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    Most effective way to stop pain medicine?

    Are you going to say "See a doctor"??

    I know that, but i just wondered how it is usually done?

    I recently had to start taking 1-2 vicodins at night along with my normal Ultram to get to sleep, this has been about two months ago since starting on vicodin. This medication is so addictive its crazy. I thought the ultram was bad! Even while only taking 1-2 a day and i nor anyone else in my family has addictive personalities.

    I have come to the conclusion that my severe pain is from me overdoing myself, so i recently starting to just do alot of nothing in my spare time and noticed that the rod pain will not increase much this way, this is good, but i have another problem...

    Though i have many days now without the intense back pain, i will still find myself feeling like complete shit from the lack of the normal dose of pain medication, which is a sign i dependency i know, so i want to get off them without too much suffering, if that is even possible??

    Say i take 4 ultrams a day, 6 hours in between each, what would be the method to get off of them? increasing the wait time an hour more every few days or just decreasing the dosage for each 6 hours i usually take them?

    Thanks!

    faster than a speeding ticket
    http://www.adamsmith.name

    #2
    id there ant type of exercise you can do such as indoor bicycle riding or swimming
    they help with endorphins production which is a very powerful natural pain killer, that a lone could reduce your required medications,
    and enable you to sleep much better.
    you should be seeing a pain management doctor.
    there are other meds that can be tried to reduce the pain..and help you sleep that you could try.
    its a daily battle i know,
    cauda equina

    Comment


      #3
      So true Metro, a daily battle.

      I am seeing a pain doctor and he says the amount of vicodin i am taking is safe, but i also take 4 ultrams a day along with the hydrocodone. So i will take 2 ultrams by themselves then the next two times i take the ultram i will take a half of a vicodin pill, so usually its just one vicodin split in two, but oh my god, when i started letting vicodin in my blood stream, i can definatly see a downward spiral to addiction, i actually tried to go back to just the ultram but i would feel sick, depressed and extremelly lathargic until i put some more vicodin in me. This sucks. Its so dangerous. I injured my back and now i have to deal with this? I was reading some rehab sites last night about vicodin addiction and it scared the shit out of me. I don't abuse the drugs of course, but it will definatly hook your brain to it. The site would talk about how it makes your brain stop producing certain chemicals and how hard it is to stop the drug without professional help. I don't feel i abuse the drug, but i know i really don't need it for the inital pain as much anymore. I am taking it to feel functional. this sucks. This site is really my only support. I have an over abundance of pride i think to talk about it to my family or friends. sorry about the rambling.

      Adam

      faster than a speeding ticket
      http://www.adamsmith.name

      Comment


        #4
        Being aware that you've got an issue w/ a substance is a huge first step imo. The fact that you worry about it indicates to me that it needs to be worried about. I don't understand pain control issues much, but I'm pretty clear on addiction. You're right, it's horrible; you say you're taking the Vicoden to feel functional instead of for pain control now. So it's trying to use you instead of you using it. Adam, you totally know what to do and you totally have the cojones to do it. You probably better ditch that stuff before that monkey gets its claws in your back. Weaning, cutting down never really worked for me. I had to cold turkey. I'm hoping you don't have the physical dependence that I did. If you do, it may be hard, you might have trouble sleeping at first, and spazzing might get bad and be sure and stock up on imodium cause the diarrhea is a bitch. Have lots of liquids around because if you get the diarrhea you'll need rehydrated. Gatorade and V8 are good to have. The potassium in those drinks might help the spazzes, my legs jerked like crazy when I was jonesing. Try and get yourself in a dark quiet room, take benadryl or something to sleep as much as possible for the first few days. Advil helps with the joint/muscle pain. The next 2 weeks or so insomnia may get you which sucks but it's livable. After 3 weeks or so you'll feel human again. During the bad days sitting outside in the sun helps. After all that, you may feel kind of depressed for a while. Your brain is used to having those pleasure centers tickled, it has to learn to do without again.

        I sound like a heroin junkie I know, but nope, good ol' vicoden got the better of me. Maybe I have a feeble system but kickin' that stuff was hell for me. If you bite that bullet now you'll save yourself some physical and emotional stresses. If you don't kick it the first time, try again. In the future, you'll need those things again. Never forget they are not your friend; watch 'em. It took a while but I learned my lesson.

        You can do it, man. Good luck, let me know if I can help.

        Oh yeah, those addiction pages are scary huh? I used to read them during the insomnia part.

        Can't stop the spirits when they need you/This life is more than just a read thru.-
        red Hot Chili Peppers
        Blog:
        Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

        Comment


          #5
          Bethany, you are describing everything i am feeling exactly. I took some nuerontin and ultram Friday night at 8:00 p.m. and now it is Sunday afternoon and haven't taken anything since. The past two days have been VERY hard, extremelly hard for me to deal with. I want to cry all the time, the depression is probably the worst part and i have never really been a depressed person before breaking my back and starting down this path. My legs spasm some which i understand from the level of injury i have but my arms feel the same way. I feel cold all the time and i will have sweaters, jeans two layers of socks and pj's underneth my jeans along with the thermostat in my house being set at 76 and i even throw a heating pad on me on top of that! THEN i may start to break a cold feeling sweat! This is crazy, i was taking 4 ultrams with 4 600mg nuerontins a day and kinda new in the back of my head that i was addicted and started to only take the stuff because i said to myself that i thought i needed them for the pain, but to be honest the pain is still there now, and actually not any worse. As soon as i threw the Vicoden on top of all of that a couple months ago i knew that i was hooked so i started reading. Yes, the things i read scared the crap out of me, people taking 10 or up to 30-40 vicodens a day and what they went threw from the withdrawals. I have major respect for those who have succussfully got off of them. I now know just how hard it can be and i have never had an addictive personality ever. Kap was right, Its just inevitable. Its going to happen, saying that i still can only blame myself for continuing with them. I can't even eat or drink anything, i have body aches still, i shiver and spasm alot, but hey my skin is clearing up. I think i need to make an appointment with my doc and just come straight out clean with him and tell him i need to see a shrink for the depression, even if just to get me by until the withdrawal depression part goes away, or did i teach my brain something it will never forget and be depressed for ever?? On the bright side of it i have noticed that everything seems much more colorful and things my scence of smell seems more vivid and my face has really started to clear up which is good too. Bethany, how long are these feelings going to last and will it take me weeks to feel normal and is there a time frame for when things will improve really fast?

          All i want to do is sleep this off. I live alone and this makes it worse as the pain meds kinda made me numb to the world and allowed me to live alone, now i don't know what i am going to do, my mom has had to come over the past couple nights to stay with me. I still have the pain meds, which makes it so easy to just grab them and make everything normal very quickly, but i have a strong since of control and self-displine so i am hoping i don't do it, i'll let you know if i do. I now feel like i have been lying the past two years to everyone and not as open as i should have and feel horrible for that. I suspect the depression is causing me to feel this way. I don't think i have ever needed this forum now more then ever. I just can't post on NA sites as i connect more with my fellow SCI bretheren better. I'll be checking in. Please give me some more info or tips or anything!

          Thanks

          faster than a speeding ticket
          http://www.adamsmith.name

          Comment


            #6
            Adam, you're about over the very worst of it. By Wednesday all the physical pain will be a memory.I've heard Ultram is hard to kick too; you're tough to ditch both of them at once. That physical part, the aching and jerking and temp swings (forgot about that one LOL), it's just your monkey wanting fed. That's when I figured out what they mean by the term "monkey on your back".

            You didn't cold turkey the neurontin did you???? That's dangerous, that's an anti-seizure med, you HAVE to wean off it. If you did, go take a Neurontin NOW please.

            If I were you I'd give the Vicoden and maybe Ultram to your mom for now. Don't test your strength, you need it. Don't sit there kickin' your own ass for being weak or whatever. You've got chemicals kickin' your ass for you and it's hard to not let them win.

            I think the shrink is a good plan. I also contemplated NA but it seemed like two different sets of problems. We assume they're all crackheads and street junkies. Looking at it now I bet there are a lot of prescription pillheads in those meetings. It's so hard to do alone. I remember thinking it was like I was the only person who ever got into that situation. Reading Carecure it still seems that way. Lots of denial on that front imo. The only person who seemed to know what I was going through was my friend's brother, a heroin addict, still on methadone and afraid to try to kick it because it's going to hurt. He gave me the timeframe of 3 weeks to feel human again. Probably twice that to really emerge out from under.

            Maybe it is some character weakness that makes us more prone to addiction; or maybe we're familiar enough with the signs to know it's gotten out of hand? Nobody can play with narcotics and not get physically addicted though, that is medical fact. Maybe our pleasure centers have a stronger hold on us than most people's, I guess that's possible.

            You haven't altered your brain forever, but it will take some weeks for that cloud to lift.

            I bet your skin is clearing up because your liver is clearing out all the crap. Yayyyy for Adam's skin!!!!

            More tips-
            Don't watch loud movies. The week I kicked my husband got surround sound. I think my body spazzed 10 times for every gunshot I heard that week. I was flopping like a fish. That's when I got hooked on BBC America.

            Try to not worry that you haven't been as open as you should have been. Your family has known something was up, I bet. They'll be so relieved to have the old Adam back. Let your mom help. She wants to. It's like a real bad flu, isn't it?

            If they say "I told you so" blow them off LOL.

            Take a multivitamin. Try the V8, it helps.

            The better you keep yourself hydrated and fed the faster you'll get over this. That flushes the poisons out; your liver isn't happy with you just now. Sleep all you can, it's misery, no need to be awake for it. Get some good books or movies or something, after the sleeping comes the waking. Dude, I hate insomnia worse than pain I think.

            You're young, strong, you've got major balls. You're golden. Just hang in, you're nearly there. Get the narcotics out of the house though, I'd hate to see you have to do this more than once. (Been there done that. [img]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] )

            Let me know how you are-Beth

            If your skin is thin, best keep it off the Internet-Betheny
            Blog:
            Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

            Comment


              #7
              message deleted. see above.

              [This message was edited by solarscar69 on 12-20-04 at 06:03 PM.]
              http://www.adamsmith.name

              Comment


                #8
                Beth, dude, you are a godsend! I am so glad you are here to talk to, I've been waiting for you too reply and was going to private message you, but i figured that other people may want to find this post sometime wanting guidance, help and knowledge about this crap. I do agree they (pills) suck ass at this point, but i do believe myself, you and others here need or needed them, but i was either in denial or just blind to the fact that they were not kicking the pain, but instead help me to cope with my condition and they worked very well for that. I mean, i bought a house got a couple dogs and other things, but now i feel like it wasn't me, its sooo strange. I feel depressed with all the crap that goes along with that.

                I have been having a very hard time with this, but i look forward to feeling normal so that is incentive enough for me and to have more clear skin! yay!

                Me and my mom made an appt. to go and see the pain doctor and i just flat out said that i was addicted to all the pain meds and wanted something to help, so he gave me a clonodine patch. I think it is helping some! I told him i was having withdrawal symptoms but of course he couldn't figure out why i was from the ultram, but i already did my homework. They are addictive!

                I agree about CC being a place of denial, that's why when i was looking for answers about addiction, i didn't come here looking for old posts becuase they are more like cheerleader's than anything, I'm not dissing anyone at all, but i got the same impression a while back too, Beth.

                Man i still feel cold all the time, still depressed feeling, i think the monkey is dieing. LOL. I took all the pain meds and locked them up, but i probably should give them to my mom, but i am scared that something will happen and i will HAVE to have them, but i better be in some debilitating pain thats for sure. I will give myself that. I have will power, luckily i guess.

                I got an appointment with my old nuero-physc from when i was injured initially, she was a smart lady and knew to not try and give me any benzo's. I think i need some sort of anti-anxiety/depressant med's now though.

                I did taper on the neurontin over a couple weeks no problem, haven't siezed yet! thank god, that would REALLY suck. Still forcing myself to eat, sleep, get out of bed to go to work, which is where i am at now, it sucks so bad. I have the worst sense of guilt. Though these rods cause as much or maybe even less pain now than they did while i was taking the pain meds, It will be harder to deal with. I have an appointment on Jan. 3rd with my neuro-surgeon to discuss taking them out. I hope it relieves a substantial amount of pain, that would be nice. I did go get some v8 at walmart last night like you said, i really love v8 juice. Been force feeding myself half sandwitch's actually ate a couple cookies today. YAY! I started to have alot of chills and some cold sweats as of lately. I think i am either getting used to feeling like this or the monkey truly is getting the phuck off me! Monkeys are really strong and scarey, i'm never going to visit a zoo again. Haha. I tried some nortryptiline last night, it kinda worked, but not really. Nothing is as great or terrible, which ever way you look at it, as pain medicince, the kind that work on the brain. I remember my first script for the ultram and the doctor saying its new, not addicting and that it works on the brain, I was like WTF does that mean, i was clueless, but know i have a degree. I remember having the script for 2 months before taking any, I was in great pain then and when i took one, i was like Whoa, i feel much better, that was nearly 18 months ago.

                I sometimes wonder if the severe depression i felt after my wreck while at home and not on narcotics for a month or two before going back to work is the way i should have been feeling all along and now its for real and that i won't be normal with natural highs like the good ole' days??

                Yeah, as soon as i told my mom that i got a script for vicodin the first thing she said was to be careful. I don't know how i could make it without her (my mom :-)

                This is so sucky and it DOES feel like the flu, how strange is that?

                faster than a speeding ticket
                http://www.adamsmith.name

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wow Adam...I didn't know you've been going through all of this for the last year or so. It's good that you have started kicking. At least you now know the difference between chemical dependency and addiction first hand. You were addicted, my friend.

                  I think that you probably have an "addictive personality" and should stay away from the narcotics unless you can't find any other possible way to deal with the pain.

                  It also sounds like maybe you were using the narcotics to deal with the depression rather than an anti-depressant. BTW, the clonidine is an anti-depressant as well as an anti-spasmodic. It will also help you sleep. I think perhaps that you need to get some shrink time to help you come to grips with your state of life now (SCI) versus your previous life. He'll also be able to get you on the right anti-depressant and get the dosing correct. Once you deal with the head stuff you will probably be done with the anti-depressants and in a better frame of mind.

                  I hope you feel better.

                  Kap

                  (This space available)
                  accept no substitutes

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Adam, hang in there .. you can do this one day at a time .. or sometimes it may be an hour or even five minutes at a time. Trying to do it alone is a bitch. I suggest you check out NA meetings in the flesh, frankly online don't cut it! Folks there know not only how to get clean but how to stay clean and to deal with life on life's terms. I got off alcohol and drugs some years ago, pre-sci, so I'm relating to what you're saying. I'm pulling for ya!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Adam-
                      When you said "Nothing is as great or as terrible as pain meds, the ones that work on the brain"? You got it there, I think. See people like you and I, they make us feel good. The rest of the world, I've heard them say they don't like feeling spaced out or sleepy or something. But those pills feel really good to me. Hence the problem. Because something always hurts, God knows that's true enough. You say you have willpower and I say yay for you, I can't have them around at all. I'll tell myself I'll take them only when the pain is an 8, but pain of 6 sucks too, and 5 is the bare minimum I have on any given day. Mainly with pain I just have to gut it out. I don't have rods like you though, just central pain footburn stuff. Which, once I was honest with myself, the narcotics don't help...they just made me feel better. I did some dumb things on those pills too, but mainly I just found it easy to let too much slide.

                      I think Kap hit it on the head when he said you used them like an anti-depressant. That's exactly what I did. They did get me through that gruelling first year of working out 24-7, I had a lot of pain then and probably relied a lot on that pleasure stimulus too. Then they bit me in the ass.

                      You're so right realizing that this topic needs to be public. We surely aren't the only 2 that have combed Carecure and thought we were the only ones.

                      You'll get the natural highs again, in a while. But people like me always think the less natural highs feel better...until we learn to fear the monkeys LOL.

                      An addictive personality isn't always genetic, though mine is clearly loaded that direction. And try not to think of it as a flaw. It's just a fact, like blue eyes; but this one can ruin your life or kill you. Some of the finest strongest most creative and productive people in the world have been addicts at one time or another. It's not selective, kind of like SCI, it's random. You and I got both...arent we special??? LOL

                      I hope you're sound asleep with a full belly right now. Like Bruce said, one day at a time is how it's done. Eventually enough days go by that it doesn't bother you any more. Beth

                      If your skin is thin, best keep it off the Internet-Betheny
                      Blog:
                      Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

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                        #12
                        duplicate post

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Solar,

                          I owe you an apology. I first responded thinking you had a right to pain meds if you wanted them. I see now you are trying to get off. My experience is a little different. At first, I felt terrible, like my "skin would crawl" and I was more wishing to escape the anxiousness/going mad than regain the med pain effect. It took at least two weeks to lose the extreme anxiety and I went through many feelings that were difficult. After about three months, I thought I was really there. Now it is just at times during the day but not all the time that I wish I could still be under the effect of medicines and zone out, but it was just robbing my life, my already shrunken life, too much. Getting off the meds didn't make me more ambitious, it just helped me to see the mechanics of getting things done better. This helped the depression of coming up for air occasionally and seeing that so many things had slpped by.

                          I have more pain now but I feel less guilty. When the pain is bad it is only natural to wish for some meds, but somehow I have learned to stand it without the heavy pain med. I would not feel bad if I had to go back for a while, possibly because I think I am strong enough to stop when I want (you never really know though if something bad would happen in life and make this time the one that does you in, and that is the frightening thing about pain meds), but I want the med to be just for the pain, not for the mental stress (since I think there are safer meds for stress), and the pain med really did not help the pain very much, except through sedation.

                          Betheny's post tells you the real secret, you have to think you are powerful enough to do it. Since most of my survival strategy is about not trying to be powerful, I had to really see how life would be better without the med. It is, although it still reeks, as most of you know. Central pain needs to be cured. Talk about the mechanics of survival is pretty dreary and always depresses me. I am right behind the scientists, hoping they will kick pain in the behind.

                          [This message was edited by dejerine on 12-21-04 at 10:18 AM.]

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for the reply's everyone, they mean so much. The days are starting to get a little better and brighter though i am definatly still a little emotional with some slight physical ailments, mainly jittery and want to run and i am still cold and shivery a lot. I did some stretching exercise's last night and that seemed to put some good feeling's in me, took an ambian and actually got about 4-5 hours of sleep! Still finding it hard to get motivated in the morning though. I am sooo scared to over-do something and have a really BAD pain day and start thinking about the pills, so i am VERY cautious now, should have been long ago, you know how it goes. One thing is for sure though, i thought i was superman on the pills man, like i didn't need anyone involved with my life and even the shit i did physically was crazy! My mom would wonder how i got some of the stuff done that i did, thats why the pain increased thus creating the cycle of taking more pills to combat the pain, though it was not really decreasing the pain, just the emotions. Before my injury i would probably be one of the ones to say that i don't need or like pain meds because they would make me feel wierd, but now that i look back at that, i bet i was in denial about the fact that i knew i would want to continue taking them for pleasure. Wow, i just realized that people can be in denial about something and not even be aware. I always thought people in denial knew what they were doing, just denying it to the world or i guess it could be both at the same time.

                            Looking back since i started taking pain pills and the "Numb to the world, don't give a shit" attitude i had while on them had caused me to lose my girlfriend at the time of my wreck, plus two more relationships i had during the past 1 1/2 years, including friends that i shut out. I need to call them and apologize, well, maybe not. They'll probably just laugh (the ex-girlfriends). The pills gave me an extraordinary over-abundance of pride, I still have that, but now to lesser degree... the real me. This will be yet another experience that i shall never forget.

                            Hope to talk more in the chat rooms with you guys too!
                            http://www.adamsmith.name

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You're sounding better.[img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

                              I saw you were in chat late last night, I didn't go in because it's a marital bone of contention. You're probably at the can't sleep phase now. I won't be able to check in for a few days, but you hang tough, if you don't get cocky you've got it whipped. Just remember that because the monkey is quiet it doesn't mean he's dead. Feed him once and he'll start stirring.

                              Rest, eat, drink, hang with the family, they'll be so glad you've done this.

                              Merry Christmas Adam. I'm proud of you.

                              Beth

                              If your skin is thin, best keep it off the Internet-Betheny
                              Blog:
                              Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

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