The hell of opiate withdrawal

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HelloNurse
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/7/2011 1:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Two years ago I was diagnosed with severe arthritis and debilitating headaches. I was originally placed on Norco 10/325 every 4 hours for pain control. After a few months, my tolerance built up. I becamee very ill due to my headaches which caused extreme nausea and vomiting. I was hopsitalized for almonst a month. I was placed on a Dilaudid (hydromorphone) PCA pump and was sent home on 4 mg 4x daily. Within a month my tolerance was up and I was placed on 8mg Dilaudid 4x daily. Again my tolerance increased and I was placed on Opana ER (oxymorphone extended release) with Norco 10/325 for breakthrough pain. In August 2010 I was sick on being on pain medication as it seemed it was controlling my life and affecting my work. I went to my doctor and told him I was quiting cold turkey. I was given some Ativan for the anxiety which did not help at all. I went through a week of terrible withdrawals and thought I was going to die! I managed to stay off the pills for two months but eventually the pain got the best of me. My physician put me back on Norco which didn't help. I was placed back on dilaudid but began violently vomiting. I was then placed on 15mg oxycodone 6x daily. I too got sick on this. I went back to my doctor who put me on a 25mcg Fentanyl patch. This did absolutely nothing for me but put me in mild withdrawals. Last week I went to my doctor and said enough is enough and I want my life back, pain and all. He refused to take me off the pain medications and would give me nothing for the withdrawals. He instead upped my Fentanyl to 50mcg. I did not fill the prescription. I had been going through mild withdrawals all week and figured I would finish what I started, without my doctors blessing. That was Thursday 2/3/11. Day one was not so bad. However Friday and Saturday I would have given my right arm for pain meds. I was vomiting, had horrible dirrahea, could not sleep, felt like I had the worse flu in the world, was hot one moment and freezing the next. My family has been incredibly supportive. Today, Sunday morning, I woke up feeling relatively human again. I still feel a bit fluish but I can sleep and even took a nap today. The diarrhea is about gone and the fog the pain pills put in my head is gone. I am me again! I will never use opiates again for pain control, instead opting for biofeedback, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncuture. Opiates are truly evil and I despise them. I am seeing my physician this week and signing some sort of contract that he will NEVER prescribe pain medication again. EVER! I feel like me again, like I've got my life back. The withdrawals are sheer hell and I am aware that I will have issues for probably a month or so. I am not psychologically addicted but I am physically addicted. I plan on attending NA meetings just to make sure the temptation stays away. I truly hope that whoever reads this post will realize that yes, withdrawals are hell, but by day 3 or 4 you will begin to function again, reclaiming your life. Please don't take opiates to get high. I understand some of us need them for chronic pain, but there are other modalities out there that can assist and don't take away your life, desires, and motivation. I was living each day until I could get my prescription filled. I lost a job because I couldn't function. Please realize you are strong and can do this. I'm not big on self-control, but I did it and it I can, anybody can! Good luck in getting you life back!

JCG32
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 2/7/2011 2:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry you are going through this but think it is great you are so focused and have a plan. I think the support groups are a great idea. When I went to the Cleveland Clinic pain clinic may had to go through opiate withdrawl and I really felt for them. I think the support of others going through similar and learning how to cope was so helpful. I did biofeedback and though not so much for my pain it does help to a degree with my anxiety. Have you done acupuncture or are you going to? I am interested in how that went? I am also thinking of doing HBOT again. I have never veen a fan of alternative treatment but am in a bad place again pain wise and regular treatment for me seems to either make me worse or do nothing so alternative is looking better. Keep up the good work and as they say in recovery one day at a time

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16273
   Posted 2/7/2011 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
HelloNurse and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I do wish you well on your road to to no medication for your pain. But, with you being a nurse I am shocked at your behavior concerning pain medications, you above all should have known the potential dangers of quitting cold turkey. There are safe ways to taper off of pain medications but quitting cold turkey is not one of them. I do hope that anyone reading this understands that quitting cold turkey is not the way to get off of pain medications. As far as I know the members on this forum that are on pain medications it is to help them have a better quality of life, none of them to my knowledge take them to get high, that is what an addict does.

I must say for someone with chronic pain and one who claims to works in the medical profession you are one of the most under educated patients I have ever seen in my life when it comes to chronic pain. Chronic pain is not a one size fits all program. I am afraid massages, chiropractic care and all the other things you mentioned does not work for everyone and why would you even think it would work for everyone is beyond me.

I am very offended by your post to say the least.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

deb in indiana
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 2/7/2011 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Straydog

BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 2/7/2011 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
First, I will admit pain meds can be a double edge sword, but there are some of us--that would be me--that could not work/function w/o them. I'm a little weary of statements of absolute opinions. As a CP/CI patient of going on 15 yrs now, I had tried everything imaginable holistic, psychological, etc. before my doctors finally agreed pain meds are the way to go for me. It has been my experience once you get a great pain MD they do tend to up dosages if your pain control is not optimal, but this is where I take control and keep my mg to a lower comfortable dosage. Do I still experience break-through pain, yes, but I learn to live with it because I know I will always need more and more if I don't just keep it to a lower manageable level. I was recently hospitalized and discharged on a mind-blowing level of narcotics, but immediately went to my pain MD and discussed a tapering plan b/c I know there's no where to go but up when tolerance hits.
What I'm trying to say is if your quality of life is better on the meds then learn how to manage them effectively.

purplereading
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 2/7/2011 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Going cold turkey after years of narcotics is not only potentially dangerous to deadly, but also not EVEN the best choice. One plan of people on narcotics, is to always titrate down, to avoid life threatening side effects of cold turkey withdrawal, esp in people with completions of High blood pressure, cardiac problems, etc.  As a nurse, I have live in chronic pain on narcotics since 2002. I have never gone to my dr anc complained to the point he doubled my meds. In fact, I have actually lowered them when the side effects become more apparent than the helpful effects. I do not get total pain relief from my meds, nor do I expect it. I live with the lowest possible amount to make my pain tolerable so that I can have a life, relatively normal. That, in return, lowers the side effects of higher dosage meds. That is what the PM dr and the patient work towards :  A life not so completely controlled by pain as to render the patient incapable of a somewhat normal life. If that takes opiates to do so, then as long as they both work towards using the smallest effective dose, with the least side effects, than that is perfectly ok in my opinion.  I would rather have tolerable pain, than out of control, intractable pain. IF it take narcotics to be that way, than so be it.  There are people on narcotics who do not live "in a fog", but rather at a level where they can at least, tolerate daily living, and not spend every minute in bed, or extreme pain. Not every person gets hideous side effects from pain meds. Try not to assume, or judge other people in pain. and their choices.

HelloNurse
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/7/2011 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Straydog, yes, in the beginning I did quit cold turkey. In my clinical experience, abrupt withdrawal from opiates is not life-threatening, just uncomfortable. Going cold turkey from alcohol and benzodiazapines is a different story and should be done under medical supervision. I wasn't on that much pain medication that I was concerned for my well-being. I was more concerned about my ability to function safely as a RN. This time, although my doctor did not want me to quit, I tapered my doses down. This is why my withdrawals have not been too hideous this time around. I will stay off of them. I don't want to be on them ever. I apologize if I offended anyone. I realize we all have different responses to pain medication. While some people function just fine, others such as myself are more sensitive and function in a "fog" of sorts. Pain medication serves a purpose. Perhaps it's purpose is not for me! But perhaps someone else needs it to function and make it through the day. Since opiates are so easily abused, we should always take them according to dr. prescription. I hope this answers some of the questions posted here. Honestly in my original post, I just wanted to yell from the rooftops that I've done it and broken free from these pain medications!

HelloNurse
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/7/2011 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I also wanted to clairify that I realize chiropractic, biofeedback, etc. are not for everyone and never implied to. In my experience I was placed on pain pills before every have chiropractic or other treatments attempted. For that I feel gyped. If pain medication is helping with your quality of life and you have no addictive behaviors, then go for it! As for me, pain medication is frowned upon, both in patients and staff. We must be VERY careful and are routinely UA'd.

Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 2/7/2011 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi and Welcome to the forum.

Just a couple of words of caution on this subject. Death is unlikely when going 'cold turkey' from opioids but as said above, misery abounds. When a doctor prescribes medication and you choose to take it, I would suggest the best way to stop taking it is with the same doctor's advice. Doctors won't suggest going cold turkey for many reasons and below is a snippet from an article that shows why it can be very harmful.

The abrupt withdrawal of morphine-like analgesics - opioids - can increase sensitivity to pain. Experiments have now shown that this effect is caused by a memory-like process, the long-term potentiation of synaptic strength in the spinal cord. The study, which was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), also found ways of avoiding this increase in pain sensitivity. These pioneering results have now been published in the prestigious journal Science.

Painful "cold withdrawal"

The abrupt withdrawal ("cold withdrawal") of opioids leads to "long-term potentiation" (LTP) of synaptic strength in the spinal cord's pain pathways. This in turn leads to sustained and increased sensitivity to pain. In the brain, LTP is a physiological mechanism for learning and memory. An activity-dependent increase in synaptic transmission between the nerve cells at their contact points, the synapses, can be very long-lasting. For example in the spinal cord, pain stimuli can trigger LTP and lead to a long-lasting "pain memory". This study proves for the first time that opioids also leave a "memory trace" in the pain system if they are withdrawn abruptly. "We were rather taken aback ourselves by the results," said project manager Professor Jürgen Sandkühler. "Until now, we had assumed that only strong or sustained pain could induce LTP in the pain system." On making this discovery, Prof. Sandkühler and his team set about deciphering the molecular mechanisms of this process.


www.physorg.com/news166449845.html

This is just one article but it serves as a warning to the dangers of taking and/or stopping medications. Whether you or I take or choose not to take any kind of medications is just that...our choice. It's desperately hard to take medications we'd prefer not to take, medications that we are embarrassed to talk about or substances that we never imaged we would need but it's even harder when others look down on our choices. I may disagree with HelloNurse's comments but what I am bothered by is the ending.

Please don't take opiates to get high. I understand some of us need them for chronic pain, but there are other modalities out there that can assist and don't take away your life, desires, and motivation. I was living each day until I could get my prescription filled. I lost a job because I couldn't function. Please realize you are strong and can do this. I'm not big on self-control, but I did it and it I can, anybody can! Good luck in getting you life back!

This is insulting and insinuates I and others here take these medications for fun. I can assure you that less than 1/2 of 1% of chronic pain patients abuse their medications. The statistics prove this out. A quick search will support the facts. I can also assure you than I never feel 'high', I just feel a small lessening of the pain for which I'm grateful. I don't act stoned, drugged, narcotized, hopped-up, fuddled, pixilated, mellow, gamy or juiced. More often I am sleepy from the meds and the consistent pain. If you were "living each day until I could get my prescription filled" and you "lost a job" then my suggestion would be you were the small percentage whose body chemistry doesn't tolerate these medications without becoming not only dependent but addicted. It's most often not a choice any of us make, it's part of our make-up.

The people you will meet here are almost always in control of their medications. Those who aren't are either open and asking for help or are in denial and we offer our support for them too. That's what this forum is all about...support. I've listed one of the forum rules below as a reminder. Support is not hurtful but kindness and experiences shared in a helpful way is.

I wish you well, Nurse.
Chutz


4. No posts that attack, insult, "flame", defame, or abuse members or non-members. Respect other members of the community and don’t belittle, make fun off, or insult another member or non-member. Decisions about health and well-being are highly personal, individual choices. "Flaming" and insults, however, will not be tolerated. Agree to disagree. This applies to both the forums and chat.
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." Albert Einstein

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 2/7/2011 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm always happy when someone who can function & fulfill all their social, work & personal responsibilities is able to avoid or get off of pain meds. I am wondering what will happen, though, when you test negative for fentanyl. I hope you kept the script in case your doc asks for it back to prove you didn't sell it.

Opioids do have their place and it concerns me that you are counseling complete strangers to quit their pain meds AMA. First off, fentanyl is not usually dangerous to quit cold turkey at low doses, but it can be. I have a very mild heart condition of which I had no knowledge. On top of that, I had undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Nothing serious, normally -- but with the added stress on my heart from withdrawals, it very quickly became an emergency situation where my heart was overstressed.

I agree that you were gyped by not being encouraged to try non-pharmacological treatments before being placed on increasingly higher doses of narcotics. That said, it scares me to think that there is yet another nurse out there who has determined to disregard physicians' orders because of her own unfounded bias against narcs.
In my case, in spite of the dangers that fentanyl brings, those dangers are outweighed by the dangers of me having undertreated pain. Without pain meds, I am bedridden 24/7. Infected bed sores, muscle atrophy, blood clots, high blood pressure, not to mention increased susceptibility to a host of physical and mental illnesses.
I get angry about being on these meds. Though my PM hasn't always been in favor of it, I've demanded he support my heart so I could go cold turkey. But I make it a few weeks & in that short of time, I go from working, seeing friends 1-2x/week & good personal hygiene to being a sick, smelly, unbathed, undernourished, dehydrated mess with no voice b/c of all the screaming. I cannot move without horrible muscle spasms. I cannot complete my core exercises, so my muscles quickly weaken. I cannot stand. I cannot sit. I cannot roll over. I cannot even press a button on a PCA pump.

So please, please, think twice before advising people who don't even have addictive tendencies to quit all their pain meds. It is always sad when pain meds steal life from some people. But in spite of that, they give life to many others when used in responsible, appropriate ways in conjunction with the many non-narc and non-pharma treatments that aren't always effective by themselves.

best wishes & keep posting,
frances

Post Edited (Frances_2008) : 2/7/2011 10:27:28 PM (GMT-7)


Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/8/2011 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Just a quick chime in here since I've had the experience of a nurse making my PM decisions for me over the last two days. (I say nurse because she didn't follow the dosing approved by the dr, but rather what she thought I should be taking) while she was on the floor.

Anyway, this nurse was so uninformed about meds that she withheld my controlled release xanax cr 3 mg that I have been taking for years for over 7 hours and then tried to give it to me several times a day. She decided for herself which of my meds I should take together, althogh all of my pain meds (3) are written at 120 a month (4 a day, as needed). This meant to her that I needed them every 6 hours or not at all. I tried and tried to explain that I can't take oxy and dilaudid together, but I can take oxy and Ultracet or dilaudid and Ultracet, but this continued for the whole time I was there. Then she would write on this huge board what meds I was taking and what time to give them to me (can you say not what I want everyone in the family to know????) Then I would be waken up from a dead sleep to take a med that she thought I needed during the middle of the night. And last, she would keep telling me she was going to give me my shot of morphin now and I'd have to tell her I can't take morphine....I'm alleric over and over and over. She said it was a standing order for all cardiac patients and they just brought that one. But, enough of my story and on to my point.

Nurses are wonderful people to take care of us in our times of need. Some understand medicine and the effectes of meds extrememly well, but I have found many nurses to know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to medical opinions and prescriptions.

I appreciate what our new member is saying about her situation, but most of the people who come here have tried everything possible to reduce pain to a managable level. Most take combinations of meds to improve pain control rather than continue to increase meds that are not working well. Almost all (including myself) are under pain contract with a reputable pain management clinic and are given UA's all the time. It's part of life for us. I've been doing UA's so long (for 20 years with work) and now with PM, that it's just an old hat now. If you're not abusing or using meds not prescribed for you, then taking a UA should be no problem at all.
Failed fusion L5-S1, Pituatary damage, HGH Def, Fibro, Bladder surgery failure, Nissen Failure, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CTS (Bilateral Surgery completed), CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Vit D, A, Magnesium deficiency, Pre-glaucomic (sp?), HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia, Edema, too many Drug/Food allergies, sensitivites, and current meds to list.

Trudy2
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 2/8/2011 4:58 AM (GMT -6)   
After reading this thread and the other one about their current pain medications working on their chronic pain and not their surgical pain, I am very hesitant to have surgery. I have a hernia in my left groin area that is covered by a huge scar that is at least 4 inches by 8 inches. I have been told that because of this scar, they cannot operate laproscopically, that they will actually have to cut my abdominal area open to do this because there is just too much scar tissue for them to go through.

I am now concerned about pain management during this process. I was hospitalized before with this huge abdominal wound and was treated quite poorly by several nurses on the floor. I would be in pain for hours and crying for my pain meds and they would not answer the call button because I couldn't talk loud enough for them to hear me. They also left my catheter bag long enough to grow mold. I was there 17 days and never once got out of bed and was cathetered the entire time. It was quite a horrible experience. Not one that I want to repeat.

What suggestions do you have for me to not experience this issue? If I go forward with the surgery I do not want to be in excrutiating pain afterward. I am very concerned about pain management both in the hospital and afterward. I have an appointment with my pain doc on March 17th and I do plan to discuss this with him, but I believe he will probably leave the pain management for the surgical pain up to the surgeon. Are the surgeons familiar enough with chronic pain patients to prescribe the right amount and type of medication to help?

Thanks for input!
Trudy

Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 2/8/2011 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
 
 
  
      Nurse,
 
      When you do get to the point that you do have disabling chronic pain (and you will one day) there are many medications that are recommended for those that need pain control long term. Also, you have now placed yourself in a very difficult position. You views on chronic pain and pain relief methods are negatively impacting your life. It will negatively impact you ability to perform in your chosen profession as well. It would be good to speak with your doctor about the feelings you are experiencing so he/she can refer you to someone who will help you process your feelings and process what you have done to your body. I hope you are able to find some sort of balance.
 
    It was very nice to meet you.
 
:-)   
Dani

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator
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raggs
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/8/2011 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Pain meds manage pain. They don't cure pain or its causes. Pain meds are needed when the causes have no cure. Have you been in pain so severe it literally hurts to think? i have.

soma, lortab, elavil, prilosec, naprosyn, tenormin, tranxene, zoloft, effexor, klonopin, singulair, adderall, cytomel, albuteral sulfate inhaler, guafenisen, cortizone injections in my left shoulder, left knee, and hips several times a year

rheumatic fever/ heart arrhythmia/ ulcer/ chronic pain in neck, back, abdomen, shoulders,knees/ total right knee replacement/ PTSD/ FMS/ CMP/ chronic bursitis & tendonitis/ localized arthritis/ ADD/ dyslexia/sinusitis/ ear infections/ sinus, tension, migraine headaches/ depression/ light sensitivity from concussions
I wear braces on all of my joints and back.
Most of the time, I use a cane or crutches. Other times, I use a walker, wheelchair, or scooter.
mad
ServiceDogGal/raggs

"The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running."

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 2/8/2011 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
i did not even finish reading your whole story. the "cure" is not the cause. i think when you made the change from 8mg dilaudid 4 per day to opana ER mg ? with norco 10/325 was a huge step down and screwed up your nervous system. and withdrawals with just ativan is torture. what kind of doctor is treating your pain?
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: fentanyl patch 75mcg. , Roxicodone 30mg prn qid,vistaril 50mg prn nausea, Lyrica 150mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M. 10mg PM prn, Soma 350 mg 3X, Elavil 25 HS, diazepam 10mg bid prn, Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 2000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, GABA 750mg,

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/8/2011 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I think Dani hit on a very important point....so much so that I re-read the post a couple of times to make sure I understood exactly what was being said.

CP is not a joke. I suffered a great deal of unnecessary pain this week because of a nurse's opinion of my need for medications. She had been working only one year and thought she knew more than my PM dr and my psychiatrist. I would have been better off just taking the meds out of my purse, but hospital rules don't allow that.

You do not know the pain others are in unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. For many of us, walking a mile isn't possible and for others simply walking isn't possible. We deserve a quality of life and I am really upset by the stigma placed on honest, upstanding people who happen to suffer from cp through no fault of their own. It's wrong to make people suffer needlessly. We should not do it to animals and we should not do it to people.
Failed fusion L5-S1, Pituatary damage, HGH Def, Fibro, Bladder surgery failure, Nissen Failure, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CTS (Bilateral Surgery completed), CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Vit D, A, Magnesium deficiency, Pre-glaucomic (sp?), HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia, Edema, too many Drug/Food allergies, sensitivites, and current meds to list.

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/8/2011 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with all who have posted here regarding Nurse's post. Chronic Pain by itself is very personal. Even though I hate my meds...taking at least one every 6 hours, 1 every eight hours, one I take two twice a day and the rest are randomly placed in both morning pill box and evening pill box, isn't exactly my best laid plan. However, like everyone who takes pain medications, I take them so that I can function. So that I can do the dishes once in a while, vaccum the floors once in a blue moon and be able to go do things with my husband twice a month.

I have had so many problems with my meds, but I know that without them I would be in bed 24/7 and not be able to do anything but cry because of the pain. I have recently learned that my disc at L2-L3 is herniated. Although it is only slightly herniated, if it should ever become to the point where it was causing my back to hurt in other places, I could never go through surgery to fix it.

No ortho or neurosurgeon will touch my back ever again and that alone makes me realize that the medications are all that I have. I've tried biofeedback, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy and thousands of other thing to try and control my pain before I opted for any medications. I know that there is no way I will ever be the same again and that without my long acting pain med and my IR oxy and my muscle relaxer, that this is my life.

My husband says that I was given a horrible hand, but that hasn't stopped me in everything I want to do. I can't walk for any longer then a block and a half without being in excruciating pain. I cannot sit in a chair for longer then 5 minutes without my legs screaming at me or having muscle spasms that make me cry. I am stuck with my CP and there is no way out.

I am a CP Patient, not a addict....nor a druggy. I don't get high, looped, drugged nor do I go looking for a "Fix". I am appauled by your statements that we all here are addicted to our meds. We here are dependent for a decent life on our meds and that doesn't make us bad people.

Scarred
I live to "Tame My Pain!" 

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3694
   Posted 2/8/2011 11:25 PM (GMT -6)   
HelloNurse
 
Well I have read and reread your post, and I can underderstand the response that everyone has given. But I personally think, that in the very beginning, you were mistreated by your doctors, and not given the proper dosage for your pain. Most pain meds are notorious for causing nausea and vomiting if given in to high of  a dosage. They should always be started at the lowest possible dosage and slowly increased till the pain is under control, and the patient can tolerate the med. As for the Fentanyl  for some of us that pain med just does not work period! I was given it when in the hospital for my fusion in my neck last November, and it did nothing and eventually they had to change it to dilaudid. Everyone is different in the way they react to pain and pain medications. But if you were feeling dopey or other wise drugged, and you had nausea and vomiting, it was more than likely dose related! Usually the dosage is to high!!!   I feel bad that you were not competently treated for your pain! There are just to many Doctors out there that are not qualified to treat a patients pain! I do think if you would have been properly treated you would not feel the way you do about taking pain meds.  It is unfortunate, but with that said, you surely must realize that your experience and feelings about taking pain meds apply only to you, and not to anyone else. I know that allot of people have taken your post  as a slap in the face, and that is understandable!!!!  As I have said,  after reading and rereading, what you have written,  I would rather think that it was written by a  person who had a very bad experience, and was kind of lashing out, because of it. I also sense that you may be afraid of these medications, and afraid that you may become addicted to them. That is not an uncommon fear, but it is also, not usually a justified one either!  Anyway I am saying this  because of,  the way you handled your withdrawal from your medications! As a nurse you certainly must have known that it was not the proper way of doing it!  It sounded like you wanted off those meds right now! Reguardless of what it would do to you! Not exactly done in a  rational manner, was it?, At the least you put yourself through allot of unneeded angony!  There are much better ways of withdrawing yourself from those medications, and I am sure as a nurse you could of looked them up, and followed them, or consulted a pharmacist for instructions.  Anyway what is done is done! I do hope that you find a way to control your pain, if not please try consulting a competent pain management doctor!
 
When all is said and done I still wish you well and hope that everything works out for you!
 
Good Luck .......White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 2/8/2011 10:35:31 PM (GMT-7)


purplereading
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 2/9/2011 12:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Retiredmom, I had a friend in a similar situation, the surgeon, also managed her chronic pain prior to the surgery, and he did write for her to continue home meds. What he did not do was write out these meds which included her MS Contin, MSIR, and flexeril, baclofen, etc. The anesthios. and surgeon one wrote her post op pain meds, and did not write in addion to the regular meds she took for chronic pain. Many nurses donot clarify orders and think that the post op meds take the place of the meds they take daily, as most patients do not have orders for pain meds at home, that they take on a daily basis. It also needs to be writeen out that (forexample) MS CONTIN 50 mg po BID(q12hours at 7am and 7Pm,MSIR every 4-6 hours po as needed for breakthrough or uncontrolled pain, Flexeril 10 mgpo every 6 hours as needed for spasms) The post op would proably be a pump. Anyway, make sure that the doctor makes sure to write that your regular home meds are in addition to your post op meds, and that they are writeen exactly as you take them at home.. That is my best answer as a longtime nurse.

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/9/2011 1:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Purple. I'll make sure to note that accordingly and to keep it on file with my paperwork for my next procedure (yuck). Anthing is better than going 6 hours since your last pain med and having nothing at all in your system when you are used to having your pain meds as ordered (and there are several). Begging for phenergan was stuipid of me in retrospect, but it was the only thing they would allow me to have IV at that time and I wanted some relief. At least it helped me ease off and rest until they finally got my meds a little more reasonably laid out. You know it takes 2-3 hours sometimes after you ask for your meds to actually get them, so I was unable to wait any longer. My BP was spiking up insane and it was throwing off the whole reason for the stay (to monitor and test the heart).

Enough said.....I thank you for pointing it out and will take your advice.

Thank you.
Failed fusion L5-S1, Pituatary damage, HGH Def, Fibro, Bladder surgery failure, Nissen Failure, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CTS (Bilateral Surgery completed), CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Vit D, A, Magnesium deficiency, Pre-glaucomic (sp?), HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia, Edema, too many Drug/Food allergies, sensitivites, and current meds to list.

quietappraiser
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/9/2011 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Just joined to reply to Nurse. Good for you, we each must face this based on our unique personality. What started for me as a supraorbital neuralgia and small arnold chiari malformation has led to my having a body with many different pains said to be from 3 pinched nerves , peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia and a couple of others I can't spell. I have been on every anti convulsant used for pain with no effect so for over 13 years oxycontin allowed me to function and succeed in my career, then 2 years ago I started developing extreme body pains diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Oxycontin was increased till I was taking 320 mg or more a day, usually more which left me low on meds at the end of the month, which left me in a bad way for two or three days. Guess what, my newer pain symptoms are very similiar during the middle of the month as the symptoms of running out of the oxycontin. I assume, and the Doctor agrees I may be suffering from an opiate intolerance. These last 2 years have been hell, as to my quality of life; but these last 6 days of cold turkey have been a whole new level of hell. I don't know if I could taper off, so I chose cold turkey. I know cold turkey posts seem to upset some members who utilize tapering or low dose pain management. You can feel the anger and emotion in their posts. Medical papers and studies are cited, and statements like "Doctors won't allow it" are made. Doctors do allow it, and it is the method used by state & state supported agencies for detox in Florida.
I am not writing to antagonize, only to let nurse know she has support from me, a 57 year old man whose brain has been rewired by his medicine and who hopes his quality of life will increase after a few months of no opiates, synthetic or otherwise.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 2/9/2011 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
QA-
What a nice post. Glad you are feeling better with no meds on board. :)
I may have missed the post where someone wrote that doctors don't allow it. You're right that some do. My own doc allowed it, but I was carefully monitored by him so that when I started having heart probs, he was able to quickly call in a script for bp medicine & assign a nurse to check on me by phone throughout the night & weekend until my hr/bp got back under control.
I think many of us were most concerned about what seemed to be suggestions to avoid doctor's supervision. I said before & I say again that it seems pretty clear that HN was not well-treated by her doctor. But, for safety reasons, I stand by my statement that w/d is best managed by a medical professional -- whether that's via tapering the opioid, stopping the opioid outright but providing supportive meds for nausea/high bp/etc., or "cold turkey" with no support whatsoever. You just never know if you might be in that small minority that can't survive with no support.

Also, want to give a shout out to a fellow Chiarian! :) Sounds like you haven't had decompression surgery yet. Hope you find some relief. Have you tried Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment or Cranio-Sacral Therapy? I found out about CST from my local Chiari Society. Those 2 helped me more than anything when I was pre-op -- and insurance covered them as medical visits.

peace,
frances

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 2/9/2011 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hellonurse,
I am glad for you...but to say that all pain meds are Evil is generalizing all of us that take them... I hope you aren't trying to say that all of us need to get off of the pills in order to be Human... I have been taking pain meds for severe pain for over 10 years...120 mg. Methadone and 30 mg. Oxycodone 5 times a day... I wish like hell that I didn't NEED to take them, but I do, and I will.

And as for the NA meetings...Be Ware!! The meetings that I went to were more like a junkie meeting where everyone talks about "the good old days".

Going through withdrawals is the worst...and anyone that can go through it and get to the other side is a Miracle...But before you sign that New Contract stating that you will Never allow the Dr. to give you pain meds...I'd think about it... You might need them one day for an emergency and your Dr. will say "NO".... That would Suck!!

quietappraiser
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/10/2011 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree "Unique", pain meds are needed. In my case oxy was the only way to deal with chronic pain. 13 years of being close to human then 2 yrs ago new strange sensations and pains so oxy increased to help, but didn't help as much as before. Unfortunately oxycontin turned evil for me. BTW in my 7th day cold turkey.
Don't attack others; unless you know you can win and not until you are sure what you want.

kat1611
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 7/12/2011 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Nurse, I'm sure by now you've realized how your wording could have been a little better. When my grandmother (the most important person in my life) was in the hospital dying, she had the worst nurse in the world. This woman was rude, loud, and obnoxious. Our family was literally saying our "last goodbyes" and this nurse still had no compassion. Does that mean that every nurse is like that except you? I'm sorry you had a bad reaction to medication, my aunt can't take medication either, she goes to a church about 10 minutes from my house. Good luck with your contract.
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