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Pain Pill Validation....

caitycccaityc Posts: 268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all! I am so troubled, and I need all of your help to make me feel better. :S :(

I currently have prescriptions for Norco (double strenth Vicodin), Flexeril (muscle relaxer) and Lodine/Etodolac (anti-inflammatory) #:S . I have had these prescriptions for 1 year. I am not a big pill taker, never have been. Since my diskectomy, I have taken my pills on average just once a month, maybe even two months. Over the past few weeks my condition has worsened. =(( Gradually, it kept taking very little to set off the pain. I mean literally putting 5 dishes in the dishwasher and I was in pain. :''( Because things have gotten worse, I have been taking my pills every night before bed for the past few weeks.

The problem is, I am completely wiped out the next day. I) I) Meaning that if I don't take a nap in the morning after I take the kids to school, I am falling asleep by 4:30/5:00 every day.

I won't go into a long story about my childhood, but let's just say my Mom spent a lot of time in bed during my impressionable years (she suffered from depression, chronic fatigue illnesses, etc.). I have made it a point as a mother to try and be the opposite of that. To be up with my kids in the morning, taking them to school, picking them up, etc., and not be the type of Mom that lays in bed. They have already seen me in bed enough as it is when I am having a really bad day. So now I feel the pills are making it worse. But if I don't take the pills, I'm in pain. It's such a catch 22.

So with this post, I'm not looking for someone to tell me to take the pills, because I intend to continue to do it. I'm just looking for "I understand, it is tough".

I love this board sooooo much! I think everyone is great, and I know there are some of you who are going through the same thing. My point is, I just want to know that I am not alone. :(

Thanking you all in advance for your support. :X :X



  • I know the first week or so of me taking similar pills I too had to take naps-but now I can function fine all day long if I get well rested at night. Perhaps in a few more days you'll get your energy back. I know most drugs-even over the counter types like Zyrtec takes a few weeks to get used to or they make you sleepy. Hang in there and maybe add some antioxidants to your regime and see if that will help combat fatigue.
  • I would put money on the Flexiril being the culprit. It is for me. I can take my pain meds w/o any hang over effect the next day but a Flexaril will make me incredibly tired/sleepy I) -hit by a mack truck feeling- the whole next day!
    I now take skelaxin & it doesn't affect me as bad.
    I do think when you take them regularly, that side effect diminishes.
  • Hi! I have been taking pain pills pretty much since I was 25 years old, I had endometriosis so vicodin until I had a hysterectomy 2004. I had a discectomy L4-5 on 11/5/08, but the doctor accidentally cut in at the L1-2 so he had to cut down to the L4-5, my incision is about 7-8 inches long for a L4-5 Discectomy. I was on flexeril and everytime I took it I would have to take a nap, I am not taking it anymore, I take percocet or Nor 10/325 and I am fine. I went from taking 240 a month, and now I have some wacked out pain med specialist ( and I say that lightly) he thinks I can survice on 1 norco every 8 hours. I was in a walker from surgery thru Thanksgiving weekend, I cried all the time the pain was a 10+ and this doctor WILL NOT give me my pain meds so I left him a message today I will not be back to his office because evidentally he does not understand how to control pain, he want me to take tons of methadone and I do not want to take it, but that is all I have right now to control my pain and the 3 norco he gave me to last 24 hours. I go to bed and wake up everynoght 4 hours after I fall asleep in major pain and I need my Norco or Percocet and I have NONE. I called an attorney today, I am sick of this. I beleive my back is messed up from falling off a surgical table a few years ago, the main bolt that held the top and bottom of the chair snapped in two and I went flying backwards and landed on my head, I was 3 days post op when that happened, or it could be from a head on collision I had a few years ago and tore all the cartlidge in my ribs, had to be cut out with jaws of life and airlifted. So I am stuck with a quack that will not give me Norco , he thinks it is more addicting then Methadone. He is also the one that presribed the flexeril, I also take Soma and they both have the same effect the next day very groggy and have to have naps atfer taking the meds. I am fine not taking the flexeril and only taking Norco though!

    #:S Sorry didn't mean to babble!
  • WOW. How the heck does a doctor mistake L1-L2 for L4-L5?????? That would scare the crap out of me for a doctor to be so oblivious. I hope you changed surgeons... There is no excuse for mistakes like that. My surgeons, and I think most others, use an xray machine to mark the spot of surgery BEFORE cutting into anything, to make sure they are in the right spot. That's crazy. I'm sorry your doctor had his head in the clouds and you had to pay the price for it :(
  • Give it time. I understand how you feel... I actually had a hard time staying awake being on my pain meds. I would fall asleep during the day and sleep through anything and everything. One day my boyfriend came home and I couldn't hear my phone ringing, the doorbell, him banging on the door... We have a chain lock on the inside of the door, and he was worried because there was no response from me whatsoever, so he had to kick the door in and rip the frame off the door to get in. My family was really worried about me because I'd pass out without any notice and go into these like, coma like sleeps... It scared me, too. But eventually my body got used to them, and now I can't even sleep at all if I take them. They have the opposite effect... They give me insomnia. I haven't been taking them before bed anymore or I'm up til 5am then have to get up at 7:45am, and functioning on that little amount of sleep everyday is not good. You can't heal with that little sleep, either. It sucks going to bed without my meds, because I hurt a lot when I wake up, but I NEED sleep.

    I hope your body adjusts soon. Don't let it get you down... It doesn't make you any less a good mother, and it doesn't change the way your kids will grow up thinking of you.

  • I have been taking Flexiril for about 7 months and they don't make me sleepy any more. So, I think that side effect will subside.

    You said you didn't want to be the type of mom who lays in bed for your kids to see, well, you're not! You are taking your kids to school, then taking a nap so you won't have to when they get home. What's wrong with that? Nothing! If that's what you have to do, then do it. You are still there for them 100% while they're home. You're also taking care of your pain so you can function on a reasonable level.

    Keep going - you're doing just fine! =D> Hope you get to feeling better - feeling guilty only make things worse.

  • Now that I think about it, when I first started taking the pills, I was falling asleep within a half an hour. Now I get sleepy, but it's controllable. Hopefully in time the fog will lift. :D

  • for everything you have gone thru. Some doctors are so concerned about patients getting addicted to pain meds, they are so hesitant to prescribe meds.
    I think switching docs is a good idea.

    Take care,

  • It's tough, isn't it? :) Fortunately I have the kids off to school by 8:30, so I can nap. I just hate to do it. I feel so disfunctional! lol. It's a trade off tho because it really does seem to keep my pain somewhat under control. I hope over time this "side effect" wears off.

  • I just have a lot of issues about sleeping during the day. I know, I need to get over it. It's really hard to explain. Also, when I do wake up, I just don't want to get up. I want to stay in bed. Then I feel guilty because I would rather sleep then go get my kids. I)

    They don't see me sleep during the week, but they do on weekends. They seem to understand (they are 12 and 7), but I still feel bad. I had a heart to heart with my hubby last night, because I also fear what he thinks. I told him (he really already knew) about why I hate the sleep during the day, bla bla bla. He told me to please not worry about it. I have a medical condition that requires me to take the meds, and if I have to sleep afterwards, so be it. He told me not to compare myself with my Mom because she really didn't have a "medical condition" like I do, and my situation can't be helped. I love him so much. :X :X

    Thanks again all for all of your replies. It makes me feel so much better!!!!

    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • I hate sleeping during the day too! I've never been able to nap (even after my surgery and very sleepy) and I think it's because I'm afraid I'll miss something. Not really sure. But my hubby and friends think I'm crazy - they all take naps whenever the option arises. :))(

    I'm glad about your hubby. Mine is great too. The other night it was snowing and, because I won't drive in snow yet, he had to go to the grocery store on his way home. When he got home, I said "I'm sorry you had to do that. I know it was the last thing on earth you wanted to do." And he said, "Well, I'd rather do that then have neck surgery." Whatta guy!

    I told him a couple of nights ago (in fact, kinda went on and on) how much I have appreciated his support. He's not very good at receiving compliments, and I think I saw a tear in his eye! Awww... :X

    Take care and no worries! Let the healing begin!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,722
    differently. I think everyone would agree that no two people are alike, so take that a step further in that different people will react differently to medications.
    Medication abuse can be one of the major pitfalls with anyone that is suffering from chronic pain. We all want to take that one magic pill that will take away all of our pain and return is to normal every day living.
    I have always and will continue to maintain a positive attitude about our various spinal conditions. I also know that when a doctor writes a prescription for me to take and identifies when/how to take it, I will follow that! Back when I was young and unaware, when I had pain medications, I would skip a dose only so when I take the next one I would double up which would wipe me out and forget the pain.
    I understand how foolish and dangerous that really was.
    When we start talking about different medications, its really something to see how people react to them.

    Flexeril - Wipes me out, the following day it feels like I have a hangover, while others get very little from it.
    Zanaflex - Controls my muscle spasms, but never wipes me out, I am always alert.

    I could go on and on about the different medications and how it does something for one, but not for the other.

    Put this aside, the comment Lo made about the surgeon who
    meant to work on L4/L5, but cut at L1/L2... Whoa.. That puts up a major red flag for me. Sure mistakes can be made, but that was one major mistake
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • and have 2 suggestions: One, can you take the Flexeril earlier than bedtime? Or would that just knock you out sooner? If you took it earlier, would the sleepy "hangover" end sooner the next day?

    And, I would consider asking the doc to change you to Soma or Skelaxin or another muscle relaxer. I just cannot take Flexeril unless I want to check out from my world for a few days. lol I might get used to it if I had to take that medication, but since Soma works great for me, I don't have to worry about it.

    Hope you find a solution or the side effects wear off!!

  • I have been taking pain meds for a long time. They do not bother me but the flexeril loops me every time. My bet is with the others that it is the flexeril. They do make muscle relaxants with caffeine in them so as to not make a person so tired.

    good luck.........Paul
  • It would knock me out and I would be fighting to stay awake the next day. I never liked it. I'm on Zanaflex and I try to take it on the evenings if possible because it too will make me very drowsy.
    Caity, did you ever get around to taking the Methadone in conjunction with the Norco? I have read from a few people on it here that it works good for pain. I have a relative on it, and at first she said it worked well and it kept her more alert than the Fentanyl 100mcg. Then after a couple weeks she said she wished to go back on the patches. She said she didn't realize how good the patches worked until she switched meds. However, when she was on the patches, she said it didn't do anything. I guess everybody reacts to things differently.
    Whatever you choose to do, I hope it brings you some kind of relief. Take care
  • zanaflex knocked me out..such a hangover the next morning.Sxelaxin does not effect me that way and helps!
    Possibly speak to the doctor about changing one med at a time (starting with muscle relaxant) and see how it goes. Good luck
  • over the weekend I toughed it out and didn't take the meds Friday or Saturday night. I was out late Friday night, which made it rough on my back, but also made me tired on Saturday. But low and behold, on Sunday, I felt great fatigue wise. #:S I was my normal self. Thank goodness. <:P I didn't really think about the Flexiril until you all mentioned it. I was kindof worried all last week thinking there might be another underlying condition. :S
    I continue to take all three, knowing it might make me tired. However, it's the only way to deal with the pain.
    Some of you know I have switched insurances, and have to start all over. :S :''( I have my first appointment with the new surgeon on Thursday. Wish me luck! I will post after my appointment. Hopefully I will be happy. :D

    Thanks again for all of you input! :*

  • Hi Caity,
    I understand kinda what you are going thru as well. My hubby was very insistant that I keep up with my pain meds (Norco and Soma) as ordered after surgery. It didn't seem to make me feel better, just out of it. I hate napping too.
    Well, he went out of town, so I experimented and tapered down from Norco to Vicodin ES to regular Vicodin to regular tylenol. Lo and behold, I ended up feeling better. WIERD!
    Don't get me wrong, there are times - LIKE NOW, that I have to take the big stuff. But I think the meds "foggyness" contributed to me not feeling well too.
    So, I now try to start with regular tylenol and work my way up, rather than the other way! Some days I succeed, others - not so much! :''(
    Soma is still part of my med routine.
  • Hi Caity,
    Di you know that a sleep cycle last for approx 90 mins? So this means that if you wake within that time or after then you are waking from a deep sleep and thus want to go back to sleep. When you wake at the end of a sleep cycle, you are usually more alert and ready to get up.
    I often have a nap in the afternoon. For me it means I can keep going and I would prefer to take a nap then to take meds. If the naps doesn;t help then I have the meds.
    SO I set my alarm clock for 90 minutes and usually wake just before it goes off.

    I know what you mean about mothers and bed. Mine takes to her bed for a week if she has a sniffle to i feel the same as you but I have learned that I need to do this for me.

    Blessings Sara O:)
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