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Severe medication allergies and caesarean recovery with no pain relief

(23 Posts)
Titchypanda Sat 06-Aug-16 09:57:45

Hi, I'm worried about the possibility of having to have a section. I am allergic to opiates and all pain meds except paracetamol. I understand I'll probably have to go under general anaesthetic if have a section but I am worried about the recovery process with no pain relief.

Due to family history it's likely I will have a section and my sister who has a very high pain tolerance was in agony through her section recovery despite morphine and strong painkillers.

So i am pretty terrified.

Have any of you been through caesarean recovery with only paracetamol or no pain meds? I'd be grateful for some advice. Thanks!

MachiKoro Sat 06-Aug-16 10:00:57

Hi, has tour consultant suggested you'll need a section? I thought he anaesthetic for a general was opiate based.

welshweasel Sat 06-Aug-16 10:02:38

In what way are you allergic to all these medications?

Expellibramus Sat 06-Aug-16 10:04:51

It can be painful afterwards, but I think if you really were taken care of you could be OK. I don't get any relief from a lot of pain killers so took just nurofen after my first. A lot of the pain for me was trapped wind shoulder pain and think there are ways to relieve that. Also if you're well looked after so you can take it easy it will go a long way,

AnnaT45 Sat 06-Aug-16 10:08:16

I've just had my second c section and would struggle just on paracetamol to be honest. I think people forget its major surgery and thus requires a lot of pain relief. The pain isn't so bad when you're lying down not moving but once you try move it can be very painful. In hospital I had morphine and paracetamol and now I'm home i take paracetamol and very occasionally codeine to take the effect off if needed as I have an allergy to ibuprofen. I can just about manage on paracetamol now but that's after a few days on the morphine. I think you would need to discuss this with a consultant to be honest. I hope you find a solution.

Chrysanthemum5 Sat 06-Aug-16 10:11:34

I've had two sections with only paracetamol for pain relief after as that's the only pain medication I can take. Obviously there was other pain relief during the operations themselves.

I don't know what it's like for women who can take other pain relief but for me paracetamol was ok. It was painful but not unbearable. I was up and walking to the loo within a few hours and stayed in hospital both times for 3 days.

Paracetamol is actually a pretty good pain killer but it has to be taken at regular intervals to keep it topped up.

Hope that helps

ProbablyMe Sat 06-Aug-16 10:13:38

When you're in hospital they could perhaps give you IV paracetamol which is MUCH more effective and long lasting than the oral version. I'm afraid this isn't much help once you're home though, sorry.

DocMcFanjo Sat 06-Aug-16 10:14:19

Hmmm. I'm day 4 post section and would be fine with just paracetamol now but certainly the first day or two would have been a struggle without having a few doses of diclofenac and morphine.... Probably just about doable though... Maybe??

What about alternatives like anaesthetic blocks or something? Or getting input from a pain expert now?

MadrigalElectromotive Sat 06-Aug-16 10:15:55

I had paracetamol and diclofenac in hospital. Never needed morphine. I went home on day 2 and didn't need any kind of pain relief after day 4. To be honest, for me, it really wasn't that painful so it isn't a foregone conclusion that it would be for you! Good luck!

thumb3lina Sat 06-Aug-16 10:20:38

I had a GA section so no spinal to help with the pain but I had no painkillers (not even paracetamol) after about 18-20 hours from the operation. It was painful but bearable. When I woke up however, I wasn't given enough painkillers and that was very painful, I'll be honest, I don't think I could cope with just paracetamol for the first few hours after waking up.

TheFairyCaravan Sat 06-Aug-16 10:20:43

I can't take opiates. I've never had a c section, but have had 3 pelvic fusions, and 2 spinal fusions where I've just had paracetamol.

The last pelvic fusion I had, he had to drill away bone at the front of the pelvis, take bone from my hip, put two plates and 8 screws in. My bladder was stuck to my pelvis so he sorted that out, stitched it up because it was torn and then put me all back together. I went home the next day with my box of paracetamol.

Good luck!

Titchypanda Sat 06-Aug-16 10:22:06

Thank you for the advice!

Welsh weasel - the allergies for pain relief are because they affect my breathing and opiates have no effect on pain and make me feel like I'm burning from the inside out and I end up on oxygen.

Machikoro - I'm not sure. I have had general anaesthetic before and been ok except for lots of post op vomitting.

I think it worries me more as it took 2 weeks to recover from a keyhole surgery that should have taken 2 days to recover from as I cannot have any anti inflammatory or pain meds.

galaxygirl45 Sat 06-Aug-16 10:26:06

I wouldn't worry too much - I was given morphine after my 1st c section and reacted badly to it. I managed on paracetamol and naproxen, and you only will need them for the first 2 - 3 days until it all starts to heal. I used Arnica cream and tablets, and swore they halved my recovery time for my 2nd section, and lots of salt water or epsom salts baths help too.

MachiKoro Sat 06-Aug-16 10:37:22

Well, anaesthetic aside, I had no morphine after each of my sections, other than what was.given in theatre (which tbh, I've no clue about, sorry! I'm guessing there would have been some sort of opiate given then).
I don't have much pain afterwards and I'd say if your section is planned, then it's far more likely to be relaxed, and your state of mind will go a long way to getting through it , particularly if you've a high pain threshold.
After 48 hours I took no paracetamol, and I do not have a high pain threshold, quite the opposite.
Healing was fine. The cramps from bfing were no worse than period pains.

SockQueen Sat 06-Aug-16 13:52:47

What do you mean by allergies? Are we talking true anaphylaxis or severe side effects (nausea, vomiting, itching etc?) How many different opioids have you been tested for, if you've actually had testing at all? Sorry if I sound like I'm grilling you, but when it comes to situations like this it's important for the doctors looking after you to know exactly what they're dealing with.

It is possible to give a GA for C-section with no opioids at all, or to give a spinal with no opioid, but pain relief afterwards would be extremely difficult.

You haven't said how far along you are, but if you're getting close to delivery I'd strongly recommend you ask your midwife and/or obstetrician to refer you to see an anaesthetist. They would far rather be able to see you before you go into labour and do any necessary tests and make a plan than try to work it all out in a hurry when you are in pain or your baby is distressed and needs to come out quickly!

Wolpertinger Sat 06-Aug-16 14:06:46

What SockQueen said - in what context have you experienced these allergies? Your anaesthetist will really want to know and not just on the day you turn up for your C-section. It's vital you see one before hand.

Have you always had opioids in emergencies/operations context or as general pain relief? In terms of affecting your breathing it makes a lot of difference.

To reassure you in 12 years of pain medicine I've had a lot of people tell me they are allergic to opioids and so far not one single one has been as long as they are prescribed properly by an expert. They have all had side effects, bad experiences after surgery or prescriptions for pains which were never going to respond to an opioid anyway. Fingers crossed I've never failed to get every one who needed an opioid safely onto one, whatever their previous experience.

InTheDessert Sat 06-Aug-16 14:16:46

I recovered much more slowly from abadomal key hole surgery compared to friends with a c section.
How much of that was pain relief related (I was discharged less than 12 hrs post surgery with paracetamol, I don't know what hey were on), and how much was procedure related, I don't know. But it is more than possible than recovery from a CS will not be as bad as you fear based on the recovery from key hole.

Titchypanda Sat 06-Aug-16 14:20:48

Analgesics make it difficult for me to breathe. I've had reactions in hospital to morphine and when I had surgery last the anaesthetist said I wouldn't be ever able to have anything other then paracetamol due to opiate and other allergies.

Am classed as high risk pregnancy so I have a consultant appointment in 3 weeks so will ask her if I can see an anaesthetist. I'm 4 months along.

Blueberry234 Sat 06-Aug-16 14:22:14

I cannot tolerate opiates my anaesthetist was amazing did an ultrasound and gave me a block to the abdomen which worked so well then I just took paracetamol

GoldenWorld Sat 06-Aug-16 14:22:59

You'll need to have an anaesthetic review in pregnancy. They'll be the best people to advise you as to what pain relief you can have post c-section.

StuffandBother Sat 06-Aug-16 15:18:42

I had IV paracetamol for both my C-sections (I may have had some rectal Diclofenic whilst 'under') and was fine .... Lapro gastric surgery I needed morphine & codeine for! I'm sure you will be fine

Cakescakescakes Sat 06-Aug-16 15:23:35

You need to push to see an anaesthetist asap. I have anaesthetic allergies and had allergy testing during pregnancy to see what they could use if I needed to have an epidural, section etc. They did the actual allergy testing in a prepped theatre in case of anaphylaxis which would mean the baby would need to be delivered straightaway. It was all pretty scary. I was 37 weeks before it got organised despite me requesting it from early in pregnancy. I saw an anaesthetist who specialises in allergies. It was worth it for peace of mind though.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 06-Aug-16 15:24:18

I think I had a couple of doses of voltoral and then it was just paracetamol.

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