"The Spinal Cord Stimulator" the name alone makes my skin crawl. Although I like to think of myself as the "rugged tough guy type" I'm really a huge wimp, like to the bone kinda wimpy when it comes to implants. The thought of having something under my skin actually makes me feel nauseous just thinking about it.
My PM and I briefly discussed a pain pump a year ago, and before the conversation was over, I was pale white and sweating profusely. I felt like I was going to pass out, seriously. That how bad of a sissy I am.
My next appointment is next Wednesday the 6th of Feb.
Speaking of which, Have you had any experience with those Butrans patches CTB? We (my PM and I) spoke about maybe trying it out for a month for real 24 hour relief. As I'm sure you've experienced, I have issues sleeping, particularly staying asleep. I'll sleep in one place for an hour and a half, then wake up frozen in agony, riddled with muscle spasms. Once I move a little bit, I feel better, I'll fall asleep again for another hour, and repeat.... My PM thinks that the patch may help with that, me... I'm not so sure. I've read thAt people dependent on opiates shouldn't use them, but at a certain point, I have to put my faith and pain level in his hands.
I hate trying new medications, as seldom do they work as intended, and if there is a "side effect" listed, I'm the guy that experiences them. Yup, I'm the 1 in 50 guy that ends up with all those nasty side effects they warn you about on the TV commercials...
Truth be told guys, I count myself as fortunate, as I know that there is always someone worse off or in more pain than I am. Before I went to a PM specialist I'd visit my primary care MD, and sometimes start feeling sorry for myself. The first visit to my PM's office changed all of that! There were people in wheelchairs, walkers, and worse, leaving me feeling pretty good about my circumstances. I still have a "normal-ish" life, I have a successful company, a beautiful wife, and four amazing kids, all of which love me to death. Beyond that, there are far worse places to live than in Hawaii.
Having written that last paragraph has left me inspired... Here's to you guys on the boards today! May you be pain free and sleep like a baby tonight. And remember, there's always someone worse off than us/you.
CTB, google a chemical (if that's the proper term for it) called Loperamide. You'll find that it is an opioid, though not one that will cross the blood brain barrier. While in withdrawal, it will take away nausea, diarrhea, headache, and the majority of the uneasy feeling associated with full on WD.
Taking 1/2 of the MG's of the loperamide every 18-24 hours as you would your normal pain medication will take away 75 percent of WD symptoms, no joke. You will not get the warm feeling of your pain meds, as this chemical doesn't cross the blood brain barrier, but it will get you past the first 3 days of withdrawals. Once your appetite comes back o. Day four after your last dose, STOP taking it, and stick to the other medications you described. At that point, the pain medications will be out of your system, the rest is cake, kinda.
You'll no longer be nauseous, and won't have any other full on withdrawal symptoms, but sleep is still going to be your biggest issue.
For this, I don't have any suggestions, as I'm not one to take a lot of different medications. I can tell you that OTC sleep aids did not help me sleep at all. They made me very groggy, very tired, but I couldn't sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. For me, my pain level was out of control, but not having to take any opiates to feel normal was worth every second of agony, if that makes any sense. The feeling of victory over something that held me hostage for years was gone, and I knew that I could do it again (stop taking my meds) at anytime I wished. Very liberating.
Again, I am not an addict, purely dependent, and stepping away from those meds proved it to me, as there were times where I honestly didn't know if I could ever stop taking them.
I wish that I didn't have severe chronic pain, that left unchecked, is far too much to bare for more than a few weeks. I have the utmost respect for anyone in our shoes, and wish them the strength to walk away, even if it's for a short period at a time. After all, the majority of us wouldn't take them if we didn't HAVE to...
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.View Thread
That's funny that this post made it's way back to the top...
It just dawned on me that It's been 7 years now that I've been in SERIOUS pain since my MVI in 2006.
In the beginning, I had at least two doctors tell me "you're young, you'll heel, but I never did, and it wasn't until the first MPI or my spine that they realized I wasn't kidding around. THat's when they became serious about my care.
Just because I'm still walking, or able to work full time, doesn't mean that I'm in any better condition that ANYONE out there, it only means that I'm willing to suck it up, and roll out of bed each day in tremendous pain, and work. Some will, some wont, I wasn't ready to walk away from a multi-million dolar business I had created, and still had kids in private school and college that relied on my income. THAT'S what got me out of bed, that's why I was back at work 7 days after my multi-level fusion and installtion of Titanium pins and screws in my back. I was back before the staples were out. Tell me then that I wasn't in pain, HUH!
This kind of thing makes me SICK, telling people when they are or aren't in pain based on their age. For shame!View Thread
Good luck with your holiday CTB, that is not an easy thing or pleasent thing to accomplish. But if you tell yourself that "I only have the flu", it will make things much easier to deal with mentally speaking.
My biggest issues were severe diarrhea, which is easily controlled by large doses of Imodium ad, which also will help with the feeling of uneasiness, if taken in the proper quantities. Other than that, was my leg, the pain shooting down was amplified by ten, which I treated with 800mg Ibuprofen. Lastly was my inability to sleep, that was the worst part of this, as after a few days, I would have givin anything for 5 hours of sleep straight. Nothing I tried helped with this, and any medication used for sleep made me tired, but still unable to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. That part was torture.
I wish you strength to get past this, but you can do it if you really want to! Again, Imodium ad is your friend, don't forget that! Just don't take it longer than needed (3-4 days).
The Methadone comment was written as sarcasm, though I honestly did not know how methadone is dispensed. That little bit of unknown knowledge is what leads people to judgment most times. I had no idea it was used for pain management, I've only heard of its use for the management of addiction in heroine addicts via the t.v. which only shows my ignorance.
Again, I meant no offense, I was simply trying to make a point to another about passing judgment, as that same judgment was passed to me.
I'm not a sneaky addict trying to find new drugs to replace something, I'm looking for options that I might suggest to my PM in lieu of increasing the amount of medication that I take. Simple as that. If Morphine is the same as OxyContin, maybe I can suggest that instead of asking for more OxyContin, switching from one to another will help my body from needing higher amounts of the Oxy. Maybe it's my inability to articulate all of this that is creating confusion.
I did not want to take the recommended Subutex or Suboxone, as I've read the they can be even worse than my original medications with respect to getting off of them. Beyond that, I didn't like the stigma attached to them as a "treatment for addiction". I am dependent, not addicted, huge difference to me.
Now as far as "telling my doctor" what to and not to prescribe would never happen. My wish was to not come to him with "I need to go up" in mg of my medications, I'd like to say "maybe we can try switching them" instead.
You guys are right, I should leave it to him, my question to all of you, as opiate users is, what kinds work for you, if in fact this is something you've been successful with so that I can "suggest" what may work, and so he doesn't suggest things that don't, like Opana, Nucynta, etc.
That's funny, I made a post and Annette instantly judged me too.
Why are you guys taking Methadone, do you have addiction problems prior, or was that judgmental in saying? My knowledge of methadone is it was/is used for opiate maintenance for recovering heroin addicts, no?
Or was that judgmental again.... You see Annette, it so easy to judge when someone is asking for assistance. Maybe you shouldn't label everyone on their first posts on these forums, you may have more active members if you didn't label them and chase them away.
I was reading another post, in an attempt to learn more about a pain medication called Butrans that my PM and I spoke about switching over to.
I've been on pain meds for about 6 years now, after a car accident left me with three knee surgeries, 60k worth of Titanium implanted in my lower back, and a pinched nerve in my neck. My pain without medication is not controllable, as I work 12-15 hours a day, and have little time for rest.
Since starting pain meds, I've gone from 5mg Percoset, all the way to 80mg er Oxydontin, plus 30 mg ir OxyContin. Last September, I decided that I couldn't continue taking medication at these levels for ever, and that a certain point, even the high dose I was taking would become ineffective.
That said, I decided without my PM's knowledge, that I would stop taking the pills in an attempt to clean out my system for a few weeks, then go back to a more manageable does. I did ask my PM MD about viable,options to ween off, like Suboxone, or Subutex, but these were medications that he couldn't prescribe, and I'd have to see a Phsyciatrist to get on an "addiction program". I did not like the sound of that,mas I'm not an addict, and did not want to be labeled as one. It's bad enough picking these medications up after 6 years, the people at the pharmacy already look at you funny. No doubt I am dependent, but I am not an addict. Again, I told myself that this was something I needed to do, and did, I stopped cold turkey for 2.5 weeks. It was pure torture, as I did go through withdrawals, and my pain was unbelievable, it almost made me crazy it hurt so bad, but I was committed to making this work, for both myself, and my Doctor, as even he was running out of options.
After the "clean out", so to speak, I went back to 20 mg er Oxy, and 10 mg ir for breakthrough pain, and everything was grand. I am extremely proud of myself for being able to walk away from the meds for that long, particularly with the amount of pain I was in....
Which brings me to my point.... My dose is becoming not enough to keep the pain away, and as I read in another post, instead of going up on the OxyContin and Oxycodone, maybe there is another "type" or opiate that I can switch to for a few months in the same amount, then return to the original stuff....
I've tried Opana, Nucynta, and some other "new" medication, and they simply had no effect on my pain, I would compare them to an aspirin, compared to the Oxy stuff. Maye they work for someone not opiate tolerant, but not for me..
I don't abuse my medication, and try to be as practical and responsible as can be, which is why I'm here posting this. If possible, I'd like to switch up opiates as prescribed by my PM, versus going up to the 80/30 mg combo again, then having to clean it out of my system again a few years from now. I'd much rather do that, then to try another NEW medication, with what would seem to have undesirable side effects for people with a tolerance to opiates like Butrans.
My PM and I have a great relationship, and he and I work together in managing my pain meds. For that I am truly appreciative of him and his efforts. That said, I know he would be happy for me to present a medication plan instead of just going up on MG levels.
I'm interested in finding out what you may be using as a "rotation" in the case of becoming "burned out" towards a single medication. I am dependent in oxycontin 40mg er 3 times daily, and 10mg ir x2, 3 times daily. Prior to October of last year, I was taking nearly triple the amount as prescribed by my PM doctor. Via 80 mg er, and 30 mg ir x3, all three times a day. I decided that I was taking WAY too much of this stuff and decided to stop taking it for a few weeks to clean it out of my system.
Lets just say the experience wasn't pleasant at all, not only was I as sick as a dog for 4 days, but the pain was left unchecked and out of control. Fact of the matter is, if it weren't for the pain, I would never taken the stuff again, but pain is just part of my life until the end...
All that said, the primary intent was to clean out my system, then go back to a much smaller dose, which I'm on now. It's been about 5 months, and I can tell that my current dose is going to need to be raised to continue to be effective, which is why I asked about your medication rotation....
My PM Doctor and I have a good relationship, and let me clarify that it wasn't him that suggested that I stop cold turkey like i did, or even stop at al, it was my decision, but after the fact, he did suggest that I don't do it like that again. It was nice to know that I "could" stop taking all that medication whenever I wanted to, and don't have to feel like I was trapped by it, no matter the price. I have never abused my medications at all, but after taking it for so long, you become resistant to it, and need higher doses to obtain the same amount of relief. Next thing I knew, I was eating enough to kill two grown horses in one swallow, that was scary for me.
He brought the idea of adding the Butrans patch to my regiment and cut back the long acting Oxy. I'm not sure about the idea after reading everyone's posts here, but I am sincerely interested in hearing about "rotating" medications to avoid going up in dose every 6 months. My Doc would be too. He's a good man, and would listen to my suggestions as he always has in the past.
I know that My chronic back and neck pain will never cease, as I've tried everything known to man with respect to therapies, doctors, surgeries, with little or no success. part of the problem for me is that I work 12-14 hours a day, and couldn't do so without the pain relief I get from my medications. I can do without them mentally, but the pain would make being awake unbearable, and sleeping an impossibility. I'm sure most of you understand what I'm saying here.
So if you would so kind as to share your thoughts on a medication rotation, I would be eternally grateful!