I also did not take any form of pain med for a long time. I actually was always against them in general and even refused them post foot surgey several times. Once I got sick with what we now know is Crohn's I started taking them on and off and I would consent to them in the hospital / ER.
I have had several different GI docs and a few of them have willingly prescribed pain meds and said that they don't want to see their patients suffer while others (most of them) have not wanted to manage pain or prescribe any type of narcotic. The common argument is that this is a lifelong disease and that we need to learn how to cope and manage it without adding the potential for more meds and an addiction. They also say that we don't want to mask the symptoms since we need to listen to our bodies and pain is an indicator taht something is going on.
I currently also see a pain management specialist who monitors me closely. I do still have pain most of the time, even on the meds.....I would say that I am typically around a 3-4 on the pain scale.......most of the time after I eat, I will get a lot worse. I thought a lot about what other people would think of me if I started taking narcotics on a daily basis and I was really afraid of the possibility of addiction. The decision to see a pain doc and take the meds was a big one for me. That said, I function a lot better with them..........it is hard to function when the pain is not controlled and I have the added benefit of slowing my motility. My pain doc keeps talking about upping my meds again and I hate to do that......the pain is never gone for me, just a little more tolerable, it basically takes the edge off.
One thing to remember is this: Pain trumps additcion. If you are truly in pain then the chance of getting addicted is minimal. Addiction typically occurs when people like the high or continue to take the meds after the pain is gone. We don't want to mask the symptoms since we have to listen closely to our bodies, however, there is no reason to continually suffer if we don't have to. This is a lifelong disease and we need to focus on our quality of life.
Crohn's DX in 2006 but sick for well over a year before that. Currently just started on Humira, Pred - 40mg (hoping to taper off of this soon), Phenergan 25gm prn, Percocet, Pentasa 500mg, Protonix 40mg and Lomotil, prn.
I live my life to the fullest, enjoy every day and am excited for the day when we will be able to say good-bye to CD and UC. I am becoming active in my local CCFA chapter and have found them to be a wonderful resource!