Cutting Off Pain Meds
Last updated: February 2022
A scary hysteria is sweeping into many people’s lives. What started it? The new rules about prescription pain meds is what! For those who are used to coping with pain 24/7, it’s been a jolt into an excruciating reality. I’ve talked with a lot of people in my local community and online. I also live with chronic pain. I’ve got some good ideas about pain relief.
With cirrhosis from hepatitis C you may be wondering what will happen to you with a life full of physical pain. For those of us with a liver transplant, there are NO other options available to us. If you are looking to find different ways of coping with chronic and acute pain, jump in my boat. We’ll get through this storm together.
Things come up when pain meds are cut off
People panic with they’re in pain. If you have been getting relief through medication, you WILL be hit with anxiety. If you’re feeling more tense than usual, it can get rough real quick. You look for an escape from the pain, and it may not be there in the form of prescription pain relief.
Besides the original pain, there could be more to go along with it. From the top down: you may clench your jaws, resulting in a headache. Your neck and shoulder may tighten with tension. You may hold yourself funny, producing body stiffness or even muscle imbalance.
I have had major pain events in my life. I’ve had chronic pain that went on for months. It can make you think crazy things. If you have stage 3 or 4 cirrhosis from hepatitis, it only gets worse. Think about an overload of ammonia because your liver is not filtering very well. Now add the mental strain of pain on top of that. But wait - add the stress from not being able to cope with the pain – That’s too much, if you ask me.
Assistance comes in many shapes and sizes. Start off with your doctor. They know you have liver issues, so they are best equipped to advise you. They are only following the schedule or protocol that they are told to. Forget trying to wiggle around and get an RX. Ask for the alternative instead. It may be an anti-inflammatory or another prescription. If there is a pain management team associated with your insurance, grab that option!!
Before you spit that word out of your mouth, read on. I know this is hard. I’ve got 3 dear friends going through it. Insanity doesn’t begin to describe what they’re experiencing. Multiple surgeries have left them with a lot of pain. I do a 1-hour private yoga session with a friend weekly. She just canceled for the 3rd week in a row due to stress. It’s her new reality. That’s why I’m writing this.
While the new laws were shocking, they are here now. We can protest, kicking and screaming – they are what they are. They may change, but waiting for that is not the best option. Begin the process of acceptance and work toward a solution. I can tell already, this blog is going to need a part 2.