Originally Posted by pupcake
"Can anyone tell me if it's normal to need prescription pain meds for at least 3 weeks or so after surgery? Could it be that I'm getting addicted to this stuff and by trying to get off of it, the pain is getting worse?"
You are probably not getting physically addicted but perhaps mentally.
A lot of "drug seeking behavior" in chronic pain pts is the fear of running out and being in unrelieved pain. It's not that they are addicts jonesing for more meds.
When I have had abdominal surgeries (3) I have never needed all the pain medications given at discharge, let alone refills. (but that is me- I do have a "normal" pain tolerance-I can't judge your pain)
After 3 weeks perhaps you should try other forms of pain relief. Tylenol, heat, etc. That's usually what I did during recovery. I did have the safety net of narcotics left which mad it easier as I didn't have to worry about things getting out of control.
I'm not sure your surgeon would want to give more meds esp since you say your pain is more in your back now.
I hope things get better
I noticed that the pain seems worse after bowel movements. Maybe it's because I have to strain at times? I don't know. One thing I should have mentioned was that prior to surgery, they put in an epidural catheter for post-surgical pain relief. It's not far from the area where most of the pain is located. Could that have something to do with it???
Also, standing for any length of time can be unbearable, even once the vicodin's kicked in. I was in line at a local store for a long time and was in agony.
I'm going to try to lie down for awhile. If worse comes to worse, I'll make an after-hours call to my surgeon's answering service to try and get help.