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silly question - what does normal feel like?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok - heres a question for you and I cant imagine what the answer may be as I can honestly say I have possibly never experienced it. What does one feel like if one does not have to take pain killing drugs all the time.
I have had these headaches since I had meningitis when I was 18 (17 years ago) and since then I have had to take 8 plus strong tablets a day to get through it. I have no recollection of what a day feels like pain free and have no idea what people do feel who dont have it. My body has so become used to needing painkillers, that its got - I believe - addicted to them. That makes me an addict does it not? Recovering albeit now I think? Hence why the pure hell of these last few days (was up until gone three this morning as had no idea what to do with myself. Went for a walk at 2.15am for half an hour) and tried to imagine how the body / mind must feel. Its very quiet at that time of the morning. Do you feel great most days, as I have no idea.
Would be interested to know what the definition of normal is to you....As I have absolutely no idea.
post #2 of 16
Aw Kev,
My heart really goes out to you being in pain all the time. I'm fine, but my boyfriend suffers with severe arthritis and is always in pain too. You are not abusing drugs, You NEED them. I pray that some day you won't, Kev. I can't tell you what it feels like to be painless, but I CAN always pray.
post #3 of 16
kev-

Two years ago thereabouts I fell off my horse and hit my head on the woodpile. I woke up in an ambulance. Long story short, after near epileptic headaches that literally made it so I couldn't move any part of my body, numerous neurological tests to try and find out why the swelling didn't go down as it was supposed to (I still have a lump there). My neurologist finally threw up his hands and said I would be on strong painkillers the rest of my life. I was on amnitryptilene, muscle relaxers, stadol and phenegran shots. I had a pill for every facet of my life. I heard about a doctor who had also suffered a bad head injury. He had tried conventional meds to handle his pain, but found they failed. So he went and studied accupuncture and opened up his clinic years later. I called him at his clinic to set up an appointment, and the nurse gave the phone to him. We were on the phone over two hours! He was the first doctor who actually listened to me. I found that admirable. I set up an appointment and went there.

The first thing he told me was if he was going to treat me, I had to stop all meds! Even the estrogen for now. He gave me herbs and calming teas to help me with the withdrawal. It was a nasty withdrawal, but he was there every step of the way to help. Six months later, I was told my treatments were over, I went in every two weeks to get stuck by needles.

I have been headache and pretty much neck and backpain free since then. Sometimes the chemicals they give us to feel better, in the long run mess up our body chemistry give us a doom-and-gloom outlook on the world and once the system is cleansed, it is like night and day.

I hope you find your normalcy again. I know i did, and I was glad I went through all the chills, the sweats, the bouts of nausea and the head banging headaches to get there. Now, the strongest drug i take is Bayer aspirin.
post #4 of 16
Kev that's some really good talking from Hissy there. It'll be more than worth it once it's all over. Perhaps that's the conclusion that the specialists have come to - is that it's time to come off the meds and find something that really does work. trust me though, you're not missing too much on the normal front - but if you've been without normality for so long, I think you'll appreciate more what everybody else takes for granted. Keep your chin up, because we're all still behind you. The toughest bit is the first bit.... it's the same in most situations... but it'll get better. This is the first bit of a rough ride for you - but you're doing great, even if you might not feel like it. I think you are, anyway.
post #5 of 16
Kev.....I'm sorry for your pain and the fact that you have to be on painkillers on a daily basis. You're right....you probably are addicted to the pain meds...but this doesn't make you an "addict"....there's a big difference.

I will say this though......technology has come a long way since you had meningitis....and there is most likely another way for you to live life pain free than having to stay on painkillers from now on. I'm a nurse....and I would suggest that if you're serious about getting off the pain killers and trying to live a more "normal" life.....then talk to your doctor about your options. As Mary Anne said......the withdrawals will be hard....and in fact.....terrible headaches could be one of the withdrawal symptoms. So you have to decide if you're willing to go through that....and get past the physical need for the drugs.....to see if you are able to be without pain. Plus, there are also newer drugs that will lessen the side effects of withdrawals so that it will make it easier and less painful for you to get through it.

Just talk to your doctor and see what he/she has to say about your situation.

Best of luck to you!
post #6 of 16
Kev, I'm sorry you have had to go through this. Honestly I couldn't tell you what normal feels like. As I am deemed as the crazy-cat-lady already, I'm far beyond normal - but I do think normal is boring. You are in my thoughts mate!
post #7 of 16
Kev

I think the one good thing about "normal" is that usually it's neither good nor bad. Sometimes you'll feel GREAT, sometimes a bit ropey - but as your life won't be ruled by your body, instead you'll be able to concentrate on all the other things that get pushed into the background at the moment.

Hang in there buddy - it'll all be worth it in the end.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
wow - many thanks for the kind comments. Sounds like Hissy went through hell and I would not be suprised if you were not terrified of one of natures most stunning animals - the horse. For the record - I am scared lifeless of horses. Love to watch them, draw them and photograph them - still scared of them. We sat and worked it out today - in a period of 4 weeks - I went through 4 lots of boxes of pain killers. There were 60 in a box - 240 in 4 weeks and then I dont wonder why my body became addicted......thanks for all the advice guys. I think the only way was to go through this and I cant thank you enough for the support. Its like Carol said - its understanding that people need and you lot are incredible for that.
Wonder if I will be up walking the street tonight in the early hours - hope not........
post #9 of 16
I honestly do not know what normal is physically. I haven't been "normal" for years, but I know what is normal for me and I can live with that.
post #10 of 16
whats normal??
Are you defining normal being without medication?
I had meningiatis when i was 12 the only bad outcome of it, is that i cant wear glasses, and people cant touch inbetween the eyes... That area there.
I get severe miagrains from it. And my optometrist said that its because my eyes arent formed properly... and that i have to wear glasses.
Well i dont only every so often anyway. I only got them because i plan to get my license.
I would suggest going to another doctor. Or go to the doctor Hissy has
Hissy gave you great information there.
All the best
post #11 of 16
Kev, I am sorry you are going through this, but you are reflecting well. (if that makes any sense?!)

I couldn't tell you what normal feels like, I've not experienced that for a long time! I too am on VERY strong pain killers/anti-inflamatory, that have been taken off the market recently (due to killing people....?) I may be joining you on the detox! I have also learned to live with depression without the need for drugs. (yoga, meditation, self awareness)

I am sure, as Hissy said, it is possible!

We are always with you and supporting you ALL the way!

post #12 of 16
Kev, normal is different for different people. What may be normal for you may not be normal for me. What I hope you can look forward to is a day where you make it to the end of the day and realise that you didn't take drugs, didn't think of pain and were able to do everything you wanted.

Kev, you will never be "normal" - you are too special for that. Go for "healthy" instead.
post #13 of 16
So sorry Kev, Thank of God I´m not suffer of that! I´ll send you my best wishes!
post #14 of 16
Kev, as one of my friends said "normal is just a setting on my dryer", I thought that summed it up pretty well. {{HUGS}} for you my friend!
post #15 of 16
As others have said, I think 'normal' is relative. i am not considered normal by most of my friends and family because I choose to live on my own in a wartorn country for almost no salary. But 'normal' is also relative to you internally. At one point of my life I was suffering from depression without knowing it - I had lost a job, a relationship, etc etc and I was struggling and telling myself to pull it together, without knowing I couldn't do it on my own. I was sleepless, head-achy, comfort-eating, and staring into space for hours. My joints hurt and I was accident prone. When I screwed up badly on a project I was trying to do that previously I would have been able to handle standing on my head I realised I was suffering from severe stress. So I got help, and six months later it was as if I was coming out of the dark into light, as if a huge burden was off my shoulders; I was breathing fresh air for the first time, the 'permanent' knot in my stomach disappeared and I felt able to go out and face people for the first time in ages. At last I felt 'normal'. And it was not until then that I realised how 'abnormal' I had been feeling and behaving. So I can't tell you how 'normal' feels - you have to compare the before and after for youself. But if there is anything you can do, it is worth it, believe me.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson
As others have said, I think 'normal' is relative. i am not considered normal by most of my friends and family because I choose to live on my own in a wartorn country for almost no salary. But 'normal' is also relative to you internally. At one point of my life I was suffering from depression without knowing it - I had lost a job, a relationship, etc etc and I was struggling and telling myself to pull it together, without knowing I couldn't do it on my own. I was sleepless, head-achy, comfort-eating, and staring into space for hours. My joints hurt and I was accident prone. When I screwed up badly on a project I was trying to do that previously I would have been able to handle standing on my head I realised I was suffering from severe stress. So I got help, and six months later it was as if I was coming out of the dark into light, as if a huge burden was off my shoulders; I was breathing fresh air for the first time, the 'permanent' knot in my stomach disappeared and I felt able to go out and face people for the first time in ages. At last I felt 'normal'. And it was not until then that I realised how 'abnormal' I had been feeling and behaving. So I can't tell you how 'normal' feels - you have to compare the before and after for youself. But if there is anything you can do, it is worth it, believe me.
Aww Jenny - how wonderful that you came out the other end and now feel so fulfilled.
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