I've been in recovery for soma addiction for almost 14 years now. When I went into recovery, I gave up all narcotic medications (rx's), alcohol and even smoking! I take my recovery very seriously. HOWEVER, I have serious back problems that I kept under control for a long time with 800mg Motrin (Rx strength) and a Thermophore heating pad (Gotta get one of these! they are awesome for pain - gets really hot, then you let go of the latch and it cools, then heat up again - realllly makes a huge difference). Anyway, I got to a point this last fall when I moved wrong and put my lumbar spine out. I have surgery scheduled mid FEb (soonest I could get in), but in the meantime my pain level is not being controlled adequately by OTC pain meds, so I am on Rx pain meds.
The important thing to remember as an addict in recovery is to NEVER forget that I AM AN ADDICT. I take my meds ONLY as prescribed and won't take one extra or one minute sooner, etc. My recovery program dictates that there may be times I will need medical intervention and during those times, I will follow EXACTLY as my doctor prescribes.
When you first stop pain meds, tho, you have 'rebound pain' for a while - so several months at least with nothing before you even know what you're really working with. Then, for me I can only take a medication that takes the edge off the pain - if I get a 'buzz' or feel 'high' from it, the dosage is immediately either lowered, or the medication changed. As an addict, it's imperative that I NOT reawaken these parts of my brain. My doc put me on duragesic patches - and even tho I never felt a buzz or high, I had breakthru pain right away, so he increased the dosage; again, less than two weeks and had breakthru pain again - now at 75 mg, I faced either going up in dosage again or....stopping them, which is what I did. Why? I was sleeping 23 hours a day and in horrible pain the hour I was awake. So, basically I was 'overdosing' (the sleeping), but my body was still begging for more (the bad pain when i was awake). It was four really hard days of withdrawal with nothing more than tylenol or motrin, lots of juices and water, lots of chocolate (yes, it really does help pain levels :-), sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, shaking and hot/then cold, etc...complete withdrawal. When my head cleared, I KNEW I had done the right thing, even tho they didn't give me a buzz, my body was sucking up those narcotics like crazy.
It's our responsibility, as addicts in recovery, to recognize things like this and stop them. Don't be afraid to tell your doc 'i need more pain relief' OR 'I need a smaller dose, this one will mess with my sobriety". As recovering addicts, we cannot have full pain relief - it just doesn't happen, except when you are lucky enough to fall asleep. The rest of the time, the price we pay for being addicts is that we must feel some of our pain. Chances are we've already taken a lifetime supply of pain meds anyway
Hang tough.....keep relaxing music and a CD player nearby; take hot soaking baths; use heating pads, Sportscreme works wonders for me (OTC for sore muscles) - maybe it's the massage
Surround yourself with fluffy pillows,(I bought the SOFTEST microfiber lightweight blanket in the world and it's such an incredible comfort!) herbal aromas (lavender is relaxing and helps with pain and healing), feed all your senses and you will find that your pain level will eventually even out to something you really CAN live with. When you need to writhe and moan, do that. Rock yourself while humming - it's incredibly soothing and calming. Our bodies were made to deal with pain without drugs and we can do it with just a little help to take the edge off. You will find things of your own that comfort you....these are just some examples of what I do when it gets bad. I writhed in bed so bad one day that I ended up undoing a knee surgery I had a few years ago, so now I have not only my back problem, but my knee too! (It's *almost* funny - you just have to get into the right frame of mind. I know someday I *will*look back and laugh at this, right???)
When I need a laugh......there's always the look on my husband's face when he comes into the room and sees me rocking myself and moaning......LOL. God forbid he should ever know this level of pain. It does work tho. Hopefully something here will help someone.
Hang tough - put pictures that make you smile where you can see them - sayings that keep you strong (a friend emailed me a pic of "Mighty Mouse" LOL and I printed it out and taped it next to my bed - it makes me smile. Just silly little things make a big difference.
ONE DAY AT A TIME - You really CAN DO IT!
Do one minute at a time if you have to. Don't look at the 'big picture' just do TODAY....that's all. Do what is right in front of you to the best of your ability - and maybe that's just enduring pain; but do it the very best you can - call upon all your resources to help you - it's amazing how strong we are when we get determined......