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Friday, January 22, 2010

Learned A Lesson I Could Have Lived Without

Due to miscounting on my part I ran out of my sustained release (maintenance) medication yesterday morning and could not fill my new prescription until today. I had a couple of my breakthrough pills left and those kept me out of major withdrawal but I got an idea of what my pain would be like if I no longer had pain medication. I didn't get a complete idea as the breakthrough meds I took did help a little bit with the pain but what I did experience was just horrible! My entire lower back and pelvis just ached, throbbed and felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly in multiple places. My legs were shaky, tingly, pins & needles with occasionaly sharp shooting pains. If it had gotten worse I know my legs wouldn't have held me up. So I learned that if I ever get taken off my pain medication, I will not be able to walk due to the pain. I know that I would not be able to live with that kind of pain on a daily basis, it would kill me. I figure I'd be suicidal within a few days at the most, if not faster.

Besides hurting like absolute hell this experience scared the shit out of me! The idea that I would be in such horrendous pain, unable to walk, and (without medication) without any chance of relief, just terrifies me. It is hard enough dealing with the pain I do feel and its impact on my day to day life; I know I wouldn't be able to live with the amount of pain I would have without my medication. Yesterday showed me that very clearly. I also know with the DEA getting more involved with how doctors prescribe pain medication, and how difficult it has become to get my prescriptions on a monthly basis, that it is very possible that the day will come when I can't get pain medication anymore. The DEA does not belong in the middle of the doctor patient relationship. The DEA should not have the power to decide which patients deserve pain medication and which ones do not, irregardless of the doctor's opinion.

There was a booklet in my doctor's office yesterday that talked about the guidelines the DEA is giving pain management doctors. Under no circumstances is a perscription to be replaced if the patient said they lost it, it got damaged, or stolen. Same with an early refill. The patient is to be considered a drug addict or a drug pusher who has sold their medication and/or prescription or somehow diverted them. There is no room for accidents or anything else.

Another thing is my prescriptions must be exactly 30 days apart. No more overlap is allowed. It used to be that a patient was given about a week's overlap in their prescriptions. This was to allow for the possibility of their appointment being moved (which my doctor's office has done for every appointment I've had for the last 6 months) to a day after they run out, or the patient winding up in the hospital and missing their appointment or things of that nature. This is no longer allowed. If a patient is found to have more than a 30 day supply they are discharged from care and considered an addict, assumed to have bought street drugs. This counts even if the prescription is written for the patient to take it on an "as needed" basis; such dosing often leaves a few pills left over at the end of 30 days if the patient only takes it when they really need it. It is just insane.

Its yet another example of how a few people can end up screwing up the lives of everyone else. It is so frustrating.

OK I'll stop ranting now. I havne't posted in a while because my depression came on strong the last couple of weeks. I just didn't feel like blogging or anything else. I did force myself to stitch at least a few minutes every day even if I didn't enjoy doing it. As my pain has allowed I have also forced myself to do some household type chores as often as I could. So far I've done at least a load of laundry every day with more days of me doing more chores than that. I'm proud of myself for continuing to do things even when I would have preferred to just vegetate all day. I did finally get a prescription for a new anti-depressant and I took one last night. They make me drowsy, but I expect they'll stop doing that within a couple weeks, once my body adjusts to them. I am hoping they will help with the depression, which would help a lot.

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Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

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