SJ, congrats on AA, I've been sober for 16 yrs. My advice as a sponsor, knowing the addictive mind, if the doc has taken you off of the oxy, get rid of them since there is only a few. Dispose of properly. No temptation left. And not worth any potential drug interactions. If you tapered off too fast, water under the bridge. It's done. You're off it. Get rid of what's left. It's like looking at one last beer in the fridge and wondering "what if?" Not worth it.
I'm not familiar with the patches, and I know that people become dependent - not addicted, big difference - on large doses. But as pointed out above, if the current patch you are on should not be used with an opiate, you have your answer. Dump the opiates, stay with the patches you were given, and understand 2 things
1)They take time to work - they have to build up to a certain level in your bloodstream and stay at a certain level to have an effect
2)Follow the directions - As was posted above, there are ways to make sure you are getting the correct dosage as intended since they are temperature sensitive. Keeping them at a constant temp is following Dr's orders, as that stuff is usually laid out in the little pamphlet that everyone just throws out. And follow the tips on keeping the thing attached.
That being said, if you've given it the old college try, say 3-4 weeks, and you find your pain worsening, or find any other symptoms that weren't there before, call your doctor. If you start developing a rash at or near the patch site or trouble swallowing or breathing, get thee to an ER ASAP.
Patches are not like pills. Oral or IV meds hit harder, as they kind of enter the bloodstream all at once. Time release patches build up slowly, but hold at a more constant level. You may not get the same level of pain relief as you would with oxy, which may have brought things down to a 3 temporarily, then as they wear off the pain level climbs back up. But the patches may be able to keep things to a 5 longer term, without the rollercoaster. And that's easier to get used to than the constant up and down.
Short version; Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, lumbar spondylolisthesis, sciatica, hip dysplasia, bipolar disorder, migraines, macular degeneration, TIA's (they think), insomnia, and a rogue's gallery of other things...
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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.