Without Prejudice. The posts in this blog are only my opinion, and should not replace or be considered that of a qualified physician. Brand names that are commented on are not meant to disrespect of be defamatory in any sense. The posts in this blog are only based on my personal experience under a doctor monitored and regulated use of opiates as an effective treatment for chronic pain.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ability to live as intended - educating friends and family on chronic pain and the use of oxycontin and other opiods

"please give me some advice the pain i feel is excruciating and has taken my ability to live as intended away and i am at the end of my rope................"

Ok. Shit happens, right? And pain sucks. But the medication works. Take it. You covered a lot of ground in your comment and I want to be able to comment on every one of your points and thoughts. 

But to start, if the friends that are opinionated are worth keeping, then take the time to educate them about it. Tell them about your condition and be honest about what it is like to be in pain. If it is someone who you are not too concerned about, fuk them. Seriously - they are not worth it and they will never care enough to empathize with your pain to really appreciate the treatment and its benefits. 

But the trick is in getting someone to understand what chronic pain is before they can understand the treatment.

I explained to a good and concerned friend one day... I said: 
"imagine having a really bad headache right now. A steady painful headache, like the ones you get from a hangover after drinking sweet white wine. The headache that moves with your body and thumps with your pulse and is in the forethought of everything and every second.

Keep that headache all day - thru your entire work day, with all the things you do at work and all the people you need to interact with - and then drive home with the headache, still thumping and aching. Have supper with it, spend time with your wife while having the headache, then go to bed with the headache. Sleep with the headache.

That is one day.

Then try to imagine that hangover headache being there to wake you up in the morning. Shower with it, have breakfast with it and go thru another day with it - work, lunch, work, home, supper, wife, kids, sleep – all 24 hours with the same damn headache. Sleep with the headache. 

Then do that for a third day, all day and all night.
Then do that for each and every day of the week including the weekend. 

After a full week with a nonstop really bad hangover headache, imagine how irritable you would be, how out of focus. Then keep the headache for another 7 days of work and weekend.

Then do that all over again for another week, and then another, with Saturady and Sunday, evenings included, and all thru your sleep with the same headache. 

After one month of a really bad headache, start the second month with the same headache, but maybe a little worse and shifted over a bit. And go thru each day of each week of the second month. 

It is easy to paraphrase it and just say “week” or “month”, and to make time pass, but with pain there is no jump ahead. Each hour passes on its own.  Each day you have to work and look after your responsibilities. Each day has 24 hours that have 60 minutes that have 60 seconds that pass like 1 mississippi 2 mississippi 3 mississippi 4 mississippi 5 mississippi 6 mississippi 7 mississippi 8 mississippi 9 mississippi 10 mississippi … each damn second passes in its own space of time. 

Keep the pain of the headache for another 30 days - 30 days with 24 hours in each day and 60 minutes in each hour and 60 seconds in each minute with the headache thumping with your pulse and banging with your movements. – 1 mississippi 2 mississippi…

Then do it all again for another 30 days (1 mississippi)... take the headache for 60 days. Take it 90 and then 120 days non-stop with a real bad hangover headache.

Imagine your doctor telling you that you will always have the headache. Forever. It will always be there for every waking moment.

It will never go away. 

At a point you realize that it just plain hurts a lot, all of the time. And that you are miserable, depressed. 

All you want is some time without the headache - an hour, minute or even a few seconds were there is no headache. Just a few seconds to feel normal."

Then I asked him to just take a few minutes to imagine everything he today and then in the last week, and add a headache to everything he did. 

“Now take a pill and it is all gone. Gone. No pain.”

He seemed to understand at that point. 
He could understand a bad headache and he could understand time. But he could not understand chronic pain until I did the math for him.

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