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GiaK

Non-drug techniques for dealing with physical pain

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GiaK   
GiaK

Original post: http://beyondmeds.com/2012/06/11/cope-pain/

for photo illustrations you will need to go to the original link as I couldn't get them in this post.

 

Coping with and healing body pain of withdrawal & withdrawal syndromes

 

Getting well takes effort and time and listening to the body for most of us. These are some of the things I do to help with pain that is part of withdrawal syndromes for many people.

 

I’ve collected several things I do to cope with the pain I experience as a result of long-term psychotropic drug use and the subsequent withdrawal pain I find myself in. Many people suffer from these pains upon withdrawal from many different psychiatric drugs and psychiatric drug classes so I thought I’d share how I cope. In most cases with most individuals the pain remits in time but that can take up to a few years in the worst case scenarios so we do need to have coping strategies in place while the time passes.

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what might be done to cope with pain. Some of this pain is sometimes talked about as fibromyalgia. I don’t personally find that diagnosis helpful as it’s a garbage pail term, but the pain is very real.

 

For additional discussion about the varieties of pain some of us with withdrawal syndromes experience see here: Dyesthesias: abnormal pain from psych drug withdrawal (includes info about several sorts of withdrawal pains too). These are all caused by the nervous system having been harmed by the neurotoxic drugs.

 

I do yoga almost daily…generally just for about 10 minutes max as that is all I can manage. On good days I may do that twice a day. There remain days when I can’t do anything at all but those days are becoming fewer and yoga really helps almost always. See: Do Yoga at Home

 

Yoga is also one of the primary ways I practice mindfulness and embodiment. It’s been, perhaps, my most important practice for healing all around. Rehabilitation too, from having been bedridden!

 

I’m wanting to share a posture that’s really helped with pain/neuropathy and paresthesia etc. It’s very easy. It does not work in a structural sense. It’s energetic somehow, though I’m not an expert at yoga so I don’t know how it works. The thing is it temporarily, on good days, relieves pain in my whole body. Even in my arms. It’s like there is an energy shift of some sort while I do it and for a while afterwards. On a good day it’s a long while. It can also help relieve the physiological and iatrogenic terror that is associated with benzo withdrawal.

 

Generally before this I do some brief standing postures that also stretch my body. If you are unfamiliar with yoga and need ideas you can google yoga postures and also check on youtube. And look here too. For simple beginner postures it’s a great way to start. In the long run a serious practice requires a teacher, but having taken yoga off and on for many years, right now what the computer offers us is plenty since many of us while sick can’t do altogether too much.

 

The one that seems to offer relief at the end is simple and very powerful…

 

legs against the wall: the below links are to photos of this posture...I don't know how to put a photo here...or you can go to the original post: http://beyondmeds.com/2012/06/11/cope-pain/

 

photos: http://beyondmeds.com/2011/02/20/copingpain/legsagainstwall/ AND http://beyondmeds.com/2011/02/20/copingpain/legwall/

 

Or I also have my butt a few inches from the wall. Feel free to make any adjustments your body finds necessary. Absolute form isn’t terribly important when it comes to finding some relief from the pain I’ve found. On some days doing this can alter the course of the day for the better. It’s really quite wonderful when it works that way.

 

My longest and most frequently used strategy for combatting the daily pain from the iatrogenic pain of withdrawal are frequent epsom salt baths.I did a post on how I do that here. I actually sometimes put even more epsom salts in the water and have also found that a highly concentrated foot bath is very good for bedtime relaxation.

 

I also take Tart Cherry Extractas a supplement. I did a post on it here. Anti inflammatory foods and diet can potentially help any and all pain (nothing is a cure-all) and neither has my heavy anti inflammatory diet been a cure-all for me but it does minimize pain. I’ve since also added Turmeric supplements. I like this one that has something added to aid absorption: Super Bio-curcumin.

 

Identifying and eliminating food intolerances have been very important too. Food the body doesn’t like can add to inflammation. This may include foods that are generally considered healthy. (I can’t eat nightshade vegetables, for example). Finding and eliminating these foods has required (and continues to require) meticulous attention to diet and how foods effect my body. I continue to learn all the time.

 

It’s possible to heal many food intolerances and once again be able to eat foods that offend but if one doesn’t eliminate them first it’s less likely. It can take years to clear things up. I am in process with this. See: Nutrition and Gut Health

 

These suggestions are not exhaustive. People find many things to help. Also none of these things cure the pain but all of them can help one cope with an ongoing chronic situation. Slowing my situation has become less acute, but I still have significant issues. I often say, I’ve gotten much much better, but I am still very very sick. I don’t know how else to convey what this journey is like to those who’ve not passed through similar terrain!

 

Hope this helps!

 

For a toolbox of more extensive coping strategies for withdrawal issues in general see here: Tool box for coping with psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes (and some chronic pain and/or illness too)

 

I found this book, Freedom from Pain: Discover Your Body’s Power to Overcome Physical Pain helpful as well to deal with chronic pain issues. I have a post with an interview with the author here: Trauma is often held in the body and experienced as chronic pain

 

original post: http://beyondmeds.com/2012/06/11/cope-pain/

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Barbarannamated   
Barbarannamated

Great info as always, Gia.

 

I had no idea how apropos my Introductory heading would become as I sift thru the pain - mood connection. I never considered myself "traumatized" until recently.

 

Now is when I would normally launch into apologizing and clarifying that "mine was not the 'usual and horrible trauma' such as physical child abuse" and downplay its role in my life..

 

I have had a front row seat to "physicians who throw pain patients into the 'somaticizer' trashcan" when MMPI or history reveals trauma and (per MD guidelines) "therefore will not respond to treatment". Pain drug treatment, of course. "However, perhaps antidepressants will be effective... along with a brief course of CBT..." [HUGE SARCASM SIGN]

 

My thoughts are circuitous and evolving on this topic. I've vehemently contradict myself in related threads. "Pain is NOT part and parcel of psychological state... pain IS related to suppression/bottling of feelings and patterns... "

 

The effect of repeated trauma on fight - flight - freeze response (I freeze)... learned helplessness (I hate that phrase but recognize myself in it and I REALLY HATE THAT)..."Learned restlessness" is interesting.

 

In perusing the links within Gia's post, several words jumped out at me: 'dissociation' being the main one. My primary coping mechanism. I'm subconsciously employing it now with my mother's terminal condition and knowing I need to face that but having a difficult time with the miasma of emotions. I'm becoming acutely aware of how draining repression and dissociation are. If I try to let my mind go there, I am overcome by must-get-horizontal-NOW sleepiness. I feel comfortable being 2500 miles away on the left coast.

 

Naptime.

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BinxBolling   
BinxBolling

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for treating headache and, for lack of a better term, neuropathic pain (burning/aching all over body) in protracted withdrawal. The pain never really goes away, it just gets better and worse. Advil improves it by maybe 15% (all other OTCs make it worse); I've been given opioids, tramadol, and other things but none of them work (some take away acute pain but increase dizziness and head pressure). I also try things like coherent breathing, mindfulness, warm baths. Concentrating on anything (reading, television, board games) tends to make the headache and burning worse.

 

Any tips would be much appreciated!

 

Binx

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Barbarannamated   
Barbarannamated

Binx,

 

I've had success with acupuncture in the past (prior to w/d) for head, back and neck pain. I'm not familiar with neuropathic pain (and hope to remain a stranger to it). Have opiates ever worked for your neuropathic pain (prior to w/d)? Just curious.

 

I also use Salon Pas or similar OTC menthol patches, but again, not for neuropathic pain.

 

You are probably aware... sumatriptan (all triptans for migraine) are serotonergic. Tramadol is very similar to SNRIs (Effexor, Pristiq) with some opioid affinity. Very confusing drug and metabolic profile/interactions. Coincidentally, i was prescribed Nucynta several years ago and toldit was similar to tramadol which is thought to be non-addictive. However, Nucynta is now a Schedule II (highly controlled due toaddiction potential). Not sure when that changed but thought i'd mention just FYI.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

I found acupuncture to be very helpful for pain.

 

Also, Epsom salts baths (magnesium) can give relief.

 

You may be hypersensitive to light, causing the headaches, see our topics on this

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/304-light-sensitive-try-blocking-out-blue-light

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/251-light-flashes-made-me-sick/

 

For a while, bright lights were giving me migraines, but that went away.

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BinxBolling   
BinxBolling

Yes, my understanding is that Tramadol has serotonin reuptake properties, which made me hesitant to take it, but it didn't work anyway (or, at least, not in the way it's supposed to).

 

Neuropathic pain probably isn't the right terminology---I just don't have any technical vocabulary to describe it. It's basically a sort of burning pain that's worst in the head, but radiates throughout my entire body. It's accompanied by a sort of vibrating tremor and what feels like "pressure." But it's not localized pain, so I don't think salon pas would work. Opioids took the edge off the pain, but not the vibration and pressure that accompany or source it, so it clearly won't go away until the brain function improves.

 

There's obviously some kind of misfiring/dysfunction in the brain that's responsible for it.

 

Thanks,

 

Binx

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GiaK   
GiaK

I've done a couple of posts on pain in withdrawal...and how I've coped with it...I've learned to manage it fairly well now...but I use many methods at once...including yoga and meditation and supplements and diet...

 

I don't imagine what works and learning to listen to ones body is ever quite the same for two different people...but this is what I've worked out.

 

 

Adventures in natural pain relief

 

and

 

Coping with and healing body pain of withdrawal & withdrawal syndromes

 

 

I no longer tolerate any pain relievers at all, so this is it for me...

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BinxBolling   
BinxBolling

Thanks---I tried acupuncture for quite a while but it didn't help. I don't think it's a light thing---early on in the withdrawal I was light sensitive, but not any more. It basically never goes away, so there really isn't a "trigger" as far as I can tell, but any attempts at prolonged concentration tend to make it worse.

 

I'll try the Epsom salts!

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BinxBolling   
BinxBolling

Thanks, Silver Star. Very informative posts. I've tried Turmeric without much success, tried tart cherry a while ago for sleep when the insomnia was bad. Maybe I'll give that a shot again and some other things you mention. Much appreciated.

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ikam   
ikam

I wonder how to deal with phisical. I personally get frequent migraines, headaches. I was once in with a chronic pelvic pain condition for over one year. At present I have had an achilless tendon pain.

My first response was always medication...

I feel a bit lost now...

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Petunia   
Petunia

I feel the same way ikam, at the first sign of a headache I would go to my medicine cabinet and take the maximum dose of a strong pain reliever.  But since going into withdrawal I'm sensitive to all medications and have had to learn how to deal with pain more naturally.

 

I've found that drinking more water and laying in a quiet room can sometimes relieve a headache.  If its real bad, I will take one aspirin, I seem to be able to tolerate this without any bad effects.  One is often enough now to reduce even strong pain.  Gentle stretching, massage and heat can reduce some kinds of muscle pain.

 

Many people find acupuncture helpful.

 

Here are some home remedies for joint pain:

 

http://everydayroots.com/arthritis-remedies

 

Maybe others can share what has worked for them.

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ikam   
ikam

I feel the same way ikam, at the first sign of a headache I would go to my medicine cabinet and take the maximum dose of a strong pain reliever.  But since going into withdrawal I'm sensitive to all medications and have had to learn how to deal with pain more naturally.

 

I've found that drinking more water and laying in a quiet room can sometimes relieve a headache.  If its real bad, I will take one aspirin, I seem to be able to tolerate this without any bad effects.  One is often enough now to reduce even strong pain.  Gentle stretching, massage and heat can reduce some kinds of muscle pain.

 

Many people find acupuncture helpful.

 

Here are some home remedies for joint pain:

 

http://everydayroots.com/arthritis-remedies

 

Maybe others can share what has worked for them.

I used to have acupuncture and trigger point physiotherapy for my pelvic pain + regular exercices...This helped...

 

But as you said when the pain kicks in I tend to go to my medicine cabinet and take the strongest painkiller, or go to pharamacy and buy one, or get a doctor prescription for a stronger one...

 

For me it is so important as I see that any phisical discomfort seems a trigger to restarting using drugs. Such as codeine; when I start it takes me long time to stop. Such as nasal spray. But also doxepin, which was prescribed to prevent migraines ans betablocker...

 

So I need tp prepare well this time...

 

I also hear that some pains relate to serotonin imbalance, eg. arthritis pain, or my achilles tendon pain...

 

I know that I am more in phisical pain when stressed out. In my last job I was in enormous conflict on daily basis and had migraines three times a week...

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Hudgens   
Hudgens

Mindfulness works for even severe pain. It's all over the web and it's very simple so you can learn the techniques

and start using them immediately. I use it for everything painful and I'd say it cuts out about 50-60% of the suffering

usually involved. Just Google "Mindfulness for pain control". 

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Brighid   
Brighid

For pain that's related to the increased muscle tension of withdrawal, one thing I've done is work with a physical therapist, including a specialized PT for a year to treat pelvic floor disorder and its related pain. I've also worked with a PT for joint (sacroiliac) pain and am currently seeing a PT for issues related to my upper back, neck, and jaw and even my teeth (working my way up!). It's a lot of work, but I've had improvements so far, especially in areas where I have structural alignment issues as well. I've also seen a chiropractor and am doing tai chi, which includes qigong type meditative exercises that involve (among other things) relaxing the face, eyes, head, and jaw. There's just so much I can afford, but at least PT is covered by my insurance--and the PT practice I go to does a lot of holistic stuff. 

I try to stay away from analgesics, too, as I don't know anymore how anything will affect me. Heat, relaxation, gentle exercise (half-hour walk every day), meditation, careful stretching, Epsom salt baths and magnesium oil--all have been helpful to me. 

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

I love Petu's list.  I'm only gonna agree with most of you about magnesium, epsom salts, and chime in as well - 

 

topical preparations like FisioCreme, IcyHot, BenGay, chinese linament.  I used to use horse linament, including DMSO (hay - it's good for the horses, not sure why they don't use it in humans more) when my back was so bad.  And alternating heat packs and ice packs (though it's not good to have them near the brain, so I keep a wheat pack in the freezer - it never freezes totally, but is cool, and can help without being too much for your brain)

 

But now, my husband gets nauseous when I use anything with menthol (the "cool" feeling in linament, and also the salicylic pain reliever), so I've had to get creative.  Try a few "arthritis" or "sports" cremes to see if anything helps.

 

A very gentle one (would probably work with Petu's water and dark room lie down) is a dab of pure lavender oil on the temples.

 

I've recently become a fan of chinese patches, you can put them on the sore spot and leave it there for up to 5 days.  I prefer the Chinese ones to the drug store ones, which are usually capsicain (hot pepper) and burn my skin unbearably.

 

This is one I struggle with, too.  

 

For the Achilles, I have found (I use this on my hand) Rocktape. It's a special compression tape, with more support than regular strapping tape.  Extreme athletes use it to push their bodies past their limits - I use it to live another day, maybe make it to older age!  I plan to also use it on my knee next time I try some sport.

 

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Meimeiquest   
Meimeiquest

I would add that I understand even acetaminophen and ibuprofen are undermining to healing, Acetaminophen depletes glutathione, and ibuprofen is very hard on the GI tract.

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Mort81   
Mort81

I've dealt with chronic headaches for 13 yrs. I just started cranial sacral therapy from an osteopath in my area. I will update you guys on how I do.

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btdt   
btdt

There is a lot of pain in wd... I can find it difficult to tell what the cause is since I have all sorts of things it could be  but I know wd made all pain worse and I believe wd is painful in and of itself... this is a painful experience.  There are countless posts from me about pain epson salt baths hot cold packs deep relaxation via utube videos of the same title... light exercise when you can ...more if you can. 

 

All that said I have been going to physio and while I was there discovered a rack with support shirts... forever sceptical I asked a lot of questions and look at them over and over again... I can't do the bra type as I have pain in that area have not had a bra on more than 15 min in 3 years.  So the least expensive version was out.  These are expensive really expensive to me... 150 bucks for me that is a lot of money.  I decided to take a chance... and bought this one called alignmed posture shirt 

http://www.alignmed.com/shop/clearance/womens-symmetry-v-neck-zipped-shirt-cotton-lycra.html

 

They have all different sorts... all expensive. I thought having the zipper version would give me more freedom to adjust it and I could modify it if I was up to it and my sewing machine worked... so if it fails there is a future there... all things I had to say to talk myself into spending so much money on one shirt.

 

and this link will likely be removed cause we are not allowed to put up products I don't think... I don't know that this is a specific thing or if all such products would work just as well this just happens to be the one my physio office had... the only thing of its sort I have ever seen but I don't get out much there may be millions of such things.  

 

My big problem now it takes a long time to dry when I wash it and I don't want to take it off.... I know. 

 

Thing is I have trouble sleeping a lot of nights because of pain and this is not what the shirt is meant for... it is meant to wear awake I think my physio person may not even know I bought and does not know I sleep in it.. I should ask him... I forget when I am in there. 

 

I read some about it since I got it and am looking to buy another one cheaper if I can find one... I read some products like this can make your posture worse if you wear them too much... I did not know any of this was in pain put it on it helped kept it on... 

 

Not being much of a conformist these days I don't really care much about what this or that person has to say... if something helps it helps if it doesn't to the garbage can with it... 

 

So if you have neck back shoulder pain too many f.... head aches a posture shirt may help you... I am not attached to this one there may be many kinds that help. 

 

I do feel like things sprawl when I take it off and don't like it... my idea is to be more active with it on... we will see. 

 

Thttp://www.posturebraceguide.com/#posture-brace-comparison-charthereis a guy who does reviews but who knows you can find him here

 

I feel like Mikey in the old life cereal commercial he won't like it he hates everything... as I don't like much ... generally take a hard line on what helps me... so few things do.  I may well change my mind on this too as it has been only a short time...I will keep you posted. 

peace all

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stan   
stan

i have back pain and discover that in future, if worse pain, there exist elastic to help, i new "corset" for back pain, but this you have to be two to put it strong

150 bucks (150 canadian $) seem to be 100 french euros, is of course much money, and you need two, to wash one, if it does not function well, it is much money

with 100 euros, you can buy a woman winter jacket in France instead a shirt, but the shirt is special

 

thanks for the idea

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btdt   
btdt

I could get a coat here less than this shirt not such a good coat but a winter coat for sure.  I was not happy to spend that money Stan not in the least... I kept thinking about it.  A lot and looking at it and thinking and looking. ;)

I have breast pain it keeps me up at night is it shoulder back neck and breast the rest I seem to be able to support with towels pillows my bed is a mass of different shape and type of pillows heating apparatus this and that with in arms reach menthol rubs on and on... it has been like this for years.  The last car accident and the broken rib made it all worse I got even more pillows... it has been 3 years since that accident I had pain before it... 

I just made a post about brain remodeling in the states ... think it was that one that says our brain can pull our spine out of whack and cause pain ...dx as fibro... whatever... I have heard it all... I just wanted something that might help. 

 

I put that zipper top on and did not take it off ... I slept in it it held my boob I had a decent sleep but each day wearing it I felt more improvement... I hate to wash it... it could be I have just found a really good therapist again ... but truth told my boob was still painful after he worked on me... I was up nights trying to hold it in a position that would not hurt... that plus it has helped my back shoulder and neck it goes down under the butt to support the entire back.  

 

I have been studying it a few times to try and figure out how to make my own... at this rate it will be wore out in no time. 

 

It may be that it is such a wonder to me only because of the accident issues ...or because I have physio that is helpful just now... 

 

But knowing how very painful wd is I thought if there is a chance this shirt could help somebody else well I just threw it out there.

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btdt   
btdt

I have a back massager too... xmass present one year it was about the same amount as the coat.  Maybe I am luckier than I feel... if you can get a good physio therpist that is good too...but hard to find. 

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ikam   
ikam

I am in pain...it has been really long now and I feel sometimes I cannot cope any longer. I dont understand this pain...or, I do: I hear it is WD and I want to believe it is WD and damage from many years of being on AD and other meds....But when it hits I am in agony...Recently this has been a stabbing, throbbing pain in my groin, it actually seems to be coming from my back sometimes, as if somebody hit me with a knife and left it there...and it is throbbing...especially when I sit down...

For over one year I had sciatica type of pain, but this one is much worse...My foot is still painful when walking, but I am somehow used to this, change my shoes to walking boots that protect me feet better...

But this stabbing/pulsating/throbbing brings anxiety that "something must be wrong in that area of my body"...I went to see GP yesterday, she said she cannot find any explanation, sends me for USG...

Another doctor insists on colonoscopy, as I aslo have very low iron (to him it means I am bleeding internally)...So when he mentioned a "possible cancer" I keep thinking that maybe this pain = cancer...

 

I have problem with believing that it is "just WD" and I am looking for the "illness" explanations...

If I was able to say "this is WD" this would be easier...I hope...

But, I dont believe, every time I get "stabbed" I get kind of doubtful that this is "only WD", "just" nerves, etc.

 

It is better when I walk or lie down...although this is not a rule, as I had it last night...

 

I did have a severed pain when stopped Effexor...

 

It is a mistery, but because I am "in it", I have problem with detaching myself...each "stabb" means "I may be termibally ill", as "I would not be in such pain... and for so long..."

 

How to get myself to believe that this is WD???

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GiaK   
GiaK

I wrote a post when I was dealing with pain of the sort you are talking about and there is a bloody knife illustrating it. It WAS withdrawal...all those awful pains. Yes.

 

See: It gets better: Dyesthesias — abnormal pain from psych drug withdrawal  

https://beyondmeds.com/2014/10/20/it-gets-better-4/ the photo and description is in that post. 

 

I hope that might help you get through this very very difficult time. Hang in there. 

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GiaK   
GiaK

from a recent post...I still practice this...it started in tiny, tiny baby steps...

 

"First piece of info I ran with when I found myself non-verbal and bedridden and in more pain than I thought was possible was from a friend who said, “be curious about your experience.” Being hopeful in the heinously difficult condition I found myself in was actually impossible…being curious was not. Now you might say that surrender *and* curiosity is the foundation of my practice… curiosity, really, is mindfulness."

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ikam   
ikam

Thanks. I read the post. It helps when I am in a more logial mind set. When I am in pain I cannot think rationally...

 

Today I had it when I was walking...just one point, this time in my back low down the lumbar part, as if the stabbing was from behind and was still throbbing in front...It is too low down for any organs...it is alsmost in the place where is the leg joint...I cannot even describe it properly...

 

I want to try gentle exercices today...

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ikam   
ikam

Yeah, my therapist says "be suspicious", as this is not what it seems to be...

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ikam   
ikam

I did exercice for 30 minutes. I have a DVD i used to use when I had post-effexor pain...As I managed to overcome it with exercices and physio- this DVD sends a message to my brain- that it is possible to get better...

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GiaK   
GiaK

wonderful...we always want to do anything that helps us believe that! 

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ikam   
ikam

I just read an article on a link between iron deficiency and pain. I have been taking, successfully Liquid Ionic Iron. I feel I have more energy, so I hope it will also help with my pains.

http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/low_iron_can_cause_chronic_pain/

http://www.wellnessresources.com/studies/iron_deficiency_as_a_cause_of_chronic_pain/

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

That's interesting what you mention about iron deficiency.  About 1 week ago I run out of iron tablets which I have been taking for a couple of years and in the last few days I have been experiencing lots of fairly strong and various pains.  It will be interesting to see if they abate once I take them again.

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ikam   
ikam

Since taking iron supplement + changing diet my hands are better...I also have better energy...

 

The pain in my groin and back was so bad yesterday. It followed pain free few hours in the morning- I felt so good. And then sharp, throbbing pain was back...

I managed to get another GP appointment; she suggested it could related to kidney stones. She wants this to be investigated, which will take time. Meanwhile, she prescribed stronger painkillers. I feel a bit like failing when taking them- getting back to medicating rather than dealing with it. The painkillers just mask the problem, and the pain is back...throbbing again...

Doctor said to take them four times a day...I resist, but maybe this is what I have to do? I have side effects, mostly drowsiness, faster heart rate, sleeping worse...

I was surprised as she asked me to call her on Tuesday to tell her how I am...nice feeling...that she cares more than i think...

 

It seems that buscopan is helping in some way. It works by relaxing the muscle...I also have paracetamol with codeine...not sure about this, but it does stop the pain...(I used to be addicted to codeine, so I need to be careful)...

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