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Lumbar anterior graft surgery. The meds I am on , and tons of questions

cosgringoccosgringo Posts: 2
edited 11/17/2014 - 10:58 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hello, just found your forum. It looks like a great fit for me vs. some other forums more med related but I do have med questions.

So I had my anterior L5 S1 graft, surgery for a herniated, arthritic, and many other issues surgery.

I am told it went well. It's been about a month now.

Pain was excruciating after surgery. Worse than before the surgery but I am told I am in that 15% population where to expect it and little of my pain is just nerve pain.

1) Told I am more likely to shoot for the 50% decrease in pain. No "complete" success.
2) Will take a good chunk of time. No quick release.
3) Meds from before the surgery (this took 2 years before it was really approved and happened) have been mostly percocets.-----Until last refill they were all 10/325's. They had me up to 12 per day. Tylenol hell IMHO as I still have a drink here and then. I realize that's a huge no-no but part of me and my issues. Consider me Elvis when it comes to that mess.

4) Lately put me on Fentanyl patches (Watson) 50 mcg. Just moved to every 48 hrs which has been a headache to get fixed with Walgreen's here.
5) The patches do help but goof up my skin pretty bad. Tried Tegaderm to hold them off better but that was a mistake skin wise.
6) I am still on Percocets though I am being weaned down. Now about 20 mg's per day. Spread out more but won't say I never go over that due to pain that kicks in. It's real, not made up.
7) Yup, I still imbibe at times. I am normally careful but have done things that I know are wrong including a few drinks with the Percs. --- I notice NO difference. What is the point? Not sure. I've always been a social drinker sort.

Here's the quandry-

- Not drinking late and not taking percs late (unless I am in a ton of pain
- I get concerned as my breathing seems "off"
- I can't explain it but I get nervous and feel like sometimes I could perhaps be struggling
- My wife has heard me do something like that late at night when she's awoken

So obviously I need to wean off of things especially any alcohol. I don't drink a lot now but it's a lot for some people though compared to what I was doing it's little. Let's just say about a 6 pack.

I know I will get the "what are you thinking" and other quotes. I realize it's big time bad. I also know I am not alone so I could use some intelligent and mature response on how to deal with this.

The sudden breathing issues really concern me.

I can't come clean with my job and do some sort of Club Meb in Malibu for cleaning up (you know the one). Job will "can me" legal or not and I know it for a fact. I need more than than anyways. I need to get to a "safe place" and soon.

SO, suggestions? Realistic ones? What are the most important areas to focus on and things to avoid??? What can I do that will not feel in like I am tied to a bed and can be functional?

- see I have a ton of other sudden issues. Big corp company splitting in 2 and it's going to hit me like getting laid off. Bye $$$.

- What can I take at night to HELP with assuring I will still be breathing? I know a low dose of valium or something is a bad idea but I get nervous and out of my head with all this. I also have short acting meds like that.

Big part of this is the doc scribing the Fentanyl and Percs now is part of a physiatrist practice here. AKA Pain Med Docs. So, I can get randomly tested. Been always good except with occasional booze in me which I am more careful now with watering myself down and stopping EARLY the day before. No- I don't way up shaking and needing a drink. This is not an AA forum and I DO know the difference. Been down that road to see if I should travel it. I make it off of that road.

I need help from people that can talk to any part of this oration and it's really important to me.

I thank you and I am sure I left out a lot but this means a lot to me. I want to be better, feel better and that means physically and mentally.

I hope I am welcomed. I do have real spine problems. I am just a ton more complicated with my mess.



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  • Ugh! This seems like a mess but it really depends on you being completely honest with yourself. Are you an alcoholic? You know you need to stop drinking with the meds. Breathing issues are predictable with what you're doing. I assume if you could stop drinking you would of by now.

    The huge problem you have is a doctor could help you with the problems you're having but to do so they need to know everything you're putting into your system. I think it's clear that the daily consumption of alcohol is what's causing your problems, or...it looks like its the alcohol & until you stop you won't know.

    Drinking with those meds is playing Russian roulette. Adding Valium to the mix is a terrible idea. Just because members of those drug sites consume more narcotics, pills, alcohol etc doesn't mean it can be safe. They know each day could be their last.

    I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. I understand your predicament but if you need proffesional help to stop drinking your life is the most important thing here. Please get help. You're playing the addict game, comparing yourself to others who aren't dead yet & not drinking late in the day etc. Please! I get the feeling you've posted to be told the truth. You're in trouble & need help.

    I wish I could help more. To my knowledge all the meds that could help you with anxiety etc are a REALLY bad idea. It all comes down to stopping drinking. I have very serious spine & pain issues. I can't function without my meds. You are in danger of being cut-off from pain management. You're life is in danger!
    There are many things you can do to help your pain. We talk about 'The Blend' a lot here, search & you'll find lots of references....but you have to get the real problem sorted. If AA doesn't work see an addiction specialist.

    Sorry for the rambling post. You desperately need help. I have dear friends who have lost loved ones to this. I feel I need to say something but you already know the answer. I think all I can really give you is support. I'm sorry.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 11/19/2014 - 4:52 AM
    BOTH suppress your respiratory system. Adding benzodiazepenes to the mix would be an even bigger problem.
    Doing what you are doing usually results in a lethal combination. Getting kicked out of pain management is the least of the problems you are facing doing what you are doing. Mixing alcohol and opiates is often fatal. The mere fact that you are and your wife is aware of your breathing issues should have you running to your doctor to get some treatment for all of the issues.....self medicating/abuse/misuse of any substance in any form is dangerous.
    I would strongly encourage you to get with a medical professional who can guide you in some programs, and go over your options with you.
    While we are concerned about our members, we can not provide treatment or intervention in cases of drug or alcohol abuse. The numbers below are for your convenience to seek help with the proper resources.

    Drug Abuse and Alcohol Abuse help

    Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotline
    Alcohol and Drug Hotline 
    Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
    (888) 425-2666
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    (800) 662-4357


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    said is so very true and your actions can also be so very tragic.

    Dealing with spinal problems is one thing...

    But you are dealing with what seems like an addiction problem, thats a entire different story.

    Listen before its too late
    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
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