coming from a nurse

June 7, 2008 at 12:15 am

I know im coming into this discussion late, and maybe no one will see it, but i’ll pass this along anyway.

First, what works for my pain is Ultram, but i haven’t been able to take it since ive been pregnant, so i do take up to 4 vicodin a day. But, it definitely doesn’t work as well as ultram, which is an anti-inflammatory, rather than an opiate, etc. It doesn’t give you the high feeling that so-called “drug seekers” are looking for. I like it because it controlled my pain wonderfully, and i felt no obvious side effects. And, no one seems to raise their eyebrows with that “oh, she takes pain meds” kind of look. Another med i’ve seen work well is the fentanyl patch, and even the sucker (very habit-forming or addictive). There are other forms of fentanyl that can only be given in the hospital setting.

Now, some things that i don’t know how to say without the healthcare professional looking too cautious…

From my experience, asking for pain meds is all in the way you say it. For example, rather than saying, “I need pain medicine”, you could try saying, “I have horrible nerve pain. What do you suggest? I feel like i’ve tried everything in my power, but nothing is working and it is now intolerable”. Let them know that you are willing to try meds like neurontin, lyrica, etc, so they know you are not just looking for a high. I know we shouldn’t have to go through this, but prescription pain meds are the new fad for addicts, especially teenagers. This has made the law, the pharmacies, and doctors, everyone crack down on drugs like vicodin, lortab, percocet and oxycontin.

Another thing i’ve learned is that doctors can become very guarded when a patient comes in asking for a specific drug. When someone says, “I’m in pain. I need ___________”, then the doc may be quick to think something suspicious is happening. So, you may be better off saying, “I’m having horrible nerve pain, which is caused by ________. I don’t care what you do, just help me”. I usually ask them to just make the pain tolerable. Then, they will ask you what has worked in the past (protocol). This makes them feel more comfortable, more in control, and less like they may be taken advantage of.

Another thing id like to add is that many pain meds cause addiction, or atleast are habit-forming because our bodies become tolerant of them. They slowly become less affective, so some people may take 2 pills at a time, rather than one, because one doesn’t control their pain anymore. If this happens to any of you, please, please, please tell your doctor. Be honest. Tell them you think you need to change medications, because no good comes out of taking more and more of what already doesn’t work. It can kill you; I’ve watched it happen many times, and it breaks my heart. Once people start taking more than they are supposed to, then they have an even harder time finding help from anyone, and pain medications don’t work as well on their bodies, so they are always in pain. Chronic pain sufferers are at very high risk for this, so i worry about everyone, including myself. Good luck!