Hi tlarmstrong2; :lol:
Welcome to our family. I am sorry that you are having such difficulties and that you seem to be saddled with a thoughtless doctor. Yes, it might be a good idea to find a new doctor. Obviously, this one has never suffered a day in his life and has no idea how we have to deal with pain 24 hours/day..seven days/week. Our pain never goes away, it just changes to some other body part, some other organ or goes from bad to excruciating!! No one should have to suffer with pain; it does not build character, it does not make you stronger, it merely makes you suffer!
Prednisone is not so much a pain reliever as it is an immunosuppressant. In Lupus, the immune system produces antibodies against our otherwise healthy tissues (in essence, the antibodies attack our healthy tissues). These antibodies become overactive and cause undesirable effects, the primary one being inflammation in our tissues and our organs. Prednisone works to suppress these overactive antibodies, which in turn reduces inflammation which, hopefully, eases some of the pain. This process takes a while. Most doctors will prescribe medication specfically for pain so that we do not have to continue to suffer while waiting for our medication to take effect. One of the most important aspects of treating Lupus is to try to get our pain under control. We must do much more than just taking one pain pill, or even a couple of pain pills in a day. Our pain management is prescribed to break our body's cycle of pain. To do that, we usually need to go on a full 24 hours of intensive pain medication, followed by another two days of milder pain medication. Sometimes eliminating that pain is not possible with just one dose of medication, especially if you have been in pain for several days, or weeks. The body has trained itself to be in constant pain. The muscles now think that to be in pain is normal.
So .. you need to break the cycle. By taking pain medication on a strict time schedule for at least 3 days, EVEN if the pain goes away by the end of the first day, you can break this cycle of everyday pain. Granted, you may not get rid of all of the pain, but at least the pain will be reduced to a manageable level.
The most common pain medications are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, Nurofen or Rafen) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol, Actimol, and Atasol). If these do not work effectively on pain, we are often prescribed medications such as Fentanyl Transdermal (Otherwise known as the Duragesic patch, a narcotic analgesic), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, as it's commonly called), Meperidine (Demerol), or Oxycodone (Also known as OxyContin).
There are many other medications that are used for chronic pain management. These include Darvon, Nubain, Talwin and many others too numerous to mention in this post. The point is, there are other options besides "toughing it out" when it comes to pain management. Suffering with chronic pain is NOT necessary. It doesn't make you a better person, it doesn't mean that you're stronger than a person who takes pain medication, and it doesn't really make any sense at all for anyone, especially a doctor, to suggest that pain is good for you.
When our pain is under control, we're happier, more able to cope, more competent and more productive. Unnecessary suffering should be avoided as a waste of our energy. Find a new doctor, talk to that doctor about prescribing something to manage your pain, and don't be afraid to speak up for yourself and demand that you be treated for you pain and any other symptoms that you may have.
Pain relief shouldn't be considered a luxury. It's your right!
Keep Us Posted..
Peace and Blessings
Prednisone is often given with Plaquenil.
Look For The Good and Praise It!