Pain Medication and Laxatives

During Stage Six of treatment, pain management became a critical issue. Swelling in my abdomen became so severe that I was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room three times in one week. Dr. Hart, my conventional oncologist, decided to admit me to the hospital for further evaluation.

In the hospital doctors prescribed Oxycontin—a 12-hour, time-release pain medication—which I took twice a day. Up until that point, I took the pain medication Oxycodone on an as-needed basis. Now, for the first time, I had pain medication in my body 24/7. This medication provided my body with a baseline of relief. I still had the Oxycodone prescription for additional relief, as needed, but having a constant baseline in my system really helped stabilize the situation.

The pain medication was effective in reducing my pain. I also managed to keep my mind sharp while on the medication. It did not make me loopy :) This was important since my goal was to live an active, full life.

The main side effect of the pain medication was constipation. In order to minimize this side effect, I was directed to take two over-the-counter medications daily—Colace, a stool softener, and Senna, a gentle laxative. If constipation persisted, I was to take a slightly stronger over-the-counter laxative, Ducolax. I listened to the doctor’s recommendations, but I followed my body; I did not take the stool softener and the laxatives exactly as prescribed. That was too rigid for my body. I kept the doctor’s recommendations in mind but also checked in daily with my body to get an internal sense of what was needed each day.

For more information on the management of pain through medication, as well as through alternative remedies, please see my video From Helpless to Empowered.


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