Posted 5/30/2012 6:06 AM (GMT -7)
Welcome to HealingWell, aceman.
I take Motrin every day; it is my baseline maintenance medication. If I'm still having any pain at all, I take 8-hour time release acetamenophen; I end up taking this about 75% of the time. Then if I'm still having pain I take Ultram. Most of the time I can get by until bedtime without the Ultram, but sometimes will take it during the day if I can't distract myself.
I've been living with daily pain since 1987, and I've learned a few things about my body and pain:
It's easier to prevent pain than to get rid of it. If there's bad weather coming, I'll ramp up the meds quicker because I know I'm weather-sensitive.
At the same time, I need to be cautious in using the Ultram. I hope never to have to use higher-level narcotics, so try to make sure I don't lose the value of the tramadol by using it too often. If I took it routinely, it would probably start losing its effectiveness in less than a year.
I've learned to distract myself from the pain most of the time when I'm awake. Before I could do that, I had to accept that some level of pain was my new norm. I don't expect to ever be pain-free for any extended period of time, so feel I've succeeded if I can keep it at a tolerable level. Simply stated, I just ignore a lot of it.
I've also had to accommodate my new status by changing some of my activities. I no longer do high-impact exercise, but have found a wellness center that has a lot of equipment and activities that are low-impact or non-weight bearing. I can no longer do needlework, so I've learned to rest and massage my hands when I'm relaxing instead of using them.
As a last resort, your doctor could prescribe full-out narcotics like hydrocodone (Vicodin) or oxycodone (Percodan.) The problem with these is that they do lose effectiveness when taken over time, and higher doses are needed. For a young person who has years to live, it's highly possible they will reach the upper limits of the safe dosage range and still have pain, at which time pain management becomes much more difficult.
If you aren't being followed by a good rheumatologist, it might be a good idea to see one at least for a consult. If you and your rheumi are unable to get the pain to a liveable level, consider seeing a pain management specialist. Be sure you are referred by a doctor you trust, as you want to avoid the clinics that are simply poorly disguised drug pushers.
You also might want to drop in on the chronic pain forum here at HealingWell for additional ideas.
I hope you're able to find the answers that work for you soon.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin
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