Medication rant

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Jim1969
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 11/18/2010 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
KiwiPi's post about the stigma currently surrounding Oxycontin got me to thinking and I did not want to totally hijack that thread with my little rant.

Drug abuse is a serious problem regardless if we are talking illegal drugs or prescription medications, but it is the media attention to any specific problem that really seems to place the truly dark cloud over that drug.

When it comes to prescription drugs, as I pointed out in the other topic, it was not that long ago Vicodin was the evil prescription med of choice villianized by the media thanks in no small part to the show House and before that there was a fairly wide net cast over all prescription narcotics and the dangers of addiction, their abuse and so on.

Many things really irk me about all this but one of my biggest irritations is the attitude within the medical community and how it seems to be influenced more by the media's attention than it is by scientific study and medical fact.

I wonder why is it with all of these news stories and interviews with doctors that no one is willing to get up and say "Hey!! Hold on a minute. It is not the drug that is the problem. A huge percentage of these people addicted to these drugs are people who have really swapped one addiction for another, or are people who have been under the care of doctors who are totally irresponsible. People who truly need these medications to control pain and improve the quality of their lives rarely if ever develop an addiction to pain medication. There have been quite a few studies done on this and they all support it. Yes these real pain patients may develop a physical dependency on these medicines that is a lot different than developing an addiction to it and a lot easier to deal with if and when the time comes they no longer need the pain medication." Also why is it that no one seems willing to stand up before the various government hearings and say the same thing?

All of this brings to mind what my mother went through the last month of her life before she died from cancer. Her PCP as well as the oncologist who was treating her were reluctant to prescribe her any strong narcotics. All they wanted to give her, even on her death bed in the hospital was darvocet because they feared her becoming addicted. rolleyes

It wasn't until the chief oncologist came in to check on her and seen how much pain she was in did she finally get the pain medicine she needed to be relatively comfortable the last 3 days of her life.

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 11/18/2010 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim,
I am sorry that you lost your mother and that she was put through that during her last days. Our medical community has become very ridiculous over the years about the use of certain drugs and also certain medical conditions. I agree with you 100% on this. Add to it the difficulty that has risen from insurance companies for honest patients trying to get life changing and life saving medications and you have a misguided, messed up health care system.

Sorry I have nothing more to add to your thread. Thank you for posting your rant!

Mindy
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw


Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, 7 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions, and a kidney stone! Wait, future medial transcriptionist I must say ureteral calculus!

Medicalkid2
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 11/18/2010 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Totally agree with this. I often have severe pain and being a minor doesn't help. Doctors all give me the same line "there's just too much risks assciated with it" and they are acting as I will 100% surely get addicted. They never explain the risks because they don't want to further insult you. When I'm laying on the couch in pain I don't want to hear "take a Tylenol" because I've taken upwards of 1500mg of Tylenol and received no pain relieve. If the doctor writes you a prescription for 30 time release painkillers and your in severe pain I don't think you'll be "abusing them" because you need pain relieve on a schedule and it doesn't help to burn through them in 1 day. If doctors knew how to properly manage pain, keep in touch with patients, and not write BS prescriptions for people with nothing wrong with them none of us would be frustrated. I broke my hand and doctors were throwing the strongest narcotics at me, why? Because they looked at an Xray and saw my hand is fcking pieces but with my abdominal pain and joint pain they "can't see it so it must not exist", maybe I should run my hand under a car! (kidding that'd be nonsense). Oh well I guess you learn to live with pain but it seriously messes with my head sometimes, maybe it'll get better with time, just keep a smile and be pleasant with everyone, it works a little for me but right now I want to claw my eyes out.
Prednisone: 30mg a day and 1500mg of flagyl
Pentasa 1250mg: for Crohns disease
Fluoxitine 40mg: for crohns and anxiety
Ativan 0.5mg: PRN for insomnia related to anxiety
Focalin XR 20mg
Leather strap and couch for pain :(

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 11/18/2010 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim,
Your post brought back memories of when my mother was dying of lung cancer which had spread to her bones - plus she fell and broke her hip and was bedridden. I had to fight nearly every day with one or more of the nurses about getting her pain meds, putting her pain patch on in a place where she couldn't scratch it off accidentally, etc., etc., etc. Then I finally bring in a family friend who's an M.D. to co-manage her case with the nursing home's medical director, and I got chided by nurses because my mother had "so many prn meds". I said to them when is there a better situation to use everything possible to keep a dying patient comfortable? Adding to misinformation about medication on the part of the medical staff were religious attitudes about suffering being a redeeming thing (this isn't meant to offend anyone, just to say a medical professional's personal beliefs have no place in administering prescribing paid meds.).

It was so bad that I had to argue for my mother NOT to have what would have been her last dose of morphine because she was sleeping peacefully (I had been with her all night). I knew the risks of respiratory depression, but she was dying. Should she die in pain??? The morning she died I had the DON (Director of Nursing) along with various nurses arguing with me at her bedside. I will never forget that and still some days have difficulty forgiving them, as hearing is the last thing to go, and I wanted to spend those last hours comfortably with my mother. She died about 2 hrs. after that bedside tribunal occurred. It was pathetic. I wonder often if this is what we are all destined for, especially those of us who already have CP.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my thoughts. I didn't used to watch House until recently, and have been watching old episodes on tv and was saddened that even when he took methadone, and became pain free, none of his colleagues appeared to know anything about the use of methadone for pain. The show could lost a teaching moment there. Seemed the only belief all his colleagues held was that he should not be on any pain meds, get into PT, etc. Guess now that he's in love that's substituting for pain meds. Yes, endorphins can do a lot, but they're not enough for most of us with CP.

Ok, I'll stop now!

PaLady

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 11/18/2010 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
My sister's mother in law died just last Friday. She was 95 and basically died of old age. But in her last few days she had a heart attack and was in horrendous pain. The hospice nurse came and gave her a dose of methadone which basically did nothing to touch her pain. The whole family argued with the nurse to give her more but she " couldn't do that". They ended up ringing the doctor in the middle of the night and fighting just to get her some more pain relief. It wasn't until the next day when a doctor finally saw her that he changed her medication to morphine and she got some relief. What are they scared of? Overdosing her? She was so obviously dying. It seems criminal to let this beautiful old lady suffer for 12 hours and for what?
PAlady your experience sounds just horrendous, exactly what you don't want at the end of a dear ones life.
My friend who died of breast cancer when she was 43 was allowed to fall into a coma on morphine at the end. It seemed so civilised, her kidneys and liver had failed, there was no hope, we all sat and talked to her during her last week. I hope she suffered no pain. The week before we'd been talking and laughing together, maybe the hospice is better for the young?
Best wishes to all, golitho

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/18/2010 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
This thread is so informative to me and so touching.  I too spent the final moments (weeks actually) with a loved one (grandmother) and had hospice involved because I INSISTED they be called.  It was not the Dr's but my insane family members who didn't want her to have pain relief in her dying days.  They were afraid she would become addicted.....good Lord, she was biting through her tonge.  I even felt guilty at times because my sister, my first cousin and I were the ones to administer her meds for the last week and we increased the doses when it was obvious that she could not stand the pain she was in.  This was all done at the direction of the hospice nurse and my cousin is an RN, so we were careful.  The hospice nurse was wonderful and made sure there was plenty of medicine to give to my grandmother.  She also gave us the peace of mind to understand how we were not "killing" her by giving her the meds (as my insane family kept saying) but accepting that a 92 year old lady was dying.  Oh how we loved her and how much I miss her.  Giving those meds to her was so hard for me because I didn't understand.
 
It was during that last week, after she had stopped speaking or responding to pretty much any stimuli except for pain that we understood.  We were reading the hospice book outloud about the senses and how hearing is the last one to go and she so clearly "yelled" UnnnnnHuuuuunn.  It was a grinding sound, but we KNEW we were doing the right thing then and that we were helping her pass away without anxiety and pain (as much as we could).  Our hospice nurse firmly believed in xanax and pain meds for those who were "actively dying".  I appreciate her still and I would give nothing for those final days with my grandmother.  I simply loved her with all my heart.   She died Christmas Eve just a few years ago and I think she gave me the best gift that has ever been given.  She allowed me to no longer be afraid of passing away when it is your time to go.  She was a true blessing!
Retired Mom

KiwiPi
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 11/18/2010 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
You have all shared some really meaningful things, here - it touches me very deeply and profoundly, and I haven't even really had to deal with the terminal suffering of someone close to me. I hope that in the future, any experiences you have in this arena lean more toward the positive than the negative. My thoughts are with you all.

As to the medication 'rant' section of this thread, I was having some very similar thoughts just yesterday. I have a lot of anger toward multiple facets of our culture and how they treat the issue of pain medication: the medical community, the media, and even people we know. I first developed lower back problems about four years ago and was taking Percocet for quite a while with good success. We moved, and I had to switch doctors, and was abruptly taken off my meds because someone "my age" (I was 30 at that time) "shouldn't" be taking such a medication on a regular basis. It was well-documented that I had lower back pain that was unresponsive to chiropractic and PT, yet this new doctor just thought it was better that I suffer, apparently. I don't know what goes through their minds sometimes.

Something else really ticked me off the other day. I was doing some reading on the web about OxyContin, since I just started taking it, and it struck me how difficult it was to find people who were discussing *legitimate* issues (side effects, efficacy, etc). Instead, my searches kept turning up dozens of pages of people posting about how to get the best high off of it, how to get it, etc. For a little while I was absolutely infuriated. These are the people making it difficult for the rest of us to take this medication without hassle and scrutiny. It's insulting, really. It makes the public, and sometimes the medical profession, I think, believe that there is no legitimate reason to prescribe pain medication. As if CP doesn't make life hard enough...getting decent treatment for it is just as hard.

OK, that's my addition to the rant, I'll stop now! Thanks for listening!

KiwiPi
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