Cat...I've had you on my mind a lot lately! I'm so proud of you for the steps you've taken to taper down. I am worried, however, about pain control between now and Feb 18th, when you see the pain doc. Just because you took medicine that wasn't prescribed to you doesn't mean that isn't the right medicine for you. You are in pain. You have an appointment with the pain doc. Is there ANYONE who can prescribe for you for these 3 weeks? If I were a betting gal, I'd bet that an urgent care or a general practitioner (or the ER) would write you a script to get you through until the 18th (if you let them know what you've been taking and when you're scheduled to see the pain doctor). The real withdrawals are going to hit in about 2 days, when it is no longer in your system. You haven't had the time or the adequate number of pills to taper correctly, so though you may need to get off of them (or the pain doc may keep you on them), you may not be able to just go cold turkey.
If you can't, then don't be afraid to seek immediate help from a doctor. Anyone who hears that you've been on 4-7 a day (doesn't matter where you got them) and sees that you have a REAL pain condition will see that you need a more lethargic taper (or that you should continue to take hydrocodone). And the fact that you have made an appointment with a pain clinic is more evidence that you are in pain and need pain control. If you get a chance, post on the pain management board on here. The people there are so knowledgeable and helpful about what to expect at the pain clinic and what kinds of meds have helped them. Many of us have dealt with withdrawals and finding the right doctor. I take Lortab 10, about 5 times a day...and it has made my quality of life so much better. I can actually get out of bed and be productive. I know the people are wonderful on this board, too, I just want you to have the perspective of people in pain management as well, since that's where you're headed for treatment.
As you probably know, there is a difference between dependence and addiction. Only you and your doctor know if you've become dependent on hydro. or if you're truly addicted. I just hate to see you suffer in pain, due to your dependence on the medicine. There has to be a compassionate doctor out there who will adequately treat your pain or at least taper you slowly until you can get into pain management, where there are other options for pain control (perhaps a multi-discipliary approach). God bless, and know that I'm here for you! We all are. (((HUGS)))