Hi & welcome to HealingWell...not sure if we've met before.
** I'm glad for your success with your ostomy!** Way to go!
The dose of vicoden you're on is very safe. And if you recieve adequate pain relief from it, that's even better.
So we want to address the fear of addiction. When it comes to pain managment and chronic illness, opioids are almost always needed especially for severe pain and if you cannot take NSAIDs.
Addiction should not be a problem for you. You take the medication for pain and you take it when needed.
Addiction comes into play when and if a person is seeking to use the drug recreationally for pleasure and or if the person also has an addictive problem. (And addiction can range from smoking to alcohol to gambling). So when I look at a person worried about addiction, I always caution them to beware of their own habits. So if a patient has addiction problems in general, that is cause for concern.
Now, what you may experience and what is also quite normal is drug tolerance. After a few years, the dose you are on now might not be enough to relieve pain. This just happens, the body just gets used to it and it is a normal physiological response. So if you need to take the vicoden in the daytime too, that is still within normal limits.
Keep track of how the vicoden effects you. If it seems like as time goes by you need more and more of it to handle the pain, then a new pain regime might be needed. This in no way labels any person as an addict.
Personally, I take an extended slow release morphine for pain & dilaudid for BT pain, and even tylenol as well. After 3 years on darvocet...it just didn't work well for me & ended up taking far more than the recommended dose of it. So we tweeked my treatment and it's much more effective now.
So be at ease about the medication. If you take it for pain and disease, the chances of becomming "addicted" to it are very very slim. Addiction for the chronically ill patient is really never a problem. Tolerance to drugs is however, but again...it is only the body getting too used to the dose. It is also a good idea to speak with your M.D. about withdrawal effects should you ever stop taking Vicoden or even if it is something that concerns you. Docs are more than happy to know and hear their patients looking out for their own best interest.
I think you'll do just fine!
Active, Severe RA. Crohns Disease. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. AS. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg every 4 days; pred; Pentasa; Imuran; dilaudid; diazepam; Avinza 30mg; MiraLax & too many others.