Back, thanks for your words of encouragement! It is so nice to have support from you guys on here. And, I do feel that I have come a long way too. It's like once I made up my mind, I went full force. I have learned a lot, and feel so much better about myself now!
I called my doctor yesterday and asked if I could have my appt Friday (today) instead of Wednesday, and they said yes. So, I am going in today. I have been keeping a pain and symptoms journal since Wednesday. My hope is that after he reads all my entries, he realizes that I do need a slight increase in my dosage. If he tells me again to stay at this dosage, then I will fight through the cravings and symptoms.
I will update you guys when I get back from the doctor today.
Hang in there! Remember that cravings are also psychological as well as physical reactions in the body. There will be a part of you that believes that more is better, no matter what the medication/drug may be. Changing the way you did things before going on methadone will be a huge help in managing the cravings as well. Keeping busy, distracting yourself by getting busy with other things will help. Finding and using other modalities to manage pain levels will help....and so will talking about the cravings with someone that you trust will also help. Being accountable to your husband and your doctor will help you stay on the right track.
Using the pain log will help you see if you are doing something that is increasing the pain levels or if there is a certain time during the day when the pain escalates more than others. A relaxing bath, or a hot shower will help...
You are doing well and it might be worthwhile to go to a few NA meetings to help you as well, finding a sponsor would be a good thing , and also help you be accountable....
Take care Trying and don't forget , you can do this.....even on the rough days, you can and you will.
Well, actually, my appt didn't go so well.....and I'm confused and I don't even know how to explain it to you......
My doctor said that he thinks that I will have to be on this medication forever so he wants me on a small dose. I think I need a slight increase to get me over the hump, then lower me to a tolerable dose (I don't know right now about the forever part).
Then he began talking about me taking extras for bad pain days and I said that I really don't want to take extras.....I would rather find the right dosage for me then just deal with bad pain days but no extras. (I have to say that I think this is more like a time-release type of medicine and what is taking an extra today going to do for me if I have a bad pain day today....????)
So then he starts saying that I show that I am still having quite a lot of pain in my pain journal. I said that yes, I am still experiencing quite a bit of pain on a daily basis. He said that he didn't want me to suffer and started talking about increasing my dose. Then he asked if my husband still has control of my pills and I answered, yes, he keeps them in a lock box that I can't get in to. He said that he wanted my husband to call him so he could explain the increase to him and talk with him about me having pain. I was confused so I tried to get him to talk with me about the increase (mostly because I thought he was going to tell my husband to give me extras on bad pain days and I don't want this!) and he said again that he wanted to talk to my husband about my increase. This was yesterday (Friday) at 11:00. I talked to the receptionist and told her that he wanted my husband to call him today and she said that he would be leaving for the day at 11:30! So, I finally got ahold of my husband and explained it to him and he called the doctor at
11:15. She said the doctor would call him back and HE NEVER DID!! So, this was Friday...office closed until Monday....and I don't know what to do! The only information I got out of him was that he was giving me an increase, but I don't know how much of an increase.........
So, I am quite frustrated. I know that I need an increase....and he said he was going to increase it....but we don't know to what...??????
Please don't overlook my post at the end of page 4...please!!!
I have another problem that I would like advice for....
My mom and my brother are wanting all of us to go to Holiday World (an amusement park) and take my 3 year old daughter and her cousin/buddy. I also have a free ticket for myself. However, I am scared to death to go!!!! I am afraid of my pain level. My husband and I took my daughter just a month ago and she had a BLAST! But, she ran all over (in the water park) and we had to constantly chase her....and this time it would be ONLY me chasing her. That day caused me quite a lot of pain and even for the next couple of days.
I thought about taking an actual pain pill for that day, but that scares me to death too!! At this point, I want to find the right dose of methadone and stay there....no extras of anything. And, at this point, I don't even want to take pain pills; I just want to find the right dose of methadone that works best for me to live normally.
I don't know if I can take a pain pill or not.... I am in a good mental state of knowing what I have done wrong and knowing that I am doing the right thing now......but I am scared that if I take something for break-through pain that I might mess up everything.....
I honestly don't think I can survive the day there, chasing a 3 year old, without complete misery on me!
I hate this so much!!!! It is awful to be in a state of chronic pain but also be addicted to pain pills!!!!!!!!!! Uuuugggghhhh!!!!
Last edited by Tryin 4 help; 07-30-2011 at 07:10 PM.
The following user gives a hug of support to Tryin 4 help: janiee08 (07-30-2011)
Okay first off calm down and just breathe, in and out, slow and deep. These problems do have solutions.
As far as what the doc is increasing your meds to, what did he write your new RX for? It should be pretty evident of what the increase is. Also if each appt is going to be that confusing and talking in circles, I'd just have your husband go with you, it seems like the only way you'll get to the point right then and there.
Next, as for the amusement park, can you explain to yoru mom that you'd love to go, but with your chronic pain situations you need lots of help chasing after your 3 yr old adn will she be able to do that. Just be honest and let her know that if she can't, you'll have to pass this time and go another time when your husband is free to help you.
I did sound pretty desperate, didn't I?! I was feeling confused and upset at that time, but not THAT bad...LOL. Didn't mean for it to come across so strong. You see, I am a very organized person....almost to the point of OCD, I'd say. I always have things planned out and kinks in that can sometimes throw me into an anxiety "fit." I probably made myself sound worse than I actually am. I am pretty flexible, but finding the right solution/dosage is soooo important to me at this time. Maybe I am just impatient to a degree. Anyway......
First, my doctor didn't give me a new RX. He meant for me to do an increase with the bottle that I currently have. I have been seeing him for 6 months now and several instances have occured where he told me to take "extras." I don't want this with taking methadone. I want to find the right dosage for me. He told me that he was going to increase my dosage but he wanted to tell my husband what the increase was because he is the one controlling the pills. That aggravated me, but I thought, "whatever." But, when he didn't call my husband back to explain the increase to him, and it was Friday, I bascially went into a mild "anxiety fit."
When I started on the Suboxone, I got the impression that I was the first person he had given it to...like I was his geunia pig (sp?). So, I don't think he is experienced with drug addiction/chronic pain. I have been warned that people don't think he is a good doctor. That he just wants to keep patients coming back for long-term. However, I live in the middle of nowhere, literally. This doctor is a 40 minute drive for me and anyone else would be a 2 hour drive. And, he is kind, and seems to care about me.
Second, Holiday World.....My mom is not what you call your average mom. She is also a chronic pain sufferer and is addicted to pain pills (She sees the same doctor that I do and he has her on oxycodone 30mg 4Xday.) She wouldn't help chase my daughter and I wouldn't really trust her to. My daughter is VERY active and when we took her a few weeks ago, she ran 100 mph everywhere in the water park. It took both me and my husband to keep her under control. I have talked with my husband and my oldest son, and we all feel that I am not ready for any pain meds yet for break-through pain. So, my oldest son (18 years old) has agreed to go in my place and totally watch/chase her. And, I trust him a lot more than I trust my mother. So, problem solved. However, I hate to miss seeing her have fun, but I need to try to work on my problems right now. I also think my mom is going to be angry with me for not going...and she'll just say, "Oh, just take some pain pills and go with us." But, I will be strong and tell her that I can't handle it right now.
Again, sorry for sounding so desperate. I guess I was just looking for advice in the middle of my "anxiety fit." ......LOL. Thanks to all of you for your kind words, encouragment, and especially your advice!!!
Remember that doses of methadone shouldn't be increased any earlier than every 3-7 days , depending on the individual. It may well be that the doctor had some other emergency or last minute appointment to tend to on Friday, or he didn't get the message and will give your husband a call tomorrow. Either way, if the doctor doesn't , by say 1:00pm your time, have your husband call again and ask the doctor to call him......
As far as getting to the "right" dose for you to manage your cravings, well, as I said earlier, part of that is coming from your "junkie" mind- don't take offense, please but it is your body's way of convincing you to take more- not that you need it, because your pain levels are being managed pretty well by your own words- but your cravings are not. Those , you need to work on yourself, with a therapist or counselor and maybe NA would be helpful for you to find someone who also have dealt with addiction to pain meds and how they manage it and the cravings. There will never be enough of any medication that is going to get rid of the cravings, they will lessen in time, but in large part, you have to take control of them and not give into them. All increasing your doses are going to do is continue to feed that beast, those cravings , and after a short time, you will find yourself back to the doctor asking for another increase to manage the cravings.
I am not ruling out a small increase in your dose- maybe another 5 mg during your day time dose, but using a regular steady increase across the board in your total dose, I wouldn't do that, at least not yet. I don't know what dose he started you off at, or what you were taking of your drug of choice before, but he needs to be careful in not feeding the beast of your addiction, and balance that with a dose that will manage the pain and not further add problems....
In reality, the only addiction med that I am aware of that will take the cravings totally away is suboxone- but that did nothing for the pain levels. Methadone will help with the cravings but I am not sure that it will remove all of the cravings totally, like the suboxone did.
The Following User Says Thank You to backhurtz For This Useful Post: Tryin 4 help (08-01-2011)
Please don't feel the need to apologize, you did nothing wrong. Everyone is allowed to rant now and again, it's what keeps up sane *l* Hmmm..as for your doc, people say different things bout docs all the time, 2 will love him, 3 will hate him, etc. etc. It's how you feel with him that counts. As long as he is treating you well and not thinking this is a not so serious problem that he can fix with a bandaid, you should be fine. I think at your next appointment you might suggest a different plan of attach for dosage changes, and have your husband with you, try something like,"I do value and trust your opinion, but it is very confusing for me when you will not discuss my dosage changes with me, and state that you will only tell my husband. I'm a grown adult and this is my hardship to deal with, my husband cannot be my keeper or enabler. So please from this point on explain the dosages to me at our appointments, making sure that everything is clear, and then you can email my husband the changes and what meds he is to give me, etc."
You need to make it clear to this doc that you are his patient, not your husband. And unless you signed some type of legal agreement, he's breaking every HIPPA law in the book, by discussing your case with your husband. So, if it were me I'd get it cleared up, because even though he's nice and such, it sounds as if he's treating you like a child and has to wait for your daddy to come be so he can get the directions......I don't think that type of enabling/keeper relationship does any addict well....and it can be very hard on a marriage. So, I'm just saying in my opinion you might want to think about this rather seriously. If you decide this is the way you want to go, you'll need to talk to your husband beforehand so he understands what he is supposed to do, which is to totally support you and your decision.
take care hon, and let us know how you're doing.
The Following User Says Thank You to katlin09 For This Useful Post: Tryin 4 help (08-01-2011)
In my experience, methadone did NOT help me with pain. I was taking vicodin & was dependent & tolerant. I feel that the methadone clinic just wanted the $$ from my awesome ins. plan b/c they knew that I was still in pain, & allowed me to keep taking the Vicodin!! All the methodone did was give me another drug to become dependent on. Apparently I was up to a VERY high dose as well (85 mg).
Shortly thereafter, I got pneumonia, which subsequently went into ARDS (Acute/Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome). I was 27 years old & W/in 2 days of becoming ill I was on life support, w/a 15% chance of survival. When they gave mme my methodone dose, I nearly died & then they took me off of it (I was unconcious & being given Dilaudid I think). Not sure if the Methadone played a role in my illness (my husband seems to think so). I also knnow that the medical staff believed I was a heroin addict (I was not, never have used it). It's in my medical record that they did not believe that I was using methodone for pain relief after not enough relief from using vicodin.
I think that it probably didn't help my condition b/c of its effect on my immune system. I know that the clinics & methodone manufacturer's deny any harmful side effects in terms of immunity, dental or general health, but I watched my sister take it for heroin addiction since 1975 (I was 2, she was 18 years my senior) & I saw what it did to her health, (& teeth started to just fall out of her head).
She ultimately died of Hep C but swore to me on her death bed she had not gone back to heroin & needles. I believe she contracted the hepatitis from a dirty tattoo needle at a biker/tattoo party. Also, remember there is a major stigma associated w/methodone treatment as well.
After I recovered (miraculously) from the ARDS, I idiotically still thought I didn't give the methadone a fair shake (it had been less than 2 months b/f I was struck w/the ARDS) so I went back on it!! I soon realized that it was not for me & I decided to get offofit as quickly as possible!! More quickly than they even allow (it would have taken me years to detox their way). So I signed a waiver & detoxed 1 mg/day until I was off it. Catapress helped a lot w/the withdrawls but it took abt a year b/f I felt "normal" again.
I have since been diagnosed w/not only endometriosis but the other previously unnknown cause for my severe pelvic pain (interstitial cystitis). I have just been "biting the bullet" & taking a lot of vicodin, percocet, & sometimes soma to take the edge off of the spasms & contractions until about 2 weeks ago my PCP told me all the tyelenol was going to destroy my liver so she gave me a fentanyl patch, which is working very well for the pain (some breeakthrough pain though). The pain is much better controlled so far but I am terrified of the inevitablle fentanyl dependence & tolerance. I haven't been on it long enough to know if this is a disasterous mistake. Until now, for decades I had avoided the "harder", LA opiates & just suffered. I love not having to wake up in pain to take more pills.
However, it took some trial & error to get the patches to stay on at all in the 1st place (which is what brought me to this site originally). I followed directions a flushed perfectly medicated patches b/c they wouldn't stay on--3 of them--b/f I figured out I had to use Bioclusives & just slap on another one when it starts too come off again. I wish I had kept them now but I have kids & was afraid to keep them after they wouldn't stick (directions say flush & use a new one). Now I fear I'm going to be going into withdrawl b/c I am now 9 days short & my dr. is on vacation. I don't see her again until the 22nd & have thought about just wearing each patch longer but I've read thiis is dangerous. She did giive me some oxycontin for brakthrough pain. I wonder if I save those for when I run out of the patches if they will stave off the withdrawl until the 22nd (assuming I am already dependent but I am afraid to find out)!!. I have read a ton of fentanyl horror stories now so I'm not sure if they are a good option for you or not (still not sure if it is a good option for me either). If you should use them, just be sure to buuy the bioclusives & practice w/them 1st. I wouldn't through away a patch that doesn't stick initially either, they will stay on w/these bioclusives (or Tagaderm, they're expensive) but I like the bioclusives more. I got 100 of them for $60 online. Another drawback is that I have relied on hot baths to ease my pain some since I was 12 (I'm 38 now) & that is not an option anymore w/the patches b/c heat will cause too much medication to be dispersed at once.
I personally think that methadone is not a good option for pain management in my experience but others may have different results. Good luck to you. I pray that you find some relief. It's a truly vicious cirlce we are caught up in!!! May God bless you & guide you & your healthcare professional to make the best decision for you.
I'm pretty scared now....had to go to ER last night. I woke up yesterday with my lower back/upper butt muscles numb/asleep. It got worse as the day went on. About 4:00, I noticed that area was swollen and hot to the touch, plus excruciating pain to touch it. By 6:00, I was in so much pain that I couldn't get up and down without screaming and my son had to get me up and down. He finally talked me into going to the emergency room. Terrible pain...a 10! Anyway, at the ER, they told me my temp was 100.6 so must be some infection somewhere. They took some x-rays and a urine sample (with me screaming and crying the whole time). Then, they gave me a shot of dilaudid (sp?) and a muscle relaxer. And, the ER doc actually told me that I have a severely degenerated disk...ha ha ha...already knew that. They sent me home and I am getting ready to head to my neurologist now. When I awoke this morning, it was swollen worse and still can't get up or down without assisstance and a lot of crying.
Thanks Kat, that's kinda what I thought....waiting on my daddy to help me. And, I figured that was illegal, but I didn't know what to do about it.
Well, I left there more upset than when I went in. I explained about waking up yesterday with my lower back/butt area feeling numb and how it got worse all day and started to swell. (The swelling is terrible today!) I told him (but he got to see first hand) that I can't get up and down without help. When I told him that I had a fever in the ER last night, he got almost angry. "Why did you come to see me for a fever? You should see your primary care physician!" My son told him that the ER said I should see him since it's my back that is swollen. He looked at my back, pushed around on it (which caused me excruciating pain!) and agreed that it is terribly swollen. I should add that by this point, I am crying uncontrollably from the pain and from his actions.
He gave me scripts for Vicaprofen 7.5 and muscle relaxers and told me to keep taking the methadone. He said it is probably a muscle spasm and will heal within 2 weeks. My son asked why I have the fever.....did I have infection? He said, "You can't get infection there," and he walked out the door. I am still crying....my son is mad....and my son is trying to get me out the door and down the hallway to leave. I whispered to him, take me to the car and then come back to pay the copay. On the way out, the nurse/secretary said, "Angela, don't you want to pay your copay?" I couldn't believe it! She didn't care about me crying in pain, but she was sure concerned about them getting some money!!! (BTW, He said he never called my husband back because he had to go out of town.)
My son called the local chiropractor, the one who treated me up until my surgery, and he explained the whole thing to her. She said it has to be more than just a muscle spasm with the swelling and infection.
So, now we are thinking about driving 2 hours to the nearest city to go to the ER. The same ER as the hospital where I had my back sugery so they can get ahold of the surgeon who did my surgery if they need to see my records.
We did drive the 2 hours to the hospital where my back surgery was and I must say, I was impressed with their ER!! I guess living in the middle of nowhere, I didn't realize we have such excellent medical care here in the US...lol. Anyway, after first being admitted, I was seen quickly by a doctor who thought it was probably an absess that had nothing to do with my previous back surgery/problems. He ran a CT scan, a blood culture, and other various tests. Turns out, it is an absess! It has nothing to do with my previous back problems....just a coincidence that it is in the same area!
He did run a bag of antibiotics through an IV while I was there. He suggested that I try a round of oral antibiotics and we would know within 2-3 days if that helps. If not, then I'll need to be admitted to the hospital to try some IV antibiotics....and, last resort, cut down to lance it. What a relief!!
The ER doc also told me that this can be extremely painful so that explains why I was in so much pain. It might also explain why the methadone wasn't working so well for me yet....cause this absess was building up there. The last few days, I've been wondering why my cravings seemed controlled, but my pain wasn't being controlled....and this explains it!!
I've got a few days to go of treating this absess, but, like I said, what a relief to find out that I don't have a problem with another disk!!
A weird observation or question: I was given a shot of dilaudid in the ER again last night. Is this a common drug to use in the ER when a pain shot is needed? I don't believe I've been to the ER much for myself..... I had never heard of dilaudid before this board or my last two evenings in the ER.
Dilaudid is a pretty normal pain med for ER's. It works quick by injection and does a pretty good job of controlling most pain, if that doesn't work believe it or not a lot of ER's go straight to Morphine.
I'm glad your doing better and found an answer to the problem. Please continue to let us know how you're doing.