Seriously?

This is one of those times when I put my opinion “out there” and risk the potential back lash from the fibromyalgia community.

I was killing time during a bottle feeding and ran across something very disturbing. I found an entire community of fibromyalgia patients who have joined together to offer advice on what to do when your doctor has decided to NOT prescribe, or re-prescribe, pain medication.

On this site, there are lists of doctors to contact who prescribe pain medication with little argument, advice on faking symptoms or exaggerating pain levels, going to different doctors at the same time, so on a so forth.  I hate to list too many examples here and have someone actually do them!  I also refuse to list the website because I don’t want to promote it.

Ok…

There are reasons your doctor has decided to avoid pain medication. Why are you convincing other fibro patients that their doctor’s advice shouldn’t be followed? WHY does the mention of an exercise program, or alternative treatment send people running to a different doctor? 

Not only was I mad when I found this web conversation but, more than anything, I was completely discouraged. 

Goldenrule.com says the following about narcotics….

“People should not take narcotics for more than a few months, since physical dependency is a high risk factor in taking them. Patients may feel more pain and have decreased pain tolerance if they stop taking narcotics abruptly. Stopping the medication by gradually decreasing the dosage can prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. Mental dependence on narcotics is not likely.

Common side effects of narcotics include drowsiness, leading to an inability to safely operate machinery or drive. Itching as a side effect from narcotics may indicate the need to change the dosage or the type of narcotic. Fluids, exercise and a high-fiber diet can help prevent constipation from narcotic medications. Less common but more serious side effects require medical attention. These include sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, decreased hunger and vomiting. An overdose can cause a slow heart rate, chest pains and blue lips”

Please re-read the first sentence!  No more than a few months.  Right now, fibromyalgia is a life-long condition.  We are not meant to take narcotics for the rest of our lives. 

Now re-read the side effects…

How do these out-weigh finding an alternative to treating fibro, such as exercise, or physical therapy?

YES!  I take an over-the-counter pain med periodically.  I’m not saying I’m better than any other fibro patient because I choose alternative treatment, and I’m not saying my fibro isn’t as bad as anyone else’s.  I, too ,have the days where it hurts to walk, hurts to sleep…just plain hurts!

 I feel I have been lucky to be guided from the beginning of my diagnosis to turn to alternative treatments and I intend to continue following that advice.

When I talk to other fibro patients and they are so zoned out they can’t focus, or they are wobbling when they walk because they are taking something too strong my heart breaks a little.  I know some don’t realize it’s happening to them, and I know that some are genuinely taking them at the advice of their doctors. 

I get it….

However…

I feel discouraged because I feel like this is one of the major reasons we haven’t had advancements in research, or advancements in understanding the condition when fibro patients are completely rejecting any new treatments and relying on pain medication alone, regardless of the side effects or lack of improvement in their symptoms. 

I feel like we, as humans, look for the quickest fix and I completely understand why!  I have trouble finding time in my schedule to exercise and take care of my fibro (especially with a little one), but I know it’s not an option for me not to! 

I could harp on this for pages and pages but I’m going to leave it at this…

If you are involved in these online conversations consider this…What if a doctor was genuinely researching Fibromyalgia and wanted to get a feel for how patients discuss the condition with each other online.  What if the doctor found this website?  Would he/she feel their efforts for research would be wasted?  Also, there are a lot of doctors who treat patients looking for pain medication like “criminals,” so-to-speak.  Don’t you think this could be part of the reason why?

Please consider the consequences of these public conversations, you never know how it may impact the potential for a possible cure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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