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Old 03-09-2009, 03:10 PM   #1
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mjbrook HB User
In a hot mess with pain meds...

First off, hello everyone -- I'm new here, and stumbled across this board while looking for help and supportive people who might have an inkling of what I've been going through.

Anyways, I'm 36, married with 2 grade school kids, and I'm on boatloads of pain meds for various reasons, and it seems to be driving a great big wedge between my husband and I.

I have a medical condition that causes me chronic pain; however, I am at the point where I am not sure if the pain medications are helping anymore or am I just taking them because when I don't, I feel like complete and utter *****.

Five years ago, when my doctor decided that I needed a Pain Management specialist, they put me on oxycontin 10 with percocet 5/325 for breakthru pain. I always took them as prescribed, but after a few months, I found myself taking several percocet daily, because the oxycontin didn't seem to work anymore. So the dr. upped the oxy to 20... and then 30.. and then 40... etc. etc. until after about a year and a half, they put me on fentanyl lollipops. They were doing more harm then good (I was a complete space cadet when on them), and so the Dr. changed the prescription to fentanyl patches. I stayed on the duragesic 50's for nearly three years with alternating percocet/tramadol for breakthru pain before they no longer were effective, and now I'm on ms contin 60s and tramadol.

My husband thinks this is getting ridiculous because the pain is still there, the drugs don't seem to do anything, and he feels that at this point, I take them because my body needs them, and maybe he is right, I don't know. I do know that when I skip a dose (Even one) my body shuts down, I get the shakes, fevers, nausea, sweats, aches, etc. associated with severe withdrawal.

Once, when the dr. tried changing me to a lower dose by my request, she prescribed a patch that helped significantly with the withdrawal. I can't remember what that medication was; I know it was something that is normally prescribed to adults with adhd though. I think that I might be able to try to gradually get off the meds with the help of that patch and the doctor's support, but my husband seems to think I could just quit and be done with it. How do I make him understand it is not that simple without making it seem like I'm trying to justify myself?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

 
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

mjbrook
First of all it is hard to say if you need pain killers when you have been on them so long. The only way to know is to stop taking them and get past the withdrawl. In your case I think cold turkey would be very dangerous. You could have a heart attack or something.You need to talk to your Dr. and tell him/her everything. Your dr. knows your addicted to the stuff already because everyone who takes narcotics for an extended amout of time gets addicted! They know their getting us addicted to the drugs but I guess they just don't think it's their problem it's the paitent who suffers through the rolercoaster ride of 1 drug after another. I don't know what your pain is from so I don't know if it's something that will always be there or if it might be gone now and all your pain is from the withdrawl. When I got injured I was put on percocet and was on it for 3 years. Everytime I went more than 4 hrs my body would responed with pain all over every muscle, joint and old injuries would scream pain. At first I thought I had arthritis or something and the back injury. I talked to my dr. and he said he would runs some more tests, which all came back normal. H e never once said it sounds like your having withdrawl from the percocet! He just uped my dose. Sounds like the same thing is happening to you. They don't know what else to do for you but give you something stronger when you tell them your still in pain. The only thing I can sugest is to tell them you want off the rollercoaster. The pills and patches become your whole life, and I know how it feels. My husband was ready to leave me if I didn't stop taking the perks. I was taking way more then I should have been. If I was sad I'D take a perk, If I tired and had to get something done I'd take a perk. If I took 3 of them with me to go to work I would take them all. Then there wasn't enough at the end of the month and all hell would break loose. It is a trap and it is hard to get out of. You need to WANT to stop, if you don't it will be like this forever. Everyone here has been in your spot , your at the cross road and you have to make a choice. I think you should tapper with your dr. help have the dr. talk to your husband if he doesn't believe you can't just stop cold turkey. You can do this! It will be hard but it's worth it to get control of your life back. I have no back pain or any pain at all now, It was the withdrawl holding me back for god knows how long. Now I'm free, you might be scaerd but you have our suport. We will all help you through it. Please keep posting. We all care about you. Carrara

 
Old 03-09-2009, 06:48 PM   #3
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milksnake HB User
Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

hello mjbrook...... well, if i was in your situation, heres what i would do. Make an appt. with your doctor and take your husband with you. Once your in the dr's office, lay out the whole situation just like you did in your post. Be very, very honest about the meds. Do you get high when you take them and like the feeling? Do they work and kill the pain? From reading your post, in my opinion, your pretty much addicted to the pain meds. I think if it was me, I'd tell the dr. this plan aint workin and we need a new one. Now this is just what I would do. I hope the best for you.....

Last edited by mod-anon; 03-09-2009 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Please use the Quick Reply button instead of Quote Reply.

 
Old 03-09-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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mel486 HB User
Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

Welcome mjbrook! Pain is a difficult thing to describe to someone else, just like being on opiate drugs and going through the withdrawals. I've been in both places and neither was fun. Fortunately, my pain only last 5-1/2 months and suddenly went away on its own, even though the damage is still present on the MRI - I ain't complaining!!!

Sometimes I would get so frustrated because people would tell me how they strained a muscle in their neck and try to compare it to the pain I was in and I wanted to hit them with a baseball bat and say, "Did it feel like that?" My wife is a nurse and she could see how much pain I was in and she was very supportive. I was lucky. Many spouses don't understand and cannot relate.

Maybe like carrara suggested to consider getting off of the pain meds (WITH DOCTORS ASSISTANCE) and see where the pain is at. Reassess your pain level. It will take months for you to taper down from the levels that you are at, so it will give you a good indication if the pain is manageable at lower levels or without any meds at all.

I would not have known that my pain was almost completely gone if I didn't go cold turkey so I could go into the neurosurgeon's office w/o the meds covering it up, so he could get an accurate evaluation. I subsequently found out that the pain level was much less and that the Percs were covering up the fact that I felt better. I was on 60 mg oxycodone a day at that point when I went cold turkey not knowing anything about the drug I was taking. Don't ever do that! I spent 12 hours with my head in the toilet thinking I had food poisoning. Not! Again, w/o doctor supervision, I tapered down to 10 mg/day on my own, since I still had some residual pain and tried going cold turkey again. I spent the worse 50 hours of my life before I went back on the oxy and found this forum.

Eventually, I tapered properly and went cold turkey after finally listening to the advice of the people here. They've been there and done that, so they know. My doctors turned their back on me and I was basically on my own not understanding the drug I was taking or the effects on my body. I know about it now! Never try to stop taking pain killers w/o working out a plan with your doctor or a doctor that understands opiate withdrawals.

I wish you the best in making your decision and I say to you, ask your questions here for answers and do your own research on the Internet. If you do detox, you'll spend many a sleepless nights up wandering around the house, so you might as well do the research then.

 
Old 03-10-2009, 06:51 AM   #5
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trailor HB User
Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

We're here with ya, thats for sure. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Thats almost exactly what happened with me. At one point, I just realized that I was abusing my body with the meds, not helping it. I'm trying to find a way out, it's scarey I know. Talk to your Dr. about stepping down slowly because w/d from that amount are a nightmare. I wish you the best and keep us posted!

 
Old 03-10-2009, 08:08 AM   #6
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studey HB User
Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

First off, you are not addicted..your body got use to the drugs being in your system. And when you forget a dose, naturally you are going to have withdraw..Just as a person will have high blood pressure if he forgets his blood pressure pill. So you take a pill and side effects go away..To have addiction., you have to be doing addicting behaviors. So if you have been taking more than prescribed or buying on the street or lieing to get more drugs etc....The only way you will know if you have pain is to go slowly (tirate ) down off your pill(s) . If you notice your pain becoming more an more etc.. than you have your answer..but if you can tirate off your meds slowly without pain then good..But to me it sounds like you have chronic pain..you do not sound like you have a problem with addiction and cravings..good luck, Hugs, Studey
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thuderbolt headahe Jan3,01 DX with a inoperable aneurysm. severe headaches everyday for 9 years. SSDI for severe pain R/t inoperable aneurysm pulsating on cranial nerves.

 
Old 03-10-2009, 10:48 AM   #7
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mjbrook HB User
Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

You know, and that is exactly the case... I think that if the meds were doing a damn bit a good I still wouldn't feel an agonizing pain in my lower back (I have a herniated disk that I don't want operated on, that's what started this whole mess). About the only thing that actually seems to always work for that pain is a tens unit, and I can't wear that thing all day. And so, in my mind (and my husbands) I am taking a whole lot of drugs for pain, except they don't work because I'm still in pain, and when they do work it's only for a very short time before they increase the dose -- again. But when I try to taper off on my own, I get additional pain all over that I never had in the first place. Agonizing. And that's probably part and parcel with withdrawal and it scares the hell out of me.

So I am absolutely terrified about getting off the drugs, even though I know it might be for the best. I mean, I can see the logic -- get off the drugs, feel better, maybe even try some physical therapy or something. It all sounds good when I say it or type it out, but it is absolutely terrifying.

I went three days once when I was on the patch without another patch because the Dr. forgot to mail me my prescription and it was the weekend. My husband had to take the kids to his mothers and then me to the ER because I was shaking, feverish, and throwing up. And my kids had to see me like that.

Am I addicted? Absolutely -- not by my choice initially, perhaps, but still addicted. Is it my choice to keep taking the meds, even knowing that they aren't really helping the actual problem? Absolutely. And why? Because I'm afraid. I know that, but I want it to be otherwise. I don't want to see my marriage go down the tubes and my kids taken away from me and I can see it coming to that.

Do I get high from the meds? No. Absolutely not! They do absolutely NOTHING and have done nothing for a while. I don't know anyone whose been on pain meds for as long as I who still gets a buzz off them, and I'd be terrified to find out how much drugs it would take for me to get one. The MS Contin 60s that I'm on (morphine sulfate) can only be picked up from a hospital pharmacy, they're that strong.

So yes, it is a vicious rollercoaster, and yes, I want off!!!

I guess the biggest hurdle I have to overcome is my own fear. I know what I have to do, I *feel* committed to it, and yet, I haven't yet picked up that phone and called the doctor. About all I've done is post here.

It's soooo hard.

 
Old 03-10-2009, 11:21 AM   #8
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Secrets1983 HB User
Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

Welcome mjbrook,

We are happy to meet you! So sorry that you are in this situation! Having Chronic Pain and having an addiction to meds has got to be a major struggle. Now, you didn't really say you had an addiction in your post.. you made it sound as if your body was dependant on it which are two different things. A great person on here who lives with chronic pain with no narcotics is ANGELINMICHIGAN (WHERE ARE YOU LYN?)

I think that your husband is just uninformed and if you maybe educate him that it's not that simple and there is more involved maybe he would be more supportive. I also agree with taking him to the Dr. with you!

I just wanted to welcome you and to tell you to make yourself at home here! Take care of yourself!
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:10 PM   #9
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Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

You're at the right place for help and support to get off of your meds. Yes, it can be fearful at first, but think of your life w/o the drugs and how much better off you will be. Get your husband involved in working with you to start the process, because it will take an effort on both of your parts to get through it all. Let us know what decision you make and we're here to help you.

 
Old 03-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #10
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studey HB User
Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

Mjbrook, If you decide you have no addiction, you do not crave your meds..take to many, run out before time, Try to get more meds than you need..Than come over to the chronic pain site, you will be more than welcome over there also, I have been on my meds for 8 years, never once did I abuse them. Or will I, I am in horrible pain and to think of living without any help for one day is a death sentence..And thank Goodness my family (all of them ) understand this..Hugs, Studey
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thuderbolt headahe Jan3,01 DX with a inoperable aneurysm. severe headaches everyday for 9 years. SSDI for severe pain R/t inoperable aneurysm pulsating on cranial nerves.

 
Old 03-10-2009, 11:19 PM   #11
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Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

I was asked by someone at the chronic pain board to respond to this as I normally do not go here.
First, I have 3 levels of disc herniations, multiple levels of spinal stenosis, DDD and facet hypertrophy. For a long time now I wear a 100 ugh fentanyl patch and take 4 30mg of oxycodone a day. I am dependent just like someone taking a steroid or blood pressure medicine. If I stop taking my mess suddenly I will suffer withdrawal

The problem you have is hat your husband is misinformed. Withdrawal does not mean addiction. Addiction is psychological. If you buy off the street, Doctor shop or fail to follow instructions, those are signs of addiction. An addict functions poorly while on the meds. A chronic pain patient functions better while taking the meds. For example if I didn't have pain relief I would be curled up on the couch all day.

Your husband needs to learn the difference between dependence and addiction. Less than 1% of chronic pain patients become addicts.

 
Old 03-11-2009, 01:13 AM   #12
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Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

Thanks Erfan,
That is what I beleive is what is going on with MJbrooks, You need support and understanding about dependence and withdraw..It happens to everyone..You do not have to be a addict for this to happen..Just a person that takes her meds like she is suppose to and then withdraw happens,,It is your bodies way of saying you missed a dose and I am telling you about it..My worse withdraw was on anti-depressives. Doc didn't think it needed tirated down (effexor ) OMG, after about 4 days, I thought I was going mad,,But after I called my reg doc and had a visit we figured it out..WOW, never just stop taking effexor,,Talk about withdraw..It was a doozy...Hugs, Cindy
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thuderbolt headahe Jan3,01 DX with a inoperable aneurysm. severe headaches everyday for 9 years. SSDI for severe pain R/t inoperable aneurysm pulsating on cranial nerves.

 
Old 03-11-2009, 06:29 AM   #13
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crocheting HB User
Smile Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

Hiya everyone!Thanks Erfan, I to am a chronic pain patient too, I don't post many threads at all because I feel most just don't understand my struggles!After a few years on narcotic pain med. Our body builds a great tolerance!For me personally a few months ago choose to ween myself of 120mg. of oxycotin per day!I only took it for about 6 months, I knew my body was probably going to to be greatly dependant on the oxycotin. Since My chronic pain is something I will have for the rest of my life, I had to make a game plan with the meds.I will only take norco to control my pain. Right now weening down to 6 per day almost there. I know that after taking the hydrocodone for years, my body built up a tolerance and it took more to work.And because I stopped 120 mg. Of the oxycotin.Slowly I am getting my body used to less norco, 6 per day is my goal.I know I take the norco for real pain!I am confused about the difference between me being addicted or tolerance built with the norco?!If I took pain med. To get high, I would have never got off 120 mg. Of oxycotin, I haven't craved it once! I respect and support everyone in there journey to reach there goal, I respect everyones choice on how they choose to reach there goals. My way, may not be your way and I repect that greatly. Crocheting

 
Old 03-11-2009, 06:38 PM   #14
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Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

Mjbrook, I'm also from the chronic pain board and please realize their is a difference addiction and dependence. We who take the meds to manage our pain have built up a tolerance to the meds. You are addicted if you take more than the doctor prescribed, get meds from more than one doctor, etc. I tried two times to see if my pain warranted the pain meds, once on purpose, once by accident and for me, my pain was horrible. But at least by doing this, I knew I still needed the pain meds and it reassured me that I was doing the right thing, that my quality of life is so much better than when I was suffering.

So if you still are wondering, do a controlled taper with your doc and then at least you will know.

Melissa

 
Old 03-12-2009, 04:56 PM   #15
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Re: In a hot mess with pain meds...

This is too the people who didn't read the part of MJBROOK's post where she said the pills aren't working, and she has the rest of her life to get through. If what shes on now Morphine isen't working now then what will she do in 10 years. Be a zombei? There has got to be a better way. I don't know why you don't want surgery(maybe the recovery rate isen't that good or something) mybrook know one wants to or is trying to lable you an addict like THEY think were all addicts over trying to pull you over to the dark side or something. Do what you think is best. Your the only one who know whats what. I wish the very best for you, as do we all. Post if you think we can help you, Sincerlly Carrara

 
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