My sister has had MS for 15 years. Her primary symptoms are emotional lability and pain in her shoulders. When we were young (we are past 50), she had emotional problems, and before being diagnosed, she was addicted for 10 years to prescription drugs--Valium and other narcotics. Now, in my opinion, she is using her diagnosis of MS to get prescription drugs. She freely gets benzodiazepines and has been on them for over 10 years. She was in a rehab clinic for alcohol addiction, but no one seems to see that the drugs have replaced the drinking. She was using a morphine patch for 5 years, now she is on methadone. She gets oxycondin with no trouble. She is a zombie, I don't know how to talk to her, I don't know who she will be. She isolates herself, we have become estranged. My heart is broken because I feel that my sister has disappeared. She is in regular contact with a doctor who was suspended briefly for "sexual impropriety", and also for "wrongful death". She says he has given her hugs many times. She thinks that he cares about her. Please, anybody who has insight into my sister's plight, please give me some comfort.
Rx, I'm so sorry you are having to mourn your sister while she is still with you. I believe it is less difficult to fight drug addiction when drugs and alcohol can be eliminated completely - when some drugs are actually needed it becomes more like food addiction. It is easier to quit altogether than to learn to use responsibly. Sounds like your sister has effectively established a support system for abuse with a sleazy doctor.
The real problem is finding some personal motivation on her part to change, to treat herself better. If she has no desire to live better, an intervention may be in order. Even if her Dr is willing to enable her, you and others around her can come together and put your foot down - "tough love". It isn't easy or fun, and ultimately she has to choose life or living death (or even actual death, always a possibility with addiction) so the risk is scary.
I'm praying for both of you. She may have the physical pain but you both have the insidious emotional pain. God can and still does heal both.
I know exactly how you feel because I have a sister (64) who is addicted to drugs (pain pills) and is also an alcololic. She does not have MS but claims to be in pain all the time ... the doctors can not find anything wrong with her. She has some bad mental problems and takes meds for that ... I know she takes methadone and Lord knows what else. The Doctors won't help her where she lives so she drives around 80 miles to a dr who will give her what she wants. I have tried everything I know to make her see what she is doing to herself (and those who love her) but she just gets very upset with me ... says she doesn't have a problem and doesn't want to talk about it. I miss the sweet sister I use to know and wish that things could be different.
I wish I could give you some comfort but I did want you to know I understand.
God help us all.
Addiction is a terrible terrible disease and I am very sorry that you have to go through this. I was in a relationship with an alcoholic for years before I realized that all he did was lie - just wound these tales of promises. When I realized that he wasn't going to change and asked him to leave - I went through this awful period of feeling like i abandoned him.
Again - I can't offer much advice, but many people understand the cycle of addiction. . .you just have to find your place in it all.
This is a sad situation and my heart and prayers are with you, Has anyone ever questioned her ability to care for herself ? I believeyou should investigate having her declared incompetient and institutionalized until she is stable enough to care for herself. As for the doctor he should lose his license to practice and I would be talking to an attorney and to the A.M.A. or the College of Physicans and Surgeons depending where you are located,either The U.S. or Canada. Prayers are with you .
tThank you one and all for your replies. You provided some comforting thoughts, makes me feel that the load is easier. An intervention is how I would like it to work out, but it's all tangled up in family ghosts and bitterness. I have tried to contact my sister, to ask her to just go have a coffee with me, but she only hangs up the phone and takes it off the hook. We haven't spoken for nearly two years. I guess that's about how things will remain. I miss her. I am shunned by her and her kids, it's unlikely I will reach her. Getting past the troops she has in place, including homecare workers, physios, and her dealer, the despicable Dr. Feelgood, I think that I will just wait it out. There seems to be no other way.
In all of these health boards, we should have a lively discussion on the ethics of prescription drugs. My sister is more devasted from the so-called treatment than by her disease. In fact, I know many more people who battle sanctioned drug effects. Sleeping pill addiction is common in the elderly, for example, and leads to many, unnecessary problems, such as falls and car accidents. We really have too many drugs around. No one can convince me that the average old person needs to be on a dozen pills a day. In fact, I would challange anyone to reassure me that the interactive effects of such chemical cocktails are fully understood. Drugs are only one of many options in dealing with sickness. And in my opinion, only should be given with caution, and full knowledge of what can go wrong, and only when other more benign methods of healing are tried first. But let's face it, drugs are a quick fix, a bandaid, and very profitable.
you know i was here because my wife has ms and came across ur post.i injured my back 5 years ago and after 3 surgeries have been in chronic pain for five years.before this injurie i spoke alot like you but now i know how it feels to be in pain 24hrs aday 7 days a week it never gets tired it never takes a break.i go to pain management and take a combination of very hevy narcotics.i also still work 6 days a week and do my best not to let this pain get me down.sounds like ur sis has more going on than just her chronic pain.
i thank the lord that is all i have.if i had my wifes fatigue or other ppls depression to go with my pain dont know if i would make it.maybe ur sis is stronger than you think.i know before whenever i spoke of ppl with back trouble and on pain meds i sounded alot like you.i was a person who didnt really understand and just assumed to know best.addiction is a terrible problem but be sure first and also be sure that is the only problem going on.deppression and the fatigue that offten comes with ms can be a heavy burrden to bear.