Pain Control & Addiction

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Kaycie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 12/12/2008 11:09 PM (GMT -7)   
So, who here has been on long-term pain control and required a doctor to get you off the drug?

I met with my surgeon this week and he's fine with continuing giving me Norcos (I take about 2-4 a day - FYI, Norco is 7.5/325).

Anyway, he said addiction is very likely, whether I chose to believe it or not. He said I may have no problem getting off the meds, but I might and if I do, then he would maybe need to refer me to an addiction doctor to get me off the drug safely.

This greatly concerns me. I'm very much a tylenol only girl, but I have really needed the Norco and have been taking about 4 a day, roughly. I try to get by with as little narcotic as possible. His comment scared me, to be honest. I asked him if 4 pills per day was too much, since he gives me 40 pills at a time, and he said "No, it's fine." I've been off and on narcotics since July because we just cannot get this flare under control.

I hate feeling like a drug addict, but he was very open and honest about the possibilities here. My brothers had drug addictions when I was younger and I'm just scared, but yet I cannot make it through the days without something to take the edge off. I have to work 40 hours a week and I have a 16 month old little girl relying on me...

Did anyone else struggle with addiction? Did you take pain pills long-term.....if so, how long before you got off them? I'm hoping the clinical will throw me in remission soon (I'm having to get off steroids, which has been the ONLY thing holding me together, because it has rapidly increased my blood pressures), and I can begin weaning off the pain pills...

My doc did give me a new script with a refill and I estimate this will last a good month or so, and he marked my chart, so he's certainly okay with the plan right now for pain management, but I just again, worry about the addiction he mentioned....
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Remicade, moving onto a Clinical Trial called ABT-874 - Tentative start date - 10/2/08 - 10/16/08  - Infusion, every 4 weeks.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 13 months old


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 12/13/2008 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
This is really your call. You have alot going on in your life and you still need to be able to function. But with your family history I can see how this is of concern.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...


Kaycie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 12/13/2008 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
MMMNAVY said...
This is really your call. You have alot going on in your life and you still need to be able to function. But with your family history I can see how this is of concern.


Thanks Navy. I have NEVER even touched drugs in my life.. period. (Aside from prescribed narcotics since I've been ill.) I was around 8 or 9 when it all started. I was in family counseling with my family. I took a different route then my brothers. They are grown individuals and COMPLETELY different now with families, but still. There IS a history and that is my concern.

I'm petrified of being addicted. My mom told me to start cutting back now, but when I got my doc's blessing that 4/day was okay, I feel like that is a maximum at this point. If I start needing MORE then 4, then I get worried. I did take 5 one day last week, but then was back to 4. I try so so so hard to take as little narcotic. I was taking 2 at a time, and today, I decided (as I type in pain yet again) that I'm going to cut back... 1 1/2 Norco to 500mg of tylenol. This way I AM cutting back, slowly....

I know the last major flare I had, I was taking 2 Norco pretty much round the clock. I had to wean off of them as well, and I did it. I just do not remember having such a hard time trying to get the pain pills then... I don't know the difference between now and then, but I'm glad my surgeon has agreed to help me through this.

As far as going to an addition doc... it sort of bothers me because of the family history, but it doesn't bother me if I should need it because I have realized that I need the pain medicine to function and that I have a chronic illness (granted, my IBD is located in the rectum - so it IS the most painful - or so the surgeon and GI continue to tell me) and I need to control it. I'd much prefer to control it at home then have nurses and docs control it in a hospital bed. Especially, since my surgeon had the "surgery" talk with me. He's not so sure it's anytime soon, but he said if I can't get off steroids and I fail other drugs, it's "time." I would have an ostomy period because I'd lose my rectum..


Anyway, that was a bit more then we had discussed! Thanks for the honesty Navy.
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Remicade, moving onto a Clinical Trial called ABT-874 - Tentative start date - 10/2/08 - 10/16/08  - Infusion, every 4 weeks.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 13 months old


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/13/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I personally feel there is a big difference between addiction and dependence. Addiction is when you abuse drugs to get high, much like your brothers did. But dependence applies to people like you and me and other Crohnies who need these meds to have a decent quality of life not to get a buzz. We do get dependent upon them, but we are not abusing them. I have become very dependent on meds in the past, especially after my resections or other surgeries, but the docs have helped me to wean down slowly so that I did not go thru painful withdrawals. But I have gone thru withdrawals too, thats when I had a crappy doc who didn't do his job well. But I suffer more with joint pain than I do tummy pains, and because we can't use meds such as Ibruprofen or Aleve, I must take pain meds daily to relieve my pain and have a life again. I take the least amount as possible. I take Percoset for pain. I only take a 1/2 tab at a time. Right now I am not dependent, as if I don't need it I don't take it. So if you are really concerned try taking 1/2 and see how that works and if its not enough then take the whole. But if you need this medication, don't feel bad becuz you take it, you are taking it because you are suffering and no one should suffer in pain. I also get some relief for my joint pain occasionally with Tylenol Arthritis. Hope that helps.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Currently my Crohns is in remission.


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/13/2008 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
By the way I have taken opiates for YEARS. Probably about 15 years as the joint pain has been really bad for years.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Currently my Crohns is in remission.


survivor49
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 12/13/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
If you need the pain meds to lessen your pain so that you can  function, that is not something to be ashamed of,nor is it a sign of weakness. Many of us are prednisone dependent- they are both drugs. WHen you go to try and get off of them, as hopefully you will not need them sometime, wean off and ask for advice. there are medications that cah help with withdrawal symptoms, and if you wean properly, you will have a much easier time.

Kaycie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 12/13/2008 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Nanners. This most recent flare, I've just been amazed at how many docs have shunned the pain control factor and made me to feel like a drug addict. It's VERY frustrating... VERY! I like how you worded everything and it's encouraging to know others have been off and on pain meds for quite some time and can tolerate it. I believe I'm tolerating them fine. I'm on a low dose narcotic and trying to cut back and only take as much narcotic as necessary when needed.

Survivor - Thank you as well. Unfortunately, Pred has done some awful things to me... so it'll likely be gone for good this time. Most recently, it has shot my blood pressures to dangerous levels. But, I get it all... swelling, weight-gain, cataracts, high blood pressure, insomnia, etc...etc... you name the side effect of Pred, I have it. But, the GI said I HAD to get off the steroids since he's only seen blood pressure issues get worse. So, I'm rapid weaning and I have NO idea if I'm getting the clinical drug or not... but in 5 more weeks, I will get the open label drug and I have high hopes it'll kick me into remission... I weaned off the pain pills the first time on my own and did fine, I just don't understand why all the docs now think it's a bigger issue then it was then? Something had to change in the past 2 1/2 years....
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Remicade, moving onto a Clinical Trial called ABT-874 - Tentative start date - 10/2/08 - 10/16/08  - Infusion, every 4 weeks.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 13 months old


gachrons
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 12/13/2008 5:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kaycie I was wandering if they allow your pain meds with your trials.Will be keeping my fingers crossed for you that this med helps. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still alive.lol gail


Easier2Run
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 12/13/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm in nursing school.. going on to my senior year and i obviously deal with alot of pain meds. I always tell my patients that although their medications can be habit forming, if you don't want to get addicted you won't. Medication is out there to help you, why suffer? If you really need the med, you won't get addicted. I have been taking vicodin for my crohns pain, which helps alot. I sometimes look at what seems like 100 pill bottles in my collection, but realize that I need every single one. I think that you'll be okay since you seem educated about your meds.
-Heather, 23 yrs. old
____________

- Crohns disease since 1995, officially diagnosed in 2003.

- Bowel resection in Dec. 07, Crohns reoccurred July 08.

- Medications - Entocort 9mg, Flagyl 750mg, Wellbutrin SR 150mg, Lexapro 20mg, Bentyl 10mg, Levsin, Flexeril 10mg, Volteren 75mg

- Emotional wreckage... to great to even begin.


Joie1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 12/14/2008 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm going to agree with Nanners' statement. My aunt was a drug addict. It killed her. I am terrified of it but I won't lie about the level of pain I'm in. I'm terrified of addiction but I don't view what I do as addiction. It is literally doing what I can to lead a semi-normal life. I never get a "woo hoo" sensation. I get two hours of nothing burning, creaking, aching, or wanting to scream and cry as I get to an ER. If you're okay on your amount of pain meds and they make it possible to be a good mother and worker and whatever else we all are in our lives...then how is it possible its addiction? If it makes you similar to living as you did before you were ever sick, I'd figure its making you life a fuller life. As long as you know and try to keep in mind that what you take IS addictive, I believe you'll be just fine.
27/f/CD. 4 CD related surgeries: 2 resections, 2 JP drains, 3 NG tubes, many absesses (including the one my most recent surgery scraped off my ovary) and fistulas.
Currently trying to figure out hip and knee joint pain.
Have lost in these surgeries: appendix, 8 in. intestine, R fallopian tube, gallbladder, 10 in. intestine
Crohns Dx'd: February 2008.
Pentasa (and much mental screaming)

Trying to hang in there until January so I'll have some insurance and can visit a rheumy, neuro, GI, primary, pain control, and possibly a shrink so I could stop crying and living in my own lil pity party. :-P


Kaycie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 12/14/2008 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all! Seriously, it makes me feel better.

I feel a bit "loopy" whenever I take them, but I tell you it's a HUGE difference in what I can and can't do. I rest a ton, I really do, but I notice my productivity goes up whenever I'm making sure my pain is under control. For instance, today, I was hurting and could barely get out of bed, but my husband HAD to go to work... so I got up, took 1 1/2 Norco and 500mg of tylenol. I pushed through the first 30min.. as soon as the meds kicked in... I was able to get her down for her nap, rest with her, but then was able to focus my attention on her which involved getting us both lunch, getting her a bath, chasing her around the house (she's getting faster!), and then I felt the pain come back around 2:30, so I did the same thing...and was able to then do a couple loads of laundry in between getting her her afternoon nap.. etc... you get the drift. Had I suffered in pain, I would of laid on the couch all day and watched her play and not cared for her or had to have my husband come home or my parents come get her... I can't function right now without them.

The good news... my bowel frequency seems to be slowing down... but the bad news my pain levels are still pretty moderate... I'm requiring about 4 Norco a day... plus the 3 500mg of acetametaphine. So, though the frequency has cut down (which makes me believe I'm getting SOME of the ABT-874 trial drug), I'm still hurting pretty regularly.

Gail - Yup, any meds started 2 weeks prior to the study, I'm allowed to take... so I'm on Norcos. Now, if I need to modify it, we jus thave to get approval (hence why I may have been kicked out of the study for weaning off steroids sooner - luckily, that wasn't the case).
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Remicade, moving onto a Clinical Trial called ABT-874 - Tentative start date - 10/2/08 - 10/16/08  - Infusion, every 4 weeks.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 13 months old


survivor49
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 12/15/2008 9:27 AM (GMT -7)   
be careful because the norco has acetominophen in it and you don't want to damage your liver

Kaycie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 12/15/2008 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
survivor49 said...
be careful because the norco has acetominophen in it and you don't want to damage your liver


Fully aware... I don't exceed 4g/4000mg per day. Most days I'm only around 2-3g. The reason I have Norco and not Loratabs is because I can take less acetametaphine this way.

Unfortunately, the pains seem to be getting worse by the day (down to 5mg of steroids), but granted, I just started my period overnight too... so I'm hoping after it passes, some of the pain goes away as well...
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Remicade, moving onto a Clinical Trial called ABT-874 - Tentative start date - 10/2/08 - 10/16/08  - Infusion, every 4 weeks.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 13 months old


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 12/16/2008 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Kaycie,
I think you will be ok. But there are docs that would moniter this if you are that concerned about it. But in all honesty I do not think you are going to get anything more then you need.
TC,
Navy
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

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