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"What's Killing White, Middle-aged American Women?"


Kinsa

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One thing they raised was pain killer addiction. Which leaves me wondering why the number of people with chronic pain? I see a lot of this - is it food supply issues, overwork or something else?

Personally, I think it's because doctors so often poo-poo away women's complaints of pain, just attributing it to pre-menopausal or menopausal symptoms. So they just prescribe pain killers and send you home.

 

I was shocked beyond belief when I went into the dentist recently complaining of tooth pain (turned out I needed a root canal), when I told him I was taking Motrin for the pain, he prescribed an opiod for me. Why??? I was controlling it with ibuprofen! I didn't need an opiod. He was handing it out like it was candy. I didn't bother filling the prescription.

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Personally, I think it's because doctors so often poo-poo away women's complaints of pain, just attributing it to pre-menopausal or menopausal symptoms. So they just prescribe pain killers and send you home.

 

I was shocked beyond belief when I went into the dentist recently complaining of tooth pain (turned out I needed a root canal), when I told him I was taking Motrin for the pain, he prescribed an opiod for me. Why??? I was controlling it with ibuprofen! I didn't need an opiod. He was handing it out like it was candy. I didn't bother filling the prescription.

 

I have kidney stones. When I have a bad stone/series of pain episodes, every single medical professional I see hands me a prescription for Percocet. During this last round, I literally ended up with months worth of prescriptions. I shred them all, but imagine if I didn't? And it's not like you can prove kidney stone pain, so if I were drug seeking, I'd be totally set. And I'll tell you, I've never in my life, at the end of a hard or stressful or hectic day, thought to myself, "I need a drink..." or a cigarette or a joint or anything like that. But since I had my first Percocet a few years ago (for dental pain), on hard days, I still think about the blissed out haze they provide and have to squash the urge to go take one. That terrifies me. And Percocet's on the lighter side of opiate options!

 

A good friend has done every drug imaginable, including heroin and meth, and never had a problem with addiction. When he had back pain, however, he was given opiate pain meds and ended up fighting addiction for years. 

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I have kidney stones. When I have a bad stone/series of pain episodes, every single medical professional I see hands me a prescription for Percocet. During this last round, I literally ended up with months worth of prescriptions. I shred them all, but imagine if I didn't? And it's not like you can prove kidney stone pain, so if I were drug seeking, I'd be totally set. And I'll tell you, I've never in my life thought to myself, at the end of a hard or stressful or hectic day, thought to myself, "I need a drink..." or a cigarette or a joint or anything like that. But since I had my first Percocet a few years ago (for dental pain), on hard days, I still think about the blissed out haze they provide and have to squash the urge to go take one. That terrifies me. And Percocet's on the lighter side of opiate options!

 

A good friend has done every drug imaginable, including heroin and meth, and never had a problem with addiction. When he had back pain, however, he was given opiate pain meds and ended up fighting addiction for years. 

 

Yeah...this has been my experience as well.  After having my second kid I had awful back pain.  I kept going to doctor after doctor.  They just kept wanting to write me out scripts for narcotic pain killers.  I didn't want to take a bunch of that stuff while having a newborn baby!  It actually took me awhile to find a doctor who would offer something else.  I went to PT and after about 2 weeks of that I was like a new person. 

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Interesting.  I figured it would be cigarettes or drugs.  But yeah ... pain meds.

 

They put my dad on oxycontin, and he did everything exactly as instructed, not wanting to get hooked.  It was torture to wean off of it.  For a long time.

 

We complain about not being taken seriously when we are in pain, but I'd rather that than be given meds that will harm me.  I tend to avoid meds as far as reasonably possible.  Though in perimenopause, I could see how it would be tempting to try meds.

 

I wonder if outcomes are any different for women who choose to go to chiropractors instead of MDs at this stage of life.

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I wonder if outcomes are any different for women who choose to go to chiropractors instead of MDs at this stage of life.

I had a medical doctor prescribe me percocet for a back injury that "would get better any day now" for 3 months and then argued that the chiropractor was a bad decision. After seeing the chiropractor he told me to stop taking the meds and I felt 90% better the next day. It was the first day I could walk upright without medication in 3 months.

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Interesting. I figured it would be cigarettes or drugs. But yeah ... pain meds.

 

They put my dad on oxycontin, and he did everything exactly as instructed, not wanting to get hooked. It was torture to wean off of it. For a long time.

 

We complain about not being taken seriously when we are in pain, but I'd rather that than be given meds that will harm me. I tend to avoid meds as far as reasonably possible. Though in perimenopause, I could see how it would be tempting to try meds.

 

I wonder if outcomes are any different for women who choose to go to chiropractors instead of MDs at this stage of life.

I think what people want though is not pain killers to mask the pain but investigation into the cause and solution

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I also think it's interesting that the article (toward the end) points out decaying social networks as a factor. It's a paradox that we are more connected now than in any time in history, yet we are more isolated.

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I also think it's interesting that the article (toward the end) points out decaying social networks as a factor. It's a paradox that we are more connected now than in any time in history, yet we are more isolated.

Yes absolutely. And I think those of us who have been stay at home mums can be more vulnerable than others to this.

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It is an epidemic.

 

I recently had an encounter with a young woman who five years ago was happily married and had a few young children. After her last c-section she became addicted to Percocet. Long story short, her addiction to opiates grew and she lost her job, her husband and her kids. She eventually accidentally overdosed and suffered a brain injury.

She has no memory of the last five years and a deeply damaged short term memory. The last thing she remembers is being deeply in love with her husband and her babies. She calls her ex husband and asks where he is and where the children are, sometimes several times a day. He or her parents gently tell her again that he is married to someone else now and that his new wife is raising her children. Sometimes they are kind and just tell her they'll be home later. Her heartbreak is incredible.

 

I truly believe it was the closest thing to hell I've ever witnessed. (Some minor details changed to protect privacy)

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It is an epidemic.

 

I recently had an encounter with a young woman who five years ago was happily married and had a few young children. After her last c-section she became addicted to Percocet. Long story short, her addiction to opiates grew and she lost her job, her husband and her kids. She eventually accidentally overdosed and suffered a brain injury.

She has no memory of the last five years and a deeply damaged short term memory. The last thing she remembers is being deeply in love with her husband and her babies. She calls her ex husband and asks where he is and where the children are, sometimes several times a day. He or her parents gently tell her again that he is married to someone else now and that his new wife is raising her children. Sometimes they are kind and just tell her they'll be home later. Her heartbreak is incredible.

 

I truly believe it was the closest thing to hell I've ever witnessed. (Some minor details changed to protect privacy)

😟😦😔

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Chiropractors are under investigation in my state for making some seriously unsupported claims, so I don't think they are the answer to middle aged women's woes. 

 

I'm not an expert, but I would wonder if it wasn't the MDs behind this, trying to prevent competition.

 

I've seen similar in the case of vision therapy.  Ophthalmologists get so angry when you go to someone who actually has a non-invasive solution - especially a more affordable one.

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I know a family where the dad is an md and the first son is a chiropractor. I always wonder how that plays out.

 

there was a chiro in a practice I went to who was the first one to NOT become a MD.  there were many MDs in his family - when as an 18 yo he had a serious headache that just wouldn't quit. during that month, he saw many drs, including neurologists with many tests trying to find what was going on.  I think he was taken to a chiro as a last ditch desperate effort.  he had a pinched nerve in his neck.  and that was that.  I'm sure his family supported him  in becoming a chiro instead of a MD.  (which is what he'd planned on doing.)

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 OK if the son doesn't promise he can cure autism, I'd imagine! Chiro is effective for some stuff. 

 

I have an aspie.  he has benefited from chiro.  he was a forecps delivery that messed up four vertebra his neck.  (I had a chiro years ago who loaths forceps.  he demanded they do a c-sec rather than use them on his wife and child.)  I finally took him in shortly before he turned four.  I knew something neurological was wrong - and his allopoath was NO help at all.  it was really amazing to see the difference in his functioning.  it didn't resolve all of his issues - but it certainly made an impact.

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Personally, I think it's because doctors so often poo-poo away women's complaints of pain, just attributing it to pre-menopausal or menopausal symptoms. So they just prescribe pain killers and send you home.

 

I was shocked beyond belief when I went into the dentist recently complaining of tooth pain (turned out I needed a root canal), when I told him I was taking Motrin for the pain, he prescribed an opiod for me. Why??? I was controlling it with ibuprofen! I didn't need an opiod. He was handing it out like it was candy. I didn't bother filling the prescription.

 

THIS.

 

In the past five years, I have broken my arm (no surgery required), and had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my nose and then the follow-up plastic surgery.  

 

Without asking for a single pain medication, I was prescribed more than 80 doses of oxycontins/oxycodons (however you spell it).  

 

I took one over-the-counter dose of ibuprofen for the arm, and one over-the-counter ibuprofen for the nose thing.  I didn't ask for any pain killers.  And I didn't take any because I am jumpy about both ends of mind-altering stuff:  either I will really really hate it...or I will really really like it.  

 

I can see how people get hooked on this stuff though:  you just do what the doctor says.  

 

I have chronic pain and take ibuprofen at night so I can sleep...so I'm not a no-meds-at-all kinda gal.  I'm very thankful to live in this century, with the meds that *have* saved my life.  BUT I agree that for a lot of doctors, it is easier to dose than to diagnose.  It is one of the reasons I like my doctor...he's not a dose-r.  He's a diagnoser...and then sometimes, there is a medicine that helps, but he isn't just throwing darts at a board.

 

My sister and I asked him why doctors won't diagnose anymore:  he said it has a lot more to do with the legal system than with the quality of the med schools or doctors.  But he figures he became a doctor TO diagnose and then to help, so what's the point of just practicing medicine as a giant exercise in CYA.  

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Wow.

My SIL has been addicted to pain killers as long as I've known her.  (Actually, literally addicted: like passed out on the couch during Thanksgiving dinner, non-functioning.)  We've recently found out that her two grown daughters (mid-30s, with children) are also addicted to pain meds.  It's incredibly sad to see how this is destroying their lives.

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THIS.

 

In the past five years, I have broken my arm (no surgery required), and had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my nose and then the follow-up plastic surgery.  

 

Without asking for a single pain medication, I was prescribed more than 80 doses of oxycontins/oxycodons (however you spell it).  

 

spelling varies depending on if it is a generic or the brand.

 

this is the same reason so many women are given anti-depressants.  lazy drs (women drs too) who just rx drugs instead of looking to figure out *why* they are having issues.

 

this is why it has taken years - and multiple drs, to finally be making progress with my thyroid.  and I was seeing drs for complaints for years before anyone bothered to test my tsh (which is pretty misleading for determining thyroid.)

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Let's see, in addition to my stepdad, there's my girlfriend's best childhood friend, whose life is a train wreck in large part due to pain meds addiction. 

 

Allopathic medicine is not terribly good at dealing with chronic pain. It's one area where many MD's come around to alternative medicine, if they want to offer their patients an alternative to opioids and such.

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this is the same reason so many women are given anti-depressants. lazy drs (women drs too) who just rx drugs instead of looking to figure out *why* they are having issues.

 

 

About a year ago, I went in to see the doctor for a rash. A rash. On my rib cage. SEVERAL times she asked me if I was okay, said I looked so sad, encouragingly reminded me that she could prescribe me an antidepressant if I felt I needed it.

 

WTH?!? I was there for a freakin' rash!

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Personally, I think it's because doctors so often poo-poo away women's complaints of pain, just attributing it to pre-menopausal or menopausal symptoms. So they just prescribe pain killers and send you home.

 

Yes.

 

In my experience whatever doctors and PAs and NPs are being taught about women's bodies must be really, really bad.  My former doctor was all too willing to prescribe anti-anxiety medication and he tried to push a sleeping pill on me multiple times.  What I really, really needed him to do was thoroughly check my thyroid function.  It took years to finally get that diagnosis and get medicated for it, which pretty well cured all the issues I was having.  But even after that my chart on his portal said "anxiety and [whatever the medical term is for menopausal related issues]."  He never added my hypothyroidism diagnosis!  Needless to say I found another provider to try (a female PA).  At her office last week I was asked twice--once by the nurse and once again by the PA--if I was in any pain.  I was there just to get my thyroid checked and get a new prescription for levothyroxine.  What the heck with all the questions about pain?!?

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Yes.

 

In my experience whatever doctors and PAs and NPs are being taught about women's bodies must be really, really bad. My former doctor was all too willing to prescribe anti-anxiety medication and he tried to push a sleeping pill on me multiple times. What I really, really needed him to do was thoroughly check my thyroid function. It took years to finally get that diagnosis and get medicated for it, which pretty well cured all the issues I was having. But even after that my chart on his portal said "anxiety and [whatever the medical term is for menopausal related issues]." He never added my hypothyroidism diagnosis! Needless to say I found another provider to try (a female PA). At her office last week I was asked twice--once by the nurse and once again by the PA--if I was in any pain. I was there just to get my thyroid checked and get a new prescription for levothyroxine. What the heck with all the questions about pain?!?

I know this is part of the push to get more women into stem here. That medical stuff with women is less known about due to the lack of women in medical fields in the past.

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Personally, I think it's because doctors so often poo-poo away women's complaints of pain, just attributing it to pre-menopausal or menopausal symptoms. So they just prescribe pain killers and send you home.

 

I was shocked beyond belief when I went into the dentist recently complaining of tooth pain (turned out I needed a root canal), when I told him I was taking Motrin for the pain, he prescribed an opiod for me. Why??? I was controlling it with ibuprofen! I didn't need an opiod. He was handing it out like it was candy. I didn't bother filling the prescription.

 

I've had similar experiences. Had a D&C and they gave me percocet. I took 1 when I got home from the procedure, slept the rest of the day, and was pain-free after. I fell and hurt my wrist. The orthopedist gave me a prescription for percocet. I didn't fill it. I wasn't in that much pain. I went to the dentist for a root canal. After the procedure they gave me a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. Again, not it any pain. I know I have a higher pain threshold than some people but all of the prescriptions were given to me without me complaining of pain. If I were an unethical person I could have a nice side business selling meds. 

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I do think that doc's push pain killers on women without looking at deeper issues. I think they see women as complainers. My MIL and two friends were misdiagnosed with Firbro and one of my best friends died of liver cancer because her doc was too lazy to order tests and kept upping her dose of pain medication. She was not diagnosed with liver cancer until she was almost dead. Her doc killed her IMO, because if he had ordered tests when she first had symptoms she could have had treatment. Instead he treated her like a whiner, which she wasn't at all. She is dead because her doc was a bad judge of character and I am sure other women die of the same thing.

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About a year ago, I went in to see the doctor for a rash. A rash. On my rib cage. SEVERAL times she asked me if I was okay, said I looked so sad, encouragingly reminded me that she could prescribe me an antidepressant if I felt I needed it.

 

WTH?!? I was there for a freakin' rash!

 

my last dr (A WOMAN) gave me an evaluation to fill out for depression.  I was there to get started with a new dr so I could get my levo refilled .. . . .   she asked about it several times.

 

Yes.

 

In my experience whatever doctors and PAs and NPs are being taught about women's bodies must be really, really bad.  My former doctor was all too willing to prescribe anti-anxiety medication and he tried to push a sleeping pill on me multiple times.  What I really, really needed him to do was thoroughly check my thyroid function.  It took years to finally get that diagnosis and get medicated for it,

I was there just to get my thyroid checked and get a new prescription for levothyroxine.  What the heck with all the questions about pain?!?

 

I was still symptomatic on the levo doseage, and so I was asking about and trying to push to get more appropriate for me treatment.  she was one of those who must test tsh (doesn't look at anything else) every three months.  that's holding a patient hostage.  I kept asking about free t3 and free t4, asking they be tested.  she finally tested them - or so I thought until the results came back and they were "total"  that's a worthless number.  on my own, I had started a bovine desiccated thyroid made by emerald  labs - I could buy it OTC.  I  felt *better*  than just the levo.

 

it was the spark I needed to switch to a ND.  (she routinely tests free t3 and free t4.)  we're still playing and trying to get me on a good doseage.  but she's been so much more willing to hear what my symptoms are - and not obsess with what the blood work says. (she does that too.)  she also focuses on getting everything optimum - not just tsh of "4".  (which is still too high.)

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I do think that doc's push pain killers on women without looking at deeper issues. I think they see women as complainers. My MIL and two friends were misdiagnosed with Firbro and one of my best friends died of liver cancer because her doc was too lazy to order tests and kept upping her dose of pain medication. She was not diagnosed with liver cancer until she was almost dead. Her doc killed her IMO, because if he had ordered tests when she first had symptoms she could have had treatment. Instead he treated her like a whiner, which she wasn't at all. She is dead because her doc was a bad judge of character and I am sure other women die of the same thing.

 

I've a friends daughter who had major personality changes - and was complaing to her psychiatrist (MD folks) about massive headache. he sarcastically denigrated her for thinking she had a brain tumor (she didn't think that), and promptly ignored the headaches.  for two years.  finally, someone else examined her.  the tumor was massive, wrapped around her brain stem, and was within months of killing her. the surgeons gave her a 50/50 chance of dying in surgery.

 

eta: they were all so happy she was better afterwards,  they decided not to pursure a malpractice lawsuit, they just didn't want to deal with the stress.

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I think the pain questions are because of the stupid patient surveys.   It asks how well was your pain controlled, how quickly did staff respond to your pain......  it's filtered to the dr's offices.    Controlling pain is a big big buzzword now in the medical field.

 

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Narcotic pain meds make me nauseous.  All of them.  Lucky for me, ibuprofen works fine.   I was prescribed dilaudid or Vicodin for a broken foot, dental surgery and a badly broken arm.  They were far enough apart that I had forgotten (or contributed it to something else) that they make me puke right from the first dose, so that is the end of that.  Didn't even bother after my C-sections or when I badly sprained an ankle.

 

I did have my doctor prescribe anti-depressants, when I really didn't think that was the problem at all. 

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About a year ago, I went in to see the doctor for a rash. A rash. On my rib cage. SEVERAL times she asked me if I was okay, said I looked so sad, encouragingly reminded me that she could prescribe me an antidepressant if I felt I needed it.

 

WTH?!? I was there for a freakin' rash!

I went in to have my thyroid checked. She told me my thyroid was fine (didn't want to test me, she just "knew"), but perhaps I was depressed? Despite telling her in a variety of ways that I was not depressed, she offered to write me a prescription for antidepressants. Good grief. Let's just say I found a different doctor.

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I also get really sick and vomit from pain meds. 

 

As far as not being taken seriously, I was told (by a female dr) that I was "too emotional" and "allowed feelings to cause vomiting". I just needed to exercise daily and practice deep breathing. (She ignored that I exercise 5-6 days a week). Yeah, went to different dr (a male) and he diagnosed me with celiac. Turns out the "emotional" vomiting was a freaking autoimmune disease. 

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I had a hurting tooth. The dentist gave me a prescription for OxyContin. I took as prescribed once. Then I had to go to a different oral surgeon. He wouldn't touch me but got me in to see a different oral surgeon who took me same day as the first dentist. I got through having my tooth pulled with a shot of novocaine and he gave me another prescription for Oxy. I took it every however many hours it prescribed to stay ahead of the pain BUT I wasn't having any pain really. Next day I took one, then it was close to time to take it again, and I thought what the heck, I don't need it.

Then my legs started hurting really bad and I researched symptoms of withdrawal from Oxy and whaddya know! Aches and pains in the legs are a symptom of withdrawal.

 

I am not a conspiracy theorist, contrary to popular belief, but pharmaceutical companies don't give a crap. "Give me your aches and pains and I'll give you a prescription."

 

There are many things I could go flying off in other directions about pharmaceutical companies, but that is for another thread.

 

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This thread reminds me and maybe someone here can answer this. I am not affected by hydrocodone or oxycodone. I don't get a buzz. My pain doesn't go away. I didn't complain to the doctors because I just took 800mg ibuprofen (a doctor told me that was prescription strength) and it helped a little, but didn't take the pain away completely. I can't take Tylenol because it never helps and I can't take more than 2 at a time. Any ideas on why pain meds don't seem to work for me? My fear is I'll end up in the hospital in severe pain for some reason, and the meds won't help and the doctors will think I'm a drug seeking patient because I'll complain what they're giving isn't enough. I think I've been on one other pain med but I can't remember what it was and I don't remember that helping all that much either.

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It is an epidemic.

 

I recently had an encounter with a young woman who five years ago was happily married and had a few young children. After her last c-section she became addicted to Percocet. Long story short, her addiction to opiates grew and she lost her job, her husband and her kids. She eventually accidentally overdosed and suffered a brain injury.

She has no memory of the last five years and a deeply damaged short term memory. The last thing she remembers is being deeply in love with her husband and her babies. She calls her ex husband and asks where he is and where the children are, sometimes several times a day. He or her parents gently tell her again that he is married to someone else now and that his new wife is raising her children. Sometimes they are kind and just tell her they'll be home later. Her heartbreak is incredible.

 

I truly believe it was the closest thing to hell I've ever witnessed. (Some minor details changed to protect privacy)

That's so sad!!!!
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Thank goodness we have no major health issues in our family. The few times we've dealt with surgery, postpartum etc we have gotten off the strong meds as soon as possible. They just make us all miserable! Dh, oldest dd, myself...we just can't tolerate them for more than a day or two

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Personally, I think it's because doctors so often poo-poo away women's complaints of pain, just attributing it to pre-menopausal or menopausal symptoms. So they just prescribe pain killers and send you home.

 

I was shocked beyond belief when I went into the dentist recently complaining of tooth pain (turned out I needed a root canal), when I told him I was taking Motrin for the pain, he prescribed an opiod for me. Why??? I was controlling it with ibuprofen! I didn't need an opiod. He was handing it out like it was candy. I didn't bother filling the prescription.

 

Well, having had a couple bad teeth that needed root canals, I can tell you that it can go from bearable to utterly unbearable in hours. Last time I was in that situation, the root canal appointment was about 5-7 days after the dentist found the need for it . . . I'd had a few days of pain that was generally controlled up until that point, and the first couple days after I had the opioid RX I was still OK, but suddenly, a couple days before the root canal, my tooth went bananas. The antibiotic took down some of the inflammation and pain, but I did use the stronger pain control for several doses. 

 

So, my guess is that the dentist offers that RX to avoid emergency calls before you get in for the root canal and/or to avoid unhappy patients/clients who are suddenly in terrible pain. 

 

If we had better, universal, free medical and dental care, I imagine the need for dentists or doctors to write those sorts of marginal pain prescriptions would be reduced, because the practitioners would feel confident that any patient could access immediate help if their pain suddenly flared up.

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I'm actually glad that physicians are considering depression & asking patients if they need treatment. Sure, I can agree that perhaps reaching for the prescription pad first isn't the best option, but it's better than leaving depression untreated. 

Same for pain...Pain management IS critical. Uncontrolled pain hampers healing and causes so much misery. Obviously there has to be a balance there. 

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This thread reminds me and maybe someone here can answer this. I am not affected by hydrocodone or oxycodone. I don't get a buzz. My pain doesn't go away. I didn't complain to the doctors because I just took 800mg ibuprofen (a doctor told me that was prescription strength) and it helped a little, but didn't take the pain away completely. I can't take Tylenol because it never helps and I can't take more than 2 at a time. Any ideas on why pain meds don't seem to work for me? My fear is I'll end up in the hospital in severe pain for some reason, and the meds won't help and the doctors will think I'm a drug seeking patient because I'll complain what they're giving isn't enough. I think I've been on one other pain med but I can't remember what it was and I don't remember that helping all that much either.

 

There's at least one genetic variation that millions of people carry which makes them not responsive to codeine & derivatives. Or depending which version of the gene you have, it can make you hyper-responsive. 

 

The one I'm thinking of is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYP2D6 but I think there are others...

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This reminds me of my mom's situation.  She kept going to the doctor trying to find out why she was always so run down.  (Yes, they prescribed various antidepressants, which did not fix the problem.)  Well. it turns out she had colon cancer for probably 10 years (age 50-60).  They never thought to check for that.  My sister was being seen for something else and saw a flyer about colon cancer and thought, this sounds like Mom.  She pushed Mom to demand a colonoscopy.  After the biopsy, they did emergency surgery like the next day because it was that advanced.  Followed by chemo and radiation.  How much of that could have been avoided by just doing a screening at the right time?  Who knows whether Mom will ever experience what we call quality of life again?

 

I don't personally know of any pill addictions among my family or close friends.  Though they wouldn't necessarily tell me about it.

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One of my kids (9yo) had a couple of cavities filled without any pain killers, and the dentist people acted like it was the weirdest thing ever.  :P  My kid has a high pain tolerance.  Weird or not, maybe it will be a good thing in the long run.

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One of my kids (9yo) had a couple of cavities filled without any pain killers, and the dentist people acted like it was the weirdest thing ever. :P My kid has a high pain tolerance. Weird or not, maybe it will be a good thing in the long run.

I know a dozen friends who have kids fighting serious drug addictions from wisdom teeth removal pain meds. I say count your blessings for being weirdos with high pain tolerance.

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As a Latina, I can't get advice beyond "you're getting old" for the life of me. I'm 38.

 

As for the article, all I can think of is this song:

 

 

Opium is a hell of a drug. A sick drug. I feel sad for anyone who has to take it to make it through--some make it out. But many don't. :(

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