When it comes to chronic pain, physicians often prescribe pain medication and it becomes the family caregiver’s decision whether or not to give the medication to the loved one in pain. Many times, the family caregiver opts against filling the prescription and following “doctor’s orders.” There can be many reasons for this, but one of the most common is a concern about overmedicating and/or spurring on a drug addiction.
Family caregivers are drained and exhausted. By not using pain medication as prescribed, caregivers make the process more difficult both for the patient and for themselves. If someone was told they needed eyeglasses and given a prescription, for example, there would be no question that they need to wear those glasses. When it comes to dealing with pain, however, we feel that we judge the situation differently and take matters into our own hands.
Pain is bad. It eats away at the brain and doesn’t let it combat pain the way it’s designed to do. As a result, the pain basically causes more pain. Thank goodness there’s pain medication! Unfortunately, no medication is a “free lunch” and there are often side effects. Be sure to keep your doctor involved and let them do their job. Remember that for some, pain meds are the thing that helps them live their normal life. If pain medication helps your loved one get out and involved, then there’s a good chance they’ll eventually need less pain medication.