Fighting the Fog From Pain With Narcotic Medication? New Study Reveals What We Already Know
I went out last night. I went out like a normal person at a late hour and hung out at a bar with friends. I laughed and enjoyed myself and met some interesting new people. And by 4 in the morning, I was regretting the entire night. The regret has carried over into today, and with the added pain from rain I ended up having a moment. Who am I kidding? I was having a full fledged pity party for about an hour. I hate them. I hate pity and I hate when my depression creeps up and strikes, but as usual, I got through it and am back to my normal self now. But while teary eyed and browsing facebook, resenting friends who are spending the break at the beach with beer in their hands like typical 21 year olds, I stumbled across a Facebook post by What the Jules (who if you don’t already follow on Facebook and on Tumblr by now I don’t know what you’ve been doing with your life). This lovely lady posted this link about fatigue, Fibromyalgia, cognitive function and the connection between your pain killers and your brain fog.
The consensus? A German researcher initially hypothesized that Fibromyalgia patient participants who took opiates would suffer more cognitive impairment than those who were not on opioid-type medications.
But the hypothesis was wrong.
This researcher confirmed much of what we patients already know, but struggle to convince others and- if we’re being honest- ourselves: patients who took their pain medication had better cognitive function than those who suffered through the pain. Why? Because pain is more detrimental to our cognitive function than the “loopy-ness” of our pain medication.
“Pain is an attention-demanding condition; one may suppose that *central nociceptive activity detracts from cognition by requiring enhanced neural processing resources.”
I needed to read this and it came up at the perfect time: I had been fighting taking a pain killer all morning and beating myself up for relying on so much medication. How many of you know that guilt? That feeling of not wanting to be drugged, that nagging doubt in the back of your mind that others have planted in your brain through judgment and doubt: do I really need this? Does my pain really warrant this pill? If I could just go one more day without narcotics…
So stop fighting yourself. Whether your brain fog is from Fibromyalgia alone, or from multiple sources like myself, stop forcing your body to suffer through acute pain and give yourself some relief. Let go of the guilt and allow yourself to feel some relief. Remember that so long as you are responsible with your medication and keep an open line of communication with your doctor, you are going to be okay. If this study isn’t a reason to make you feel less uncomfortable and insecure about having to rely on narcotic medication (however often), I don’t know what is.
The next time you are on the opposite end of the stigma of pain killer use or a victim of pain killer paranoia, pull this little article out of your back pocket and hold onto what you know: Fibromyalgia is real. Pain is very real. Cognitive dysfunction is very real. Your strength is very real. Ultimately, the nagging guilt and rude remarks do not matter— your quality of life does.
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- whatthejules said: I am so pleased to see how many people want to take this article to their doctor. Also, how many people are not wanting to live with pain that don’t have to. This really has done my posture some good. I am standing a bit taller this week. Thank you!
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