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Concerned about a friend

JoyJJoy Posts: 559
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Pain Medications
I got a phone call the other day from a girl I used to work with. She says she has Failed Back Snydrome and then told me all the meds she is on: Methadone, percocet, valium, flexeril, trazodone, Cymbalta. She says she is still in horrible pain. I question whether or not she should be on so many different meds. Any suggestions? Advice I could give her.


  • I forgot, she also takes oxycotin.
  • first so sorry your friend is in pain. >:D<
    are they going to do a revision surgery????? did she not fuse or did the surgey itself just not work?? some people have a different explanation of failed back syndrome
    what levels did she have done??
    that is alot of meds. im surprised a dr would even give the combo of meth, percocet and oxycontin. not that its dangrous when taken like they are supposed to.
    but then again iv seen people list that they are on more then what you listed.

    of course nys is so different with rules and regs that some states just hand them out.
    but of course i am not a dr and cannot judge anyone in their treatment.
    i guess its a pet peeve of mine when they are so hard to get here #o #o #o so i don't mean to sound harsh you know that is not me O:) O:) O:)

    i hope she is seeking out other treatments or that surgery was offered to her again to ease her pain.

    keep us up to date hun
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  • I can't get a straight answer from her as to what levels she had done. They inplanted one of those SCS's and she said that it doesn't work either. She doesn't work, doesn't have a place to live, and is trying to get disability approved. I haven't seen her in about 15 years so I don't know yet if she is just addicted to the meds or what. I went and picked her up (about 1-1/2 hour drive for me) and took her to hospital for colonoscopy (another 1-1/2 hr. drive). They couldn't complete the test because they said the colon wasn't empty enough. Then I drove her home and then came back to Richmond. About a 6-hr. drive in all. I'm trying to encourage her to apply again for disability, but not sure if her mind is clear enough to fill in comprehensive information. I want to help her, but she lives so far away that it makes it hard. She's 42 and is now living with her abusive parents. She had a rotten childhood, divorced with 2 grown kids who mooch off her all the time. I know she wants me to help her out financially, but times are rough, you know.

    Sorry to ramble on so much, but I am concerned about her! Please remember her in your prayers.
  • Oh, my. Sounds like your friend has lots of problems. I have just a couple of thoughts:

    She must have Medicaid or something that is paying for all the meds - since she doesn't work she would certainly be eligible for Medicaid. That being the case it sounds to me like she needs to see a good pain management doctor who will help her with the pain as well as taking a look at all the meds she is taking.

    If she is not working and is receiving some medical or other assistance she will have a caseworker. That person can help her get work (or some voc rehab so she can work). a place to live, possibly transportation to medical appts. etc. etc. Caseworkers are usually hideously overworked but if one persists they can offer some avenues for help. You might ask her about this or just suggest that whatever your state's dept of Health and Human Services is called could offer her assistance. Surely this would be a better option for her than having to ask someone who lives quite a way from her (you) for transportation, etc.

    How long ago did hse have surgery? Did her surgeon release her?
  • She told me that she didn't qualify for Medicaid. I still don't understand that one! I thought that was the intended recipiant. She said she sees a PM, but also get meds from GP. I will definitely ask her to contact social services for transportation. Thanks.
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  • I hate to be so nosy but if she has no Medicaid and no job how does she pay for all those meds? Just curious.
  • yeah seriously those are expensive meds.. the methadone is practically free its so cheap but most of the rest, especially oxy and some of the nerve stuff, ouch, soooo expensive. I'm really concerned she is taking Oxy AND methadone. Methadone might be used concurrently with some other ER meds, but Oxy is typically not one of them; it's one or the other. Either she is in so much pain it is the only way to control it, or something else is up. I think I would have said 'sounds normal with her condition' until you said oxy too.. If you think she is genuinely hurting terribly, then it's probably fine. Her current narcotic Rx is definitely going to affect her future ability to take narcotics and have them, well, work effectively. I'm assuming average or 'healthy' doses, like 20mg oxycontin x3 a day minimum, more likely 40mg twice or three times, and 20-40mg methadone. If so, well, pain should be a distant memory.. If she wants help financially, she should ditch the oxycontin; methadone kicks its ### in the arena of pain control, and saves you hundreds a month.

    Ok so my best non professional advice? Ditch the name brands, generics and cheap ones only. Methadone, percocet, valium, flexeril, and cybalta: change it to Methadone, dilaudid, valium, flexeril (Preferably changed to baclofen), and Cymbalta changed to any one of a handful of 4 to 10$ a month GA/Depression meds, there are SO many that are tried and true, known to be good. I wish her my best! And to you, hang in there, and don't contribute cash unless she is changing her meds to her situation, she's living way above her means with no money and like, $1,000 of meds per month; change would likely be great for her. Ciao!

  • Friends and money don't mix. Besides you have no money anyway. Her children should be helping her and her parents. If they're that abusive why is she there? I would back away from her. You've done the best you could and you're too far away to help her anyway. She could get on welfare and disability and it's a struggle to do that but she'll have to do that. I hope you know you did the best you could and leave it like that. A call to her children may help push them to help her. Does she have any siblings to help her? My Mother and I had a sick friend with early stage alzheimers. my Mother went there and found her in disarray and begged her sister to help. Now her sister was mad at my Mother for intervening and calling her, but now glad she did. She's in a special home now and visits with her sister at Thanksgiving etc. You can only do so much and contacting family can sometimes be the best thing to point out how serious things are. You've got your own family to look after as well as yourself just having surgery yourself. Call the family and leave it up to them. Take care of You. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks, guys, for your comments. Unfortunately, her children are worthless! Neither one of them have jobs...well, one is in the Reserves and will be deployed this January. They both have "live-ins" to support them. My friend is at her parents only because she had no other place to go. When I asked her how she pays for the meds, she said she was selling off her personal items (from when she used to have a home). I did not give her any money since I wasn't (and still am not) convinced that she's an addict. I don't want to enable her to continue destructive behaviour. The only reason I got involved was because she mentioned suicide. I hope she will allow me to just be a "long distance friend" and give her emotional support, guidance in how to get public assistance, etc.

    This site helps so much in getting other peoples' objective input. I tend to get emotionally involved too quickly, only to regret it later.
  • I meant to say I'm not convinced that she's NOT an addict.
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