Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chronic Pain and Drug Use

I've talked about my chronic pain issues in the past. I can't take any preventive for my migraines - and I've tried just about everything. When my pain gets bad, all I can do is rest and rest and pray for the pain levels to go down.

I'm on several chronic pain and migraine support groups on Facebook, though I don't quite fit in. But I'm horrified to read the stories of people being denied treatment at the ER, from their doctors - all because the health care professionals are afraid that chronic pain patients are actually drug addicts.

A few weeks ago, I spent a week in really bad pain. None of my normal ways of coping was making this level 8 to 9 migraine go down at all. Finally I decided that I had suffered enough and we went to the ER.

I waited for three hours to be taken back, and when I was taken back there wasn't an open room. I was asked if I minded if I was just on a bed in the hallway. I didn't care, I just wanted to be treated. I got settled into bed, and I wasn't there very long when they wheeled another guy in and stuck him right by me.

He had called the ambulance because he also had a migraine. He got back around the time I did, but I got treated faster. I was given Dilaudid, which is a narcotic. That was exactly what the other guy wanted, and he started complaining bitterly that he was waiting to be treated.

The nurse brought him basically aspirin and saline. He demanded narcotics, and the nurse told him that his pain management doctor wouldn't allow him to have more narcotics and that he had been treated with Dilaudid two days before. He continued to complain about his pain, and the doctor came out and explained the same thing. When he realized that they wouldn't treat him the way he wanted, he took out his IV and left.

I felt bad for him, but Todd thought he was an addict. I do know that taking Dilaudid too much can lead to rebound migraines which are generally worse than the first migraine. that happened to me when my chronic pain first started.

Pain is awful and not being in pain can be addicting. I'd give just about anything to have the constant, daily pain go away for even a while. I'll never know what that guy's story was, but I hope he got some relief at some point.

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