Free from addiction

I understand chronic pain. I've suffered for over 20 yrs with severe back pain. I had 2 surgeries-the last, a spinal fusion lasted 10 hrs. After the surgery, I took Vicoden for pain. From there I went to Oxycontin and then added the Fentanyl patch. For 13 yrs. I have been on the strongest opidiods available. I still had chronic pain. Anyone who has taken opidiods for any length of time, knows that their body develops a dependancy to the drugs after a short period of time. I didn't dare leave the house without the drugs I took, or withdrawal symptoms would begin. For 13 yrs., I drove a 2 hr. round trip to my Dr. once a month for medication refills. I was fortunate enough to have an understanding Dr., and one who required a pain contract.
Never, ever did I abuse my medication, but I felt like it was controlling me. About a yr ago, I decided to go off all my pain medication. I felt that my body had developed a tolerance to the drugs, and I still had pain.
I tried to wean myself off the drugs, but suffered terribly with withdrawal. I decided to stop it all "cold turkey". I ended up in the hospital for 4 days in severe opidiod withdrawal. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. The withdrawal was torture. But, I did it! My Dr. put me on a drug called, Suboxone which helped drastically. I am now slowly weaning myself off this drug even though I am on a very low dose.
So-how do I feel? Surprisingly, the pain is not worse. Yes, it is still there, but no longer am I under the hold of drugs. Please understand-I am not against the use of pain medication for pain. But, for me-I don't ever want it to control my life again. I know that without the love and support of my family, and my faith in God, I couldn't have done this.
I pray for those in pain. I understand the struggle. It's important to have support and a good Dr.
I just wanted to share with you all, where I've been and where I'm now at.

Oh Lexie! Welcome and I am so happy for you! Getting off of narcotics, from what I understand, is so difficult to do! You should be so proud!

I too know the pain you speak of! I have had 2 spinal fusions. There are ways to cope with the pain w/o narcotics. I was recently in the ER for such severe back pain I couldn't walk. The doctor gave me a script for Vicodin and I shredded it. Last year the doctor tried to give me Oxycontin I told her no way! Lidoderm patches? I don't think so. I look at it this way - I have had this pain since I was a young girl, it won't get better and I'm sure eventually it will get worse. Until then I will find other ways to tolerate it.

I'm also in the back pain group on here. Check it out when you have time. Keep going strong girl!!!

“every saint has a past and every sinner a future!” I love that!

One of the biggest struggles I had when I was on all those pain meds, is that when I had acute pain, the hospital was not educated with managing pain in an acute situation with the opiod dependant. This was everywhere. The Dr’s and nurses had this mentality: just use your pain meds as ordered! What they didn’t get, is that those drugs were my maintence level drugs, and they needed to go above that to control new pain. Last year, I had something like 5 kidney stone attacks, and numerous surgeries in attempt to remove the stones. One time after surgery, they sent me home with a script for Motrin! Motrin-I use that as candy! No, really, I don’t understand how/why the hospitals are so uneducated with pain control and opiod dependant. This was a big problem for me! Another reason for me to go off all the meds.
Yes, I will check in with the back pain group. Having a bad back, especially after surgery, is a life-long struggle. Support is valuable!

I have been abusing pain medication now for 5 years, well I was just so sick of it controlling my life I decided this past Saturday to join a recovery program which precribes suboxone well this is day 2 without my normal 5 to 8 10's (hydrocodone) to get through a day, I understand the suboxone is blocking my brain from the cravings of opiates, now I have read horror stories of withdrawals from suboxone... I am so scared of that feeling because I know what it feels like without the pain pills and yes it sucks so bad!! I understand you have to taper yourself off of the suboxone it is just that fear, also the script said to take 3 subs a day, there is no way I have only been able to take 1 and 1/2 and I feel so drousy and lethargic on a good note the energy is un-believable until you sit down then you cant keep your eyes open... anyone have any similar stories about their reactions to suboxone?

Hi 4life!
What is the strength of your sub? It could be that what you are taking is just too much for your system. I can take up to 12 mgs. a day if I need to, but usually only take 6-8. Initially, I took Suboxone for withdrawal, but now I take it for pain. My doctor said it was better to take Suboxone than Oxycontin, Fentanyl, etc. I’m sure there will be withdrawal associated with stopping the Suboxone. I’ve heard that it isn’t as bad as Oxycontin and Fentanyl. When the time comes, make sure you have a good pain doctor that will oversee your situation. I do not have any trouble with drowsiness or being tired, other than maybe menapause and age related! Stay strong, and make sure you have a good support system in place!

Lexie, you have no idea how much your story is helping me! I am 66 hours into withdrawal from oxycodone, and it is miserable, but I'm staying strong. I wasn't sure if my body could handle quitting cold turkey, but I decided that was the way I wanted to do it to get it overwith. I sure hope I don't end up in the hospital like you did. I also have been suffering from chronic pain for most of my life, and have been taking percocet every day for 4 years. I was up to 5-6 10's until this past Thursday evening.

Thank you for sharing. I have been the same way for many years, always having pills in my pocket when I leave, feeling chained to the drug. And the pain was still there. Good luck to you always!

love and hugss

Dear Redbarette: You can do it! Good job! It is SO hard to go through withdrawal. You need a good, strong support system whether it be family, friends, a support group, church, etc. Honestly, I could not (or would not) have made it without the support I had from my family. For one thing-it gave me accountability. Secondly, the support and encouragement helped me when I was suffering and discouraged. Yes, there were a couple times in the hospital, that I thought "if I just take 1 oxycontin-all the misery will be gone!" I am blessed to have good health insurance and a good pain doctor who understands addictions. Reach out to people who care about you-you can always email me if you'd like.I am proud of you and your decision! Terry

Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm still hanging in there, 8 days since I had my last pill. It's been really hard, but my husband has been there for me every step of the way. His father passed away a couple of days ago though, so its good that I was about done with the withdrawal symptoms so I could be there for him emotionally. Symptoms are gone for the most part, but my lower back pain is bad, and the need is strong. I am stronger though, and will get through this. The 22 hour drive to TX for the funeral may kill me though, who knows!