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Delicate Subject - Do I Tell Pain Dr Husband is Overdoing Pain Meds

Husband got 3/325 Hydro on 9/25 and on 10/4 there were just enough left to bring with him to the doctor for a med check on 10/5. So from now until then he has no pills. He takes 8-10 a day depending. He is supposed to take 4 a day.

He had a laminectomy six years ago and has been on pills since. Nothing more is seem on a ct scan. He says his tailbone hurts and groin hurts with numbness and tingling in the scrotum. He had a nerve block this week but he still sits in an ice pack all day.

I know I do not understand fully his troubles. I do have lupus and my own pain issues but I don't take pain meds. Would love to but I can't get started seeing all he has taken in the past six years. He was on a fentynol patch of 175 mc for almost two years. My daughter is a nurse and says that is unheard of unless you are dying. He changed the patch before he was supposed to, heated it up with a hot cup of coffee to disburse the drug into his system faster and even had alcohol while on the patch. He stopped that.

I want to tell his pain doctor that this needs to stop and that he needs to get off this stuff. I am probably out of bounds here. He has no life with work and pills. At least he drags himself to work and don't think I am not grateful for that. He goes to bed at 7:30 on week nights and sleeps 16 hours on weekends and lays on the couch the rest of the time.



  • That REALLY is a touchy subject. Have you spoken with your husband about it? If so, what did he say?

    I am not married, but I do have a significant other and I can say if this was me posting about their issue, I would be talking to them and the doctor. Not to mention, all the damage that meds do to your insides...All I can say is maybe try to talk to your husband and what happens there will determine what needs to happen next.
    36 yr old with one degenerative disc (L5-S1)
    3 rounds of Epidurals in 2013
    6 PT visits in 2013
    Microdiscectomy L5 S1 on 9/5/2013.
    Re-herniated in January 2014.
    Epidural on 3/3/14.
    A/PLIF (L5-S1) 6/3/14
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/05/2013 - 5:50 AM
    I know that posting this had to be very difficult for you....can I ask how many pills he recieved with each fill of medication?
    He is taking far more than he is allotted each day and that is misuse/abuse of the medications. It would sound from your description of his behavior that he has some issues that need addressing.
    Have you discussed your concerns with your husband about his misuse of the medications? What does he say? Opiates do not help to resolve nerve related pain, but there are medications that do help that type of pain.
    Do you go to his appointments with him? Is he getting prescriptions from more than one doctor? How did he manage to get two scripts that close together?
    How long has he been abusing the medications, because that is what he is doing, regardless of the 'reason' he gives you. Does he also have a long acting medication as well? The past abuse of the fentanyl is not a good sign and I fear that what he is doing is dangerous and could potentially have life threatening outcomes. If he refuses to allow you to come with him to the doctor to discuss his misuse of the medications , then I would suggest that you call his doctors office yourself or go there and let them know what he is doing.
    It is going to be difficult once you do tell his doctor, but I encourage you to do just that. And strongly urge him to get into some kind of treatment program. While the immediate release medication single dosage is not high, taking more than allotted can be lethal. You don't want that and neither does he.
  • I have had many back surgeries and I also have severe bipolar disorder. My situation has no nothing to do with pain meds. I abused my psych med Klonopin and my husband found out. He had no problem calling my psychiatrist's office and telling on me. I could of killed myself abusing that med, especially with the dose I was taking. If it was the other way around my hubby was abusing medication, I would definitely call the doctor's office. Telling his doctor could potentially save his life.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/05/2013 - 9:10 AM
    periodically to my appointments, it helps for my doctor to know that my husband and family are well aware of my medication needs, what my dosages are, and we have an agreement ( husband and I ) that if he were to ever feel that I was not following the prescribing/dosing directions or he had concerns about my use of those meds, he , first and foremost would talk to me about it, and secondly he has my permission to discuss those concerns with my doctor....
    These meds can be dangerous, not just the risk of addiction but more often, accidental overdose and death. It is one of the biggest reasons that I preach as some view it about the proper use of meds and keeping doses as low as possible, and not using meds that you don't need....I see it too often and care too much about the people here to want to find out that someone here made a fatal mistake.
  • 64pvolvo1800664pvolvo1800 Posts: 250
    edited 10/06/2013 - 4:35 AM
    Speaking as a recovering addict who ODd on pain meds thanks to uncaring and easily manipulated physicians, I can promise you that he will not stop on his own. There is also a condition where the opiates generate more pain or a hypersensitivity to pain, thereby causing a need for more more more.

    Get help for both of you.

    And just to clarify, I all one am responsible for my recovery (10+ years) and it is critical for me to have an agreement as someone above alluded to, my wife and dr are at liberty to discuss my meds, any concerns, any doubts, and full accountability for the same. I value their input because as a recovering addict I cannot trust my own brain once the meds kick in. I fight my addict inside to make certain that I'm truly in pain and I am honest with all involved.

    The misuse in the past, for your husband, should be something the pain doc should already know in fairness. Notwithstanding, there are many many docs who do not have a clue about addiction and only care to write a script to quiet the minds of there patients and then on to the next room. These docs should be run from. It's not their fault as much as the system.

    Best of luck getting help for both of you. He may be angry at first but once the fog clears, he will hopefully realize you may save his life. Open honest communication is the key.
  • Yes I do go to appointments with my husband. So immersed in his pain issues that I feel all the pain he feels is leaking into me and I am starting to feel pain everywhere. Someone has to feel better.

    My husband receives 120 pills of hydrocodone 3/325 and is prescribed 4 pills a day. Because his appointment is usually every three weeks or so he has to have enough pills left for the remaining days x four pills a day. One time recently when he was being prescribed 3 pills a day my husband took more than allotted on some days and went to his scheduled appointment with no pills remaining and the pain management doctor said he would be flagged for that because taking more than prescribed was self-medicating and not in line with the agreement The doctor said next time to call if he felt he needed to take more and sent him home after that visit with a prescription for 4 pills a day. Several weeks later my husband called to see if he could take five a day and was told that he would have to come in earlier than his next scheduled visit and my husband declined because -guess what - he had already done it and would not have enough pills to bring in with him. I think that is probably abuse because the doctor wants to feel as though on any given day your so called stash could be checked and you would have exactly enough or more left over until the next prescription.

    In the past his pcp prescribed all of the meds. My husband was taking a much higher hydrocodone dose and taking 6-8 pills a day prescribed by his pcp.

    My husband did wean off his fentany patch on his own years ago but he was on it for over a year. He also weaned off hydrocodone for 8 months but then needed a neck fusion. He was off after that and then started having hip pain and had both hips replaced last Christmas time only six weeks apart. That surgery was necessary due to a congenital defect and bone starting to die and the neck was pressing on a nerve and three surgeons told him that the surgery was needed fairly soon.

    Oh, and I might not have mentioned that he has a spinal cord stimulator for the two lumbar surgeries that caused scar tissue and he has had two replacement surgeries for broken leads on the stimulator as well.

    Oh, and two weeks in a mental health facility two years ago I believe from a job that was sucking him dry for eight years, too much pain and pills and at that time he was given a huge daily dose of steriods to be taken for eight weeks with no tapering down. The psychiatrist at the hospital said that those pills caused his rage and deep low he experienced. He couldn't believe he was given that prescription. However, last year he quit his job and found something else a month later and is extremely happy with it

    So, you can see why he is miserable and this is a guy who ran marathons, biked, hunted, swam, etc. it must be so hard to miss all of that and not even feel okay when you are laying flat.

    He always works and never misses a beat. Even after a surgery he is working from home within two days. Lying on jis back of course.

    After I wrote this message yesterday I talked to him and he said that his tailbone pain feels better from getting a nerve block last week and he doesn't feel the need to sit on a block of ice now and he doesn't want to go back to the pain clinic. I told him I thought he should bring his remaining pills with him to his appointment and go back and let them know in case he might need another injection soon. He said he knows he should not take all of the pills and admits to taking 9-10 a day to get by at work. That is the problem, he takes 9 a day and then none on the weekend, thereby causing him to lay down and sleep all weekend. He usually uses his allotment up a week ahead and has nothing for that week before his appointment.

    The management of his pain management is not done well by him.

    Anyway, that is my detailed story. Please give me any thought and opinions.
  • Honestly, sweetie, you should call the doctor. After reading the other comments and then your new post, he is causing more damage to his body. And the reason he keeps taking more and more is because your body gets used to the pain meds and they lose their affect. He is addicted and abusing the meds. They are highly addictive narcotic meds and he should talk to the doctor about non narcotic possibilities.
    36 yr old with one degenerative disc (L5-S1)
    3 rounds of Epidurals in 2013
    6 PT visits in 2013
    Microdiscectomy L5 S1 on 9/5/2013.
    Re-herniated in January 2014.
    Epidural on 3/3/14.
    A/PLIF (L5-S1) 6/3/14
  • I posted my original message first and then I thought I would see what feedback I could get and then talk to my husband. After just initiating the conversation he said that he knew this was not good for him and that the nerve block helped and that he wanted to just stop taking the pills. I think he knows he has abused them and it has gotten to a point where it is not even helping anymore. This is. Not to say that I do not believe that many people out there need their meds and if they can keep it in check it works for them. Do you think this is a problem if he has me go with him to tell the pain doctor he wants a go at no meds but still have the availability to have more nerve blocks if needed.
  • I think it is a good idea for you to go with him, however the decision to use pain meds or not is something only you all can decide. Pain meds do work, for a time, but they aren't for everyone or every situation. I'm glad the initial talk was a positive one and that he sees the issue. That is a HUGE step. I'm sure between yourself, your husband and the doctor, a new plan can be worked out. Keep us up to date on what happens.
    36 yr old with one degenerative disc (L5-S1)
    3 rounds of Epidurals in 2013
    6 PT visits in 2013
    Microdiscectomy L5 S1 on 9/5/2013.
    Re-herniated in January 2014.
    Epidural on 3/3/14.
    A/PLIF (L5-S1) 6/3/14
  • My first comment is that it's easy for others to have a negative feeling about someone who is on pain medication thanks to the villianification (I just made up a new word!) of opioid drugs. To that end I tell folks unless you "wear the same size shoes" be careful to judge. Everybody handles pain differently and have different pain thresholds. I have been thrust into this same situation before when co-workers decided I was a drug addict because I took pain meds and my pupils were pinpointed. My medical director came to my aid and posted a letter (with my approval) indicating he was aware of my situation and approved of me working (in a non-patient) capacity due to my injury/surgery/situation.

    Your husband's doctors haven't done him a favor by prescribing 4-5 PRN pain pills a day. If that kind of relief is needed, then an extended release medication should be considered. I am surprised that he has a SCS and has the number of pills per month prescribed to him.

    Perhaps they should consider an implanted pain pump instead of the SCS? Sounds like the SCS isn't getting the job done plus he may be too active which is causing the leads to break.

    Given everything he has been through, it's just my opinion that he should consider seeing a mental health professional along with the pain management doctor (working together) in order to find out what's best for him, mentally and physically.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 10/06/2013 - 5:45 PM
    Winker, if you would like to PM me anytime I would be glad to share my story with you. My husband has abused pain meds for past 7 yrs with the past year being the worst. I resorted to locking my meds in a safe and have had 2 broke into. It is very hard for me to talk about as the changes in my husband make me feel as if I am married to a stranger. We have been married almost 30 yrs and are grandparents and never thought I would be in this situation :( Brokenhearted and to the point where I dont know if I want to be with him.

    He is now with a doctor who is prescribing his pain meds because he truly does have pain issues. I have learned that I cant control what he does and sooner or later his doctor will find out if he is still abusing. I cant live my lifectrying to control him because it has made worse in past. Please if you would like to talk further just PM me.

  • Sounds like you've gotten help and its working. I can tell you from personal experience that its up to him. All we can do is what WE cando for US. Hate the disease of addiction, not the addict, but protect yourself from both.
    We aren't bad people, just very sick. In the midst of valid medical reasons we flip a switch which can never be turned off again, only managed. It takes vigilance, open minded ness, and willingness to work a program of recovery and rigorous honesty.
  • I have been seeing a therapist for past year to help deal with this. I do love him but HATE the disease. It affects my grown children whom he has stolen from. I realize I cant change him and have in past controlled his meds doling them out to him but that did not help as he would become angry. Now when he runs out early he must deal with symptoms. It is hard watching him suffer but only way he will learn. I realize I have my own demons and will not judge him because but for the grace of God go I. It has always made me wonder why some people become addicted and others dont. I have never even thought of taking too many and abusing them. We just take it one day at a time and I pray that welhen he reaches the bottom he will get the help he needs.

  • The bottom of the hole is ..... The point at which I stopped digging! Everyone's hole is different but you hit it on the head. Let him dig and when he's had enough, he will ask for help. My heart goes out to you. I see people everyday who suffer with and die from this disease. But I see many more who also seize the day and work a program of recovery and live. It's not easy but it is possible. Escaping the pain, physical or emotional, is the desire and fear is the core of my disease.

    Hang in there.
  • 64volvo your kind words brought tears to my eyes. I always think he is finished digging but then starts again. My children and I were looking at a photo album from our wedding and my husband became so upset and left. It was only later that it dawned on me that his best man and childhood friend died from an overdose several yrs. Ago. It broke my heart thinking how he lost his wife of 20 yrs when she left him and he wasntvallowed to see his son play football in high school. My husband took his death very hard but didnt stop him following in his footsteps. If and when I am able I want to volunteer to help families dealing with substance abuse. My heart goes out to all on this post and have been keeping each and everyone in my prayers.

  • My husband has an appointment on the 18th and from what he has said he is not going to ask for a refill. He will bring with him the allotted amount of pills that he has left. He said another tailbone nerve block might be needed again soon. That apparently helped. We have been through this before, however, and then it always seems like something else goes wrong and he s in pain and needs to get pills until he can get into a specialist and then needs the pills for several more months until surgery and then pils after surgery and still more pills because surgery did not really work. At least this has been the case for six years. It is true though that unless a person has lived themselves with chronic pain it is easy to judge. He is gone from the house 13 hours a day for work which leaves no time for a life. This is not mandatory but a choice on his part. I think driving for one hour 15 minutes each way and then sitting at a desk cannot be good. At least he does it. Cannot complain there. It just seems that our only life is him working, his surgeries and all the constant pain and pills. Nothing much fun. I don't try to push him to do much. My daughter and I mow the grass and shovel the snow. He is usually home by 6:30 and in bed by 8:00. I think it is all too exhausting for him. It is pretty lonely that's for sure, but I don't see that he can do it differently. Always falling back on the pills is the biggest problem. I think they serve mor of a purpose than just pain relief for him.
  • You are so correct Winkler. My husband told me that he started out taking meds for stress. Stress from dealing with my surgeries, not working. I am sure it is hard but made me feel terrible to think I was cause of his drug problems. I think that is an excuse they use to make themselves feel better. My hubby would do the same as yours. First it was stress as reason he took my meds. Then after heart surgery it was chest pain. Then leg pain, and now back pain. He does have medical issues so hard to find that fine line of just how much he needs versus how much he craves :/

  • Spine pain is the worst pain I have ever had in my life. You just don't get it until you've had it. It is your central nervous system and can be absolute agony. The worst thing is you look the same as everyone else and yes before I had this I was as guilty as everyone else for not understanding the pain.

    My CT scan only showed up my crushed vertebrae - not where my pain was actually coming from. I believe this is because it was a prone MRI and not a standing or weight bearing MRI. I know people disagree with this but when your body is in the prone position it can miss some things - have a look on You Tube at the difference.

    Maybe if he is working that many hours he does need his painkillers - they are medications for pain and it's not much fun spending all your days at work and having to recover at night and on the weekends. Doesn't sound like he is getting enough to keep the pain manageable. Also if you have a spine condition - it is his central nervous system - that is why it is so painful.

    When I take my meds some people look at me like I am a drug addict. Yep I am now addicted to pain medications but without them I wouldn't have been able to work for so many years - the pain is always there. Pain meds are not fun to take. They don't make you high if you are in pain - all they do is make the pain bearable.

    I would never dob in any of my family for anything especially when I don't understand the pain. In fact my family go with me to appointments cause they see how much pain I am in. Maybe he needs more meds to cope. If he is taking them for the pain I think you should be more supportive. It's bad enough being in this situation with pain, it is worse when your partner doesn't believe you as well. it is just an awful situation for both of you.,

    He will be well aware of what he is doing. It is just not productive to treat him like a drug addict, and you be the police. You should be so proud of him as he is still working in incredible pain and that he cares enough for you that he still works.

    If you want to help him maybe you could find a job, then he wouldn't have to put in so many hours. Many relationships break up because the partner doesn't want to live with someone who is in pain. I know it's not much fun. He will be well aware of the down side to your marriage and is doing his best. You should be proud of him - not thinking of dobbing him in.

    It's an easy excuse. It's no fun living with someone in pain especially if you can't understand how intense the pain is. I have never experienced anything like it.

    He needs your support and understanding - I think he is amazing - so maybe his meds are not covering his pain enough especially if he is working long hours. Living with someone in pain is hell but not the hell pain they are going through everyday.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/10/2013 - 11:22 AM
    in using the medication to function and using the meds to continue to abuse, and it doe sound like he may have very well started using them for the right reason and at some point, crossed over to misusing them , perhaps to be able to put in longer hours, and to self medicate after his friend died ?? At least that's how it reads to me, that he is self medicating and using those meds to deal with his loss and to continue to work. If he does not have to work 13 hours a day, but is using the meds as a method to do that, then he is not using the meds properly. Many people find that they get a burst of energy or sense of well being from the meds and then feel it is okay to continue misusing the meds. Taking more than he was prescribed is not that his pain is out of control rather than he is abusing the meds. That much is obvious from wink's posts. Not all pain is intractable pain, nor central pain syndrome TSP , nor is there ever a reason to misuse the meds, no matter what the 'reason ' is.
    I'm sure that Wink does appreciate that her husband is so hard working but his misuse of the meds and the other issues related to that, don't outweigh his doing what he is doing.
    If he does not need to work so much, then he might find that his pain levels would come down if he made some changes in the amount of hours he works, his sitting for extended periods of time and if he increased his activity levels, and not slept so much, got involved in some excercise programs, or physical therapy, he might find that not only does he feel better physically, but mentally as well. I strongly suggest some counseling and maybe even a visit with a specialist in addiction for both of you.
    If you need anything, feel free to just say the word.......
  • I must admit I don't understand the dosage. Is he prescribed 4 X 5mgs of hydrocodone = 20mgs for his pain a day. So if he takes 9 he is taking 9 X 5mgs = 35mgs a day. Is this correct? Whatever his dosage there is obviously something wrong and of course I think they should both go and discuss it with his PM doctor or GP.

    No-one sits in a bucket of ice - that's just not fun. I remember coming home from work and being in so much pain I had to go to bed early. I remember closing the door to my office at lunchtime and laying down in agony. I remember never going out on the weekends and isolating myself because of the constant pain. I remember days of not answering the phone because I was in so much pain I didn't want people to see me like that. It just isn't fun.

    But I must admit I was totally honest with my GP and knew the consequences. I was put on slow release medication. It is crazy for him to be running out of medication. It struck a chord with me because my life was hell. I really wanted my old life back, where I could do everything and not even think about it.

    It's true pain leads to depression because you don't want to spend your life in a never ending circle of pain medications. If I was still in agonising pain I would go and see my GP and talk to him about it. If he cannot cope maybe controlled release medications would be better for him.

    I'm not a Dr but whatever is happening it is obviously not working for him or you, and he needs to be frank about what is happening.

    Did he ever take or depend on drugs before this? If he didn't or did both of you need to get some help. I am fully aware of the dangers of opiods. I don't take them for fun - they are not fun. While they help with the pain the down side is they effect the pleasure centres of the brain as well. So you may be out of pain but you don't feel normal pleasure.

    So Sandi I you are right , they both need to get some help and both need to be honest about the meds. My GP is really good and realises what pain I am in, I am always totally honest with him. He knows I never took or asked for any kind of medications before my accident. There has to be trust on both sides for anything to work, doctors and relationships as well. Just my two cents worth but I have been through it like most people on this site and I wish I had my old life back but that isn't going to happen. I am just glad this happened to me later not earlier, at least I had a great life before the accident.

    And if you make a plan to go out of the house for one day on the weekend that might help as well. Distraction works for me. Looking forward to doing something helps and he might be able to cut back on his own if he does it gradually. There must be something you both enjoy doing - it's no fun going to work all week then recovering on the weekend at home. Or even having friends round for dinner helps. Because he will feel left out by his friends, they can't do anything about the pain and get tired of hearing about it.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 10/10/2013 - 4:42 PM
    Just a few thoughts after reading all the post in this thread.
    Your right to be worried and get involved no matter what happens.
    I really worry about anyone that misuses fentanyl patches. Fentanyl is one of the strongest and most dangerous meds we use. Heating a patch can and has been fatal many times. Anything and even a fever over 103 can be fatal.
    At least he isn't on the patch now.
    I wonder if he has a real good Pain Management doctor that knows and understands what his pain is.
    I my self have lower back injections every two weeks using different meds just to get by.
    A couple of concerns I have are what what size his hydrocodone pills are the 325 you refer to is the amount of acetaminophen mixed with the hydrocodone. This is important because the limit of acetaminophen has been lowered to 3000mg per day because of possible liver damage. If meds are 5/325 doctor should consider going up to 10/325 with less pills but safer for the liver. Then again 9 pills of 5/325 and 9 pills of 10/325 is a big difference.
    If he does have a major issue causing pain 9 5/325 is not much of a pain killer
    Again I ask if his pain doctor is on top of his pain or understands it. You would be surprises at how many don't understand it.
    Now another thought I have from your post. You say he uses all his meds during the week and then has none for the weekend so he stays in bed and sleeps. This kind of bothers me when I am in pain I can't sleep. I am thinking his pain level would be really high at that time.
    There is no way I could go to bed and sleep with no meds. I know we are all different and it is possible he could sleep but I would like to hear from others if they could sleep with no meds.

    Some other things would be to have his SCS reprogrammed and make sure they are working. More test to look for the cause of pain. I had many MRIs that didn't show many issues then had a SCS implant and had to have a CT mylegram and it showed three nerve roots compressed that MRIs didn't. Nothing is easy.
    In all fairness if something is wrong working long hours just makes it worse and can cause more damage.
    Maybe consider a job change or shorter hours, anything to help make it easy.

    I give him credit for working and now for talking with you about making changes. He may need meds to have even part of a decent life. The hydro meds may just not be the pain med he needs. I hope they would try other meds on him to see what helps the best. Myself the hydro meds didn't help much and it felt like the more I took the worse the pain would be. I have met others that feel to much of certain pain meds cause more pain but in your mind you still think more pain meds will help. I have just found out I have real bad scar tissue from four laminectomys that were done for a SCS. This is something to look at and be considered ,maybe he has scar tissue causing pain now. I have had six spine surgerys and those simple laminectomys were the worst pain for the first week of anything else. Nothing about this will be easy. I wish you luck in finding the answers you need.
    Heads up to the posters that put their issues out there for you too. Addiction is a tough issue.

    Good Luck
    And yes your right getting involved he should thank you later.
  • I think Sandi may have been responding to kamgram when talking about losing friend to overdose. My husband lost the bestman and childhood friend to a drug overdose and never got over it. Rose I can understand your reasoning but when you have been married to someone for 30 yrs and since abusing these pain meds he has turned into a different person. He lies, steals my meds which I am accountable to my doctor for. He destroyed 2 safes I had them hidden in. He took meds from my daughter after her C-section and my son who had 40 stitches in his leg from an accident with a chainsaw. Once he realized I would no longer put up with this he went to his primary who started him on pain medications for pain I am not really sure if he has. It is not that I dont believe him but his own words were he took them for stress of dealing with my medical problems and not working.

    I am in middle of applying for disability and in my case I can not work at all while awaiting a decision. I have had 11 orthopedic surgeries with 4 being back and latest was a knee replacement which has been so very painful. I am also fighting arthritis spreading throughout my knee and hips and spine. There is a difference between being addicted to opiods and being physically dependant on them.

    I love my husband but after being lied to numerous times. Very hurtful things said while under the influence. Lying next to him and shaking him because he stopped breathing for to long. Taking a months worth in 2 weeks than screaming at me because I would not give him any. I offered to take to hospital and had him curse me. My children are heartbroken by his behavior. We have begged him to get help, to go into rehab and he promised he would then as soon as he got a refill he was fine. I worked with his doctor at one time and we talked about his abuse. He still sees him and prescribes him Opana ER and Vicoden. I did not talk to tattle but make him aware there was a problem and he is aware but still wants to treat his pain.

    I cant imagine what he went through almost dying and going through open heart surgery and seizures. It makes me angry that he was given another chance at life and is going through life stoned. I am in therapy trying to deal with this but you just never know when a person has been pushed to far. Winker, this is why I wanted to send Pm to you. Whatever decision you make will not be an easy one and there is always guilt but until someone has been in your place and experienced the terror of thinking you may lose your loved one, it is your decision. I will always be here if you want to talk and I PMed my cell to you. God bless you.

  • Hi Kelli,

    I have a family situation where my little brother is currently sitting in jail because of his addiction to drugs and alcohol. The family tried for almost 8 months to get him into treatment and to make better decisions. Ultimately, he chose drugs and alcohol. The hardest part about his case is that our mom had to be the one to get an EPO because of his aggressive behavior. He violated the EPO several times and threatened to kill my older brother and myself. It is absolutely one of the hardest most gut wrenching things in the world to see someone hit rock bottom that you love. He has called my dad and told him that he wants his family back. As sad as it is to say, I'll believe it when I see it. You can only be burned so many times before you become a cynic to what's being said.

    I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this. I maintain that my brother's "doctor" (suboxone clinic) was responsible for enabling him. We got a little redemption a few months ago when he (the "doctor") was arrested for various crimes. Maybe if your husbands doctor could see how he is acting he may change the medications he is on or his treatment plan?

    Hopefully your husband will see what the drugs are causing in his family. It is my fear though that he will need to hit rock bottom before it becomes obvious to him. I sincerely wish you the best of luck getting him back to reality.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Yes, I did get the stories confused a bit.........thank you for catching that and clarifying it. I am truly sorry for what you and wink both, and ems guy are all going through....
    It is not right, nor fair to have to contend with these issues and concerns on top of all of the other stuff going on in our lives, but somehow life just does not stop for us , while we handle one thing at a time.
    Even with chronic pain, addiction /abuse/misuse make it all that much harder for those we love, because we do not want to see them suffer, or be in pain , yet, at the same time, how long can anyone continue to doing what they do, before something bad happens.......whether it is to them or someone else innocent ?
    If the reason for the misuse is in fact, ineffective pain management, then that could be checked out by an addictionologist , and recommendations made for more effective pain control, if it is addiction, then treatment, while putting some safeguards into place and some accountabiilty could continue in a more controlled situation.
  • Thank you for the continued banter on this subject. Everyones opinions and their own personal trials helps me to understand. This problem has been going on for six years. I do appreciate my husband dragging himself out to work each and every day, even if he is a wreck at the end of the day and just comes home to eat and then goes to the bedroom. I don't think he can do much beyond that right now.

    He did take the rest of his medication, however, so he cannot go to his appt this Friday because he would need to bring a weeks worth of meds with him because he has one week before refill but he took them all. So he is totally out of meds now. Now he thinks he should see the physiatrist that he saw before for injections and that doctor gave him meds before. Unfortunately, it seems like he is in a bind and cant go back to the pain clinic without remaining pills and just doesn't like the idea of not being on a pill schedule. Seems like doctor shopping.

    He is very avoidant personality as well that is troublesome and plays into his dealings with the doctors as well. Fifteen months ago he started a new job and has a base salary and commission of 2% or 10% depending on the sale. He will not get the commission until the end of the year. I have asked many times over many months what his commission is at this time and he puts me off and says he will ask. I guess they must not have a running tab on that. He never does it. I think we need to plan financially but he avoids it. I told him that there is nothing wrong with asking and certainly his company does not think he is working there for the fun of it. I just don't understand how avoidant he is in all areas of his life. We don't plan or discuss anything relating to us. It has gotten so that I don't ask him to fix anything or talk to me about anything. Now I have become the same way. Pain problems really tear relationships down.

    Also, he is wondering if prostate problems might be contributing to his terrible tailbone pain. He gets up at least five times per night, has stop start problems with some burning at onset and is careful not to drink anything if he will be in the car for any amount of time.
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 916
    edited 10/17/2013 - 3:04 AM
    Based on what your saying, it sounds more like a bladder infection or UTI. He probably needs to be evaluated for prostatitis to be on the safe side. I got prostatitis after my back surgery thanks to the Foley catheter being placed improperly before the procedure (they inflated the balloon while it was still in my urethra instead of in the bladder. It took almost three months to get that cleared up and it was not a fun three months. Then again, he could be having SI joint pain. It's just so hard to nail down chronic pain generators.

    Regarding the pill count, I don't believe there is any way around not letting the doctor know he has taken the meds too frequently. That being said, if his other doc does find a UTI or other problem in addition to the pain her has from his back, they may be a little more understanding of why he was taking more meds as frequently as he was. But, he needs to fess up to it.

    You all just aren't in a good situation. Is he willing to speak to you about the medication and the frequency he takes it or does he get angry and then shut you out? Perhaps you could convince him to try some aqua therapy. Working out in a warm pool helps exercise the joints and helps keep weight off the sore area due to buoyancy. It might be worth a try?

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • ..with everyone here that something must be done right away to save your husband's life. Seems to me that he certainly has a psychological dependence coinciding with legitimate painful conditions. His pain still needs to be managed but his addiction has to be addressed asap. As far as Fentanyl patches are concerned, I disagree with your daughter's belief bc doctors do prescribe them to manage chronic pain, its not just for terminal cases. I was on the 100mcg patch for my chronic lower back pain before I had a pain pump implanted. Anyway I understand your concerns and think its best to speak to your husband and then the pain doctor bc things cant go on the way they are any longer. Once the addiction is under control I feel that his pain can still be managed by his physician in a different manner more effectively. Take care
  • I still believe that it is past the time for you to contact his doctor and let him know about the misuse/abuse of the medications. This is only going to get worse, the longer he is allowed to continue doing what he has been doing.
    As I said previously, I don't doubt that he has pain, but clearly he is not capable nor willing to do anything other than to find a new way to avoid being held responsible for his misuse/abuse of the meds. Doctor shopping to get a new prescription is not going to be easy since almost all states now have the prescription monitoring program in place and some states require the doctor to examine the opiate prescription history before writing a prescription for someone. Pharmacists in my state are now required by law to check the database before filling so we are in effect checked twice, once by the doctor and once by the pharmacist- if he gets meds from two different doctors, they are going to find out and this is going to blow up for him.
    I strongly suggest that you contact his doctor, since he is going out of his way to avoid the subject and seems to have a history of doing the similar things in other areas of his life.
    I don't want to see you posting that he accidentally overdosed one night........he is playing russian roulette and all of you are paying the price.
    You can feel free to private message me if you would like...........I'll support you in doing what you need to do.
  • Who am i to judge? can't do it! not my job either. You will of course damage your marriage if you choose to discuss this with your husbands doctor with out his agreement. More problems have been solved with two heads than one. If i tell you you MUST whatever...I have abandon you period. If i work with not for someone we both get down the road together. Talk openly and honestly without judgement to the people you love if it is this or anything else and remember there is no magic. We never always agree but if it is a marriage then its the two of you first and foremost. like the rabbi said about the tora ..."do unto others..all the rest of the book is dialog"
  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 10/20/2013 - 6:08 PM
    Both my husband and I shared the same family doctor for 26 yrs. And when his problems first started getting out of hand and I discovered by checking our insurance website that he was getting pain meds from her and our dentist along with urgent care. This is when physicians had website but hadnt started using very often. I called her one evening and we spoke for over an hour. First off, even though we were both patients of hers and knew it she by law should never have had the discussion we had. She disclosed to me what he was prescribed and for what reason. Once she got on website and seen he wasvgetting from several sources she called pharmacy and cancelled all refills. Once he realzed this and called her to find out why and she had a discussion about taking presriptions from otherbproviders he was livid. She did not mention our conversation but he knew we had talked. He called her office and threatened to sue her for breaking HIPPA laws and would not speak to me for weeks.

    Unfortunately in July of 2012 she along with her husband committed suicide so we lost our doctor and friend of 26 yrs and only doctor my children had ever seen. I worked for a physician forc7 yrs. And had been seeing her for back issues and acute things while working so I now see her and she along with our PA take care of my pain meds. My husband started seeing our PA and I also just let him know to check website so he understood and I could say I never spoke to his provider. My husband broke down and told him about his addiction and PA is prescribing him long and short acting meds and told him it will be up to him to take them as prescribed which he is still not. He still has 2 weeks until appt. And is out of short acting but I realize I cant change him. He will have to hit bottom.

    I dont tell you this to discourage you but to let you know that if his doctor discloses anything to you he cuold potentially set himself up for lawsuit. If it is one-sided coversation where you just tell him maybe but how would he prove he didnt disclose info to you. It just sucks that we are in this situation and wish I had an answer for you but I do feel your pain and know how you feel. Please feel free to PM me anytime.

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