rock and a hard place

Pain management is not easy when you have GI problems.  The choice is between NSAIDs which upset my stomach and narcotics which deaden my intestine.  I’m down to only a few percocet a day (I’m 5 days post-op so I think this is pretty good) but to manage the pain, I’m taking copious amounts of ibuprofen.  This AM I woke up to that old familiar epigastric pain – the sharp stab just left of the midline of my abdomen (about 2 inches below my sternum) and the hollow ache immediately below and through to my back.  I know that pain.  That’s gastritis pain.  Which is a warning that the ibuprofen needs to slow down or stop.

So what are my options?  Not much it seems.  Keep taking the ibuprofen and increase the stomach symptoms (pain, nausea, no appetite) or increase the narcotic and slow down my bowel, which leads to bloating right where I don’t need it, pressure, and straining to poop – all of which increases the pelvic pain and pressure.  I think the other options are take the narcotics but add a motility drug (I’m already taking a stool softener 2x a day) or switch to celebrex and tylenol.

However, I know that the insurance company will not want to pay for the celebrex.  I also worry that if I call and present these options to the surgical team, they are likely to bristle at my impudence.

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