Medication, over the counter or prescription, is something I’ve had both good and bad experiences with. Ultimately, it is something that I can’t avoid. There are people that talk about other means of pain management and trust me I have tried them. I have done therapies, essential oils and other natural avenues but nothing beats prescription drugs (good ‘ol western medicine) when it comes down to severe structural problems.
Over the Counter Medication
I use to take a lot of ibuprofen to help with my pain when I was younger (late teens to early 20s). So much so that I had to stop taking it all together as it did a number on my stomach.
The next step was to move onto Tylenol and eventually onto Aleve to help minimize the muscular pain that I was feeling daily (which I later learned was arthritis, not necessarily muscle pain).
Once I had the MRI completed on my right hip my family doctor offered me something stronger to help with the pain. I said YES, PLEASE! Cause while I am not a big fan of taking pills I needed something stronger to help me manage my pain on a day to day basis. What I had been doing just wasn’t working and the pain was interrupting my daily life.
I’ve been taking a nerve blocker (the good one) for a while now. This has worked well for me and while I could be on a higher dose I find that I need to be aware (of some) of the pain in order to know when I am pushing myself to hard (cause as I’ve been told by my therapist my pain tolerance is f&#%ed… which makes sense) and I don’t like being on drugs.
Following the MRI results my doctor initially prescribed me something that was originally used as an anti-depressant and then utilized more as a pain management tool.
She warned me of the potential side effects, especially depression, and I told my family and boyfriend about them as well. And I am glad that I did. I did not have a good reaction to this medication. It wasn’t something that happened over night but over a few months or so I could feel, and others could see, the changes in me emotionally.
I am not a depressed person or someone who lacks drive but when I was on this medication it changed me. I lost my drive and motivation. I did not want to do anything or leave the house. I lost interest in going to the gym or socializing. And while dealing with the knowledge that my hips were screwed (aka I had not idea what the next steps were or what my future looked like) probably caused a little bit of depression anyways, the affect of the medication made it WAY worse, it was a bad combination.
One day, my boyfriend told me that he had seen this change in me. It confirmed what I was feeling inside but couldn’t quit put my finger on. I immediately contacted my family doctor to change medication. I made an appointment and was weaned off of it and started the medication I mentioned under ‘The Good’ title.
Looking back it looks clear cut that there was a problem but during the time I was on that medication it wasn’t. I was very lucky to have the support system that I do, especially during those low times.
The Ugly (but hopefully not)
While I knew that taking drugs was only helping the surface problem (the daily pain), they allowed me to manage my pain until I was able to get someone to help me with a long-term solution. I don’t want to, but have, thought about the affects that taking these over the counter and prescription drugs have done to my body over time. I have tried to counter act them with a healthy lifestyle but am greatly looking forward to the day that I no longer have to take anything!
Side Note – different people will react differently to the same medication. This was just my experience.