Pain medication help... please :(

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Jake04
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/26/2008 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
hey everyone I don't know if this is the right place to post this question, but non of the other categories seemed to fit any better. I have had broken ribs for 5 months now and I have been on Oxycodone almost the whole time. about 2 months into the injury I stopped using the med for 3 weeks or so and just suffered headaches, then a week or so after stopping I broke more ribs and have been on it sense.. I have run out of my med's and decided to just stop use cold turkey with out much thought into the withdrawals but now I'm rather worried a day into no pills. my prescription was not a high dosage it was 5mg/325mg and I would take 4to5 pills a day, I'm just concearned what I'm in for as for withdrawals so if anyone out there can maybe help me out with advice, personal experiences, so on. that would be great.

Chutz
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 12/27/2008 12:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jake and welcome.

I'll help you the best I can. How long have you been on the meds the second time? That dosage is fairly low and I would guess your withdrawal effects won't be too bad unless it's been a very long time you've been on them.

May I ask, why you ran out? Did the prescription run out, did the doc not refill it, or did you take more per day than prescribed? It makes a difference. If you took more than you should have and ran out then your doc is unlikely to give you any more. If you just ran out and stopped and now are facing withdrawal then get to your doc and ask for some help coming down off of them. There are meds to help with the withdrawal symptoms but you do need to get with your doc right away.

If you can share a bit more we will be better able to help,
Chutzie
Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
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Jake04
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/27/2008 12:42 AM (GMT -7)   
i ran out just due to the perscription running out, i would take 2 at a time.. total its been about 4 months on them. i dont want to ask for anymore if this is what ill face everytime i take them.... i would take more if the pain wouldnt subside with the normal dosage, but i never abused them.

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/27/2008 1:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Jake04,
Welcome to the chronic pain forum. Like, Chutz, I'm still a little unclear about exactly what was prescribed for you. You said you'd take more if the pain wouldn't subside with the "normal" dosage; does this mean you took more at those times than was prescribed? If so, that is a problem. Either way, I think working with your doctor is importnat, even to help you through withdrawal.

I wonder why you keep breaking your ribs. Are you involved in some high risk behaviors? Ribs take a long, long time to heal, and can be very painful. A lot of times a support is recommended; do you have anything like that? Tell us a little more about how these injuries keep occurring. Maybe you need to make some changes in your lifestyle.

Take care,
PaLady

Post Edited (PAlady) : 12/27/2008 1:49:28 AM (GMT-7)


Jake04
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/27/2008 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
yes my job is high risk. I work in a form of law enforcement and making arrests I have gotten into fights which caused the rib injury's, I would take an extra pill if it didn't subside. night time is the worst, sleeping with broken ribs is a nightmare in it self. its oxycodone 5mg/325mg 2 ever 4 hours as needed for pain...

Jake04
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/27/2008 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   
also I have asked for more tests and or something to tell me why this keeps happening. in total in my career I have broken all different ribs 6 times... my first rib injury was 3 broken and a crack down my entire sternum.... i have been in this field of work for close to 4 years now.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/27/2008 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Jake,
This sounds like it's a worker's comp related injury. I'm not a doctor, but it doesn't take an M.D. to realize that if you don't give your ribs a chance to heal they will never be strong, and you could be doing some long term damage. I would definitely suggest pushing your doc for more help - but that's likely going to mean time off work, and maybe not returning to that form of work. Ribs takes months and months to heal. I cracked one once back in my 20's and it seemed like forever. Taking a deep breath was excruciating. And the best thing I had was something similar to a back support but it's designed for ribs (it's a stretch support that velcros together to give your rib cage support while healing, but I don't think that means you can continue to go out and put yourself at such risk). You don't need tests to tell you WHY it keeps happening; it happens from the physical aspects of your job, and once you've cracked or broken ribs they will tend to always be weak. I'm not even sure ribs heal the same way a broken leg or arm does, for example. So I think you're going to have to look at your activities. I have a hunch you may be putting yourself at risk for long term chronic pain, too. What about worker's comp. until you can heal, and getting a decent medical opinion from a specialist.

PaLady

Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 12/27/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
If you're too miserable but don't want more pain meds, you could maybe see if your doc will write you for a script for Catapres patches. They are not for pain, just for withdrawal symptoms. Depending on how your body reacts, you may still need to combine a lower dose of the oxy for a few weeks with Catapres. Either way, I imagine it will not be fun to come off of pain meds, esp. since you are still in pain. Also, keep in mind that the patches usually take about 24 hours to get enough in your bloodstream to make a difference.

If you plan to return to work & are feeling really sick (withdrawal feels like the flu- runny nose, watery eyes, nausea, fevers/chills - plus you might feel restless/shaky for a few days & the sleeplessness can continue for weeks in some cases, usually both due to high bp and/or racing hr) I would say to ask your doc for Catapres or something similar; also, make sure to drink lots of water.

Maybe you can get into a pain clinic. There are a lot of non-pharmacological treatments available for different types of pain & perhaps one or more of those would be an option for you. Plus, a pain doc could be helpful in making sure you get enough time off work to properly heal & possibly prevent further injury.

feel better,
frances

Jake04
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/27/2008 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   
i fully agree Palady, i tired to get out of work for a while but they would not approve it, they said if i can walk and stand I can work.. from what i have been told they do not use braces anymore due to breathing restrictions that cause pneumonia .. iv always been told to just ride it out.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/27/2008 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Jake,
Sounds to me like you need to talk to a good worker's comp attorney - at least get a consult. That's usually free. And I know how tough that can be because I challenged a worker's comp denial and lost (a lousy attorney didn't help). What does your doctor say about working - especially working in such a way that you continue to get re-injured? And if it's a doctor they've referred you to (in PA you have to see a doctor on their list for a worker's comp injury for the first 90 days, but then can see anyone) I'd still get a second opinion from a neutral doctor (not associated with your work). I really would talk to some attorneys. Is there some other type of work you could do - like a desk job - for awhile?

I think you can ride out a healing rib because what I had been told was there wasn't much they could do, but a suppport helped with the pain. But my rib injury was ages ago so you could very well be right. I still can't imagine continuing to do such physically risky things is going to give you a chance to heal. You sound young (maybe I'm getting this from your only doing that job for 4 years) but you sure don't want to do yourself long term damage. All of us can tell you what that leads to regarding chronic pain that never stops.

PaLady

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 12/27/2008 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ya Jake,
What form of law enforcement makes you return to a job with broken ribs? My husband is a LEO, and he's had on the job injuries that have kept him out of work, even when he was able to sit and stand.
I'm curious as to what form of LE you work in? I would check with your union rep as well since most LE agencies have strict rules about working while injured.
As far as the oxycodone goes, you said that you were prescribed 2 every 4-6 hours, but that sometimes you would take more? Am I correct?
Depending on how much more means, and how often you took more, is going to effect how bad the withdrawal symptoms might be....the good news is that most of them are over within a week, although the not sleeping well can remain for up to a month post withdrawal from what I have seen.
Anytime you are on pain medication for an extended period of time, your body becomes dependent on it, and will go through withdrawal of some form or another once it is withdrawn.
If you were taking 5-10 mg every 4-6 hours, you have had a mild dose of oxycodone in your system sustained for a relatively long period of time, in terms of pain meds for acute injuries.
You may want to call your doctor and ask him to taper you off the oxycodone. It is usually done in increments, if it gets too uncomfortable.
Anyway, best wishes to you.
Sandi
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
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