Pain, Meds, and Work

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

cogito
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 926
   Posted 5/11/2012 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I've been struggling with my new medication regimen. about 2 months ago, my PM told me to increase my hydrocodone use to 20-30mg per day, rather than move on to a stronger time-release med (currently, Ultram ER 300mg).

I've been finding that daily use makes me feel crummy. I'm o.k. for the first 10mg, but as the day moves on, and I take more, I get headaches (even with 3-4 liters of water) and just don't have the energy I used to. So, I've tried various strategies -- taking lower doses more often, taking a large dose in the morning then waiting a long time until I take another, etc..

Overall, I feel like I am negotiating between cognitive side effects on the one hand, and sufficient pain relief so that I can work on the other.... and so far, I haven't found the balance.

Although Hydrocodone in the past (where I would take it just a few times a week) was activating, that just is no longer the case. It doesn't make me as groggy as some other opioids, but it does now seem to erode my ability to concentrate. Over the next six months, I have a book to finish, two papers to write, a conference to organize, and a new book series to get started (as general editor). But most days lately, I can barely get 2 hours of work done!

Today, I'm going for a new MRI and will be seeing the ortho on Monday. Maybe he'll have a good plan of action. Otherwise, I think I'll have to tell my PM that the hydrocodone doses aren't suitable, given my cognitive needs.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg & 2-3x 10mg Hydrocodone daily. Oxycodone 10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia).

Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 5/11/2012 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Cogito,

I'm 8+ years into my CP journey... and I still don't have the right balance. For instance - I had a horrible night w/ my pain issues - so I had to take more of my BT meds and such - and it's 1pm and I'm not moving yet. Yesterday, with less medicine, I had more energy... but my pain was higher. I think this is just the horrendous parts of dealing w/ chronic pain.

The energy-inducing component of hydrocodone wears off after awhile.... so I'm not surprised to hear that from you.

I don't know.... I've never been on Ultram. And I think you've wanted your PM doctor to move onto a stronger long-acting med (which I do understand). That being said, I get the same "sluggishness" and so forth from my LA med, too.

I would talk to the ortho about a new plan - and definitely let your doctors know about your work commitments. Let us know how your Monday appt. goes.

--Tina
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

Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/11/2012 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I understand what you're going through. I take 30mg of oxycontin and 60mg oxycodone daily and it really affects my ability to think, write, read, play guitar...just about anything. And I still deal with pain that gets pretty unbearable at times. If you want to adjust your hydrocodone down I applaud you for that. It's a trade-off though between functioning well and having more pain. As long as you are dealing with the pain without having very high levels of it, I would think that would be okay. If you do deal with very high levels of pain that can be draining and very stressful on your body, to the point where you are doing more damage, it would be advisable to find some other source of pain relief. I can't possibly recommend that you not go down on your meds, I just hope that you may find some kind of non-narcotic pain/muscle relaxer or other med, massage, PT, etc that might help you deal with additional pain. Best of luck to you and I hope you are able to succeed in all of your efforts.

stingray
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 5/11/2012 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
HI Cogito
I can relate to some of the issues you're experiencing. Although in my case it's oxycodone. My energy levels were in the toilet and with a physical job it just drained me dry. It didn't however seem to effect my cognitive needs as much. That may just be because my job was more physical than mental. Anyway what I wanted to suggest was that perhaps your testosterone level may be low. This can greatly effect your physical and perhaps your cognitive abilities as well. It certainly made a big difference in my case. Just a thought. Hope you find an answer to your problem. Wish you all the best.
Stingray(Randy)
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxyneo, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th

cogito
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 926
   Posted 5/12/2012 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the comments.

From roughly 2008-2011, when I was taking Ultram ER daily and hydrocodone 2-4x per week, I had a good balance between meds, pain, and work. But as they both have become less effective, the latter shorter in duration, and my pain has gotten worse, I'm without a viable formula.

Oxycodone remains the best for pain, and if I take just 5mg, I still can work. But if I were to move to it vs. hydrocodone, or even oxycontin vs ultram (assuming my PM agrees), I suspect that I'll be dealing with the same issue once again.

Maybe the ortho will have some treatment ideas on Monday.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg & 2-3x 10mg Hydrocodone daily. Oxycodone 10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia).
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, June 18, 2018 4:05 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,972,716 posts in 326,023 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 160855 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, romanaromana.
282 Guest(s), 3 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Alicethenut, kloz31, onceitfreeze66