Pain Meds & Fibromyalgia

  • I have read more on these topics than I can even remember and still find myself clueless.

    I hope some of you here can shed some light on this for me. At least give me a point of view or experience. Anything will be appreciated.

    What is the, or is there any, relationship to fibromyalgia & pain meds addiction? How can you really know when someone is in pain? Or they tell theimselves they are just to get more meds?

    I am not being judgemental. I am truly concerned and would welcome anyone who may have been or is going through anything similar to respond &/or share.

    I always try to stay positive in all things, but this is really taking a toll on me. The person whom I'll refer to as 'Z' seems so out there sometimes I feel like I dont even know them anymore. I only want to help Z in any way I can. I am just fresh out of knowing what to do or try. Thanks so much. 😕

  • Dear Ragbag,

    It is great that you are concerned. I too have fibromyalgia and take pain medicines. I really have to watch what I take and when I take it as it really is way too easy to keep taking it to try and feel better. Of course some days are worse than others depending on the person, weather, how bad your condition is, sleep, diet, etc.. I do find out than when I take too much one day and I have to get myself back on schedule that I suffer from drug withdrawals which affects my sleep, my attitude and i end up being bitchy and the next day I am back to normal. I do have an addiction to the pain medicaine and wish that I had never taken it, but I also know that I could not do without it on some days. What exactly is going on with Z so I can relate to you how I handle it?

  • She(Z) says she has been diagnosed with it but I am not certain. She had a pain pill addiction a few years before and I am afraid she may be using that as an excuse to keep on using because everytime I offer to go to mri's, drs, whatever with her there is always an excuse. She ends up not going and staying in bed for 4 or 5 days or longer. I know she suffers some pain, and again, I am not judging regardless of how it may sound. I am just not sure that the pain is severe enough to warrant 'that' many pills. Does that make any sense? How often do you have to take your meds, if I may ask? She takes something several times daily and sometimes her speech is so slurred I cant understand a word she is saying. Thank you, Sporty48, for responding and for your honesty.

  • I wish I knew for sure which of the two is the real problem. Maybe then it would be easier to know which direction to turn. She looks to me for help and comfort and advice and I just dont know what else to try that I haven't already. I wondered about crystals or stones. Dont know too much about that though. If the dob will help anyone, it is March 12,1965. Thanks! 🙂

  • Dear Ragbag,

    I am just a normal everyday person, so I do not want to give you a wrong impression, but I can tell you what I do and what I go through with complete honesty. Somedays I have a lot of pain and some days hardly any, but once you are a pill addict to pain med. it doesn't matter as you will find an excuse to constantly use it. A person that is addicted to pain meds. doesn't care if their pain level is a 2 or a 10 they think they have to have it to fell better and the fibrom. just gives them an excuse to use it. I am not saying they have or do not have pain, pain meds. are very addictive and are becoming a way of life for people to get through the day more than alcohol or other drugs. I do know that if their speech is slurred than they are using or taking way too much of it and it can be very dangerous, it can kill. People have differant reactions to pain meds.. My husband can take mine and it will wire him up and he will work like he doesn't hurt. I take the same pill and cannot tell any differance, I won't feel any better, but no worse either. I can also tell you that most people will not tell you they are addicted to pain meds. as they like how it makes them feel or what it helps them do and they are afraid if they say something that their dr. will take them off of it as it can be bad for their helath as well as their life. I know I am addicted and know that as long as my husband is taking them too that it makes it very hard for me to stay away from them or cut back, so I mentally keep track every day what time I take them and will not take more than 4 a day. I have been very good at the 4 a day except for lately when we had to move and I was hurting really bad and so I have had to get back on my regular schedule the last couple of days. You have a good reason to be concerned about your friend and they should feel bery grateful that you care, but most people will not see it this way. I too have read a lot on fibro. and tried different medicines from the dr. of which have not worked, but your friend is heading down a very dangerous path with the pain meds.. One thing I can recommend is to try and get them to use herbal medicine for the fibro. called arnaca. It is not a cure all and does not get rid of the pain, it does help me to offset using so much pain meds. and help me get a little of the un-easy feeling to ease up a little.Tthis may help them and may not. Most people want a cure all and want to be able to feel it and know that it worked, so a lot of people will not stay with herbal meds. because of this. I cannot tell you what to do for them, but a good firend does try to help and I think you will, but don't take it personal if they get mad at you for it, it is a natural response. Hopefully after a little time they will realize you did what you did because you cared and will love you more for saving them. I am not checking this for spelling or wording so let me know if something doees not sound right and you have a question or two. I would be more than happy to tell you about myself and how I deal with it, half the battle is admitting you have the problem and the other half is beating the problem or coping with it so you have control of it and it does not control you. Good luck and let me know what you think.

  • Thank you so much Sporty48. I too am just a normal(?) person. Trying to cope on a daily basis. I feel pretty sure she is addicted to the meds & you are right she gets very upset when I call her on it. I am so afraid she is gonna overdo it or combine the wrong things. I have never had this addiction but do suffer from alcohol addiction.(Sober almost4 yrs.thank God!). What I keep hearing from her as well as ads on tv and in print, is that the meds work on the brain in such a way as to make you want more and more. Regardless of the level of pain. As you said, whether a 2 or a 10. Another thing, she really has no support system other than me and I am ill equipped to handle such a huge problem. She is married, but its like he has his head stuck in the sand or she manipulates him to see things her way. I know that sounds awful. Like I dont care at all, But truth is I guess I care too much. I know the real her and what she is capable of. This is so painful to see and not know how to help. You mentioned arnaca. Can you tell me more about it please? Right now she is taking 6+ pills a day. Most days more than that if she is awake. The only ones I know for sure are Lyrica, valium and at least 2 other somethings she gets from a 'fellow sufferer'. I appreciate any & all for taking the time to read &/or respond. 🙂

  • Hi Ragbag!

    I saw this the other night and forgot to get back to this thread. First, Bravo, sporty48! I read everything you said, no worries on not saying something correctly -- It was perfect! As for the arnica, I carry a tube of this while backpacking and believe it to help somewhat, but find it to be more useful with bruising. In some ways, Ragbag, it comparable to BenGay or Icey Hot.

    I've had degenerative arthritis and fibromyalgia for more years than I'd wish on anyone, lol ! About 15 yrs ago I started taking a non-addictive med that helped me to sleep through the pain. I just recently stopped it. No real reason, just decided to see where I was at with everything. Recently, I've being seeing a Rheumatologist and started on something else. Anyway, I don't take anything in particular for the fibro.

    Lyrica and valium (diazapam) are both central nervous system depressants --- Together could be a potentially scary thing .... And you aren't sure what she is getting from friends. They Can be prescribed together but under the watchful eye of an MD. Just a hunch but, right now, drugs are being widely prescribed for anxiety ( everyone having such a bad time today) and if this is also what she is taking, It wouldn't be too cool. (popular anxiety>trazadone, clonazepam, popular pain > oxycodone) I hope she stays away from alcohol!

    This is the little bit I know about it and I wouldn't stand in judgement of anothers pain. Still, taking to bed for that amount of time is more of a depression / pill addiction symptom. Your right to be concerned given her symptoms and possible avoidance of the doc. I'd find out where she goes and see if you can chat with the doc in private and speak of your concerns. The doctor can't give you confidential info, but you can let him/her know.

    Don't give up --- your love will find away! Hugs!

  • Hi Ragbag...I am a Fibro patient as well. Managing this condition, disease or disorder can be a bit tricky.

    About slurred speech, well, when they began testing me for the disorder, I had literally gotten out of bed one morning and my entire body was behaving as though I had had a stroke. This meant that my speech was slurred, my coordination was well, compromised, even my vision was distorted, and I can assure you, I honestly believed that I had had a stroke. Come to find out it was not a stroke, but what some professionals believe to be a Fibromyalgia attack. This disorder is very painful, and if there are underlying conditions like arthritis for example, it only serves to compound the problem.

    While I do not know of any relation between addiction and treatment of chronic pain and I am not a healthcare professional, isn't it possible that if the person who is affected by this disorder recognizes that there is a problem with managing their meds, and it is having a negative impact on either themselves or their relationships, they could ask for an adjustment from their Doctor.

    Additionally, and I base this solely on my experience...when the fibro patient goes in to find out what is going on with their health, prior to being diagnosed, they may be presenting to the doctor with up to 11 symptoms and 10 or more tender points. Tender points are the places that feel like they are bruised, but are not bruised. (I know this may seem unreal to you), but the pain is very real. Once they begin to run all of these medical tests, they may begin to find and identify other health problems or even injuries that were previously unknown. This is difficult to cope with because sometimes a Fibro patient may postpone or even not go in for testing because they absolutely cannot take any more of these discoveries that were made either in the initial dignostic testing or further testing to rule out what might be causing the existing symptoms.

    There is a book called "Living Well with Fibromyalgia", and even though I realize that you've probably done a great deal of research trying to understand or maybe be of support to you friend "Z", this book really put the disorder into perspective, and went a long way in the treatment and understanding of this disorder. And again, as far as med management, addictions and so forth, I would urge you to seek the advice of a professional.

  • PS: I might also add that sometimes these tests that the doctors run on the patient are very painful as well. If you had the disorder, or a similar one that had no known cause, and no cure, wouldn't you absolutely dread going in for a test that could cause more physical pain, or more of the same? I hope I have been able to shed some light on your dilemma, good luck with your research and please...encourage your friend to take an active roll in managing her pain.

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