I am 36 and used to live a very full life. I was very active, had a great social life, had a great career, and loved doing different activities. I am VERY fortunate to have the most amazing husband of 11 yrs, a 5yr old son, and beautiful 3 yr old little girl. They are my life and I am so lucky for every day I have with them.
I see a psychologist every month who has helped me tremendously get through the depression I was in. I credit him for giving me a life back. It's a different life, but I am happy. HOWEVER..... I miss so much about my other life.
I hate to even admit to this, but I miss having cocktails with my husband. I was never a huge drinker, but I love a glass of wine. We built a brand-new home 4 years ago and my husband had a custom wine cooler installed in our kitchen for me. I cannot use it any longer because of the meds I am on. I really REALLY want to be able to drink a glass of wine or two occassionally. Is this really too much to ask? I am afraid to even bring this up to my pain doctor for fears he will think I am an alcoholic. I am not...really, I'm not. Tomorrow night, for example, my husband and I are going out to dinner and then a comedy club with a group of our friends. I will be the only one not having a drink. In fact, there is a two drink minimum at the comedy club. Sure, I can technically order a soda, but I don't want to.
Is there ANYONE in pain management who is able to have a glass of wine here and there? That's all I want. Just some resemblance of my old life, and to be able to go to dinner and have a nice glass of wine with my husband. Oh...I am currently on the following medications for DDD and chronic nerve damage: Kadian, Oxycodone, Zoloft, Trazadone, Amitiza. (I've tried every nerve medication out there, but none have worked for me).
I too was very frustrated with not being able to have a drink. I've been on some form of pain meds for 26 years, since my assault. Like you I'm not an alcoholic, but there were some celebrations where I would have liked a drink. It's very frustrating. It's also tough because I don't want to say that I can't have a drink because I'm on heavy hitting meds. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining.
I wish I could help you, I can't, but I can commiserate with you.
I don't remember how long it took me to get used to my CP life. I know that it was gradual. Unfortunately we have to accept a new normal. It's not a normal any of us signed up for, and it stinks but it's a new normal.
All I can say is hang in there. Vent to us, we understand.
The best advice I can offer is to pray that the medical community can find a cure for your disease, or a way to manage it without narcotics. Trust me it happens.
Oh Note: What is DDD? Thanks
I did have this discussion with my pain medicine doctor and he said occasional use was fine as long as I didn't have any within 1 hour of taking my long acting medication so it doesn't accelerate it's dissolving in the body. Maybe try to bring it up in passing such as "Oh, the holidays were fine but I missed having champagne with my friends" and see what his response is. That's how I brought it up and it opened up a good discussion.
DDD is Degenerative Disc Disease. It's a term used to describe changes in the discs as we age. Often it's characterized as "Mild DDD" or "Severe DDD" and if found in those younger than 40 it's can be a concern but only IF it's accompanied by any matching symptoms. It's not truly a "disease" in the same sense that cancer or MS are diseases so it's a bit of a misnomer. It's more of a "disorder" or "process"
I am afraid to even bring this up to my pain doctor for fears he will think I am an alcoholic. I am not...really, I'm not. Tomorrow night, for example, my husband and I are going out to dinner and then a comedy club with a group of our friends. I will be the only one not having a drink. In fact, there is a two drink minimum at the comedy club. Sure, I can technically order a soda, but I don't want to.
You know your Doc best what type of response you think you'll get. PM Docs are all over the place and I'm not sure any of us can know how your Doc would take it.
IMHO, there's far more "risk" than "reward" in this scenario. I tend to make most of my big decisions based on this ratio. One can't ignore that there is a very good possibility that the Doc would take it negatively. In fact, this situation has a very lopsided risk / reward outcome....i.e the positive outcome is not worth the huge risk, IMHO. Not sure I would want something about alcohol in my file....It's permanent and will follow you for a lifetime.
If it were me, I'd continue to work with my therapist on the issue from a personal standpoint. Like Spine said, as long as it's just one glass and you haven't taken a bunch of meds recently, it should be fine. My main concern would be if I took anything with Tylenol or motrin in it. Combining even small amts of those meds with alcohol can be very toxic to your liver. In some, it even kills.
Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear but when it comes to PM, I am very conservative. In fact, I would want to protect what was probably one of the most valuable parts of my life right now, and that is PM.
I've been in pain since 93, first failed surgery and disabled since 99, last time they tried to revise and replace broken hardware. You except your new life when you decide the glass is half full, not half empty. As far as drinking. Certainly follow your docs guidence. I don't drink at all, I never really liked it. My wife and I went to mexico for a week last year and I learned enough spanish to say just a little bit of alcohol and enjoyed tropical slushies all day in the heat. If it tasted like booze I tossed it out and got another although I Haven't had a drink since. Simply no desire to.
I Had a great time and plan to return this spring. Pain didn't stop me from doing a thing I wanted, which was to enjoy the sun, water and my wife.
The narcotocs contract that I signed made me swear that I would avoid all alcohol use. I am not a medical doctor but I am going to hazard a guess that you are on waaay too much narcotic medication to mix them with even a glass of alcohol. I think that this is how people accidentally die. I am taking Lyrica and Nucynta (both say avoid alcohol as well) and just do not think it is worth the risk. I feel as you do though. I MISS my old life. The one where my husband and I came home from work, sat in front of the fire in the winter or outside in the summer and had a glass or two of wine. I can identify completely. Best wishes. Lisa
I can certainly understand your frustration, and can easily relate. Six weeks ago I was diagnosed as being Type2 diabetic on top of the myofascial disease, DDD, bone spurring, bulging disks, etc. I had barely gotten used to the idea of chronic pain and now another disease to deal with. People keep telling me 'well you have to exercise more' but as most of us know that's not always easy or even possible with the pain.
I too used to love a glass of wine now and then. Since I was put on MS-Contin that's been a total no-no. Now it's a total no-no regardless of which meds I'm on along with a lot of other things.
I would ask your doctor what you can and can't do, and asking in the context of 'during the holidays' is a good way to do it. A lot of people will have a glass of wine or cocktail with dinner out with friends (or just 'the two of us') for a special occasion or holiday.
In the meantime as others have said feel free to vent your frustrations here.
Now "DEPENDING" on what cocktail of meds your taking, for me its only narcotic type.
I think having a drink once a month on a special occasion is ok.
I would make a big fret about having a small glass of wine once every month. And I don't think your doctor would think its big deal either.
Now if your taking benzo's along with narcotics, and other physcatric type meds, with some anti-inflammatory's and some NAISD's, I would agree and personally would not even consider having one drink.
But if your pain regime just consists of narcotics primarily and you can handle a drink without getting messes up by it, then I don't think its that big a deal and again I really don't think the doctor would think its a big deal either.
I know mixing acetemenophen/Tylenol with alcohol is not that good, but then again if its once every few months.
Also if you read the warning labels that come with most narcotic meds, it does not say do not drink alcohol, it says "Be Careful this medicine may cause drowsiness and alcohol may intesify this effect"
Again I'm not a doctor and please do not take this email as me saying hey go have a drink.
All I;m saying is if your pain regime just consists of Narcotics or particular drugs where having one drink (At worst may only intesify the effect of your drowsiness) then I don;t see the big deal in having one drink every month or other month or whenever a special occasion comes.
I know some docs may make a huge deal of it, I'm very confidant my doc would not and at least would not consider me a junkie if I were to ask something along the lines of "Hey doc its my girlfriends birthday this weekend, do you think it would be a big deal for me to have one glass of wine"
Even though we take a large amount of narcotics are bodies are used too or should I say very tolerant to those amounts. So if for example we take 300mg of Oxycodone a day, that maybe a none opiate persons equivalent of taking one or two vicodin's a day"
Anyways jusy me opnion. I hope I'm not out of line with thinking that depending on what meds you take the one drink maybe ok. Once in a while.
Acetaminophine and Ibuprofen can be be very toxic long term to your kidneya and /or liver. I specifically demanded that be switched from 7.5/500mg to 10/325 mg percocets for that reason. I've know people that were on straight 800mg acetominaphine who ended up needing transplants and now have to take more drugs to avoid transpant rejcetion and are immunocomprimised.
Please note that acetaminophen is very safe in many ways. Talk with your doctor about all meds you take and specific doses. In doing so I found I was not even close to any dangerous level of daily acetaminophen or ibuprofen intake and was just find continuing on what I had been prescribed. You just have to be careful about not adding to acetaminophen or ibuprofen intake by taking cold medications or other medications that have these as well. Label reading is imperative.
I am not used to my Pain Management Life. i am not used to my life with severe, crippling, chronic pain that has left me bedridden. I used to be so active. In fact, I was an Olympic Athlete. My severe pain and being dependent on the Pain Management Clinic to help me resume any type of normal life has left me feeling worthless, pathetic, and uneasy. I really cannot believe that this is my life. I hate more than anything being at the mercy of The Pain Management Clinic to treat me. They make me feel like I am a drug user. I have been told that people fake injuries just to get meds. However, I have a tumor and a club foot. This is something that cannot be fakes. When I go to The Pain Management Clinic I get so anxious, nervous, and sick to my stomach because I feel as though I am being judged. I feel as though the pain management people look at me as a pathetic person. I have cried during my appointments because of the pain and because I feel as though I am being judged (it really hurts my feelings). Then I feel dumb and embarrassed for crying during my appointments. I wish I had a miracle and the pain and tumor would disappear. I do not know if I will get used to PM life. I am seeing a psychiatrist that is in the office of the Pain Management Clinic I go to. I understand all the rules and guidelines that the PM Clinic has to follow, especially when there are people that fake injuries to get meds. In my case, and I am certain most people writing on this board, my problems are obvious. A club foot and tumor cannot be faked. My quality of life has really gone down hill. I have a young son and a husband. I feel as though my disability diminishes their enjoyment of life. I can't do anything because of the pain and it is so difficult to accept. My hope is that the Pain Management Clinic will be able to treat me so that I can get out of bed. I have been going since August. So far I have been given 30 hydrocodone for thirty days. This is less hydrocodone than my PCP used to prescribe to me. I switched to the PM Clinic with the hope and dream that they would be able to give me meds that allowed me to get out of bed. My ortho doctor wrote a letter to the PM Clinic saying that his recommended course of actions would be a strong narcotic taken 2-3 times a day and then something else for break thru pain. I know that I have not been able to express myself to the PM Clinic workers. My next appointment will be with the doctor. I hope that by time I am confident to talk to him and get a good treatment plan going. Patients of the PM clinic are only supposed to see the doctor one time a year. However, after my last visit I told them that I needed to see the doctor. The crippling pain and everything that I cannot do has lowered my self esteem and self worth. I have not been able to talk to the PM people because I get too nervous. I say things such as "the hydrocodone works sometimes." It does not, but, I am too afraid to say the truth. I am too afraid because the PM Clinic has emphasized people faking injuries just to get meds. I do not want to be seen as one of those people. I do not know why I was told this because as I stated earlier my problems a club foot and tumor would be impossible to fake. I have MRIs twice a year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much!
Is there a chance of your PCP referring you to a different PM Practice? I see a doctor nearly every time and am long acting med (Opana) along with vicodin for breah thru and a muscle relaxant.
While every PM practice wil make you sign a contract, you should feel comfortable talking to them about what works and what doesn't. I have an open discussion with the PM doc and staff every time and this has led to increases in dosages and additional meds
My heart goes out to you. I know how difficult it is to tell the people at the pain clinic how severe the pain is, but you have got to tell them. Like you, I used to not tell the doctors how bad it was because I didn't want to sound like I was complaining. I realized that I was only hurting myself and my family when I did this as I wasn't getting good pain coverage for the month. Once I was honest and laid it on the line the doctors worked with me to develop a long range plan which we reviewed and tweaked every month. If anything I began to err on the side of being in more pain than less. It really made a difference.
As you noted with the impact with your family it is awful. My husband often says that this isn't what he signed up for. That's a good way to put it.
Hang in there. Vent to us. Be assertive. Let us know how to help.
P.S I found that once I was working with a pain management group my other doctors took me more seriously. My problems were with TMJ and I can't tell you how many dentists I went to who told me that my pain was all in my head, that they treated TMJ with.... therapy and since it didn't work for me I must not really have pain at all, that I was drug seeking. Well once I started working with the pain doctors the dentists took me more seriously. As it turned out I had bad joints and just had them replaced, so I was not drug seeking.
Last edited by Pegala; 01-13-2010 at 02:35 PM.
Reason: I added info