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There are as many reasons for pain as there are diseases which cause them. I was diagnosed with Systemic Scleroderma 5+ yrs ago at the age of 38. Two years into the disease the pain got so bad I could barely function. Fortunately, I have a doctor who recognizes that Scleroderma can cause horrific pain. I take many of the pain meds described in the other posted messages in the forum. Before Scleroderma I could handle pain. I had 5 C-sections in 7 yrs, I broke my foot etc. and I required nothing more than tylenol for the pain, but I have met my match with Scleroderma. Am I dependant on the narcotics that I take? probably. But I also know that I take them strictly & exactly as they are prescribed. By being pain free or close to it, I can take care of my five children, volunteer at school, particpate in community activities and enjoy a near normal life. Narcotics are dangerous only when abused. An addict takes their drugs and will retreat from the real world. Some of those same drugs allow me to partipate in the world around me, unencumbered by mind-numbing pain. I will always have scleroderma, it is likely with the damage done to my body by Scleroderma, I will unfortunately also suffer with pain. Pain medications have given me my life back. And for the record, before being prescribed narcotics, I tried several alternative methods of pain relief- the Edgar Cayce Foundation, acupuncture, herbal remedies, reiki, message therapy, meditation and some very expensive nutritional products that promised alot but delivered nothing. When I'm in pain, I take my pain medicine and thank God that I live in a place in time where I can get relief from the ravages of this terrible disease. Pain relievers, especially narcotics get a bum rap and there is sometimes a stigma attached to those who take them. How unfortunate that those who abuse medicines make it that much harder for those of us who don't.