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Old 01-31-2008, 10:21 AM   #1
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Big Problem

Hello
I am new here and desperate for some advice. I have disc problems in the lumbar region that have been bothering me off and on for years. 6 months ago I started taking percocet to help with the chronic back pain and sciatic pain. I tried for a while to avoid pain meds, knowing my history of pill abuse in the past. 6 months later and my life revolves around my pills. I was taking about 10 5/325 percs a day. My doc now has me on 4 of the 10/325 a day. I have been taking about 5 a day, so at the end of the month I am going to have a problem. Anyway, I am deciding how to stop the pills, I just can't do it anymore. I crave them 2-3 hours after my last pill and enjoy the euphoric feeling. Part of me would like to go the rehab, but I don't want to leave my family for a month. Should I try tapering off at home? Cold turkey?
Help!
Thanks

 
Old 01-31-2008, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: Big Problem

I guess first question I have would be... do you still have back pain?

 
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Big Problem

flimba...Welcome! I'm sorry to hear about your pain and your Percocet ordeal. If you're running out of meds early, then you need to have a sit down with your doc and discuss it. Cold turkey? No. That will not work. Tapering? That could work, but your doctor needs to oversee this. I'd just be honest with your doc and maybe he'll get you on a schedule for tapering down or for getting off of them completely. It's going to get better...just be honest. Prayin' for you!

 
Old 01-31-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: Big Problem

And I agree with Ann...if you still have back pain, then coming off of your meds may not be the answer. Maybe you could get on something long-acting. Good luck!

 
Old 01-31-2008, 07:45 PM   #5
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Re: Big Problem

if you are actually "enjoying" that euphoric feeling they give you,i would most definitely start looking into other options for pain control.it would appear from what you have said here that staying on any form of narcotic could prove to be a huge problem for you.there are just many other options to try and manage even the worst types of pain without the use of any narcotic,there are also surgical options for certain types of back problems that can be tried and used successfully.have you ever consulted an ortho about possible surgical options or actually had an MRI done?did your doc ever actually try any other types of non narcotic meds for your pain or just do the percs?raising you up to the 10mg percs is just kind of a big deal for a primary to do unless the patient is waiting for surgery or this is done only short term.its just a bit bigger deal than Rxing the 5mg.it just requires much more documentation and oversight by your primary to go there.what exactly,besides the sciatica is the nature of your back issues(how severe are your herniations?)?maybe its just time for surgical intervention.living on pain meds when there are options to help get rid of the problem,or trying other therepys is just sometimes a much better option for some patients.

i would most defintiely speak with your doc honestly about your problem and your concerns.going off of oxy on a good taper plan would probably be the best way to go.i do think that doing some level of rehab/treatment would be very very helpful.it does not have to be an inpatient facility.i did mine out patient and it went really well for me.this would be best started right after the taper is done.but the bigger thing here is what you really need to do about your back issues since it wouldn't do you much good to get yourself clean and then have to have a surgery that would have to at least temporarily place you right back onto the narcotics,you know what i mean?this all really needs to be discussed with your doc all at one time.you just need to know where you are at medically and what options would be availiable to you to possibly help with your back problems.you just need to set some sort of a plan into motion here.direction is always a good thing to have in place.just make an appt with your doc.i wish you luck flimba,please let us know how things are going.Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 02-01-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Re: Big Problem

I appreciate the feedback, it is nice to know others understand my predicament. Feelbad, is it really a big deal for doctors to prescribe 10mg percs? Is that unusual? I have had an MRI and there are three herniated discs in the lumbar area. I am starting physical therapy next week, I am also on Lyrica for the pain. (Not sure if it is helping, but my doc says give it time.)
At this point, I think i would rather live with the pain and get off the narcotics.

 
Old 02-01-2008, 06:20 PM   #7
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Re: Big Problem

If your gut says to get off them, then you should at least try. I'd sit down with the Doc and have a conversation about how you'd like to try to stop the meds (not because you enjoy them, but because you don't like effects). Tell him you've thought a lot about the risk/reward ratio and you'd rather be in some pain rather than take pills (at least try)....This will probably go a long way with the Doc. However, if the pain is too much, you'd like the option to go back on the meds and you'd like to have a plan for such. I'm guessing this type of consultation with the Doc will go a long way and show him you're serious about doing the right thing and not just there for pain meds. PM patients fall into one of three buckets with Docs......(1) Those who are truly in pain and the Doc trusts those patients without a doubt, (2) Those who are in pain, but also can't quite be completely trusted due to some suspicious behavior or something has happened in the past (early refill for example), and (3) Those who are drug seekers and Docs don't trust at all, but treat (and watch very carefully) due to medical ethics. Obviously, you want to be in the first bucket.

Just my .02 worth. Good luck!

 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:15 AM   #8
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Re: Big Problem

flimba.the 10mg percs are just much stronger than giving a patient an Rx for the 5/325 and with the possibility of taking two at a time.its a pretty strong narcotic to just be having an actual primary doc Rx.if your pain is of the nature that it requires having the 10mg percs rxed on a regular basis,that is usually when your doc should be discussing other options,you know what i mean?its not considered "normal' protocal for the med and the way it should be Rxed.its just kind of a bigger deal,thats all.you rarely would hear of most primarys going this route unless,like i mentioned before,you are waiting for a surgery to happen(on a temporary basis).it just shouldn't be done as a 'routine' type practice thats all.it also places you at much higher risk of furthering what could be a blossoming addiction and would create a tolernace that much sooner.if you were seeing an actual pain management type of doc and this was being used for BT pain(and in most cases,this still would be a long way off),it would be considered much more acceptable to do.but not where you are at with your current situation.

adding the lyrica was an excellent idea.this med can really help with the type of pain you are having from your particular generator.some people have side effects with it but others have really good results.PT will also help you some depending on what that will consist of.what your doc is doing now would be considered more within the primarys type of guidelines.finding other options for your pain management besides just upping someones narcotic is always the best way to go.i have had some really amazing results in trying other options besides just narcotics alone.using medrol for a flare in just trying to knock down inflammation is also a good idea.but the very best thing you can do for yourself is what i mentioned before?just sitting down with your primary and discussing options,even the surgical ones just to try and rid this pain all together at this point.six years is a very long time to have to live with what much be some pretty severe pain,ya know?you just reach a point when in the type of situation you currently are where you have to make some decisions about what you need to do for yourself that would be better for you in the long run.when was the last time you had an MRI? what did it actually show?have you ever actually consulted with an ortho to see what may be fixable or to offer you other options?i really do think just having that in depth chat with your primary about what you really need to do here is the best way to attack this at this point.believe me,having to spend your life on narcotics is just not what you want to be doing.it brings along with it alot of other problems that just happen when you are having to be on any level of narcotic meds,espescially what you are currently on.

i would at least find out just where you are at within your spine here and then discuss everything with your primary to come up with the best ways to deal with it.if your last MRI was a while ago,you DO need a follow up comparison one done.or if you have never actually had one,you DO need one done at this point.any real choices or options that would present for you would still be up to you to decide.but you do need all of the info in order to make the best possible decisions for yourself.the thing about any real spinal issues is most ARE progressive in nature and will eventually if not already,start compromising nerves.if those nerves stay compromised for too long you can end up with what is called neuropathic type pain that will not usually even respond to any narcotic.that is where this would be headed at some point.i really do wish you luck with this.please keep me posted as to what you find out,K?marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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