Posted 5/11/2008 5:00 AM (GMT -6)
Dear Hopeless, it may not be as bad as you think. I was going through menopause and night sweats and sweat a new patch off three times!! It really depends on your track record with your Rx's. If you have needed Rx's sooner than they should be in the past then you won't be able to get by this time. But if you manage to get past this one, it will only be excused once, no excuse whatever will work again. Even if your car was broken into and you have a police report, it won't work a second time. The doctors are constantly monitored for irregularities. Your triplicate prescript
ions in paper form have to be treated like signed checks to your savings account. When you get your boxes homes they must be stored away from heat and water, and from sight. You would not be the first person to have a "friend" steal your patches, they have a great street value.
I was on a 50 strength patch and miscalculated once and went an extra day. My back ached and I thought I would come out of my skin. I was only able to use the patches a short while, they're side effects began to make my life worse. I couldn't sleep, I had no appetite, I was nauseous all the time, and I had constant headaches. I thought it was menopause, I thought it was my eyes, I thought it was my jaw, I went through a year of testing for everything else in the world only to find it was the patches.
Pain is hell to live with, there's no doubt. But my long experience has shown me that many meds are poisonous after a while. I found a great physical therapist who does an unusual technique that worked for me because most of my pain resulted from scar tissue over nerves. I was overusing one set of muscles to the point of fatigue, weakness, and pain; and another set of muscles I was not using at all and they had become atrophyed. The only way to come back is to become as strong as you can. Learn to use what you still have the best you can. Learn how to strengthen injured muscles so they can gain back strength and keep keyloids from permanently fusing you. Muscles can not get stronger when you take tranquilizers and muscle relaxers. You need neurontin, pain meds, and anti-inflammatories and exercise.
Like I said before, chronic pain can be unbearable, but once the pain is addressed you are far better off to work at strengthening what you can, and stretching what you can or your life will robbed by constant medication. Whatever pain meds you are taking, after a while they will not be as effective and you will need to take more, finally it will rob you of the ability to think clearly, your memory will be affected, you'll become depressed, and you will begin to miss out on all the things that make life worth living.
I was on the 50, I enjoyed just not being miserable for a bit, then I found out what shape my muscles were in, I began slowly to work the different groups and using them more efficiently. After 5 months I cut my patch strength in half to 25. I didn't sleep well at first, my back ached more at first, but after a few weeks I started to feel great. I had more energy, I slept better, my appetite started to come back, and I started doing things again. But I still had the headache, not as bad, but still there all the time.
End of last year I cut the patch in half again to 12, sleeping much better, enjoying food, going on outings with the family again, headache almost gone, my head is so much clearer, I take care of household bills and insurance again and my husband is no longer afraid I'll flake out and not pay the bills on time. It wasn't easy, but I saw a lady who just medicated. Now she has liquid morphine, a huge bottle of valium, and percocet. They put a ramp in front of her house, but she doesn't leave the house now. Her daughters graduated and their mother was not there. When the family goes to relatives for the holidays, she stays home alone, she doesn't want to go anymore. One of her daughters cries because she misses their mother, the other one resents her mother and never even goes into her room with the hospital bed and Rx bottles everywhere. It smells in her room because she's too stoned sometimes to make it to the bathroom.
I don't want to be preachy. I've had constant, chronic pain and I would have taken anything to make it go away. But then you, not your doctors, have to decide where to go from there. Your doctor can make decisions, but you and your family have to live with them. Be involved in those decisions. See physical therapists, they examine your strengths and weakenesses and they can help you become the best you can be. It is bullcrap that you can't do something if it hurts. Once you've stopped doing stuff, your joints and muscles can form keyloids that lock your joint or muscle in a certain position, to break those keyloids it takes pain, but then you can get stronger.
Your mind has a big role in how you feel, some pain meds depress you and help you give up.
I don't know how old you are, but for some people, medication only is a road to hell.
Before people start to attack me, I know there are conditions that require pain meds, I know there are conditions that will never be made better, I know these conditions exist and what I'm saying does not apply, but sometimes taking someone's hope away can be damaging too.
Contact your doc, tell 'em a box disappeared, you suspect someone at your luncheon might have taken them, going cold turkey off a 75 might even be dangerous. Good luck with your situation, I hope it won't be a permanent part of yur life. Worrying about prescriptions all the time is as bad as smoking cigarettes. You have to check to make sure you have enough when you go out of town, or over holiday weekends, and you have to carry them with you so they don't get lost in luggage, it's a a drag. Best of luck. Sorry if I offended, I've seen too much, the best and the worst side of this issue, it's a touchy path. I wish no one ever had to experience it at all.