He said with an authoritative urgency in his voice, "You've got to listen to me! You cannot just stop taking your painkillers. You will experience a huge crash! Right now you feel great and ready to get back to being yourself, but if you stop taking your pain medication cold turkey, it will knock you down, fast. I know what I'm talking about, so I need you to listen to me! I don't want to see you go through what I did!"
"You've got to listen to me! You cannot just stop taking your painkillers. You will experience a huge crash!"
That was the voice of warning from my dad after all three of my surgeries. The first two were C-sections with my sons, happy occasions despite the two recoveries. The third surgery was a little more sobering with an appendiceal cancer diagnosis. That surgery lasted approximately seven hours followed by a ninety minute hot chemo wash and two week stay at Emory. I was told to expect a three to six month recovery time. As I started to feel better, my father again stressed how I needed to be very careful in how I came off my pain medications. He was right, I felt like Superman on the medication, but without it I felt Kryptonite weights wrapped around my body.
"Right now you feel great and ready to get back to being yourself, but if you stop taking your pain medication cold turkey, it will knock you down, fast."
To be transparent, I had an extra incentive to get off the pain pills ASAP, because, well, (okay, this is the part where I sound like my maternal grandmother who would openly discuss bowel issues without hesitation). Anyway, pardon the honesty, but I needed to have a bowel movement and opioid painkillers cause constipation, which creates a pain that painkillers not only can't stop, but make worse. In weighing the scales of what was more painful, I decided to get off the pain pills early. Looking back that intestinal pain was a blessing in disguise because it gave me great motivation in getting off of the painkillers. Thankfully, I had a coach in my father, who knew the ugly side of opiates and had my best interest at heart.
Below is a message that I pray gives hope to those already struggling, and a useful exit strategy for those facing an upcoming surgical procedure followed by an opioid prescription.
"I know what I'm talking about, so I need you to listen to me! I don't want to see you go through what I did!"
My father's advice . . .
* Get a calendar and talk with your doctor and a close family member or friend.
* Decide on a time to wean yourself off of the prescribed pain medications.
* Ask your doctor about cutting pain meds into fourths, and go from one pain pill to three fourths.
* When you feel leveled out (may take several days to a week) cut dosage to one half and try for several days until you feel you can go to one fourth of a pill for several days.
* Once you feel stable, then you can stop taking the prescription.
* Give yourself another two weeks to realize that you may still feel down, with low energy.
* Circle the day that ends that two week period and see how close to "normal" you feel. If still struggling, notify your doctor and share with a friend, so they know to check in on your progress.
One thing to remember is that millions of people pay money to put stress on their muscles in order to get stronger physically. Stop and think about that for a minute. When we go through extreme challenges, something inside of us spiritually has the opportunity to grow stronger and produce deeper roots, so never give up, even when it seems too much.
I also want to personally share that the most painful experiences of my life have caused me to cry out to God for help. Looking back I can see where He met me in some very dark, scary, painful places and delivered me. He also gave me gifts out of those painful places. Most importantly, Jesus Himself identifies with horrific pain and sorrow. He willingly went to the cross on our behalf to save us.
Isaiah 53:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
If you are curious to know more about Jesus, click here.
I want to thank my earthly dad for his hard earned advice, and for his pointing me in the direction of our heavenly DAD!
With love and prayers for those dealing with pain,
Stay humble & BOLD!
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
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Bingo! Found a nice, clean on the inside, sturdy toy chest at a yard sale for fifteen dollars. It didn't fit our décor, but I didn't want to pass up on a solid wood piece that would help us with storage. Also, the lid had a slow close mechanism that was safe for our youngest to get his stuff in and out of without injury. Side note, after having one son fracture his finger messing with his sleeping brother's toes while laying on the couch, I try to keep our doctor's visits down to a minimum; try, being the key word. (In my other son's defense, he was asleep and didn't know that when he rolled over, his little brother's finger got twisted.)
We don't have a play room, so our family room is where we keep most of our boys' toys. It can get ridiculously messy at times, so I'm always looking for ways to keep it organized. Recently we purchased a bedroom dresser to sit under our television because of all the storage space.
I wanted to see if I could paint the toy chest to match our family room style. I took to the chest with Kilz and then used the dry brush method, with some left over paint, to create that wood grain look. It turned out really well and matched our storage dresser.
The now matching chest gives us a place to quickly stash toys for when we entertain. Love this piece as a coffee table, but also thinking it might be more useful somewhere else.
Trying to decide if I would rather have it as a coffee table or a storage bench where I can sit with my sons while they practice and play their music. Hmm, thinking I'll keep my eyes open for another toy chest, next time I go hunting.
Thanks for stopping by! By the way, where do you think it looks best?
Atlanta based, Birmingham born and bred, Southern girl who seeks to share the good news while pursing many creative interests here at humble & BOLD, which include Share Your Walk stories, lessons learned, transforming rooms, party planning, heart makeovers, DIY projects, finding deals at yard sales and much more.
There are some links on my humble & BOLD site that are affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you purchase the product or service. The compensation will in no way influence the content, posts or topics made on this blog. I only link to products that are highly rated and that I feel would be of benefit to my readers.