I am a 60 year old male, and my main major malfunction is ankylosing spondylitis. I was diagnosed in May of 2005, and referred to a pain clinic. I've had radio-frequency treatments, and epidurals, but they gave no long term relief. From May 2005 until March 2012, I was on daily narcotics. My last daily dose was 105 mg of short-acting morphine daily.
I decided to go off the daily narcotics, and went through the withdrawals, medically managed. With naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and meloxicam, I was able to get by with a low level of narcotics, about one 10mg hydrocodone every two weeks. However, in February of this year, the NSAIDS finally got to my GI tract, and I was spending most of the day in the bathroom and bleeding internally.
Saw the pain clinic again, and my doc added tizanidine, a muscle relaxant. It helped with pain somewhat, but not enough. I had to go back on June 10th and with gritted teeth admit I needed daily pain relief. He started me on 10 mcg/hour Butrans. That wasn't enough, so yesterday he had me add another patch so I'm getting 20 mcg/hr. I'm to call him in a week (but I'm going to do it in five days) and let him know how things are going. So far, after one day, I can say it's better, but I'm not close to pain free; but probably closer than I've been since d/c the morphine, and much more alert.
I'm taking Lovanza (900 mg of omega-3) twice daily for my heart, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. I've just added white willow bark (400 mg) which I take either as a capsule or make into tea. I use aspercreme and Lidoderm patches, both of which I find to be effective.
I am a long-term (25 + years, or 9302 days) recovering alcoholic, which all my docs know. It's been weird, being prescribed narcotics, but I have maintained my sobriety by working the steps, and have been rigorously compliant with all the medications I've been prescribed.
My gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa and I are raising two of her grandchildren, an 8 year old boy and a 7 year old girl.