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Thursday, April 10, 2008


It took a while, but I am finally listening.

My oncologist kept telling me to take drugs. But I did not take them.

It's not that I liked the pain. It's just that I did not want to take pain killers.

I was intimidated by Optalgin. (If it is banned in the US, I did not want to be taking it in Israel)

But the pain was making it difficult to fall asleep.

So I started taking Optalgin at night.

My doctor insisted that I also take at least one a day, to get rid of the pain.

So I took one, and the pain went away.

So I took another one.

Soon, I was taking one or two at a time, up to four times a day.

Once I entered the mindset that I should not be in pain, I no longer wanted to be in any pain.

I needed more Optalgin.

If I take two pills, four times a day, that is: 8 (pills a day) x 7 (days a week) x 4.5 (weeks in a month) -- i.e. 252 pills a month.

I went to the pharmacy with my prescription.

The pharmacist could not believe I wanted 12 boxes (21 pills/box) of Optalgin.

"Do you suffer from migraines?" The pharmacist politely inquired.

I smiled and replied "No, cancer."

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Anonymous said...

Being assertive is gently express that your bone pain is getting worse, that you rely on up to 8 optalgen a day, and waiting a few weeks for the CT is not acceptable--even if they can control the pain. pain is a symptom, the question is why you have the pain.

Sarah said...

My mother is chronically ill, and pain management is easily the most frustrating part of the "process" of being sick. To walk the line between not being in pain vs. not getting addicted to pain killer vs. not caring anymore whether you get addicted or not is very, very hard. I wish you hatzlacha.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand (from a talk given by an oncology nurse), you can't get addicted to pain killers when you have pain. The pain is the antidote. The addiction can occur only when the pain goes away and you are still taking the pills. If the pain is chronic, there is no problem with addiction.
Shabbat Shalom,
Ellen L.

Batya said...

Refuah shleimah!

Is there any maximum dose?

RivkA with a capital A said...

ABH -- I am the one who wants to wait until after Pesach!

Sarah -- It sounds like your mother is in a really challenging situation. I wish you both an absence of pain.

Ellen L -- I am still learning the rules. As long as the Optalgin works, that is what I will use.

Muse -- according to the insert, you can take up to 8 Optalgin a day.

My greatest challenge is remembering to take the drugs.

I forget and then realize that I have been in pain for no good reason.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

My son is taking Optalgin for his broken leg. We love it, though I, too, was concerned because it is banned by the FDA.

I will remind him that he does not have to be in pain...

Now if we could just get the darned elastic bandage ("ace" bandage) to stay around the real bandage. He's not in a cast...

RivkA with a capital A said...

ye'he sh'mey -- TAPE (the thick paper kind, on a t'chelet roll, that you can purchase in the drug store)

I've been researching Optalgin. Happy to share with you what I find.

Stephen said...

Drug is the thing which you have to take it in critical condition otherwise no one want to take it. Sometimes your body pain is out of control then you have to take support of pain killer or unwanted drugs which turns into an addiction and habituation.