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Old 05-07-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
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Chronic pain AND addiction

Well guys I'm afraid I must admit I'm well and truly lost in a rather vicious cycle of chronic nerve pain, depression, and addiction to my pain medication. I've been in pain for 4 years, the widespread variety that just sort of seeps right into your soul and leaves you feeling hopeless. Eventually I discovered that opiates were the only thing that could relieve the pain. I've tried countless other medications including Lyrica, Neurontin etc. I've been severely depressed for a long time now, the chronic pain is a large part of what's doing it to me however I think the worst part is now I'm faced with a life of pain management and I seem to be completely unable to actually control my intake of pain medications, so I run out early each month. At first it was just 2-3 days early and it went on like that for a long time. Eventually though it's gotten so bad that it's more like 10 days early and the withdrawal each month coupled with the spike in pain is like some monthly ritual torture that only messes me up more come time for my next prescription. The worst part is I know I did it to myself, if I had just been a bit more responsible. My pain is pretty darn bad but the dose I'm on does perhaps reach the bare minimum of pain management that I need to function, IF I don't constantly run out early.

My current doctor seems very wary on prescribing me an increase, I'm quite young for a CPer. Currently I'm prescribed 40mg hydrocodone a day and feel like it's just not working for me, this short acting stuff only adds fuel to the fire. Would it really be worth it to seek a pain management clinic and specialist?

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Bottom line, I can't live without opiates. But I have such a hard time with controlling my addiction and pain management. The addiction to pain relief itself is stronger than anything else. I guess I was wondering if anyone knows what I'm going through and might be able to offer advice as to how I can get out of this cycle so that I can manage my pain more responsibly on a long-term basis? Has anyone with an addictive personality been able to overcome a situation like this and use more responsibly?

Last edited by Administrator; 05-20-2013 at 07:16 AM.

 
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

Hi. Welcome to the boards. Well, you're in a difficult situation, as you probably already noticed. As of now, you're pretty lucky the Dr. is still helping you out at all. Many Many PM Drs. wouldn't be willing to take a chance on getting themselves in trouble. And if the Dr. doesn't know about "the illegal stuff" he will when he does a UA, which all PM Drs. do, as far as I know. I know that with myself anyway,, many times in my own life I have gotten in my own way of getting help for myself. I'm talking about when my baby died of SIDS, and for years after that, I needed help for myself, but, just told myself that I really didn't care anymore, when I actually did. I was very depressed, and for a good reason, but, just to stubborn to accept or ask for it. I just got in my own way. I hope this post doesn't offend you in any way, I'm just sharing my own experience, hoping that in some way you may relate, or something. These days I allow myself to accept help, because the way I used to be, sure didn't work in my favor. So, have a great weekend. I hope things work out better for you in the near future.

Last edited by Administrator; 05-20-2013 at 07:17 AM.

 
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

hi NL-

I am not so convinced you are an addict, it sounds a lot more like you are under medicated-did you have an accident or what is your source of such severe pain?

Without knowing the answers to the above questions I would say-you are probably seeing the wrong type of doc-40mg of hydro is not a high dose in pain management, infact it wouldn't begin to touch my pain. I would definitely consult a pain specialist or a neuro-musculoskelital specialist.

You will need to cut out the pot or you will never be properly medicated by a specialist, and you would be agreeing to sign a pain contract in order to receive medications,etc.

I think once you are seeing a specialist and you are honest with this doctor, about everything, all of your concerns you mentioned in your post and most importantly the quality of your life-which I hear you and understand you are miserable.

none of this is easy and a constant struggle, but I think once you are on the right track-seeing the correct type of doctor who will guide you and teach you how your pain can be managed better.

In PM we shoot for at least 50% reduction in pain. This is considered very successful. Would you be ok with your pain being reduced by 50% right this minute?
Well you need to get to work. You need to make some serious decisions and commitments , like stopping the pot.

good luck
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Last edited by BB07; 05-19-2013 at 08:42 AM.

 
Old 05-19-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

Awesome! I'm so glad you got a reply here from someone who's been on PM meds awhile and has some good experience to share with you. See. There's plenty of us out here to support, understand, and really care about each other. I really related to this post, or I wouldn't have felt compelled to respond like I did. I may not have alot of experience to share with you, but I really do relate to you and you sure seem like an honest person. Good for you. I do hope these posts help you out in some way. I know they did for me, and I'm very grateful for that.

 
Old 05-19-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

I too hope you find relief. I'm not sure what state that you're in. But in Kentucky they have really cracked down on the opiates. If you are Rx'd any pain meds at all they (State of Ky.) has the right to drug test you at ANY time they want to! I know that this may seem very radicle. But Ky. doesn't want a Florida on their hands. There has been an increase of OD's & the state is really trying to nip it.

I too have been contemplating big time whether to ask my PM for an increase of my meds. I am on 7.5/325 x4 a day. believe me I was on Percocets when I got out of the hospital last month. I really liked those because of the faster acting Oxycotin.

If the PM does not increase my meds I will do my best to describe to him my issues. I have the rods & screws in me & I know when I over do it physically.... Like this whole weekend I did. I mowed wayyyyy too much.

I do hope you find a solution & find yourself well.
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Last edited by Administrator; 05-20-2013 at 06:47 AM.

 
Old 05-24-2013, 07:00 AM   #6
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

I see, so I was moved to the addiction board. Well guess that's okay, seems like a grey area when discussing both topics. Thanks for replying everyone, it has made me feel a bit better about my situation actually.

"And if the Dr. doesn't know about "the illegal stuff" he will when he does a UA, which all PM Drs. do,"

As far as that goes, I'm actually not with a PM doctor yet almost solely for the reason that A. he doesn't drug test me and B. I'm worried it could take years just to find one even willing to prescribe me opiates at all for pain management. It sure took a while to find my current doctor. My current doctor is competent and caring but he is definitely not a pain management specialist and he's very wary of someone so young being on anything stronger than hydrocodone. Being in pain when your young is certainly a very uncomfortable experience. Many doctors don't even believe you could possibly be in 'that' much pain and the many more just don't want to get in trouble with the DEA for prescribing medication (what's up with that? DEA has no medical license, they should knock it off).

Thanks for your post Karlee, it was helpful.

BB07

"I am not so convinced you are an addict, it sounds a lot more like you are under medicated-did you have an accident or what is your source of such severe pain?

Without knowing the answers to the above questions I would say-you are probably seeing the wrong type of doc-40mg of hydro is not a high dose in pain management, infact it wouldn't begin to touch my pain. I would definitely consult a pain specialist or a neuro-musculoskelital specialist."

I see. Perhaps I have been beating myself up a little more than I should. I know how my mind works and I'm susceptible to addiction but here are the facts right now as I know it -

I have wide-spread chronic nerve pain ranging from minor to severe, probably on average one might call it moderate pain. It's in my fingers, my hands, my forearms, the back of my neck, and it's starting to spread to my feat. I also feel like my pain receptors in general are completely out of whack, when my body is sore it just aches and aches like never before. I have no named condition to give you, after spending all the money we don't have to try to find the cause, no tests every showed anything at all. Eventually I sort of gave up. I can sort of work part time but get no assistance from the government at this time.

Aside from that, I've been on opioids for 4 years now, hydrocodone most of the time and have been on a dose of 40mg a day for over a year. While it works great for a time after taking a pill I think what really gets to me is that it doesn't last long enough. And my body always feels like it is constantly going from a high to a low. Quite frankly it is a mental marathon and completely exhausting after a while. I think that's why I eventually starting taking more of my medication than prescribed because I felt more stable.

However I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the way the pills make me feel. A euphoria combined with pain relief, I sometimes wonder how such a combination to a CPer could not be addicting to certain people... There is still that side to me that just feels like an addict because even before my chronic pain started I used minor drugs and alcohol in an unhealthy manner. The opiates only started when I found myself crying in bed begging for relief from pain.

One of the things I really dislike is I feel afraid and alone about the whole thing. My family doesn't understand what I'm going through and doesn't really want to listen to it after 4 years. I also don't want to talk to my doctor about anything concerning addiction because I'm afraid of being thrown out and having no pain relief combined with withdrawal and depression. I'm not sure I'm in a place mentally where I can handle such a thing.

Anyways thanks BB07, Karlee and roadiez for your posts. They did help in a way. I've been thinking a lot about my situation since I first made my post and feel like I'm better grounded now. I think I know what I need to do now. I need to have a serious chat with my doctor to see if he's willing to work with me for a few years and help me manage my pain better. If not then I need to realize in the end sometimes we must sacrifice one thing in order to get another thing that is more important out of necessity.

Last edited by Administrator; 05-24-2013 at 09:45 AM.

 
Old 06-09-2013, 06:41 AM   #7
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

Yes I am like you. I would take an extra here and there or even share with friends. Every month when I would run short I swore it wouldn't happen again. I now have my husband hold my pills for me and everyday he gives me only what I am prescribed for that day. If I overexert myself and truly NEED an extra he takes it from the next days supply. But I also am in pain management and have a contract. I have a GREAT Doctor. It sounds like you may benefit from pain management yourself.

Last edited by katlovesdogz; 06-09-2013 at 06:44 AM.

 
Old 06-14-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

You answered your own question at the end, "If not then I need to realize in the end sometimes we must sacrifice one thing in order to get another thing that is more important out of necessity." Have you ever stopped smoking long enough to know if this is helping or adding to your pain? The reason I say this is because I tried it once and it only enhanced my pain. Also a Pain Management Dr. is there to do just that, manage pain, and I also agree and feel that you are under medicated. 40 MG. of Hydrocodone is a very weak amount and your Dr. can only prescribe narcotics for short term treatment, then you have to go to a Pain Management Dr. for long term care (at least here in Florida). But a good Pain Management Dr. is a great find because they are empathetic to our pain, they work constantly with you to find the right cocktail that meets your specific needs, my PM strives for 60% improvement. Although I am a lot worse off than you, I am at the point now of having had a Pain Pump installed in my abdomen, and working on the right cocktail with that. Even a Diagnoses would be good for you so that you know what you are working with. But please consider getting off of the pot and start working on your pain, you are young enough that who know's in the end with the right care you could be living pain free soon.

 
Old 07-21-2013, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: Chronic pain AND addiction

I have to agree with many posters already. You "may" not be an addict per se, but you might be. When you do take extra pills, why are you taking them? Chasing a rush or legtimate pain tweaking you? Sometimes the brain will do funny things to the body to receive the medicine it wants. Undermedicatd vs. Addicted has been an ongoing and scary question in the PM world. At the end of the day, you and only you know deep inside where you stand exactly, if you're true to yourself. Do some inner searching and see where you are. If you are undermedicated, you'll need to show your doctor with pain journals etc. to show him/her that a real need exists to increase your current dosage (or switch to something else). I used to tell my GP years and years ago that if I had the medicine to help my headaches and I got a twitch that may be a headache in an hour, I took the med. Sorry, but if it hurts, I take the medicine. I ended up being referred to a PM clinic and got the medication I needed. End of Story. Good Luck!

 
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