Chronic pain and Fibromyalgia has become a formidable foe to many Americans… myself included.
What began as pain in my pelvis, and lower back, has turned into a runaway train of pain that is beyond explanation, often with limited relief.
After experiencing poor pain control and gross medical negligence, I sought treatment from Dr. Imas at Dynamic Pain Institute… and the results were nothing short of amazing.
Gross Medical Negligence
Unfortunately, the first doctor that treated my pain, was a joke. He had no idea how to treat me, raised my medication frequently, and had me on dangerous amounts of opiates. At the end of my patient/doctor relationship, he had me up to 450milligrams of morphine equivalent medicine.
If I hadn’t found Dr. Imas at that time, I fully believe I would have become a statistic, another life lost to the opiate epidemic.
The gross medical negligence was painstakingly obvious, making it clear to me that we truly don’t understand the way that pain works, and alarmingly, we don’t really know how to treat it.
By switching to a specialist, and one who is good at what he does, I have been able to reduce the number of opiates I take daily by 300milligrams!
Yes, you read that correctly.
So, how did I do this, and more importantly, how can you!?
Since the government’s knee-jerk reaction to the opiate epidemic, pain doctors have been drastically cutting back on prescribing opiates. As a result, they now offer other methods as the front-line approach, such as acupuncture and massage therapy.
However, for the patients already on opiates, some physicians stopped prescribing altogether, or drastically cut back. This caused an unforeseen backlash of patients seeking opiates on the streets or committing suicide. This is unacceptable.
If you have never experienced opiate withdrawal, let me tell you right now that it is NOTHING LIKE THE F’N FLU. I absolutely hate reading others compare it to the flu because that is an outright LIE. If it were, we wouldn’t need rehab facilities or methadone maintenance.
So how did I manage to lower over 300milligrams, and more importantly, how do you?
** I am not a doctor. Always seek professional medical help before making any changes to your care. This is a personal story based on the quality medical care I received, as well as my own experiences.
- TAKE IT SLOW– Slow and steady wins the race. By going slow, and dropping down incrementally, you allow your body to adjust properly, and with minimal withdrawal. If you can take it slow and drop little by little, you won’t feel a thing in terms of withdrawal.
- Get Exercising– Every time you workout, your body produces its own feel-good chemicals, called endorphins. This is very important because opiates fill that function in your body. So while you take them, your body does not produce them. By implementing daily workouts, you are helping your body get back to normal and “reminding” it to make these chemicals on its own.
- Eat Right & Supplement– Eat the right foods to heal your body! Your body is going to be on the fritz, and your energy may feel low, so be sure to put good things into it, including vitamins.
- Remind Yourself Of Your Strengths– This is a good time to journal about how you feel and pay close attention to your moods. Understand that you are going through a chemical process that takes time and you may not feel “normal” for a while. This is expected! Instead of waiting to get back to “normal”, let yourself come to terms with the “new normal”.
- Learn A New Hobby– You will need distractions while going through withdrawal. This is the prime time to discover things you are interested in and become passionate about those things. Some ideas? Make candles, teach yourself to crochet, or find a new sport that entices you.
- Drop The Losers In Your Life– This may sound harsh, but sometimes you need to separate yourself from certain people. Lose the people in your life who are leeches, toxic, or addicted to opiates. Instead, surround yourself with people who build you up and support you, have your back, and make you want to be a better person.
- Tell People Your Goal- Let those around you know that you want to be opiate free, or as close to opiate free as possible. That way, those closest to you not only offer guidance, and support, they also hold you accountable.
- Seek Help– If you find you are having trouble on your own, seek help. Especially if you think you are addicted and you take the medication for reasons other than pain (for example, taking it to boost your mood). Sometimes it can be as simple as allowing your significant other hold and dispense your medication to you each day as you are reducing. At any rate, don’t be afraid to have a conversation about this with your doctor.
- Get a prescription of Gabapentin– This medication helps withdrawal symptoms big time… especially if you feel like your skin is on fire. This is the only thing I have found for that neuropathy that actually helps.
- Get a prescription for anti-anxiety medication. *If 9 and 10 are impossible, get Kava Kava, or Valerian Root
Opiate Reduction Without Medical Supervision
Unfortunately, many people have to withdraw from opiates without medical care or supervision. In fact, if you go to the emergency room in opiate withdrawal, they will hydrate you and send you on your way. They will not admit you. Apparently, though withdrawal is difficult, enough people don’t die from it to warrant medical intervention.
Unless you are withdrawing from opiates and benzo’s that is. In that case, they do admit.
So what can one do when they do not have access to care? I have been in this tough spot as well and in all honesty, I have always withdrawn on my own without medical assistance. Have no fear… It can be done!
I am in the process of writing a guide detailing the steps needed on your journey to opiate freedom. If you would like to be notified when this guide is available, fill out the form below.
This is no ordinary guide. I detail exactly what I did to reduce my medication needs and some people may take offense to how I went about it. In other words, I didn’t go about traditional methods. Without giving too much away, I discovered the awesome way that stimulants interact with your body while in withdrawal. Literally lessening the intensity of the “sick” symptoms, shortening the overall withdrawal, and aiding in pain relief! As far as what I mean by stimulants etc., you will have to wait for the completed guide to know exactly.
At any rate, while it is better to be under doctor supervision when possible, it is something that can generally be done on your own. It isn’t recommended but it can be done.
Define What Being “Free Of Opiates” Means To You
Obviously, those living with chronic pain may not be able to be completely opiate free, however, it is possible for anyone to be “free of opiates”. That doesn’t make sense, or does it?
Think of it this way; When one wants to be free of something, that “something” seems to have acquired too much power. So to be free of “something” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is 100% gone out of your life. Instead, it means you take back the control of that which had acquired too much.
On an even playing field, sure, “free of opiates” would be the same for everyone across the board. However, that is not the world we live in. What is important is knowing that you have taken back the power for yourself and that you are the one in control, not the pain medication.
Clearly, the number that free’s you may be different from the number that free’s me. Take a good, hard, honest look at your personal situation and take a moment to define what opiate free means to you. Ask yourself, “Could I come off the medication completely?”, “Should I wean to the lowest dose possible?”, “What are all my options to explore?”
If being 100% free of it is important and your pain is tolerable, go for it you rockstar! Similarly, if it is impossible to manage your pain without it, but you can cut down to half of what you normally take, go for it rockstar! To clarify, you are a rockstar regardless of being 100% free, or 50% free.
Whether you have chronic pain or you think you are going out of your mind, choosing the appropriate specialist will make all the difference in the world. We often forget that our Doctor can be “fired” and if your’s isn’t cutting it, it is time to find a new doctor.
Whether you want to be 100% opiate free or 10%, set your goal and start working towards it. You already have all the power you will ever need... now you just have to believe in that power!
Your definition and mine will not be identical, however, we are both a success, we are both a work in progress & a masterpiece. Don’t allow self-limiting thoughts to get in your way and fight for your “self”. All the while discovering your passions and your purpose.
In short, you are an amazing being full of so much potential. Don’t allow chronic pain to be your identifier… actually, don’t allow opiates to be your identifier. It is a formidable foe, but you are a rockstar that kicks opiate ass, and the foe is no match. YOU GOT THIS!
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