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Old 08-29-2008, 11:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: leesburg,va usa
Posts: 4
formula51 HB User
Lots of questions

Hello all. I'm brand new here - not even 100% certain that I'm in the correct section, but once I saw TMJ and whiplash injuries and the thing about the straight neck, I had to jump in and ask some questions. Ok, the straight neck - how common is that? I was hit by an underage drunk driver a year ago Aug 21 - and have just had a C 5-6 fusion. My neck is perfectly straight instead of the curve it is supposed to have, though, to be completely honest, I don't know if it was that way before. I've always been told that I have incredible posture - could it have been that?

I've had TMJ for years, but it seems largely unaffected by this. I was getting some relief at the Chiro's office, but since the surgery I'm not allowed to go there for awhile.

I'm perplexed as well (and here is where I may be in the wrong section), but I've been prescribed several meds, and some seem to work better than others, but when I ask the PA about them at the office, they laugh at me and say that they are all the same. I'm doubting that. I have had Percoset 5-325, Tramadol HCL - Acetaminophen IVX (Endocet), Vicodin 5-500, and MSIR. I have been trying to take them only when I really need them for fear of addiction, but the more I read here, it might be best to just take them every four hours. (clearly not all of them at once, but whichever one I end up taking). Any opinions on the best one of the bunch to take? The pain in the neck and shoulders is excruciating a good portion of the time. It is actually worse now than it was before the surgery. I've gotten little guidance about the meds and how/when to take. The bottles all say to take every 4-6hrs as needed for pain. (This is probably where I go and ask a pharmacist, but fear the look on their faces when they find that I know nothing about what to take when - I truly thought that they were varying degrees of effectiveness and so, assumed that the Endocet w/ the acetaminophen was the lowest since it mentioned the tylenol on the bottle ... figured vicodin next, then percoset, then MSIR and just took them according to the intensity of the pain or if I wanted to be sure that I was more alert. This has been going on for weeks now, so I'm not sure any are any more or less effective on my alert status.

I am tentatively going back to work next Wednesday (for the light duty job I took at an optometrist's office that would fit the restrictions I've had since the accident). I'm not sure how it will pan out, but I really need some income. My surgery was July 19 and I've been out of work since the day before.

I'm rambling ... please forgive me .... been a really painful day and I've been largely confined to the bed. I need to get out and pick up refills on the meds. I'm not out, but like another post said, I'd feel better having them and not needing them than to just let the script expire without filling it and then finding that I really do need them in a pinch or something.

Ok, so how is that for WAY too many questions in one post?

Seriously, any help would be greatly appreciated. I already feel a little better just reading the other posts and finding that I am not alone. That I am not the only one who wonders and gets so frustrated that I weep - afraid that I will hurt forever.

I'm off to look for a forum about disability and how that works. I may never be able to do any real work or be able to do it fully and that frightens me as well. I mean, I pray that the insurance settlement will help on that score, but it may only pay the medical bills - I just don't know how this works really.

thank you for your time and any help.... and for being out there.

 
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:56 AM   #2
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 115
Sammiejoe HB User
Re: Lots of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by formula51 View Post
Hello all. I'm brand new here - not even 100% certain that I'm in the correct section, but once I saw TMJ and whiplash injuries and the thing about the straight neck, I had to jump in and ask some questions. Ok, the straight neck - how common is that? I was hit by an underage drunk driver a year ago Aug 21 - and have just had a C 5-6 fusion. My neck is perfectly straight instead of the curve it is supposed to have, though, to be completely honest, I don't know if it was that way before. I've always been told that I have incredible posture - could it have been that?

I've had TMJ for years, but it seems largely unaffected by this. I was getting some relief at the Chiro's office, but since the surgery I'm not allowed to go there for awhile.

I'm perplexed as well (and here is where I may be in the wrong section), but I've been prescribed several meds, and some seem to work better than others, but when I ask the PA about them at the office, they laugh at me and say that they are all the same. I'm doubting that. I have had Percoset 5-325, Tramadol HCL - Acetaminophen IVX (Endocet), Vicodin 5-500, and MSIR. I have been trying to take them only when I really need them for fear of addiction, but the more I read here, it might be best to just take them every four hours. (clearly not all of them at once, but whichever one I end up taking). Any opinions on the best one of the bunch to take? The pain in the neck and shoulders is excruciating a good portion of the time. It is actually worse now than it was before the surgery. I've gotten little guidance about the meds and how/when to take. The bottles all say to take every 4-6hrs as needed for pain. (This is probably where I go and ask a pharmacist, but fear the look on their faces when they find that I know nothing about what to take when - I truly thought that they were varying degrees of effectiveness and so, assumed that the Endocet w/ the acetaminophen was the lowest since it mentioned the tylenol on the bottle ... figured vicodin next, then percoset, then MSIR and just took them according to the intensity of the pain or if I wanted to be sure that I was more alert. This has been going on for weeks now, so I'm not sure any are any more or less effective on my alert status.

I am tentatively going back to work next Wednesday (for the light duty job I took at an optometrist's office that would fit the restrictions I've had since the accident). I'm not sure how it will pan out, but I really need some income. My surgery was July 19 and I've been out of work since the day before.

I'm rambling ... please forgive me .... been a really painful day and I've been largely confined to the bed. I need to get out and pick up refills on the meds. I'm not out, but like another post said, I'd feel better having them and not needing them than to just let the script expire without filling it and then finding that I really do need them in a pinch or something.

Ok, so how is that for WAY too many questions in one post?

Seriously, any help would be greatly appreciated. I already feel a little better just reading the other posts and finding that I am not alone. That I am not the only one who wonders and gets so frustrated that I weep - afraid that I will hurt forever.

I'm off to look for a forum about disability and how that works. I may never be able to do any real work or be able to do it fully and that frightens me as well. I mean, I pray that the insurance settlement will help on that score, but it may only pay the medical bills - I just don't know how this works really.

thank you for your time and any help.... and for being out there.
Hi & Welcome

Wow! You do have alot of questions, but I'll do my best to help...In my case, the straight neck is not uncommon, it is caused from damage to the neck & even muscle spasm can contribute to it...I've been told not to worry too much about it since it goes along with the damage in my neck.

As far as the meds, tramadol (aka ultram) is the lowest in strength, vicodin (aka hydrocodone) is stronger than ultram , than the MSIR (aka morphine instant release) would be stronger than vicodin, and the percocet & endocet (aka oxycodone instant release) are both the same drug & they are the strongest out of the meds you've been prescribed.

Now, as for addiction, that is when you are abusing your meds or going to multiple docs for the same meds or if you start using the meds for something other than pain...Tolerance is when your body becomes use to the med and you might have withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking them. Most people have to wean off of opiates if they take them everyday for any more than a few weeks. As for pain control, it's best to take meds before your pain is really bad because it's hard to break the pain cycle once it gets too high. That's why many docs rx LA(long acting) meds like oxycontin, but that's not any of the meds you listed. So, if your pain is severe than the percocet or endocet every 4 hours is going to give the best pain control, however everyone is different, but in general that is what should be strongest.

I hope that helps.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 11:57 AM   #3
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CA
Posts: 1,569
forginon HB User
Re: Lots of questions

Sammiejoe has given outstanding advice.

I have a few things to add.

First of all, WELCOME!

This is a great board with fantastic people - the best in the world. I have received more compassion and advice than I could ever have imagined. I'm sure you can expect the same.

I am so sorry you are having such pain. It is so hard to handle. But you are among good company as most of us have to deal with chronic pain (CP) daily.

You have a boatload of meds to choose from. It would be wrong of any of us to tell you which one to take - that must come from your doc or a pharmacist. Sammiejoe gave you very good advice on which are strongest, and that is good guidance to build upon. But you need a doc or pharmacist to decipher what your doc wants from you. Don't be afraid to ask the pharmacist, unless you already know he/she is a loser. If so, ask another. It's the doc's fault that you are confused, not your fault. Someone needs to clarify things for you.

Did you receive these meds all at once? All for the same condition? If so, that's absolutely bizarre.

Preventing pain is the goal in pain management (PM). That's why Sammiejoe recommended long acting (LA) meds. The meds you have all come in LA formulations except the Vicodin (hydrocodone). I imagine your doc would tell you to use whichever med addresses your level of pain at the time, but again, he/she needs to clarify this for you. Since it's a long weekend and your doc is probably unavailable, I would go to your pharmacist as see what direction you can get. Do not take your meds with you, just the receipts or other paperwork you received with them. Your pharmacist may be inclined to take one or more away, fearing you could overdose. You don't want to lose your meds this way. But you certainly need direction before using them.

You didn't mention your level of pain. What would you say is your average daily pain level, using the 0-10 scale? 0=no pain, while 10=the worst pain imaginable. Also, what level does your pain hit when at its worst? When it is bad and you use meds, what level can you get it down to? These are hopefully questions your doc or pharmacist will ask when you go in for guidance, so it will be a good exercise to answer them now.

steve

Last edited by forginon; 08-30-2008 at 12:02 PM.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 04:58 PM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: leesburg,va usa
Posts: 4
formula51 HB User
Re: Lots of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammiejoe View Post
Hi & Welcome

Wow! You do have alot of questions, but I'll do my best to help...In my case, the straight neck is not uncommon, it is caused from damage to the neck & even muscle spasm can contribute to it...I've been told not to worry too much about it since it goes along with the damage in my neck.

As far as the meds, tramadol (aka ultram) is the lowest in strength, vicodin (aka hydrocodone) is stronger than ultram , than the MSIR (aka morphine instant release) would be stronger than vicodin, and the percocet & endocet (aka oxycodone instant release) are both the same drug & they are the strongest out of the meds you've been prescribed.

Now, as for addiction, that is when you are abusing your meds or going to multiple docs for the same meds or if you start using the meds for something other than pain...Tolerance is when your body becomes use to the med and you might have withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking them. Most people have to wean off of opiates if they take them everyday for any more than a few weeks. As for pain control, it's best to take meds before your pain is really bad because it's hard to break the pain cycle once it gets too high. That's why many docs rx LA(long acting) meds like oxycontin, but that's not any of the meds you listed. So, if your pain is severe than the percocet or endocet every 4 hours is going to give the best pain control, however everyone is different, but in general that is what should be strongest.

I hope that helps.
It helps immeasurably .... (forgot to add the Norco, but seems somewhere near percoset).
You've been most kind. Thank you so very much. If it were up to the Spine institute I'd have been on Vicodin for the better part of a year, but I kept it only for truly bad days. Now, that I've had the fusion surgery (C 3-4 I think), the pain is worse than before. I just hope that the endgame turns out to be better.

Take care.... and all the best wishes for your recovery.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 09:43 PM   #5
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 83
Lou1 HB User
Re: Lots of questions

Quote:
a little bit cool that I get a little card to carry to show the security folks when I set off their metal detectors ... will claim to be 'bionic' .....
When you had your fusion, didn't they use titanium? I had a triple cervical fusion (C4-7) and have titanium...which does not trigger any metal detectors.

As for the drug containing the ultram...I think that may have been called Ultracet by the doc, not Endocet.

Lou

 
Old 08-31-2008, 02:14 AM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: leesburg,va usa
Posts: 4
formula51 HB User
Re: Lots of questions

I may well have to ask about some sort of LA med. I woke up around 3:15am weeping from the pain (and a good 2 hours before I could take more percoset). I guess this is also where a BT plan would have been good.

( removed )

all the best.

Last edited by moderator2; 08-31-2008 at 07:10 AM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s)

 
Old 08-31-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 115
Sammiejoe HB User
Re: Lots of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by formula51 View Post
I may well have to ask about some sort of LA med. I woke up around 3:15am weeping from the pain (and a good 2 hours before I could take more percoset). I guess this is also where a BT plan would have been good.

( removed )

all the best.
Sorry to hear about your bad night...That is exactly why LA meds are given and something like percocet could be taken for your BT med...Also, I think Lou is right about the ultracet being what you heard because endocet is the same as percocet.

Hope you have a better day.

 
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