Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chronic Pancreatitis and Pain Killers

pancreatitis and painEven when I was in the hospital with Severe Acute Pancreatitis I avoided pain killers with the exception of one really bad episode of pain which resulted from the head GI doctor telling me I was fine, could eat a whole meal and go home.

I ate a whole meal and found myself to be in the worst pain I had ever had related to my pancreas. At that point, I took painkillers. It was temporary and because I knew there was nothing I could do but wait it out, so there was no reason to wait in pain.

My goal is to avoid the pain in the first place. If I eat non-fatty, non-sugary foods in small quantities and then I can generally avoid painful pancreas episodes in the first place - which is the ultimate goal.

I feel that if I am not in pain then I am probably also not hurting my pancreas. The way I look at it is this - if I don't hurt my pancreas I will live longer because it will take me more time to destroy it.

There doesn't seem to be a set timetable for how long we get to live with chronic pancreatitis so my goal is to live as long as possible. The less I hurt the pancreas. The longer I'll live... so I gather.

chronic pancreatitis without painkillers
Noteworthy: A LOT of chronic pancreatitis sufferers end up addicted to narcotics for the pain. Honestly, I can't see how this could help the patience's longevity. Avoiding the pain in the first place seems like a much more realistic, holistic and healthy option both physically and mentally.

Therefore, I do not take pain medicine. If I can feel what is going on in my body then I will better understand my limits. If I can't feel anything then I don't know if I am hurting my pancreas or not.

I want to know how food and activities affect the pancreas. I want to control it. I do not want to be controlled by addictive drugs and the need to be on them to keep from being in pain.

I want to know the source of the pain and avoid it in the first place. I want to know how every pain and chronic pancreatitisfood, drink and meal affects my pancreas. I want to respond to those feelings by curbing my diet appropriately in the future. I cannot do this if I cannot feel what is happening to my body as a result of the food and how my pancreas reacts to it.

I may never be able to get rid of the chronic pancreatitis. I accept that. I understand it is a terminal disease... just like life is a terminal disease. I come from the school of thought that the better care I take of myself the longer I will live and I'd rather live with chronic pancreatitis than not live at all. And I'd rather live relatively pain free with the disease then in pain.

Small meals and no alcohol are where I start in the longevity of my pancreas. Sometimes I'm not that great at eating small meals but I never drink alcohol under any circumstances.


  1. Makes total sense. Very well said.

  2. I've found supplementing with Pancreatin, an over the counter digestive enzyme, helps relieve mine.

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