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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:14 am 
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Hi All,
Well I'm still waiting to see my doctor for the pain in my hands, but in the meantime something else just came up yesterday! I ended up in the er with severe pain in my chest where I can't take a deep brreath with out it hurting really bad..I also have developed a fever. Anyway, the er did several test and could not find what was wrong with me!! Mind you all the while I was in the er, they gave me motrin for the pain which OMG did nothing!! This is horrible as I feel that because I told them I'm on suboxone, they think that I am drug seeking. Please help me as I am in extreme pain and feel like I am left to just suffer!!!! The pain is so unbearable..Please help me ! I don't know what to do.

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:26 am 
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Hi Karen,

Oh my, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm not sure what any of us can do for you specifically, but I'll try to offer my support and maybe a different perspective. I'm glad you went to the ER, although I'm not sure I understand why they didn't admit you. But, at least they didn't find anything, and by that I mean at least they gave you a thorough work up (I'm assuming they did that) and found nothing wrong with your heart. That's a good thing, right?

Has it occurred to you that perhaps you're having panic attacks? Keep in mind I'm neither a doctor nor any type of medical professional, just someone trying to offer you some answers. Forgive me if I've forgotten, but have you ever suffered from anxiety? Are there any particular stressors in your life right now? Obviously I'm not there and I can't diagnose you, but it's something that occurred to me right away as I read your post. I've had panic attacks myself and it is possible. It's amazing how a panic attack can manifest itself in all sorts of very scary ways. Have you made an appointment to see your doctor about this, too? I know you're waiting to see her/him about your hands, but considering this is a bit more emergent, maybe you can get in sooner.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help. I hope you're OK...Please let us know how this turns out.

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Sorry to hear about the pain. I hope it gets figured out. What I'm going to say might may not be popular and I'm sure many will disagree. Depending on where you are at with your sobriety I don't think taking some sort of pain med is wrong. I've had a few procedures in the past few years and have always refused pain meds (even T 3's). I don't trust myself and prob. never will, but there's a theory that pain can be more of a issue for replapse than pain meds taken as prescribed. My sponsor was put on percs after cancer treatment and he did fine. He is also very spiritualy solid with decades of sobriety. Only you know how bad the pain really is and where you are at in your recovery. To thy own self be true. I don't believe anyone should have to live in pain. Again I would never trust myself but I've seen people get through having to be on pain meds and come out ok but I'm sure there are a million cases where people do not. I would not do anything without talking to my sponsor, councelor, sub doc, or anyone close that knows you situation. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 12:16 pm 
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I read a study that said that taking pain meds for legitimate pain isn't as much of a risk to sobriety as leaving the patient without pain control. That more often than not is more apt to lead to relapse. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:05 pm 
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but......

If the ER docs really thought you were looking for pain meds, that seems quite foolish. If someone is actively using subs, they aren't going to get high from anything they give you. Hell, if you are on a high dose, your tolerance is so high you probably wouldn't get a buzz from vics even after stopping the subs for a couple days.

Sounds like another case of doctors not knowing enough about suboxone. Seems like they should be worried about the non-suboxone patient complaining of pain they can't find the source of.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:46 pm 
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OK, this is why I worked so f---ing hard to get down to 2mg a day, If you go to the ER. or the dentists office and your not on a lot of sub, taking a Vicodin or an Ultram will most definitely help a little with pain, you will feel a little shitty though and will not get high at all. My Dr. ( shrink )who scripts me the sub understands some procedures will have some pain with it for a day or two. He did tell me to give the pills to my wife to hand out to me when I needed them. I'm sorry but only 2 people know I'm on suboxone, my wife and my shrink.. Not even my internist Dr. knows I take 2mg of sub a day, I see no reason for people to know that I was or am opiate dependant.. To all the Military people, THANK YOU for your service, Mike


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 Post subject: pain
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:37 pm 
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Thank you everyone for your response..I am really scared now that if I ever go back to the er in an emergency, I will be left to suffer!!! The doctors are so ignarant about suboxone and don't want to give the suboxone patient anything for pain...so what is going to happen the next time I'm in need of pain meds. Do I have to suffer????? I have no desire in getting high all I wanted was to have some sort of relief and that was not the case. Thank God I had motrin 800 and took that 3 times today and the pain has subsided. But because of this I am now considering getting off the suboxone because I WILL NOT SUFFER!! If anything, it made me want to go on the streets to find something just so that I could tolerate the pain. But Thanks to God that didn't happen...I just came home took a motrin and sat up in a chair until I could fall asleep. This is very scary to me as I have no tolerance to pain and I don't know what is going to happen if I ever come across something like that again. Oh and I don't suffer from anxiety this was extreme pain in my chest and progressed at movement and taking a deaph breath.

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 Post subject: Karen.............
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:19 pm 
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I can see your just starting to figure all this out. Please dont go " on the street " for anything anymore


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 Post subject: don't worry!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:05 am 
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Seems like I have a lot of loose change in my pocket these days... sticking my 0.02$ here and there... like it's laundry day :) anywayz, the pain...

First. ER docs, be they completely, brutally, irreversably brainwashed by after-school anti-drug propaganda, even if they're all total pricks and driven drug-nazis, - they still need their jobs and licenses. In their world, letting a patient suffer some major organ damage, end up in an ICU or, god forbid, die, - still ranks much higher on a no-no scale than dispensing some Vicodin to a drug-seeking addict. You said they gave you a full workup - and stuff like heart-attack, endocarditis, other serious cardiac conditions, and also respiratory issues - all of that is visible "to the naked eye" of medical professionals. Hell, even a second-year nurse trainee can detect a faint heart murmur, though her stethoscope keeps sliding off coz she doesn't wear it right :) . Sharp chest pains associated with heart attack (more tricky, since lots of things like indigestion sometimes feel exactly alike) are usually accompanied by radiating pain in left hand and shoulder, and hand numbness is mostly concentrated on the left side. Besides, even if there's a _suspicion_ of a heart attack, they won't let you go until they have ruled it out. Lung problems can be identified just as easy - pneumonia, infection, fibrosis and other nasties have lots of chutzpah, and they announce their arrival loud and clear.

And even if the doc is deaf... and coudn't hear all the noise in your chest - here comes the blood test, and all the little mean things that escaped doctors attention in the first round can get caught in the second. All the really important stuff is accounted for - cardiac enzymes, white blood cells (to rule out infection), blood oxygen or whatever - anything that can be life threatening or indicate some major organ failure or systemic illness, gets checked. They don't make exceptions for drug addicts - junkies' lawsuits are as frivolous as everyone else's :)

And if by the end of the day they told you everything was normal, and you could go home - not "we'll cal you in the morning", not "make an appointment with your family doc", - just... go home, - well... you pain, although pretty bad, was not a symptom of something urgent and serious. You still may have a condition, but for that you should go to your doctor, someone who knows you, maybe do a bunch of additional tests (since they only test for "life or death" situations in the ER) - and eventually get a diagnosis if it is in fact a condition that requires treatment. ER won't treat you, they only save lives (and, hopefully, limbs :). Even someone with a broken arm gets out of ER ward with a bandage, a Percacet lollipop and referral to a specialist...

And while you're - hopefully - making an appointment with your physician, I have another suggestion you might want to consider. These chest pains you're having - sharp stabbing pains accompanied by inability to take a breath, - are very familiar to me. I've experienced them for years back when I was a teenager. It was nothing - just some nerves misfiring (any change in your metabolism, like puberty, changing a workout routine, changing medications that affect CNS, taking on a strenuous task can do that). Often is can be a symptom of COSTOCHONDRITIS, an inflammation of the joints in your chest. "Costochondritis usually goes away on its own. Try an anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve the pain. Heat may also help. See your doctor if the pain doesn't get better with these treatments.", they say on some webpage, (I don't want to be flagged a spammer, so no links - you've got Google!:)

On the more important issue - the pain, the suffering, and the uptight medical people... well... What happened has already happened, but for future mishaps, I've mapped out 2 different routes.

1. Tell your Doc you're on Sub. Better yet - get a written note from your Sub doc (like in kindergarten, lol) where he in short describes how Bupe affects your pain receptors and why giving you opiate drugs will probably not help at all. make your Sub Doc sign the note M.D. - otherwise all you say will probably be as effective as white noise... sad but true. ER docs are trained to catch the symptoms and ignore patients "explanations" for those symptoms. For conditions diagnosed earlier there's medical history. I'm not talking about the addict part... Anyway, repeat - no opiate drugs, no opiate drugs for me, at least not for 2 days. An addict making a point NOT to take an opiate will at least make them see you as a bona-fide patioent and not a drug seeker. Also, "lowering" your pain level on that funny 10-point painscale might make an impression - cause, you know, (don't tell anyone, it's a secret!) - but when you tell them "it's 7" or "it's around 9 and 10" - they hear "blah!" and look at your face and skin. There are some uncontrolled muscle movements, some faint changes in your breathing, pupil dilation, heart rate, blood pressure, skin color and temperature, perspiration and tons of other things you can't control or even notice when you're in pain, but they do! And they rate your pain according to what they _see_, not what they hear from you, the patient. Pain is always subjective. All that scale does - for someone "clean" it shows his baseline pain tolerance, but for someone they consider a junkie - unfortunately... you get my point. So, route no1 -
Less is more, I call it - some short-term suffering may prove advantageous later by being taken seriously and given some additional test and needed referrals instead of being booted out the door to score somewhere else.

2. Sub is not God :) Which means, if you're one a dose less then 4 mgs a day (and I mean 4 mgs=half of an 8 mg pill, not an actual amount in your system which is always less than the dose you take), painkillers WILL work. I had to find out the hard way... oh well... anywayz, 2 vicodin probably won't do a thing, so feel free to refuse them with pride and quiet dignity :) But something like 10 mgs of morphine IV or its equivalent in Dilaudid or oral oxycodone are bound to have some effect. Especially if your last dose of Sub was more than 8 hours ago. In fact, that's how I relapsed - shot 5 mgs (1/10 of my usual dose) of heroin to prove to myself once again, that bupe is there to guard me from all evil, no later than 4 hours after taking the last 4 mgs of Sub, - and found myself on the floor with my tongue out, drooling, staring at invisible cats... well, enough about that - maybe I'll tell the full story in my own thread, - but you see my point.
So, when you find yourself in a situation where you have to go to ER and deal with some random med. personnel, I would recommend not telling them about Bupe at all, and meanwhile - try to reduce your dose in a way that would keep you from getting high when the cravings come, but will release you fast enough when you're in need of some serious pain control. Like, taking 8 mgs daily, for instance. Taking less when you have no cravings at all is OK, I think, but if you still have that urge to use once in a while - it's better to stay on the sage side and keep that Bupe well above itss ceiling level, which means - at least 6 mgs. But that's MY math, MY opinion, My experience. Your body is unique, and Buprenorphine is too complex and unpredictable, so...

Sorry, I know I write humongous boring posts... it's a tedious task, but someone has to do it :)
Good luck to all.

p.s. my post is in NO WAY a recommendation on "how to cheat on sub". You CANNOT cheat on sub. You can either be on it or relapse. Don't try lowering your dose and "sit on two chairs at once". You'll fall thru :) so don't even try.

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