I am still alive and kicking. Thank you for all the wonderful words of encouragemant and prayers last week when I had my emotional meltdown during my detox and ended up in the hospital.
Well, this is a new week, it has been 17 days clean for me now from any sort of narcotic and I really think I have turned the corner on this detox nightmare. The physical symptoms ended quite quickly (within 5 days or so), but the EMOTIONAL MESS was completely overwhelming and absolutely derailed me because I was totally unprepared for such serious mental anguish involved in the detox process. Let me clarify one thing: I can honestly say there have been ZERO drug cravings, which surprises the hell out of me. But, the deep sense of anguish that would overwhelm me several times a day was unbearable, resulting in myself going to the emergency room last Thursday for SOME sort of help.
The past 3 days have been MUCH better in the emotional rollercoaster...I feel a lot more like myself mentally, more in touch and feeling more capable of dealing with life's daily challenges (something that was completely out of the question the past 2 weeks).
But now I face another challenge that has me extremely concerned.
Those who know my story will remember that I was a Pain Management patient who had a spinal surgery in Oct 2005 that did not provide any sort of pain relief as anticipated. SO, from the date of my surgery until 17 days ago, I never experienced a single day opiate-free.....all of it legally prescribed by a single doctor.
I know that when you detox after long-term opiate use, you go through a period of "rebound" pain, where your body's nerve endings are raw and searching frantically for that narcotic 'fix'. The first 4-5 days of my CT detox was like having a very bad flu...painwise. Every inch of my body ACHED like never before. It was that deep bone pain that so many on this board have described having experienced during their detox. The thing is, after about 5 days, this cleared up and I found myself physically feeling just like I did prior to my surgery: Debilitating pain in my neck and upper thoracic area....the EXACT same pain that originally sent me to a neurosurgeon 3 yrs ago.
A question I have.....is it possible that this is still some sort of "rebound pain" resurfacing, or is this the level of pain manifesting itself that I am going to have to live with going forward. Because, if the latter is true, I have a serious problem.......I simply CANNOT bear this level of constant throbbing pain in my neck and back.
This afternoon, I was in so much pain that I was literally in tears, lying on my back in the middle of the livingroom floor trying to get some sort of relief. The pain is SO bad, that I made a statement tonight to my family that, if this is what I have to bear going forward on a daily basis, then THIS quality of life is not worth it to me. I cannot do anything without debilitating pain. I can't even lie in my bed at night due to the pain.
I made an appointment to see my primary care doctor tomorrow morning to discuss this situation. I am no addiction guru and truly do not know if what I am feeling is an exaggerated sense of pain or not. But my terrible fear is being put back on the narcotic pain meds. A year ago, my neurosurgeon told me that my spine on MRI looked like that of a 75 yr old man (I am 46) and that he thought it was a very real possibility that I might have to take some sort of pain medicine the rest of my life.
My doctor (the one I am seeing tomorrow) has already tried to sell me on ULTRAM......which I REFUSE to take. Just reading the horror stories of the poor souls on this forum alone that have gotten addicted to that drug and how so very bad the withdrawal process is, there is NO WAY I am heading down that road. I would rather be put back on the darvocet than Ultram.
I have already tried Lyrica which made me violently sick.....so what other NON narcotic options are out there???
I am in SO much pain that I am finding myself popping 15 or more Ibuprophens a day (4 x 200mg at a time) and getting absolutely NO relief from that ....and I KNOW that such high amounts of Ibuprophen can't be any healthier that the toxic amounts I tylenol I was ingesting during my 3 yrs of taking over 7,000 mg of tylenol a day.
I know this post has rambled on, but I am really looking for some guidance. Am I being too eager to feel good? I know 17 days clean from opiates is not a long time, but I HAVE to get SOME sort of pain relief before I end up doing something I regret....
I know where you are coming from. I have days with pain so I figure I will have to be on meds forever. Then there is the days when I want free of them soooo freaking bad. I dont really have any advice for you. When I was injured in 2000, my last work comp dr took me totally off vicodin and just gave me a musle relaxer and ambien, I remember vomiting and shaking but only for like 2 weeks. I am obviously much more scared now, what has changed not really sure. Ive been on and off them twice since then and been on them full speed now for a bout 3 years. Maybe that is the problem. I know alot of it is in my head. Then the PAIN sucks!!!
Today, a totally serious, no silliness response. Yes, rebound pain can last, in varying degrees, for a few weeks. In my experience:
I had pretty constant pain before beginning the taper from oxycodone. As I got into the taper, leg pain and left gut pain (my primary areas) began slowly to recede with ocassional flareups. As the taper ended, I had little pain with ocassional minor flareups. The rebound pain did not hit until a week-ten days after the end of the taper. I suffered pretty bad nagging, long-lasting headaches as well as backaches (both new) and my legs.. both of them, ached. Finally, pain levels just kind of disappeared. Sometimes, my bad leg would throb, but more often my good leg would hurt. I know, sounds weird. I think it is maybe because I have a lot of nerve damage in my bad leg that actually helped me not to feel as much pain in it any longer.
As the taper from Xanax fades away, I am again feeeling some rebound pain. I am again, it seems, at the stage of little pain with ocassional flare ups. Last night I had deep, deep bone pain in the lower bone of my good leg. Oh, how it ached. I just went with the flow of it and fell asleep after laying in bed for a while. This morning it is gone. Was it the weather or the last search for xanax? I think maybe the Xanax as no other bones hurt, but I am not sure.
Lou, please give it a couple of more weeks. perhaps chart it... write down the pain only when being busy does not distract you enough to forget the pain or ignore it. When you absolutely can not ignore it and function, make a note of it, then try to engage in life again. After a number of days, look at your notes and see if the pain actually incapacitated you as much as you think. Judge whether you feel the pain or think about the pain more often. That should give you some black and white evidence of a truer pain level. What do you think?
Also, start researching more supplements... Gloucosomine/Chrondroitin, Magnesiuim, Omega3 Fish Oil, Selenium, Zinc, etc. The body has an amazing ability to heal and restore itself if we give it enough of the vital elements it needs for the process for when it needs them.
LOU --what you are dealing with right now is a HUGE problem in the USA today. There are so many people on opiates that have legitimate pain problems and simply become addicted only because of the DR's orders. I could see it in my DR's eyes when I told him that I had been abusing the meds that HE FELT responsible. BACK TO YOU PROB. Anatomically, you are feeling REAL PAIN. When we bombard our brain with opiates, we numb ourselves and basically "CURE" our pain. That is why they created the drug. IT works, but we get addicted and need more to sustain the same "feeling". I TOTALLY sympathize with you because physically (by date) we are in the same boat, ONE DIFFERENCE, you legitimtely NEED a pain med and I do not. What I am getting at is that you are feeling the neck pain because you still have NECK PAIN. You just numbed the pain and did not fix the problem. This is what the stupid pain meds do. I have ACHES and PAINS that ibuprophen works fine for, but you do not. That is what you have to tell your DR. PUT THE DR. in a bad spot. Force him to realize that you do not and can not have a Vicodin, Ultram, darvocet, percocet, NO NARCOTIC. They do not fix the problem, they just numb it. Get to the bottom of the actual problem- ie. MRI, SCANS, EVALS, PT. and work on a natural cure for your injury. YOU WILL GET BETTER. you i was so long winded, i havent written on here in a while and THIS TOPIC, Pisses me off.
"1 is too many and 1000 is not enough" -
Hey Coder. Good for you!!! Really. I read your post and you are correct with the emotional side. Man, that is an absolute killer and you made it through. I hope you can find a dr that you feel comfortable with and trust. I hope you are able to talk to them about the mess narcos caused you and you are in horrible pain. There has to be something to try. Nobody should go through live living like that. Just be prepared for the emotional roller coaster. You will have lots of high and low points for the next months. Hang in there.
I don't really know anything about rebound pain.....I know your body is going through a big transition that can take months to actually level out. Your body is just not "used to" dealing with pain, and if the pain is all in the same places it was, then like Meddguy said, it is probably because it was never addressed.
Gosh, I really don't know what's out there that isn't narcotic you can take for that kind of pain. The pharmcuetical companies would be out of business if there was!
I hope there's something that can be done. Just be oh so careful that this pain does not lead you back to where you were because of desperation! You've come so far and been through so much, I would hate to see you back where you were. I think Meddguy's right, that your doc needs to address the actual problem instead of putting a bandaid on it. As we all know, it hurts to rip that bandaid off!
Hope you get to feeling better!
Keep your head up!
Hey Coder - I only have a few minutes right now but will post in length later. Your story sounds alot like mine - 40 yrs old, CP patient, severe thoracic outlet syndrome with two rib resections as well as a spinal stimulator that did not work and had to be removed. I have severe nerve damage in my thoracic area and neck due to the compression being there for so long -the story goes on and on and on.................... been on oxy, hydro and every thing else they could think of. I have been clean for 18 months now (only after the help of rehab and losing about everything I had) but do use ultram only when needed (my hubby keeps them) - one thing that I do use that helps me tremendously is Cymbalta. It is an anti depressant that also has qualities (or whatever you call them) for nerve pain. I did try to stop taking them for a short while and there was a major difference in my pain level. I would like to talk to you later when I have more time.
Just thought I'd let you know what has worked some for me.