I saw my PM today, and suggested trying a different opiate in lieu of going wi the Butrans patches.
I don't know if I told you guys what I was taking for PM, but I take OxyContin ER 40mg three times a day, oxycodone 10mg IR x2 three times a day for break through pain, and Soma 350 mg x2 three times a day for muscle spasms.
My PM said that there is no equivalent to what I'm taking, and insisted that I try the Butrans 10mcg/hr I instead of going up on my meds. I put the patch on at 12 Pam this afternoon, and await the results.
I expresses to him that Butrans had issues with people the are dependent on opiates, and he insured that I would end up in withdrawals. We'll see. Bottom line, it can't kill me so ill take what I've got and move forward. You never know, I just hope it works out.
Hey Mel, you are welcome, I'm glad to be of service.
Have you had an MRI to figure out exactly what is happening with you back? It sounds like you've got some serious issues, and being so, you may want to stay away from your Chiropractor. I don't believe in them, outside of a little massage.
People with spinal issues can be permanently damaged by a Chiropractor, and when you think about it, I hope you see that they are not MD's, have no training in Neuroscience, and are nowhere near qualified to diagnose your spinal problem. The fact the they would attempt an "adjustment" on someone with spinal problems should speak volumes about their ethical disposition and incompetence. One little tweak on someone with disk or nerve issues could paralyze them, yet they decide to treat you without an MRI or knowledge of your condition.
If I could live without pain medication, I would in a heart beat, I don't have that option. If I wasn't such a wimp, I would consider one of those Spinal Stimulators like Beth has. It just proves how much tougher women are than men... Maybe you should look into that vs. going back to the meds?
Now as far as surgery goes, you are the only one that knows when it's time to have that done. I waited 3 years after my car accident to have surgery, as it was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. After years of PT, Epidural injections, doctor after doctor, you name it, I was there, twice. It wasn't until I lost feeling in my left leg and started dragging my foot that I was left with no choice. I had three disks stabilized with mental cages, titanium rods and screws, etc. they had a name for it, I call it "painful". As far as my leg/foot goes, the surgery was successful, but the low back ache is the same today as it was before surgery. I'm thankful that at least the nerve issues are 90 percent better, but the low back pain is constant, and never stops, EVER! I've resigned myself to living my life in constant pain, and for the most part, it is controlled with medication. My struggle now is to try and maintain a reasonable level of medication, as with anyone taking pain killers form7 years, tolerance is an issue, which is exactly what brought me to this site, an attempt to learn more about what other people in the same boat have had success with.
Now I'm rambling, sorry!
Stay strong Mel, do what you can, know that you're not alone, and ask for help when/if you need it. Be logical and responsible in taking pain medication, and know that you are in control of it, not the other way around.
Wait now... Just because your body requires a higher dose of medication to achieve relief from chronic pain does not make you an addict. Everyone here that's been taking pain medication for more than 6 months is not on their original dose, but again, that does not mean they are addicted!
Like anything else, your body becomes tolerant of the dose over time, and a higher dose is prescribed to control the pain. Ask around these boards, and see how many people are taking 300 plus milligrams of opiates per day, compared to whatever it is you are taking. Again, a huge portion of people taking massive amount of opiates do so because they've been taking them for many years, and have grown tolerant of them. To them/us, a 5mg Vicodin may as well be a tablet of Tylenol, they would have to ingest a handful to get any pain relief. Does this make them an addict, absolutely not, it means their bodies are opiated tolerant, which is why they can take enough medication to kill a horse and still drive to work. I sound like a broken record on these boards, but addiction and dependence are COMPLETELY different.
You are an addict when you take drugs specifically to "get high", because you have to. After you've run out of medication, you HAVE to have it, and will do anything to get it. If you find yourself trying to obtain it illegally, or driving around at 2am in the ghetto, risking your life to buy some, or spend your rent or food money on it, then you are probably addicted.
Once you've been taking any kind of pain medication for more than a few months, you will have a chemical dependency to it, you're brain is going to tell you that it wants more when there is none in your system. It's what you do when that happens is what separates dependency and addiction.
Now the other posters responding to your thread are correct in that it takes guts to admit when you have a problem, and only you know if you do have one. If you do, follow their advice, and get help as I can promise that you're not alone. You'd be amazed at how many people are in the same boat as you. And know that they aren't the people you see on TV, living in the streets, homeless, jobless, etc. there are Doctors, Lawyers, CEO's, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, you name it, and they all just need a little push in the right direction.
Cleaning this stuff out of your system isn't easy, but it won't kill you from a physical aspect. Addiction is a mental issue for the most part, so get help, stay positive, and know that you are a good person, and you deserve a happy and healthy life.
Take a look in the mirror, as only you should label yourself as someone who needs a little help. And Just because you rely on medication to gain quality of life doesn't hake you an addict. If it did, this site wouldn't be named "pain management", I'd would be the "opiate addicts corner".
Good luck, and stick around, let us lend a hand to you. I can guarantee that nearly everyone on this site has asked ourselves the same question, "am I addicted"?
Anyone who runs out of medication because they take more than prescribed will raise red flags with their PM docs. They will probably believe your story that the levels are not enough and up your dosage once every 6-12 months, but its up to you to let them know this is occurring before you run out against he next cycle.
My PM and I talk about the excuses that people make when they lie about running out, some of which are fairly creative, but still not convincing. It's the same excuse the patient before used, and many more the same .View Thread