Pain Relief. It is a serious subject. Today I am writing about this because I want to help people like me, who suffer chronic pain and for whom pain relief is one of the most important things in their lives.
For many years, I’ve been experiencing my body’s traitorous degeneration. I have many conditions that cause pain, all of them un-reversible, all of them constantly getting worse and with them, my need for pain relief.
From Painful Diabetic Neuropathy to Fibromyalgia to Chronic Arthritis, I have lots of pain.
I spent over ten years with opioid therapy as my only option for pain relief, to help keep my mobility because my physical health had gotten so bad that I had pretty much resigned myself to the idea of spending my golden years in a wheelchair., with little pain relief.
Enter, “The Opioid Crisis”. The criminalization of opioid products such as the Hydrocodone that my doctors prescribed for me began to get on my nerves right away. It made me angry that it seemed like every medical professional and quack blogger had jumped on the bandwagon to battle the evil opioids!
While I do understand that some people have abused it and that this is a serious problem, I was angry because it just seemed like the press was on an opioid witch hunt, and no one acknowledged that some people, like me, truly needed the pain relief. Let me tell you when my pain was at a constant level 8 or greater, opioids did not give me a high of any kind! It seems like the drugs are so busy trying to counteract painful nerves gone rogue that there is no chemical left to stimulate any kind of bliss!
But I am an ornery old crone and I got tired of hearing about it all over the place, so one day I just said to heck with it and decided to quit
using them altogether. I increased my intake of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen and slowly, over a 2-week period, decreased my intake of Hydrocodone to nothing at all.
I do NOT recommend that method to anyone, because it is true that some people have a very tough time getting off opioids. I guess I’m just not one of them because my “weaning off” was far more rapid than recommended by doctors (I found out later). Also, for me, it was not a big deal at all. No withdrawals or anything and I was, in the end, up to six Vicodin a day. All this was prescribed medicine of course, but still, six is rather a lot.
After I went to see my doctors and got a new Pain Management doctor, it was suggested to me that I might want to try LDN or Low Dose Naltrexone. My insurance wouldn’t cover it, because the on-label use for Naltrexone was to help heroin users to wean off, and for some insane reason, my insurance thought that wasn’t worth covering! But that is a rant for another day. Suffice it to say that I bit the bullet and asked for the prescription. It turns out to be very affordable, even on my limited budget, when you order 3 months supply at a time. And it’s well worth the cost.
I was directed to a local compounding pharmacy, Hoey Apothecary. These are the experts and it is a truly amazing place where you can talk to the pharmacists, get all kinds of natural health products in addition to compounded medicines for people and animals alike.
When I say compounding, I mean that the amount of Naltrexone that is used to combat pain is significantly lower than the anti-heroin addiction dose. For instance, a typical dose for a recovering heroin addict is 50 mg. daily. For other purposes, including pain relief, psych help and more, the starting dose is 4.5 mg, titrating up from 1mg. What compounding is, in my non-expert description is just taking that tiny amount of medicine (picture enough to cover the head of a pin and you’re close) and pitting that into a capsule along with some natural filler material, thus facilitating easy dosing of minute amounts.
Hoey is a place that cares. I love these people and never have I felt a more personal interest in my well being from a pharmacy. They have classes that help people explore the possibilities of alternative therapies such as Low Dose Naltrexone and CBDs, which I also find helpful. You can check out their LDN classes here.
Anyway, to make a long story longer, I started on the LDN on a Monday and by the following Monday, I had already gained back some of my mobility! I had become almost cripple when I went off opioids, but honestly, the Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen did help more than I thought they would, so I was on my cane and walker, not a wheelchair yet.
By the third week on LDN, I felt more energetic, had a significant reduction of my pain and even my depression seemed lighter! I found out later that LDN is also used to combat Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety, both of which I suffer from.
Moving forward, two months out from my starting on LDN, I felt better, friskier and more energetic than I had in YEARS! Now I’m not on commission or anything like that, I just want this article to be out here so that when I meet someone who might benefit from LDN, I have a page and some resources to refer them to, relating my story.
There are many ways to combat pain, depression, and anxiety, and LDN is only one tool to help us achieve our goal, but a fine tool it is, the best I’ve discovered since I started doing Positivity Meditations following my attack 3 years ago, of acute pancreatitis. I will be writing a post on those methods very soon because I want to share as many helpful things as possible so that others like me will not lose hope as I did. I want people to know that there are many ways to help and heal the human body that are not yet completely embraced by traditionalist physicians.
Naltrexone is by no means a new medicine. Low-dose naltrexone has lurked for years on the fringes of medicine, and its zealous advocates worry it may be stuck there. Naltrexone, which can be produced generically, is not even manufactured at the low doses that seem best for pain patients.
Instead, patients go to compounding pharmacies or resort to DIY methods — YouTube videos and online support groups show people how to turn 50 mg pills into a low-dose liquid. Since Naltrexone is now cheaply produced in 50 mg or more generics, there is simply no incentive for major manufacturers to produce the capsules of LDN at the minute doses needed for pain relief and other purposes. Unfortunately, compounding is not an inexpensive process.
Some doctors prescribe Naltrexone off label even though it’s not FDA-approved for pain. Lucky for me, my amazing pain management doctor has seen fit to do this for me, and I will be eternally grateful because LDN has been nothing shy of a miracle in my life. These days, I am feeling younger and stronger than I did even 5 years ago. I seldom even use my cane anymore, and my walker is now in storage. As far as my pain goes, it is still a rollercoaster with the various maladies acting up at different times, and on bad days, all at once, but in general, I am better and even happier than I’ve ever been!
If you would like to know more, ask your doctors, or check for seminars or meetup groups near you. There may be a network of LDN providers or patients, I honestly don’t know, but it’s worth a Google or two to get the facts on whether LDN may be right for you. Please, if you know someone who might be able to use this information, feel free to reprint or share in any way you like, this post. I am not affiliated with Hoey Apothecary, I just highly recommend them. I am not a medical professional, only a healer and psychic, but, as a sufferer of chronic pain, I want to share my experiences and this amazing therapy that I have discovered with the world. There are many compounding pharmacies now available and if you check, I’m sure you will find one near you. I hope this post has been helpful and as always, I wish you love, happiness and all the best health in the world.
Peace and Love,