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Managing your medications

William GarzaWilliam Garza TexasPosts: 3,372
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Pain Management
Ive been skating on thin ice. I try to balance being able to think with pain relief.
I take hydrocodone 10/500 x 6-8 a day when i am in breakthrough crisis stage of pain, you know, the stage where ya have to lay down...NOW! my days are like 16 to 18 hours long. I like being able to think somewhat strait...do you?
Ime in school 13 hrs this semester and as you know that means a few hours of sitting, ya buddy, the bum goes numb. !
when i take enough of painkiller to ease the pain somewhat/ it never goes away...nor can i expect it to, i begin to get the drools/slow thinking/muzzy feeling.
I think school is more important than pain right now and accordingly i adjust to the level of pain i will feel. Do any of you put pain on the back burner? coz life dont stop and you dont want to be left behind? Do you tolerate higher pain to get ahead?

or do you value trying to be pain free as possible ...all the time?

where do you stand on this?

William Garza
Spine-Health Mod

Welcome to Spine-Health



  • will definitely suffer higher pain levels if I have to when it comes to my kids. If I have to take them somewhere I do not take meds because I want to be alert when I am driving ( I don't drive unless I have no other choice because I can't turn my head like I need to)....stuff like that. Life does happen and sometimes we have to make adjustments. In a perfect world , none of us would hurt but Lord knows this isn't a perfect world. :(
  • If you need to concentrate take just enough of the med so you can still perform to necessary potential and deal with the pain that is left (it's all a balancing act). If you have too much pain you can't concentrate on anything else. If you take too much pain killer than you cant concentrate correctly. After a while you should get used to the side effect and still get decent pain releif, but the point is to live your life to the fullest and have the pain distraction at a minimum (a balancing act). Sorry can't help anymore.
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  • stillhurtin. I could not agree more.
  • My doc just started me on fentanyl patches today. It is a time released pain patch that you wear for 72 hrs.

    Its suppose to get rid of the pain without those "space aged" side effects. Ask your NS or PM about this. Like I said I just started it today while going through withdrawls from hydrocodone.

    I had RF done a week ago and man oh man having a struggle with it. They had me on soma and hydroco every 3 hrs for a week straight...a person can not live like that..or...i refuse to live like that. I pray this patch works because i am like you i have to have pain releif but cant live in lala land just to get releif.

    Good luck and GOD BLESS!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349
    I've often thought about that same situation. As a programmer, I 'should' try to keep my mind as sharp as possible. But I know that when I am on my pain medications, even though I feel totally together and with it, I know I am not as sharp as a tack. So when it comes to big projects or working on something as important as NYPD 911 or Airline Control systems, you do not want to add anything that could create a problem.
    So, during some of my bigger projects, I would lay off some of my pain medications. This was a several years ago and I can tell you that that decision was a mistake! Was I any clearer without the pain medications? Its hard to say because being on the for a long time and just stopping them from time to time is not enough to get them out of your system. But the biggest problem came from having to deal with pain. I can pretty much focus out pain - to an extent, but when I was working full speed and was not taking pain medications, little things started to crop up (toes number, finger tapping,etc) till the pain crept back in. I spent more time fighting to not have pain then I was doing what I should have been doing (Programmer).
    So, for the past year, I have not concerned myself about medications and sharpness. I will do the best I can in what ever I do, and if pain medications get in the way, I try to push out what I can.
    This is such a difficult subject. Its probably a subject that several books could be written about. I know I have volumes of situations to talk about.
    But, you know best what you can do and what you cant do using pain medications
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • Taking your medications only when you are in extreme pain has always caused a domino type affect with me. My PM and I talked in length about this because I work for a medical lab and have to be clear headed. What he explained and I discovered first hand is that you need to keep a good baseline level of medication in your system. Lack of medications in your system can cause some of the side affects you have described and possibly start medication withdrawal or the yo-yo affect. This was also why he prescribed me a long acting release medication (Fentanyl Patch) and breakthrough (Oxycodone).

    I'm concerned that you are also taking so many Hydrocodone, that has so much Tylenol and may give you problems with other organs down the line.

    Have you tried the patch? I have found that this particular medicine keeps me more clear headed than the concentrated pill forms. I still have to use a breakthrough medication on a schedule to keep my levels climbing out of control so often.

    So in short it is a balancing act and also a experiment to get the right combination of medications to work for you.

    I have felt your struggle and am currently recovering from SCS implant to help stabilize my pain level so I can go back to work. You are a very intelligent person and I know by reading your posts that you are passionate about your education and don't want to put it off. My suggestion is that you lighten your load and try to reduce your stress. Stress and lack of sleep definitely add to your pain. Doing this may help you to find your balance faster. Your health has to come before anything (sorry even your education) or anyone else. IMHO

    My wish is for all of us to find our balance and a better quality of life. Take care of you.

  • Oriah, you hit on a couple of important points, keeping enough meds in the system to be effective and to prevent the yoyo effect. and yes the docs have taken notice of my liver,i try to keep from killing the liver by staying to the minimum i can, but the breakthrough pain is gotten to the point of tears while i sit. it distresses some of my more sensitive friends, but thats life..you cowboy up and try to work smarter and harder. Mr Dilauro hit it on the head about trying to be sharp. its important that i be as smart as i can,its a personal thing..I need to be of service to my fellow man, and to do that i need education,also the smarter i get the better my fiancial outlook gets!
    I have a need inside to ahh..push. its part of life to me and ive learned to do it well. but no longer the torpedoes be dammed approach that got me here in the first place. To lead you have to do it from the front, not some rear ranking yeller outer(sorry) of platitudes. i do the very best i can day to day, but when spine acts up..it gets frustrating trying to do "life" and thats a story from the past.
    Cambran- I had a run in with a W/C doc a few years ago who labled me as a drugseeking addict. he papered it and just getting treatment became an excersize in patience. i told the sorry cur dog off and he retaliated..oh well..so any time i ask for something stronger..you get the picture.
    i get down coz of one misguided insurance lapdogs assasination of my character,but again oh well...life goes on,so i can try,and most likely will get nothing in return, thats a card ime saving for the future.As for implants etc, the insurance gots me over a barrel and no thank yous from them. according to some desk jocky doctor from the ins co, ime not hurt enough to warrant any other treatments,but they wont release me either. ive been to specialists ready willing and able to do good by me, but it goes right back around to the ins co. ive sought legel representation, but thats another set of hoops to bend over and jump through. as the doc and ombudsman said" i am falling through the cracks of the system coz i was honest,i am unwilling to compromise my character to get what i need, i will not amp up my injuries,crawl into the docs office in crocodile tears, scream in pain at any touch ect.
    so in short the system is broke,and it wont be fixed anytime soon. ive tryed to initiate a civil suit,and again, ime not bad enough to qualify" when will i be? i dont know or care any more, its a defence reflex to keep me from being mad all the time. hope you guys find some balance in your fight!
    chin down
    fist up
    keep swinging!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Oh Ranch, I've been doing this medication dance for over a year now and I can tell you that I'm pretty tired of it too. I'm sensitive not only to the meds themselves but to the side effects as well yet have to bear all of it to find pain relief.

    I've finally put my foot down and told my neurologist (who handles my pain managenemt) that I simply didn't want to take the Methadone any longer. She agreed with me. I'm in a fog all of the time and pretty depressed. While it does an okay job at relieving my pain it's not enough to justify the side effects in my book. I'm not much on taking meds every 4 or 6 or 8 hours either because of my sensitivities. Alternatives must be found!

    I wish that I could hang in there with the meds and live that balance, find that comfortable zone that keeps my mind intact while my body remains in working order. So far it's not been within reach. I admire the fact that you can sit in the classroon day after day like you do. It takes a lot of motivation to keep going when it would be so easy to give in to all of it. Talk about Cowboy Up, you sure got it down.

    I agree with Oriah in that you need to find a way to get a better quality sleep. I've read posts of yours that talk about your lack of sleep and we all know that wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. Not sleeping doesn't allow us to handle the stress of our everyday lives either. Have you talked to your doc about ways to help you get more sleep? You may actually feel better physically and have more stamina at school if you can get more rest. There ain't a thing wrong with a nap or two between classes either LOL

    All the best for you. I hope you can find a way to achieve your goals in an easier way.

  • love that name!!!i think i may ask my doc about that. i dont know how or if i can handle morphine. dads on it and it whops on him pretty hard. my prob is two fold. 1. Lack of sleep as many of you all know
    and 2. break through pain.
    I'll start at two... muy pain levels have jacked up to a higher level. Its my fault..ya i push too hard,and that has an effect on no.1. But i have to have a driving force inside or there is no ahh..savor to life, its just a day to day grind until you die. I wont live a life without passions and desires. so hence i laive a semi fulfilled life! what is life without any spice?
    i love to help others, i get a warm fuzzy feeling from the service.
    Ok no1. i think my energy levels are way up despite not having put in a 70+ hour week in 2 years. 20 years of pushing the limits of my endurance may have fixed my level at a certain level???
    i think that may be why i am awake so much...IDK?
    it was a blessing when i wanted to grow a company and i needed the energy to gogogo!
    my thing used to be if it wasnt for eating sleeping or having to take a wee every now and then i could make some money... do you?
    i wish my back was back to normal but it wont..ever so here i sit... dang!
    Its alright though, ime relearning to use the gift of not sleeping to my advantage..maybe. i was in better physical health before and i wasnt tired all the time from the pain battle,so i bounced back.
    ohh well.Donrt worry for me thanks though!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Ranch-
    Your father probably doesn't take Avinza. Most other Morphine Sulfate meds will knock you out sometimes but this one is the only one on the market that is a modified release capsule. That means that 10% of the med is released right away and then then the rest is released over a 24 hour period. Little bits at a time. It works great and you just don't get high. So, yeah, ask about it. I am also taking the 15 mg oxy for BT. So you can ask for a BT med to go along with it, actually, you have to have it just in case. You will sleep like a baby too.
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