No one likes to talk about constipation and stool softeners but when you are on opiate pain killers every day they must be discussed. One of the most annoying side effect (other than itching all over your body) is constipation and it can become very serious if you don’t dump every couple of days. It can cause a blockage which if not caught that can literally kill a part of your colon. It also can cause that nasty stuff to back up into your stomach and then you know what you will be vomiting. So if you are on an opiate every day for pain and are having problems with constipation don’t be embarrassed ask your doctor for a stool softener a little embarrassment is better than becoming seriously ill or losing your life.
Now that we got the hard stuff out there now we can talk about the itching. Sometimes it is so bad I feel like I am losing my mind. I have one of those big bamboo back scratchers and believe me I put it to use. You can also try lotion and not taking really hot showers because that can dry your skin and make it even worse. If it gets really bad you can also ask your doctor to prescribe a non drowsy antihistamine which should take care of it. Also drinking a lot of water in a day will help with both problems discussed so far.
As much as I fought the idea of taking opiates to control my pain (because of it being highly addictive) I finally gave in when I realized that it would dull the pain enough that I can do my house work with less help, I can sleep better at night which makes me feel better having more rest, and I am happier being able to do my chores myself and sleeping at least close to eight hours.
Corticosteroid injections and before you think I am crazy this steroid takes care of inflammations in muscles and nerves surrounding joints or around the neck and spine. The one that makes people go off the deep end is anabolic steroids and no one should ever take those for any reason they are dangerous not only to you but anyone around you if you go into “roid rage”. The thing with corticosteroids is you don’t know if they are going to work or not until you are injected and if they do work there is no telling for how long and different parts can react differently. For instance I had both of my knees injected and it barely worked on one and not at all on the other. It only lasted for a few weeks one the one knee and then I was back into some pretty bad pain. A few months ago I was injected from my tailbone to the base of my skull and on my lumbar spine it has worked amazingly well on my neck not so much and the same with my tailbone. It is worth a try though because everyone is different and if you can get a few months relief it is worth it.
Doctors to me at least it is very important to have a doctor that will put me in a heavy twilight sleep. These injections are very painful and since I feel a lot of pain daily I want a doctor that is compassionate and not want to inflict even more pain on me. My doctor is just like that and I am so thankful for him. Now there have been a few times I have woken up before he was done and he always apologizes for me not stay out the entire time.
Remember to weigh all options I am not a doctor so I cannot advise you I can only tell you what has worked for me. I am open to discussions however about what you are going through or what you and your doctor has tried, what has worked for you and what hasn’t.