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Quitting all pain meds

j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain
If you've been on pain meds for chronic pain for a long time.
And you got a surgery. Or a combination of things. That lessened your pain to a level you could live with.
Do you think that you would have a hard time quitting all pain meds. (narcotic)
I've never given this thought a serious consideration. I've had irreversible damage done. And I've never had a surgery or procedure where a Dr. has ever expected nor ever told me that I could expect more than a 30% reduction in pain. And I do appreciate the honesty.
None the less. I have been told of people who had to go to rehab. And also witnessed people I do know. That also had a difficult time quiting. After a full recovery of their injuries. And some cops my wife and I know, had to do illegal drugs to get deep under cover. Had a horrible time due to the type and quantity of illegal drugs that they had to do.
If you reply to this thread, please be honest.
Truth be known I have to imagine it being hard for me simply because I've been taking pain meds for over 10 years. And the Dr's. have increased the meds so much over the years that I'm taking a huge amount. In my own opinion.
Over the years that I've been a member here, I've seen threads like this discussed in a civil manner. And I've seen them turn ugly.
Ron, If this thread turns ugly, please shut it down.
Click my name to see my Medical history
You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!


  • Hi Jim :wave:

    I can't say for 100% sure how I would do without them. However since being on them, I have had the flue 2 times bad enough I could not keep the pills in me. The only thing I noticed was the increase in pain. Also once we went away and I forgot my meds. (beyond stupid!) and I was without them for about 24 hrs, same thing. I just noticed how bad my pain was. But in all fairness I don't know if any of these times were long enough to notice a problem if I had one.

    I have a Dr who had a horrible car accident and broke every bone in his body. He has shared with me that the 3 yrs it took him to heal & complete rehab he was on some really "heavy" drugs. He chose to stop them and said it was bad. But that is all he said. A tad off subject - he stopped his drugs and now uses anti inflammatories and said they are better then the heavy drugs he was on...
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Hi Jim I had tried to cut down on my med. But after a few days I was so much in pain I had to take them. Even with SCS unit and med I am still in pain. But not as much as not taken them.Or turming off SCS.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    About 7 years ago when I was pretty miserable and was surviving day to day with oxycontin and oxycodone IR, I could have never imagined a day without those pain medications. I used to count the number I had left and make sure I could refill them in time.

    I do believe for a while, pain medications consumed my time.

    Several years ago when I started to come out of the more difficult chronic pain time I had, my medications changed. I used more nerve medications and muscle relaxers to get me by. My narcotic pain medications came down alot.

    However, almost everytime, both my doctor and I was ready to almost eliminate those narcotics, a new situation cropped up (Thoracic flares, My Shoulder surgeries, My Hip surgery, etc) that put me back onto the narcotics.

    My doctor believes that I will never be totally off pain medications. Today I am using only about 10 to 15mg of Opana a day which my doctor considers a low amount. Our goal is down to 5mg a day and then perhaps switching to a non-narcotic pain medication.

    I am at a point, where I really want to stop those medications. There have been days when I hold off taking any of them. But at some point, might be in the middle of the night, I need some pain relief.

    So, emotionally, I am ready and willing to say goodbye, and I feel strong enough to know I will be able to do it.

    Now, I just have to get my physical side to go along with what I am mentally prepared to do.
    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
  • Quitting all pain meds?

    It's an interesting question. I think, for me, the answer would be: If I knew that coming off my current meds would definitely NOT increase the pain, then yes, I would want to try it.

    I don't consider I'm on too many meds at the moment. For chronic back pain and other associated back problems, I'm on 30mgs/hour of Butrans patches and for breakthrough, I take Oral Morphine solution as/when required. I also have steroid injections every so often.

    Because I'm off work at the moment, I try to take the oral morphine only at night (because during the day I can at least lie down to take the pressure off whenever I need to) because it helps. Taking it during the day makes my head go a bit 'funny' (which is ok when I'm not at work!).

    I do not know yet if going back to work would make my level of pain worse (with meds) - as my bosses have not been in touch with me for months!!!! But, if I stayed as I am, then I would want to try and reduce (and eventually quit!) my pain medication if it's at all possible.

    I'm sure the patches affect my ability to concentrate and they also cause side-effects in some other ways (which I won't go into, but suffice to say I'm taking other meds to counteract those side-effects!), but when/if the time comes, I'm sure my doctor would have me reducing the dose a little each time until I'm 'weaned' off them altogether.

    My doctor has said that because my condition is degenerative, in his opinion, the level of pain I have may actually get worse as I get older, but I believe it all a matter of circumstance and psychology. That is, if I am allowed to return to work, then it's possible, my pain level could increase as I get older as my duties involve continuous bending and working/sitting on the floor.

    If I can be re-deployed to a different job then perhaps I can maintain the level of pain I have now with meds that will allow me to function better.

    However, if I am NOT allowed back to work, then perhaps I can try to reduce/quit these meds, or at least try a different combination as we go along so my body does not build up a tolerance to them.

    So, I think controlling pain with medication is essential if I am to continue to remain active and hopefully eventually be allowed back to work, but could be relaxed or changed if I'm not.

    It's a very difficult question to answer. Only time will tell.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • I was faced with that reality and chose to do what I and the doctors knew had to be done. I had been on narcotic pain meds for several years, was at incredible dosages and my pain was once again out of control. So I was physically dependent on the narcotics and couldn't control my pain.

    So after consulting with a PM doc and my NS, the decision to do surgery to remove the pain generator and follow that with Ultra Rapid Opioid Detox done under general anesthesia in the OR. Of course there were incredible risks, but I couldn't go on living like I was and the amount of narcotic meds extended release and immediate release was out of control.

    3 days before the surgery and detox I was taken off the extended release opioids and placed on 30mg of oxycodone per hour. I was basically placed into withdrawl prior to the procedures.

    After the surgery and detox my post op pain was managed with Ketamine until I could be released from the hospital. I was then only taking Neurontin and Celebrex with some Tylenol thrown in once in a while.

    So for 6 months I had acupuncture to help me sleep and help manage the withdrawl and at the end of that time I went back and had my SCS put in to manage pain that the surgery did not target.

    Now I am opioid free and have been since the detox. I control my pain with Neurontin, Celebrex, a muscle relaxer and my SCS. I also use a hot tub to get the moist heat nearly every night. I work again, I am active again and I am not faced with a life filled with endless narcotics.

    When faced with the prospect of a life filled with narcotics that no longer helped, and also the thought of trying to titrate down to get off of them, I was near panic. When the PM doc discussed the rapid detox, I knew I had to risk it. I am so grateful that it was offered and that it worked!

    Hope this helps give you a little to think about.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    ...I understand question. I think question is... if I was without pain due to some medical miracle that was not med...so then my pain is gone...would I still want my pain med??

    If no pain...I truly believe I would have zero problem stopping my patch and then the hydro breakthrough meds.

    As things are..sometimes I forget that I have breakthrough med available. If I am with a friend, she will notice I am whincing and moaning and remind me of meds.

    So since I've had little unintentional tests of going without my meds here and there due to forgetfulnes..I think without pain..my body and my mind would be okay without pain meds.

    Now, from your lips to God's ears :)... that any or all of us have such an unexplainable relief of pain that stopping meds is the most complicated part of our lives. :)

    Thanks for the post!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I think about that sometimes and though I feel able to do it, I understand the physical aspect and know that it might not be as easy as I imagine. Whenever I have free time to give it more than just a passing thought and try to imagine my life without pain, I dream about all of the things I would/could do, and I wonder if I would even notice or spend any time thinking about the pain I once had. I think if I awoke without pain that I would cry with joy.. like winning the lottery. I think that I would cry from sadness too, over the lifetime I missed because of the pain. I would do everything I could do to enjoy myself without thinking of pain--I've had enough of that, and spent entirely too much time thinking of pain. And I don't want to, but it's always there..so no, I wouldn't miss it for a second, and do anything and everything that I could do to stay away from it and everything that reminded me of it.
    I think I could do it, because I'm already thinking about doing it even with the pain.
  • I don't know that I will ever be completely off my pain meds. There are a few reasons. 1) When I have significant pain, I can't take things like NSAIDs to try and cope with the pain, as I have had bariatric surgery, 2) depending on the severity of your condition before surgery, and mine was bad, you might have occasional relapses along the way.

    I have a standing prescription for oxycodone. I do have to go and pick up the paperwork at my doctor's office if I want to refill it, and I do it once maybe every three or four months. I spend most of my days with no pain meds, but when I've walked to far, climbed too many steps, done too much yard work, there's nothing but the ice pack and a pain pill to get me out of the world of hurt I put myself into (well, okay, maybe some massage or my Empi will help too).

    I've recently been making an effort to get myself more fit, as I seem to be gaining weight (I have an endocrine problem involving low blood sugar that makes this all too easy) and I have been aching horribly at the end of the day every now and then. The interesting thing about these aches is, I've found that my oxycodone does very little to relieve them. I "sneak" a motrin every now and then and use some Icy-hot pain rub, especially on my ankles and that works even better. So, it depends on which pain I'm treating, and no, I don't think I have an addiction. I can go weeks without an oxycodone, and then I may take three or four in one day if I'm hurting. Usually, the pain med, some ice, and stretching, or some PT massage will put me back to rights and then I don't need the pills again for a while.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I wasn't on a large amount of meds before my first surgery...so it was very easy to wean down..I was blessed to pain free for about two years..

    Then it slowly started returning again and for about a year to year and a half I thought it had to be my Fibromyalgia returning....not thinking it could be the same issues...I was thinking that the surgery cured it and I would never have problems again! LOL

    I had a good surgeon then but he just didn't explain what could happen down the road...

    So...during that time I was only seeing my Primary Care Dr. who bless her heart, wasn't skilled with pain meds and we ramped up pretty quickly to the Fentanyl patch...Only the 50mcg with no breakthrough...but it was a lot for me at the time.

    When I found my second Neurosurgeon and Pain Mgmt. Dr....they thought that it was too much and that no one should be on pain meds long term...So he went back to 5mg Percocet only 3 a day...I was lucky that I didn't experience much withdrawal as I hadn't been on the Fentanyl very long.

    When this Neuro did the surgery...he was such a jerk that when I woke up in so much pain he said.."I fixed you...you will be fine...I only take a Tylenol for pain"...I was thinking..."Who the heck cares what YOU take for a headache...I just had major surgery!!!"...They only had me stay in the hospital for less than 24 hours!..It was crazy...

    And then only gave me 5mg Percocet..no more than 3 again and only for 4 days after the surgery!!!! That was it...Accused me of having a problem with the meds when I had never taken more than prescribed...ever...Never ran out...nothing wrong..Just was still in excruciating pain..I just knew that surgery did not go well or fix anything..

    Anyway...thankfully within a few months, I found my now PM Dr. and Neurosurgeon that hugged me at the first appt. saying "No one should suffer like you have and you won't ever have to again"...

    I wanted to slowly go up in medicine as it seemed at this point I was going to have chronic pain probably the rest of my life...Even though they went in and fixed the horrible job that last surgeon did...he was very clear it was more mechanical than fixing anything that would get rid of the pain...They are also the type not to wean you down before surgery as they think why be miserable and stressed before hand and in pain...we will deal with everything once the surgery is over...

    I am lucky to not have any more nerve pain...but live with a 5-7 each day..And that is fine with me as I want to be on the least amount of medicine...

    As well as using other meds like Ambien for sleep...and Flexeril for muscle pain...I also exercise and stretch each day...I started eating all Organic over a year ago and that has actually really helped with inflammation and energy levels..

    So..I am VERY thankful to have a wonderful team and my PM Dr. works with me both with my finances as I don't have insurance...and helping me reach goals to stay healthy in all other ways. As well as come up with a comprhensive plan to be flexible and if I have a lower pain day...I can take less...but can take "up to" a certain amount on the bad days...He would actually prefer I was on higher doses all the time but knows I am stubborn! LOL

    But I know that if for some reason I started to have no pain....He would work with me and taper down as slow as possible to not have any withdrawals...

    It is great to see that C and I'm sure others who have been able to go off their pain meds...That is wonderful for you to have less pain!!!

    Jim...do you think you could get by on less pain meds? As you say you are on a really high dosage? Would your Dr. work with you if you choose to lower really slowly to see if you could do with less?
  • I have had a mental block with using narcotics. For years I have been ashamed that I had to use medicine to be able to function and do my job. Well truth be told I do not discuss the subject with anyone other than my wife. I know it is my problem but I feel as though if my employees knew I had a physical issue and used pain medications somehow I would be less effective as a manager.

    Several times I have quit completely out of frustration for up to a week. I quess I was trying to deny that I had a physical problem or to prove to myself that I was not dependent. Inevitably, it would get to the point that I was consumed with pain that I could not mentally function effectively. My doctors have gotten somewaht upset with me and convinced me that I should not be ashamed that I have to take medicine to function. Just recently I agreed to increase my fentanyl patch from 12.5 Mcg to 25 Mcg. Needless to say my pain is much better controlled.
  • Hey Jim,
    Great thread and ?.
    I have been in search of a new Pain mang. doc but I thought I had least a month to make calls. I can't go thru the normal thing here esi's are all the norm. So trying find one just to either try me on something new or just keep me on Norco.

    My doc (ortho surgeon) has been great and refilling them and has been for about 6 months. I saw him I would say back before winter started and he was trying to find out whats going on with my legs. I had called and went to see him, after seeing a neuro for over yr n half and he said he was puzzled and to find a pain doc at a big hospital here in chgo. No warning he had his rn call me.

    So without warning I go to refill my med on last f I do it ahead of time.

    Well tonight go to pick up the pharmacy says denied, via fax says the nurse said you need to make an appt see the doc. Which fine its been months np. But now I'm out and I know when I call in am he will be booked up. He had said he would help me find new pain mang. doc that didn't do injections just perhaps find different med. He of course is top in his field and I'm sure he forgot.

    When last I saw him, went over another mri and he said that my fusion and disc above of below just fine.

    So now what do I take for pain ovc? and whats a good one? I was taking 10mg norcos every 4 to 6hrs as needed.
    Most days I break them in half and can do like 1 and half all day. I have some flexerils he gave me. due to he said will take time to find new pain doc, and he knows how I suffer in winter months.

    I have no problem with making another visit to get refill if needed just would have been nice of them to call me and say last month, next time you need an appt. not just cut me off.

    Of course I had huge pain flare up due to all the stress we r having with our home, insurance. So hubby goes pick up meds and he was pissed off, he agreed they should have said something and I would have tapered off them myself if need be.

    I have never just stopped taking a med like this due to all the risks.

    I did wean off lyrica once and wow that was mean stuff to get outta my system.

    And hubby said no way he said we will go to er if needed. Well nice of him to say but our er wouldn't give pain med. for chronic pain. And they leave ppl lay on those oh so not comfy gurneys.

    So when I wake and I know from the pain in my legs now what should I do???

    Guess I have no choice just do without? I just have few flexerils left. I don't do well on alot of meds and high dosages the norco just took me down from 8's to like 6 in pain.

    Like I said funny I ran across this particular thread tonight.
    Nice replies all

    ty mary
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Okay responding to my own post.
    I called and doc office says (the norm)oh it will be mid may or june....
    I asked to leave him msg or if hes there I can just stop in. But I am in such a flare up I really didn't want him to see me he just knows I don't sleep and he prob. would have said few days in hospital.

    But rn gets on phone and then I explain and she puts me on hold, poof appt in 2wks and doc gets on phone says he will help me search for pain doc that will not put me thru the normal inject. route.

    He said his rn is calling in norco and he said he did family emergency and really he didn't make note of it our last visit(pertaining to helping me find a pain doc). And with new laws all docs have to have seen the patient with in months.

    So I had half a pill in am. And just in time I have refill. So long n rambling reply, I hope some day I won't be on anything.

    I try take ovc but just tears up my stomach and all the pain docs, meds I have tried this is only one I don't have side effects.
    sorry again so rambling on here
    hugs hugs

    I think I am alot nicer with pain reduced to 6 ish
    I felt all over whelmed like another doc had given up and pushed me off. Of course I was wrong, but hubby still thinks my ortho surgeon is cause of all this yrs pain.
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • The very notion of medication reduction for some patients is unthinkable, we have seen evidence and testimony here of others at a pain clinic or when requested from a surgeon to reduce or even stop medication for a short period of time.

    Howie makes a good point, that it has to be patient led in liaison with some health professional. Just as we are gentle ascending the scale and volume of medication we use, so we should reduce it over a lengthy period of time and phased reduction.

    I have taken medication for two decades and changed strategies many times in consultation with my doctor, even at the PM clinic we were never asked to stop all medication, perhaps we need the right mindset in that if we think we can cope with less we can, our first reaction to increased pain is more medication and if we can change that behaviour cycle it may help. Research in PM noted that patients who used self-medication pain relief in hospital used far less than may have been offered overall.

    If we think our pain will increase by the very action of taking less medication we may have already defined the outcome and that is a hard physical and emotional change to overcome, if the benefit of taking volume medication is outweighed by the side effects and reduce quality of life then we have to decide as individuals what to do, and what our options are if any. I only remember two people here who came off medication completely and it would have been interesting to know how they went on. Ron’s notion that medication can consume US and the life we have if we let it, and Jim’s story that he was given more medication that he wanted, are very poignant.

    SH should facilitate and support patients and what they want to do, we are all here for that. This thread should make us all reflect on the full impact of lengthy medication use and alternatives, we as individuals have to be happy with the changes we propose and seek appropriate professional help to attain these goals. My view is that these options may be beneficial to one end of the pain journey spectrum and for me it would be inappropriate to suggest those at the infancy of managing pain use or contemplate this strategy without more tools in the box.

    Quitting medication nudges the concept forward and I applaud anyone brave and positive in mind to try it.

    Take care; life is for living not just surviving.

  • I may be taking a post a bit the wrong way so I apologize as I'm not trying to start any type of argument...

    But John...it "sounds" like you are saying that those of us who have to be on pain medication are not brave or positive?

    I don't think that being on/off pain medication is just some easy choice...It's all about whether you have pain that is bad enough to NEED pain medication...plain and simple....

    Of course it's always good to keep an eye on tolerance...and as mentioned...if the side effects of medication have more negatives than positive...than surely that is time to speak with a Dr. and decide what to do...

    As well as if someone is expecting a narcotic or any one medication to take away all their pain...This is unrealistic...

    As I wrote on my post....I think it's always good to find that good balance of finding the most modalities to treat my pain daily/weekly/monthly and working with my Dr. to find the pefect combination to keep my levels at a 5-7 each day...

    Anyway...I just was curious if John was thinking that it's just a willpower issue about dealing with pain and being on medication..so would love a bit of clarification in case I am misunderstanding..

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I suppose our thoughts change from day to day. I think I would really like to have the opportunity (or luxury) of being able to quit pain meds. And all of their side effects. But that's not going to be possible today. And probably not tomorrow either.
    Last night, I decided that I would skip the pill I usually take in the middle of the night. And this morning everything was fine. and I thought this is a good place to start. And will try that again tonight.
    But mid day, for no reason, I got a huge pain spike! that had nothing at all to do with the skipping of the pill I take in the middle of the night.
    I think it was just the "BEAST" letting me know just who is in control! image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />
    And all of the tools I have in my tool box are not going to get this pain under control. But I'm damn happy to have them right now. I feel they brought the pain down a couple of notches. And with out them, it would be a couple of notches higher!
    And I am just so done with pain!
    So I guess It just is what it is. And I just don't have a hell of a lot of control!
    And I realize that I'm in a much different frame of mind today than I was the day I started this thread.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • of you who have shared re: taking meds and choice / decision point of stopping all pain medications.

    Pain has not been absent in my body for over 40 years. My days of spine pain, neck and low back began in my teens. My mother had degen arthritis , spine, hip and took little to no meds, and NSAID sparingly for episodes. I did the same in my 40's get thru C-Spine severe DDD bone spurs into spinal cord and nerve roots with anti-inflammatory for flare-ups.

    In my 40's and 50's Surgeries = C-Spine, ACDF 3 levels, hip replacement, knee surgery, two hand surgeries only taking prescribed post-surgery very short-term pain pills. Advanced DDD in Lumbar - RFA injections kept me away from pain meds, pain mgnt anesthetist prescribed anti-seizure meds for nerve pain.

    With severe advanced DDD of remaining C-Spine into T-Spine, severe pain neuropathic in arms hands, searing, burning pain = I have turned to the meds suggested for nerve pain, the oxycodone and hydrocodone have never helped me, short-lived and alter my mood and stability level with being prone to depression.

    I face having "not many tools in my tool-box" with no injections for C-Spine T-Spine being possible + no possibility for spine stimulatator for severe chronic non-stop pain now since Motor Vehicle Accident. Not Good - - I am facing No Surgery and Living With severe DDD because of not good prognosis and other complex spine factors.

    Pain Meds have never helped me other than initial pain with post-surgery or motor vehicle trauma short-term. All physicians and pain specialists never promoted pain meds and I tried to stay away from them, little to none relief very short-term and depressive cycle when only taking for a few days and then stopping.

    I believe too much promotion of opiate/narcotic drugs, versus a different focus to research and developing neuro-muscular alternative treatments, myofascial body therapies, all of which insurance usually does not cover and docs stay in the surgery - pain - surgery = drugs modality. That's a whole nother story of the $$$ driven by the drugs and patient care, docs rewards, precluding them from putting $$$ to developing alternative pain treatments, trigger point therapy, massage body work, myofascial body work, barametric chamber therapy, stem cell implanting nerve degeneration.

    Heat therapy, aqua therapy, massage, myofacial therapy all of which my insurance will not cover is what is in my toolbox.

    Thanks to all for sharing and offering your experience with experiencing pain and needing pain meds and the challenge of being on this spine journey.

  • The historic methodology with pain has been to take increasing volume medication as the panacea of a unique solution, where non invasive pain clinics attempt to keep medication usage to a minimum, it is brave and positive for anyone who has been taking medication for a considerable time to contemplate any reduction let alone quitting.

    That needing medication is about our individual perception and behaviour, where one persons nine may be another’s lower number it has nothing to do with the actual pain rather when it means to us as individuals based on past experience of pain itself and many other factors. Sternbach the pain academic suggests managing pain is about increasing stoicism and PM more to do with those chosen becoming more resilient to the pain itself where willpower is only one aspect.

    It is my doctors responsibility to manage my medication volume irrespective of my request for a continuing increase if that was my objective, some people do expect medication to eradicate all the pain, it is hard to explain that this idea is unrealistic it seems uncaring not to give the help those who perceive a “need”.

    Jims question is could we, would the pain increase as a direct result of less medication only time will tell? As his recent post highlights on good days many thing seem possible even achievable, all our reality differs and our dreams sometimes evaporate. My standing-up continues to be a problem and now evaluated as virtually unable to walk. Pain does change our focus day to day and at least Jim had the vision to think his objective may be possible, if not now, in the future,

    Good thread and some thoughtful ideas.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I always appreciate and respect you point of view.
    And so true, on a good day many thoughts seam possible and even reasonable.
    Then, take a bad day, and the whole landscape of your thoughts seems to have been impossible. And maybe a little bit ridiculous.
    But maybe a seed of thought has been planted.
    And who knows what the future holds for us.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • We should also forgive ourselves for making difficult decisions when we feel bad, as you say they seemed logical then at the time and less so at we improved and think, “ what was I thinking ” eventually we come up with a better decision.

    I like your plan of taking one less pill and we should acknowledge that first difficult step, those without pain or ailment are able to use the success of the past as a spring board into the future where ours could be limited, we step tentatively forward into the unknown, untried or tested.

    I live a bit in the now, today and what is achievable, although my sporting achievements are over I still look forward to the next 20 years, one pill less or more as I go. A fantastic topic and where we should be heading, who knows indeed Jim ?

    Take care, John
  • I'm currently on a medication reduction program, if you want to call it that. But it's not actually by my choice. I think most of you have read my thread titled "MD Decided That I No Longer Need Pain Meds."

    I went from taking the Norco 4x daily down to 2x daily and was in such excruciating pain that my blood pressure was really high (high for me at 148/96) and my PM doc said that was "unacceptable" and told me to add back in a dose. But my PCP hates anyone being on pain meds so he's really pushing for me to be off of all pain meds as quickly as possible. Just the other night, I had sent him a message that I was going to need a refill by the middle of next week and he responded that he was going to reduce the dose again. Since I'd just gotten home and was in terrible pain already, reading that he was going to reduce me again just set me off and I blasted him. I told him that apparently he'd forgotten the conversation we just had two weeks ago about the PM doc telling me to add back in a dose for a total of 3x daily because me having an average daily pain level of 8 was not acceptable and it was making my BP go up. I told him, "Sometimes, I wish that you could walk a day in my shoes. I think you'd be really surprised at what I deal with on a daily basis." He had his nurse reply back the next day with a refill for the 180/mth. I was on 240/mth just a few weeks ago when I started this. He reduced the monthly dose as soon as he heard that I was going to start weaning off. This time, he was going to reduce again to 120/mth. I'm not even scheduled for the RFAs for a couple more months, so in essence, he wants me to be completely off of all pain meds BEFORE I even have the procedures! And forget about afterwards.....I'm not going to have ANY pain control at all after the RFAs so I pray that the pain isn't too horrible as my nerves are dying. And I also pray that the procedures work for me because if they don't, I'm SOL because he won't ever give me pain meds again once I'm off of them. I know this about him.

    So for me, the weaning off the pain meds doesn't worry me. I'm not worried about any withdrawals because I'll do it safely, and I've never taken more than I was supposed to anyway. What scares me is that if these RFAs don't work for me and I end up being in excruciating pain afterward, that I'll have to learn to live with that. I'm scared that I'll become non-functional and disabled and I need to keep working.

    I would LOVE nothing more than to be able to function and live my life WITHOUT pain meds, but also without pain. I'm just not sure that I'll be able to live without both.
  • I've also been wanting to tell you all about an herbal supplement that I use. A friend of mine told me about it years ago and I used to take it daily when I was working as a nurse on the floor. Back then I still had chronic back pain, though I'd not gotten to the point of surgery yet.

    The supplement is called Phenocane. You can google it. I had forgotten about it after all my surgeries, but recently since I'm having to wean off of my pain meds, I decided to go ahead and order some more. This stuff really does work wonders. Back when I was taking it before, I could take one capsule in the morning and work all day in the hospital. I even turned one of the doctors who had chronic knee pain onto it and he loved it too. I just recently started back on it about a week ago and I do think it's helping. Since it decreases inflammation in your body, it does sort of have a cumulative effect. I'm hoping that in another week or so, my pain will be under good control. (keeping fingers crossed)

    Anyway, I did want to give you all a testimonial of an herbal supplement that DOES actually work and do what it says it will.

    Disclaimer: I do NOT sell this stuff and do NOT make any commissions off of it in any way. I'm strictly speaking from personal experience. ;)
  • I live with chronic back pain and left knee pain from almost 20 years of equestrian and stunt performance. As such I have been prescribed multiple narcotics. These have run the gambit from making me feel very ill to making it so I was unresponsive and unable to perform my job. I went looking for another way to manage my pain. There are many crappy solutions out there but I found on that actually helped me manage my pain and help heal my damaged muscles and joints.

    This amazingly came in the form of a 3000 year old Chinese remedy called Dit da Jow this is a rub that can be applied to muscles and Joints to relieve pain and aid in healing everything from superficial bruises to deep bone and muscle pain. The only issue I had with this is the Jow stinks like crap.

    I have search long and hard for better homeopathic cure that doesn't make me smell like a dung heap and I have found it at EDITED each of their products have worked wonders on my pain and my state of being. I just wanted to pass this along so you all can possibly help find a replacement to narcotic drugs that cause more damage than good.

    Link removed, solicitation not permitted
    Post Edited by Authority Member Liz

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