Pain and Pills by Matt Barlow

March 11, 2016

There seems to be an accepted premise that if you feel pain then you take pain medication. If you indulge me I would like to share my personal story with pain medication and how the after affects I am still feeling 10 years later and will most likely affect me for the rest of my life.  As you don’t know me I will have to state that I am an athlete and have been an athlete for most of my life, I will cover this topic in future blogs. 

This particular story started in my late teenage years as I joined a premiership rugby club and was given several really bad pieces of advice. The worst one was to regularly take pain killers to eliminate joint and general pain. My potential rugby career ended under a surgeons knife and then a year of self reflection. This reflection ended with a realization I wanted to be in the military. 

I joined Royal Marines Commando training over a decade ago, very shortly after starting training I started to get thoracic back pain. This is where the athlete mentality and pain medication coupled together can produce life long negative effects. I reverted back to my knowledge I was given as an aspiring professional athlete and I started to self medicate pain medication and push through my weakness. This is where things snowballed fast, before I had finished the 62 weeks of officer training I had experienced several episodes where I lost the feeling in both my arms on long marches. The pain medication an