I have posted three times about the chronic severe pain that I live with, so I won’t detail it here. Instead you can refer to my earlier posts, if you wish: PAIN, Pain Part Two, and Pain Part Three. Suffice it to say that I’m still in pain, and in the same amount of pain.
Yesterday I finally got to see the pain management doctor who my spine doctor referred me to back in July (!). That’s how long I had to wait for my initial appointment with her.
The referral was so that I could be prescribed opioid pain medications, which are now very difficult to obtain here in the US, due to the crisis with an increasing number of people with opioid addictions. My spine doctor and I had run through the gamut of other treatments without success in alleviating the pain.
After seeing the pain doctor yesterday, who categorically does not prescribe any type of medication on the first visit, and thinking the situation over, I’ve decided not to pursue opioid pain meds at all. Maybe this is a mistake. But I’m going to cancel my next appointment with her, which is in a month.
I have been getting along largely without pain meds for a few months now. The ones I had been taking were leftovers from old surgeries, the last of which was a year ago. You can see that I’m not a big pain pill taker. I completely ran out of pain pills a month ago, and I have survived several weeks of bitter winter temperatures and cold precipitation, which worsen the pain, without them.
I didn’t like the pain doctor. I also didn’t like the many expensive hoops through which I would have to jump in order to get her to prescribe pain meds for me.
There are other things that I do already to cope with the pain. Prayer and meditation can help, although actually I find that distracting myself with activity is even better. When things are really bad–a 9 on the scale from 0 to 10–I hop into a hot bath and soak awhile. Heating pads are good, too.
My daily, constant, pain level is at a 7. That is pretty darn high.
I won’t cancel the followup appointment with the pain doctor right away. I’ll keep thinking about whether I want to pursue getting opioid pain meds. But I’m pretty sure that I will just continue to do without. And instead I will do with other approaches to my pain.
So there: that’s the last you’ll hear from me about pain. Isn’t that nice? 🙂