I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis when I was 18 years old. I'm 62 now. Over the years I have been on probably everything out there, starting with gold treatments back in the early 70's. Because there wasn't much available back then, I ate aspirin like candy which helped at that time, but blew out my stomach. Then came ibuprophene and it's clones and I began taking them. I can't anymore. NSAID and DMARDS and cortisone injections and prednisone and metho injections and Remicade and Enbrel and Humira...........I've probably left something out, but you get the picture. The Enbrel worked quite well, but after 2 years I began getting some weird lab reports and while it was never conslusively connected to the Enbrel, I became wary of the biologics because I felt they just really didn't know enough about the long term effects, so I told my rheumo I was done. My arthritis is now in every joint of my body with the exception of my elbows for some reason, but the bottom line is that I live in constant, very bad pain. My rheumo wants me to try Celebrex, but my cardiologist says no............too many cardiac risks AND GI bleed warnings. So much testing required during treatment. The anxiety while taking it would, in my opinion, far outweigh any benefits. I asked my rheumo to let me try opioids. I DO understand that these types of drugs are controversial in the treatment of arthritic pain, and are never the first line treatment choice, but I think I've given the other stuff a fair trial. I've also done a fair amount of research on what some of the top doctors in this field have said about using opioids...........doctors from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, The Cleveland Clinic, and articles in the New England Journal of Medicine. I haven't garned my opinions from the National Inquirier! All of these reports have made a point of bringing to light the debate surrounding this issue, but they have also said it's a viable alternative in the "correct" patients, side effects and long term affects are less daunting and far better well known, the worst possibility is the addiction issue, but even that was shot down by most. Long term studied had been done on this factor and it was proven, quite overwhelmingly, that while "dependence" WAS a factor, addiction was low on the list. At age 62, my hippie days are long past, I do not abuse any of my medications (and I take some that could be) and I do not have to take them on a regular daily basis. As like most of us, I have days that are bearable and then I have days that are pure agony. It's THOSE days I would like to take something to stop the pain. If I become dependant, well, that's just the price we have to pay sometimes. I have no desire to become some junkie laying about in my front yard. I want to live the best life I can, free of as much pain as possible. I have my first grandchild on the way and I don't plan on being a drooling fool in the rocking chair. I understand the gravity of how these meds can be abused. And who knows, maybe I would hate them. Maybe I would not like how they made me feel, maybe they would not help.......I would simply like to try them and see. I tried everthing my doctor asked me to, I don't understand why he is so firmly against them. I am also aware that there is some concern in this country that doctors are being a bit too free with the pain med scripts, so I understand they are probably under a certain amount of scrutiny. But this is a legitimate use of these drugs, backed up by some very big names in the medical community and I thinking I need to take my request to another doctor, which I really don't want to. I've been with my rheumo for years now...........but his staunch and negative atitude is making me angry.
Sorry for the length of this post, I really just meant to ask if there was anyone here who DID use opioids for pain management and how it was working for them.
Right now, I am taking nothing and life is pretty grim........not much fun.
Any advice, suggestions, thoughts are welcome.
Thanking you in advance