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Affects of morphine drugs,

ozchrissy's picture
ozchrissy
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2012

I am taking Endone, which is a morphine based pain reliever, and have also been prescribed Morphine in a liquid form. My pain is pretty bad without the pain relief, I am really having excruciating pain swallowing at the moment and the constant pain at the site of the tumor is also a constant severe pain. I haven't taken the liquid morphine yet, but the surgeon prescribed it for me when I saw him last Wednesday. I intend to take it tomorrow, for the first dose in the morning as it should not cause me as much pain being liquid, and then use the Endone if I get breakthrough pain. This is all ok with my surgeon.

My question is that it is wonderful to have the pain relief, but I am worried about addiction. At the moment I really do need the pain relief and it is effective, but as I am not due for surgery for another week, feel I really need this. I have found that I really am unable to eat properly now, my tumor is located where the esophagus meets the stomach, and developed in the glands there. I also was told last Saturday that it is in my adrenal glands as well. Both tumors will be removed at the time of the operation. He intends to take about 10cm of my esophagus and about half of my stomach. He will then reattach them and he believe there should not be any problems with this. He has done a few of these procedures and I do have faith in him.

Another question I have is that since starting these morphine based drugs, I am able to manage the stress extremely well. Is this an added effect from the drugs. I do not get any weird feelings, but find I am quite accepting to everything, quite euphoric actually. My cognitive abilities do not appear to be affected.

Another issue I did not anticipate is my daughter, 22 years old,who is not handling all this very well. She is very angry with me, I realize this is a process of grief, but when she is being rude to me I am just calmly taking it and reasoning with her. She works a long way away as a Special Education Teacher and has just begun her career. She will be with me all week so I am involving her this week with doctors appointments, so hopefully this may pass as she learns more and becomes involved personally with my doctors. I hope so, as it is painful to see what she is gong through, but also I really don't need the arguments and abuse at the moment. This is so unlike her, and we have had a very close and loving relationship, so this reaction is stressful to both of us. I know we will get through this, but it will take a lot of patience on my behalf.

Any help with the issue of the pain meds and with my daughter would be greatly appreciated.

stephikindred's picture
stephikindred
Posts: 153
Joined: Mar 2012

I am no expert but I'll tell you what our doctor told us about the pain meds. Not all people get addicted to pain meds, and if you have not had problems with addictions in the past, you are unlikely to become addicted to pain medication. Some people have a propensity toward addictions and those are the ones likely to become addicted to pain meds. Or so I've been told. That was my mom's fear as well, you see.

Regarding you daughter I can't offer much advice. I guess it goes to show you how we all handle things differently. She is obviously having difficulty coping with the prospect of losing you, because she loves you dearly. More than likely when or if she realizes what she is doing she will feel bad about it, but fear is probably blocking her from realizing how she is behaving. I think you are handling it well by being calm, and I agree when her mind is busy focusing on what needs to be done next week it may help her deal with this better. It takes time to get used to all this.

ozchrissy's picture
ozchrissy
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2012

The surgeon said that he was taking 10cm from my esophagus and about half of my stomach. It is located in my glands at the join of the stomach and esophagus, but has spread to my esophagus. There is also a likelihood that it is in my adrenal gland. That showed up on the CT Scan. I get the results of the PET Scan tomorrow. My surgeon just said that if it hasn't spread to much, ie liver or lymph nodes, he would operate first, and chemo later. I also have a bad heart disease, cardiomyopathy so that may also be a contributing factor as to why they are going this way. The chemo may put extra pressure on my heart. Im having an echocardiograph on Wed and see my cardiologist that day too. This was brought forward a week, so I am anticipating that if I pass the echo, then I will be operated on soon after that. Will know more on Wednesday. My heart is pretty good at the moment, but I do have a biventricular pacer with an ICD, so will probably have my cardiologist present during the op. Not sure what they will do with that, if it can be left on while they do the op. Will be in good hands though as both are excellent, the cardiologist and the surgeon and work closely together.

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

Morphine comes in different strengths. Mom had 15mg, 30, 60, and 100mg. The latter (60 and 100) were in liquid form. Mom started with pills until she could no longer swallow, then moved to liquid. We gave mom morphine under her tongue, but she hated the taste so we did on the sides of the mouth outside between the gums and cheeks. It absorbs into the system. Later we administered the morphine via the feeding tube.

Morphine can be addictive, but everyone reacts differently to drugs, so don't let that sway you from taking whatever drug manages your pain. Addiction is the LEAST of your worries right now. Take whatever kills the pain. Mom was on the 100mg/5ml (5ml was a dropperful or a teaspoon).

Moms and their daughters. Yes, I can relate to your daughter's anger. I would get angry with mom because I wanted her to "snap out of it" (it being whatever issue we were dealing with at the time). I didn't want her to give in to whatever it was she was experiencing at the time. Things like, "I'm not hungry." Me: "Eat anyway!" Her: "I don't want to eat." Me: "You have to eat for strength!" and so the conversations would go. Mom would say, "Don't scold me!" I would say, "Don't argue with me!" I wanted to push push push for recovery. So, like mothers and daughters - we fought and argued, but we loved each other! There were times she'd tell me what to do - I'd say, "Don't tell me what to do! I know what to do!" Mom: "You're my baby daughter, and I WILL tell you what to do!" (I'm 61 mom was 84.) I could have been 104 and I'd still be her "baby daughter".

One more thing about the morphine... I questioned a nurse about how the heck my mom could function given the amount and strength of the morphine she was taking. The nurse said mom has pain receptors firing at their highest level. The morphine she'd ingest would seek out pain receptors and then roost there thus easing her pain. Nurse said if we took the drugs she was taking with NO pain receptors firing, we'd be out for days - bombed. The morphine would seek out pain receptors and finding none would go all over our body and give us the euphoria that druggies seek. So, be not afraid, (as the song says) - take your morphine and let it do it's magic.

Ask your daughter for a hug. Mom did that to me when I'd be angry and upset. It worked. Tell her you love her no matter what she says or does and that she should always remember that. She's just a youngster who's having a really tough time coping.

The answer is love!

stephikindred's picture
stephikindred
Posts: 153
Joined: Mar 2012

"The answer is love!" :)

Good to know about the morphine and the pain receptors too!

sandy1943's picture
sandy1943
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

Taken as prescribed, I don't beleive you will have a problem with addiction. It's good that it is causing you to be euphoric. that will help with the stress level. Morphine made me hallucinate when I was in the hospital. Looking back it still seems the things I was thinking was real.

Your daughter is just having a hard time dealing with the cancer. My oncologist had a therapest that worked with him. My daughter talked to her when she had trouble with depression. It's hard to face this illness when it's someone we love. My daughter quit her job to be availsble when her dad couldn't.This was a way she had of dealing. She was working a part time job that she didn't care for and she couldn't deal with it and the emotions she was going through.

Praying for your daughter and your upcoming surgery,
Sandra

ozchrissy's picture
ozchrissy
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2012

Oh I love this group already. Thanks for all the information, and things are starting to get better with my daughter. And you are right, love will fix it is working.

I have an echocardiograph tomorrow (Wed) morning and see the Cardiologist in the afternoon. They want to make sure that my heart is strong enough to cope with the surgery. The PET Scan results are also back, so he will give me the results then. The surgeon is still out of town, but will be back by Thursday. My daughter is coming with me tomorrow so hopefully she will feel better after talking to my cardiologist, I have been with him for over 10 years, so he knows her well also. Hopefully we will have a plan by tomorrow night and know what I need. There was something on my Adrenal Gland in the CT scan, so we will know more about that tomorrow and also I am keeping everything crossed that there is no further organ involvement.

I am now so thankful that I have had the morphine question answered, and I am no longer worrying about addiction. I am taking the sachet of morphine in the morning, (easier to get down) and within an hour I am able to eat and take my other pills. I don't seem to be having any side effects, EXCEPT THAT THE PAIN STOPS. Loving that part of it.

Thanks again everyone, Chris

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

You probably won't have side effects because you are in intense pain. The morphine will go to the pain site. My mom used to get up early in the a.m. and I'd give her the dose of morphine - she'd go immediately back to bed for about 30+ minutes, then get up for coffee and the rest of her pills. The morphine helped her tremendously.

Big hugs, Chris!

Heeran's picture
Heeran
Posts: 173
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi I'm Heeran,
I was worried about the pain med addiction as well with my mom. My best friend is a nurse I remembered what she said to me, "Of all the things to worry about with his cancer, if you mom comes out of this with an addiction, then we can deal with that later. Right now, we have to control her pain and get through the treatment plan." Then it put things back into perspective for me. As far as your daughter, not sure where that is coming from. The type my mom has came from smoking. Ever since I was about 9, I've been tryng to get my parents to stop. The latest was 2/3 years ago. My mom tried but couldn't. My dad barely even tried. Then he told me to never, EVER ask them to stop smoking again. He stated he is sick and tired of me complaining about it. They would smoke until their last day on earth and it gave them more stress when I complained or tried to get them to stop. Then it ended with a "you worry about your life and we'll worry about ours" So yes, I was and am angry but i'm angry internally. I really hope you work this out with your daughter.

Cora11's picture
Cora11
Posts: 177
Joined: Sep 2011

Regarding all opiates, as others have said everyone is different. But what you need to understand is that tolerance is different than addiction. Over time ( and that time can vary for individuals) one develops tolerance to pain meds and often a dose that works for a while, stops working and one needs more. The reason for that is that the brain has receptors on the cells for opiates. Over time, the cells create more receptors. Then the body needs more opiates. And the cycle can escalate so that while for a time, say 40 mg of an opiate works, one might start to need more. That is the definition of tolerance of physical dependence. But the important thing is that you need the pain control and comfort. If there comes a time to stop the pain meds after being on them for a long time, you can slowly decrease the pain meds and the receptors calm down. The most important thing is comfort right now and if / when the time comes to change or stop the medication you can do that slowly.

Cora

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

Good info, Cora. Well said.

RebeccaM94
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi there,
I'm 17 yrs old and my dad has ec, and i can deffidently relate to ... your daughter. I find that too often i catch myself getting upset with my dad for not taking care of himself with the things that i cant do or he wont let me do. But I am trying to hold back, and i am getting counselling to get some coping methods. If your daughter was to come on here i would be happy to chat with her :) Good luck and its really amazing how patient you are being.
Rebecca

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