Monday, May 24, 2010

How Many Pills Would YOU Take?

Remember a few months ago when actress Brittany Murphey was found dead? Being an actress it was natural to think "drug overdose". Though they found prescription drugs in her system, it was determined an overdose was not the cause.

Today her distraught husband was found dead. Some of the prescriptions she took were found in his bedroom. It's too soon to know if his grief was so great he decided to follow her or that two young people, married, died within weeks of one another was a coincidence!

There was a time when I wondered how they got the number of drugs necessary to cause a death. I now know.

Those who follow me know I occasionally write of my problem of chronic pain. It's been five years now since the problem started. I've done everything asked of me. Physical therapy, massage, shots, etc. etc. ad nauseam. And pills. I think I've been on every non-narcotic pain and anti-inflammatory medication known to man. With no relief.

It started slowly. Adding one medication to another. Increasing the dosage. Still to no avail. Essentially we're working toward the implantation of a neurostimulator that sends electric impulses that block the pain. Before I get to that however, I have to try everything. That includes narcotic medications.

On my last visit I was given one such prescription. I asked if it was in lieu of what I was already taking. No, take them together until I feel I don't need the original pain killer. When I told Hub what was happening, he suggested in no uncertain terms that it should be absolutely the last resort. What about hypnotism or acupuncture from a practitioner not trying to rearrange you're life by selling you programs and products you neither want nor need?

I called the doctor and was told to forget hypnotism but was given the names of local acupuncturists. I was told to take the medicine too because of the time frame needed for acupuncture to work. I got on the handy dandy Internet to do some research and didn't like what I read.

Here's my problem. We're meeting friends from Great Britain in a couple of weeks and no doubt will want wine with our dinner. The following weekend we're meeting friends for a weekend of wine tasting. I hadn't planned on being the designated driver. But when I asked the nurse if any alcohol was allowed she said the medication affects the respiratory system as does alcohol and when over done people tend not to wake up. Maybe Ms. Murphey's husband? I'm remembering Heath Ledger. I think not.

So here's the decision. I'll struggle on as I am until the festivities with friends pass. I'll have started acupuncture by then and we'll see where it goes.

What I don't understand is why, if there is a device that is known to be effective, why one would be asked to take a narcotic before insurance or medicare would pay for the device! It makes no sense to me. I can give up my wine. That's not the issue. What is, is putting someone on a narcotic when it's not necessary. What point is proven?

I have no idea how this is going to shake out. I tried acupuncture before with poor results, but I'm firmly convinced the practitioner did not have my best interests in mind. I can but hope for better results with a doctor recommended one.

Will I take the narcotic for a month or so if necessary to satisfy medicare? I'm really not sure. Really. Not. Sure. What a position to be put in. Live with pain that is barely tolerable or take an addictive drug as a mere step toward no medication at all!

And they wonder why there is insurance and medicare fraud!


Dogwalk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nan16 said...

I'm not sure if I'm the one who left the comment that you removed or if I commented at all to this post. Are you seeing a neurologist? Have you ever had chicken pox? If we can continue this conversation I'd like to give you an idea of what my daughter has figured out from all the symptoms she has. Why she has the pain. We can email if you are interested.

Dogwalk said...

The post I trashed was my own. I commented on the wrong one. As for your questions. We pretty much have where the pain is coming from sorted out. We just can't kill it. I'm now trying acupuncture again. I am not ready to try the narcotic. I have not seen a neurologist. I have had the chicken pox and no Lyrica did not touch it! You can e-mail me at Thanks for caring.