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Is Pain Medication Ruining My Life-HELP

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all my friends, I haven't posted for a while due to chronic fatigue and depression. I feel this can be attributed to the 60 mgs of oxycodone I take daily for pain.

I have tried to cut back and I did manage to go from 100 to 60 mgs a day. I also have PTSD with anxiety and major deppresive disorder.. I have tried several time to cut back and I usually make it about 12 hours when I get hit with pain, but worse than ever. It heels like the nerve endings in my likes and feet are on fire and I can't keep them still because of the pain. It's different than my regular back and leg pain, and is worse in many ways. It's like nueropathy. Of course then I take my pain meds and meds for nueropathy and it takes 2 hours of hell to get it back under control.

I am writing this because I am desperate to find a solution. My life is very bad now and it feels like I care about very little which included my self. I take naps more than ever and my mood can take a nose dive in a minute. I really don't know what to do, so I just thought I'd through it out there and see if anyone has dealt with anything like this.

Sometimes I just truly feel like dieing and giving up. I want to get off the pain meds and I see it's easier said than done since I've been on them for so long now.

Any comments will be helpful. I'm not living, I am exsisting and suffering everyday and my friends and family find it hard to help since I never feel like do anything or going anywhere.

Ok, that's about it and thank you for reading this.

Al, hurting in Cincinnati


  • Al have you tried any other types of meds? Things like anti-depressants and anti-seizure meds can help significantly with nerve pain. You might still need the narcotics but maybe much less. Of course everything has side effects but in time you can figure out which combo is best for you.

    There is no reason to feel the way you do. Please speak to your docs about this. I am sure they can help.
  • I have been on one particular medication for depression for 12 years. My wife seems to think it has simply quit working which does happen. Also the pain medication uses brain receptors to work and so does the antidepression medication.

    I was also told I have hyop-thyroid and low testosterone (more meds)but I had hope and thought it might be the answer. I still take the medication for my thyrois, but the meds for the testosterone seemed to work, but it made me feel very irritable and have severely amplified nightmares which is part of my PTSD. I don't need tot ake anything that may add to aggresion.

    I will see one of my Docs on Friday and I am going to push for a new antidepressant. Thing are really awful the way they are now. Thanks for caring enough to respond.

    God Bless,

    AL S
  • Sounds like you need a complete review of your meds. Sometimes the body gets used to drugs and the dosage and perhaps that's what's happening to you??

    See what your doctor says on Friday and let him know how much you're suffering.



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • From what you are describing, you need to find (with your doctors - and a full and honest description of your pain) what is going on in the pain game. "Nerve pain" vs mechanical pain. Narcotics/Opiates don't touch nerve pain, conversely, nerve pain meds (most) times don't touch mechanical pain.

    Like Trish said, you need to find out what mix will work for you. Pain meds can be your friend believe it or not! It all depends on which way you can work it. My Neurologist does not feel my pain is "well controlled" even though I kinda sorta feel I am good - but he is the expert. I'll work with him on a better blend for me. My point being, have you or your doctors really assessed what your needs are? Off to bed, but I will check in my friend.

    Pain medications can be your friend, it all depends how they are balanced. Yeah I know "more pills" (me too hate em), but if they find something that works, I'll take em....how about you Al? Love ya darlin!! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • you are NOT on a very high dose of oxycontin .many on here take much much more i take 400 mg a day and i know some take more ..so i would not have thought that the modest dose of oxycontin is much to worry about
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • be very careful comparing drugs and dosages please.

    I would strongly suggest seeking out an addiction specialist as well, not suggesting you're an addict, but they can help get you off the narcotics to an extent and work with your dr to give you some semblance of self respect back.
    I struggle with the dope issue and it's not easy. I can tell you from experience before my ACDF C456 that the dope can lead you to a very dark lonely place where the only way out is "early retirement" so to speak.
    Once the dope had taken over my mind, the pain seemed to just get worse and more dope was necessary. Then it was just all about the dope until I overdosed and almost died.
    Please get some help. You cant do it alone and most dr's just throw pills at problems.
  • I'm glad that someone brought that up. I've seen mixing of the two constantly, and it can be misleading and confusing. Two different medications, two totally different dosing amounts. 60mg a day of Oxycodone is nothing to sneeze at in my book.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You are so right about the two types of pain and the meds for them. My biggest pain lately has been mental and emotional. Being dependant on narcotics that do affect the way you think and feel is my biggest problem. Struggling obver the need for physical pain relief and the despair brought on by depression and feeling the dark and lonely place I have been in.

    Starting today I have cut my dosage in half in an attempt to get to the lowest possible tolerable dose. If I don'r feel better mentally soon, well, nothing elase will matter much.

    Thank you
    AL S
  • Oxycodone is nothing to sneeze at is so true. It is mainly for short term use and I have argues along with some of you on this site that it's our pain and we should have the right to relief with dignity.

    After almost three years of norcotics in one dose or another it has help my pain and it has created other issues in a sneaky way. I know it has caused some negative changes in my life and it's not a good friend. Finding the courage to face that is hard and changing it with the fear of pain is harder still. For me I hope it's the right time to change,, so today I am taking half the dose or 30 mgs a day for some time until I adjust and see the way I tolerate it. Thanks for all your imput and I'll keep you posted.
    AL S
  • Thanks Tony, but dosage is relative to the person and I am sensitive to medications. Oxycodone is a powerful and very addictive drug. I was on 100 mgs a day and more and I can't imagine doing that again except right after surgery. It's all about the person I guess.
    AL S
  • Al,

    You are very right, your mental attitude can and does play a big role in our day to day lives. The important part you've already demonstrated - you know your pain and medications are affecting your emotional feelings, and at times bringing you down.

    You'd love my Neurologist, he's also a Psychologist!! Weird huh? Until you get used to it, here you are getting a neurological exam, while at the same time he is sizing up your mental attitude and status! I think that can be a good thing? (G)

    While narcotics and opiates can over time bring you down emotionally, if balanced correctly, you can live mentally (mood wise) fairly normally. I like many here have my bad days, no question. I have a LOT on my plate, an my mantra to which I adopted from the newest "Karate Kid?"

    "Life can knock us down, *but* we choose whether or not to get up." Read that a few times, think about it, read it again, and chew on it, read it again. Pretty true words if you ask me. *Wink* It's either your doctor, or your stuck with us Al!!! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Good words to live by and I am hoping I am getting nearer to the balance. They say it's darkest before the dawn. I am so tired of being tired and just going back to bed because I am depressed and don't have the energy, will, or desire to do anything else. I hope and pray I find the correct balance because it has been a rough, lonely road.

    Thanks for the hug, I needed it.

    AL S
  • Al,

    Cool! I don't think there will be any argument about scooping you into our arms and keeping you safe and warm!! I think we all go through that 'down' mode. It is part of the adjustment. Pain takes a LOT out of all of us my friend.

    I am a trifecta. Many days my cervical, thoracic and lumbar fight for who gets the most attention - not fun. In the last week, my lumbar has been winning, if you can call it that, but the main point being you can acknowledge that you have pain, but don't let it be the lead. Believe me, I've had my days I stay as a bed bug and cuddled with my fur kids - normal - we have those days. Other days when our pain is down, or (in my case) there isn't competition going on in my spine, I try to do things, even if little.

    You can't compare the "now" you with the "other" you - that WILL drag you down. Hell, I use to be a gymnast, go after bad guys, fly helicopters and jets...I can't hang on that anymore, I am a new me. Do I like the new me? Not always, but the "inside" me is still me. Does that make sense? I guess what I am getting at is this Al, we have internal strife due to knowing what we 'used' to be able to do, and try to hang onto it - not good. Acknowledge it, but realize you are a new you. That is not always a bad thing, okay? *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • My head is stuck in the past, what I used to be, a cop, a business owner, a boater, golfer, ski, travel etc... When I close my eyes to go to sleep it's what pops into my head, but it's all past and I have a hard time with the hear and now. I am 100% disabled vet (not related to my back) and since the back problems hit harder and the meds I've just gone down hill.

    What you said makes great sense and I need to take it to heart. I will try, try real hard.

    Thanks for sharing that.

    AL S
  • Al,

    I was a pilot of 30 years, and 3 months shy of 20 years law enforcement officer, so WOW, I hear your pain - hell I still have dreams of work! I get bad guys, I brief my team etc., but I try to keep that part of my life *in my dreams*.

    Big *HUGZ* ...it is hard Al, it really is, but what is - is what is sadly. I (for me) try to remind myself I am still me, whether in a chair, or using a cane, I am still ME. I know it is hard, believe me. Every time I see a helicopter fly by - memories...a local PD (I was federal mind you) drive by, my brain wonders, 'where is he going?' It is hard, but if you hang on the past, you will be miserable, sad is okay, miserable sucks.

    I know, "once blue, always blue" and that's okay. Just think of it as early retirement. I do not for instance tell people I retired via disability, I just tell them due to my job, I could 'retire early' and leave it at that. Beyond that, NOT their business!!! :)

    I hear and feel your emotional pain more than you probably realize! The key is you have to accept within yourself regardless of what *you think* others are thinking. Who cares. What YOU think is important, what others think or assume (and you know what assume can mean?) is secondary. :)

    I think you are in a better place than you give yourself credit for. WE know us better than anyone (including doctors) do! Just try to regroup, except sadness, just don't let misery be the ruler of your day, okay? I'm off to bed shortly - been watching my crime station. (Investigation Discovery) (G).

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Al,

    I've never had Oxycotin, mine has been the Oxycodone side of the house. Max for me 30mg a day, and since most of my pain issues are nerve, my Lyrica takes care of that. My hubby gets mad because on my bad 'mechanical' pain days, I don't always take my Oxycodone when I really should...stubborn I guess! (G)

    I guess my main feed for my post is the "mg" for Oxycotin and Oxycodone are dramatically different in dosing, yet gets interchanged in the threads. Like you said, Oxycodone is for the "here and now" pain, and the IR is for spreading out the coverage of pain - two different animals. For me, Oxycodone is good for about 4-6 hours with me. Again, I've never had Oxycotin, so can't speak to that...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Al sounds like you are trying a meds holiday, sort of, or at least a mini vaca. Good idea. I did this about 2 months ago because I didn't know if we were treating the problem or the side effects of the meds. It hasn't been fun but at least now I am starting fresh and can focus on the right things.

    Would it possible for you to see a psych to help with the acceptance of your new life? Maybe one who specializes in finding new activities. I know we all struggle with the loss of who we were, but you need to keep in mind that even healthy whole people have changes to their activities as they age. And if you work hard at it there is very little that you can't do if you want. You might need to make some changes but just about anything is possible.

    You might want to make some lists before going to the doctor. Things you aren't doing anymore, things you want to do again, new things you want to try, what you miss, etc. I know that lists are very important to me. I feel so much accomplishment with each item I can put a check mark next to.
  • You totally know where I am and that does help. My badges, patches, and awards are behind glass on the basement walls. My very numerous framed certs and citations, well most are down and put away now. There are a select few that are still up. I look at the pictures and wonder what life that was, but as you said it really lives on in my dreams.

    My Dad was a decorated marine in WWII and a Federal Ageant for 38 yrs. After retiring I saw him change and gradually become bitter and sad. I have been fearing I was on that road but I am struggling not to be. Well it's good to know you get it and thanks for that. Hope you have a good tail wind in your dreams.

    AL S
  • I may just try that Kris, yime to turn the page and accept as well as start the new chapter. I have always had to be dragged kicking and screaming to change as well as the dentist ;).

    I appreciate your thoughts.


    I need lists to...
    AL S
  • Al,

    I have my badges in a glass display case, and like you a few of my more prized plaques and such on the wall. I look at them now and can smile. My original plan was retire in 2012, but my spine had its own agenda, so a year ago (wow it has been a year now!!) I retired.

    I have no regrets as I achieved most of the goals I wanted to, and very much enjoyed my almost 30 year career. A lot of other people don't get to that stage, so I figure I was ahead of the game? I was lucky with what I did have.

    As to your dad. I've seen folks like that. They had to have their hands pried off the door to the office! They are mandatory age for retirement, but mentally they are still "the job", and become sad, then mad, then bitter over the separation. The key is, "are you part of the job, or are you THE job?" We are trained from a young age that we are what we do.

    Why is that? Simple, many careers also dictate (or publicly it is assumed) our social status, financial status and life style. You know, are you the Jones's or keeping up with the Jones's? When we retire, become disabled, society doesn't see us as interesting, or assume we are living in a broken down shack or something! I just remind myself that I am proud of what I have accomplished, and now am fortunate that I planned for the future, and am still me.

    You're still you Al. Embrace what you have done, but don't beat yourself that you can no longer do it. Our time tables just got moved up is all! Okay? *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thank you for the words that have true meaning. I am going to try to quit grieving and move on. It's time and I have hurt enough in many ways.

    I look up to you and your long career of service, you have so much to be proud of and I'm glad you are my friend.

    AL S
  • Thanks Al,

    You're going to have times where you miss your prior "normal" life, and that is normal. Just like when we lose a family member or close friend, we go through grieving, sadness, maybe even anger. Our lives are no different. Well, actually a little different, as inside we are still us, just in a new chapter in our book of life is all.

    I know I have more procedures and surgeries in my future. Not happy about it, but at the same time, knowing is power, so I give myself a break and go with it. I just live my life in a different way than I originally pictured in my youth. I let myself grieve and am now in my new chapter.

    Celebrate your life's accomplishments, and I think you will feel a bit better Al. I know it's not easy, but you're a strong man, and I have faith based on what I've seen of your posts. *HUGZ*

    Glad to have you as a friend as well!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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