It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Arachnoiditis Message Board

  • Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 08-01-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
    DunkinNut
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Posts: 27
    DunkinNut HB User
    Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Hi all!
    I poke my head in occasionally and ask questions - so I appreciate being able to and those that help and take their time to reply.

    I have two things I'd like to throw out right now -

    The most pressing issue right now is that I take Hydrocodone every day for L4/L5 pain. Doc says I have a mild/mod compressed nerve due to deteriorating disc. I also have cervical issues - but the back pain is the worst of the two in terms of pain. The compression is actually worse cervicaly - but the back/leg pain is HORRIBLE. My back hurts....but the leg pain that emanates from it is unbareable. I've been on hydrocodone 7/350 (or whatever that new formulary is) for about 3 months now. Went up from the 5/500 that I had been on from a few years. In the beginning I was able to split the 5's and receive a LOT of benefit. Now...the 7's are barely working. I take 1-2 a day. Mostly for the pain at night - but some days if I try to get too much housework done - or run too many errands I hurt so badly. My worry is that I just had a hemorrhoidectomy 2 weeks ago - and that doctor put me on percocet post-op. Now that I'm mended up (mostly) from that and not taking the percocet (unless I have a bad setback (that's a rough surgery/recovery)....I'm feeling my back pain again, the hydrocodone is BARELY working at all for my leg pain. I'm scared to death that the percocet desensitized me to my usual pain med and that it now won't work! Can that happen? Does it get better with time? I'm really scared getting to the point that pain meds just dont' work on me anymore. I do not know what in the world I would do. I can't imagine anything worse. Thoughts? TIA

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 08-02-2013, 06:07 AM   #2
    Shoreline
    Senior Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Posts: 3,519
    Shoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB UserShoreline HB User
    Re: Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Hi Dunkin Nut, I think its very likely the percocets to have increasd your tolerance to the popint the Hydrocodone isn't going to help the nerve pain any longer. Nerve pain is the toughest to treat and least responsive to opiates. Most docs use meds like Toppamax or Neurontin to treat nerve pain along with meds in the antidepressants classes like cymbalta. When meds no longer work and its tough for meds to treat the pain when their is something that could be fixed like a nerve decompresssion its hard to justufy increasing the dose simply due to tolerance when a fix is available. Have you tried epidural steroids, some people get relief and can avoid surgery but when a doc simply throws more and more opiates at a problem its kinda like asking a doc not to put a broken arm in a cast but to siimply prescribe more pain meds.

    Their are minimally invasive surgeries to decompress nerves, Micro doscectomies,laser surgery, etc etc. The least invasive surgical method the better but every case is different. Most docs will also wait untill the pain is absulutely unbarable or you have such dramatic nerve compresion symptoms like foot drop, loss of reflexes, bladder or bowel problems simply because back surgery has a good success rate to relieve the nerve compression symptoms but often does nothing for the back pain which leaves patients disatisfied.

    I would certainly be geting surgical opinions and asking lots of questions, why does the doc think you should act now or wait longer, The longer you wait the less likely you are at relieving the nerve pain, Pain signals can basiclly become embedded into nerve pathways and once that hapens even if they decompress the nerve impingment surgery may not relieve the symptoms. I would be looking for a solution rather than more meds to mask a problem that eventually no amount of meds will mask.What your experiencing is tolerance and it develops in everyone, That's why you see people on hundreds of mgs of oxyContin for degenerative disc disease and still complaining of severe pain. Its a fine line between the meds helping and the med side effects hindering you. If there is a chance to resolve the problem I would pursue it vigerously. Good luck, Dave

     
    Old 08-02-2013, 07:52 AM   #3
    gmak
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: USA
    Posts: 2,648
    gmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB User
    Re: Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Hi dunkin nut, I had to take percocet for a badly fractured arm & i took hydrocone as my regular medicine & it did affect its effectiveness but my dr told me just stick to my dosing schedule, & not to increase it like taking two & it would start working again & it did start working again after 2 rough weeks of toughing it out just sticking with it!

     
    Old 08-02-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
    DunkinNut
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Posts: 27
    DunkinNut HB User
    Re: Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Thank you so much for your reply, Shoreline. I need as much feedback as I can get. A few things that I was unable to convey last night either due to the level of pain I was in, or that the 1.5 percocets I took finally started working... I have always been willing and ready to have a debridement or micro - but have had so many surgeons disagree that I get confused and scared. PM docs are ready, of course. And to them the fix is obvious and treatable. Surgeons - that's another story. I'm in Atlanta - so I have a cornucopia of terrific surgeons at my disposal. Then insurance weeds out some possibilities for me. Still - many great options. I've been to orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. I FINALLY found a neurosurgeon who agreed to operate when the time was "right". Basically he said try the P/T, try to strengthen your core, try try try (things I've done for 3 years with each doc along the way which doesn't help). I like him though - so I was willing to not rock the boat. Most docs disagreed with PM's interpretation of the MRI's. Compression is, apparently, subjective. Some say it's not "time", others blame me for being overweight and were downright nasty and told me they would NEVER operate on me. I have continued to search for the surgeon that will be right for me when the time comes. I'm pretty sure I will use the doc I referenced above and do need to see him but have been putting out other "flames" of physical illness and had to shelf my back issue for a bit. I had a friend who recently had a debridement however, and I may see her guy once to commpare yet, again. : ) It has NEVER EVER been my desire to GO on pain meds nor to STAY on them and certainly not to have to switch and level up. Never. I have TERRIBLE side effects....but as they say "the benefit must outweigh the risk (and side effects)". I itch HORRIBLY, get nauseus and have to take other meds to combat that. I have tried and was unable to tolerate meds such as Cymbalta and neurontin, topamax...the list is unbelievably long. My mother, too, was highly sensitive to meds and I never could understand as a child and thought she was being dramatic. I have eaten a lot of crow. LOL
    The two things that seem to keep the pain controllable (although I laugh at that term) is nonuse....and pain meds when I HAVE to use my body to do my job of wife/mother and stage manager. I am considering purchasing a small scooter as I can walk only a VERY short distance before the pain sets in. I usually get about 30-45 minutes in before I am ready to break down and cry. When on vacations I have rented a scooter and it's made the world of difference. There is, however, a social/emotional component to feeling you have resigned yourself to a scooter, however. I'm sure many here have grappled with that. Oh - before I forget - I have had multiple steroid injections. I get minimal relief and at this point I dont' feel the benefit outweighs the risk. Did you know that they are NOT FDA approved for use in the spinal column? The risk of arachnoiditis and other debilitating issues arising from them scares me to DEATH. AND my PM docs even agreed that we should not do any more for at least a long while as my last injection left me with a pretty bad reaction. One more thing - and I DO sincerely apologize for the length of this. I feel I have a complex situation as I am fairly sure most of us do. I am 47 (almost 48) and 5'4" and 210. This is AFTER a 30 lb weight loss several years ago and BEFORE my back issue. I wonder if I'm the only one who (and I posted about this about a year ago) who has doctor's blame all of their pain on "weight". Not until the last neurosurgeon that I feel I am likely to use did I find one to say "losing weight is NOT the problem and will NOT help - at least at this point". He said - you could come back (and I quote) with an Arnold Schwarzenegger body and you will still have back pain. Wow. I could not believe it. It's not that I'm unaware that taking weight off would decompress my spine...but I KNOW that is not going to fix my already taxed back/vertabrae. Anyway- I thought providing a bit more on myself might paint a clearer picture. Still, in the meantime, I worry in the meantime about getting pain relief. yikes. I am going to post separately about another concern for advice. Many thanks.


    This all brings me to

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shoreline View Post
    Hi Dunkin Nut, I think its very likely the percocets to have increasd your tolerance to the popint the Hydrocodone isn't going to help the nerve pain any longer. Nerve pain is the toughest to treat and least responsive to opiates. Most docs use meds like Toppamax or Neurontin to treat nerve pain along with meds in the antidepressants classes like cymbalta. When meds no longer work and its tough for meds to treat the pain when their is something that could be fixed like a nerve decompresssion its hard to justufy increasing the dose simply due to tolerance when a fix is available. Have you tried epidural steroids, some people get relief and can avoid surgery but when a doc simply throws more and more opiates at a problem its kinda like asking a doc not to put a broken arm in a cast but to siimply prescribe more pain meds.

    Their are minimally invasive surgeries to decompress nerves, Micro doscectomies,laser surgery, etc etc. The least invasive surgical method the better but every case is different. Most docs will also wait untill the pain is absulutely unbarable or you have such dramatic nerve compresion symptoms like foot drop, loss of reflexes, bladder or bowel problems simply because back surgery has a good success rate to relieve the nerve compression symptoms but often does nothing for the back pain which leaves patients disatisfied.

    I would certainly be geting surgical opinions and asking lots of questions, why does the doc think you should act now or wait longer, The longer you wait the less likely you are at relieving the nerve pain, Pain signals can basiclly become embedded into nerve pathways and once that hapens even if they decompress the nerve impingment surgery may not relieve the symptoms. I would be looking for a solution rather than more meds to mask a problem that eventually no amount of meds will mask.What your experiencing is tolerance and it develops in everyone, That's why you see people on hundreds of mgs of oxyContin for degenerative disc disease and still complaining of severe pain. Its a fine line between the meds helping and the med side effects hindering you. If there is a chance to resolve the problem I would pursue it vigerously. Good luck, Dave

     
    Old 08-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #5
    DunkinNut
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Posts: 27
    DunkinNut HB User
    Re: Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Thank you SO MUCH gmak! It give me hope to know that I might not have rendered the hydrocodone permanently unhelpful! I really, REALLY felt hopeless and dismal last night. I will be even more cautious over the next two weeks and pray that this period "reboots" my body's ability to respond to the hydro. The percocets make me SO SO sick to my stomach. And issue I've not had with hydro (for the most part). I do, however, itch TERRIBLY from the hydro. And it's mostly my face so I look a mess going around scratching my nose and face all the time. LOL I don't like to take Benedryl as it makes me so tired I can't attend to things I need to. Feeling hopeful....thanks.

     
    Old 08-02-2013, 08:49 AM   #6
    gmak
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: USA
    Posts: 2,648
    gmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB User
    Re: Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Dear dunkin, In light of hemorroidectomy news & i have been on narcotics for years, eat prunes!! Recent discovery of mine , if i eat dried prunes it works tremendously but i like them so have to limit myself to 4. No more colace etc for me! About the itching i dont know what to say other than if it hasnt gone away or lessened by now maybe its time for a change. However, my son takes a non sedating antihistamine & there are several OTC & prescription.I had to watch the clock very carefully when i took short acting meds esp hydrocodone because if i took them too close together my nose would itch so bad! Now i take a long acting timed release & a short acting for bt but i have advanced arachnoiditis & surgery is out as an option for me.

    Last edited by gmak; 08-02-2013 at 09:04 AM. Reason: typos

     
    Old 08-02-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
    DunkinNut
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Posts: 27
    DunkinNut HB User
    Re: Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Thanks again! I do like prunes so no problem with eating them. I like the little individually wrapped ones that come in a tube. LOL I am so very sorry about your arachnoiditis - that sounds extremely difficult to live with. The docs don't seem to be concerned about the itching. And since I only take two a day (which is rare) it's not a matter of timing. I really AM sensitive. I don't like it but am happy to live with it in trade off for the pain relief when it's off the chart. I always worry that "change" means stronger...and I'm petrified when I hear stories of addiction. I would assume, at the rate that I have been taking them and my dosage that I'm waaaay away from "addiction", or the risk of them no longer working for me altogether, BUT...it's clear that I'm dependent on them. I would have NO HOPES of a normal life without them. NONE. Hoping surgery will allevieate the need in my near future. What a hot mess! LOL

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmak View Post
    Dear dunkin, In light of hemorroidectomy news & i have been on narcotics for years, eat prunes!! Recent discovery of mine , if i eat dried prunes it works tremendously but i like them so have to limit myself to 4. No more colace etc for me! About the itching i dont know what to say other than if it hasnt gone away or lessened by now maybe its time for a change. I had to watch the clock very carefully when i took short acting meds esp hydrocodone because if i took them too close together my nose would itch so bad! Now i take a long acting timed release & a short acting for bt but i have advanced arachnoiditis & surgery is out as an option for me.

     
    Old 08-02-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
    gmak
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: USA
    Posts: 2,648
    gmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB User
    Re: Had surgery and was given a diff pain med

    Its So hard to make dr appts, keep them etc when in chronic pain! I understand especially with multiple drs & multiple issues!

     
    Closed Thread




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:58 AM.





    2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!