Mindfulness and meditation is going to help anyone that is open to it with a broad array of benefits in dealing with life issues including pain care and opioids. This is a tool that is among what I would call the invaluables.
The even greater issue for most people in today’s world of pain care relates to an unintended boomerang effect of the overdosing from the use of opioids. This has made it almost impossible for the doctor’s need for self-protection from litigation leading to prescribing an inadequate dose of pain killers under many painful circumstances.
I have been a party and health care advocate to at least 25 people in the last few years who haven’t been able to easily receive the pain medication they need to deal with surgeries, ongoing severe arthritis, and injuries. The doctors and patients are in a precarious double bind, because the overdosing and abuse has led to the over-conservative dosing of legitimate pain post-surgery or with severe ongoing conditions. This places the burden on good communication with the doctor and patient.
It is worthwhile for all of us to meet with a pain doctor or surgeon ahead of time if possible to give a history to clarify whether you have a history of addiction or not. It is vital that we all become better advocates for ourselves or get the support of someone who is inclined to not be a “victim” of the doctor’s understandable need for self-protection. In addition, there is the need to establish set communication methods up with the doctors post-surgery as it is all too common that the doctors are so busy that hours and days of extra unbearable pain can be a consequence.
Fortunately, and recently, doctors finally have a central number that they can call to make sure that patients are not taking pain killers or other medications. This creates interactions that allows for the doctors to take the time to be safer and to give an appropriate patient the amount of medication to take care of the legitimate pain. This applies all too often at the end of life as well, which is important for us and for our loved ones to be prepared to advocate and communicate at this time of greatest need.