I wanted to let people attempting to get off of some of these meds that there is hope. Let me say first that for anybody that needs them, take them. I have taken anything from Vicodin to 40mg Oxycontin multiple times per day off and on for over 4 years due to a laminectomy in 06, a 2 level ACDF in 08, a 4 level posterior fusion with rods and screws just 7 weeks ago; and an 18 inch colon resection due to dyberticulitis in 06. So I understand what it means to hurt and how needed these meds can be. Also, after this last 4 level fusion (cervical), they screwed up my meds and according to them "we've been giving you the equivalent of one drop in a bucket compared to what you needed". They said it was the equivalent of having a major operation with no meds. But they got it straight on day 3 and it was an honest mistake on their data entry clerk's part, so what you gonna do?
At 7 weeks out, my pain levels are still not great, but I begin a tapering down from 80mg of Oxycontin ER plus 5 or 10mg Oxycodone IR every 4 hours for breakthrough pain. I switched to all short acting Oxycodone for a couple of weeks since I've found it easier to get off of first. Then I cut back by 25% per week until I got to 40 mg of Oxycodone per day. Then I went cold turkey. Day one, not so bad but anxious feeling. Day two, felt like I was hit by a truck and had the feeling of having the flu. Laid in a recliner for day 2 and 3 doing nothing but having chills, drinking water, or running to the bathroom. Ate almost nothing, didn't want it. Day 4, still felt horrible, but thought I might have a shot at living! Still didn't do much but lay around. Gradually over the next week or so I gained a little more ambition and energy. By two weeks, I mostly feel like myself, except my wife tells me I'm still dealing with a little of what she calls "male PMS"! I can tell now I'm getting back to more of myself though. I'm a good ole redneck farm boy and although I don't work on the farm, I had always retained the "up by 5 or 6am" thing. While on oxy, I'd stay awake all night and be wiped out all day. Now since off of the meds and the surgery site better, I'm sleeping all night and waking up again before the sun. (Morning time when everybody else is asleep and all is quiet outside is my favorite time of day when I can think)
I realize with my history I'll probably end up under the knife and under the effects of meds at some point, but it sure feels good to feel normal for at least for a while. I also realize how God has blessed me to feel this good in 7 weeks out from a 4 level posterior fusion (and revision). So keep the faith people, God is capable of anything.