The reason I left this topic to cover until near the end is because this is one of the last things I use when I try to manage my own pain. The next post will draw all of it together but in regard to medication, I try to reduce my use of it as much as possible. Sometimes, prescription medications cannot be avoided but for my own pain management, the only two medications I take on a daily basis is a muscle relaxer and a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). With my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the muscle relaxer is to keep my muscles from balling up and the SSRI has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
As I stated earlier, when I was first to the point of being bedridden, the only thing I knew at that time was to try to treat my symptoms with prescription medication. At one point, I was taking 28 pills a day so to say I’ve come a long way in regard to prescriptions, that would be a big understatement. My point is not to say prescription medications are bad but rather they may be a necessary component of your treatment and may include narcotic pain medication. Only in consultation with your doctor can you be sure.
Personally, I can’t relate to those who are addicted to narcotic pain medication. For me, those make me sick to my stomach so I just refuse when a doctor tries to prescribe them for me. Even when I had a hernia surgery a few years ago, I told the doctor I would not take the narcotic that he tried to prescribe. I have had a few non-narcotic medications that I keep in reserve in the event that my pain management gets away from me but those tend to be “emergency use only.” The very light non-narcotic that I keep filled can sometimes help when management can help me regain control but even taking those are the exception rather than the rule.
This is not to discourage you from taking the pharmaceutical therapy that you need but rather just to give you my personal experience. I don’t like the effect of long term side effects that medications can have on your body so my natural inclination is to take as few as possible but there are many conditions where it simply cannot be avoided. If your doctor thinks you need a medication, it is a good idea not to try to play doctor yourself. If you can find additional non-medication therapies that will allow you to reduce your intake of prescription medications; to me, that is a win-win proposition but that is just my own personal view.
Next week, we are going to wrap up this series with the twelfth and final post on how to manage your personal pain by bringing everything together to give you a global view of how I manage pain to both work productively and live my personal life without having the debilitating effects of my illness, or at least having control over those effects.
#11 in a series of Personal Pain Management. For prior articles