Recovery Update - Managing Pain & Those Pesky Little Pain Pills

Pain medication is something I have never really been very big on. I am quite sensitive to it and honestly do not care for how the pills make me feel. So it has always been curios to me how people become so attached or even addicted to these meds. Sincerely. I always thought they must get a way better feeling from them than I do. Enter my injury from one month ago today.I was in the E.R. and did not accept any pain meds for a while. I have a pretty high pain tolerance so I can push through most things. The time came for the CT scan and I reconsidered. Morphine was the choice and my goodness was it a horrible feeling. My nurse was excellent and she explained how it feels for some people when administered and sure enough that is how it felt for me! I could feel it going through my whole body and my body almost felt paralyzed as it happened. DISLIKE was all that was going through my mind. I asked for something else going forward.

I avoided the pain meds as much as possible but did ask for them a few times. The nurse told me that she knew if I was asking I really needed them and she "dropped everything" to bring me some relief. They sent me home with a "small dose" at my request that could be taken every couple of hours because I really didn't want to stay asleep or feel whacked out of my mind. The first week was pretty much a blur. My family kept notes about what medication I had and when and all I really remember was constantly asking  if it was time for "another pill." The fear of the pain almost takes on a life of its own and I wanted to avoid it at all cost.

When I went to my first doctor's appointment he switched me to a different medication that he thought I could tolerate better. As my family explained it, I was falling asleep mid sentence and thinking I was reading when I had not even been awake and he thought I neeeded another option.

The new medication was much better. I was no longer falling asleep and I started managing my own meds. Once piece of advice I have been given by anyone with an injury I came in contact with was "get off the pain pills as quickly as you can." This sentiment stayed in my mind and so I started titrating off the meds as quickly as I could. I was down to 2 pain pills a day with Advil in between when it hit me. I was sitting on the couch one morning and realized I was planning out when I was going to take the next pain pill before I even knew I needed it! That is when all that advice came rushing back to me and I realized I was letting the fear of the injury and the pain take over. It was that day I put the pills down and have not had one since.

Do I still hurt? Absolutely. Do I sleep as soundly? No. I wake up at 3 a.m. like clockwork now unable to get comfortable. Am I learning to work through it? Yes I am. I also carry them with me everywhere I go and tell myself if it gets too bad I can take one. But I haven't. I have never experienced a severe injury before. I have had 2 children and have definitely been in pain with that, but not like this. My leg is a completely different kind of pain. A pain I honestly was not prepared for. But every day I get a little better and every day I learn to manage the pain better. So what you ask is my message here? To say "I get it now." And to give anyone in this situation the same advice I was given. "Get off the pain pills as quickly as you can."

Cheers to a fantastic Wednesday!

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