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Newbi and new to this pain.

Hello all, I'm new to the site via an artical on Recovery by Dilauro, that artical has helped me understand what i'm going through and what to expect, i wish i would have read it before my surgery, anyway, I'm a retired New Orleans Firefighter with 33 years of service, I'm 63 yo. and I'm still in decent shape, I'm in the gym 2/3 times  per week, I've been Spinning since 2010 and I love it, 33 years of running into burning buildings has taken it's toll on my body, I've been involved in several ceiling and roof collapse, as a result I had to have my C4-C5 disc replaced in 2010, I had a good recovery and was back to work in 6 weeks, against my doctors wishes , he really wanted me to retire than but I went back for two more years, I just wasn't ready mentally, in that two years I did get hit on the head again so 2 weeks ago I had another surgery, C5-C6 disc replacement, the post-op pain is excruciating ( shoulders, back of neck, top of my arms )  and the Norco didn't seem to slow it down, I've had okay days and bad days and i have asked myself the ?, what the hell was I thinking having this surgery , but I have a strong determination to get pass this , Dilauro's artical was on point, It's nice to see I'm not inventing anything here so I've got my work cut out for me, I stopped taking the Norco 2 days post-op because of the opioid issue, but there is no refill and now I'm rethinking starting the pain meds again because the 800 mg Ibuprofen that belongs to my wife is not helping, 3 Alleve seem to work better but that's not good for the stomach lining, I guess my real question is was it a mistake not to continue the Norco and should I start taking the rest of the prescription, I'll see my doctor in 2 days for my first  post-op apt and I'm awaiting a return call from his nurse now about the pain meds question, any thoughts folks ?      



  • red410

    welcome to spine-health

    all new members should take the system tutorial

    new member information guideline / checklist 

    while i understand the so called opioid crisis, being in unnecessary pain after surgery slows the healing process, your whole body tenses up, muscles get tight and nerves get mad, the time will come to stop taking pain relievers, but surgical pain should be controlled,you and your surgeon are the only one that can answer the how long question.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434


    I appreciate that you found my article useful.  No question about how long and difficult recovery from any spinal surgery can be.

    As far as stopping the Norco, all my doctors have said, make sure you take your pain medications before you get into a very painful situation.     Most opioids are written as PRN (basically take as needed)   That is a decision only the patient can determine. I know there are days when I've taken only 2 of my oxycodone 5mg and days when I've taken the full amount (4 - 5mg)

    You always want to stay ahead of the pain.  Because when the pain gets bad, the initial opioid does not seem to take care of that and the tendency is to take another before the allotted time frame.  That can only get you into problems later.

    But bottom line, I think only you will know when its time to stop taking the opioid.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,473

    I totally agree with what both guys said. I just wanted to reiterate on the Norco. You are not part of this opiod crisis. You just had surgery and the meds are for that, surgical pain. You cannot heal properly while in pain. 
    Good luck and please let us know how your appointment goes.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • DavidGDDavidG Posts: 1,026
    edited 03/19/2019 - 7:00 PM

    Welcome Brother Red! As a medically retired Lt/FF/Paramedic with a large FD here in the southeast. I’ve come to the conclusion that firefighters are their worst enemy lol. We typically don’t let injuries stop us! We go to work in pain, or sick because that’s what we do!  I had NO choice but to be retired due to a unsuccessful C-5 - C-7 ACDF as well as permanent damage to the nerves of my left arm. All due to a injury sustained during a MCI and a extrication from hell.  Due to our type A personalities that most Firemen and Police have, we try self treatment , We only hear what we want to hear from our Doctors, ( sounding familiar yet?)  Retirement is extremely hard on us especially when we weren’t ready for it. BUT NOW your retired !  Red, I’ve been retired just over 2 years, fixing to face another surgery on my neck and have learned to listen to all my Doctors! You’ve done your time, so relax, let the young bucks handle it! Please listen to your Doctors. Now it’s time to relax and put your feet up and actually get used to sleeping all night without the buzzer going off 8 times after midnight lol.., Keep us posted!......David 

    P.S. Take your pain meds as directed and on time ! Don’t wait until the pain starts! 


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

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