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Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 5/8/2012 2:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys! I'm not usually in this forum when I post but my pain is getting worse and a new appointment is coming up. I'm afraid of going to it because.. Percocet. Yes. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense to you guys but I'm a pharmacy tech. My orthopaedic surgeon has decided its best to send me to pain management. I never think of the good docs when I hear this I always think of the "bad doctors." The pill pushers. And what if this is a pill pusher? I've already been on Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen. It's not working. But I'm scared to death of taking the next step. Until the day my brother died, he was addicted to OxyContin (no, it wasn't an overdose). I wouldn't feel right taking OxyContin, so logically if I was going to take a step itd be Percocet. So I guess I have 2 main issues with it. 1) Risk of addiction (especially since a sibling was addicted, I am at a higher risk of succumbing to addiction) 2) The confidence in me of my peers (I really don't give a darn what most people think, but I don't want my friends (coworking friends) to think differently of me, particularly if it's questioning my judgment at our workplace)..

Anybody have any experience with this? And HI EVERYONE!!


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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 5/8/2012 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kels..

Welcome to the chronic pain board...I'm sorry to hear about your issues as well as the passing of your brother.

There really is nothing to fear about Percocet. There is nothing more addictive in one medication than another.

It's all about the user and how they take the medication. I would certainly speak to your Dr. about addiction running in the family. My mom is a recovered alcoholic and has been sober for over 25 years. But I mentioned this to my Dr. when I first started pain management.

He told me not to worry at all and we will work together on making sure we have a comprehensive pain program.

A person who is actually addicted to narcotics take the pills to get a high, not for pain management. They also take more than prescribed. They buy/sell drugs with friends. They combine other things like alcohol with them. As well as some of them Dr. shop which is go from Dr. to Dr. getting opiate prescritpions.

They also crush, snort, or inject the opiate...not just take one/two as directed by the prescription.

I don't think you have to worry about any of that.

The main thing is making sure that you don't use an opiate as the only means to lower your pain level. It's meant to be one small piece of the puzzle.

Along with exercise, yoga/stretching, aqua therapy, PT, massage, ice, heat, acupuncture, TENS unit, injections, a muscle relaxer, a nerve pain medication if needed, an antidepressant if needed, sleep med if needed, eating healthy, not smoking, counseling, etc.

Each one of these modalities will put a small dent in the pain and all together helps lower it to a manageable level.

The key to chronic pain mgmt. is not looking for zero pain or that "rush of well being" when using an opiate. Most people with chronic pain when they take an opiate they don't even feel it....they just feel a bit less pain.

***Another key point is to NOT TELL anyone besides one trusted family member who is part of your health care team. NO ONE...not friends...not roommates, not co-workers....need to know or should know that you are taking medication.

Percocet, when taking as needed....and as a good opiate and good piece of the puzzle to help with pain.

And just know that down the line with chronic pain...many patients are moved to a long acting medication.

Oxycontin is just Oxycodone...the exact same opiate in Percocet...just in "continuous" form. So again...there is nothing to fear using this.

Just work closely with your Dr. and if for some reason you found yourself "craving" this medication once you start taking it, for helping with stress, or to feel great...then you can talk immediately with your Dr. to figure this out.

As I mentioned...studies show that it's not the medication that causes someone to be's the behavior of the user.

You have chronic go to a reputable Dr.....and working on using as many of the other modalities that I above mentioned, you should be fine with using Percocet for pain mgmt. as directed...

Good luck...keep us posted..
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16416
   Posted 5/8/2012 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kels and welcome to the chronic pain forum. I am sorry to hear that your brother.

Kels working as a pharmacy tech you see a lot of the people that come in for their meds and see the shape they are in. My daughter was a pharmacy tech for 9 years and boy some of the stories she told me.

One thing you need to not do is lump all pain mgt drs into one category. Not all are pill pushers, yes they write lots and lots of scripts because that is what their practice is about, managing pain in people. There is also a big difference between addiction and tolerance issues. The term addiction is used for those that obtain the drugs illegally and use them illegally, tolerance is when the medication stops working at a dose and it either needs to be increased or changed. Tolerance does not just apply to pain medications either.

Since you have these issues about medications and such, you may want to ask your PCP to refer you to an addictionologist who can work with your pain mgt dr.. They specialize in helping people who run the risk of addiction.

You know there are new rules and guidelines in place for drs writing scripts for narcotics. Now that the DEA is involved, primary care physicians do not want to get involved with writing scripts for narcotics or script pain meds to patients long term. The drs are afraid of the DEA showing up at their office and running an audit on a moments notice. This has been going for a while now and you working where you do, I would have thought you all would have heard about this. Its really getting tough out there and its causing many good legit pain patients a lot of grief.

As far as co-workers and such go, one thing I always tell people, if you are on any kind of medication keep it to yourself, its no ones business but yours. Also, let a close family member that you trust know you take meds and what they are for.

Keep us posted on how you are doing and take care...Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 5/9/2012 4:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to the CP part of HW.

I have to agree with the others here about this issue.

I don't get the general impression that you are a drug seeker of any kind. I know today I was thinking that I never even feel my meds anymore...just less pain when I take them. At first, I have to warn you that you may feel a little different or high when you start a new or stronger med...this is normal and just part of the process of adjusting to the medication. As your body adjusts, your feelings will change and, if they don't, it will be time to discuss the issue with the Dr. They don't want us to feel high or even to be a zero's just not on the realm of possibility. A 3-4 on the pain scale is about the best you can expect realistically (IMHO).

I to have issues with taking oxycontin. I don't know why. I guess it is just the stigma that has been attached to the medication. It honestly believe it is a good medication for some, and I even take oxycodone several times a day....but I asked my pain management Dr not to give me oxycontin as a long acting medication and he gave me something else (MsContin). It's working quite well, but may need to be upped at my next visit. When I first started taking it, I had a hard time adjusting and felt funny and overwhelmed. After about a month, I got all of my meds under control and find that my days are much better than they were before we made the switch.

I had an RFA the same day they did the med change and I will have trigger point injections in a few weeks. These are just two of the other things they do for me other than medications to help with pain. I'm sure you will have many things to consider before they just give you meds to fix a problem. I hope you will find relief with those things and don't need the med change or increase (if that is what you feel is best for you). There really are many options available, depending on your conditions.

Good luck!
Failed TLIF L5-S1, Miltiple Bulges/Herniations, Scoliosis, Pituatary Disorder, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery, Failed Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (now trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendonitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, & Vision Issues

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 5/9/2012 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys! The reason I said my coworkers was because someone has to fill my scripts. I work at a chain and it requires I fill within the company, no other pharmacy. I am going to go to my store, as opposed to other stores within our district because I trust my coworkers more than the other people I know within the district (I have worked with a lot of ppl over the 7 years I've worked for the company).
I went to the doctor today and she said the nerve is permanently damaged and besides pain control through medication I should do an aquatics class type deal for people with arthritis. And she gave me exercises to do at home.. I'm on Norco now, doesn't really do anything. She wants to put me on a long-acting medication and she suggested Avinza. She said something about OxyContin but of course I blanched at that.. I told her about the addiction with my brother.. I don't really know about this. I've seen her one time and she wants to give me Avinza?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 5/9/2012 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kels...

I'm sorry you are dealing w/ pain issues.... The others gave you really good thoughts and advice.

Many PM doctors prefer prescribing a long-acting medication... especially for a chronic condition. So, I'm not surprised - given your diagnosis - that she suggested Avinza (long-acting morphine sulfate). I was on Avinza for a couple of years - with no side effects and relatively good pain control.

I hope it works for you.... let us know.

Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

My faith and family sustain me even on my worst days... as well as my wonderful friends here at HW.

Health/Pain Issues - too many to list; feel free to ask

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16416
   Posted 5/10/2012 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Kels since the dr says you have nerve damage, did she by chance offer to try you on any of meds used for nerve pain like Cymbalta, Lyrica or Neurotin? Most drs use these meds when there is nerve involvement. Regular pain medication just does not have that much of an effect on nerve pain.

I think your dr is on the right track too with a long acting pain reliever. Its much better than chasing the pain with short acting meds.

Take care...Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 5/13/2012 1:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Tina! Susie, I was on Neurontin 300mg 4x's daily. She increased it to 600mg 3x's daily. Trust me, if I had to choose, that'd be a heck of a predicament! I cannot deal with the neuropathy without Neurontin. If I don't take it, my legs are heavy, I have shooting pains, my knee throbs, my toes tingle.

But I'm just curious if I should get another opinion. How does she really know its nerve damage? It was the first time I saw this doctor, referred by my orthopedic surgeon. I'm just wondering if I'm jumping the gun on this. I want relief from my pain SO BAD but I want children (my husband and I tried our first year of marriage and then-boom-back problems!) I just wished so badly she'd say we can do this and this and you'll have relief (at least long enough to carry our child). I'm sorry venting.

Thank you guys!
Kelsey; 25 year old lady suffering from a slew: Depression, Anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), etc.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16416
   Posted 5/13/2012 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Your symptoms are indicative of nerve involvment plus you are getting some relief with neurotin, the writing is pretty much on the wall. Nerve pain is a completely different type of animal in the pain dept. This is what your dr is also making her dx from is your symptoms, any other dr would do the same. Hopefully once you get started on the Avinza and get in the water program things will calm down for you.

I think you are a little hard on yourself. Just remember you did not cause any of this to happen, its not something you have done. Try to give yourself a little slack. Your stress level seems to be pretty high and in turn that will also increase your pain.

Take care......Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

spinal soldier
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 5/15/2012 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
if your in pain find the best combo of opioids you can and take them. Morphine and Hydromorphone are 2 great options.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: MScontin 100mg q8hrs. , dilaudid 8mg q6hrs. prn, oxymorphone IR 10mg q6 ,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 1000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, ALA

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Date Joined May 2012
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   Posted 5/15/2012 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
The bottom line are not your brother.

I know it may be hard to come to terms with losing him the way you did...and if he had gotten hit by a car, or a bus instead, you would probably feel nervous about those things as well...BUT...

If you're in pain (and nerve pain can be extremely painful) then you should do something about it. Not doing something about it could end up affecting your job more so than having a script for percocet. Addiction doesn't happen overnight, and if nothing else... your family/friends would probably see it coming if you ever did become addicted (given the experiences you've had and your work environment) chronic pain patients "addiction" is very rare, and if you find a good dr, you have even less to worry about.

As SB said, the meds are not the end all be all, there are so many things working in conjunction, so many options. I would honestly take your drs advice, see how the meds and therapy work, and go from there.

Who knows, your experiences with pain meds could help in your work. I think sometimes people are judged by appearance and the perception that pain medication is bad and turns everyone into an addict...when that's just not true...and if the shoe were on the other foot...they would not feel that way. (Not saying you're that way at all, but I've run into a lot of people who work in pharmacies that are.) Maybe you can show everyone that you can WORK in a pharmacy and take pain medication and not be an "addict" or "drug seeking".

Post Edited (LexiRae) : 5/15/2012 9:22:04 PM (GMT-6)

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