Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board


Paula, thanks. Good days and bad days remain my mantra. Sounds like a cliche I know. Much of the pain has subsided from the operation but my knees are taking a beating as I am using them for bending instead of my back.

The chills come on after I have been sitting or lying for a while and then get up and walk around. My wife has checked my temperature - I'll ask her to check it again tonight but so far it's been normal. The plus is that I am now off Vicodin and just taking over-the-counter Tylenol. Sleeping at night though remains a problem. Lunesta gives me a major headache the next day and Tylenol PM makes me groggy when I wake up. I also think because I am not working or doing a lot of physical activitiy other than walking outside for a half hour each day, I am not sufficiently tired and that keeps me from falling asleep.

Two more days with the brace and I can toss that sucker. :)
My doctor needs to talk to you doctor. I'm in this brace for 6-9 months. It's always worked for him and he isn't about to change it now. I can't complain, I guess. He has a very high success rate for fusion.

Took my first trip outside today, to the orthotics folks to have the brace adjusted. 45 minutes drive, an hour there, 45 minutes back and I thought I was a'gonna die by the time I got home. Need to get my strength back.

Have you bought a grabber (or two?) T'will save your knees from all those deep knee bends.

Hmm, I wonder if this is a reaction to being off Vicodin?

I'm still having a problem with the last 2 inches of the incision healing because the brace rubs on it, hence, the trip for brace adjustment. I would say at this point the Vicodin is to cover the pain from the ever-growing incision irritation then from my back itself.

I'd suggest Ambien instead of Lunesta, perhaps that will work better? Personally, when I was having some sleep problems years ago Ambien didn't work that well for me. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and things would look weird. I remember thinking there was a graveyard outside my dining room window, shrugged my shoulders and went back to sleep.
Paula, my wife just took my temp and it slightly below normal. It was in the hospital as well during the joyous 4days I spent there. Yes, the chills could be the reuslt of Vicodin withdrawl.

My brace is a conventional nylon brace (looks kind of like a small saddle when it's laid out) with a hard plastic insert in the back. Even though I have two more days to go, I did not wear it around the house much today - I did put it on when I walked outside however. There is nothing really to adjust, just tightening straps with Velcro on the end.

I tried Ambien and it had a worse effect on me than Lunesta. Neither one keeps me asleep all night. Actually the best for me is plain old Tylenol PM except for the feeling of grogginess when I wake up. I really think part of the problem is that I am just not tired enough when I go to bed.

One thing I didn't get was a grabber!
Here I am again, after collapsing into a heap last night after that first trip out in the car. Maybe that's what you need to help you sleep? :cool:

Well, it looks like you're not running a fever, which is good. I'm guessing it's a withdrawal symptom. As I mentioned, I'm constantly changing the temperature on the air conditioner from warmer to colder to fan only to off. Come to think of it, there are times when I'm suddenly very cold and there's no clear reason why. My AC displays the current room temperature and yeah...suddenly I'm freezing and bundling under quilts. Wonder if it's just a reaction from the surgery and anesthesia? Not a Vicodin withdrawal symptom for me, since I'm still taking it. Hmmm... Since I still have a nurse coming twice/week because of the incision thing, and she takes my vitals every time she comes, I know there's no problem lurking. She's coming today, I think I'll ask her about this being cold stuff. My nurse specifically works on my doctor's patients so she's pretty much an expert on fusion recovery.

I both envy your being able to remove your brace, and the type of brace you have. Mine is a clamshell brace. I look like a turtle rather then a clam. It's an absolute joy to sleep in.

I will see my doctor on Friday for my first post-op and I will perhaps get permission to remove it to shower. This should have been last Friday but my doctor managed to break both his leg and ankle and has thus far required 4 surgeries. True to his nature, he was seeing patients at the office yesterday. It's gonna be real hard to complain about my back when I see him with his foot raised, on IV antibiotics, seeing patients. "Here sir, please fill out these Short Term Disability papers to keep me out to the end of the month." Oh yeah...

Anyway...get thyself a grabber! They can be found at some decent drug stores in the area of the store that sells walkers and stuff. They work beautifully and will relieve your knees from overuse and ultimately will be better for your back since you won't be tempted to bend a bit to give your knees a break. They're also really nifty for putting on pants without bending or asking for help. I have 2 grabbers and keep them at opposite ends of the house. Just about the only time I deep knee bend is when I'm in the middle of the house and just don't want to walk to an end for a grabber, or it's the sort of thing a grabber doesn't work well for - like pushing a button on the DVD player.

Yes, I understand what you mean about Ambien. As you can see, it didn't keep me asleep all night either. You're probably right, lack of activity is most likely a part of why you can't sleep all night and Vicodin withdrawal is possibly adding to it. You may have no choice but to put up with the grogginess from Tylenol PM and plan your morning accordingly (since you have no place to go yet.)

But Kraigster, for the most part it sounds like you're recovering very very well!

I am too, except for this continuing problem with the last 2 inches of my incision. I am now on my second course of antibiotics to make sure it doesn't infect while it's trying to heal. This is all so sad, because the other 10 inches of my incision healed beautifully (or so I'm told, hard to see.)
Paula, your doc sounds like quite the trooper :) I'm impressed. Having the right doctor makes all the difference in the world.

Thankfully the brace comes off tomorrow but my biggest challenge currently is falling asleep at night. Last night was another "toss and turn." I too think I am going through Vicodin withdrawal. It and the lingering effects of the anesthesia and general inactivity could be the cause of the chills and/or insomnia Interestingly that my back is feeling better but the rest of my body seems to be going through a routh time. For the last three days, I have really been huffing and puffing to get through my half hour walk. Suffice to say, this ain't easy.
Good info on Vicodin withdrawal:

[url]http://www.addictionwithdrawal.com/vicodin.htm[/url]
Good article, and thanks! Although I don't think we fall under the category of addiction yet (I wasn't taking that much before surgery because I had to work, and since I work in banking operations, I had to be able to think) I've also been able to reduce the frequency of my dosage now. However, I'm certain we've been taking it long enough to pick up at least some of the withdrawal symptoms, like insomnia.

Hopefully it won't last long.

25 years ago, when I had my laminectomy, I had been taking codeine (no Vicodin in those days) for pain both before and after surgery. After surgery my doctor told me the best way to get off the codeine was to reduce my dosage a bit at a time. Perhaps that would help?
[QUOTE=paula456;3677044]Good article, and thanks! Although I don't think we fall under the category of addiction yet (I wasn't taking that much before surgery because I had to work, and since I work in banking operations, I had to be able to think) I've also been able to reduce the frequency of my dosage now. However, I'm certain we've been taking it long enough to pick up at least some of the withdrawal symptoms, like insomnia.

Hopefully it won't last long.

25 years ago, when I had my laminectomy, I had been taking codeine (no Vicodin in those days) for pain both before and after surgery. After surgery my doctor told me the best way to get off the codeine was to reduce my dosage a bit at a time. Perhaps that would help?

Right you are Paula. I don't think we qualify as Vicodin addicts but yes to the effects on sleeping and cause of my headaches, chills, etc. . I tried to gradually get off the stuff - from 4 a day to 3 a day, down to 1 a day. Monday, I stopped taking it completely and switched to non-prescription Tylenol. Still, I guess there was/is enough of the stuff in my body to cause problems, etc.

The good news is that my surgeon has given me the green light for a cigar in two weeks. Oh how I miss that! Maybe he'll let me have one or two a week. Strictly for medicinal purposes of course.
Thanks Paula (note username change). Last night I didn't take any Tylenol PM, Lunesta, nada. I didn't sleep a wink. I don't know what the heck is going on but I suspect it could be classic Vicodin withdrawal. This morning I feel miserable and for the first time, I don't have the energy to go outside and walk. To be perfectly frank, I feel like [email protected]#$. Richard
Okay Richard, this is not good. You're a couple of weeks behind me on this fusion thing and you definitely need your sleep. It's possible your need for sleep is outweighed by your desire to stop the Vicodin.

Once a day will not an addiction make. Perhaps an hour before bedtime take a dose and by the time bedtime rolls around you'll be able to fall asleep?

One of the other of my pain meds that helps me sleep is Lyrica. I'm taking it for nerve pain in my skin from the incision. It's not addictive (although you do have to reduce the dose slowly.) It might be an idea.

Of course, what we both know you should do is phone your doctor and at least speak with his nurse. Sleep is just as important as your daily walks.
[QUOTE=paula456;3678412]Okay Richard, this is not good. You're a couple of weeks behind me on this fusion thing and you definitely need your sleep. It's possible your need for sleep is outweighed by your desire to stop the Vicodin.

Once a day will not an addiction make. Perhaps an hour before bedtime take a dose and by the time bedtime rolls around you'll be able to fall asleep?

One of the other of my pain meds that helps me sleep is Lyrica. I'm taking it for nerve pain in my skin from the incision. It's not addictive (although you do have to reduce the dose slowly.) It might be an idea.

Of course, what we both know you should do is phone your doctor and at least speak with his nurse. Sleep is just as important as your daily walks.

Thanks Paula . I am going to call the nurse today. I'll let you know what she says.
I heard back from the nurse today. She does not think there is a connection between my insomnia and going off the Vicodin since I didn't take that much Vicodin to begin with and tapered off at the end. Frankly, I have my doubts. I think there is a connection (maybe my 'ol body is a little more sensitive than others). I also think my lower level of physical activity is an influencing factor. 'Just not doing enough to get sufficiently tired at the end of the day. I never realized how long a day can be when you don't sleep.
[QUOTE=paula456;3678942]The days aren't nearly as long as the nights are.

I'm sorry you got no help from her, and I agree, I do think there's a connection. I hope you can figure out a way to sleep tonight. Perhaps just exhaustion is the answer.

I am going to make another attempt to get out of the hospital bed and sleep in my bed tonight. Didn't work last night, even with the continued use of pain killers. Wish me luck.

Talk about a life changing experience. We're really pick 'em huh Paula? :) I am going to try a new approach tonight. I didn't walk this morning as I normally do. Instead I am going to do my half hour walk closer to bedtime. Maybe this will sufficiently tire me out. I am almost convinced that there is a connection between going off the Vicodin and the insomnia. A friend of mine who had open heart surgery said when his doc pulled him off the pain meds he couldn't sleep for two weeks. He watched old movies 24/7. I'd go nuts.

I hope you get out of that hospital bed.