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    Old 03-29-2005, 09:08 AM   #1
    cajunboy
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    Question Question about methadone

    Guys and Gals, I am new to this board, but overjoyed to have found it by accident this morning. I am disabled and suffer from severe back problems, that included surgery with fusion, fibroymyalgia, sarcoidosis, heart disease, diabetes, kidney and liver problems, and others. As you might imagine, I take a sack full of meds. My question pertains to switching over from hydrocodone to methadone for pain management. I have a good pain doc who prescribes a long acting hydrocodone (40 mg. every 8 hours) with a 5 mg. dose for breakthru pain. I also take elavil and diazepam to help with pain control. I am scheduled to see the doctor in the next week or so and he is considering rotating me to methadone. I saw that there were some very knowledgable persons on the board talking about methadone in other posts that I thought could possibly answer a few questions: 1) Has anyone made this type of change and was it worth it? 2) Is the methadone just as effective for pain control as the hydro? 3) Does anyone know what the conversion would be or how I could find this out prior to the drs. visit (I am taking 120 mg. of hydrocodone daily now)? 4. What are the negatives, or side effects that I might expect? A few months ago the doctor tried changing me over to fentanyl, but this was a terrible failure and I suffered terribly before I could get in to see him and change the meds. back. This episode caused my wife and four kids much pain having to see me go through this. A recent CT scan showed a mass in my lung, so I know that there is more grief in the future, but I would like to get the current pain under control as the hydrocodone levels I am now on are no longer doing the trick (tolerance has built up over four or five years as they increased the hydro dosage to deal with the pain). Sorry to have been so "long winded". Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

     
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    Old 03-29-2005, 09:59 AM   #2
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    Re: Question about methadone

    [QUOTE=cajunboy]1) Has anyone made this type of change and was it worth it? 2) Is the methadone just as effective for pain control as the hydro? 3) Does anyone know what the conversion would be or how I could find this out prior to the drs. visit (I am taking 120 mg. of hydrocodone daily now)? 4. What are the negatives, or side effects that I might expect?

    Hi,
    I have not been on methadone yet but I belong to a group from whom I have learned aLOT. Tons of chronic pain people switch to methadone cause it is so effective and inexpensive. It will probably be more effective for pain than hydro. I betcha the Dr. will start you out on 40mgs or less regardless of the conversion because the med has such a long half life. Then you will be titrated up every week or so to comfort. Negatives are weight gain, constipation(radical) sweating (heavy) sometimes the nods. Tolerance is usually not the problem that it can be with other narcotics. As I see it the biggest problem as with most narcotics is not having it and withdrawing...I have heard that W/D from methadone is knarly. But that's why we have Drs. and suboxone. Hope you have a little more info.
    SS

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 10:01 AM   #3
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    Re: Question about methadone

    [QUOTE=cajunboy] I am disabled and suffer from severe back problems, that included surgery with fusion, fibroymyalgia, sarcoidosis, heart disease, diabetes, kidney and liver problems, and others.

    Oh and PS...I will def. put you on my prayer list. I promise.
    SS

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 10:36 AM   #4
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    Re: Question about methadone

    Hey Cajun, I took meth for several years and have used morphine for over a year, and tried OxyC and Duragesic. Pain wise, meth works well when dosed properly "to suite your needs" if you can handle the side effects, just like any med. Some side effects are more bothersome to others or more profound with specific opiates. But side effects and reponse are very individual.

    There isn't a gaurenteed conversion that will manage your pain, it's all pretty much trial and error. There are some ball park guidelines for converting from one opiate to the next , but these guidelines simply get you in the ball park and then it's very normal to have to make adjustements to your dose or dosing schedule to get the max benefit with the least side effects.

    Although meth has a long half life, when used for pain, some people can get by with 3 times a day and some need 4 times a day dosing. I wouldn't recomend increasing any med to try to make it last longer, It just doesn't work that way. If you only get 6 hours of relief between doses, doubling the dose isn't going to make it last twice as long. You would be better off taking more frequent doses and keep your daily dose down than to increase and increase trying to make it last 12 hours. Some people are able to go 12 hours between doses or some docs believe anyone can go 12 hours if the dose is right. Not all docs are as knowledgable or as confident when prescribing opiates. Some have limits, like they won't exceeed 200 mgs of morphine a day, some know that their is no ceiling on any pure opiate as long as you aproach the dose safely and can tolerate the side effects.

    The confusion is that meth used for addiction is dosed once a day, It doesn't mean it relieves pain for 24 hours, it simply prevents withdrawal from occuring when dosed every 24 hours. For acute pain, the recomended dosing schedule is 4-6 hours, but you will be able to feel the dose wear off and know how frequently you personally need to dose. Acute pain and chronic pain are different in many ways.

    Hydro is roughly the same strength or a little weaker than morphine, most conversion are 1:1 or .8:1 meaning 8mgs of morphine is equal to 10 mgs of hydro.
    Morphine is the gold standard to which other meds are compared, most have you equate whatever med you are on to an equal dose of morphine and then convert it to whatever med you are going to be taking.

    There are conversions for methadone but the latest articles suggest they are only good for single dose conversions.Most of these have meth being about 1:1 to morphine but again, that's only for a single dose. They don't take into acount the long half life of meth and the build up that occurs over the next 5 days, after 5 days you have the remainder of the previous 5 days still in your system and that's what they need to be looking at when converting.

    Because of the build up of meth in your system, you have to adjust doses slower than other meds that terminate in 8-12 hours.
    This is just ballpark but will help you understand what I mean about meth.
    120 mgs of hydro would be equal to say 100mgs of morphine, Using a safer calculation "5:1" you would likely start around 20-30 mgs per day. 5mgs 4 times a day or 10 mgs 3 times a day should be a safe starting dose.

    Starting on the low side is better safe than sorry. If you start too high , you may be fine the first few days and not wake up on the 3rd, so you may have to put up with some additional pain and what seems to be too low of a dose the first few days.. If you started at 20 mgs a day with a 24-30 hour half life, which means 24 hours after you take a dose, you still have half in your system, 24 hours after that you have half of that and this continues on for 5 days.
    Day 1 you take 20 mgs
    Day 2 you take 20 mgs and have 10 mgs left in your system from day 1.
    Day 3 you take 20 mgs, have 10 mgs left from day 2, and 5 mgs left from day 1=35mgs
    Day 4 you take 20, have 10 left from day 3, have 5 left from day 2 and 2.5 left from day 1=37.5mgs
    Day 5 you take 20mgs, have 10mgs left from day 4, 5mgs left from day 3, 2.5mgs left from day 2 and 1.25mgs left from day 1=38.25. Your serum level on day 5 would be the same as if you took 38.5 mgs in a single day. It takes this long to figure out if the dose is effective and to reach a steady serum level. This is why the conversions are not accurate you see on most equianalgesic tables, because they don't take into acount the build up over the first 5 days of using meth, which virtually doubles the serum level of what you take each day.
    I use a 5:1 conversion because it has worked for me both times I swtched back and forth from meth to morph and then back to meth.
    I was taking 120 mgs of meth , swtched to 600 mgs of morphine after several adjustement, when I lost insurance, I switched back to a lower dose of meth and titrated right back to the same 120 mgs of meth, which is a 5:1 conmversion rate.

    120 mgs of meth, provided the same or better relief as 600 mgs of morphine.
    If the docs had followed most published conversion charts I would have gone from 600 mgs of morphine back to 600 mgs of meth which would have killed me by the 2nd or 3rd day after my serum level began to rise.

    Everyone does respond differently to opiates and meth produces the widest range of response. If you had 10 people taking 100 mgs of morphine a day switch to meth, some folks would need twice as much meth as the other, making the titration or adjutment phase slower in order to be safe.

    The nice thing about meth is that switching to meth is very easy, meth covers all the same receptors that hydro and most other opiates do and then some, so although you may not feel your getting enough pain relief, it's unlikely your going to experience withdrawal. Adjustment upwards can always be made, but starting too high may not give a doc the opportunity to make a downward adjustment unless you or your family recognizes the over sedation and other risks associated with any opiate, mainly respirtory supresson.

    What meth has that other opiate don't is NMDA receptor blocking ability. Blocking this receptor has been studied and is believed to help control tolerance to opiates, help raise your tolerance to pain and helps better with nerve pain, "neuropathic pain" like radiculopothy or leg pain from a bad back. Or some of the other forms of nerve pain like diebetic neuropothy, RSD, shingles and many other nerve pain generators. Compounded long acting hydro is compounded with dextromathorphan because of it's NMDA blocking ability, It makes it stronger , more effectve and last longer.

    You have to do alot of digging past methadone maint for addiction to find pain management info about methadone, but it is out there.
    If you cut and paste these addys into your browser, you should be able to find what took me weeks and months to find.

    Methadone: History and Recommendations for Use in Analgesia
    [url]http://www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/sep00/upda1.htm[/url]

    Methadone rediscovered
    [url]http://www.mainehospicecouncil.org/MaineLink/vol2no2/methadone_rediscovered.htm[/url]

    This article explains about the NMDA receptor and the differences between chronic and acute pain.
    [url]http://www.hosppract.com/issues/2000/07/brook.htm[/url]

    This is part 2 which talks about opiate selection and the difference between addiction and physical dependence.
    [url]http://www.hosppract.com/issues/2000/07/brook.htm[/url]

    AS far as side effects, Meth has the same potential to produce the sam side effects as any opiate, Constipation, Urinary retention, itching, sweating and flushing, etc. Each persons response to different opiates is different. One person may not tolerate meth but do great on morphine or Hydro, or vice versa, Some folks can't stand the side effects of morphine but do great on meth.

    Nobody can really predict how you will respond or how well you tolerate the side effects and how bothersome they are. Synthetic opiates, Hydro, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone and Hydromorphone tend to be stimulating and cause less drowsiness. Morphine and meth tend to cause more drowsiness and you need to be very careful driving if you not accomadated to the side effects or you don't know how the new med effects you. But drowsiness does deminish as most side effects do with any opiate. You have to give mth at last 5 days to see how you tolerate a dose, then it would be best to stay at that dose for a few more days before increasing it to allow your body to become acommadated to the med and side effects to deminish.

    The only side effect that doesn't get better is constipation. All opiates cause this and the only way to to deal with it is to get on a daily maint program to prevent it. More fiber, stool softeners,laxatives etc. etc.

    Please read all 4 articles, If you have any questions or can't find one, I can just post the article here for you to read.
    Good luck and take care, Dave

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 12:24 PM   #5
    cajunboy
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    Re: Question about methadone

    Many, many thanks for all of the great information (and for the ever needed prayers, SheSparkles). The info. on the five day half life is exactly what I was looking for as the conversion tables that I have found seemed to conflict and were confusing at best. I do have one follow-up question for Shoreline.... when you were on meth did your doctor provide you with a breakthru med? If so, was it a smaller dose of meth or some other med? Having a breakthru med is absolutely essential for my situation due to the various illnesses that create the pain and factors that influence it. Again, thanks for the warm welcome and the excellent information, including all the time that it took to prepare your response. I assure you, I have not received this kind of help from other boards/forums. cb

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 01:05 PM   #6
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    Re: Question about methadone

    Hi Cajunboy...I'm not Shoreline and he really did an excellent job of giving you all the info on Methadone. I'll let him tell you for sure, but if I remember right from his posts in the past, he was on BT med with the Meth. Something different, maybe OxyIR? The reason I'm writing is I'm on Methadone currently and I'm at 180 mg a day, which is a pretty high dose. The doctor writes the script for 60 mg. TID, but has told me I can take it as I feel I need it. I have been on other LA Opiates and this is the first one(technically Methadone is not a LA Opiate) he hasn't written for a BT med. I guess with the high dose he feels I shouldn't need one. Most of the time that's right, but there have been a few instances where I wished I had something to take.

    If there's anything else I can answer for you, just let me know. Between Shoreline and myself, we've taken a bunch over the years.

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 03:10 PM   #7
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    Re: Question about methadone

    methadone is a wonder drug, as long as your doc will up dosage as needed. been on it over 2 years, no weight gain here-no breakthrough needed with methadone. the only reason i might sweat is hot flashes.

     
    Old 03-30-2005, 06:43 AM   #8
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    Re: Question about methadone

    Hey Cajan, My doc adoes believe in BT meds, thank god, . I've used Roxicodone, MSIR and dilaudid. Using extra meth as BT med isn't particularrly effective as it takes a couplehours to reach pek serum levels so it's slow to act and stays with you for days.

    There is a big misconception from meth maint that makes it over to pain management about meth and other opiates. Meth does not deminish the effectiveness of BT meds, but it may deminish some of the euphoria that BT meds can cause. If people relate the warm fuzzies with pain relief it will take ever increasing doses to create that same effect But meth doesn't inhibit the anelgesic action of other opiates. Using a different opiate for BT allows you to cover a broader range of recptors too.

    Although there are only 3 classes of opiate receptors, MU, Delta and Kappa there are several sub types of receptors in each catagory. Like MU1, MU2 MU3, DELTA 1, DELTA2 and DELTA 3 bringing the total number of receptors well past 3. SO the more receptors you hit the greater th amount of pain relief you can createand different piate bind to different receptors and sub receptors.

    Some meds are more effective when taken orally and some meds are more effective when given IM or IV. AS far as the orals go, Althugh dilaudid works great in a PCA delivered IV, I was very unimpressed with it orally, It has a short half life and short duration. When you take morphine orally only half crosses the blood brain barrier where about 70% of Oxy crosses the blood brain barrier and has a longer half life than both Morphine and Dilauaid. Rotating or changing your BT med from time to time can prolong developing tolerance to either opiate. Oxy is just my personal choice for BT although I never found great relief with OxyC, not that I had the benefits at the time to keep titrating and continue taking it for a year. When I took Oxy, I think my script benefit was like 2500 a year, Oxy burned that up quick and that's how I first started taking meth, I needed something cheap., and meth is really the only choice for folks payng cash, unless you have a huge trust fund.

    But BT meds do work with meth, Because meth is underestimated in strength by many docs, finding the right BT med that's proportiantely strong enough is important too. IF you end up taking a higher dose of meth, you need a proportionally higher dose of BT med, just like with any long acting med. BT meds need to be proportiante to the base dose, If the BT dose is only 5% of the BID dose of an LA med, your not likely going to get much relief, Most manufacturers suggest using 20-30 % of a bid dose for BT, This creates enough of a rise in your serum level to combat pain.

    For example, iF your taking 60 mgs of OxyC 3 times a day, take the 180 mgs f oxy, devide by 2 and 90 mgs would be your BID dose, BID = twice a day, so 20-30% of your BID dose would be something equivelent to 20-30 mgs of SA oxy, you could use 30 mgs of MSIR or 4 mgs of dilaudid. Morphine and oxy also come in liquid form which acts a little faster if speed of BT is important. The thing to remeber is to keep your BT meds as BT meds. IF your given say 90 15 mg Roxicodone a month to take as neded for BT med, It doesn't mean the doc intends or wants you to take 15 mgs 3 times a day, every day as part of your daily routine.

    If you do this month after month, when you truly have a flair up, the same dose of BT meds you have taken for months will be no more effective on BT pain than the same dose was the previous 90 days when you took the max amount. So you don't want your BT meds becoming part of your daily routine or they simply won't be effective.

    That's the big contraversy over BT meds, Docs don't believe we have the will power or or whatever to take BT meds only as needed. If were given 3 pills a day, they think we will take 3 pills a day as part of our regular routine. I use 30 mg Roxi for BT, It's actually prescribed 2 tablets up to twice a day as needed. I may take a half a tablet at some pont during the day or may take 2 tablets at night or any amount in between. But I don't use a set amount at the same time every day or the same amount every day. Sinc the last couple of increases with the pump, and creating higher dose levels at night and the morning when I wake, My need for BT has deminished quite a bit, so I save what I don't need for the days I over do it or can't find relief due to weather or lack of sleep.

    I like having the option of taking anywhere from 15 mgs to 60 mgs if needed. But if I took my 2 30's twice a day, every day for months, If I did fall and hurt myself, those same pills would do nothing for any additional pain. At least no more than they did the previous days, weeks or months If I took the max amount I was allowed as part of my daily routine.

    I suppose some people can take extra meth and will get relief, but it's going to hang with you for days and your serum level will rise with each additional dose. If you happen to be able to go a few days without needing extra meth, then your serum level is going to drop back down and it may not be as comfortable as what taking the max amount of BT meth creates as far as pain relief.

    Although I may take as much as 120 mgs oxycodone in a day, I have never used it consecutively to the point that skiping several days of BT med use caused any problems. If they become part of your daily routine and make up more than 25% of your total daily intake of opiates, you may not be able to skip using BT meds on good days without experiencing some minor withdrawal. But if you simply use it as needed, and only use enough to make things tolerable, skippping days of BT med use won't cause a problem,nor will using the max dose for several days , as long as you drop back down to PRN "as needed" after the flair up is over. But I have seen folks experience withdrawal at the end of every month when their BT meds run out before their LA med, which has to suck.

    But yes, BT meds work, whatever works best for you at a proportionate dose they can be very effective. If you taking 60 mgs of meth a day, a single vicodin may not be enough to make a difference , so using something proportionate to your base dose, 20-30% of your dose devided by two is usually enough to put a dent in your pain. Sorry if that sounds confusing, all I mean is if you take your meds more than twice a day, take the total amount and devide by 2 and then use 20-30% of that # as your BT dse or use less if you know you can get buy with less. I never take more than 15 mgs durng the day or I don't feel productive, But at night, I know I hurt more so I can use anywhere from 15 -60 mgs at a time to combat BT pain.

    Good luck, Dave

     
    Old 03-30-2005, 07:05 AM   #9
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    Re: Question about methadone

    hi shore, i know you didn't reply directly to me, but thank you for posting that about BT. the doc i have been with is evidently not up on much. and i continue to suffer until i can find better.

    i am not a drug seeker but have seen some around here,who flip back & forth from the addiction board to this board. anyone can look at my post history and see where i have spent my time. i just want my life back as it was when i 1st started on methadone-where i could get out of the house and go. somehwhere anywhere for more than 15 minutes at a time. my health issues has been totally disabling. and i hate not being able to work.

    shore are you a doctor? your knowledge is awesome. , LB

    Last edited by Ladybug46; 03-31-2005 at 06:45 AM. Reason: clarifacation

     
    Old 03-30-2005, 08:05 AM   #10
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    Smile Re: Question about methadone

    Wow, again, a great THANKS to all of you who responded for the helpful info. I have spent much time researching my meds but was not able to find a tenth of the info. you guys have provided on meth for CHRONIC PAIN. Shoreline, no, I don't have a "trust fund", but I trust God often helps me through others, such as yourself. Fortunately I have some basic insurance which helps with the meds (about 15 total), spending about $600 a month. The doctor is trying to rotate my pain meds. so as not to have to continue increasing the LA pain meds (compounded hydrocodone)....that is when he mentioned the possible switch to meth. I have to admit that the LA comp. hydro has been good to me so far, but just can't keep up as I build a tolerance every year or so. I realize that there is no true ceiling but I know the doc will only go so high.

    Some of my other questions have also been answered, that being whether meth truly works as a LA pain med...apparently it does as some of you have expressed. I had concerns about its efficacy since there was so little material on the subject (the websites recommended by Shoreline certainly helped). I also have a much better understanding of BT meds, which will help me talk more intelligently with my doctor.

    I told my wife this morning how blessed I was to have run across this forum, and to have found others who not only understand, truly understand, what I go through each day, but are willing to give of themselves to help others -- all despite their own suffering. I have found through the years that when I am able to focus my time and attention on helping others that I am less prone to self-pity.

    Have to run now, the wife wants me to cook a crawfish etoufee for lunch Thanks for all the help!

    cb

     
    Old 03-30-2005, 02:38 PM   #11
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    Re: Question about methadone

    Hi Cajunboy...I was a little concerned and was going to write concerning the amount of apap you were consuming with the Hydrocodone. Normally, the lowest you can get is 10/325, but you mentioned in your last post you are getting compound Hydro. How much Tylenol are they using in the compound? Also, how much Hydro do you get? Just so you know, even compounding the Hydrocodone does not make it a LA opiate. You're just getting more Hydro and probably less apap in each dose. It's too bad they haven't come out with a long acting med with Hydro. Don't forget, the max apap a day is 4,000 mgs. If you're taking it long term, they say you really should cut that figure down from 4,000 to somewhere around 2500 mg.

    One other point I would like to pass along to you and I mentioned it in another post is the fact that Methadone is not a long acting drug. As Shoreline pointed out the anelgesic length that Meth has is about 4-6 hours. I'm on Meth and I take mine in smaller doses, more frequently, to keep the level up. That way I avoid uip and down as far as the anelgesic effects of the med. The half life is quite long, but you really can't consider that when figuring the pain killing duration.

     
    Old 03-30-2005, 03:41 PM   #12
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    Re: Question about methadone

    Director

    It is interesting you ask about this med. (compounded LA hydro) as I have asked many others if they are familiar with it and nobody seems to be. It is in fact a LA, every 8 hours. I take a 40 mg capsule every 8 hrs. It is made at a local compounding pharmacy and is prepared with no apap. My doctor has great concerns about the effect of apap on the liver. The doctor I see is a pain speciailist in my area and has been using this compounded LA hydro for quite some time. It is very effective for an eight hour period, but you can very much feel the drop off after about 8 hours. My prescribed BT med is generic hydro with 500 mg. of apap, but since I am only given 25 a month (which is quickly becoming insufficient) the apap/liver problem is not really an issue. I do appreciate the "heads up" on this though.

    I have asked others to check with their doctors or local compounding pharmacies about this product as it is used rather extensively by pain doctors in this area. No one else seems to be familiar with it, but I can tell you it is an outstanding product. I much prefer it to oxy as oxy tends to make me irritable (or more irritable if you ask my wife) to the point I grind my teeth. The hydro does not have this effect on me. I can tell you it is a bit pricy ($135 for 90), but well worth it as I don't have to worry about the apap issue nor do I clock watch for the every 4 dosage of the usual hydro/apap meds.

    Thanks for the additional info. on meth. I have been making alot of notes for my upcoming appointment.

    cb

     
    Old 03-30-2005, 09:21 PM   #13
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    Re: Question about methadone

    Hi cajunboy!

    I just wanted to introduce myself, and say welcome to the Healthboards. You hit the jackpot when you got your reply from Shoreline. He is very knowledgeable and always willing to answer questions, the hard questions. You got a lot of good replies. So many folks here are wonderful and very very helpful no matter what the situation. I post here on the PM board and the Fibromaylgia board. I post here because of my back problems, and my bursitis, and have gotten a lot of good suggestions and information here regarding treatment, meds, doctors, you name it. I also take Methadone as a bt med for chronic pain. I use the duragesic patch, 50mcg every 48 hours as well as a "plethera" of other meds for this and that. I know what you mean about the cost! It's amazing to me sometimes. I plan on having back surgery this year. I was first dx'd with multiple herniated lower lumbar discs and tears in 2002, and now my doc thinks I've gone too long, and there may be some permanent damage, since I can't raise my right leg now. I got that "Mummy" shuffle going on when I walk. I have been dx'd with all the back stuff I just mentioned, Fibro, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chostochondritis, Bursitis in my right hip,Cervical and spinal stenosis, CMP and recently Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I am on my second SSD appeal. If I don't get it this time, I swear I'm going to beat my lawyer over the head with my cane. It's hard for me since I'm only 46, they (SS) believe that there is "something" I could be doing.

    But anyway, enough about all that, I just had to say "howdy". Especially when you mentioned crawfish! I am in southern Alabama (Gulf Coast) near Gulf Shores. Yup, we got Ivan! And I have been to LA many many times over the years. My husband worked out of Golden Meadow and New Iberia. He isn't currently working offshore now ( a little drug screen incident but we are working on that!) but I've been mostly to NO and down in the Bayou. It's wonderful. Especially down in the Bayou at Christmas time! I love seeing Santa in the p-row (I know I did NOT spell that right!) being pulled by the gators! Now THAT'S a Cajun Christmas! Where are you over there? And send some of those mud bugs my way, I love 'em! I can eat them by the bucket fulls! Suck the heads and everything!

    I also wanted to say that I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and special prayers that everything turns out okay for you. You mentioned a "mass". My family has been riddled with sickness and I know what it's like for the whole family to go through an illness. It's so stressful, but you sound very strong and very spiritual, and you sound like you have a good family foundation.

    Again, nice to meet you, and I'm glad Shore and Director could help you out. They will stand on their heads to offer up information to help other people.

    Keep us posted on your progress, and welcome to the family!

    And enjoy those mudbugs! LOL


    I usually end my post with my signature "Here's wishing you a good spirit" but you already have a good spirit, so I'll just say:

    Here's to YOUR good spirit!
    tk

    P.S. How DO you spell p-row? I've seen it spelled before, but it is way beyond what my memory will allow me to remember! I kept asking my husband to find an old one for me to put in my yard so I can plant flowers in it. And hey, maybe add some gators to it!

    Last edited by tkgoodspirit; 03-30-2005 at 09:39 PM.

     
    Old 03-31-2005, 01:52 AM   #14
    cajunboy
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    Re: Question about methadone

    tkgoodspirit
    Thank you for the warm welcome. In the "bayous", we just usually greet each other with "hows ya doin?". By the way, I think the little narrow wooden row boats you call p-row, I think (like I'm doing much thinking at 3 a.m.) is spelled "pirogue". My wife was talking about some other type of ethnic food last night and wondering how people could eat it, and I just reminded her that "people think that we boil creatures that look like a giant roach with claws on them and that we eat the tails and suck the heads". It truly is great eating once you try them, especially when you boil them with a pot of onions, potatoes, corn, sausage, a bunch of herbs and seasons (and tons of red pepper) and then chase them down with a few cold brew.

    You were right, I have been fortunate here to have found Shoreline with all his knowledge (he didn't mention his background, but it is formidable); if nothing else he has a talent for researching the web and other resources. I can relate to a number of your illnesses. I am 49 years old with three children still at home. I was able to get my work disability probably a little easier than you as I had a government retirement system to go through instead of S.S. I have heard some real tales of woe about disability through SS, but I have to encourage you to keep appealing, as the results will proportionately increase for a favorable outcome with each appeal. I have heard from others in similar situations as ours that they put you through much of the grief in the earlier rounds to try and weed out those who will not persevere or maybe have somewhat of a shaky case....all of which is sad. I always wondered what the system would be like if all those putting it together are suffering and incapable of working, YET, still needing the government benefits that we PAID for in the first place. Anyway, that is more for some other soap box. I just hope that you keep your head held high to the sky, for HE sees you and knows every hair on your head. (It is reported that our Lord told a special soul the following in this regard: "The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is TRUST. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive.... Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul.") It is little gems like this that become my mental and emotional "BT med" when times get really rough and everything seems to close in.

    I sure hope your hubby finds work soon and is able to bring you back half a sack of the crawdaddies one day. I live about 20 miles from New Iberia in Lafayette (born and raised). Be assured of my prayers for you and your intentions. I also try and offer my sufferings as a prayer to the Lord, as I figure His prayers from the cross included the offering of Himself while suffering otherwise unknown physical and mental anguish. I just need to trust Him more, as I can't say that I love someone (like Jesus) if I don't show my trust in Him.

    Ref. the "mass" in my lower left lung, this is relatively new, but I canceled the CT scan for this morning due to the cost and will reschedule in a few months when I catch up a bit on bills (the first one cost $2800). The tumor has been there since last Oct. and hasn't seemed to have grown in size so the doc thought I could wait a while. My body is filled with sarcoids (from the sarcoidosis). This disease first appears as non-hodgkins lymphoma, but the potato size masses in my chest cavity, abdomen, and even under my neck end up being massively enlarged lymph glands which don't ordinarily show on an x-ray. I suspect that one of these might have gotten into my long, or maybe not; I will eventually have to have it biopsied to be sure. The sarcoidosis is my body overreacting to things, everything, including whats in the air, whats in my body, what's in my blood stream. They don't know the true cause, but it acts somewhat like a case of non-contagious tuberculosis. In some people it goes away in a couple of years, mine began in the early 1980s, and even with two year course of steroids it had no effect (other than to wreck my other organs and make my bones look like brittle pretzels)

    You mentioned living near gulf shores...great area. I have some family that had a house on the water in Pensacola....two story job that took a terrible beating by Ivan. We would use his "home away from home" for our family vacations.

    When I was reading some of the kind and informative posts in response to my question, I went back and dug up that quote from scripture that talks about how we can encourage others by the encouragement we ourselves have received while we were sufferings. It goes as follows, for your own encouragment: 2Cor1:3-7 "Blessed bethe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.....it goes on, which you may care to read at some other time. I do thank you, and all the others who have helped me in my affliction by their encouragment here on this board. May God encourage all of you in His infinite mercy!

    I hope you have a pain free day filled with much peace and joy!

    cb

     
    Old 03-31-2005, 11:35 AM   #15
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    Re: Question about methadone

    cajunboy,

    Thank you so much for all your kind words and prayers of support. It sure helps to know that there is "someone else" up there pulling for you. I think about all my family who have passed and are now "looking out for me". It comforts me. I talk to them all the time. Have conversations with God, sometimes even yelling at Him! I figure He'll yell back soon enough!

    It is so amazing to me how your life can be cruising along just peachy for awhile and then BAM! Something like this flips your whole universe upside down. Two years ago we were fine, paying our bills on time, doing the happy life thing, now we can barely pay our bills, forget about the "on time" deal! We did file Chpt 13 BR, but when we walked out of the lawyers office we figured up that we would end up paying back more than $95,000 at the end of 5 years. We didn't owe not even half that much in debt! I was like "where is all the money going?" So we backed out, now our phone won't stop ringing. I always pretend to be someone else when they call.

    And I understand about putting off medical procedures because of the cost. Knocks your socks off what some of that stuff costs you. My Pain doc rx'd me some physical therapy (massage therapy) today, but I can't really afford it. That's why I haven't had back surgery yet. Can't afford it. My insurance has a $2500 cap, but then there's the physical therapy I'll need. I also need carpal tunnel surgery. My therapist costs me $95 every time I see her. It's getting to be too expensive to treat yourself! If I win this SSD appeal, I'll be getting all that done. Maybe make a whole new me! I am also considering having my VA medical benefits re-instated. Maybe I can get my back operated on through the VA. I used them once before when I was divorced from my first husband, and it was okay. You just wait a lot. Just like the Army! So, I'll see where I stand with the VA. I got my application today to reapply. Hopefully they can treat me the same, and I can keep the same medication routine. I won't know unless I try. Is there a VA hospital in NO? I know there was one in Biloxi but they closed it. I think there is one in Atlanta. Anyhoo, we'll see.

    So, we are practically neighbors! You say your children are at home? 3 of them? That keeps you busy. My son is grown, has a family of his own, and I am a grandma to one cute little boy. They live in Maryland, so I don't get to see him very often.

    Oh and you mentioned non-hodgkins lymphoma. My aunt had that, and is now in remission. She was dx'd during the summer my mom was dying from cancer. Talk about timing. What a nightmare that was. She went through intense treatment, developed pnuemonia in the middle of all that, and had to stop treatments. Her lungs are clear now, and she gets a PET Scan every 6 months, but will soon only need them once a year. Her mass was in her abdominal area. She even named it! She called it her "woobie"! I had lost so many family members to cancer, all dying before they were old enough to get Social Security. My uncle died at 49, mom was 65, she died in 2003, and my aunt is now 56. I was scared I was going to lose her too, but she's hanging in. That is why I know about faith. My religion is a bit different from yours, but we share the same God. And I can't tell you how much your words of scripture and prayer mean to me. Having faith gives you strength and hope. Where else would you get it, right? It's got to come from within, and we are, if anything, spirtual, we just have to tap into that spirit.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, and thanks for your beautiful words of inspiration. They mean more to me than you can imagine. Makes me feel like things aren't "all that bad".

    Your friend in pain, and spirit!

    tk

     
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