Pain meds and Work

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ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 1/5/2009 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   

I have a question for everyone.

How do/did you manage the need for pain medication at work? I am in a position where accuracy and detail are extremely import and pain meds make me a little (or a lot at times) clumsy with what I do. My pain levels are very rarely low enough to not take them at work so I am forced to deal with the fuzzed out feeling the meds sometimes give me along with the upset stomach.

 

What are your experiences and how did you manage the side effects?

 

Thanks in advance,

Sarrah

 

 


Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical stenosis in C3 & C4

_____________________________________________

 

Meds - percocet  3x day : nexium : xanax :

Supplements : calcium : magenesium :potassium : milk thistle : fish oil : B complex : vit E

____________________________________________

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 1/5/2009 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sarrah,
I work as a purchaasing manager for a large commercial electrical contractor and buy all the materials for the company. Last year we did over 30 million so I'm responsible for a lot of the Boss's $$$. I walk a very fine line between being unable to sit at this desk writing PO's & talking on the phone all day due to the pain and taking too much of my meds to do the job right. It's not easy but I've found I am able to do my best with lots of coffee. I know this can't work for everyone and might not be best for me but it's how I do it. I can't take as much as my Doc has prescribed me and still stay focused so I take as much as I can and suppliment it with tylonal or advil which helps kick start the meds. (oxecodone 15mgs & methadone 10mgs) A few years ago, when I explained my problem to my Doc, he prescribed a med that kept me awake and sharp but it interfeared with my blood presure meds so I had to stop it. I can't remember the name of it but it was for people who's meds made them sleepy. I think it began w/ "Pro" something. I'll try to find out for you. Maybe someone else knows what I'm talking about. Good luck.
Your friend,
Pete
55 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy (Testim Gel)since 12/06 but switched to a higher dose of (Androgel) 6/08. I am's what I am's and that's all that I am's! (Popeye)  55 and still alive and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, one on a ship in the Atlantic and the other on a ship in the Pacific!!! I am one proud PaPa!!!!! 


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 1/5/2009 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
PROVGIL is the name of the med he gave me to keep me from zoning out at work!
55 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy (Testim Gel)since 12/06 but switched to a higher dose of (Androgel) 6/08. I am's what I am's and that's all that I am's! (Popeye)  55 and still alive and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, one on a ship in the Atlantic and the other on a ship in the Pacific!!! I am one proud PaPa!!!!! 


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 1/5/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Sarrah,
I've taken Provigil also. It did help by keeping me awake (big plus!), but I was still making the same errors.
If your stomach's bothering you, try asking your doctor for something you can take to calm it down. Usually chamomile tea works for me, but there are anti-emetics out there that are stronger.

As far as anything else, I would think they would be job specific. I work with wire transfers & was making mistakes transposing numbers ($63M and $36M are definitely not the same -- oops!). That is not normal at all for me; I was hired for this job b/c of exceptional attention to detail, especially in relation to numbers. After starting on the meds, I would always "double-check" my work, but sometimes wouldn't see the problem. A couple of times, my boss even pointed out the error but I still couldn't see it b/c I was so out of it. There were a lot of different tricks I learned specific to my job -- auto-text, templates, document comparison, OCR, screens, as well as some good old fashioned skill-building games I used to use with my dyslexic students back when I taught elementary school. I'd be happy to email you more details, but I'm not sure how much they'd help if you're not in banking/finance.

Other than that, I'd say try to identify which type of tasks you make the most mistakes at. Then, set aside a time each day to work on those tasks that is not right after a dose of your pain meds. If you can tolerate caffeine, try coffee or black tea about 10-20 minutes before starting the task. I try to only do that for really special, extra detail-oriented projects.

Good luck!
frances

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 1/5/2009 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
FYI peeps, if you drink a hot drink right after taking your meds, it will kick start the medication. The hot drinks make the pills dissolve quicker. This came from my pain dr. Susie


Baybreeze
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 1/5/2009 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   

Oh wow, that's a real tough predicament. I've been in that same situation not only with work, but I also went to state approved training to learn new skills. At the school, it just never occured to me just how awful and painful some chairs can be. I had such awful pain in my sacral area from the old, terrible chairs. They had no adjustments available at all and the seats were awful. I brought in all sorts of cushions, which helped a bit...but I had to talk to my PM to see what I could do. He ended up prescribing several meds and upping another to try to lessen my pain during the day. However, most of them affect one's thinking, etc...so I went back, we discussed it, and decided to give me higher doses in the evening and lower doses in the morning. This seemed to work out better. And eventually after some time, my body got used to the meds and I wasn't feeling dizzy or out of it really, so it didn't affect my work too much. However, even though I was (and still am) on all these meds, I still did great in school, so that was a plus.

But i know how difficult it is. I've taken many painkillers while at my last job, which really did a number on me...but I always tried to be as careful as possible. Though I did still make errors and always worried that it would be brought to my attention. However, my co-workers and bosses were so wonderful and totally understood my situation, so that helped a lot.

I don't know what meds you are taking, but maybe you can think about what I did....lower doses in the AM and higher ones at night. And this way, the meds are still always in your system.


skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/5/2009 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sarrah,

This is a real issue for me as well, since I am in school, and hold down a job on the weekends. I'm still working with my docs to find the right med for me & find a tolerable maintenance dose, but I've had a lot of trouble with sleepiness (partly from exhaserbated chronic sleep deprivation & partly from med side effects) during the day within the last month or two. It has been better since I switched from long acting meds to short acting meds, but it is still something I am struggling with. It's also hard for me, since right now, I'm taking one thing or another every 3hrs or so, and I hate to have to take meds all the time in front of people, as I don't really want to discuss it all with them. In fact, I have been at a major scientific conference the past several days & I have hardly taken any of my meds. Not because I didn't need them, I really did (I'm really paying for it tonight), but I have been surrounded by people constantly, which made me hesitant to take my meds (it hasn't been easy to escape, even for a few minutes). More importantly I hardly took them yesterday or today because I was afraid of being too sleepy of cloudy-headed, as I had to give a poster presentation today to multiple scientific professionals, many of whom are world experts in their fields. And when you are talking to someone who is THE authority in the field that you are working in, or a field that your work is related to, the last thing you want is not to be able to think clearly when they ask you questions about your work. I decided that I would rather be safe & be in a lot of pain for a few hours, yet probably be able to think more clearly, than feel a little better, but make a poor impression on some very important people

I wish I had a good answer for you about how to counteract some of the negative side effects of pain meds, but unfortunately, I don't. The best thing that I can think of is to talk to your doctor. Maybe you can try a different med that might give you less, or more manageable side effects. As for the upset stomach, do you eat anything before taking your meds? That might help to coat your stomach before hand, so that the meds aren't as harsh on it. Also, if you are taking anti-inflammatories, you might want to ask your doctor about putting you on an antacid, like prilosec (which also has an otc version) or protonix, as that will help coat & protect your stomach as well. Many NSAIDs (those which are nonspecific COX inhibitors, or COX-1 inhibitors) are very harsh on your stomach long term. I know that I am very sensitive to them! I hope you can find some happy compromise!

Skeye

Post Edited (skeye) : 1/5/2009 9:50:22 PM (GMT-7)


ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 1/6/2009 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
THank you everyone for your replies and advice. I am stimulant sensitive so even a cup of coffee has me jumping around like a tweaker so thats a no go. I eat a lot of ginger to counter act the stomach issues but I just cannot handle the dizzy icky feeling the meds give me at work. I don't really get them at home and I don't know why, even when I work from home I don't feel all spacey and weird but when I am in the officem watch out!

Take care,
Sarrah

Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical stenosis in C3 & C4

_____________________________________________

 

Meds - percocet  3x day : nexium : xanax :

Supplements : calcium : magenesium :potassium : milk thistle : fish oil : B complex : vit E

____________________________________________

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/6/2009 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Sarrah,
Your last sentence made me think; could it be that some of the "spacey and weird" feelings at work are related to anxiety over whether you're going to make errors? Or anxiety about whether you're even going to feel weird? If you're ok at home, taking the same meds, then maybe it's being in the workplace, which would be understandable, especially if people are watching. There's also likely more pressure there. Just a thought.

If that's the case some breathing and relaxation exercises might help you at work, along with some self-talk. What do you think?

PaLady
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