EDIT: I want to it to be very clear, that what works for me, may not work for you. I am NOT a doctor. If you think you could benefit from something I do - I encourage you to speak to your doctor about it before implementing or doing anything.

There is no malice against pain patients (Afterall, I'm a pain patient too) in this thread and as far as I'm concerned it's not meant to be judgemental, mean, or sound like I'm lecturing.

If it comes across that way, I sincerely apologize.

There's also been some accusations that all I care about is my YT channel. I just worked up the courage to post videos to my channel in the last week/two weeks, is it nice that 0.03% subscribed to my channel out of the 1,800 upvotes?

Yes, was it the goal of this, heck no. I make no money on YT - there's nothing in it for me. I'm not interested in clout, and the reason I started the channel, was simply to reach out to the community and let them know about the alternatives that worked for me.

Heck you could probably implement some of the things I've worked on in addition to your opioid prescription. This is not a one size fits all solution. We are all different all I'm saying is treat yourself with love and kindness because you deserve it.


Proof of my identity. (note: I was going to post this on the 20th, but decided to hold off till today)

The Goal of this AMA:

The goal of this AMA is to spread awareness that it is possible to live in chronic pain without the usage of opiates. I am by no means a doctor and I by no means am saying you you should not use opiates. I am simply saying it is possible.

Please note that this this is my story and how I cope/deal. I feel like there's things in my story that will be useful to someone and other things that aren't relevant.

I'm super nervous to do this AMA and to shout out my YouTube channel. My whole mantra this year has been, "doing things differently," so instead of hiding and wishing people would find my content, I'm speaking up about it and facing my fears straight on. I know there will always be trolls, but I hope this is well received and makes sense.

The History/Chronic Illnesses

Almost 10 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare pancreatic condition. Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. It is a rare pancreatic/biliary disorder. I get pancreatitis from it a lot. In addition, I've had two surgeries on my neck due to spinal problems. I had a feeding tube from 2013-2016 and once I was started on opiate medication, it wasn't long before I started abusing the pills.

The Addiction

My younger brother died of a heroin overdose when he was 20 and my cousin died of one when she was 29. Despite both of these deaths I still fell into the grips of addiction. It started off innocently enough, pain pills for my chronic pain, but it was long before I started abusing my prescriptions.

Then, just like that here we are where I can say:

You name it, I've likely tried it and even have ventured into the streets to get my fix.

The Recovery/YouTube Channel

Over the past three years I've been working at staying off of opiates and only in the last 13 months have I been successful at managing my pain without narcotics. It's a miracle I've never been arrested and even more of a miracle that I'm still alive to tell my story.

A little over a year ago, I started recording video diaries about my recovery. I always had the idea of posting to YouTube in the back of my mind, but I never thought I'd get the courage to post. Yet, here we are. I've posted four videos so far that I'll link below.

I currently only have 6 subscribers on YouTube, but I don't care, I plan to keep on posting because I feel like if my videos help just one person then I've done what I wanted to do on the YouTube platform. Even if that one person is me.

The Videos:

I'm keeping details to a minimum, because I want to answer your questions about things. I may edit this post as the AMA goes on.

EDIT: Sorry If I'm slow to respond! Still leave a question down below, I want to answer as many people as possible!

Comments: 317 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

athrix132 karma

What are some of your tips to deal with chronic pain without narcotics?

I have some back issues that vary from minor dull pain (almost 24/7) to severe crippling pain where I can't move or function without a script of prednisone.

dori_88162 karma

This video delves deep into how I've been able to cope:


However, it was based off of this post I made (incoming wall of text):

Edited Disclaimer: I was/am very nervous to post this for fear that people would misinterpret what I’m saying. I choose to post this because I figure that if someone can get something out of it at some level it’d be worth it to share/post.

I all I’m saying here is this is my story. I’m not telling you to go off your medication, I’m not saying you’re not a success if you’re on opiates or anything of that sort. All I’m saying is it can be done without opiates if and only if it’s right for you.

I got sick in 2012. I have chronic pancreatitis due to a rare pancreatic condition. I have gastroparesis as a result and had a feeding tube from 2013-2016. I also have had two spinal surgeries on the C5-6/7 region of my neck and I’m only 32. I’ve been on every narcotic imaginable and even ventured to the streets/contemplated suicide like many pain patients today as a result of the opiate epidemic.

Roughly 9 months ago the first step I took to get off of the narcotics was engaging honestly with a strong Narcotics Anonymous program. NA can help you get off drugs, but it doesn’t solve chronic pain. I choose to go through withdrawals because I was just sick of it. I did a cold turkey method (do not recommend) but ripping it off like a bandaid is what worked best for me.

I was so physically ill for 7 days and not great for about a month. When that month was over though, I realized I was in the EXACT same amount of pain as I was without drugs as I was with them, which was an average score of 4/10. That alone shocked me because I expected a new average of 6+/10 to occur.

Then, In my mission to handle my pain more productively I tackled answering hard questions in therapy. Things like:

  1. What is forgiveness?

  2. Who/What Am I Without My Chronic Pain?

  3. Benefits or Advantages of Chronic Pain?

  4. What are attainable goals can I set for myself?

As I answered these questions for myself I found my perspective on my pain change and as it changed, I became happier, and as I became happier, I noticed I was a lot more truthful with myself.

I found that if you are truthful with yourself you will learn interesting information that will help you get better. For instance I learned that when I said I was 10/10 it was really 6/10 and I way saying 10/10 because I was desperate for others (especially in a medical situation) to acknowledge the immense pain I was in.

Now, my chronic pain will likely never go away or be “solved,” however it is manageable. I have a special selfcare list that I utilize when I have a spike in pain. 9/10 times it doesn’t really lower my pain scores, but it does bring me out of my head and stops me from stressing about it. It stops me from getting depressed about it and it allows me to recognize that all my negative feelings are valid but they will pass and my spike in pain will go down to something more tolerable at some point.

My first line of defense is things like meditation (I find binaural beats for pain very helpful - I could write a whole essay on how great binaural beats help pain immensely) tylenol, advil, CBD, hot baths, sleep, distraction techniques (nail painting, a walk, yoga, etc.) , screaming into a pillow, expressing myself through journaling or calling a friend and more.

Sometimes I have to do multiple things on my list like I might journal, call a friend and then listen to some binaural beats.

If that isn’t working and I am experiencing extreme symptoms of my illness such as dizziness, vomiting, and dehydration, I’ll go to the hospital where they can administer fluids, IV antiemetics, Toradol and some IV Benadryl so I can sleep through the ordeal. Sometimes IV Steroids help too, if it is called for.

I have found non-narcotic options work a whole lot better when you’re not constantly on heavy duty narcotics. They’ll check my labs and if something is acutely wrong I consider the use of opiates, for the last two hospitalizations, though I’ve managed to avoid my drug of choice with toradol, low dose ketamine, and benadryl to sleep through it all as well as other medications that help like antiemetics and lots of IV Fluids.

It’s gonna sound so freaking corny, yet I have found this to be true for myself: You have amazing power to heal yourself if you only believe you can. believing you can is different than wishing you can, because if you could will your way into feeling better you would. Believing for me, means I recognize I am powerless over my chronic pain. It will be there whether I want it to be or not, so instead of fighting against it and spending all my energy on making it go away, I spend my energy on making sure I am taking care of myself.

As I’ve accepted my situation relating to pain and started working on turning negatives into positives and by accepting it (doesn’t mean I like it) I have been able to overcome things I never thought possible.

I came to the realization that when people are saying, “have you tried yoga?” they are simply saying “are you engaging in self care?” vs implying that yoga will cure you.

Now, unlike a pill that works within thirty minutes it took me almost 5 months to notice the benefits of doing this type of hard emotional work. However, by getting a lot of my anxiety, struggles, and secrets out in the open, I was able to reduce my anxiety and in turn that dramatically helped my pain.

I live in a 3-5 pain score daily and it is manageable without opiates. It can be done.

eileenbunny51 karma

Don't you worry that the NSAIDs will cause more harm to you in the long run especially with gastroparesis and pancreatitis issues? I've never really used narcotics to treat my chronic pain (daily 6-7/10) because they don't actually help, but I've done some serious damage to my stomach, esophagus, kidneys, and liver from NSAIDs. You sound very hopeful and I agree that it can be done, although after 40 years of being in pain all the time, I have good and bad days. I was just thinking that I wonder if Toradol and Advil are going to hurt you more.

dori_8834 karma

I do worry about that and I typically stay away from NSAIDs. The only time I use them is when I'm in the hospital. I limit my tylenol to 3,000mg max in a 24hr period and here lately, I've been getting by with only 1,000mg of tylenol.

The great thing about being off opiates, is other medical methods of treatment like tylenol, advil, toradol, cortisone shots, nerve blocks, CBD (no MJ) and such work a whole lot better than they did when I was using opiates to cope. I actually notice a decrease in pain now, whereas before i wouldn't.

Salty_Basil19 karma

I notice you say CBD but no marijuana, I’m assuming you mean that you use a CBD oil or tincture rather than smoking flower. Can I ask why is that?

dori_8846 karma

I use a CBD vape, and the reason for no MJ is because I know I'm the type of addict that if you give an inch to - I'll take full advantage of it and it won't be long till I'm using opiates again. I've done this time and time again personally. It never has ended well for me.

SpookyNoob34 karma

No offense man, but it sounds like the moral of your response is that the pain really wasn’t as bad as you thought, and you realized you were only on the pain meds to abuse them. I suffer from chronic 24/7 pain, and stopping my meds isn’t going to make my pain a 4/10. If your a 4/10 and that was your pain before the pills then after you never should have been on them in the first place let’s be real. You admitted to essentially lying about being a 10/10 to doctors when in reality you were a 6/10, which again probably doesn’t warrant opiates daily. And not to be rude, but a lot of this sounds like sudo “just believe or wish your pain away and look within your inner self”. If you can manage your pain and live your life without opiates then frankly you didn’t need them every day. Meditation and screaming into a pillow is not going to make most people’s pain go away.

dori_8834 karma

I'm not suggesting or telling you to go off your pain medication. That is between you and your doctor. I'm simply saying it was something I was able to do. I'm not saying you'll have the same results, either.

This is what was effective for me, and I'm sharing because there may be bits in there that can help someone out there, by no means is this some kind of cure all or recipe for guaranteed success.

Also, the reason I would average a 4/10 without the medication was because I had built tolerance to my pain medication and it was no longer effective so throughout the day I'd fluctuate from 3-6 pain scores. I fluctuate with a an average score of 4.5 out of 10 here daily. Usually going from 4 - 7 depending on how bad it is at any given moment.

I'm also not saying I wished my pain away. I'm saying that your emotions can influence your perception for your pain. The meditation, and screaming into a pillow does jackshit for my pain, what it does do is lowers my anxiety levels and centers me just enough to wait for it to pass since it fluctuates.

I took the route of learning how to live with my chronic pain vs. trying to fight it or make it go away. Also, I didn't just stop my medication and magically arrive at 4.5/10 average right away. The first month was miserable, I was definitely going through it with the withdrawals after that it took another 6 months before I noticed any of the benefits I'm talking about here. It was a slow, hard, and gruelling process to learn how to cope without narcotics.

If you had asked me 5 years ago, I would've given the same answer to this stuff you are giving me, so I get it. I was suffering so much with my pain that I was always wanting it go away, the second I started accepting it as part of my life and looking at ways to be gentle with myself and said, "okay how can I work with this?" was the moment I was set free. Pain is not my identity, I am so much more than my pain.

IDK I hope that makes more sense/clarifies things.

Gloomy_Goose6 karma

I went through a very similar experience. Gotta shout out Dr Sarno for giving me the tools to kill 70% of my chronic pain.

dori_882 karma

I'll have to check his work out. Mel Pohl is my shout out person :-) his book, "A Day Without Pain," was life changing for me.

hammermuffin-5 karma

Can i just ask what your DOC was? Cause all the drugs youre taking now will lead to more long term damage to your body than an opiate would (even 1000mg/day tylenol is alot dude, you will get liver damage after a couple years of that daily regimen)

dori_885 karma

> an i just ask what your DOC was?

Oxycodone was my DOC.
As for the damage to my body, my regimen isn't daily, there are days I can get by with other tools like CBD, hot baths, calling a friend and the like. NSAIDs/Tylenol are simply another tool I use as needed.

PaisleyPotatoes61 karma

I am end-of-life and cannot manage my pain. My state doesn't provide narcotics for anyone and it will cause me to have a shorter life. How does addiction compare to your illness?

Edit: rereading my question I have to say that it comes across as condescending and dismissive of the disease that is addiction. I know about addiction and have cared for several people fighting the disease. I'm just not as eloquent as I once was and I'm sorry for my lack of tact.

dori_8831 karma

I'm so sorry to hear that your pain is out of control. When it comes to the comparison of addiction and illness, let me put it this way: I've had numerous surgeries, feeding tubes, and pancreatitis many times, I rank opiate withdrawals in my top 3 of most painful experiences. Addiction is dark, It's isolating, and unsettling.

In my opinion addiction is worse, for me, I become someone I hate so, I much rather be in pain than fall into addiction ever again.

Dethkloktopus49 karma

As a chronic pain patient who finds it harder and harder every day to just get the medication I need to survive, it's extremely aggravating to find someone post a story claiming you can just deal with chronic pain with things like meditation & binaural beats - which btw, if you do further, extensive research into, you'll find to be psuedo-scientific at best. At least I'm sure whatever beats you probably can get your own hands on, since the original study on them is very different from the types of "binaural" beats people post online or sell. Unless you've verified their authenticity somehow. (I know since this is something I researched on my own some time ago.)

I'm not trying to say these things dont work for you, as many things have been proven to work for people that dont even have actual evidence behind why they are, other than thee patient's belief. That is fine, and I'm very very glad that you were able to overcome something so difficult.

I, myself had a physical dependency, after having to take oxycodone for about 15 years, and I hated the way it made me feel emotionally & mentally, so I eventually just started to ramp down on my own until I was barely talking anything anymore, and then with help from my pain management specialist, using something called buprenorphine, just switched completely off. That was just 2 ½ years ago, and with physical therapy to work on my pain as well.

But i want to make it clear that there is a difference between chronic pain patients managing pain becoming physically dependent, and actual drug addicts.

The unfortunate thing is, pain can't always be managed by simple things like "yoga", "meditation", & " 'cbd"......

About a year later, a horrible mystery problem would start to cause me such severe pain that i couldn't function. Or move, i couldn't live my life anymore... Every time I would open things like the refrigerator door, or flip a light switch... It felt like someone was stabbing me with a rail road spike under my shoulder blade. The worst part was trying to get anyone at the ER to help me, to diagnose me, or really anything. Even though I wasnt there for anything except to figure out what was wrong.

Do you know why?? Because they treat people, like me, people who are suffering, at extremely high levels of pain, like drug addicts and drug seekers. I've never done anything to warrant that response from them other than take pain medication i needed. But they didn't see me as a human being anymore.

Unfortunately because of this new pain, which kept getting worse and worse, I had no more options left but to get back on my old medication, either. Which has become harder than ever. To get, to even agree on a dose that will actually help me, because instead of doctors being able to help patients, the opioid crisis & patients abusing their medications, now it's up to the government what they're allowed to do & how they can treat me, regardless of my pain level, or my tolerance, or anything else.

I am just tired of people treating chronic pain patients who use medications they actually need as if they are some kind of monsters..... And when I see a post like this, I guess it somewhat bothers me that you're claiming other people with chronic pain can just do yoga, meditation, & CBD (when most of the products out there can be unregulated & not even contain it), while possibly making it even worse out there for those of us who have to continue to fight every single day just to get a bare minimum of pain medication when it's not enough.

For something that leaves me at a level 8 most days. For something that keeps me from being able to even live my life at all. For something that's causing me severe pain just to type all of this to you right now.

Again.... I'm glad all of this works for you. Hope it continues to. I hope you can understand where I am coming from.

😓 take care

dori_8815 karma

I'm sorry you're having a hard pain day and hurting. I made a response elsewhere in this thread that is kinda buried but I think it applies here:

A lot of people like to think there's a difference when you have physical pain vs. it being a mental issue. I've heard time and time again, "my doctors just think it's all in my head," and if you think about it hard enough, yea, where else do think the pain is originating from!?

Your body sends signals to your brain when you break a leg that something is wrong. Your brain alerts you that something is wrong. When it comes to chronic pain it means your brain wires got crisscrossed and you're head is mistakingly telling you, you have pain.

It's very natural to want to fix it immediately and the beautiful thing about pills is they work and they work instantly. Well, until they don't anymore because you build a tolerance to them.

However, if you delve deep into processing your emotions, you will find that chronic pain is influenced by your perception of it and the emotions that comes with that perception. It took me 6 months of intensive therapy and giving absitance a try for me to notice the benefits of doing emotional work on myself. Part of that was also learning how to live with my pain and accept it vs. fighting against it.

I would also like to clarify that my coping mechanisms do jackshit for my pain. It simply lowers my anxiety, making it possible to survive till my pain scores go down. There are nights where I'm stuck on the bathroom floor vomiting and writhing in pain, however I get through it by reminding myself it will pass and go back to what it normally is where I can at least function (carefully) and my coping mechanisms (binaural beats, pillow yelling, etc.) helps to manage my emotions and pain.

There's a really good book, "A Day Without Pain" by Mel Pohl that delves deep into science behind your emotions and pain receptors being connected in the brain. I highly recommend it. It's all about your perception of your pain, once I stopped looking at it as a bad thing and started attempting to learn how to work with it was the moment I started healing.

SendJustice-6 karma

That's not how chronic pain works ffs. Look up stuff like glutamate excess. That is the neurotransmitter for pain signalling. Guess what lots of pain conditions are associated with a dysbalanced glutamatergic system and some of your attempts to control low level pain are actually inducing a shift of neurotransmitter levels. Just if you have a severe dysbalance your yoga isn't gonna do much. And are you aware of people and yes also doctors who try and invent some bullshit theory just to try and explain things away that they still have no idea about are actually creating a huge obstacle in ever getting a proper cure for pain conditions? Because if they're stemming from an organic issue then you need an organic treatment. If it's neurochemical then only chemicals are gonna fix it.

Source: someone with a neurological disorder that was for years misdiagnosed as this bullshit pain sensitisation crap that is based on "oh the brain/nerves misfire/work wrong because of some reason we don't know"

I have a condition that causes overactive pain receptors caused by neurotransmitter excess that activates them. Origin is very likely a fucked up gene or multiple ones that cause my body to overproduce or in some other way accumulate those neurotransmitters. Now please go read up on glutamate and gaba and nmda and kainate and other receptors and neurotransmitters and please stop spreading bullshit that prevents people like me from getting proper treatment and disables them severely and drives them into suicide. you are otherwise just as much to blame for people committing suicide in such cases.

Edit: PS: if I had listened to people like you I would still be severely disabled and suffering extremely and probably also slowly experiencing neurodegeneration because glutamate in excess is excitotoxic.

dori_888 karma

I can't comment on most of what you said, I can however tell you this: Pain and emotions are both interpreted in the limbic system in the brain.

Signals are also sent from the thalamus to the limbic system, which is the emotional center of the brain. Ever wonder why some pain makes you cry? The limbic system decides. Feelings are associated with every sensation you encounter, and each feeling generates a response. Your heart rate may increase, and you may break out into a sweat. All because of a rock underfoot.

Source (If you want a more scientific one, I'm sure a google search will provide you with one)

In addition to that, I did state this is my story and what worked for me. I am by no means saying yoga is your cure, telling you to listen to me, or encouraging you do the same. Medications is between the patient and their doctor.

All I'm saying is that this is what has worked for me and this is my story.

I'm sorry if I offended you.

PotentialFisherman922 karma

How do you feel about the use of cannabinoids to manage pain? CBD, THC, CBN, CBC, CBG, etc...

I used to be heavily addicted to Vicodin and also kratom but gradually weaned myself off by using cannabis.

dori_8842 karma

I use CBD and that is it. No Kratom, or THC or anything of the sort. I'm pro the legalization for MJ and applaud people who can use it responsibly, I'm not that person. If you say MJ is okay, I will take that inch and run a mile with it till I'm back to abusing my drug of choice.

buttrapebearclaw2 karma

Curious as to why you see CBD as fine, but draw the line at thc as the inch you would run a mile with. Wouldn’t CBD be the inch that you run your proverbial mile with?

dori_882 karma

CBD doesn't make you high or change your ability to think, I'd compare it to a cigarette or coffee in my experience or even like tylenol or advil. Whereas I'd compare THC to something like Alcohol that truly intoxicates you and can knock you out.

LittleBallofMeat18 karma

What bothers me the most is that I know I will wake up tomorrow with the pain. There is no hope of it ending.

Found something that helps with that? I can only fake a positive attitude for so long.

dori_8825 karma

What bothers me the most is that I know I will wake up tomorrow with the pain. There is no hope of it ending.

My trick was that I stopped hoping it would end. I accepted it as a part of my life and started treating myself with love and kindness. Instead of cursing the world when I have a spike in pain, I take the time to engage in self care.

I learned to note my limitations, and modify the way I live. I stopped having the expectation for it to go away and I noticed an improvement in my mood when I was finally able to accept I will likely always be in pain.

As my thoughts and perspective around my pain, and mood improved, I was shocked to notice a decrease in my pain. It took 6 months of practice and intensive therapy to see any results. Thing is the tools I have now will relieve my pain for way longer than what 4-hr pill will.

shaokim13 karma

Hey thanks for the AMA, and congrats on the hard road back.

Have you ever been proposed surgery on the abdomen to resolve your pancreatic issues?

dori_8813 karma

Yes, in fact, I've had my gallbladder removed and I've undergone two Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography's, or ERCPs, it is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. My ERCPs included sphincterotomy where they sliced the sphincter muscle in my common bile duct that was malfunctioning.

An ERCP with Sphincterotomy is a dangerous procedure because even the most skilled of surgeons can accidentally slice a bit of your pancreas and that causes pancreatitis. I was a part of a symposium at a very reputable hospital in 2013 for my first ERCP.

I had to undergo a second ERCP and sphincterotomy because because the basic way I understand it is that sphincter muscle grew scar tissue and was spasming incorrectly again. Except this time, the resulting pancreatitis nearly killed me. I was in the hospital with it for 30+ days at the time.

Today, according to my surgeon (who I still follow up with) ERCPs with sphincterotomy's are not the best way to treat Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction and typically cause more long term damage than relief.

In those same ERCPs with spincterotomys I needed bile duct dilations as well. So, basically my pancreatic/biliary system doesn't work properly.

labialube4 karma

I have the exact same problem. I was diagnosed about 3 years ago and my docs will not prescribe opiates. Pisses me off to no end because when pancreatitis hits, sometimes opiates are the only thing that will touch the pain. Your story is inspiring and I appreciate you for sharing. Do you take Creon?

dori_884 karma

Do you take Creon?

Yes. Creon helps a bit. I've found that when using non-narcotic options I might need to use 3-5 other coping mechanisms to be able to manage my pain. It's never just 1 thing. It's always a combo of stuff like, call a friend, pain my nails, take a hot bath and such.

I also noticed that my coping mechanisms don't reduce my pain, it brings my anxiety levels down to normal so that I can think with a clear head and relax just enough to make things tolerable.

Potential_Energy4 karma

isnt creon extremely expensive? even with insurance

dori_8812 karma

Yea, it is. However, I typically hit my deductible by March at the latest, after that the insurance company pays for it. I have really good insurance. I'm very lucky for that.

Global-Election12 karma

What are your thoughts on AA and NA? Personally, as someone that has gone to rehab twice, it's a waste of time for the most part (in my experience). The last time I looked up statistics about either were a recovery rate of under 2%.

I wanted to relate to it to get better but I never could. I hate the whole, 'God' aspect of it and no matter how hard I try I can't buy into it.

How can they improve?

dori_8816 karma

A 12step program actually ended up being my saving grace. It's what worked for me. A lot of people who are new to the 12steps are turned off by "God," typical people associate God as punishing you for your sins.

however, in the 12steps it's basically build-a-bear for your higher power. For instance, when I think of my Higher Power I see it as a guiding light that loves me and only wants the best for me, and doesn't take my bullshit. My belief is very spiritual in nature, vs. a traditional devil/hell and god/heaven type of belief.

tmprz7 karma

What are some of the things that helped support you during your recovery?

dori_8811 karma

For me, I got off drugs with the help of a 12 step program that I still participate in today. I also started addressing my chronic pain in therapy and got really honest with myself and those around me. I answered questions like, "What are the benefits of being ill, do I get any secondary gains?" on top of that I utilized CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) to cope with difficult emotions. It's always going to be a work in progress but that's what got me started on my path of healing.

FlicketyFlack6 karma

How do you manage working with pain?

dori_887 karma

I am very fortunate, my workplace is compassionate about it. I worked another miserable job for year and job hunted during the entire time till I found somewhere that was willing to make accomodations and not ridicule me over being sick every so often.

ilhaC6 karma

Do you believe it is worth denying chronic pain patients narcotics in order to prevent addiction?

dori_883 karma

Do you believe it is worth denying chronic pain patients narcotics in order to prevent addiction?

I think it depends on the diagnosis and prognosis. If I had the knowledge I have now about addiction - I would've never started taking opiates in the first place. I think doctors need to spend more time educating their patients about narcotics, how they work, and how to manage pain without them. Narcotics need to be a last resort method for those with disorders that are not curable, yet are not life threatening. It may sound dramatic, but addiction is a terminal disorder.

Israel_Anthem6 karma

Former Heroin/Oxy/Givemeanythingtonotbesick addict. Keep doing you, but please keep talking, its the only thing that has kept me sane.

I know from personal experience that relapse is a part of recovery, but, do you have a good support/emergency network around you for if (unfortunately), a “bad” day ever comes?

dori_883 karma

Thank you so much. I've relapsed many times, but I feel like this past year real change and progress has been made because I took the time to make real connections with people and build a support network.

I'm very lucky to have so many people in my life that care about me. Some of those people are people I met in college that talk to regularly and have nothing to do with addiction and then there's my addict friends.

I'm fortunate and that is not lost on me.

312185ag5 karma

how do you do it? cause i hit a wall with my docs

WarPig2624 karma

How are you doing?

dori_8812 karma

Today? A little anxious, but overall, I've been thriving and a bit bored. To me a boring life is a good one. hahaha.

Baschoen237 karma

A boring life is such a good one. I'm thankful everytime I'm bored at the house but can pull out my phone and contact someone or a video game system and just zone out for a while instead of being on the street or in a jail.

dori_882 karma

Exactamundo! I couldn't agree more.

olddoc13 karma

Do you have any experience with Marijuana or THC for pain? Also, ketamine is not available orally. Do you use it IV/IM? It is a potential drug of abuse but it is avery effective analgesic. Finally, pancreatitis is miserable. I sympathize with what you must have been through.

dori_883 karma

I was just responding to a similar comment, I don't use Marijuana for a bunch of personal reasons, but if someone can use THC without going for their drug of choice then, by all means, you're lucky and I'm jealous I can't do that.

As for ketamine, when I get hospitalized it is a part of my alternate treatment plan, and I get it super low dose continuously over my entire hospitalization. I've never felt high or had a rush from it, I use it with a bit of benadryl to fall asleep and let my body do it's thing to heal.

loreoesify3 karma

I'm going to check you out. I'm 27F and I've been in chronic pain for my entire memory, still without diagnosis but at least have acknowledgement, I'm finding it hard balancing relief (use cannabis) and being a successful functioning human being. Hopeful you'll highlight an anevue for improvement.

How do you manage brain fog though? Actually manage, and not just survive?

dori_882 karma

I seriously hope this AMA & my content on YT helps you in some way. As for managing my brain fog goes, I started to look for patterns with it. When was I most likely to have brain fog and why.

For instance I'll get it towards the end of the day at work, because I'm fatigued.

The solution to that is to make sure I get enough sleep on a regular basis.

When it does occur and say I'm stuck at work, I just slow down my pace with everything and move like a snail to avoid mistakes.

Sometimes I get it at night when I'm on the phone with friends and family too. In that situation, I simply state that it's happening, and that they need to repeat the last thing they said. My friends and family are super empathetic to the situation and will remind me where we're at in the conversation.

organizeeverything2 karma

What do you do to help relieve pain now without pain medication?

dori_881 karma

So, nothing truly relieves my pain, what I do, do is work on ways to lower my anxiety levels and work with my pain, I recognize my limitations and do not push past them unless absolutely necessary and if I'm willing to pay the price down the line.

My pain will never ago away, and once I accepted that fact, it at least became easier to mentally deal with.

Zestyclose-Court-2652 karma

Did you ever have the moments when it was incredibly hard to continue recovering? If so, how did you push through?

dori_883 karma

Oh goodness, yes! I struggle with it regularly. This video "november 17th at 2:40am" is me describing what the cravings etc. are like and touches a bit on how I'm dealing with it.

I've been picking up the phone to chat with other addicts when I feel the urge to use. I also keep a gratitude list and write one every Sunday.

I 'play the tape' through, and it's funny, because I have an actual recording of myself confessing to someone I'm close to that I relapsed, so I'll just watch that and be reminded I never want to feel that way again.

I write and journal about it - if it gets that bad. I also take it one day at a time and am gentle with myself. It's all about making progress.

I also use evidence to convince myself to hold out a little longer, IE: "well I made it last night without using, I can wait till tomorrow." Or "I was able to not use during my recent hospitalization, if I can get through that without opiates, I can get through this right now."

darkySp2 karma

Has chronic pain impacted your day-to-day activities to the point where it's socially impactful ? Say, having an episode (if your chronic pain is in episodes or constant all the time). Say, you're shopping and suddenly you feel pain that causes you to grunt or moan or make a grimmace, have people looked at you like: "That was a little weird" or asked if you're okay and stuff like that ?

Or do you "man up" and hide it when you're out in public ?

dori_882 karma

It depends on the situation, like today I'm working from home and I started getting some bad stomach issues, I'm vomiting again today (yay) and so I had to call my boss and let her know I had to take the afternoon off.

I hate doing that and she knows it.

I used to get a lot of looks when I had my nasal feeding tube before they put in as a G/J tube. I discovered adults are useless they just gwak whereas kids look once and carry on. haha.

roboticon2 karma


dori_884 karma

Sober living is a transitional home typically where people go when they leave rehab. I lived in the house with 10 roommates who all were working on recovery, and got drug tested regularly. There are a few rules, like maintain your chore, notify the house manager if you're going to be out late, and stuff like that. Otherwise, it's just like living with roommates in college.

I did it kinda backwards by moving in at 8 months clean, but I needed the extra support of others and it held me accountable.

friendlyfire691 karma

I am a fellow chronic pain sufferer and I live between a 2-7 pain most of the time.

How do you feel about illegal/semi legal substances other than opiates for pain relief?

For example- marijuana, ketamine, psilocybin, kava kava.

Also, were you ever that your pain was all in your head?

Do you find that any nutritional supplements help?

dori_883 karma

How do you feel about illegal/semi legal substances other than opiates for pain relief? For example- marijuana, ketamine, psilocybin, kava kava.

I'm not against it. MJ is a no for me because it causes me more problems than it's worth.

As far as psilocybin and kava I think there needs to be more research for me to deluvge into that.

When it comes to ketamine that's part of my alternative treatment plan if I get hospitalized, I get it very low dose IV continuous drip with a bit of benadryl, the purpose for that is to knock me tf out so I can heal. Ketamine has been a lifesaver for me because it's also helped with my depression/anxiety and that in turn helps my pain long term. I'm not worried about ketamine addiction for me and my doctors are super careful when it comes to that because they know I'm an addict.

Schadenfreude21 karma

Are you living pain free?

dori_882 karma

No, it fluctuates from a 4-7 level pain.

pissingstars-5 karma

I saved this to come back to and read the posts and replies. I do have a question, but a quick story first.

Story - my ex wife was in the same boat. Long story short she became addicted to opiates due to a medical condition. Her addiction led to a terrible depression. Mix the depression and addiction and she became a whore. Our marriage was ruined and ultimate divorce. I never wanted to leave her but I couldn't continue to live in the hell that I was in.

Question - I am not an addict. I hate taking that shit whenever I have to. I hate the feeling and what it has already did to my life I'm smart enough to stay away. Do you have suggestions on how an outsider such as myself can deal with the addictions that has destroyed your life?

dori_882 karma

It's hard having an addiction, it's even harder loving an addict.

Can you clarify your question? Are you asking how you can best support your ex? Or are you saying her addiction put your life in shambles and you want to 'get it together'?

Blackcrusader-5 karma


dori_887 karma

What did your medications feel like?

I rather not answer because this question is a bit triggering for me and I don't want to romanticize opiates.

GaryXBF-6 karma


dori_883 karma

I posted this:


but to fully answer your question,

Personally, I think munchausen's is VERY rare. I don't think someone with an exclusion disorder is lying about their pain or has munchausen at all. There are many motivations to exaggerate pain and your illness and for me despite having a confirmed provable disorder, I realized I was exaggerating, and had made it my identity. To the point where I'd tell lies and then believe them to be truth, despite knowing it was a lie, it was a weird experience.