Starting Methadone, alittle afraid

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Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/6/2009 10:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new here so let me give you all some back ground on me. I am a male 48 years old and 160 lbs. I had open bi-lateral iquinal surgey with mesh in May of 2004. Then in Oct. of 2004 my right side groin area started to have severe pain. My surgeon could not figure it out so in Sept. of 2005 I saw my first PM doctor. He did a T12, L1 nerve block. I  got good relief for about one year and then repeated the procedure again in Oct of 2006 with good results. Then when I tried it in July of 2007 it did not work so my PM doctor started my on Gabapentin 600mg 3 times a day and I got good relief. A different PM doctor tried injections in the groin in April of 2008 with no relief. Then the orginal PM doctor tried ablation on the nerves in May of 2008 with no luck.
 
So then in August of 2008 I went for surgery on the right side with a different surgeon then the orginal one. The outcome was just more pain. So I tried a 3rd PM doctor that my GP recommened. He did a T12, L1 nerve block in Sept. of 2008. I got relief until Jan. 2009 when the pain came and it was very severe. So we tried the block again with no luck. So in Feb. of 2009 I went to a 3rd surgeon who is more of a hernia surgeon. He removed the mesh on the right side and cleaned up the area. I was pain free until 1 week ago. So now after talking to the surgeon and then my PM doctor they think I should try pain pills for awhile and wait see if the pain heals it self in time. My PM doctor will give me Morphine or Methadone so I chose Methadone. I am to take 2 5mg pills a day for 3 days the 3 5mg pills a day for ow long it takes to heal.  
 
I am very concerned about having to take these pills. I am afraid of the side effects and of constipation. Sorry for the long post and also I have GERD surgery set up for July of this year and I am worried this problem will effect how I do there. Any advice or info on how the meds will effect me would be helpfull. The pharmcist said I should eat more fruit and veggies and take 2 stool softners a day to help with constipation. Does this sound right?
 
THANKS, WILL

Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 6/6/2009 11:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Shooter and welcome!!

IMHO, the pharmacist has given you good advice. The amount of stool softener you take depends on the amount of pain medications you take, your diet, and how you process everything but 2 sounds like an appropriate amount. You can get generic colace (stool softener) which is what I use, at WalMart much cheaper than name brand Colace. I have been on pain meds for a long time so I have to take more. I take 2 colace/day plus a dose of Miralax in a warm beverage each day. Without it I would be in mighty bad condition...YIKES! Also, it helps to up your intake of fresh fruits and veggies. Mor fiber is always good but not enough if you are taking pain medications.

The good thing about stool softeners, as compared to a laxative, is the stool softens do just that...soften the stools so they pass easier. They absorb more water and prevent the constipation. A laxative is most often harsh and is trying to get the bowel to empty by whatever means it has. But this most often causes awful gas pains, bloating, etc...no fun. So, start with 2 and if it doesn't do enough don't be afraid to take more because they aren't going to make you miserable like a laxative.

Hope some of this helps,
Chutzie
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
***************
Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for."
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fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/7/2009 12:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Shooter, Welcome! You will find many people here that care for others and share what can be shared in hopes that lives will be better. It sound as if the doctor is wanting to see what the possibility of pain meds helping is. You have been through alot and have no doubt tried many options. I have been on methadone for several months and so far I am not finding it that helpful. The dosage that you mention is on the low side which is where they like to start it. As you probably know, methadone was developed to relieve pain but also found wide use for those kicking the habit of heroin. The side effects will be different for different people. The one that you mention is constipation. That is a common one with many pain meds. I use 2 to 4 stool softeners per day. Depends on what is happening. Not a great side effect but better than the pain. There are others here that have been on methadone for years and find it to be the one that helps them have some kind of normalcy in their lives. I keep a journal with pain and side effects that I can use when I see my Dr. Keep coming back and let us know what is going on.

Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/7/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the replies. It has been a tough haul for a long time. I have tried to avoid the pain meds but now I have no choice. I will start the Methadone this morning. I am sure I will be posting alot now, especially looking for support. I am just overwhelmed lately and need advice. It has gotten really bad some days where I just think it might be better if I was just gone from this world. Sorry for sounding so down.

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 6/7/2009 10:28 AM (GMT 0)   
Well, Will, welcome to Chronic Pain 101.

DEFINITELY, even pain is better than the other option. Hopefully, you are on your way to the second option for you being better than the pain you are working with right now.

I've been taking Methadone and Morphine BOTH since about July of 2008. Had I known then what I know now, I'd probably have made the exact same choice. Not that I had many choices; my back was somewhat up against a wall. I COULD have waited until the pain was unbearable and then had both legs lopped off at the knee, since I wouldn't consider SCS (Spinal Column Stimulation) at the time. But those were my only options. Taking Morphine and Methadone bought me a year of not going on the SCS,

My doctor recommended taking BOTH of the drugs you were given an option on. The reason being, he said, that the Methadone would act to mask the 'whacky' effects of the Morphine. I haven't met very many people who are taking both together.

From my standpoint, however, my doctor was right. I don't feel any of the wacky effects of Morphine. Likely, I DO get pain relief from both drugs however.

Just my 4 cents added.

My prayers and my dogs' prayers (in signature) go out on your behalf.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka Prayer & Chomp Prayer
Meet My Wife And Me


Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/7/2009 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Tony for the info and upbeat help. I am sure I will make it somehow, I just hate to take the meds and suffer the side effects and addiction that I am sure will come.

 


skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/7/2009 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Shooter,

Welcome to HW. I don't know much about methadone, other than what I have learned from people here, but I do know about pain! I'm sorry that you are still in so much pain, although the fact that you were able to find relief for a number of months is a promising sign!

I do want to point out that there is a HUGE difference between addiction and dependance. The general public does not understand this, and thus CPers are often viewed by society as drug addicts, while we are NOT! Only a very small percentage of true CPers will ever become addicted to their pain medication, and often these people have a genetic predisposition. I'm honestly not feeling, or seeing, well enough to explain the difference between dependance & addiction right now. Other's might come by & explain the difference to you, but I just physically can't do this at the moment, sorry! But please, please, search through older threads & educate yourself about the difference! There have been some great threads about this in the past!

Skeye

fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/7/2009 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Shooter, I hope I can bring some peace to your situation. There is a big difference between dependence and addiction as Skey has stated. I am the director of a drug and alcohol rehab. center. I am not an expert but have some knowledge especially on the addiction side. I deal with people that are true addicits. If  2 IBUs are good, 4 are better and 8 would be the best. Can't sleep, they think that is why tylenol PM was made. Again if 1 is good, 2 is better and 4 would be great. Addicts don't look at medication and see how the medication is used, they want more control of the meds than the lables or doctors say. Just because you need a pain reliever (they don't kill pain) does not mean that you are or even will become an addict. Many people take pain meds every day and are not an addict. Even if you find the pain meds are too much for you for some reason, they will bring you down off of them gradually so there is no withdrawl or minimized. I was an addict and an alcoholic. Now due to an injury 11 years ago, I have been taking pain meds off and on since then. My doctors know that I keep tabs on my meds and do not abuse them. I take them only as allowed. There are some people that believe everyone who takes pain meds is an addict. This is far from the truth and just does damage to both those who are not and those who are. We are here to help each other and if you have questions just ask. We are very truthful here and that helps us all. Hang in there and keep in contact.  

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 6/7/2009 10:40 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Shooter,
Welcome..and don't be afraid of taking Methadone.  I have been taking it for years and it works great.  Be sure and ask about taking something for the BT pain though.  I take Oxycodone 15 mg. 4Xdaily as well as 120 mg. Methadone a day.  It really works well for some people.  And take a stool softener every day...it will help with the constipation.
 
Really NO Need to worry..... It's just like any other pain med...just take it like you're supposed to and you will be fine.
 
Me/.

 I hate Boats!!!!
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/15 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 5mg. 2X in the morning
                                                                    

 


Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/8/2009 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I want to truly thank you all for your replies. It has helped alot. My surgeon and my PM doctor say that I just have hit a rough spot and to look ahead. The thing that makes me so depressed is that I was pain free for 3 months after sugery in Feb. I was walking 2 miles everyday and doing work in the yard for the 1st time in many years. And I thought I had finally beat the pain problem and I could move on with my life. But I guess that is not going to happen.

snakelady628
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/9/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
I am not only new to the forums, But i felt a strong need to reply to this. I Have been on Methadone for years now for pain. I also take 30mg Roxicodone a few times per day for break through pain. The choice you made was truly the best choice. I went thru taking Morphine, Oxycontin and everything else in between before trying methadone and felt it was the best switch I ever made. It gave me back a life and helped alot for my pain. What No one has mentioned is that methadone for a lot of ppl.. can make you crave sugar. Which can cause weight gain but also can majorly contribute to the constipation issue. DRINK A LOT OF WATER !! that can also help decrease constipation. The raw truth is Over the counter medications for constipation are not strong enough to cut thru narcotics such as methadone.. ( it may for low does like yours) but staying on top of it before it happens is key. Once you become constipated that's when the real battle begins and its a hard battle to defeat.. That's when most likely the over the counter med's WILL NOT WORK. The bottom line is.. everyone reacts different to drugs. Constipation is indeed a side effect most people do endure. I never had constipation in all my years of using ANY narcotics until the last year. The reason I am having such difficulty now is i started eating far more things with Sugar and that was indeed the enemy in all this. Stay on a healthy diet for a few days with NO constipation med's (unless you already are) Limit sugar intake. drink plenty of water, and also introduce if you haven't already plenty of rich greens and veggies in diet and perhaps adding a powder tasteless fiber additive to water will help you stay on track. You are taking a Low dose of methadone and if you can keep your bowels on track without any additional meds you will be better off. You dont want your body relying on anything to go to bathroom if you can do without it and I really think you can. OHH by the way.. although i did have the constipation Issues.. i still never took stool softners, I knew i could fix the issue without them by changing my diet and drinking more water and it did work.. besides when i asked not only my Dr but also my Pharmacist they both told me .. No over the counter meds is likely to cut thru such a hard narcotic. I do agree what works for some may work for others, this is just an opinion and what I have lived through. I hope this med helps you. As far as the addiction process.. our bodies to become adjusted to these types of meds , Having a good PM DR.. will help you with the process of coming off. They just taper you down until you are off. methadone is also a long acting drug. many people don't feel any side effects of detox for several days of not taking any methadone. i wish you well and will pray for you that you will recover. take care.. Snakey

Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/9/2009 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Snakey for the detailed info. I have been taking only one a day but now I will have to start 2  a day as the pain level is to high. I do not know how some of you handle this med. It seems very hard to function at times and I do not know how you can live your life and take this stuff. Do you just get used to the feeling? I am going to up my intake of fruit and veggies and hope the constipation is not to much of a problem. What our some options for a fiber drink? Thanks for all the help, I need as much as advice as you all can give me. With your help and support maybe I can make it through this. It is hard to explain my problems to my coworkers or family as they do just not understand like you all do.

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 6/9/2009 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Shooter,
Just a quick note....Do Not Eat or Drink anything with grapefruit in it... It will make the Methadone enter your body faster and leave faster...You do not want this to happen... Also, watch your sugar intake.  For some reason we tend to want to eat more sugary stuff and it reaks havoc on our teeth...
 
I have not only taken Methadone for a long time...I am also a Methadone Advocate for patients in my area.  There are a lot of people that will give you info...be careful what you listen to.  If you eer need any info. please get in touch with me.  My name is Rhonda.....

 I hate Boats!!!!
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/15 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 5mg. 2X in the morning
                                                                    

 


Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/9/2009 10:06 PM (GMT -7)   

Rhonda,

I sent you a email.


uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 6/25/2009 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Shooter61,
I am wondering how you are doing on Methadone?  If you are even taking it.... Please let me know.
 
Me.

 I hate Boats!!!!
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/15 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 20 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   

 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 6/25/2009 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Will,

I too want to welcome you to Healing Well. As you can see we have a great group of caring people on this forum. We always hate to see new people come along with CP but you have come to the right place.

From reading your post you really have been put through your paces with this situation. Many of us here can sympathize with you. I feel quite certain if you asked every member on this forum how they felt when they first started the pain medication roller coaster, everyone of us would tell you, we really did not want to go that route either.

Rhonda has given you some great tips about the Methadone. She has been on it for quite awhile and knows lots of info about it.

The one thing I will add to taking Methadone that I did not see mentioned here is; Methadone is not a pain medication to be taking for short term useage. It is a medication that should only be used for people needing long term pain medication. It is a very difficult drug to get off of, in fact Rhonda tried weaning off at one point because she was not sure if she was really getting the relief she needed. She was unable to get off the Methadone and onto a different pain medication, she ended up back on the Methadone. I am not trying to scare you, you need to know this about Methadone.

I have a neighor who has been on Methadone for several years and it has managed her pain very effectively. I think someone else here mentioned the stigma attached to Methadone as being for heroin addicts, thats just people that are uneducated about drug.

There has been some previous posts concerinng Methadone where one of the nurses on the forum went into great detail about the half life of Methadone staying in your system. You can search back and find this info and read it if you like. It was a very detailed post and may be of some help to you.

Again, welcome aboard and I hope you have some less pain days.


Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


nurse2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 6/25/2009 8:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Shooter61,
When we have such chronic pain that we can get no relief from, out quality of life goes out the window. My PCP gave me Morphine twice a day but after two days on it I couldn't urinate. I have this problem with Morphine after surgery and end up having to be cathed. So that option was out. I have a prescription for Lortab 10 mg. that I can take three times a day but it doesn't kill the pain. My PCP told me that I would become dependent on the Morphine but what the heck...what kind of life did I have without it? As long as you're not running on the streets to get more you are fine. I have been in such horrible daily pain from fibromyalgia and chronic headaches that I would be open to taking anything to get some relief. Give yourself a break and try to take the help offered to ease your pain. Good luck.
Nurse2
Degenerative disc disease,osteoarthritis, status post 4 cervical spinal surgeries with plate insertions and fusion, Lupus, Sjogren's Disease, Fibromyalgia, chronic heacaches and chronic pain.
 
Find blessings in every day!
 

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