Withdrawl and Dr, Visit etc.

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/22/2008 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a little bit of a rant. But I feel like I need to share with someone. Any advice would help.

This is my second time posting here. I have a chronic pain condition and have been taking opiates for over 3 years now. There was a break in there of about 10 months, but it's been about 18 months since I started again on these medications.

Last month my doctor switched my to Oxycontin SR 40mg. I messed up and ran out before my next appointment. Well, it had been about 24 hours. For the first time ever in my life I was going through serious withdrawal. I went in for my scheduled appointment and told the doctor what was going on. I figured that they're not stupid and could easily tell something was wrong. I told the nurse to get the doctor, and that I was going through withdrawal. She took my pulse. I asked her what it was and she told me it was the highest she had ever seen on someone.

The doctor came in and I told him what was going on. He was very understanding and actually increased my medicine to 3 pills a day instead of 2. I did not ask about and am not sure that this is the best move. He's going to help me get into a chronic pain clinic so that I get a better handle on the medication. My doctor was very nice to me and more understanding than I thought he would be. Anyways, I'm seeing him again in 2 weeks.

I've never felt this awful before in my life. I've quit stuff before but it's never been this bad. I'm just happy that my doctor was so understanding. I try and be honest, I was very afraid about going in this morning, but I'm glad that I did. I also got my prescription and am now feeling remarkably better.

I had asked my doctor what would happen when I went back on physically. He told me that it would feel like "ahhhh." He was right.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/22/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank's for your input Gramps. I don't need a lecture. I'm a young guy and unfortunately through turning 23, I was dropped by my parents insurance. Combine that with 4 different insurance plans in the last 5 months in an attempt to keep coverage. I have not had the ability to receive the adequate care which I have needed. I finally got on a plan where I can see the same doctors which I need to.

I'm actually really happy about getting into a pain clinic. I think that it will be much better for me. It's a move I tried to make over a year ago, and they saw me once and discharged me back to my regular doctor. I guess I wasn't in bad enough shape to be accepted in.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 1/22/2008 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   

Gramps gave you honest information...he's a wealth of knowledge and fights hard for the rights of chronic pain patients. I applaud your honesty. You knew you were taking a huge chance but you have a great doc and he respected you too. You're very lucky.

Please keep us posted on how you're feeling and also let us know when you get to go to the pain clinic. I hope they treat you well.

Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 1/23/2008 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   

I just want to tell you how very hard it is to find a doctor that understands what chronic pain patients go through. I feel very blessed that my primary care doctor has been understanding through the process of getting me into a pain doctor that will work. I've been to one that just suggested physical therapy - which I did and was told by the therapist that if 8 weeks of therapy didn't change anything something else was going on. Went back and was told that she couldn't help me then. Went back to PCP - who sent me to another - who only did shots - and was told by him he believes it's scar tissue build up which meant he couldn't help me. Then waited three months for a pain appointment that was supposed to happen on monday to be called a week before and informed the doctor was no longer accepting new patients.

Running out of pain medication prior to it's date if you are in a pain management clinic or a pain contract with your doctor can be a serious offense. Some pain clinics will drop you for that very reason, and leave you out to dry. My pain contract with my current doctor states that she cannot and will not fill a pain script before it's due, not even by one day. Which I'm going to have to discuss with her to find a way to get a months supply of mediation for a trip to Virginia I have coming up, kinda out of the pain schedule.

I wish you the best of luck in finding pain relief, it's a hard long journey, and it's tough to find a doctor who is compassionate enough to treat us like humans sometimes.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/23/2008 11:38 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you for your kind reply.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 1/24/2008 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I wouldn't take what Gramps said as a lecture, just some words of advice. Doctors are getting exceedingly cautious with narcotic pain meds. Prescription med abuse is the number 1 growing drug epidemic in the US. Docs who are legitimately prescribing pain meds are getting heat from the DEA, so any little think can often get you a mark on your medical record. Once your record has some type of pain med flag, we are looked at as seekers or abusers. So point being doctors are VERY cautious with the meds as we should be too.

I have personally lost pills, dropped them in the sink drain had them fall on dog doo while I was cleaning it off the floor ect... But I'd never, ever say anything to a doctor about it. I know it's sad to say, but we have to act this way. doctors have heard it ALL before, and they will rise a brow in suspicion when told any story (truth or not).

Did you run out early because of taking extra, or did you miss place some? The only advice I can give is stick to what your script says. If you find yourself in pain and you are already maxed out, take a nsaid, a hot bath, use a heat pad or talk to your doctor (I wouldn't flat out say I need more). I'm not sure if I missed if you said what your pain is caused by?

***Take this with EXTREME caution*** some oxycontin pills can be broke in half so you can take less med more often,this can sometimes help to keep a more stable amount in your system. You will have to consult with your pharmacist about your specific med!! Some OC pills method of release is aided by the coating, so breaking the pill will affect the integrity of the slow release!! Some OC pills use a binding agent which is within the makeup of the pill, in this case breaking the pill in half should have ill affect. Caps lock is not for yelling just attention!! DO NOT DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS WITHOUT CONSULTING WITH SEVERAL PHARMACISTS AND OR THE DRUG MANUFACTURER!!! I'm sure this advice will not go over well but this is what I have been told by my sister in-law who is a pharmacist. One of the issues with oxycontin is that somewhere around 60% (I think) of the drug is released within the first 2-4 hours, so the extended release is really releasing a low dose for the later part on the extended release.

***DO NOT TAKE MY ADVICE**** (except to take meds a rx'd) I have written this for informational purposes only and to help spark some ideas for research.

If none of this makes sense, please excuse me I'm lacking a bit of sleep.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/24/2008 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I know that I'm new to this forum but it has made me feel worse about my usage of these medications than anyone else. I was hoping to find an understanding environment, instead I have found the opposite. Maybe it is just the impersonal nature of the internet. I know that you guys are trying to help, but I don't think this forum is the right fit for me. I am going to work with my doctor to get into the chronic pain clinic and hopefully find some type of local support group.

Thank you guys for your advice. :-)

Post Edited (collegegrad) : 1/24/2008 8:34:11 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 1/25/2008 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everything that was posted except the advice about cutting or breaking open the pills.
Gramps and the others were trying to give you some solid advice about taking more than you are prescribed and what can and does happen if you do that in pain management. Doing that, will get you thrown out of the PM clinic/office and you will go through some serious withdrawals.
No one wants to be in pain, but we, as the patients have to hold up our end of the bargain when we enter into pain management, and that means, we take our meds as prescribed. If they aren't working , then we discuss it with our PM doc's , rather than adjust our dosage ourselves.
With the current environment in pain management and the DEA investigations, no doctor is going to put their livelihoods on the line for a patient who is taking more than he should be.
Anyway, I hope that you can find a support group, but again, I agree with Gramps, this one is a great one.....they tell you like it is, and if someone says something that is hard for you to hear, maybe it's time to think about why it is that it bothers you.
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 1/26/2008 1:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah what Grapms said!

We are all here for the same reason! And the people here truly are great people!! The "harshness" you are feeling is because no one wants to see a cpp loose their RIGHT to relief. Unfortunately doctors don't see it as a right, and many are way too afraid to mess around with rx'ing narcotics before th script time is up.

If you do decide to stick around, you will find some great info and support. What is the cause of your pain? We might be able to offer some suggestions. Doctors only know clinical theories, we know real world!
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