Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Weaning and Medication

Weaning off of medication is something that many Fibro patients find themselves thinking about.  Some decide on this because they like to have a family while others feel they would be healthier to do so.  And sometimes, you or your doctor may feel that it's time for you to wean.  If you are finding that you're considering going off of your pain medication(s) for any reason there are some things you should think about before you decide to take the med-free road.

  1. Talk with your doctor.  You doctor is your best ally on your med-free journey.  He or she can suggest your best course for weaning, especially if you are on certain kinds of pain medications.  Certain pain medications are actually narcotics and opioids and even though they are by prescription, the side effects you may have can be the same experience drug addicts have from illicit drugs.  Going "cold turkey" is not something that is suggested by doctors if you've been taking these types of pain killers because the side effects can be severe.  Some of them include increased levels of anxiety, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and headaches.  It is best to seek the counsel of your doctor so he/she can help you plan out a safe weaning process.
  2. Have patience.  First and foremost, going med-free is scary if you've never done it.  I don't care how long you've had Fibromyalgia, it doesn't matter.  The pain level you had prior to your meds will always be a vivid memory, always.  And that's scary for us all.  No one wants to take a step (or twelve) backwards.  It's a huge fear.  It's one that I even had and sometimes still do.  If my lifestyle changes slightly or my stress level has gone up for any reason, I get worried.  When fears are flying, have patience with yourself.  Rome was not built in a day and neither is confidence in yourself or your pain.  If you are doubled over because you have been folding laundry for a half an hour it is completely okay to allow yourself some relief via a pain pill.  Do not beat yourself up for what you may need, that's not your goal.  Your goal is to feel healthier in your mind, spirit, AND body.
  3. Have a goal in mind but don't make it concrete unless your doctor is involved.  Concrete goals are great.  They can make people realize their dreams but they can also hinder you too.  I'm goal orientated, but to a fault.  My father was very goal orientated but he was laid back.  Things he wanted to accomplish in life looked easy to me, the bystander, because he never seemed to let his stress rule him.  My mother was different.  She suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and she made Adrian Monk look dirty-- really she did!  LOL!  Growing up I had two extremes and I've been trying, REALLY trying to find a happy medium for myself.  Goals are tough when you don't make them.  Set ones you think you can make but if you don't, just remember it's still okay.
As always,
Stay fabulous!

Kimberley
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