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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:00 am 
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It's 45 days now off of Sub. Still have mild insomnia but the worst is the neck pain (5 things wrong with it and have constant inflammation that 1200 mgs of Ibuprofen do nothing for.) Thinking a lot of it must be arthritis that the Sub, and before that the pain killers, covered up for a total of 7 years.

Going to have to get steroid injections...ugh. I still have Sub strips and even 3 Butrans patches (doctor had prescribed to help me tape off of Sub but I used my own method instead). When the neck pain is bad I can't say that I'm not tempted to use the Butrans patch (not sure if it's worse or better than Sub in terms of dependence).

Tried the 420 route and that did not work. Well it "worked" in that it lessened the arthritis and related nerve pain in my neck but the side effects were not good—most particularly it gave me horrible short-term memory loss...to the point where I felt like I was in the film, Memento—I kid you not. On the plus side, nothing seemed to bother me. :) Sure don't know how people could use this stuff and function on a normal level!

Man, pain is a bit_h. :( Do wonder when those "natural" pain killers are going to kick in. (Yes, I am exercising but it causes my neck to hurt more.) Hardly felt any of this when I was on Sub but I don't regret getting off of it for many reasons. Hopefully the steroid epidurals will help though that has its own liabilities.

Anyone have any ideas of how to manage chronic pain without Sub? Or other opiates? I toyed with the idea of going on Butrans patch because I'm thinking it would be easier to taper off of down the road. Or am I just kidding myself?

Thanks for any help here. You guys have always been so supportive...and informative!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:04 pm 
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Paythepiper,
Yes, this is a tough one. You get clean of all addictive substances and then your body lets you feel everything going on with it. I, myself have been taking 1.5mg of sub. and i keep taking it for its pain control properties. For me, for now, thats my solution. What I would recommend to you is that you let your doctor have you try different types of non-opiate pain meds. I had pretty good pain control using Lidoderm patches along with liquid otc aleve. The lidoderm is a RX and just OTC liquid Aleve. There are so many different types of non-opiate pain control RX meds along with anti-inflamation drugs. Be careful, yet you can probably find the right combo. to take the edge off and keep you staying positive for your recovery.
By the way congratulations on 45 days!! Good for you! Really use the doctor for his or her knowledge on the meds. Take care


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:22 pm 
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Lidoderm...hmm. I just looked that up. Not a narcotic and not addicting. Sounds good! Only thing, it says it's used for shingles? Didn't say anything else it was used for.

My question to you is, why aren't you still using it? Why did you go back on the Sub? You must know how really hard it is to get off Sub, but it sounds like you don't plan on ever getting off?

I will ask my doctor about the Lidoderm, prescription anti-inflammatory, etc and see what she says.

By the way, how long did your insomnia last? I can't believe that after 45 days I still have that, though considerably less intense than it was. I still take Trazodone though I'm told that is addictive as well.



Justdoit4u wrote:
Paythepiper,
Yes, this is a tough one. You get clean of all addictive substances and then your body lets you feel everything going on with it. I, myself have been taking 1.5mg of sub. and i keep taking it for its pain control properties. For me, for now, thats my solution. What I would recommend to you is that you let your doctor have you try different types of non-opiate pain meds. I had pretty good pain control using Lidoderm patches along with liquid otc aleve. The lidoderm is a RX and just OTC liquid Aleve. There are so many different types of non-opiate pain control RX meds along with anti-inflamation drugs. Be careful, yet you can probably find the right combo. to take the edge off and keep you staying positive for your recovery.
By the way congratulations on 45 days!! Good for you! Really use the doctor for his or her knowledge on the meds. Take care


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:32 pm 
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P.T.P.,
Long story short, was on opiates, was tapering down yet was having a lot of trouble. Got on sub to help. Tapered the sub to .25mg , stopped for about a week, had surgery on my foot, went back using pain pills( super dumb, I know now), went back to sub once a finally accepted that I have addiction issues. What was hard is that I get pain relief from the sub with the small doses. I take 1 mg in the am and .5mg in the afternoon. I have had knee surgery and foot surgery. The most recent was the foot and the lidoderm patches work pretty well with that pain.
You do make a good point, why not use the lidoderm and OTC for my pain. Well, for me, right now its also the insidious nature of addiction that I am truly understanding. I am not ready to taper yet because of many reasons. First of all, is that most people relapse to there DOC if they stop taking sub. to soon. I admit this whole scenario has been a little different for me than most, yet I am being careful because I know there is a part of me that really likes the pain pills. I want to be sure I am ready to stop and for the right reasons. The time I tapered to .25mg and stopped was not too bad for a few days but then I had surgery and was using pain pills again so I do not think I truly got in the withdrawal. Anyway, at least I do know there are other RX for my pain issues when I do taper and stop.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:08 am 
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I have trouble with neck pain that turns into migraines. One of the things I had done to try to help it was radiofrequency ablation. The doctor will burn certain nerve endings in the neck. They do grow back, but it can help for several months.

The other thing I was given was samples of Flector patches. Unfortunately they are expensive, but you can cut the pieces down to size and apply them to painful areas. They decreased my pain quite a bit. I've used them on my jaw for TMJ and my neck.

I hope you find something that works well for you!

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:18 pm 
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Love your honesty. Sub worked for my pain as well...even at 3/4-to-1 mg p/day. I would still feel some pain but it was definitely tolerable.

Quote:
First of all, is that most people relapse to there DOC if they stop taking sub. to soon. I


Most people. Hmmm. I can understand why now that I'm on the "other side" of Sub. All that physical pain that was masked by the Sub has come back ...worse than it was before. I understand that is partly because my neurotransmitter have to be repleted, the serotonin, endorphins, etc. So I'm doing everything I can in the "natural" to get those synapses firing again: exercise, full range of vitamins and herbs, including amino acids and healthy eating—especially little to no sugar as that definitely adds to inflammation. (Sub made me crave sugar so I'm glad to be free of that unhealthy addiction!)

I'm not there yet. Pain, that hard master, still wants to immobilize me. 1200 mgs of prescription Ibuprofen did nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. So yesterday, rather than going back on Sub or Butrans patch (which I still have), I tried taking Neurontin during the day instead of just before bed (for morning migraines related to my neck issues and for CRPD in my left hand). It actually works pretty well, so I think that proves that my underlying issue is nerve damage in my neck. It doesn't stop the pain completely, or that horrible body-feels-like lead feeling, but it enables me to function and get stuff done.

Neurontin is mildly addicting, I believe, but until I can get treatment for my neck from doctor/chiro/physical therapist, I have to relieve the pain somehow.

Quote:
yet I am being careful because I know there is a part of me that really likes the pain pills


You are right, and like I said, honest. Who wouldn't like the feeling of little-to-no pain and in some cases, euphoria on top of it? But "the devil always has his due" as any person who has been on pain killers for any length of time will soon find out. You may feel "normal" on pain killers but more often than not, it's a "normal" not rooted in reality. For me, pre-sub, pain killers (mainly Vicodin) made me go through a daily manic-irritable-depressed cycle that cost me two jobs and the motivation to pursue my dreams and goals.

Then there is the spiritual cost. Interesting aside: Did you know that Jesus was offered a type of pain killer while He hung on the cross? If anyone could have used pain relief at that moment, it would have been Him. But He refused it, choosing instead to bear the full brunt of our sins so that we could be free! I find that astounding.

Anyway, thanks so much for bringing up the lidoderm option and for sharing your journey. I will pray for you that "when the time is right" you will have the courage and faith to be free of chemical substances altogether. Most important, that you will be completely healed of your physical ailments so that you won't need to resort to pain killers. That is certainly what I'm believing for myself!

Justdoit4u wrote:
P.T.P.,
Long story short, was on opiates, was tapering down yet was having a lot of trouble. Got on sub to help. Tapered the sub to .25mg , stopped for about a week, had surgery on my foot, went back using pain pills( super dumb, I know now), went back to sub once a finally accepted that I have addiction issues. What was hard is that I get pain relief from the sub with the small doses. I take 1 mg in the am and .5mg in the afternoon. I have had knee surgery and foot surgery. The most recent was the foot and the lidoderm patches work pretty well with that pain.
You do make a good point, why not use the lidoderm and OTC for my pain. Well, for me, right now its also the insidious nature of addiction that I am truly understanding. I am not ready to taper yet because of many reasons. First of all, is that most people relapse to there DOC if they stop taking sub. to soon. I admit this whole scenario has been a little different for me than most, yet I am being careful because I know there is a part of me that really likes the pain pills. I want to be sure I am ready to stop and for the right reasons. The time I tapered to .25mg and stopped was not too bad for a few days but then I had surgery and was using pain pills again so I do not think I truly got in the withdrawal. Anyway, at least I do know there are other RX for my pain issues when I do taper and stop.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Thanks so much, Amy! Very helpful suggestion. :) I will ask my doctor about that on Tuesday. Is there a special kind of doctor that performs this procedure?

I too have migraines resulting from my neck issues. I have been taking Neurontin at night to help with that. Now I'm taking Neurontin during the day as well to help with the neck pain that was masked by the Sub and all over body pain resulting from PAWS. It does help, but it's only a temporary solution until I can find something like you just suggested.

I was planning on getting some cervical epidural steroid injections (have had these before) but I worry about the long term damage of that. I am also going to a chiropractor next week...and maybe even acupuncture.

Have you tried any of those options? Or did the radio frequency ablation work for you so that you didn't need anything else? Also, what are Flector patches? Never heard of them. If they generate heat, those won't work for me as my neck does not react well to heat...only cold.

Lots of questions for you...sorry!


Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
I have trouble with neck pain that turns into migraines. One of the things I had done to try to help it was radiofrequency ablation. The doctor will burn certain nerve endings in the neck. They do grow back, but it can help for several months.

The other thing I was given was samples of Flector patches. Unfortunately they are expensive, but you can cut the pieces down to size and apply them to painful areas. They decreased my pain quite a bit. I've used them on my jaw for TMJ and my neck.

I hope you find something that works well for you!

Amy


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:15 am 
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The flector patches do not give a hot or cold sensation. The anti-inflammatory medication is applied topically wherever you are hurting. Here's a link that explains it better: https://www.flectorpatch.com/what-is-flector-patch.aspx

I was seeing a doctor in a spinal clinic who did the RFA. I didn't really give it a chance and I don't remember how effective it was for me because all I wanted was pills! I jumped through a bunch of hoops in order to continue receiving prescriptions.

Another medication I sometimes take to help with the neck and head pain is called Nucynta ER. My sub doctor prescribes them to me. Although Nucynta does have an opiate component, it has worked very well for my addiction. The ER stands for extended release, and it doesn't cause the euphoric sensations that other, more traditional, opiates do.

I also want to note that there are coupons available online for both the flector patch and for Nucynta ER.

I hope I've answered all of your questions!

Amy

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