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  • pain meds vs. how long you live?

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    Old 11-10-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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    pain meds vs. how long you live?

    I will most likely be on pain meds the rest of my life. I have had failed back surgery and tons of major surgeries on a wrist that wouldn't heal after a break,(ended in vascular bone trasplant) PLUS several abdominal surgeries and all the stress of these surgeries have left me with chronic back pain and induced fibromyalgia. I also have a lot of arthritis in other spots besides my back. Needless to say, I am on some strong pain meds.(and have been for years) My sister-in-law says that because I am on these meds(narcotics) that I won't live as long a life as I would if I didn't take them. Have any of you out there heard anything like this from Drs. or anyone? I guess I just don't know how I can live without them and have any quality of life. I just need some feedback on this subject. It does upset me. babyboomer6

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    Old 11-10-2009, 02:15 PM   #2
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    Re: pain meds vs. how long you live?

    I have been told that I will live with some degree of pain the rest of my life. So, my choice is to live with meds giving me the quality of life that I want, with my pain managed by meds, or according to your sister, live longer, but live in pain, without meds. Hmmm, that sure is an easy choice in my book. With the medical advances that are being made every year, I hope that in the near future, they will be able to cure back issues. But in the mean time, I will not allow the pain to run my life. I will control it as much as I can, and will manipulate it as much as possible. It's a matter of mind over matter.
    Shoreline is wonderful example of someone who will not let the pain ruin his life. search for his posts and read them. They humble me.

    Your sister-in-law doesn't understand what cp patients go through on a daily basis. Some days it's a grit your teeth just to get ready for work, much less get there type of day. What I would suggest, is to gently change the subject or tell her until she has experineced pain like your, you would rather not discuss it. There is no reason to let her upset you. Ex is right about that-it isn't her business...and the less she knows about what you take is probably better. If she asks how you are-you just say, still livin...

    Consider this. It's not the best life you could have, but is sure beats the alternative! Hang in there!

    Old 11-10-2009, 07:58 PM   #3
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    Re: pain meds vs. how long you live?

    I'm not so sure that such a nice thing to say from your sister in law. The way I look at it that I would rather have 10 years of some kind of quality if life than 20 living in the pain I did before pain management. I wasn't living I was just existing. I still have pain and sometimes a great deal but I also have good days that I am able to do things I enjoy. For many years those things were lost to me.

    Not to generalize it but in a way it comes down to quality vs quantity. You are choosing to fight and take meds to help you live your life, that is a good thing.


    Old 11-10-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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    Re: pain meds vs. how long you live?

    I agree completely about having a quality of life with meds. Obviously, noone wants to die but I would much rather die knowing I enjoyed every minute possible with my kids growing up than not being able to enjoy my girls because I was in tooo much pain. i would hate to die tomorrow and leave my girls thinking that there mommy never played with me, she must not have loved me!!!! They do not understand and I lived long enough not being able to enjoy them as much as I should have been at my age. This breaks my heart just typing this. Its just sad that someone has to make comments like this, trying to make you feel guily for taking meds, maybe??? I dont know her reasoning for it, but I do know that my meds enable me to enjoy my life a lot more, therefore allowing my girls their mommy. As daveseavy says, "IM ALIVE, THE REST IS A BONUS!!!!"
    Take Care

    Old 11-11-2009, 05:53 AM   #5
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    Re: pain meds vs. how long you live?

    My sister -in-laws whole statement was about the fact that pain meds can screw up other parts of our body,thus leaving us vunerable to serious problems. But I don't think I have ever heard any Dr, of mine give concern to this. Some of the side effects can be a little frustrating. But pain like you people and I have to put up with can be more frustrating than any side effect can be. I think if we get a Dr. that knows his meds. and then he or she can monitor them so they can be safe. I don't think they will shorten our lives if we get a good medical team or Dr. etc., that monitors us at all times to keep us healthy. And "pain free"!! I like your statrment pmtest "I'm alive , the rest is a bonus." babyboomer6

    Old 11-11-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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    Re: pain meds vs. how long you live?

    I don't have any statistics on it, but I've haven't heard of effective pain management shortening a person's life span. I know high doses of acetaminophen can cause liver issues, but that's why specialists monitor liver function and so forth (my Doctor orders frequent blood tests to ensure I am within normal range). That's the benefit of effective pain management - we are prescribed long acting pain medications that don't contain acetaminophen (like the fentanyl patch, oxycodone, methadone, etc.) Also, I know personally given the pain medications I'm on, I don't drink alcohol at all (and I'm sure most pain patients are like me), which drinking can be hard on the system itself - which people fail to acknowledge - yet judge people on pain management - go figure (And no I'm not judging people that drink - I'm just observing the irony in it). Also, I would think that the fact that we are seeing our specialists monthly and are monitored so closely has it's advantages in itself! Maybe, I'm getting a false sense of security in that, but I like that I have regular blood screenings, etc.

    Also, when I'm in terrible pain, my blood pressure goes through the roof. When my pain is effectively managed my blood pressure is low-normal. I think walking around in pain with high blood pressure would be dangerous in itself.

    I'm grateful for pain management and the quality of life it's providing.

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    Old 11-11-2009, 08:03 PM   #7
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    Re: pain meds vs. how long you live?

    Narcotic pain medication will not shorten your life unless you do something dumb and drive while impaired from the meds and get in a car accident...but truthfully narcotics themselves have never caused any damage to any part of the body unless it has Tylenol in it, but that's a whole other thing itself.

    Also I have a uncle who does pain managment for people with terminal problems only (cancer, Aids and other terminal stuff like that get refered to him for long term pain control) and I'm always asking him about advances in pain control, or the "future" of pain control, and he told me a couple years ago that scientists have just discovered this substance of some sort that can control every and any pain and doesnt cause dependence of any sort or hardly any side effects, but it will be a good 10-20 years or more before it comes out and they plan on it wiping narcotics off the system all together. Which sounds exciting to me. I guess it can be used anywhere from major surgies to acute pain and for long term chronic pain. But of course it's still brand new so it'll be awhile before we start hearing things about it, and he's also talked about other things that are coming out in the near future and in the far future that will make give doctors more choice in prescribing pain meds and not having to worry about body damage and dependence.

    Actually I really hope what he says is true cause getting pain control is a pain already and is getting tougher to receive everyday. And with so much bad coverage out their, it has lots of people who arnt familiar with pain control to beleive that people who take pain meds drop dead everyday. So I would just ignore that statement, and just be careful around meds that contain APAP, and know that you prolly wont have to use naroctics for the rest of your life with the discoveries and meds they're coming out with.

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