Hubby has had chronic knee pain, pre and post-surgery (TKR). Has been on routine maintenance dose of a 'popular' opiate for 8 years. It doesn't make the pain go away, although in some people's opinion (remember the "everyone has one" saying about opinions?) at the dose he takes, it certainly should. But it does keep the pain at a livable level. It DOESN"T make him "high" in the least.
If I see his reddened and sweating face, that's my clue he's in pain. He seldom even talks about it, though.
But , if others were to only notice his joking and laughing, they wouldn't think he was in pain. What they don't see is the man in the privacy of his own home, sitting for long periods of time resting his head on his hand, eyes closed, quiet for hours at a time. He looks, but is NOT "relaxed", because using his bonhomie to rise above the pain is as tiring as the pain is exhausting. But if there are others around he will make the effort and act sociably, trying to make people laugh. So what you 'see' is not necessarily what he's got!
His primary recently retired
The new doc says her new office policy is that anybody prescribed any kind of pain med has to have a pee-test before any prescriptions are written. Maybe the next 'thing' in this War On Drugs via your primary doctor's office will be Lie Detector Tests? And they can call it what they want to, but it's a War On Prescriptions and Patients who Require Drugs. Guilty until proven innocent, possibly
innocent between this pee-test and the next...who knows? But we are ever alert, thinking the patient is hanging around that dreaded "Gateway To Other Drugs", and any minute they may put one foot over that threshold and become a total JUNKIE!
Do you know that Heroin is so much easier to get, and is cheaper, than jumping through hoops at your doctor's office?
Could the War On Drugs BECOME the actual 'Gateway' itself? Tune in next time....