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Old 11-02-22, 02:58 PM
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Juan Foote
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Sleep

My apologies in that this isn't a specifically biking related question, more of a curiosity.

I have traditionally been an 8 hour a night guy. I get tired, go to bed, one wake up about halfway through for a bathroom break and no trouble going back to sleep for ~8 hours total time. The past several months I have been waking for the early morning potty and then completely unable to go back to sleep again. Almost driven to be awake. Not specifically that I have anything to do or am mind racing or stressing over anything, just...awake.
I don't really feel like it is troublesome to me on the short term but when this happens a few nights in a row I tend to get a bit cranky and then end up having a sleep night in excess of 10-11 hours.

I recall my grandmother telling me years ago that she had developed a pattern in her 50's where she rarely slept long periods at a time and developed a habit of doing a "two sleep" thing. She would sleep a few hours late at night and then again in the afternoon. It seemed to work out for her. I understand that our sleep needs change as we age, I just wonder if this is common for y'all as well?
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Old 11-02-22, 03:22 PM
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Consider anything that may have changed about the time you started to have issues sleeping. 3 years ago I started having issues sleeping and getting back to sleep after waking up. Coincidentally I had a loop recorder put in my chest about the same time. The very same night right after having the loop recorder removed a couple months ago I had my best night of sleep in those three years and my sleeps been getting better since. Don't know why, the loop recorder just was a monitor and except for when I got in odd scrunched up positions it was pretty much unnoticeable. Might be all in my head, but I really have been sleeping better since they took it out.

One of the other things to consider is lights of any kind. Long ago we got rid of or covered up any thing that was lit. Even the stuff that just had a tiny LED light. We even cover up the alarm clock as it seems they can no longer make a lit display on a alarm clock that is dim enough not illuminate the whole room and cast shadows.
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Old 11-02-22, 05:51 PM
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My sleep habits changed when I hit 50. I sleep 3-4 hours, am up an hour or two and then go back to sleep for 2-3 hours. On average I get 6 hours of sleep per day. I do OK with it, but think I'd be sharper if I got 7 or 8 solid hours without interruption every night. My brother, Jon, sleeps the same pattern as mine. Weird. Maybe its in the genes.
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Old 11-02-22, 06:22 PM
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As a male geezer, my time between peeing has gotten shorter, down to about 2.5 hours at night. Most nights, I just go right back to sleep, but it's not as nice as just sleeping through the night. I usually go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 6:00. We take a one hour nap every day right after lunch and that really helps.
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Old 11-02-22, 06:41 PM
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I developed sleeping problems in my late 50's. It was so bad that I have had to stop and sleep on the side of the road on training rides or falling asleep talking to my wife in the middle of the day. On a 1200km event in France, I had to sleep like 6 times. I do not have any magic solutions or ideas to give because it is very complicated and I am quite sure my issues would be different than yours. Other than sleeping only a few hours per night can be hard on you.

I would only say to speak with your doctor. There are medical conditions that might apply here.
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Old 11-02-22, 07:06 PM
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Decreased ability to sustain sleep is a common consequence of aging.it has been traced pretty conclusively to loss of of certain brainstem neurons. I have the same issue and it sometimes comes close to the two sleep pattern, which your grandmother shared with many old people. Having to get up a feed times to pee doesn't help. Early morning awakening is classically associated with depression, but it doesn't sound like you've got that, fortunately.
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Old 11-02-22, 08:37 PM
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Could be sleep apnea or a heart problem or chronic pain or just old age or medication side effects or a combination of those and others.
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Old 11-02-22, 08:49 PM
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I had sleep issues for decades. Needed to roll over often. 5 years ago I put 2" of medium foam over my mattress hoping that would lessen pressure on the many old injuries and fatty lumps and the like that I've got. Helped but still I needed to roll over me than I liked and longer spans between rollovers meant I was bruising at those locations. Added a 2" soft foam. Better but still... A couple of years I started using pieces of soft 1" foam custom cut for the worst of my problem spots. I need to semi wake and position them for every rollover but I can now lie 4 hours or more comfortably at a time! I don't ever remember sleeping so well, not even as a kid. (69 now.)
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Old 11-02-22, 11:56 PM
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What is this "sleep pattern" of which you speak?

Seriously, I don't think I've ever developed a sleep pattern, at least not since childhood. Maybe my jobs had too many odd hours to ever develop sleep patterns.

If I can actually sleep more than 4-6 hours without too much pain, I'm doing well.
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Old 11-03-22, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
What is this "sleep pattern" of which you speak?

Seriously, I don't think I've ever developed a sleep pattern, at least not since childhood. Maybe my jobs had too many odd hours to ever develop sleep patterns.

If I can actually sleep more than 4-6 hours without too much pain, I'm doing well.
It is this bathube or U shaped pattern. You sleep too little, you die early. You sleep too much, you die early.

All thru college, I rarely slept more than 2-3 hours. Commuted an hour each way to engineering classes and then drove to the factory for the second shift, came home did homework and slept a bit. Now, I rarely sleep more than 5 hours due to issues. So, I hear you.
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Old 11-03-22, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
One of the other things to consider is lights of any kind. Long ago we got rid of or covered up any thing that was lit. Even the stuff that just had a tiny LED light. We even cover up the alarm clock as it seems they can no longer make a lit display on a alarm clock that is dim enough not illuminate the whole room and cast shadows.
Yes, in regard to lighting I taped over the LED of my phone charger, keep it screen off, and other lights are masked or turned as not to be direct. The only new light would be the light on the oil heater when it's cold.
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Old 11-03-22, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Could be sleep apnea or a heart problem or chronic pain or just old age or medication side effects or a combination of those and others.

I have lived with chronic pain for years. I was in pain management for a few years but found that the pain was desirable to the addiction. Don't get me wrong, I think opiates have their place, but sparingly.
The new generation of pain meds like Gabapentin and Tramadol give me bad side effects which my doctor related to people far beyond my age. One of them makes me cry/emotional uncontrollably and the other gives me an out of body experience that is very strange.
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Old 11-03-22, 08:12 AM
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I get sleepy around nine, but try to hold on until 10 or later. I usually sleep until 5:30. I am 67. Being retired, an afternoon nap while listening to Performance Today is something I enjoy before my daily bike ride.

We are hiking and camping this weekend. I am sure my pad and sleeping bag are not going to live up to my bed and mattress...LOL!! What the heck, I can nap on Monday.
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Old 11-03-22, 07:32 PM
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Two recent articles about sleep say two primary disrupters under your control are caffeine and alcohol. No caffeine after noon since it still has a half life after the kick has worn off. Also alcohol in the evening is known to keep one from getting into REM sleep and has a rebound effect in the brain. after the depressant effect wears off in 3 to 4 hours, the brain rebounds (awakens) to such an extent that it can keep you awake for hours, I know that it happens to me after one beer or glass of wine after dinner. If at a party and several glasses of wine I tend to sleep longer, but not necessarily feel better than a alcohol free night. Alcohol the night before also interferes with athletic performance. Don’t know if you do either, but FYI to all.
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Old 11-03-22, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
I have lived with chronic pain for years. I was in pain management for a few years but found that the pain was desirable to the addiction. Don't get me wrong, I think opiates have their place, but sparingly.
The new generation of pain meds like Gabapentin and Tramadol give me bad side effects which my doctor related to people far beyond my age. One of them makes me cry/emotional uncontrollably and the other gives me an out of body experience that is very strange.
Don't get me started on the current concept of "pain management." In my area it's become a way to milk insurance companies while neglecting patients.

In 2018, after I was hit by a car and, coincidentally had thyroid cancer, I switched from one of the larger public all-purpose medical organizations to the VA, over the "pain management" joke. Too much incompetence and indifference with the public hospital. The last straw was when they referred me to their in-house pain management clinic, which told me the soonest available appointment was in six months, at which time they would only do an evaluation, no actual treatment. When I asked why it takes so long, the guy on the other end said "Take it or leave it," and hung up on me.

I switched to the VA and got prompt, courteous, competent and compassionate care... until the pandemic hit in 2020. Then the VA system pretty much fell apart. Lots of employee burnout and turnover. They were overwhelmed with a combination of older veterans who got serious cases of COVID, and a sharp spike in homelessness as landlords raised rents, sometimes double, and evicted tenants who got behind.

I considered myself fortunate to have a standing prescription for cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer. But I hate using the stuff. It makes me groggy for 24-48 hours after a single small 10mg dose. For two years my primary care doctor at the VA ignored my request for referral to pain management or some form of physical therapy to deal with the pain from multiple back, neck and shoulder injuries (as I've mentioned before, I've been hit by cars twice in 20 years). I just wanted a local injection of anti-inflammatories, maybe an evaluation for some newer non-surgical treatments. But after two years I got tired of waiting, and my annual checkup this week didn't show any signs things were getting better with the VA.

So my Medicare replacement provider referred me to a local medical group that initially seemed promising -- good initial consults with ortho and spine specialists. My cervical spine stenosis is beyond anything that can be helped with physical therapy, chiropractic, etc. I already do my own PT almost every day, and continue to bicycle and jog despite it all. They said I could get local injections of anti-inflammatories almost immediately, and a non-surgical procedure to deaden the pain nerves within two weeks.

Then the house of cards collapsed.

I got calls from "Acclaim," the same damned group that did almost nothing other than hinder any progress four years ago. The contractor doctors mean well - they're young, enthusiastic relatively new docs. But Acclaim's sole purpose seems to be to put up obstacles between patients and procedures recommended by doctors. An Acclaim rep called this morning to say the soonest initial appointment would be December 20 -- far longer than the two weeks suggested by the doctor -- and it would be only an initial treatment. And, oh, by the way, they'll notify me of the exact time only a day in advance, and I need to have a driver on standby to stay with me and drive me home afterward. No, they can't give me more notice than that. No, they don't have any appointments sooner than that. Turns out they're just a front for the same indifferent, incompetent public health system I was first assigned to in 2018. They just changed the name and moved some clinics off-campus to put a shiny veneer over the same old crap.

They weren't quite as rude and indifferent as four years ago, but not much more effective either.

I'll be looking for an entirely different medical provider -- again.

I can see now why so many folks opt for unproven treatments, promises of relief based on ... nothing, no scientific evidence ... voodoo, exotic sounding "Oriental" treatments, needles, cupping, bone-crackers, hand-wavers, bell-ringers and incense smokers. After awhile you get desperate enough to try anything.

Fortunately I've gotten reasonable relief from kratom, which I use sparingly, just enough to relieve the pain so I can stay active. It's far less detrimental than cyclobenzaprine, Tramadol or hydrocodone to my energy and alertness, so it doesn't hinder my workouts. I can't take NSAIDs for more than a couple of days at a time, especially ibuprofen -- they cause itchy and often painful skin rashes. Acetaminophen does almost nothing for me. CBD is okay, pretty mild, and expensive for what it is.

And I use percussion massagers, a TENS unit, several topical analgesics, soaks in a hot bath with Epsom salts. I've tried pretty much everything.

But if other folks have experiences like mine, it's no wonder abuse of prescription and non-prescription drugs continues to escalate. I can see why some folks get desperate enough to try anything to cope with pain.
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Old 11-04-22, 06:00 AM
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I think my favoured amount of sleep would be around 8-9 hours, but I usually only get 6-7 hours and quite often less. If I get less than 5 hours sleep I really feel it the next day, especially in the morning.
Everything I read about sleep points to it being a critical aspect of health and fitness. Right up there with nutrition and exercise. I also read that sleep quality has a tendency to degrade with age.
Key points for sleep quality seem to be sticking to a fixed sleep routine i.e. going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Also relaxing and unwinding an hour or two before bedtime and avoiding exposure to bright lighting (e.g. mobile phones, tablets etc)
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Old 11-04-22, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Don't get me started on the current concept of "pain management." In my area it's become a way to milk insurance companies while neglecting patients.

In 2018, after I was hit by a car and, coincidentally had thyroid cancer, I switched from one of the larger public all-purpose medical organizations to the VA, over the "pain management" joke. Too much incompetence and indifference with the public hospital. The last straw was when they referred me to their in-house pain management clinic, which told me the soonest available appointment was in six months, at which time they would only do an evaluation, no actual treatment. When I asked why it takes so long, the guy on the other end said "Take it or leave it," and hung up on me.

I switched to the VA and got prompt, courteous, competent and compassionate care... until the pandemic hit in 2020. Then the VA system pretty much fell apart. Lots of employee burnout and turnover. They were overwhelmed with a combination of older veterans who got serious cases of COVID, and a sharp spike in homelessness as landlords raised rents, sometimes double, and evicted tenants who got behind.

I considered myself fortunate to have a standing prescription for cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer. But I hate using the stuff. It makes me groggy for 24-48 hours after a single small 10mg dose. For two years my primary care doctor at the VA ignored my request for referral to pain management or some form of physical therapy to deal with the pain from multiple back, neck and shoulder injuries (as I've mentioned before, I've been hit by cars twice in 20 years). I just wanted a local injection of anti-inflammatories, maybe an evaluation for some newer non-surgical treatments. But after two years I got tired of waiting, and my annual checkup this week didn't show any signs things were getting better with the VA.

So my Medicare replacement provider referred me to a local medical group that initially seemed promising -- good initial consults with ortho and spine specialists. My cervical spine stenosis is beyond anything that can be helped with physical therapy, chiropractic, etc. I already do my own PT almost every day, and continue to bicycle and jog despite it all. They said I could get local injections of anti-inflammatories almost immediately, and a non-surgical procedure to deaden the pain nerves within two weeks.

Then the house of cards collapsed.

I got calls from "Acclaim," the same damned group that did almost nothing other than hinder any progress four years ago. The contractor doctors mean well - they're young, enthusiastic relatively new docs. But Acclaim's sole purpose seems to be to put up obstacles between patients and procedures recommended by doctors. An Acclaim rep called this morning to say the soonest initial appointment would be December 20 -- far longer than the two weeks suggested by the doctor -- and it would be only an initial treatment. And, oh, by the way, they'll notify me of the exact time only a day in advance, and I need to have a driver on standby to stay with me and drive me home afterward. No, they can't give me more notice than that. No, they don't have any appointments sooner than that. Turns out they're just a front for the same indifferent, incompetent public health system I was first assigned to in 2018. They just changed the name and moved some clinics off-campus to put a shiny veneer over the same old crap.

They weren't quite as rude and indifferent as four years ago, but not much more effective either.

I'll be looking for an entirely different medical provider -- again.

I can see now why so many folks opt for unproven treatments, promises of relief based on ... nothing, no scientific evidence ... voodoo, exotic sounding "Oriental" treatments, needles, cupping, bone-crackers, hand-wavers, bell-ringers and incense smokers. After awhile you get desperate enough to try anything.

Fortunately I've gotten reasonable relief from kratom, which I use sparingly, just enough to relieve the pain so I can stay active. It's far less detrimental than cyclobenzaprine, Tramadol or hydrocodone to my energy and alertness, so it doesn't hinder my workouts. I can't take NSAIDs for more than a couple of days at a time, especially ibuprofen -- they cause itchy and often painful skin rashes. Acetaminophen does almost nothing for me. CBD is okay, pretty mild, and expensive for what it is.

And I use percussion massagers, a TENS unit, several topical analgesics, soaks in a hot bath with Epsom salts. I've tried pretty much everything.

But if other folks have experiences like mine, it's no wonder abuse of prescription and non-prescription drugs continues to escalate. I can see why some folks get desperate enough to try anything to cope with pain.
As a fellow chronic pain endurer, I feel for you. One thing.....you don't need a referral to see a Pain Doctor when you are on Medicare. I was able to find an amazing pain mgt doctor (Neuro) who has helped me a lot over the past couple of years. We've tried a lot of things but using radio frequence to ablate or burn certain nerves combined with intralaminar injections have been sufficient to allow me to sleep long enough. No idea what your issues is.....but don't give up finding a specialist who can help you.

I decided on my Pain Mgt doctor because my nurse at family Doc goes there and then I read his Goggle reviews, hundreds of them and almost all effusive in praise.
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Old 11-04-22, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
I just wonder if this is common for y'all as well?
My sleep habits completely changed some time between age 50 and 60. Nowadays I couldn't sleep a solid 8 hours straight through unless you filled me full of downers and stuck me in an isolation tank...and then I'd still probably wind up pissing myself.

fwiw my sleep habits also completely changed some time between age 20 and 40, but that was more about how long it took me to fall asleep. Seems like there was really only a relatively narrow window of my life when I could fall asleep shortly after getting into bed and stay asleep until an appropriately full night of rest was achieved.


[edit: Naps are great! We need more officially-endorsed siesta time in this country!]
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Old 11-04-22, 11:05 AM
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This helped me.

1) Stopped all booze drinking.
2) I eat two melatonin gummies 1 hour before its time to sleep.
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Old 11-04-22, 11:16 AM
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I view sleep as one of the few things we actually need. Roughly in order, we need oxygen, water, food, shelter and clothing and sleep. Money, car, companionship ... yes all important but we can go on for long periods without as long as those first four needs are met.

Sleep looks to be a little less essential. But lack of it might cost us a lot as we traverse a narrow trail to find food or have to outsmart that bear.
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Old 11-04-22, 11:53 AM
  #21  
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When I was in cancer treatment, I started using pot for the pain.

I grow medical pot, make a coconut oil extract, and put that in pills. I finished a batch yesterday.

The stuff I make is roughly 90% CBD and 10% THC. That is good for falling asleep, or pain that isn't severe. The more pain you have, the more THC you need. When I was hanging out in a medical pot forum, the guys in serious pain grew strong kush strains. I'd suggest adding extra CBD in that case, but that depends on what works for you.

I am opposed to smoking, but vaping doesn't do much damage. The news you see about vaping is usually about manufactured tobacco products. I'm talking about vaping actual pot or hash (or concentrates).

Prices are crazy, you'll save thousands growing your own.
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Old 11-04-22, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
As a fellow chronic pain endurer, I feel for you. One thing.....you don't need a referral to see a Pain Doctor when you are on Medicare. I was able to find an amazing pain mgt doctor (Neuro) who has helped me a lot over the past couple of years. We've tried a lot of things but using radio frequence to ablate or burn certain nerves combined with intralaminar injections have been sufficient to allow me to sleep long enough. No idea what your issues is.....but don't give up finding a specialist who can help you.

I decided on my Pain Mgt doctor because my nurse at family Doc goes there and then I read his Goggle reviews, hundreds of them and almost all effusive in praise.
I just became eligible for Medicare this month, so I have an alternative to the VA. In fact, the pain management clinic I just visited was assigned by the primary care clinic through my Amerigroup plan. I just went with their recommendation, not realizing at the time that it was just a renamed, relocated version of the same pain clinic I'd had a bad experience with in 2018.

But, yeah, I'll call Amerigroup and see whether they offer the same choices as regular Medicare. If I'm recalling correctly, if I opted for regular Medicare my choices are wide open, but there may be some copays and higher costs. I went with Amerigroup because they're associated with Anthem/Blue Cross, etc., and had good reviews. But I'm not sure whether that limits my choices of providers, or whether I can contact specialists directly without a referral.

Anyway, it's a shame this particular pain management clinic is such a racket, because I was satisfied with the actual ortho and spine doctors I visited for evaluations the past couple of weeks. They were both younger guys, in their 30s, obviously fit, and they faced me and just talked, without burying their faces in a computer screen throughout the exam. That's unusual nowadays. With rare exceptions, when I visit the VA clinic and specialists, the clerks, aides, nurses and doctors rarely look up from the screen because they have so many boxes to check off, which hinders genuine patient communication.

And I remembered that this wasn't my first negative impression of this pain management clinic. I was the primary caregiver for my mom during her final decade after she developed Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. She had a lot of pain issues due to a lifetime of arthritis and scoliosis since childhood. As her condition deteriorated I accompanied her on every medical appointment. Over the years I noticed this pain management clinic devolved from prompt and responsive into an obvious insurance-milking racket. Instead of performing immediate "minor" treatments, such as local injections of anti-inflammatories, needing only one visit every six months or so, they created this obstacle course of redundant visits: a consultation, followed by a delay of several weeks; a physical exam, followed by a delay of several more weeks; a third appointment just to explain the upcoming procedure (local injection for pain); a delay of several more weeks before they actually did the procedure.

I see numerous complaints about this clinic on Google, Yelp, etc., over the same issues. Some patients just want pain meds like hydrocodone or Tramadol, which may be perfectly appropriate for some patients. Despite the scare tactics by the government and media, most folks do just fine on relatively mild meds like Tramadol without becoming addicted. But other patients are airing similar complaints about the unnecessary delays that seem to be geared toward milking Medicare, while delaying relatively minor non-surgical procedures for weeks while patients suffer.
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Old 11-04-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post

I view sleep as one of the few things we actually need.
Sleep, I seem to remember hearing about that...
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Old 11-04-22, 01:56 PM
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Order of necessity: Air, water, sleep, food.
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Old 11-04-22, 02:42 PM
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canklecat , I was in pain management for a couple/few years. Basically, it went down (a lot) like this:

When I lost my left foot and half my shin, broken wrist, elbow, other ankle, forearm and so forth...they loaded me up with pain meds while I was in the hospital to a degree that I had to ask them to slow down. I am a redhead, which in itself leads to a higher level of tolerance, and a pretty big fellow as well. They were keeping me loaded all the time there with various pain killers by injection and mouth. I have a pretty strong reaction to morphine, in general and other opiates. Basically I went cold turkey off the strong drugs and asked them for nothing stronger than a percocet. The very second I got out of the hospital (early and mostly because I made them release me to go home) I got one small script and then was "cut off". I was in such astounding pain at the time that I couldn't function.

Right around this same time was the start of the knee jerk reaction to doctors for prescribing pain meds in relation to the overdose (and so forth) epidemic which required doctors to do much more paperwork and required testing and so forth, so many doctors just didn't want to mess with it. My regular doctor at the time wouldn't touch it, and sent me somewhere else where I asked them for something to help me cope with pain. We went with Tylenol with codeine at first and honestly that crap isn't good for a headache, much less severe traumatic pain. I went back, we had some discussions, they tried me on analogs which gave me poor results and I flat out asked for something more. My doctor accused me of "pill seeking" which was a term I didn't understand at the time. By that label they pretty much forced the hand of any further medical practitioner I was and will ever see to treat me differently in relation to wanting medication to help me with my pain. Thus, pushed to "pain management".

I went to meet with the pain management doctor and his RNP. I went to see a psychologist and did a few meets with him (great guy who I used again later for another issue) and it was come to the consensus that I really was in severe pain and needed meds to help. At first the medications were quite helpful. I was able to participate in activities that I couldn't do without them. I felt good again, not hurting all day and so forth. Of course, as you take pain meds you build a tolerance as well as an addition even when taking them as prescribed. Over time what started as fairly light amounts of pain killers ended up being time release Morphine, Percocet, Vicodin, Soma and one other muscle relaxer that I can't recall the name of. I was taking enough meds to give a rock star pause. Now, even at that, at first it was a good thing. As time went on the stronger meds end up making you very sick, they mess with your persona and well being, thought process, everything. Medical weed isn't a thing here, but not hard to find so I started delving deeper into that and less on the pills. I had the pain med clinic cut back my prescriptions. They had issue with me coming up dirty for weed on my monthly tests, since a medical option isn't available here. By this time, I was VERY sick aside from right after taking my meds.

I was basically given an ultimatum by the pain clinic that I either quit coming up dirty for marijuana or they would cut me off. I opted, at the time, that I liked weed better given its properties in regard to pain and lack of hard physical addiction. I used my last scripts to taper, in particular off the Morphine. It was SUPER hard, possibly one of the hardest things I have done in my entire life. Took a couple of weeks to taper down to a point of just stopping and was sick with severe diarrhea for several weeks, throwing up bile...it was pretty terrible. Took my guts probably a year or so to come back right again after all that. It was among the best decisions I have ever made, IMO.
As time has gone on, I have gotten way better at dealing with the pain. Mostly become background noise to my brain in spite of not really having gone away. The prohibition on weed in this area led to my house being raided and going to jail for a small amount of pot. (a lot more to that story, but for the sake of this telling...) I have almost entirely stopped smoking at this point and really just decided that toughing through is about the best I can do.

Last edited by Juan Foote; 11-04-22 at 03:00 PM.
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