HealthBoards (
-   Addiction & Recovery (
-   -   Need help with taking pain meds correctly please. (

Bailey55577 10-30-2009 06:47 AM

Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
New to the board but have been reading posts.

I am on a lot of pain medicine for a back injury and other pain. I have collapsed discs at the L4-L5-S1. I am on a 75 mcg Fentanyl pain patch, change every 72 hours. Also on Oxycodone 325 mgs 1 tab X 2 daily, Lyrica 150 mgs, 1 cps X 2 daily, Neurontin 600 mgs 1 tab X 3 daily, Soma 350 mgs 1 tb X 4 daily, and I use 3 Lidoderm patches across my lower back per day; 90 of them per month. Some of the meds I don't take the way prescribed and I want so badly to take everything right.

I don't abuse the Fentanyl, I found out just how gut-wrenching the withdrawal from that can be. I once had a bad patch that had little to no medicine in it and I went in to withdrawal; about 28 hours of absolute sheer-hell. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, knew I had changed my pain patch the day before and then began to think, wonder if there could be something wrong with my patch, put on a new one and within a few hours symptoms began to subside. The patch was sent to a lab to be tested and it was found to contain almost nothing in it. Most all my other meds I don't take right and I want so badly to take them correctly.

I am too afraid to discuss this with my pain management doctor, too afraid he will refuse to treat me and stopping all my pain meds and I cannot face the hell of the withdrawals. I know why I don't take them right but I can't seem to stop myself. I have a lot of emotional pain and I mostly just try to stay numb as much of the time as I can. A brother and sister who have totally cut me off, a mother that barely tolerates me, a wonderful husband who keeps hoping someday I will get it together. I have issues; severe child abuse both sexual and physical, premature births, (no children) second marriage resulted in the death of my husband from organ failure and present marriage that I have issues with.

I have been having some physical symptoms that sent me to my family doctor for a workup. I had pneumonia about 3 months ago and I more or less feel like I have never gotten over that. I only stayed in the hospital for about 24 hours, I was having EXTREME back pain from the lousy mattress on the bed and because I cannot stay in bed for more than 7-8 hours at a time. While in the hospital I was getting all my regular meds and in addition to that, I was getting Morphine through my IV every 6 hours for severe back pain. I begged my family doctor to let me out of the hospital, I couldn't take the back pain any longer.

Present symptoms, total exhaustion, hurting all over, feeling really lousy all the time, at time my legs hurt so bad I explain it as feeling like I am walking around on bloody stumps, profuse sweating, just burning up all the time and running a sub-normal body temp ranging 96.5 to maybe getting up to 97.8, NEVER running a normal 98.6 body temp. Had a lot of blood work done but everything came back clear. Have been having a lot of gastro symptoms so family doctor put me on a series of antibiotics to cover any infection I might have and a round of Flagyl for the gastro symptoms.

I do not want to live this way, I want to do this right. There is no disputing my back problems, my MRI films look pretty bad with the osteoarthritis and the collapsed discs. Along with all that I also have some severe facet problems going on in my back and hip joints. About 6 years ago I blew out a disc in my neck at the C5-6 level which resulted in having the disc removed; bone graft done with hardware put in place. I have a lot of neck and left shoulder pain but left shoulder pain explained as a partially torn rotator cuff because I am trying to avoid surgery. From all the pain meds I have been on, pain receptors are very very low and I found this out after having knee surgery about 18 months ago.

But, even with all the legitimate problems I have going on, I know I am not taking my meds right. I take them whether I am hurting or not, at times take extra, I just want to be numb and not feel anything but in my heart I know I am trying desperately to numb an emotional pain that no meds in any amount is going to take care of.

I am very worried about the present physical symptoms I have going on but too afraid to tell anyone I am not taking my meds right. Every month I tell myself I will take them right but I don't.

Can anyone give me any ideas on this?? Could the present symptoms I am having be caused by not taking my meds correctly?? My family doctor can't seem to find any physical reason for these symptoms and of course I have not told her about misusing my meds because the first thing she would do is contact my pain mgt. specialist. She is in constant contact with pain doctor, before prescribing cough syrup with Codeine in it, she first contacted him for permission. I had told her I have a contract with pain doctor and family doctor is trying hard to not do anything that might violate that by giving me a controlled substance prior to getting his permission.

My meds are due to be refilled today, I know I will use the Fentanyl correctly, don't want to ever go through the withdrawals of that but all the others, I can't seem to stop myself no matter how much I want to do it all correctly. I need help please.

Thanks in advance and thanks for allowing me to join your board.

Bailey55577 10-30-2009 05:08 PM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
Could someone take a look at my post and reply please. I am sitting here with a lot of pills and feeling very frustrated.

eyesworld 10-30-2009 05:54 PM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
It seems to me that your questions may be better answered on the Pain Management Board.
But in my opinion, your meds all have directions on them as to how you're supposed to be using them. I'm not familiar with some of them but I think you should go to the other board.
I answered cuz I know how frustrating it can be if no one answers you, especially when you're in a lot of pain.:angel:
and you should never be afraid to discuss your meds with your doc-or if that's the case-get another doc, just my opinion.

mel486 10-31-2009 01:30 AM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
Hey there Bailey55577! I just read your post. Wow! You are on a lot of meds. I thought I was on a lot when I injured my neck, but nothing near as much as you. I can imaging your pain as well. Besides spinal stenosis throughout my spine, I have bulging discs C5 through C7 and also at T5.

I think you need to sit back and look at everything you are taking and ask yourself, do I really need this med? Yes, stay on the Fentanyl patch, but do you need the Oxycodone every day? The Oxy is usually for break through pain when the patch isn't working. You may want to taper off of the Oxy and only use it when you pain increases. Of course, these are only my opinions and you should always talk to the Pain Doc before changing your prescribed medication use. Soma is a muscle relaxer - are you having muscle pain or just nerve pain? Are the nerves causing muscle spasms? The Lyrica is for the nerve pain and from your injuries, it looks as if you mostly would have nerve pain. So talk to your Doctor and ask which meds you should be taking and ask, "Why should I take it? What symptoms will it alleviate? What are the long-term problems I may have by taking this much medication? Should I reduced teh amounts or discontinue any?"

Good Luck to you and I hope you figure out your meds and how to take them.

I noticed that I experienced the same problem when I was on the Oxy. At the slightest hint of pain, I grabbed a pill. It's your mind telling you to take the pills and not the pain talking. I stopped taking the meds one day so I could see the surgeon the next day and I fond out the hard way that you don't stop taking 60 mg of Oxy w/o major withdrawals. But, I also found out I was in significantly less pain that I had thought I had. The Oxy fooled me into taking the pills when I really didn't have to. That was when I tapered off of the Oxy.

AnnD 10-31-2009 02:34 AM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
You are only on two narcotics the rest of your meds are not addictive and will do nothing other than make you sick if you take more than prescribed. The two narcotics are your pain patches and the Oxycodone 325mg and you are suppose to take two of those a day? ...My husband is on a lot more pain meds than you and I am the one that manages his meds just for the reasons you are experiencing. Do you think you might turn the oxycodone over to your husband and let him give you just two a day and not let you even have the bottle of pills. I can tell you the sweating is from all the narcotics it gets really bad if you try to do anything physical doesn't is not a fun side effect of having to be on narcotics long term....and this feeling you have of just dragging around is probably from the Oxycodone's. You are on a tremendously high dose and wonder how it came to be such a high dose?...Perhaps you actually need a higher pain patch dosage and lower the 325mg of Oxy's to a much lower dose...I think you would feel better all around if you could lower that and raise the fentanyl patch. Then you wouldn't go through any withdrawal since you are replacing the pain management to the patch. my husband had eventually progressed to a higher pain patch to 200mcg every 48hr but only needed like 10 to 20 mg Oxycodone for breakthrough pain. But he too was and still is very tired of the overall of just not feeling right and he asked to have the spinal cord stimulator implant to take over the control of most of the pain. It was a god send I can tell you. But the rest of the medicines you are also meant to help control the pain but they of course are not pain meds and all of those might also be causing you not to feel good. My husband tried most of those but couldn't take them because of so many side effects...especially the Lyrica. Think about when you started to feel really bad inside and you might discover that with the Lyrica, Soma, and Neurontin all in such high doses that those alone can make anyone sick. And it doesn't sound like they are helping... However, they also might be helping hard to say only you would know how you feel. Going off of any or all of those will not cause any withdrawal symptoms. As far as pain meds the two you are on are actually standard for treating this kind of pain...but I am puzzled by the high dose of Oxy. You must be severely constipated! I am sorry you have to suffer so much and I know it is difficult for you to live a normal life...that just isn't going to happen so try not to beat yourself up over all this and the one drug that you should be on is an antidepressant and the one generally used is the newer ones like Cymbalta. You obviously are depressed and need some help there. Next time you go see the pain specialist ask about perhaps increasing the fentanyl and lowering the Oxycodone to a take as need basis. And let him know you are depressed and need something for that. You could also use a good support group are there any in your area?...ask your pain specialist. Just be good to yourself and try your best and that is all anyone can ask. Good luck.

mel486 10-31-2009 11:17 AM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
I agree that taking something like Cymbalta may help with the depression that you are feeling, plus it has a nice side effect of decreasing nerve pain. I took Cymbalta as well with my neck injury and I'm continuing to take it and Lyrica to lower my pain now. Using them together I usually don't have to take the Oxy unless I get to the point where I can't handle the pain anymore.

I have tried to reduce my meds down to the bare minimum, since I when through horrible withdrawals when I got off of them the first time. So, now I only take the Oxy when I can't stand the pain. Plus, since I live with some pain, I know what increases the pain and what makes it go away, so I can reduce the things I do that increases it.

Again, talk to your Pain Mgt doc and see what they have to say.

vrwnva 10-31-2009 08:36 PM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
Bailey reading your post was like reading my own words and thoughts. I am in the exact situation as you. I posted recently as well my post was titled why cant I take my meds correctly.

First if i understand right you take one oxycodone 10/325 2 times a day? That is really not that high of a dose. If I'm understanding right. that is only 20mg of oxy daily.

I have had a battle with taking my meds correctly as well. I also know that I am reaching for another one not because im hurting but because i want to feel that good feeling that makes all right with the world. Eventually 2 is like taking none and 4 does better then 4 becomes 6, and so on. My tolerance or threshold is very high.

I was on fentanyl as well. I abused that as well. I am no longer on the patch and don't want to be because I know it is very powerful, very tempting and very dangerous. I am proud of you for being strong at taking the patches correctly they can be very effective taken correctly.

I have a lot of past emotional issues that I don't deal with. Hurts that go as far back most of my lifetime. I am not able to deal with sad. I have to learn to deal with sad things and feel sad then move on instead of the sadness engulfing me. I have had clinical depression long before chronic pain. So I know how overpowering depression is. I agree with previous poster you need to speak with someone about treating depression. I have put myself into withdrawals many times. Complete terror. Mental and physical hell. The depression is so horrible, scary, overpowering.

The sad thing is I still have the problem of taking meds correctly knowing how horrible the withdrawals are!!!! I've had people tell me i need to stop the meds period. no if ands or butts. Also have had people including physicians say I need the meds to ever live a life of any quality.

I had a bad fall in 1998. whiplashed my whole spine. I suffer continuous spasms from the bottom of my spine all the way to the top of my spine going into the back of my skull. This affects all my limb movements and strenghts. I have fibromyalgia. I have had 4 major abdominal area surgeries between 2003-2005. I have horrible knee and below pain. Anyways yes I have legitimate reasons to need pain med treatment. I can't take any anti inflammatory meds due to gastric bypass surgery. My stomach can not handle NSAIDS.

I feel your confusion, frustration, and pain. Day at a time for me. I have just in past few months started to accept I have a serious problem and have to figure out how to deal with it. I thought deal with the pain and get away from these narcotics is my ONLY option. I don't think that is an option. I went to ER with severe withdrawals from tramadol. Docs admitted me with very low potassium levels. they gave me dilaudid in my iv every 4 hrs. I also had to take a lot of pottasium. The drs there do pain mgmt for hospice patients and felt that I need to take meds for my pain. I was explained even people that are addicted to the meds still need the meds to control the pain, that it just makes it more challenging to treat them. I wish I could find a pain mgmt dr. to see outside of the hospital that felt that way. One of the dr's out of that grp has been giving me my meds each mth until i could get an appt. in a new pain mgmt dr. (o the last one dropped me like a hot potato when I called and told her I was overtaking my fent. and oxycodone) NO HELP AT ALL. I start a new pain mgmt dr. dec 2. I will find it very hard to be able to tell him I have issues taking my meds correctly like I was able to tell dr's in the hospital.

Ok I'm sorry for the book and I don't know if any of this has helped you, but I just wanted you to know you have someone right here in me that is dealing with exactly what you are. Maybe we can figure it out together with the help of all these wonderful ppl on this board.

My step right now is to go tommorrow for my first visit in a program. Its through a church I have attended. Its called celebrate recovery. Very much like NA from what I understand. It covers not only addiction but also emotional hurts and things like we can't deal with. Maybe you can find a church that holds these meetings near you.

Thank you for posting and thank you for allowing me to ramble. Don't give up. If you slip its just a slip tommorrow is another day. Thats one thing that has helped me. Before I would just say well I screwed up already may as well go ahead and give up and keep going til the bottle is empty. Now I say to myself ok tommorrow is the day to start over again...........................RENEE

matt3507 11-01-2009 01:59 AM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
Hi Bailey,
I am so sorry you are having such a bad time. I have chronic neck stuff and it has been the worst. One thing lately that has helped me is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of chronic pain. You are brave and you are admitting that you are using your pain meds to help emotional pain as well as physical pain. Is counseling by a pain psychologist covered by your insurance? I fought tooth and nail saying I didn't want to go, but seeing this psychologist is the best thing I have ever done. He can help with your emotional pain and won't jump all over you about your meds. You can open up and tell the truth. If he diagnoses you with a major depressive disorder (many, many people have this) then he will refer you to a psychiatrist who could prescribe you meds and also teach you how to deal with your emotional pain.

I would also recommend two books: [U]Managing pain before it manages you[/U] and [U]Full catastrophe living[/U] The second one teaches you how to meditate and quiet your mind. You can get them online used for just a few bucks. You are in a very, very tough spot with chronic pain, and pain psychologists understand this, and they truly want to help. I was blown away first visit, it was like the guy could read my mind.

Last, you should check out the pain management board, but also the back pain board and the spine disorders board here. Great people who understand what you are going through abound here.

Last, last thing. I wouldn't beat myself up too bad if I was you. You are not perfect. People who have not experienced severe, chronic pain don't have a clue as to what you are going through. You are reaching out for help and that takes lots of guts.

Ok thats it. Please keep visiting here!

Take care :wave: matt

broke as a joke 11-01-2009 03:21 AM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
Bailey i think you and my mother in law is in the same position. I think she takes way to much and has been for years,, but she takes them over the same emotional problems. i think she numbs the pain and stays out of it all the time.. Now first i will say i will pray for you and hope your pain gets better. Have you ever talked to someone about depression(it will sneak up on ya)and before you even know your in a full blown depression.. Never be afraid to talk to your doctor --they cant help ya if your not being straight with them-- Trust me your not the first that this has happened to- and your not totally to blame for you being in your position--Please take a step back and take a few deep breaths and realize it can and most likey will get better, everyone has down days and sounds like your have a tough one right now.. I will say a prayer for you and if ya just need someone to talk to just hollar back,, sometimes it helps for you to get things off your chest and have someone to talk to. we as ppl shouldnt never judge anyone cuz we dont know theyre actual situation,, god is the only one who has the right to judge someones personal actions

Bailey55577 11-01-2009 03:07 PM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
Thank you to all who responded with your ideas and also your personal support. Friday after getting all my scripts filled, too one Percocet more than was allowed for the day and felt bad about it but didn't beat myself up or say what the he** already messed up, go ahead and enjoy. Promised myself I am going to do this right.

Yesterday was working around and trying to do some things. I was sweating so profusely I was sweating my Fent. patch off. Because I sweat so much, I have to cover my pain patch with a big band aid-type bandage over top of it. It had sweated loose as well so I was trying to trim down my patch to adhere it to another bandage. Apparently I nicked the edges of it because later when I want to lay down for a bit because my back was hurting really bad, I noticed my breathing was not good. And also I was having shivers which for me that is never heard of. I realized what I must have done, got up, got a wash cloth, soaped it up good, removed the bandage and the patch and scrubbed my arm good removing any and all of the Fentanyl from my skin. I then stayed up not going to sleep for about 8 hours to make sure I was going to be okay. Apparently there has been a lot of Fentanyl in my system because I didn't put on another patch for about 18 hours, only when I began feeling any withdrawal. That was a close one, I nearly messed up big time but I pay very close attention to my breathing and other symptoms I have.

I do take something for depression, I take Prozac. I haven't been taking it regularly, only when I feel like I need it but I know I need to get on it and stay on it, keeping a level of it in my system.

I am just too afraid of telling my pain management doctor about the missuse of my meds, too afraid of being dumped as a patient.

I was dumped by my former pain doctor. While I was seeing him I had to have some dental work done and needed something for the pain. The dentist knew I was going to a pain doctor, I didn't try to hide anything, he put me on something else besides what I was on for pain. I had the script filled at the same pharmacy where I had my pain med scripts filled and the pharmacy immediately contacted the pain management doctor. And in addition to that, they had me confused with some other doctor, the pain doctor's office kept asking me who this Dr. S**** was and I kept saying I swear I don't know any Dr. S**** and never got any scripts from him and they said well apparently you did but I swear to God I had not, don't know him or her, never heard of them. I admitted to them about the dentist but swore I didn't know this other doctor. I cried and cried begging the practice director to investigate all this, there had been a mistake but he wouldn't.

Well he still dumped me but when I found my present doctor they told me this former doctor was famous for dumping people for the slightest thing. I am very happy with present pain management doctor. If I have any dental work done or when I had knee surgery, as long as I let them know I am on something else and which pharmacy so they can call to check and verify, no problems.

He is not that crazy about me being on both the Oxy and the Fentanyl. I was on 100 mgcs of Fentanyl and the Oxy and first thing he did was lower the Fent to 75 mcgs, changing every 72 hours. He told me he has only had one other patient who was on both and I am only the second he stated.

As far as the emotional "hurts" I am well aware of them, used to work a good program, do morning readings, prayer, and meditation so I think I am going to try to get back to that. Still have my prayer and meditation books, dust them off and try again. It is certainly NOT going to hurt me any. ;)

I just wish I could get rid of this horrible tired feeling, hurting all over, get rid of the horrid sweats, etc.

I had a big cortisone injection in my left shoulder about 3 weeks ago; I have a partial thickness tear to the rotator cuff. Last injection got me about 3 months of relief until I had to go back for another. This one lasted 2-3 weeks before it was back to hurting again. I dread the idea of surgery, my pain receptors are so low I have very little tolerance to pain so I just don't know. Maybe I can talk him into keeping me in the hospital for a couple days for IV pain control before sending me home on something in addition to what I am already on. Maybe I can get him to consult with my pain management doctor and the two of them can come up with something.

Sleeping is so difficult for me, I have a lot of insomnia anyway but I hurt so bad and that keeps me awake. I can't lay on my back for more than 20-30 minutes and then I am in terrible pain. If I go to sleep on my left side which is how I sleep, I wake up in horrific pain from my shoulder hurting so what the heck do I do?? This all gets to be too much to take at times.

vrwnva 11-02-2009 01:24 AM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
Hi bailey its me again. First I know I'm the last to give advice I am on here looking for advice for same issues you deal with. But hey maybe the fact that i know EXACTLY how you feel something i say may help.

First one day at a time. Its so easy to get so overwhelmed. I agree with the not saying the he** with it I messed up may as well take it on as far as it will go. That is what I have been working on myself. It used to be so easy to say well i'm going to run out early and deal with WDs now anyways may as well just go til there gone. I try to explain that to my husband. He gets this attitude well your messing up already gonna be same ending well i say that was yesterday today is a new day to do better than yesterday. He doesn't realize how easy i could let that be the excuse to just take the script til its gone. But in his defense he has lots of reason to not have faith. I have to brush it off and remember that my decision is to say tommorrow is a new day.

I am finding that If I focus on what my overuse of my meds is doing to everyone else it just throws me in deeper depression, guilt, low self worth. I'm finding focusing on what I'm doing to myself works better for me.

As far as taking prozac when you think u need it you may as well not take at all. I have more experience with anti depressants than anything. They don't work as needed like a pain pill or a valium etc, They have to get in your system usually takes at least 2 weeks and have to continually be going in your system. Believe me if what you are taking is working with your system you will know in 2 or 3 weeks. If after a month you can't tell your taking anything than its the wrong med or needs adjusting. Depression medications can take awhile to find the correct med. and then after that get the right dosage. When its right tho its a lot of relief and well worth it.

Its really hard for all of us that have to fear letting or PM docs know when were having concerns and need a little extra support taking our meds correctly. I would say be really sure you have a doc that believes you deserve pain treatment even if you have become addicted. They know the meds they prescribe have the addiction issue sadly doesnt mean they will stick by you. They should my last and 1st PM doc didnt. read your contract closely too before you speak up. If you decide to speak up just be careful how you word everything. Not trying to scare you from reaching out to your doc. I just don't want to see you dumped just for asking for extra support.

I think your doing very well. Is your pain controlled with the patch and 2 oxycodones daily? If so please fight to keep it at that level until your not getting good pain control at that dose. The first PM doc. I went to (one i was speaking of) started me off with 25mcg fent and 1 10mg oxycodone 4 times a day....Needless to say my tolerance is way high. I wish I would have known to take as little as possible for my own good in the long run.

The good thing is you can reverse it. If you get dumped, not the best way or taper or however it works out. you can start out slow and the meds work better again. THANK GOD.......DR from hospital stay discharged me on 20mg oxycotin every 12 hrs and 10mg oxycodone 4 times a day as needed. well since its taken so long for me to get appt with new PM doc she had to cut back off the oxycotin to ;1 10 mg oxycodone every 4 hrs. I had to go through some WD before she got the script for the oxycodone to me. I thought the day of 1 10mg oxycodone having any effect on my were long gone but it does. I still mess up. i'm used to a lot more meds than what im on. i only hurt myself by cutting myself short and building up that tolerance. taking a day at a time until dec 2 which will be 40 days between scripts. I gotta find a way to make it work tho.

sorry for being so long winded. You are just in such similar situation as me that I can't help but reach out. I hope we can help each other cuz lord knows i need it. thank you to everyone on this board. the first and most support ive had in this battle. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU RENEE:angel:

vrwnva 11-10-2009 08:36 AM

Re: Need help with taking pain meds correctly please.
how are you doing bailey? I'm getting ready to start a program similar to 12 step programs its called celebrate recovery through churches. the lady that runs the program said that it is not just for ppl that are quitting all drugs. It also works with ppl to learn and help them to take meds correctly. like maybe finding if there are hurts are issues that i cant deal with well so i take the meds to not think about. anyways just wanted to check and see how u are

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:57 AM.