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Morphine: Please Tell Me About It
  1. #1
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    Default Morphine: Please Tell Me About It

    Got a question. I don't know if any of you know about me ,but I'm suffering from the pain of Postherpetic Neuralgia. The end result of coming down with Shingles due to STRESS at the age of 46. I've been dealing with this since January 15 (10 months). I'm on Percocet 5/325 (because that's all the VA claims to have) 240 pills a month for pain.3600mg of Gabapentin a day for nerve pain. Lidoderm Lidocaine Patches for pain. 600mg Ibuprophen a day for general pain.1000mg of Depakote ER a day for Anxiety. 2mg Celexa 3 times a day for Anxiety. 1 60mg tab of Celexa a day for depression, and 75mg of Effexor HCL twice a day. They held a patient conference, according to my doctor, and have decided to cut back on the percocets, and put me on 15 mg Morphine MS-Contin twice a day and decrease my supply of percocet and slowly and increase the mgs.of morphine. They said they wanted to put me on something that would take care of my long-term pain and use the percocets as a "carry over" drug. I'm not sure I got that "carry over" right, but it's someting like that. They are worried, they say about 10 months of percocet use on my body and overall well-being. I don't really know what to think about this because up until this time I've never been sick a day in my life, and I don't know how Doctors and hospitals really work. Especially the VA. They whisper a lot and seem kinda shady to me. Hehehe. I'm asking you guys to tell me what's going on, or am I being paranoid? I have not read too many positive things on this board about Morphine. And the way I am, I've got to stay in control (especially with these jokers who are so busy they make an inordinate amount of mistakes). I'm pissed off that this condition has has lasted so long and you wouldn't believe how it has disrupted and debilitated my life. And to tell you the truth it's starting to wear me down, and I'm a little freaked out about this Morphine thing. I would appreciate any response. And also any information on things I haven't addressed. Sorry to ramble. Thanks Everybody.
    MikeVG
    Last edited by Mike VG; 10-26-2007 at 06:08 PM.
    Mike VG

  2. #2
    Anonymous Guest

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    Hey Mike...
    If you have been in pain that long from what i understand its better if you are on something long acting like MS Contin. My guess is that you will be on that and have the percocets for break through pain. From what i hear it works alot better that way than just taking percocets alone. I wish you the best and take care of yourself now

    Krissy

  3. #3
    Cats Meow is offline Banned
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    That's quite a cocktail they have you on, I imagine you must feel pretty messed up as a result. It all seems too much to me, and all those drugs making you less functional then the condition itself, I hope it's helping you.
    Switching to MS does seem like a good choice, I can't imagine what you've read that's negative here about it, except for it's strength in comparison to other opioids. Morphine is a fine pain killer, that's why it's been around forever. 15mgs of MS is a low dose, I personally wouldn't expect it to help you much at that dosage just because you're use to an IR, but the dosage vis-à-vis should be roughly equivalent, and at least they're going to keep you on the Percs for breakthrough. Good luck with that, you needn't have to worry, just be careful not to take more Percocet then you're allotted. (so many people do on a med change)

    What's the prognosis of your condition? In the past 10 months have you seen any improvement?

  4. #4
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks Krissy, that's what I've heard. Thanks for answering my question.
    Mike VG

  5. #5
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    Well Cat, they told me they couldn't give more than 15mg to start, because She said she's already had two dead bodies, she didn't want three. I'm beginning to wonder if these Doctors and Nurses at the VA know what they're doing. What scares me is I don't notice that much pain relief and I'm afraid of taking any Percocets at all, but I need 'em. And I don't want to OD because of doing something stupid. In addition I imagine they're going to try to wean me off these Percocets, for they've already said next month's supply will not be 240/mo like it has been. To tell you the truth I'm a nervous wreck. Hehehe. Thanks for responding to my question, Cat. I know you've got a lot of knowledge about a lot since you've been here so long andd seem to be very conscientious, and serious about what you say on here. Thanks. Take care. Sorry I forgot to answer your question. I have not been given a prognosis, since this can last from a year to the rest of my life. And yes, Thank God, I have seen a lot of improvement in the scarring, but the pain is off and on.

    Mike VG
    Last edited by Mike VG; 10-27-2007 at 03:11 AM.
    Mike VG

  6. #6
    Junkie781 is offline Member
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    Just wanted to mention that wow, that seems like a lot of medication...

  7. #7
    gdr245 is offline New Member
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    Mike, I feel for you. Tough spot to be in. I was on MS-Contin for years with the VA and it can be a real hassel with them when you need to increase the dose because of tolerance buildup. Also, every time I got a new VA Dr., I had to fight with them to keep me on the Morphine. The VA being overworked almost always were slow in getting me refils on time. Class II drugs require a physical prescription at the Pharmacy every month as you probably know.

    Some people will need a long acting pain med and MS-Contin is one of the best choices, but some of the side effects, like constipation and memory problems, loss of libido, can be rough. Not everyone has these problems but I did.

    I'm over three weeks free from Morphine now and find the pain more bearable than the problems I was having on the drug.

    This is not to advise against Morphine. Advise should be left to the professionals. Just want to give you the benefit of my experience, so you can make an informed decision.

    If you didn't read my first post yet, you might take a look at it. http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...one-44894.html

  8. #8
    mysanuk is offline New Member
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    Default remyelination

    Hi Mike,

    My "condition" is almost exactly the same as yours. Totally healthy all my life until hit by shingles as a result of my workplace closing down after working there for 38 years. Never used my medical insurance, but sure needed it after it was gone. Registered at the VA and have been going there for almost two years now. The VA is great, I really can't say enough good things about them.

    My shingles started on 12-15-2004, almost three years ago. Still have postherpetic neuralgia. From my understanding and research, shingles destroys the nerve sheath. The slow healing process is called remyelination. I have leaned the most from reading the blogs of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients.

    Your main goal is to keep the nerve as calm as possible while it heals. The VA has me on Gabapentin, 2 caps 3 times a day. This helps me with the nerve seizures. No one knows what these are like unless you have experienced one yourself. The problem is that as the nerve get stronger the "seizures" get more painful for me, but they happen less and less frequently.

    The VA also has me on Amitriptyline which helps me getting a good night sleep and resting the nerve. For pain, they have me on Tramadol which really helps me stay relaxed during the day.

    Now for the healing part: basically you want to feed the nerve with everything that helps in the remyelination process. The blogs of MS patients recommend a few things. One is blueberries as there is just something in fresh blueberries which helps the never feel better. Try some and you'll know what I mean. Omega 3 helps me a lot. I take 2000 mg a day. A form a B-12 called Methyl Cobalamin helps my nerve calm down. I take one in the evening.

    This is something very interesting which I learned from MS patients. The problem with the nerve trying to heal is scar tissue which prevents complete healing. Taking Serrapeptase has removed my scar tissue and my skin looks "almost" back to normal. Serrapeptase has brought my pain level down considerably. I only take two once per day, as removing the scar tissue causes me some pain at first and I try to keep my nerve pain at a minimum.

    Lidocaine patches and cream did nothing for me. Anything topical just aggravates my already weak nerve. Any narcotic type pain pills only bind me up and make me disorientated. They really don't lesson the nerve pain for me, so I never use any of those.

    Another helpful thing is Egyptian cotton sheets and towels. Anything else feels like sand paper to me.

    The 24/7 pain is gone and I can finally wear a soft cotton shirt while at home, but anything touching the nerve is still uncomfortable for me. The healing process has been a very long and slow path for me, but it is getting better

    Hope this helps.
    Don

  9. #9
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you gdr for your understanding words and sentiment. God bless you for what you are going through, buddy, and I hope that somehow you can continue your fight against addiction, pain and suffering, and that you never forget God's presence in your life. Thank you for your response, gdr.
    MikeVG
    Last edited by Mike VG; 10-27-2007 at 07:07 PM.
    Mike VG

  10. #10
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    Man you'll never know how astounded I was when I found out you are suffering with Shingles, and PHN. You are the first person anywhere in person ,or on the internet that I have come across with my same problem. Thanks for sharing your story and your recommendations with me. It's a long row to hoe, bud. It feels like some type of punishment from the Almighty for me at times. I know that's a stretch, but it's so like-disrupting that I entertain that thought more than I should. Glad you're getting better, Don. Thank you for responding to my post, I'm very grateful.
    Mike VG
    Mike VG

  11. #11
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    How's it going, Barry. Hope everything is still cool with you. Don't get bored with your support tools. Saw your pictures under someone else's name. That's some beautiful country you live in or near. Take good care of yourself , Barry. You've gotta be on day 20 now or something, heh?
    Mike VG
    Mike VG

  12. #12
    mysanuk is offline New Member
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    Default doing research

    Hi Mike,

    Glad to hear that you found my true story (drama) helpful Guess you can tell that I spend many hours doing research on the internet. If you would like my phone number, just let me know. We can start our own support group.

    Shingles has cost me many thousands of dollars on things which did not work. I have only told you about the things which have helped, (The condensed version).

    The VA always asks me if I am depressed. My standard response is, "You would be too, if you were in pain for going on three years." Shingles certainly has taught me all about pain, and consequently the best ways to control pain.

    One helpful thing I forgot to tell you about yesterday: The VA always asks me if I have tried capsicum pepper lotion. Yes, I have tried that for days on end, but it only aggravates my nerve. But, hot sauce internally, I have found is very helpful for me. So I put some on my food everyday.

    Another thing I do everyday is monitor my blood pressure. There is definitely a connection between my pain level and my blood pressure. The lower my blood pressure, the less the pain. A low salt diet helps me a lot with my pain level.

    Three year ago, I didn't know anything about Shingles and pain, but I sure know about them today!

    Don

  13. #13
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike VG View Post
    Thanks Krissy, that's what I've heard. Thanks for answering my question.
    You are very welcome. I hope you feel better soon Mike

  14. #14
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Krissy, thank you for your kind note. Hope you made it through the fires ok. I used to live in, let's see: San Carlos, Northpark, Tierrasanta. Last of all San Carlos again in Shadow Glen, a real peaceful Condo Community. I miss it a lot. Well thank you again Sweetheart. I'm from the deep South and a lot of women (one of them on this board) are offended by that word. I simply mean that I think you have a sweet heart. Thanks Krissy.
    Mike VG
    Mike VG

  15. #15
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for your information, Don. I'm sorry you've had your pain for so long, and I certainly don't want to match you on that. I will definitely be getting back to you as there are a lot of questions I have for you. Thanks again, Don in making yourself aware to me. It's a very lonely type of thing to go through.
    Mike VG
    Mike VG

  16. #16
    Anonymous Guest

    Post Ha!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike VG View Post
    Hey Krissy, thank you for your kind note. Hope you made it through the fires ok. I used to live in, let's see: San Carlos, Northpark, Tierrasanta. Last of all San Carlos again in Shadow Glen, a real peaceful Condo Community. I miss it a lot. Well thank you again Sweetheart. I'm from the deep South and a lot of women (one of them on this board) are offended by that word. I simply mean that I think you have a sweet heart. Thanks Krissy.
    Mike VG
    Yes I am offended...how dare you! I am just kidding. I call people on the street and in the grocery store etc that sometimes and so far no one has been offended. However you know we are nothing like the deep South.

    I was actually born and raised in North Park. Right now I am in El Cajon and have been here for about 2 years. I made it outta the fires ok. My place was an evacuation center for a few days because I have a lot of family in Lakeside and they were all evacuated. Thankfully no one I know lost their homes or worst their lives but I am seeing on the news how some people have lost their houses for the second time! So sad...

    Thank you very much for the compliment and take care of yourself

    Krissy

  17. #17
    Mike VG is offline Senior Member
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    It is too much for me, Cat. I stated in a previous post somewhere that I don't feel like Mike anymore. 5 different pain pills, 2 anti-anxiety drugs, 2 antidepressants. It's got to have an effect on your overall being and personality. Anyway, Thanks for the response.
    Mike VG
    Mike VG

  18. #18
    wymabo is offline New Member
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    Thumbs up

    So Sorry to hear about your condition. Hope you don't mind my asking a question. My son got shingles from "stress" at the age of 13. YEP, you heard me right, 13. He was in severe pain & pediatrician gave him pain medicine, but he refused to take it. He is fine so far. he is now 15. My question is, I have always worried if there would ever be any long term effects from shingles? The peds were very surprised to see it in a 13 year old. The only thing I can think of that may have been bothering his was that his dad was going through a 2nd divorce. He does occasionally suffer from severe headaches that only are on his right side, and the scary part is that the headache blinds him in his right eye. He is schedueled for a scan next week, the docs think may be migraine, but want to rule out anything more serious. Let me know what kind of info you have on shingles as far as any long term effects if you dont mind.
    thanks & good luck!

  19. #19
    mysanuk is offline New Member
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    Default Shingles after effects

    Hi Wymabo,

    Over the past three years, I have talked with dozens of people who have had shingles. They all say the same thing, "It gradually goes away, and that's it." None have told me of any after effects once it is gone, except for the damage it did while active. A few people have told me that they have had it more than once, and one person reported getting it yearly. One Doctor told me that she is seeing younger cases in the 20s and 30s, but very few of those. This is the first time I have heard of a teenager getting it. No one has ever reported to me of headaches as being an effect of shingles or an after effect.
    Best of luck with that.
    Don

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