Hi all. I went to the rheumy on Wednesday and for the first time he actually found swelling in my finger joints. It's like now he believes that there is something going on! So he prescribed sulfasalizine to help with the inflamation. Then Thursday the pm did some facet injections in the area of my fusion[c7/t1]. He said if this doesn't work any better than all the others it will be my last injection. I asked if there was something "better" than vicodin for those bad days. He gave me a script for MScontin! Then he told me I have to take this everyday. Due to the fact that my brain is in a constant fog I didn't even question it. I just wanted something for the bad days not all the time. Now it's try this stuff for awhile because if I don't then he acts like I'm not trying. I didn't think my brain fog could get any worse. I was WRONG! Thanks for the vent! Fred
I take MS Contin and found that after a short time the "fog" went away. Folks normally develop a tolerance to almost all side effects of these meds except for constipation. Give it a little time. But be sure to take the meds as your doc has prescribed so that he/she knows how to treat you properly.
Hi Fred, as someone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis WITHOUT the tell-tale swelling of joints and xrays that look normal, I can tell you that the sulfasalazine worked wonders for my disease ....but only for about 18 months. That's when it stopped working altoghether. The drug you are taking was originally (and still is I think) a drug used to treat malaria. It actually has an impact on the disease itself, not just something like an anti-inflammatory drug. It will take awhile for it to start working, and you should have been sent for an eye exam before you started this drug, but once it gets into your system, I hope it will work for you as it did for me. You have to be careful while you are on this drug to get to your eye doctor about every 6 to 12 mnths so that he can test you for an eye-related abnormality which can occur while on this drug. Other than that, I don't remember to many adverse issues. Good luck and I hope you get some relief! Memere (Ka'Mac)
hi Arth, By all means Vent. I certainly don't believe people neeeed to be on these meds daily unless it's a last resort. You do become dependent and many other people in themedical field can be quick to leap from physically dependent to addicted. Dependent is just a physiological reponse, addiction is a nightmare to keep it short.
What dose diod they put you on becaue you do get used to the drowsiness. As far as impairment "fog", we all have a level we are willing to tolerate or face pain we can't cope with. The idea of LA meds is to keep the pain in check which makes it easier to control the spikes. Actual addiction rates are much lower so docs would prefer to treat you long term with long acting rather than short. The list goes on why long actuing is better. However. the general populations understands little about chronic pain and the use of opiates and the difference between dependence and addiction. Not that being dependent isn't a huge price, but it's not destructive. That's the idea if somone has to be dependent on opiates.
If you think there is a chance this new drug can make a huge difference, Than I'll say something I shouldn't and you follow your gut. If you don't take the MS more than once a day 2 or 3 times a week, stopping it will be a breeze and you may be able to go back to Vicodin as a break through med. If you felt like experimenting and trying this, You are the only one that would know and it would give you a potential alternative to dependence on opiates a chance and you still have something for severe pain.
Juts because your doc gives you something you don't have to take it. You need to tell him you didn't take it and I have no doubt you can find someone to use the other drug and a short acting pain med for break through pain. As long as the short acting doesn't become the daily med to control your pain we take meds when you don't need them. Prescription addiction is a little more complex when a doc is the one saying don't worry about it and all your doing is taking what's prescribed. Sometimes docs are wrong, they are only giving you their recomendation, it's just his opionion. Other docs won't use opiates at all, some will use a cobination of meds if needed. But they shouldn't be mandatory for treatment or forced to take any med, you may have to change docs, but you do have a choice about your healthcare.
If you don't want to go that route, you don't have too. If this med works and another doc is willing to use this and some vicodin when things get bad, why not buy yourself a few more years of freedom. It is an option It's not what this doc recomends, but he may listen when you say I only used 13 pills and the new med works great. You will never get a chance to know whether the med is providing the relief or the opiate if you don't try it without being in an opiate fog. That will get better if you have to go that route, but this is really your chance to try alternatives before trading relief for dependence.
I understand needing to vent and more patients need to consider the price for their request and why docs do what they do.
Good luck, Dave
arth, I went the through the same thing, started on vicodin & only got a couple hrs if that of relief so the doc put me on oxycodone, which now receiving percocet(not sure if they are the same.) I was not happy but the doc said pretty much if I wanted some control of the pain I would have to try it. I was blown away when I first tried them, did not like that being in a fog feeling at all. It got abit better, although at times I still feel like I have just taken it for the first time. I have to say it helped control the pain abit better. I try everyday to see if I can tolerate the pain with out the med. I can space them apart more on certain days (I refuse to take more then 2 aday). I am going to ask the doc. If I can take something less strong for the days I feel I do not something as strong. I am concerned about you being alone though, please be careful about taking them. If I remember correctly you are alittle up there in age & have stairs. Just take it easy if you have the foggy feeling. Don't force yourself to do to much.
I see no reason why after trying them for a short amount of time & you don't feel comfortable you should continue, you should be able to talk to your doc. about it. Are they giving you more relief?
As far as the doc. finally believing you because of the swelling, been there done that, frustating, well we understand & you have been a great help to me, remember the weather we have to look forward to, so you take care & be careful.
Shoreline, that has me concerned, I take 10-325 endocet twice aday for the most part, I refuse to take more. I wait as long as I can when I getting out of bed so I do not have to take more then two aday. I don't like taking meds. & don't ever want to become dependent on them. There are some days I feel I can use something alittle less strong, would it be better to try the something like the vicodin on those days? I try to take over the counter but it does not work. All this has me concerned about accidently becoming dependent. I hate the meds & the way they make me feel, but I have to be able to function, I would really appreciate you opinion more then you know. Sammy
Sammy, thanks for your concern. I was just remembering how life used to be. Like running up and down stairs and driving to the U.P. for the fall colors. Now it's walk on the stairs making sure to use the handrail. Forget driving anywhere if it's more than an hour away. The good one is I have phones all over the house plus carry a cell phone with me most of the time.
I'm sure you have heard this but it might not be a good thing to waite to take the meds. It's easier to stay on top of the pain then try to catch up. Just some random thoughts. Fred
Don't get me wrong Sammy, I understand the benefit of opiates and I'm not suggesting that you or Art shouldn't have them available. But physical dependence is a hefty price for pain relief that many don't consider untill after tha fact. Dependence is going to happen when you take opiates on a regular basis and it's absolutely gaurenteed with long acting meds once you become used to having them in your system around the clock.
Dependence isn't the same as addiction. Addiction is destructive, not only to the person abusing but to everyone in their life. Dependence is a consequence of daily opiate use, not a sign of addiction. It was the rave review of that med from the other poster that made me think, why not delay being dependent for a few more years if posible.
If you started with Vicodin and moved to Oxy every day. Even in small doses, It's very likely you have developed some degree of physical dependence. If you stopped cold turkey, you woukld probably feel flu like and have a hard time sleeping for a few days. That's the mildest form of withdrawall from mild dependence caused by continued use. Is that too great a price to pay? Only you can answer that. I have a pump, if it breaks down, I'll be sick as dog and puke my guts out for days. To me it's worth that price to walk and remain as productive as possible.
The only way to avoid dependence is to not allow your body to get used to having opiates in it. Take breaks throughout the week and month and allow your body to get used to not having it in your system. If you take opiates daily for months or years, regardless of the strength or number, you're going to feel it when you stop. How much you feel if you stop depends on the dose and the regularity.
If you add Vicodin Sammy, that's just more opiate which means more dependence. Why not try something that has the potential to delay being dependent for a few more years. I had 3 surgeries and spent 7 years in pain management before I was given my first opiate other than post op. Prior to becoming dependent is really the time to test these methods in order to avoid withdrawal should someone find an alternative. It's just a fact, just like tolerance is going to occur. Vicodin used to work, now you need 10 mhg percocet.
I'm not trying to scare anyone, I'm just saying now is the time for Arth to try something and potentially delay that level of dependence a few more years. If the med doesn't work, go ahead with the MSC. As long as the benefits outweigh the negative apsects and side effects, most people won't have a problem other than the D word.
Thanks Dave, I think I understand what you are saying. I was on vicodin for only about 1 month & never took to many, always have been alittle fearful of meds, even when they said I could take more I would try the smallest increments. The vicodin just was not strong enough I believe from the get go for my problem. I do not like taking anything & have been on something since end of july. I try everyday to go with out, some days I can delay taking the percocet & as I said I refuse to take more then 2 doses aday. I am alittle fearful of taking them for any length of time, I have tried every over the counter & other prescribed meds, such as motrin, naproxen & the list goes on. Have tried treating it with every anti infammatory known & nothing really works. So my options were not great. Either take the pain med or end up in ER, my heart rate & BP were sky rocketing do to the pain. I still look for other alternitives, I hate the percocet & have alot of moodiness & other wonderful side effects, my doctor has said he is concerned with anyone staying on them & will not raise the dose(not that I asked) so we are careful. I wish there was something else that worked. If I could at all function with this pain without anything I would, I went 2 yrs with nothing until I could not take it anymore. Is there anything out there that does not risk the chance of dependancy? I have no clue how long you can be on this type of drug before it becomes a problem. you seem to be knowledgable & for people like Fred & I it is helpful to have someone like you who knows alittle more. Thanks Sammy
Fred, I know about staying on top of the pain, can't win sometimes can you, try not to take pain pills but yet try to stay ahead of the pain. I call it the pain game, who will win for the day me or the pain?
I am glad you have phones all over, stairs scare me when dealing with older people (no offense). I guess we all have to find something to look forward to Fred. It sounds like you do pretty well. I have clients who can do things but just won't. I tell them enjoy your life, if you have the ability to do something do it because the day will come where limitations will keep you from doing things so enjoy everyday so don't waste time, do it while you can. It is all just a fact of life for most of us. I don't like to see people have to many regrets such as I wish I would have done more of this or that when I could have. I have worked & do work with people who are so full of life & are so active but the mind is going & vice versa they are as sharp as a whip but can't even get up by them selves, it breaks my heart at times. I get so angry that I am so limited at times, can't lift my arm to do things I so love to do, then I will see some one with no arm at all & think shame on me at least I have an arm. I guess we take what we have & try to make the best of each day. Stay safe Fred & let us know how the new pain meds are working for you. Sammy
One of the big things that helps me make it through the day, second to God, is the fact that so many have it so much worse than I. I have some friends who are both in wheelchairs[she is Ms. Wheelchair Michigan] and to see what they go through is amazing. Stuff that we take for granted is a big deal for them. Like getting ready to go away. It might take me half an hour to shower and shave it takes them hours. Yet they do it. In fact he just finished planting some trees in their yard. I don't like the hand that I've drawn but it could be worse and drugs or no drugs I need to make the most of the time left. So suck it up and press on! Fred
Good for you Fred, sounds like you have some amazing friends. Those are the kinds of people who keep others going, the kind to admire. I always think we all have to make a positive difference in someones life that is what we are here for. One of my clients (who I have adopted him & his wife) fell yesturday, thank god he was not hurt, I have been trying to get him to use a cane for along time, he finally conceded. I was so happy. I get so worried he will get hurt because his balance is so off. He needs to make other changes also for his safety but I feel I have won a very importantant battle. Growing old is very hard for some people & using aides like canes & such needs to take place before one gets hurt not after. You have a wonderful way of looking at things Fred, Indeed there are always those who have it worse. Just curious what is Ms. wheelchair of Michigan? You take care, Sammy
That sounds wonderful Fred, something special for those in wheelchairs. I went to rehab. doc. yesturday morning, got two more injections. My shoulder was in such muscle spasm he could barely get the needle in. I don't know Fred, nothing seems to bring me alot of relief. Doc said he will send me to another doctor if no relief this week. I felt a small amount of relief after injections but still in alot of pain. I am really hoping it gets better with these injections. I don't understand why nothing brings this inflammation down. I am really beginning to worry. I think physical therapy last week made it worse. I have to becaome more educated about these injections. I don't know if they have to hit the spot just so or what. The doctor said he does not even know how I am able to sleep with this kind of thing going on. The mornings are the worst for me. Please keep me in your prayers. Sammy