Medication Tolerance Frustration

I have is a very high medication tolerance. This frequently poses problems in my life. For instance, for my Dilaudid, my pain doctor wrote to take 1-2 mg every six hours PRN and to take a maximum of two doses per day. However, 2 mg barely touches my pain. If I have pain severe enough to give in and take Dilaudid (I will not take medication unless I absolutely cannot bear it), I must take 4 mg to have any effect. I do not get a ‘high’ from it (nor would I wish to). If anything, I might get a little sleepy, but even that is pretty rare. Last semester when I really struggled with dystonia, I used to take Stadol in class or before exams if necessary, and it never once negatively affected my cognitive functioning. I remained awake and alert, and generally received very good grades on my tests. I do not, will not, and have never abused or misused medication. I am not one to be risky and irresponsible like that, and certainly do not engage in illegal activities. I have experienced drug-induced cloudiness as well as drug-induced mania (SSRIs & anesthesia — WORST PERIOD IN MY LIFE), and I absolutely DESPISED every single second of it. I would not take medication to get “high” as I hate that loss of control that many apparently seek. I’ve never even been drunk. I cannot help the fact that my tolerance is so high. My genetics (and perhaps also a built tolerance) are to blame. There are multiple studies out there about the genetic mutations I have with metabolizing certain drugs, as well as research studies about redheads and their increased thresholds for drugs, alcohol and anesthetics.I see a doctor at a pain clinic, and she asks questions and asks me to share things with her– but I am too afraid to tell her that I need more help sometimes. I already have a 7.5 µg Butrans patch and PRN Dilaudid that I use at least once or twice a week… If I tell her that this patch does virtually nothing and that when I have to take Dilaudid, I use more than she recommends, I am afraid she will get upset or, worse, think I am a drug addict or abuser. Narcotic abuse is much more common than I ever thought. After a doctor told me that, I searched “drug seekers” on YouTube and found shows like “Untold Stories of the ER” showing various stories about patients feigning illnesses to get a pain medicine “fix.” Seeing how often doctors see such druggies makes me a bit less angry about being met with rudeness and suspicion in the past…but it’s still a problem. I wish people would just do what they were supposed to and stop making getting help so much harder for those of us who truly need it.

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