I’m always looking for a pain patient group, so let’s see what this group has to say, shall we?

We have never, ever, taken more medicine than we should.

One should never say “never, ever.”  After all, we’re all human beings and nobody’s perfect. And I find it extremely hard to believe that not one person in this group ever took an extra pill during a pain storm.

Yes, the picture in my head is of a group of people (mostly white men) standing on a mountain, looking down at all of us “flawed” pain patients who haven’t always been able to manage our pain with the dosages allowed and prescribed.

We have never been “high” on anything, in our entire lives. We don’t even know what it means to be “high.”

Yeah, I call total B.S. on this one.

Whenever you take a prescription medication, it takes time for your body to get used to the effects of the drug, including any side effects.  One of the side effects of opioids is the “high” — your brain’s reaction to the introduction of this new chemical — along with the usual ones, like nausea, dizziness, etc.  But the side effects are wide and varied and sometimes hard to pin down.  (That’s true with any drug.)

After taking an opioid, sometimes the brain will call the stomach and say, look, you need to get upset.  I don’t like this stuff. (What happens when I take anything stronger than hydrocodone.)   But then, the brain says, wait, I’m feeling some relief from the pain, I think the pain is getting quieter… (What happened when I took Oxy.)  Maybe then you have to help your brain a little by taking another medication for nausea, but unless you can control this side effect, you basically have to try another opioid.  (Well, pain patients used to have choices…)

But the “high” effect happens a lot more often than just “sometimes.”  This is your brain saying, welllll, lookee here, this makes me feel good!  But within a relatively short period of time, your pain, which is a lot stronger than just about any drug, will rise up and take control.  The pain will tell the brain, look, I’m stealing this good feeling from you — I’m stronger than you, you should know that by now, you stupid twit.

And when the brain starts belittling itself, well, that’s when the real fun begins. 🙂

The length of time a patient will feel this “high” side effect varies greatly, depending on such things like weight, metabolism, and of course, DNA.  But by the time a chronic pain patient is prescribed opioids, it doesn’t take long for the “high” to go away.  Sure, some patients chase that high, but what they’re really chasing is more pain relief.  How do you know how much pain relief can be achieved until you… try?

In conclusion, there is no way that a group of pain patients could make these statements.  You know, without being hypocrites.

People who get “high” on any substance, whether it’s a drug of choice, or alcohol, disgust us.

Funny, intolerance and ignorance disgust me.

They can all go to an island and enjoy altering their states of consciousness, together, alone, for the rest of eternity, for all we care.

In fact, we prefer they would.

I propose the idea that’s visualized in the above photo.  In fact, I’ve got my bags packed… just point me in the direction of this island, where I can escape attitudes like this.

One of three things could be happening here:

Perhaps these deaths were caused by an allergy to the medication. This type of tragedy can occur even with Penicillin.

Or, maybe these people actually took this sometimes-life-saving medicine to get “high,” and they took too much.

They should have been on that island.

On second thought, maybe ya’ll should go live on that island.

Or, they simply could not find enough relief from the medication they were given, and took handfuls instead. We certainly hope not.

Well, I’m glad ya’ll finally arrived at an actual problem.  But you can take your hope and… well, you know.

I think the chronic pain community and the addiction community should come together, although I know that would be really difficult to accomplish.  Many pain patients don’t feel they suffer from any addictions, and many blame drug addicts for the war on pain patients (which is really just an off-shoot of the drug war)…

8 thoughts on “We are the Chronic Pain Patients of America…

  1. You know, I was on opioids for two years. I can’t take ibuprofen or aspirin because of my low platelets. I have Tylenol now. That’s it. When they were pumping morphine into my PICC line in the beginning, I most certainly did feel high. It lasted all of three seconds, but it was great and stopped my uncontrollable coughing, and eased the pain in my lungs. And then I had Dilaudid from the surgeries. And I got physically addicted. And soon it was doing more damage to my stomach than it was benefiting me from the pain. So I stopped, and went through horrible withdrawals and now I don’t take it anymore. But I was addicted, I’m not ashamed of it, and yes, it got me high. Now I live with pain, but if it were bad enough, I’d do whatever necessary to stop it. If it were like before, the opioids would still benefit me more than hurt me, and I’d go back to them in a heartbeat, with no shame.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. wow, reading your posts i find that we have incredibly much in common. i don’t even know where to start. i want to comment on everything! but it seems overwhelming. i was reading this post while putting two tylenol and two aleve on my sketchbook, time for my noon dose (as well as my ritalin and xanax time) and bugged out while i read this! i seem to like to write a lot of declarative sentences.

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  3. That so his the nail on the head. I remember the early days when the opioids did make me high and I forgot my pain – for awhile. But dosages go up. When I changed to methadone 7 – yearsyears ago it was such a relief. No more roller coaster ride. But as things got worse, methadone doesn’t work as well which I am now going to try having leads implanted in my spine. We talked about this before. Sometimes I wish I could take something that would make me feel good, just to have a break. Oh, I do have the drugs here. I could do it. But I won’t. It’s like the alcoholic who takes another drink. I take my prescribed dose only. I even have oxy but I don’t take it. I save it for my husband for those for his really bad days when his back goes out and he has nothing to take. My tolerance is so high I’d have to take too much to get a buzz. So ideal with the pain with hot pads and a tens unit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you might be confusing “feeling good” with pain relief. For instance, alcohol gives relief from both physical and mental pain, but not for long. Hangovers are a result of the poison in alcohol, but also from over-use and abuse. I’ve read about hangovers from other drugs, but I’ve never personally experienced a hangover from opioids. (I’m not saying that opioid hangovers can’t or don’t happen.) It’s the way each drug works on the brain — one is a poison to the brain and one works with the body’s own opiate receptors. (Which is one of the reasons why cannabis can be so effective, as our body is full of endocannabinoid receptors.)

      The high you describe from your early days of taking opioids is not something that lasts very long for a chronic pain patient. And the high is actually the drug giving you pain relief. The relief from pain can cause a type of euphoria, a kind of feeling like being free and unencumbered, having a large weight removed. Drugs can make you feel confident because they can reduce or remove pain, and when you’re in pain, you don’t feel positive or confident.

      As I’ve said before, if there’s a reason for suffering, I haven’t found it yet. Your fear of addiction is strong enough to manage your suffering — but I don’t think that’s true for most people, at least I hope not. I don’t want to be afraid of myself, of my own brain; but I also recognize the fact that the constant pain can stomp on my ability to be logical and think clearly. It’s a fight, a daily struggle, but adding fear to all of it seems like a waste of time and energy to me.

      I guess you fear letting go — and I’m here to tell you that everyone has that fear, even if it’s not directly related to drugs. I think it’s education, learning about our conditions and how our brains work, that will alleviate some of that fear.

      I’ve finally accepted the fact that I can’t control my pain — believing that I could resulted in many, many years of wasted effort in the attempts to do so. I guess my advice to you is… let go. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Internalized stigma seems to affect everyone who has a chronic condition. It makes sense that these pain patients are pushing back on the “They’re all disgusting addicts who are faking” by coming down so hard on ‘people who get high’….

    I am assuming that none of these patients drink or have ever smoked tobacco.

    The truth is that when you are in terrible pain and you find something that makes the pain go away you want more of it.

    The only thing disgusting about addicts is that we torture them with moral judgements…

    And the worst of these judgements come from people who are trying to distance themselves from stigma rather than questioning it.

    Liked by 1 person

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