Thursday, January 5, 2012


I don't often have to deal with this label. But, a couple of them stand out about me the most. One is me being a stay at home mom. First off, I'm not going to do the whole Stay at Home Mom versus the Working Mom debate. So onward we go. Lots of people think that it is an easy thing to do. After all, who couldn't sit there and watch soap operas all day and eat chocolate, right? Well, considering I haven't watched a soap opera in about 20 years and also do not want to get any fatter eating chocolate..I guess I don't fall in that statistic. I am busy almost all of the time. I do admit to a couple times taking a quick nap before getting up to do something else, but my sleeping problems play more into that factor than anything. I get up at 5:30 every morning and practically don't stop until 9 at night. Getting the kids ready for school, breakfast, cleaning up breakfast mess, dishes, laundry, mopping, dogs needing walked, grocery store, paying bills, running errands, going to the doctor myself or one of the kids needs to go, cooking dinner, helping the hubby get ready for work, and finally, getting ready for bed and tucking the kiddos in for the night. Some days I really wonder what I've gotten myself into. Not that I have a huge family, but they keep me busy. J helps a lot too. I'm glad I found a man who likes to cook and clean as well. I also admit to sometimes holding off on the laundry till the weekend so we can do it together. I like folding laundry with my husband and chit-chatting while doing so.

Another stereotype I sometimes get is Pill Head..or Pill Junkie or Pill Addict. Yes, I do take pain pills every day, 3 times a day. Lortab to be exact. I also take a muscle relaxer at night and Lyrica (a nerve medication for the nerves in my leg), 3 times a day as well. I hate the look I get when doctors ask me what medications I'm currently taking. I hate that they think I'm there only to get pain pills when I'm really there for a simple cough or sinus infection. I had to sign a contract with my current pain specialist,whom I see every two months, and in that contract states that I cannot have more than one pharmacy and I cannot ask for pain medication from any other doctor. As of right now, I have stuck to that contract. Once I have been given a script for pain medication that I did not ask for and I did not fill. I told my pain specialist doctor about it and showed him that I did not fill it. It was from the E.R. and was a month old, so he knows I didn't fill it because you only have a few days to fill those scripts from the E.R. I really think he was impressed that I was honest with him and he said it was fine, not a big deal. End of story and I didn't break my contract with him.

I know there are people out there who are addict to pain medication and do you know how hard it is on people like me who do use pain medication correctly? I hate how people automatically think I'll be addicted to them. I've been on the same medication for 6 months now, never needing to increase nor decrease anything. It's just a stigma that has been placed on everyone who has pain medication in their possession. You can tell how it affects not only the people who use it correctly, but in how doctors treat you if you are in pain. Some doctors are not willing to write any scripts for pain medication or write hardly any pills at all. There is such a huge epidemic of abuse that it cancels out the needs of those who really need pain control.

Just a short history on why I need pain control. I hurt my back in 2001, saw many doctors, saw lots of pain medication being thrown at me and no real help. I took all of those and did get quite addicted to the pain medication. I lost my job, slept all day and took more than I should. I didn't care to get out of bed, didn't care to shower and didn't care if I had clean clothes or food to eat. I'd literally roll over, pop a few pills and go back to sleep. Looking back now, it sucked so so so bad. I was a shell. I don't know what snapped, but I took the pain medication in my hand one day, talked to myself in my head, and flushed them down the toilet. Every last one of them. Yeah, it sucked coming off of them cold turkey. Detoxing from those sort of medications is really really bad. I would suggest getting help, not just doing it by yourself. I was on all of those medications for a year, and after I detoxed from those medications, I never went back to a doctor. I lived with the pain in my back until finally, in March of 2010, my back finally gave out. Literally. The buldging discs herniated onto my sciatic nerve, and the arthritis was too much to bear. In April 2010, I had back surgery. My L5 and S1 discs were removed, fused, bone grafted, and as much arthritis as possible scraped from my spine. Oh yeah, I also have a 4-5 inch titanium rod placed in there too.

I, more than likely, will be on some sort of pain medication the rest of my life. As I grow older, I will start having even more problems and possibly another back surgery. My L4 disc is bad as well. The doctor did not want to do all of that surgery at once, because doing the L4 disc will be a major disabling surgery. I will not be the same after it's done. He said that maybe the disc will hold and I won't have to worry about it until I'm 50 or so.

I'm hoping the disc holds.

So, before you spout off that someone is a pill addict, or form opinions based on the fact they take pain medcation, please think beforehand. They might really need them.

Now, I dare you to go to YouTube and watch a video on spinal fusion sugery with a rod placement. If it weren't for the pain and the fact I couldn't walk,or take care of my children and husband, the videos I watched on there almost made me chicken out.

Have fun!

1 Comment:

  1. BusyYellowBug said...
    Robyn, I cannot imagine how you get through the days with your back issue. I'm even more impressed that you managed to carry a pregnancy - not once, but twice - with your back problems. You are a responsible patient. I bet your doctors appreciate that more then they let on.

    I have kind of a funny story about pain meds. When Sarah was injured in October, the ER doc prescribed vicodin for her. Went to the pharm to pick it up; prescription was for 15 pills. She took some those first few days, but I didn't want to use them too much because of the whole addiction concern and also because she doesn't even weigh 90 lbs yet, so I wanted to be conservative. A couple of times over those first few days, the vicodin wasn't working as well as she wanted it too so I called the doc and he said to go ahead and give her Advil in between doses. Fast forward a week, and she goes into surgery. The surgeon asked if we needed any more pain meds and I told him we had 3 from the original 15 left. He called in a script. When I picked it up, it was a bottle of 45 - 45! - pills. Really? Exactly how much pain did he think she would be in? She didn't even need the original 15 over the course of an entire week! I was just surprised at the amount being given to a kid. Crazy, to me!

    After all that, not only did she not need the remaining 3 from the original prescription, she never even needed to open the bottle of the 45. She was so lucky. I have worse pain with my cramps than she did with all that injury and surgery. Ah, kids. They have so much more bounce-back-ability than we do.

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