Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The last few days have been more misery for me.

When I reported how much pain I was in, the doctor recommended I replace my anti-inflammatories with yet more narcotics. She gave me a prescription for a drug called MSIR; that’s Morphine Sulfate Immediate Release. I’ve been taking MSIR for about a week, and the pain didn’t seem any less. The more I took, the groggier I got, so I limited myself to one pill a day. Walking became more of a chore. I was exhausted, achy, and less and less able to function. But at least on one pill a day I was able to stay awake for six to eight hours at a stretch.

I was scared.

This evening, before my first nap of the day, I took two Advil. When I woke an hour later, my pain was greatly diminished and my head a whole lot clearer! What a relief to make this discovery. I knew I was reacting badly to the morphine, but I didn’t realize the extent to which it was robbing me of my vitality.

In a conversation with my ex earlier today he recommended that I not drive. He was concerned that my reflexes and reaction times were slow and that I was a danger to myself and others. Although upsetting, I had to agree with him. He offered to drive me to the train station for my doctor’s appointment in the morning and I sadly agreed to the arrangement. Post-nap, I now feel that my head is clear enough that by morning I’ll be able to drive myself!

I will, of course, discuss all this with my doctor. And I plan to stay away from morphine!


Cathy Pountney said...

During Jack's medical ordeal he was given morphine on a few occassions .. and he hates it and refuses now! Each time they gave it to him it did NOTHING to reduce his pain. They would bump the dose, and bump it, and bump it until the reached the maximum for his age. Still no change in the pain. He complained that every time they gave it to him he got a terrible head rush and that made him real woozy. He hated it.

I, of course, used that as a teaching opportunity to tell him that's how "street drugs" work and you don't want to go through that so don't ever do drugs! ;-)

SeattleSusieQ said...

There are other, digestive - side effects of narcotics, too. I learned about them when I had my kidney removed in 1999. So when I had shoulder surgery last November, I desperately did not want to take them. Instead I relied on 800 mg 4x day of ibuprofen. When my surgeon learned of this he was very upset and made me go get liver and kidney tests. Sure enough, my (one) kidney was in bad shape. It took me 8 months for the blood tests to come back to normal (whew).

btw, the ibuprofen was pretty effective, based on how I felt after I stopped taking it. I had to go back on the oxycodone, 1/2 tab was ok and I could drive with that.

another btw - the max recommended dose of ibuprofen is 2400mg/day. I was taking 3200 because when ibuprofen became OTC a nurse friend of mine told me the prescribed therapeutic dose was 800 mg. I don't remember whether she said to do that no more than 3x day.

Tamar E. Granor said...

Narcotics are nasty stuff. When Nathaniel was born, they gave me Tylenol with codeine for pain. On the day I gave birth, that worked great, so when I woke up next day, I asked for the same. Put me on the ceiling for the whole day and resulted in an extra day in the hospital.

I've since found that my mother and sister have the same kind of reaction to codeine, so we all stay away from it unless we're dealing with serious pain.

Ceil said...

What a great life lesson for Jack, Cathy. Everyone reacts differently to drugs. And probably differently under different circumstances too. It's good he got that glimpse of the dark side in a controlled environment.

Ceil said...

Ibuprofen has long been my drug of choice. It got me through many an aerobics class and tennis match. I could take it anytime, with or without food, even with or without water. Until I started developing ulcers from it.

I've learned to be very careful with my stomach when I take it.

Ceil said...

Yup, reaction to narcotics seems to be very personal, and subject to individual circumstances. I've had that floaty feeling in hospital when all I had to do was drift off into, or recover from, surgery. At those times, they've been pleasant.

MSIR at home, however, when I want to walk, not shuffle, around the house, or use my mind instead of display it on a pillow... well then it's as you say Tamar, NASTY.