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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:52 am 
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Hello all,

This past Monday I was in for a XLIF procedure on L1-L2 disc. Like everybody else on subs, I was scared out of my wits about dealing with doctors and nurses that don't know and don't want to know why I am any different than the other 25 people on the floor. I was on Sub for about 2 years, but quit when I f'd up my back AGAIN. I was fused from L2-S1 but went back to construction work like an idiot and landed back in the hospital. Anyway, I went back to my pain specialist and explained the situation. I told him about being on sub before surgery and he agreed to put me back on norco to get the sub out of my system. I can tell you that there is absolutely no effect besides being tired from the narcotic pain meds. He started me on 6 tablets daily and that was not enough to even cover the WD's. Next visit we went up to 8 daily and that just barely got me through without major symptoms. I was off of sub for about 2.5 months and am just now feeling the effects of the pain meds. My advice to anyone going into an elective surgery would be the following:

Get off of the subs way in advance, it's not the medicine but the tolerance to pain meds that will get you.

I have found on this board that taking 1 mg or less can be a positive thing. I have never experienced the dreaded precipitated W/D that people talk about for more than a couple of minutes.

I have also found that if you are taking something that is not good to just stop. Your body is used to getting it and will not be right if stopped abruptly. Wean for a few days and it will be much better, regardless of which medicine. Again, I have never had a problem with taking in combination, just don't go over a SMALL amount of sub.

I now believe that using opiates to stop or reduce sub use is a valid thing to do for me. It works. I was stuck bad at 4 MG. but now am down to under 2 only because of the pain pills. Don't just believe the "rules" about taking sub after norco will put you into massive withdrawal, find out for yourself. Remember "SMALL amounts" 1 Mg. or less.

As usual, it's hit and miss as far as the nurses go. You have to take care of yourself because many do not know and don't care to know about suboxone. You are very much on your own here, unfortunately.

If you are due for spinal fusion, check our the xlif approach. It's better unless your L5-S1 level needs it. I was on my way home the next day.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:48 am 
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Steve, thanks so much for sharing your experience and advice! You will probably help a lot of future surgery patients by putting this out there.

You're not the first person who has mentioned that taking a low dose of sub with IR opiate meds like norcos is an effective combination for pain.

I hope that the XLIF procedure turned out to be a lasting fix for you!

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Steve, thanks for sharing your story. I hope your recovery from your surgery is going smoothly.
I am a nurse, but I work in psychiatry, so I have never heard of an XLIF procedure. Can you tell me something abut it? I'm sorry you have been dealing with back pain - it so sucks, and can make anyone miserable.
I'm weaning in anticipation of a hysterectomy May 29th. I am hoping to get to 1mg; am currently just dropped from a stable 3mg dose, now to 2mg. So far, so good on the WD's.
So are you back on suboxone now, or still on the Norco? I'm planning on allowing myself narcotics for 2 weeks and then going back on suboxone at whatever dose I can stabilize at before surgery. I had a very bad experience with depression with my last weaning attempt, so I'm going to be much kinder to myself this time.
Good luck, I hope you heal completely and rapidly, and that your pain is improved so your ife is good!


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Hey guys,

Been off line for a while. Xonedone, I see you are having your surgery today. Hope all is well. Sorry I did not get to respond before you went in. The support from people who have been there can be important. A small tip that may help you is to focus on your breathing. It helped me with the pain. Some say it is a switch between the conscious/subconscious and how they are tied to each other. To answer your question, I am back on a smaller amount of sub. Was taking the norco after surgery and am glad I had it, but I really don't want to be on it anymore. I am convinced that being on sub for a longer amount of time is important. You will hear people talk about the 12 years they took heroin, but scoff at being on suboxone for over 1 year as if it is totally ridiculous. You need that time to get away from the lifestyle and forget about it. I believe it takes that long to get back to being yourself mentally also, it just takes a long time for nerves or your brain to heal and get back to normal. Surgery is a scary bump in the road for anyone wanting to stop narcotic use. I was pleasantly surprised that it did not make me go back to the bad thoughts we all dread. I was offered pain meds from a dentist today and just said I don't need it. That is a big thing for me. So far the worst part is the depression and lack of energy.

Thanks to all who contribute to this forum.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:24 pm 
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stevemc, thanks for your kind thoughts. I'm home recuperating now. I am getting good pain relief from motrin and percocet. The blessing is that I don't get any kind of high from the percocet so it's not rousing the crave monster. Will be very careful though.
I have spoken with a friend who's an addictionologist, and she strongly recommended going back on the 1mg of sub/day about 24 hours after I no longer need any percocet. She reminded me that weaning off sub while recuperating from major surgery is not a great idea. So that's my plan. Since I'm only at day 2 after surgery, I'm still needing the narc about every 4-5 hours. Hoping that tomorrow is better and I can cut back. I don't need to be a hero but I also don't need to worry my loved ones who are concerned about me getting into trouble with the narcs.
Your information is helping me believe I have made the right choice. I'm glad things are going well for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Xonedone,

I'm very happy to hear that your pain is being managed well post surgery! Good luck with the rest of your recuperation!

Amy

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Xonedone,

Good to hear you have a specific plan, that's important. As far as long term, If you want you can try to take less sub than before surgery and see what happens. For me, I needed about half of what it was before going back on norco which is huge for me because I was stuck there. Getting below 4Mg. was causing some serious headaches, lethargy, lack of concentration, etc. but because I wasn't taking it while on norco it seems I don't need nearly as much as before. I am at about 1.5 or less right now and dropping. I'm sure not many doctors would recommend taking narcotics to wean off sub but in a weird way it works. I say this just so you can try it if you want. I think if you go right back to what you were taking, you will quickly get accustomed to it again, possibly for no reason, unless you plan to stay on suboxone. Even then, perhaps you could do just as well with less. Obviously, if you are at all worried about relapse it's best to just stop any narcotic medicine. Let us know how it works out for you.


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