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    Old 04-26-2007, 05:19 PM   #1
    sharonn
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    Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    Hi Everyone. I haven't been here in awhile...I take 45-75 mgs. a day of oxycodone, 1 mg. xanax and 5 mg. elavil at night. I have had multiple spinal surgeries and neuropathy in both legs and feet. I know I am physically addicted to the opiates and after many monthas of unsuccessfully trying to taper down I went into a detox. My decision was based on the fact that my tolerance was building and the opiates ere making me moody. I would have been on a better Ad but the newer SSRI's have not sat well with me. I really wanted Cymbalta to work but the nausea and racing heart were too much. Long story short....the detox was a nightmare!They insisted on getting me off the xanax and oxy together and used Ultram and a valium taper...I was so sick and after 6 days I was feeling somewhat better until they tapered me from 200 mgs of ultram to 0!!! My skin was on fire and the nausea, restless legs and headache and insomnia were hell on earth. I checked myself out and went home back to my regimen. I then heard about suboxone which sounded too good to be true. It is supposed to help for pain too w/o the tolerance and craving issues. Mind you, I did not abuse my meds and it was my choice to try and get off them..regardless I was treated badly and made to feel very ashamed. Bottom line. The elavil has made me gain too much weight...even at a small dose and the constipation is horrible. The oxy works but I feel the right AD ( one that doesn't make you gain, if possible) would work in conjunction with the oxy and keep the weight off. When I am this heavy my back and feet hurt much more. It is SO frustrating. The sub was a nightmare as well...the Dr. never inducted me in the office and basically sent me home with a bottle and not clear directions. I vomited and had a migraine for 3 days...a taste in my mouth like I was poisoned. So what can I do? I feel guilty staying on the oxy...I have pain every day but I am scared to go under anesthesia for my yearly(late) colonoscopy.I am a colon cancer survivor. I wake up in wd every morning and am useles until I medicate. I hate living this way but is this my only option? Will I keep needing a higher dose just to maintain? I feel scared and cofused. I am 50 and have taken the oxycodone daily for 1 year. Any advice or support would be greatly appreciared. Thank you, Sharonn

     
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    Old 04-26-2007, 10:53 PM   #2
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    Hi Sharon, Sorry to hear about the nightmare you have been going through. The thing hat really jumps out is you said you were phsyically addicted. The proper term is dependent which is a result of taking many different meds. ou become dependent on anti depressants meaning if you stop SSRI cold turkey you experience abstinence syndrome, Better known as withdrawal when tsalking about opiates. Using words like addicted and withdrawal just adds to the negative stignma atached totheis class of meds. The bottom line is if you function better on opiates, have the right support sytem and by that I mean professional couselors that understand chronic pain, The benefit of using iopiates should outweigh the negativve asepects. What was the negative aspect, moodiness,? How do you know that's from the oxy or simply from dealing with chronic pain. What methods have docs tought you to deal with the aspects of chronic pain that painmeds alone can't resolve. It kinda sounds like the midical community failed you and by failing you you were left on your own to interpret what was going on and all you have to go by is the negative side efects you experience

    . Suboxone and subutex is one way to manage opiate addiction and even pain if it's used prior to developing physical dependnece, However Bup, even without the naloxone is a combination opiate agonsit/antagonist, meaning if your physicaly dependent, it's going to send you into withdrawal, which just makes you feel more like an addict which is a psychological problem, not just a phsyical problem.

    Everyone that takes opiates long term becomes physically dependent, that doesn't mean addicted. I have yet to meat an addict who's quality of life is improved by their drug of choice.Tolerance is unexplainable, it develops at different rates in eeryone and at different rates with different meds. As far as your dose, It't was fairly minimal compared to most folks that take these meds.Oxy is alittle ore notorious for developing tolerance but he rght PM doc can manage that too. Too many PM docs get intothe buisness that know nothing more about CP than how to writer a script.

    Trating Cp with pain meds alone is very much ,ike treating major depression with meds alone. meds alone are nomore effective at treating depression than couseling alone. But when you combine meds and couseling you end up with an effect that's more like 1+1 =3. The same goes for treating pain. If given meds alone, no psychological tooslls or counseling, no education as to what to expect and the difference betweeen addiction and dependence, The medical community simply failed you.

    You didn't fail at anything. You had phsyscial reactions to the meds you were given. Reactions that are very predictable and more than likely in an atmosphere where you were tought this is the price you pay for being an addict. No compasson, no ediucation and no other tools being tought to manage and cope with pain that meds can't manage.

    My advice is look for a PM doc or clinic that uses amulti gfaceted aproach to managing pain, cooing with what meds can't do and a basic education of pain management, the terminology, what to expect and skills tought other than simple ,ed taking. You still seem to belive that the right antiD would solve all your problems which is just too simplistic to expect any drug to do that much.

    It's never too late to start fresh and start with a doc that knows more than how to write a script.
    Good luck, Dave

     
    Old 04-26-2007, 10:53 PM   #3
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    Firdt of all, you are NOT addicted.

    All of us CP'ers on opiates become dependent on our meds. All that means is that if we abruptly stop taking our meds, we suffe withdrawal.

    WITHDRAWAL DOES NOT MEAN ADDICTION.

    Addicts take meds for thr high, not for pain relief. Aicts do not follow Doc's directions. Addicts Doctor shop and buy meds on the street.

    You say that you did not abuse your meds. You are NOT addicted.

    The #1 reason that non-addicts stop their pain meds is because of pressure from un-informed relatives.

    You have nothing to feel guilty about. You havve done nothing wrong. Why suffer?

    YOU HAVE NO REASON TO STOP TAKING YOUR PAIN MEDS!

     
    Old 04-27-2007, 06:19 AM   #4
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    I have been getting my meds from my primary care Dr. who SAYs he understands and has no problem with it. The pain mgt. Drs. are SO expensive and I have medicaid...no clinics around(I've checked) in the NY area acepting any new patients. I can save up for a good Dr. which is my plan. In the meantime,when I told him I was worried about the meds before anesthesia he saud 'Well, don;t take them before it it is causing you so much worry"..HELLO! Even if I can deal with the pain I will go into wd and I don't think he has ANY idea that after 1 year on these meds my physical dependence is pretty high. I have gone CT(by accident)..and let me tell you...it was very scary...the thought of what would happen w/o my meds is what made me want to stop. Then he said "We should start tapering your dose. I don't like addiction". I was furious. He put me on these meds and expects me to just stop! So uneducated about pain mgt. like most general practitioners. I do take the lowest dose possible every day, but on bad days I take the full dose and I have suffered with horrible guilt every day since the whole detox ordeal. I mean it was like jail mixed with post traumatic stress.....the people in there were mostly mandated and had been in jail and then there;s little ole' me...a 50 year old housewife. I only went because my Dr. said I was an addict. My husband was furious. Went through 2 weeks of unecessary hell.I made the mistake of going on the addiction board after that and got even more brain washed. So let me thank you for all your support and kind words. I need to join a gym where I can swim and start incorporating some other modalities to help me other than meds. I do have a name of a great pain DR. but i costs 500. to walk in the dor and I live on SSI.....so my DR. said he would now do whatever I need to stay pain free. I just wish he wasn't so ignorant about it all. All I want is to clean my house and grocery shop w/o pain and to live as normal a life as possible. Will this drug hurt my health? It has no tylenol so my liver is spared...thank you, thank you....thank you. I have been depressed over this for a month. Sharonn P.S. Oh yeah...the pharmacist also asked me "When are you gonna get off the narcs?" Arrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Last edited by sharonn; 04-27-2007 at 06:21 AM.

     
    Old 04-28-2007, 05:19 PM   #5
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    This is a very very inportant topic! The NP. that writes my perscriptions is also an addiction specialist who understands the difference between dependence and addiction,which very surprisingly,most doc. don't,or don't want to acknowledge that there is a difference.I've always heard people with pain say that they are affraid to take narcotic pain med. due to the fear of addiction,because of the bad rep. of opiates.

     
    Old 04-28-2007, 06:01 PM   #6
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    My children believe that I am addicted, even though 3 different doctors (family doctor, pain specialist & surgeon) have said that I have chronic pain due to failed back surgeries. Others without chronic pain have no idea. We are not addicted. We are dependent on our pain meds.

     
    Old 04-28-2007, 09:07 PM   #7
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    I'm on comp,well[this was in the beggining] I had to go to what they call an I.M.E examanation. [independent medical exam] But it was a doctor working for the comp. insurance. On that very same day,at 9am, is when I first started getting med. for my pain.and was my first doc. appointment with my doc.[at the time] he started me on the patch[25] and oxycodone for breakthrough.Later on that very same day,at 2pm,was my I.M.E exam with the comp. doc. Well,when I got a copy of the report for the I.M.E on the front page on bold letters,it stated that I was addicted to my pain med.! When I went to a comp. hearing,even the judge laughed! Because I asked the judge," Is it humanly possable to become addicted to my pain medication,WITHIN 5 HOURS FROM FIRST STARTING IT!!!

     
    Old 04-29-2007, 07:05 PM   #8
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    Hi sharonn~
    FIRST OF ALL...Id really get the name of the mgr. OR the person in charge of the pharmacist who said that to you. Seriously, thats crap, and you could sue them for more $$$ thank you know, and not have to worry about paying for a good PM doc.
    Im furious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rehab is hell in itself, without having a bunch of incompetant ppl TRYING to help you. IM so glad you checked yourself out. Your doc , I dont know where to start, hes clueless it sounds like, but if you are getting your meds, I guess its better than nothing for now. Dont give up hope that you can find another one who knows what they are doing or can help you better!
    I really hope you follow up with the pharmacy....Seriously... i have a first hand story of a pharmacist who said that to me in front of a whole line of ppl. They took care of it, and the pharmacist is no longer there. He was fired right after I complained.
    xoxoxoxoxo,
    IZZY'SMOM

    Last edited by IZZY'SMOM; 04-30-2007 at 08:11 AM.

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 03:39 PM   #9
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    OMG Sharon,
    I am so sorry for your experience. And I am so glad that the nice folks on this board have helped to educate you on the difference between addiction and dependence. How horrible that your doctor is not educated. I wonder what would happen to your doctor if he recommended that a non-diabetic patient go in for diabetes treatment who then got violently ill????? hmmmm but most dont see the similarity.

    I wanted to respond because I have been dealing with similar problems as you for over 7 yrs now and have found a few solutions that you may want to investigate. I am 45 ish and have been on LA narcs since my accident. I hate the side effects and wish I could live without them but my pain levels wont let me. I am also on Medicaid. I have failed back surgeries, and neuropathy in my legs. I also have chronic migraines as a result of chronic spinal leaks that refuse to heal. Sooo as you can see I have been dealing with some of the same issues as you. Here's the deal....

    First off, my GP is kinda an idiot too but I have learned to deal with him through my pain specialist. What I was able to do was find a really great PM specialist who consults with my GP. The PM decides my meds and treatment then tells my GP what rx to write monthly. I did have to pay some but after my PM doc got to know me he has been the best advocate. He now gives me special rates whenever I need to see him. But on a monthly basis my GP writes the scripts so that medicaid pays for the appointment. Whenever I have a problem I go back to the PM doc and he tells my GP. The PM doc has even called my GP to educate him about chronic pain treatment strategies and what to expect.

    The other thing I wanted to ask you since you mentioned about the neuropathy in your legs is if any one has talked to you about spinal cord stimulators. For me it has been a wonderful pain management technique. It really helps control the burning that you get with the neuropathy especially in the limbs. It gives some relief for the back but mostly in the legs. And the best part is that medicaid paid for the whole thing including hospital stay and surgery. All I paid was $3 (yes that is three dollars!). And because it requires monitoring by a specialist they pay for some of my appointments to my PM doc!!!!

    About 4 months ago my GP tried to take me off my meds and I threw a fit. We agreed to let the PM doc decide. Well, guess what? my PM actually found better meds for me and I am now seeing my PM doc and he decided to accept my medicaid. So maybe you can find someone like that to help guide you through the medicaid maze and consult with your GP.

    I also take "medication holidays" to help avoid the tolerance thing. You are right about the exercise. It does help, even if it is painful, in the long run you will manage pain better the more healthy you are.

    This is long enough for now but please dont hesitate to ask questions because I totally understand how difficult it is. Hang in there.

    p.s. - I havent been on the boards for a long time too and I even had to get a new sign on name.

    Liz

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 05:14 AM   #10
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    WoW! you are lucky! A PM doc who will accept medicaid. Are you in Ny by any chance? I have an appt to look into a spinal cord stimulator.....at a Hospital neuro clinic. I'm glad it is helping you. Thanks for the feedback. Take care...Sharonn

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 05:51 AM   #11
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by madhatter View Post
    I'm on comp,well[this was in the beggining] I had to go to what they call an I.M.E examanation. [independent medical exam] But it was a doctor working for the comp. insurance. On that very same day,at 9am, is when I first started getting med. for my pain.and was my first doc. appointment with my doc.[at the time] he started me on the patch[25] and oxycodone for breakthrough.Later on that very same day,at 2pm,was my I.M.E exam with the comp. doc. Well,when I got a copy of the report for the I.M.E on the front page on bold letters,it stated that I was addicted to my pain med.! When I went to a comp. hearing,even the judge laughed! Because I asked the judge," Is it humanly possable to become addicted to my pain medication,WITHIN 5 HOURS FROM FIRST STARTING IT!!!
    this post blew me away!!!! what a crock. when i was on workman's comp, i went from a very caring orthopedic surgeon to a very nasty occupational dr. i did research on him before i went and he has won awards from the workman's comp industry for closing the highest percentage of cases in his field. well he proved true to himself. he stopped all drs., all meds, and sent me back to work with absolutely no restrictions. mind you, he did this without even looking at me or shaking my hand. i had never been more angry in my life. fortunetly i have found a wonderful dr. who works with me on everything including the fact i have no insurance.

    to the OP. pain meds used for the right reasons are no different than any other med out there. if we have a bacterial infection, we take anti-biotics. if we have pain, we take meds for that as well. yes we may get physically dependant on them but to me, the risk is worth the quality of life i can have. i do wish you luck and if you need the meds, take them. god bless, katy

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 06:59 AM   #12
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    Sorry I am not in NY, in Colorado. But the way I found my PM doc was through my surgeon. Sometimes a referral helps to smooth the way. Once I got to the PM doc then we talked specifics and I just asked him if he would accept medicaid and if not, if I could pay him a reduced rate and spread out the payments. He was agreeable to that arrangement and then eventually just decided to accept medicaid. The reason most PM docs dont take medicaid is because they hardly get any reimbursement. According to my doctor it costs more to file the claim than what they get in return, so its better to negotiate a price with the doctor. Maybe if you could save up some money for a good first appointment and explain your situation maybe the doctor would be wiling to consult with your GP on what you need.

    Also, I found one PM doc at a public hospital (too far from me) that accepted medicaid. Try one of the hospitals to see what they have. Once you get your foot in the door it helps.

    Good Luck with the stimulator....maybe the doc at the neuro clinic can help in getting you to a PM doc.

    Good Luck, wish I could be of more help. Liz

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 10:08 PM   #13
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    You need to find a doctor who is patient and understanding and will help you get off in a non-drug addict program. What I mean is, find a doc who will admit you and do a medically assisted detox. I have a friend I met at the Breast Center group I was in. (she has since lost her fight with breast cancer, God rest her soul) But, she was trying to get off the meds and had the same problems, and our doc (who was just amazing!) admitted her and wrote all the orders so no one else could treat her like an addict. He had the nurses take care of her, by giving her a combination of the meds she was on in lower doses, plus stuff like clonidine and immodium and valium etc. (prob more but I don't know for sure what he did) THe great thing was that if he cut the doses back too much, and she was feeling bad, she would call and he would bump up a bit and then back down again. My point is, it is very hard for people to do this on their own, and most docs do not care enough to want to baby sit people through this because everyone is different and it takes a lot of attention and time which most docs don't have. She did this for 3 weeks and was able to go home med free. It took about another 2 weeks for her energy and moods to get better, but it did work. And, you can have the doc introduce a new pain management tool during this if you still need PM. I don't know if this helps you or not, but I know that if in the future, if I ever have to go through getting off meds and can't, this is what I would do. I have also heard about people who have gone through rapid detox, where they put you to sleep and put an IV of stuff that flushed all the meds out and you withdraw in your sleep. But I have also heard you feel pretty bad after, and it is hard on the body so I don't know if that is a good idea or not, just throwing it out there. I am sure someone here will know more about that and have some comments. Take care and good luck!!

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 10:48 PM   #14
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    what y'all might think about is doing what my doctor does. if you still want to use meds that is. myi am on methadone 40 mgs per 24 hours, and vicodin for breakthrough. i am alotted three vicodins a day. now the clincher my body is getting used to the vicodins at the present time. so my doctor calls it a medication holiday. switch medications for a while than the receptors get rid of being used to one and use another for a couple of monts. on monday i am going to start oxycodone for breakthrough for a while than when i get used to that one i will go back on vicodin and then it will work again like brand new. i have been doing this for about a year. my doctor never up the meds i don't keep going on and getting more and more mgs i stay the same i just switch. try it you will see.

     
    Old 05-04-2007, 07:56 AM   #15
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    Re: Tried to DC Opiates and failed...any advice please

    Thanks everyone. I had a heart-to-heart with my Dr. and he said not to sweat it...I don't abuse my meds.I have gotten down to 30-40 of oxycodone a day but he stopped the elavil as it was causing too much weight gain and it is not going to help my spine problems. I feel like a guinea pig!!!Trying to come off benzos is way worse than coming off opiates. I know if I REALLY want it I can taper myself. But I will weigh it aginst my quality of life, which is more important. Thank you for all your responses and have a relatively pain-free day all. Love, Sharonn

     
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