Posted 1/6/2008 3:01 AM (GMT -7)
I'm in my mid 20's and have have Fibromyalgia all my life. When i was young I was told they were "Growing Pains" and that it was normal. I have also suffered from Irritable bowel syndrome which i have had as long as i can remember, as well as all the other goodies that come along with Fibro ; depression, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. So I feel for all chronic pain sufferers. During the years of shrinks, Dr's, specialists, therapy .. I felt like a lab rat... paxil , elavil , wellbutrin , prozac , effexor , zoloft, haloperidol, depakote, lithium, zyprexa, xanax, valium , klonapin , vioxx , seroquel, risperdal , neurontin, lyrica, topamax, cymbalta .... those are from memory and i am sure that i am leaving a few out... After blood test after blood test nothing .. never any help ..
what was wrong with me???
i was told that it was all "In my head" from so many people i wanted to kill myself...
with no help ever in sight i sank further and further into the catacombs of depression... when college came is when the pain started to become intolerable and had taken front to all my other problems.. classes became a nightmare and i had bitten off too much to chew. Pulling a double major in engineering physics and philsosophy, i eventually started self medicating with alcohol marijuana. Although i did notice some relief from the irritable bowel syndrome from the marijuana, I used it mainly to help take my mind off the pain, but alcohol became a problem..
it was the only thing that getting me to sleep and that did horrible things to my body, my liver will never be the same. When alcohol stopped working, i was distraught, tired, unhealthy overall in just horrible shape was forced to leave college and a great job working in a lab. For the next 3-4 years as fibro slowly began taking over my whole body and eventually leaving me with extremely limited mobility, I tried my best to hold down a job, or go to school, but there was no escaping it every though consumed by it. I began to think i was going insane and was contemplating suicide for years. When it got so bad i was basically bed ridden i went through a litany of tests.
Only about three years ago my life changed and i was able to start begging to get my life back and it all started when a Dr. told me to see a rheumatologist. after months of weeks of testing and seeing other specialists I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, something i hadn't heard of prior. shortly after I was introduced to a pain specialist where my education of the struggle of pain control began. First Ultram ER 200 mgs (nothing) methadone (did help 10-15%, but was allergic,) and then i found my miracle drug that would give me my life back but hinder my pursuit of happiness as well. The education into the plight of the chronic pain sufferers and medication was quick and shocking.
I had read post after post online, horror stories of stolen pills, lost pills, abuse.... the addict.. this being the main focus of this post. Who is to blame for the monthly struggle chronic pain sufferers like us go through?
It all started with the drug seekers
Dr's became afraid to prescribe any opiate.
OxyContin gave me my life back and changed it as well. Over the years i realized there was not a soul that i could trust. I have had them stolen many times by many different people that called themselves my friends and even one girlfriend that told me she loved me. First a few here and there i would see that were missing, but i would lie to myself and say i lost them. Then it became worse and worse I would split them up and hide them in weird places... hide them outside.. at a unknowing friends house.. eventually i had to sleep with them between the box springs and mattress. the final straw is when she broke down to waiting till i was asleep at her house stealing the keys to my house to get in and search for the meds that i had hidden. When i noticed the keys were gone i called someone to go over and catch her in the act.. sure enough her and her sister were digging through everything to find them. That was the last i ever talked to her. luckily she didnt get the medication.
This is the curse.
Well half of it.
The other half is now once you lost them had them stolen, misplaced them .. whatever.. as we all know trying to survive it is the problem. The withdraws, the scrutiny. The worst thing that you can do is call your Dr. and tell him what happened. In California ,for example, you have to wait until a police case is opened to get a schedule II drug refill which can take weeks... with all the violence and abuse related to pain-killers the bureaucrats stepped in and made everything worse for the chronic pain sufferer.
When something happens what can you do???
Dr's are now too quick to label someone a "seeker" if you need replacement. Many here know this and am sure have been cut off by their Dr's for it. I live in constant fear of my meds being stolen moved many times tried not to let anyone know what i had or what medication i was taking but eventually someone finds an empty pill jar or sees you taking something. I now have to short myself on my meds just to build up a back-up just encase. Life for me is now a constant battle of secrecy and withdrawl. I know others are going through the same things..
I fear the plight of the chronic-pain sufferer will never be over..
addicts will never go away and there will never be peace for us....