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  • Ouch. What is real pain?



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    Old 08-03-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
    phoenix101
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    Ouch. What is real pain?

    I'm 21 days off Hydro!

    I have several diagnoses which result in chronic pain. But I am an addict, and I cannot control myself enough to take prescription medication as prescribed.

    I had to address the addiction aspect of my health problems. especially since my abuse of narcotics was contributing to my inability to manage the pain.

    After three weeks, can I assume that I now have a real and accurate assessment of my pain level?

    'Cause it hurts. My body just hurts. I have new muscle pains that I don't remember having before I started the meds.

    Still have lower tummy problems. I took Imodium AD and it cleared for a few days, but now it's back. Not a problem before quitting. This makes me think I'm still experiencing WD.

    Insomnia. too, has re-surged. I am drained, sleepy, drowsy, tired-- and I mean seriously fatigued-- all day long. But I cannot sleep at night. Sleep was better last week, but now: I'm always lying down, yet never sleeping.

    I keep telling myself that these symptoms are just withdrawals, but I'm wondering if they are my "real pain level".

    Unfourtunately, I do not have medical insurance anymore. I just lost it a few months ago. My conditions are documented, and I have considered requesting my records and paying a new doctor out of pocket to help me.

    I am resisting this idea for a few reasons. The expense is not within my reach. I'd have to ask to be billed. (Do doctors even do that anymore?) And what could they even do for me? More meds? Stronger stuff? That would just lead to more troublesome and expensive problems for me. Especially now, since I'm working so hard to be "clean". I'm looking toward a "drug free" management of my pain.

    When can I say that my pain is "real" and not compounded anymore by coming off of the Hydro? I guess I need to know so that I can make a decision about whether or not I can live with it at this level without Western meds.

    I'm 21 days off Hydro!

     
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    Old 08-04-2008, 02:18 PM   #2
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    First of all, let me say that is wonderful that you have been off 21 days!! That is awesome. Honestly, in my opinion it takes a little longer to experience your TRUE pain level. As long as you're going through w/d's, your body is still craving the opiate and it will hurt a lot more than normal. It's weird, but true. I would give it another week, when you actually start to feel less and less w/d's. Then you should really be able to tell your true pain level.

    Best of luck in your recovery!

    g8trgrl

     
    Old 08-04-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    I don't have much experience with pain medication withdrawals (I did W/D from Tramadol but I'd only taken it as prescribed for 8 weeks). But I do have plenty of experience with intestinal distress. I just recently started taking a probiotic supplement. This one combines 8 different kinds of probiotics and is found in nutrition stores. It only cost about $12. I started out with one pill a day & then moved up to the recommended 2 a day. It has helped with so many of my health problems, including digestive issues. Maybe this would help you with your digestive issues, since I don't think taking Imodium long term is good for your bowel because it will become "lazy". Probiotics get you regular and cleaned out good so you don't keep toxins in your body, so it might help with W/D also (but not sure, I don't have any medical evidence to support that, it's just my theory).

    Good for you for staying off the pain meds, sounds like you are doing great!

     
    Old 08-05-2008, 09:14 AM   #4
    phoenix101
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    Thanks so much for replying, grl and red. I really appreciate your input and support. I'm going to pick up some probiotics today and otherwise keep taking care of myself for another week and then evaluate the pain level. Thanks!

     
    Old 08-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #5
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    you should be very proud of what you are doing for yourself phoenix,really. going off pain meds with actual pain is just a bigger deal becasue you do need pain management too. i am just wondering what the actual nature of your pain issues are? what is it that has been "documented" with your condition? what is the nature of your pain(what is it like in intensity and how does it present itself to you?)knowing that will just help me to help you try and find better ways to actually manage your pain without having to use narcotics. it CAN be done,trust me on that one,it all depends upon just what it is that is triggering it as to how to go about trying to manage it. the more specific you can be the better.

    while it does not take too overly long for the hydro to actually leave your system,it can take a bit longer to just regroup your bodies natural pain fighting capabilities. they have kind of been 'knocked out' while you were taking the hydro so the have to kick in again. you will be dealing with the WD part of this depending upon how long and how much hydro you were taking prior to going off. that part of this process is much more highly individual. one of the best anti inflammatory meds i had used for years was aleeve, it lasts longer than taking multidoses of any other anti inflams like motrin,advil? you just take two aleeve in the morning and two later in the day,it should last about eight hours ona good day. it doesn't impact the kidneys as hard as multidosing with advil can. just one suggestion for you for now. i lived on aleeve for about two years with a pretty severe herniated disc in my c spine before i finally had to get this fully evaluated and something done. but it allowed some good pain control for me. marcia
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    Old 08-06-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    Hey Marcia-

    I have bone spurs in my neck as well as bulging discs (bilateral) at c7 and c8. Neurologist also diagnosed TMJ, scoliosis and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. When I saw a Pain Doc for shots, he suggested that I have Fibromyalgia, but didn't write it as a diagnosis. My primary care doctor also mentioned the possibility of Fribro (after brain MRI showed no lesions, thus no MS).

    I hurt all over. Most days, I have severe (sharp and throbbing) neck pain on the left side that radiates to past my elbow and to the whole left side of my face. During an examination, my PC doc said she could see the muscles in my shoulder and upper back bouncing/spasming. I also have lower body pain that changes from one hip/thigh/calf to the other. I never had an MRI on the lower spine, which was frustrating because all my doctors felt that the C-spine issues couldn't be affecting the lower regions.

    I was put on muscle relaxers, Xanex and Klonopin, as well as 10/325 of Norco. Of course, I started abusing the Norco and got into this cycle of running out 10-14 days early, feeling terrible waiting for a refill, promising myself to take as directed, failing at that, finding that after the first 3 or 4 days of filling a script, I'd eat more and more and never get any pain relief anyway. I was obsessing over them all the time and I really believe that this self-abuse made the pain worse than it would have been if I'd never started them about 3 years ago.

    I was so excited to hear that Aleeve works for you. I have gotten no relief from Ibuprofen or Tylenol. I'm gonna try that today.

    Thanks so much!

    Last edited by phoenix101; 08-06-2008 at 01:06 PM. Reason: clarity

     
    Old 08-07-2008, 07:38 AM   #7
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    kind of messy up there isn't it. believe me i CAN relate. honestly,the absolute best thing i ever did for my myofascial pain and severe muscle issues caused by having my muscles cut into to do a surgery on my spinal cord back in 03 has been a therepy called myofascial release. have you ever heard of this or tried it? the thing about myofascial pain is that it CAN lead to pain in almost every other area of our body since that fascia is one huge interconnected sheet that overlays every muscle and body organ inside our bodies(it is very thin like a spiderweb covering?). so you can have myo pain in like the upper areas that will affect the lower extemities as well. once one area gets inflammed,since this IS all connected together,it can just affect the oppsite ends or any area in between. in your case tho,at some point,the lower spine should really be MRIed just to see what may or may not actually be there too. you just never know for certain what in the heck is really going on inside our bodies til you get a much deeper look with some level of real scan done on an area. but this type of therepy actually releases that fascia and gets it a bit less inflammed. i started this therepy about nine months ago and it has really really helped with my really over the top spasms in my upper and in my legs. it also has reduced at least some of my overall pain as well. i know you are currently without ins at this point but this therepy really is something i would at least look into if possible. i do think considering what you have going on up inthat c spine tho,will probably need some level of surgical intervention at some point to fully rid that problem,ya know? but therepys and the right types of meds can at least give you some good pain control til you can actually get this fixed.

    you do have some issues up in that c spine that is sending out little signals to your muscles as well(causes them to contract and spasm ansd create trigger points),so who knows if this really a myofascial issue itself or the inflammation of that area that is also affecting the muscles. i too have constant pain up in my c spine and upper back from a c spine that is literally deteriorating on me. they also had to remove the backs of three vertebraes to access my spinal cord,so i have lost alot of the stability there too.

    have you ever tried lyrica? this really was an amazing med in what it did for my more unresponsive to narcotic pain syndromes that also was created by my spinal cord damage. but this does work really well on overall muslce body pain and is the newest med for people who suffer from fibro too. while the muscle relaxers have their place where muscles are concerned,the lyrica really seemed to get more to the root of the overall triggers in me anyways. unfortunetly it had some side effects that forced me to go off. but when it comes to side effects from any med we take the reactions are very highly individual. you may be able to take this med and have absolutely no real problems with it. alot of people are using it now for our types of pain.

    from what you have mentioned as your main issues here i do think much of it just is stemming from too overly tightened muscles that are getting those signals from the inflammation in your c spine. the keys here for you would be to try and keep that inflammation down to a duller roar and also get work on the muscles with some level of the myofascial release. inflammation alone can just create so many problems that just effect sooo freaking much inside our bodies. there are stronger types of rx anti inflammatories that you can get too that may work much better than aleeve can. aleeve is good,but depending upon just how much real inflammation is up there,it may not be strong enough. all you can do is try it and see how it works for you. if it doesn't make things more tolerable,getting onto one of the Rx ones could help much much more for your level of inflammation/pain.

    if there is any way you can actually obtain that myofascial release,this is what really really works the best for me with all my deep muscle and constant inflammation crap. it really was the very best thing i ever did to just lower my overall muscle body pain and my really high level of spasticity. i have to go weekly just to try and keep things loose. spinal cord injury related spasticity and nerve/muscle crap is just a much more in depth thing to try and manage than the stuff i have just from my c spine issues. but given what you have going on,i really do think the release could help you ALOT,if you can manage to get into see a good knowledgable experienced therepist who really knows how to do this. the guy i have been seeing,and this was a referral from my pain clinic,has been doing this type of therepy for over 18 years. he really is amazing in what he does for my pain issues and muscle crap. i just think this would help you in the very best ways and you hopefully would not have to go back onto any level of narcotics. there are just other meds that would help i think much better for what you have going on than a narcotic could. all you can do is try them and see how things go. unfortunetly,as you probably already are aware,any good pain control we can get from any med is trial and error,as with any therepy or anything else that gets tried. i do hope you can find something that will help you soon. please keep me posted. Marcia

     
    Old 08-09-2008, 09:59 AM   #8
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    Hey Marcia,

    I'm checking into Myofascial Pain Release. Thanks so much!

     
    Old 08-12-2008, 04:24 AM   #9
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    i do really think it could help you with what you are dealing with as your bigger pain issues. like i said,find a god experienced therepist for this and you will be amazed at how much they can really do for your pain. good luck hon and please keep me posted. good luck, marcia
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    Old 08-12-2008, 04:16 PM   #10
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    Re: Ouch. What is real pain?

    In brief.......whatever injuries started you on the medications, at the time of those injuries the pain was immediate and present. That pain became captured in the nerve sensors as a signal to send, and the brain to receive.

    It can take several years of being on a chronic pain medication path of healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and pain medications in the dosages as prescribed, before the brain stops receiving the message that pain is present.

    It depends on how you became an addict to begin with. If you instantly wanted to block out all pain to the best of your ability and you did that with increased dosages until you lost your medical insurance......you've no real clue of the actual pain, vs. the phantom pain - as a result of healing, and time and use.

    So it's as if you're back to "just having the injury" - it's a rehab approach now - without you thinking that you're giong to be "pain free" - so much as you're going to adopt a lifestyle that allows you to manage the level of pain, while still having a quality of life.

    Before, you thought if you got rid of the physical impression of pain with drugs, that you were pain free and you were able to do whatever you wanted to do physically - which was putting your body in more injury and stress...and exacerbating your condition.

    It's now down to determining what the status quo physically really is, coming down off the chemical incopropration of the pain medications on your system - well over 21 days....and then adopting a healthy lifestyle nad a chronic pain management approach that allows you a quality of life.

    I lived with someone who underwent this whole gamut - he was on the pain medication to relieve his pain, so that he could go out and do whatever he wnated physically for about 9 years. that finaly caught up in the form of addiction chemically where he was no longer able to gt the pain relief, but couldn't do without the pills in extremely high dosage.

    It took him about 2 years to decrease his medication dosage so that he didn't experience chemical withdrawal and go non-functional as his lifestyle wouldn't permit that....and then it took another 4 years of learning to life in a structured and balanced lifestyle (not his style at all!), while using medications for pain management, so that he had some quality of life.

     
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