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kyadog115kkyadog115 Posts: 266
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I hate to admit this here but.....I was using Cocaine over the Thanksgiving period. I was scheduled for an L5 disectomey. I went into the hosp. to have this done but my former g/f called them and told them of my drug use. I was all set for the surgery however they Urine tested me and it was pos,for cocaine. They refused to operate. The anestheologist said w/that in my system I am at a much greater risk of death. They sent me home. I've been clean and now the surgery is set for 12-10. Any comments?


  • Your former g/f probably did you a favor, although you may not appreciate it. Being a former health care worker, I know how important it is to get an accurate history. The doctors and nurses don't care about the fact that you were doing an illegal drug. It would be the same for certain medications (asprin, ibuprofen ect.) The health care workers are just trying to keep you healthy and alive, they aren't there to pass judgement or for legal issues. They just need you to be honest!
    Best wishes on a successful surgery. :)
  • Thank the good Lord for your girlfriend. It seems that she really cares for you a lot! Like said above, I hope that was the last time you use. Best wishes for a successful surgery on 12/10 and a speedy recovery. I know you will be smart enough not to mix illegal drugs with any prescriptions you may be given after surgery! Good luck!
  • Hi,

    Were you simply using the cocaine recreationally, with other people in a social setting? Or, are you using it regularly for pain relief? You definately need to be completely honest with your doctors and nurses. As part of the hippocratic oath, they are sworn only to attempt to save your life and keep you well. If you have been using coke regularly for pain relief then they need to know this. I have never tried coke, but I do have a very high tolerance for alcohol and prescription pain medications. I don't think my doctors knew just how high as they did not medicate me well enough while I was under anesthesia. I awoke from surgery screaming and thrashing. It took 7 different iv pain meds and 4 hours to find something to get my pain under control. I do not wish this upon you. Please be honest. And, if you have a problem with street drugs, feel free to use the social services offered by the hospital to help you get and stay clean. Good luck!

    One Love,

  • it is best to be honest all the way with the medical world. They are ethically duty bound not to disclose anything so information is safe.

    Many street drugs interfere with many every day medicines.
    I think (i may stand to be corrected) that cocaine and adrenaline causes a heart attack.
    Adrenaline is used frequently in ITU/Er situtations.

    There are more but i don't recall them.

    Anyhow, my message here is be honest. They are not their to judge you but help you.
  • Yes, I am a regular user of Cocaine,sadly enough. However,it is an anisthetic and helps me control pain. My neuro kept saying to me all along.....I cant believe you are walking around,you must have a very high tolerance to pain. He kept saying that most people w/a broken,flattened disc such as what I have would be in his ofice on a stretcher. I've been clean 9 days now and hope I can stay this way.
    Thanks for the replies.

  • First I want to commend you on being honest with yourself and us here at Spine-Health. I know that it is not easy to do! Please continue to reach out and accept help. I know that pride will stand in the way if you let it. I want you to know that you are not your addiction, your are not your back pain. The true essence of who you are cannot be labeled or put into a box. I am so proud of you for the 9 days that you have been clean. Keep talking about it so that you can build accountability but also reach out when you are feeling weak. You can do it!

    One Love,

  • Stephanie,
    Thanks so much for that. Very well put. I have had this addiction for years. I'm now 50(well,on 12-24) Anyway,it's hard and I am struggling,but I have to make a change. I'm too old for this nonsense.
    Thanks for the support...

  • I want to congratulate you for being clean for nine days, and I hope you will be able to stay so. I can't imaging how hard it is for you and and top of that, having this grueling pain. Thank you for your frankness and candor, this is something difficult for people to share. I hope all things go well and that you have your surgery so you can get on the road to recovery, on both fronts.
  • No problem, we're here for you :)
  • I just need to tell everyone here just 1 more thing about my situation.On Feb 12'08, I had a 3 level ACDF,Skyline plate,8 screws. Partial corpectomey,cord decompression. During the surgery I developed a spinal fluid leak. They installed a lumbar drain. Upon removal,the tip of the catheter broke off and shot up into my back. They rushed me to emergency surgery to locate and remove the piece however they couldnt find it. They sent me home,I was leaking fluid so I called the office. I went to the office and then they finally did an MRI and found the piece. I had to go back to surgery where this time they removed it. My point here is that I'm getting scared now to have this Discetomey on the L-5 disc.It is squeezing the s-1 nerve and causing left leg weakness and the calfmuscle feels like it's been pulled. I dont want to go thru this cr*p again. But,once again I have no choice, The neuro says if I dont, I may be dragging my foot and eventually lose the use of my leg.
    Just wanted to explain everything,I know there is no reason to use Cocaine, ,but.. !!
  • No wonder you have so much pain. I'm so sorry that happened to you. And I know how horrible spinal headaches are and I wouldn't wish it on no one. You certainly need to have that surgery so you don't have permanent nerve damage and I understand you not being thrilled about going thru it again. Have they given you something for pain? They have to, irregardless of your history, and they can monitor your usage. It can be done, and you shouldn't suffer until your surgery and thereafter. Things will work out for you and I wish you the best.
  • Thanks,I appreciate that. Yes, I'm taking Lortab 10/500 as needed. Thats all for now but it doesn't touch the pain to b honest

  • Your ex-GF saved your life. The anesthetia combined with cocaine could have killed you. You need real pain management, not street drugs. My other big concern for you is after back surgeries,our bodies often let us know what we should or shouldn't be doing. When you do cocaine will you be mindful of your BLT's?
  • I am glad that you came to us and respect your honesty. I've found those here to be nonjudgemental and very supportive. Forgive my naiveness but isn't vicoden, percocet and other prescription narcotics the same as cocaine? I was just wondering, not that I am going to try. I am glad that you have been clean for 9 days and that is good because doing these illegal drugs regularly can build up your tolerance to the meds they will give you for pain management post op. I too have a high tolerance to alcohol and prescription meds and when I explain this to my docs that they need to increase the drugs they look at me as if I am abusing and drug-seeking. Unfortunately, due to this situation you just incurred, this may lessen your chance of docs being able to prescribe you narcotics since you have used the illegally. Again, I am not judging as I have had my fair share of recreational drugs in my youth and still wish mary jane would be at least legal to where it could be prescribed for pain management. I hear they do this in some states. I don't do this as I stay honest with my docs and am sure it would show up on blood work that is done on me occasionally. I just know it has helped in the past. image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />

    Anyway, on to another subject. I wish you well on your surgery this week as well as staying off the recreational drugs and sticking with only what is prescribed.
  • No, Those perscription drugs you mentioned are not the same as cocaine.
    Thanks for the support and the well wishes. it's much appreciated.

  • We never know the reason why people do what they do. No one here is a judge. It's kind of good your former gf called to let them know so glad who knows what might've been the outcome of the surgery if there were complications. It's best from now on for your own health to just say no. Let's be thankful they're doing the surgery so soon after. Probably with the pain meds you may not have been thinking clearly. Mixing narcs with anything illegal isn't a good idea either. The only thing that we use cocaine for in the ER is for packing a nose bleed that doesn't stop. I've seen too may people get heart problems after using street drugs. Let's all hope that was your last time. Good luck with your OR. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • bending, lifting, twisting which is difficult and limited for those of us suffering spiney issues.
  • Oh, ok...thanx. I will be mindful, but hopefully I will do no more cocaine. It's ruined my life long enough.
  • Paul. I commend you on your honesty but would you have been so honest if your GF didn't out you?? I am not judging you, just wishes you well. Drug addiction is not an easy fix(no pun intended). I will suggest that while you are recuperating from the eventual surgery you should go through rehab. Since you cannot work you may as well use that time for a reality check and deal with the real issues for why you are still, at 50 years old, still doing drugs. If pain is the reason and your pain is better after surgery, you will still have issues with drug use since your body/brain will be used to strong pain meds from surgery. Please get the help you need and talk to your doctor about the drugs, he/she can help you. Honesty will save your life, literally and figuratively. Best Wishes
  • Hi
    That's a good question. To be honest, I'm unsure.I have used drugs for 30 years. I don't know why really. I have been thru a number of treatment centers but chronically relapse.
    I dont know what the answer is..........why do people use drugs? To mask feelings,so as to not look at one's self. I guess there are as many reason as there are xcuses.However,I'm going to try again, one day @ a time as they say. Thats all I can do.
    Thanks for the concern...

  • Hi,
    as you all know I was scheduled for a micro-disectomey yeasterday @ 130 pm. I had to be there @ 12 30. They did a blood test and urinalaysis,checking for drugs(cocaine). I was clean and all was going to proceed.However,The doctor was running behind schedule and they told me it woldnt be till at least 6pm. I got very angry and left. I only had my 78 yr old mom w/me and she couldn't stay there that long as well. In hindsite,I wonder if I over-racted,perhaps I should have stayed. I did kind of made a scene over this.To the point where they called security. Now I wonder if the Doctor will even take me again.....any thoughts please?

  • I'm glad that you were clean.I would think that would be frustrating,waiting all of that time,but things happen.Emergencies arise and perhaps someones health and well being rested on the surgeons shoulders,therefore delaying your operation.Would you not want the surgeon to take the same time and care with your well being in mind?

    Your mother is too old to be worrying about you and I imagine she witnessed your 'scene' at the hospital.Maybe the next time you will use more forsight and take someone better able to handle the long hours.

    My brother put my mom through this kind of thing frequently,and it was really hard on her-but she never let on.She just watched while her sons died.Now she's gone too.

    The Dr may or may not take you-you'll need to call with an apology I would imagine.Those are my thoughts.
  • Your right.they discharged me.
  • The year is almost over.It's a good time for new beginnings and fresh starts.The great thing about people is their capacity to understand and forgive mistakes of any magnitude.

    You were off to a good start,and had a setback.I hope you can see that for what it was and move past it to the good things that are in your future.
  • My brother is 40 and still uses - about every 6 months he cycles through quiting, being clean, working, relapsing, quits or get fired from work and then starts over again.
    I can always tell when he has quit using as he gets very "mean" and easily set off, totally overreacts & gets cocky with everyone. So, I wonder if your overreaction was due to cocaine withdrwal?
  • Hi Paul, you should be able to find another NS without to much difficulty. I remember when I had my knee scoped a few years ago. It was supposed to be a 1.5 hour surgery. When the ortho got into my knee it was such a mess the surgery lasted over 6 hours. It bumped all his other surgeries for the day. Since then I have never had an issue waiting if my surgery ot put on hold longer. My lamimectomy 2 weeks ago was supposed to be at 10:30 but was not until 5PM because the NS got tied up with his other surgery. It was inconvenient but such is life at times.

    It might actually be best for you to get a new NS. You won't have any history that way.

    Good luck........Paul
  • I commend you for being honest and being/staying clean for 13 days now. Back in the day I too used but only here and there. I too noticed that the pain was gone for once. LOL However it is a good thing that your GF told your doc. I have heard a few stories like yours in a sense. One was a lady was on pain meds and anti depressents she went out and partied with friends did some coke drank some alcohol and when she came home she took her regular night time med dosages. HOWEVER...she never woke up! It was basically an overdose.
    If I were you during these 2 weeks (which is a wonderful and quite a long and hard time) of being clean please asses your pain. In all reality you cannot honestly asses your pain with your doc if you are using coke. Now that you are feeling the true amount of pain that you have, maybe your doc can change your meds. Maybe up to percocet's or Norcos. I prefer Norcos over Vicodin which have the same narcotic make up but norco has only 325 mgs of tylenol. They also have percocet that has a lower tylenol dosage available too. I have been on Norco 10/325's and Percocet 10/325's, now I am on just Percocet 10/325's since they work better for me. However I had an apt yesterday with my PM and he changed me to just Oxycodone (percocet without the tylenol) So now that you are being honest with yourself and everyone around you about your coke use and how it alieved your pain, please be sure to make an apt with your doc so you can figure out with him a better med dosage or mix to help your pain more. That way you wont feel you need to resort to coke again for the pain relief. I am sure that you were not feeling that much pain and it SEEMED like the lortabs were working great. When in all reality they probably were not doing the trick
    I have had an LS-S1 fusion. I was in horrific pain and my NS also told me that if I didn't have the surgery the following week or so that within a few months I would be in much worse pain and wouldn't be able to walk and would be stuck in a wheel chair. SOunds like your last surgery wasn't the best experience, but please dont hold that against you getting the proper medical care that you need. I have had my pain come back after 2 almost 3 yrs post op. But it is not AS extreme as it was before surgery. So please do have the surgery, if your situation was anything like mine you will only get worse if you dont go through with the surgery!!
    AGAIN WONDERFUL WORK ON STAYING CLEAN FOR SO LONG ALREADY. =D> =D> =D> KEEP IT UP!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you!!
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