I currently take 2- 80mg and 2-60mg Oxycontin pills aday and 4-30mg pills of Roxicodone pills 8 times aday, for pain I live with constant pain and have for 16 years I have had multiple back surgeries (8) and numerous other surgeries (aorta, bypass, and bifemoral artery bypass surgery) I have been taking this amount of pain medication for years I have been on pain meds since 1995 I know I am addicted to the pills I have tried to stop taking them on my own and the withdrawls are unbearable I end up in the hospital. I start having withdrawl symptoms if I don't start my pills by 9:00am I take my last does about 8:00pm and goto bed about 10 or 11:00pm. I have talked to my Dr. about it and he is not concerned so I guess this is normal I had the same problem as a lot of people with everybody telling me that my Dr. is a quack and he's killing me with the amount of my dose I'm a drug addict and all the nonsense that you get from people who don't know what its like to live with pain that you will have for the rest of your life. It was real bad for me because I was a police officer, I had to retire when I started the oxycontin I was the Chief of Police. So I know what illegal drug users will do to get ahold of these pills and what they do to get them it still makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong and feel like everybody is talking about me and judging me. I guess I'm at the point where my body has grown used to my dose of medicine, I really don't want to take more what I am really looking for is an outside opinion about my options. My pain level is an average of 8-9 sometimes its literally unbearable. Any thoughts opinions or advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Carl
Question about Oxycontin and pain?
Added 7 Apr 2012:
I forgot to mention I do not drink (not a drop) or do any illegal narcotics. I smoke cigarettes. I take prevacid and flomax daily also prescribed by my Dr. I dont take any OTC meds.
Added 8 Apr 2012:
OH I AM SO SORRY!!! I made a mistake on the Roxicodone I take 2 pills every 4 hrs. usuallt 8 pills aday not 4 pills 8 times a day my god I don't know what I was thinking, Just nervous my first time or post on a board. So I take 2 80mg 2 60mg Oxy aday and 8-10 30mg roxicodone a day... Thank you Carl
That is a lot of medication for a long time. Does the medication work for you? Sometimes we need to change up what is taken to trick the brain. If you are concerned about the amount of narcotics get a 2ND opinion. Do you have LFTs blood tests drawn 1-2 times a year? Do you have an EKG at least yearly? It is important to check your liver level when on narcotics for a long time. There are also med's you can take to help you with the withdrawl symptoms. Again a pain management specialist could help with this too. If you know the pain is untolerable without the medication then there has to be other options to try? DO you take anything like Cymbalta for chronis pain? If you do it is possible this medication is what is causing the horrible side effect. I know myself because I recently came off the medication. I had to take another med to help with the symptoms. Now I am off both.
But I do take pain medication daily. Have you been tested for RA? If not see a rheumatologist for an evulation? I hope you feel better and good luck. Hope this helped a little.
I DO know what it's like to live with pain. If your statements are true than you need the following; a new Dr. that will help you get off this stuff the right way, and there is a right, medically assisted way. The next thing is a support group in the form of a recovery group or even a local AA meeting. Matters not that you don't drink. The medical community is only half screwed up when it comes to pain patients, there is still the other half that has it together, the trick is to get a lead to the right Dr. You CANNOT do this on your own, you need a competent, caring physician and some solid accountability and support as I mentioned.
In recovery no one judges, because they all know what it's like to be where you are, just as I do. Stop turning yourself against yourself, reach out, be diligent and you'll find the right road.
There is a big difference between being addicted and being dependent on your meds. Addiction is a behavior disorder characterized by loss of control over your medications with unauthorized dose escalations, using them for non medical reasons like the euphoric effects, using the drugs in spite of harm, spending inordinate amounts of time thinking about, obtaining and doing the drugs-these are signs of an addicted person, not the fact that when you dont take your meds you have withdrawals.
Having withdrawals means you are dependent and this is a normal expected outcome when taking drugs like opioids, it has NOTHING to do with addiction(antipsychotics and antidepressants also cause withdrawals but no one bad mouths those-even with insulin, if you stop taking it you will get sick and your blood sugars will rebound high) A person who is dependent on drugs can be tapered off their medications once the pain is gone (if there is a situation in which pain is curable) an addicted person cant-they will just keep taking more and more to keep feeling the effects! NO ONE can judge your pain! Yes, you are on a lot of medications BUT this amount of medication has had a POSITIVE effect on your life-you are up walking and out of a wheelchair!! A person who is addicted doesnt get "better" with use-they continue to decline and do less and less except getting and doing their drugs. This is why your Dr is not worried-he knows that he sees improvement in you so opioids are successful for you. Opioids can be very necessary treatment for many people and very few people who use them for pain control ONLY will become addicted to them. They do carry a stigma with a lot of people and that has a LOT to do with misinformation and bad press in our American media (and I'm sorry to say, your law enforcement buddies are going to be some of the worst because they only see the bad side of opioids, not the good side!!) Tolerance is another issue with continous use of opioids and it is also a normal and expected outcome from taking opioid medications. Over time the opioid receptors in our brains become used to or "tolerant" to the drugs. For an addicted person, this happens quickly because euphoria is one of the first things to become tolerant to. Pain control is a bit slower so a person using only for pain control may stay on one dose for a much longer time but eventually they will become tolerant and will need to escalate their dose. Tolerance is NOT a sign that you are addicted either! If you need to take medications to make your life livable then do so! No one else can live your pain or tell you what your pain is. YOU have to be the one to decide if it is acceptable. You will probably always have some pain but it should be a tolerable level. If the level becomes intolerable and your activities of daily life are beginning to decline then it is time to either increase your meds or do a medication rotation. Sometimes rotation can keep you from having to make a dose escalation. Perhaps a switch out to MSContin or Fentanyl can help. Just because you are tolerant to one drug in a class (in your case oxycodone) doesnt mean you will carry the same tolerance to another drug in the same class so you might be able to get good pain relief by switching to another opioid. You are NOT doing anything wrong or "bad" in trying to live a better life by using pain meds and dont let ANYONE tell you otherwise!!! Sometimes I wish we could visit our own pain on others, just for a moment so they could see what it feels like, and I'll bet a lot of judgements would be changed right quickly!! Or that we had a "painometer" so people would know that yes, you REALLY ARE in pain!! It is a shame that we feel we need to validate ourselves and that others just cant trust in what we say! It is good to try to add other modalities other than opioids to your pain regimen. There are other drugs available to help enhance the opioids like Lyrica, Neurontin, Cymbalta among others. Also NSAIDS can help enhance relief. Injected steroids sometimes helps in some cases although clinical research hasnt really shown benefit, I know some people who have gotten really good relief from them. Try OTC hot and cold rubs and patches, Apply ice and heat packs. whatever you can to make the lowest possible dose of opioids work to keep pain at a tolerable level. At this point tolerable is the best you can hope for because there gets to be a point where pain free is just not an option and still be conscious. What ever you do, dont let others dictate to you what you need to do to keep you own life livable!! I hope this helps you some to realize the difference between addiction and dependence. You dont sound like an addicted person to me. Dependent-probably, but addicted? No.
Hello there Chief 000731 :0)
I am extremely new to this site..infact, your post inspired me to finally join, just so I could reply back to your post! (That's how much it hit home!)
I won't go into writing you a novel about me..I will just say that I have been living with a dibilitating pain condition for 15 years (since I was 18yrs old). I have many, many "stories" of feeling "stereo-typed" myself, and still feel like I have all eyes on me everytime I go fill my meds, feel like I have a "dirty secret" everytime I am in a room full of people, etc. And all because I live with daily pain and take the same medication as you, and don't like to be seen nor judged for what I take, or for my pain condition. All I can say is that this medication, in conjunction with Oxycontin, gave me my life back over 9 years ago! Without it, I was unable to function, was in a wheelchair and so low!
What some people can't understand is that pain is like death. Death of yourself. You go through the natural "grieving" process over&over&over throughout the years... denial "why is this happening to me?" disbelief " there has to be more out there than just popping these pills, I want answers!", acceptance "I guess I do have to limit myself, afterall, I just can't be the same person I was before", fight vs. flight "I live with this, but won't let it stop me from doing and being what I want to", and then the whole process just starts all over again! (at least its been this way for me!)
It dosen't matter how much medication you take, or what it is. (Of course, I'm speaking of us legitimate people out here!) As long as it helps and gives you your life back, your functionality and focus and you can live life vs. hoarded up in your house writhing in pain, then that's the point, isn't it? I can understand completely where you are coming from. (I haven't been in the career field that you were in..but can definately relate!) My condition came on suddenly, and without warning, changed the rest of my life. I was so young (and still am young) and so have gotten countless"judgements" and head shakes in disbelief, etc. If these people are acting this way, then OBVIOUSLY they know nothing of what it is like to live in long term pain. It takes more than understanding and sympathy, it takes true experience to relate to someone that lives with chronic daily pain. Because of your career background, you have seen the worst. But now that you are on the "other side" you can see it from a different view. Whenever I meet someone (mainly people in the healthcare industry, as I don't tell many that I live with pain, nor take "hefty" meds) I try to educate them by telling them of my various experiences, my "story" of how I ended up this way, and then over time I watch them go from viewing me with a magnifying glass to changing the way they truly see me (even the slightest change is a good one!) and sometimes these people come out with more understanding... as they see me, I appear "normal" and "healthy" and I'm not stumbling around drooling, slurring speech,etc. they usually comment on exactly this. I for some reason, feel the need to "prove" myself to them... for example, back when I was in college and after class was in parking lot on way to my car, and one of my classmates saw me going to the handicapped section. She said something to the effect "are you handicapped?" "I had no idea, you seem so "NORMAL"! My response was, I am normal, I just need to park closer to the building so that I can make it through class a bit easier!
My whole point is... no matter what people say, no matter what stage of "grief" you are in for your pain, its like your doctor said. You live with pain and will most likely need medication for the rest of your life in order to live any sort of life. It IS a hard thing to accept(a doctor has said the same exact thing to me&it was the dawn of my true acceptance and journey to self healing-after long stage of grief of course!)..but I am thankful that I have a life to live, as many out there who live with pain do not. (cancer and other terminal illness or those under treated for pain). Whenever I think that its not fair, and "why me", I try to remind myself that someone else out there has it a heck of a lot worse than me..that I should be greatful that I am given the opportunity to take medication that has given me my life and enabled me to have children and care for them, given me so much! (wouldn't a diabetic say the same thing? Would they live as well without thier insulin injections?)
No, its by no means easy, and the toughest "judge" is ourself!
I just wanted to let you know that you are NOT alone, and you inspired me to finally join this group vs. sitting on the sidelines... so thank you! :0)
If you ever need to talk, vent, etc. just drop me a line, I'm happy to help! Take care and keep that chin up, you are a fighter! Fight for yourself, your condition and your right to live a more pain free life! :0)
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