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 Post subject: How Did I Get Here?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:17 pm
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It started for me on 12/3/2003, the day I hurt my back at work. I was diagnosed with a lumbar radiculopathy and the neurologist put me on two months of bed rest along with Percocet and Flexeril. The Percocets gave me relief for 5 hours.
I learned if I didn't take one every 4 hours, after the fifth hour I would be back in pain- even if I was sleeping, it would wake me up & I would suffer while I waited 30-40 minutes for the Percocet to get to work. MY pain would then rather quickly go to pins & needles and then I was okay as long as I laid down. Sitting since then has been & remains to be a position I can not tolerate. The Flexeril after the second month had me imagining spiders were crawling on the ceiling. The combination of the meds had me to where I couldn't count easily pass the number 5. When I went on the Internet, I learned I was on double the recommended dosage level. The doctor told me he wanted me relaxed. Here the opposite effect was achieved to a point that the clicking of the clocks on the wall were like I was in a huge bell tower & anything was setting me into a rage. I am thankful a friend of mine cared enough to intervene and I had a caring wife who tolerated this behavior. I threw the Flexeril in the toilet and then went through a withdrawal that lasted a week. I'd be too hot, so I'd take an ice cold bath. Then I would be too cold & couldn't be warm enough. In the meantime I had 3 spinal epidural injections which only seemed to make matters worse as my left foot was turning blue & was ice cold. I found a different neurologist who looked at it and said it looked like RSD aka CRPS- chronic regional pain syndrome. This is what go me hooked onto Dilaudid & Avinza. I found OxiContin provided me the most relief, but it also made me very ill. I heard it was a pill easy to become addicted to. I was instead taking morphine... for over 4 years now. I tried to simply go cold turkey & quickly learned that was not a very good idea. My doctor is concerned for me as I am not liking the fact that I am unable to work. He suggested I consider taking Suboxone. I hate the taste of it. But I am will to try it. I am not familiar with the high feeling people who take these types of drugs on their own. So I hope I will be able to totally withdraw. I never craved the other meds unless the pain level in my left leg shot high.

I am an adult and I take responsibility for my own actions. I have a problem which not many people are familiar with. I am a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator but I need to come off the morphine meds. So I might as well try it now.

If there are others like you with RSD, I would sure like to know how you are managing.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Welcome backhertz!

Wow, I sure feel for your situation and your back. Pain relievers and muscle relaxers are part of my family now - my wife faces that mountain every day. Different pain source, same attack.

I don't have a story that is similar to yours, but I want to make sure you feel welcome here!

Sometimes, doctors in your situation are not too great at explaining suboxone - and what to expect. Maybe you can share with us what your expectations are regarding suboxone? One thing I was thinking about was how big of a dose of morphiene you are/were on?

Have you done a bit of research on suboxone (buprenorphine)? I hope so!

If you haven't done much research, or if your doctor hasn't detailed out this drug - suboxone is a combo pill. buprenorphine and naloxone together are suboxone. naloxone is there to stop any sort of abuse.

The only reason I ask about your expectations and understanding is that if you are NOT really clear about this medication you may really suffer.

buprenorphine binds to the opiate pain receptors that morphine, dilaudid, oxycodone, oxycontin, methadone, etc. do. In your case, you probably were on a pretty high dose of pain medication to help you survive. Here's a short on the difference of suboxone and your other pain medications (not muscle relaxers that I know of).

Suboxone is only partially helpful in pain management. It is called a 'partial-agonist' where the others are a 'full agonsist' medication. Suboxone will hit a ceiling for your pain control quickly - and taking more does nothing to help. Suboxone has a stronger affinity to the receptor than the other medication, so once you are on suboxone (huge half-life say 37 hours versus 4 hours for percocet), you can take percocet (or others), but not find any relief. In your world, you'd be better off taking 3 ibuprophen for the pain if suboxone is not enough (say past probably 12mg/day).

I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom! Please understand for many of us here - who want off the opiate dependence - this is a FANTASTIC medication! It gives us freedom from the - every 4 hours I need a pill. Then we can taper off this medication, as we deal with the other issues in our lives - that lead us to this disease.

In your case, it sounds like you are facing SERIOUS PAIN. Suboxone may or may not be the ticket for pain - but it will get morphine out of your system..

Will they give you the 'spinal cord stimulator' if you are on suboxone? Do you have to be 100% off any opiate - even partial opiates like suboxone? In your world - do you have to be without almost any pain medication before they give you the 'spinal cord stimulator?'

I hope you keep us up to date on how this works for you - and how it helps or doesn't help with the big pain you have, etc.

We are here to help you as we can! Welcome, and I hope you post often - because many people here do have chronic pain and are seeking to be off opiates. TAKE GOOD CARE!

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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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