, as you mentioned. The slower you wean off the meds, the easier it should be. I hope it goes well for you.

  2. I appreciate you addressing the subject of opiate usage. I've been on these medications for years and they have made it possible for me to survive. Having a level 7 headache every day would be absolute agony if I didn't have the pain meds, and that is something that people who have never experienced chronic pain can understand. I, too, have kept quiet about my pain med usage to most people because there is such a stigma attached.

    It's very normal after severals years of use to have a physical dependence - I know that I have one. Is your doctor helping you wean off the medication? I'm eagerly awaiting the day when my stimulator is controlling my pain so I can wean off myself. I'm 3 week post-op so I've got a ways to go. Wishing you all the best as you transition off the meds.