Pain & Quality of Life


This is a topic discussed between my physician and I each month at pain management. I’m on a low dose of pain medication and she supplies me with faster acting meds for “breakthrough pain.” My daily pain medication doesn’t make me feel drugged or high or anything negative, but it by no means fully controls my pain. On the other hand, the breakthrough pills do. So, to be in constant pain or feel loopy and even completely gorked out?! What kind of choice is that?

In about eight years of treatment, I have only increased my dosage slightly just two years ago. According to my docs, this is not typical for severe pain patients. I am just too terrified of becoming so dependent on these meds that I end up needing medical detox someday, but it recently occurred to me that I’ll be on pain medication of some kind for the rest of my life. Maybe I’m not looking at this right. Time to discuss this again!

I have no real quality of life now. That would improve greatly with accessible housing and a home aide, but again, I’m told that’s several years from happening and I will need nursing care by then. What to do? Try different medication? Alternative/complementary treatments that I clearly can’t afford?  Go to a homeless shelter that is wheelchair accessible and just pray I get at least temporary placement in housing?

I feel so helpless. I just need someone to reach out and say they have an idea. I’d like my greatest concern for this warm weather to be how to enjoy the outdoors like I used to (last summer I didn’t go anywhere or do anything. I didn’t know how to get around). Instead, I’m worrying over where I’ll live, how I’ll manage pain, how I’ll keep my hope going…

It’s fading and I need help right now.


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