To all my spiney friends, I felt that giving you a real, first hand account of my latest journey in pain management might prove helpful to one or two. I have been on up to 30 mgs of hydrocodone and 20 mgs of methadone for many years now. I am 63. Now I am day number 10 - having jumped off the narcotic train after titrating down to 2.5 mgs methadone and 3 mgs hydrocodone.
You might ask why I made the jump? I had a bad echocardiogram come back and after consulting with a cardiologist, wearing a heart monitor for a month, undergoing a sleep study and meeting with a nephrologist, the culprit appears to be the narcotics I have been using for back pain (under tight doctor supervision, I might add.)
I do have a spinal cord implant. Actually I had to have one replaced because the first one's wiring came apart! The second one was more successful than the first but it is way past time for a "tune up." It is helping some with the pain. Otherwise, I primarily feel nerve pain now in the form of scalding pain down the back of both legs. I have upped my gabapentin to 300 mgs X 3 a day in hopes of covering some of that. Part of that, I am sure, comes from a herniation just above my L4-S1 fusion area. Oh well, once the old back goes out, it never seems to repair.
I spent day number 1 - 5 in pieces and just did my best to "lay low." I was given an antidepressant to take some of the anxiousness away. Now at day 10 I am so darned tired that I feel like I can hardly put one foot in front of the other. I have NO desire psychologically to "run back to meds" which I guess means I only had a physical dependence. I am grateful for that. But the lack of energy, like I felt once after pneumonia, is debilitating.
Tired. So much so that I am signing off for now but I will keep everyone who is interested in my recovery process, posted.