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 Post subject: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:26 am 
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Hi everyone. About one week ago I developed this strange pain in my right knee. "Developed" is really not the right word, because when I went to bed the night before it wasn't there and when I woke up next morning boom-there it was. The pain itself is not super intense but is bothersome. But, I'm having difficulty bending my knee all the way and lifting my leg off the ground. And when I walk it sometimes feels like my knee is buckling or is going to give out. The muscle right above my kneecap feels what I can only describe as "heavy". Actually, the whole leg feels a little heavy. Never had anything like this so I'm a little weirded out (BTW: I don't think Suboxone has anything to do with these symptoms. If this happened right after I started it or increased a dose I might wonder about it, but I'm not connecting the two, that is not my question). Anyone have an experience like this? (again, not related to Suboxone, unless that is relevant).

I have been putting off seeing a doctor for two reasons. One, because I assumed that I just twisted or pulled something and that after some rest, ice and ibuprofen it would get better. Unfortunately it isn't getting better, but seems to be getting worse. Second and most important reason that I do not want to see a doctor is because I don't feel like explaining that I'm an addict and that I take Suboxone, especially to a doctor who may not be real familiar with it. I haven't seen my PCP in over a year and he doesn't even know that I'm addicted to opioids and am taking Suboxone. I don't want to deal with anyone's judgement or opinions about whether or how long it should be used.

I also feel like a doctor would take one look at my chart and be like, "Oh, opiate addict, looking for drugs" and not take my concerns seriously. Even though I will say, "I don't want any opiate medication." Hell, I used to say that during active addiction manipulatively and I often would walk away with a script I told the doctor I didn't want. But that was when they saw a quiet, unassuming, mother of 2, not someone who basically has a scarlett "A" for addict inscribed in the chart.

Finally, to be honest, I have a hard time even trusting myself or making my best judgements. Right now I am in pain, but the pain is not my biggest concern. My biggest concern is the fact that my knee and leg are not working the same way that they did a week ago, and its starting to interfere with daily living. I also think of worst case scenarios so I have a list of horrible things that could be wrong already in my head. But, I'm also scared, because what if the pain gets worse? How will I know if I'm just too focused on it? And if it keeps getting worse and I can't control the pain and no one will give me opiates which I know will control my pain. My mind kind of gets a little out of control, and that is where I am right now.

Anyone have any insight or advice? How do you handle seeing doctors when dealing with Suboxone? How do you deal with pain that has not become chronic yet? Can I even be objective about my own pain?

Thanks for any input. Best,
Tragicom

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 Post subject: Re: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Hey tragicom! Just an FYI I'm so happy that ur a member here and I enjoy all ur posts :)

Well I haven't had the knee thing happen but I have a bad back. A few times over the years of me being on suboxone, I have had some pain that put me down for awhile that I believe a normal person that isn't an addict, would definitely already had been to their doctor. I didn't go because of the exact reason ur explaining. I knew back pain is a classic symptom that some addicts kind of go to in order to fool the doctors for some pain medication, so I felt that was an even bigger negative on my side. I honestly should have went but I didn't. It's like now that we're addicts, in recovery or not, we have a strike against us already walking in to a doctors office because we have to (or feel like we have to) convince the doctor that we're telling the truth. So I definitely relate to everything ur talking about.

I remember when I had to have some pretty extensive dental work done a couple years into my recovery, I went in 100% honest with the dentist. I just told him that I was a suboxone patient and I didn't want any pain medication and I'd been without any opiates for years. He immediately respected me for that. It did give me hope that maybe I was overthinking things.

Regardless we're addicts and we're going to have things happen that will require a visit to the doctor, so we may as well just show up and tell them we aren't looking for pain medication and we're in recovery. Surly we can't go wrong by being honest. I mean... sometimes we may get a doctor that wants to judge us because we're addicts but I think some will really respect us for being honest. That's just how I now feel about it.

Ur going to be going to a doctor that you've established that doctor/patient relationship with in the past, so I can also understand how that could make things a bit different for u. I still think u should go. Walk in with ur head held high and just be totally honest. I think things will be ok and you'll leave feeling better........ and ur knee will soon feel better too :)

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 Post subject: Re: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Thanks Jenn! It's helpful to know others have felt the same way and encouraging to know that you can hold your head up high and not worry so much about being judged for being an addict or taking Suboxone. You have a great way of putting things in perspective for me! I am going to contact my PCP and address this knee pain. It's affecting my daily life right now, and I'm a busy mother of two with a full time job. I can't really be "out of commission". Thanks for the advice.

Anyone else suffer from knee, or other joint pain, and if so, how do you manage?

Have a great night.

Best,
Tragicom

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 Post subject: Re: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:10 am 
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Hi, just giving an update. I couldn't get an appointment with my PCP until next week so I went to an urgent care. I was having trouble walking, and I'd be standing and all of the sudden my knee just gave out. I almost fell a few times. So at urgent care they did an exam and X-rays. I was relieved to find out nothing was broken, but they weren't really certain what was wrong. Doctor said maybe knee sprain since there was a lot of inflammation. He gave me a Cortisone shot and recommended physical therapy for one month.

I can feel the shot starting to work as it is getting easier to move, but I'm just worried because I have no idea how I injured it, if this is going to be a chronic problem, etc. PT is usually helpful but I've got zero time to fit in 2-3 PT sessions per week, along with my 2 children, their activities, my individual counseling, Sub appointments, etc. Aggh!

Suboxone part- the doctor I saw was pretty old, not really personable, but acted as if taking Suboxone was completely normal, so that was really nothing to worry about. That was encouraging but I'm still skeptical of seeing health care professionals because I don't want to deal with the whole ordeal, but I guess the more I push through that fear the more normal it will feel.

Craving- I found that going to a doctor for a pain related condition triggering and despite being completely stable and happy on Suboxone, craving opioid medication. My main source of opioids came directly from the prescription pad, so I found myself kind of twitchy in there, with a voice screaming "pain meds!" In my head. Makes no sense since i spoke to the doctor upfront about Suboxone and the injury wouldn't usually warrant opioid treatment anyway, so there was less than zero chance I would be getting any opioids, still the addict within screamed loudly.

Just trying to keep going through this injury- it is causing problems with daily activities, time management, causing pain, messing with my recovering mind- trying to awaken my addict voice and now I'm worried about it becoming a chronic problem. I already have one chronic pain condition, can't stand the thought of another! My mind is just running away with worry, I need to reel it back in. Any encouragement or advice is welcome.

Tragicom

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 Post subject: Re: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:57 am 
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I'm glad u went tragicom because u obviously needed medical treatment. I think it's pretty normal that u went through those feelings of being triggered. That's how u obtained ur doc. If I was sitting in my dealers living room, I'm sure I'd have a few memories pop in my head too. So I think it's a normal thing to feel when ur in a situation like that. U went in there and was completely honest about ur recovery and that's all in the world u could have done.

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 Post subject: Re: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:35 pm 
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Thanks Jenn! Your support and encouragement is so helpful, I just love how sincere and non judgmental you are toward people. It's been a rough week and it's nice to have people who care around to listen. Even if nobody is listening it feels good to get it out, but then having people who understand and can empathize keeps me from feeling too isolated. I have supports, I'm trying to do all the work, and move forward with life and overall things are good. But some days it's like "Damn, being an addict sucks!" I won't let myself wallow in that self pity too long because I'm too grateful to be alive, not in jail, with my family, on Suboxone, growing. But ya know what I mean. Anyhow, thanks! Best,
Tragicom

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 Post subject: Re: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:47 pm 
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Hi Tragicom,

I understand just how you feel. After 6 vascular bypasses and two amputations, I have found myself in the ER, knowing opioid meds were going to be the only solution and wondering if my pain would be managed or if the subs were not going to let it. Once the dilaudid or morphine did it's job, the brain starts looking for the high. I must admit, I don't feel it that much so I find myself just wanting to go back to my suboxone and not even dealing with that problem. My happy, stable, normal life on Subs.

I just got home from the hospital after 10 days. I had 2 tumors and had surgery. They had me on some unreal stuff and, yes, I felt it but I was getting scared that I liked it too much. Yesterday I made the transition back to Suboxone. Yayyy for me. I am happy and the opioids are behind me. My friend now is Ibuprophen, thank you very much.

I'm glad your knee pain was solved without opioids. It's not worth the trouble and the mental battle.

I hope you keep getting better and take it from Queenie, You're not missing a thing.

Hugs,
Queenie


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 Post subject: Re: Managing a new pain
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Hi Queenie,
Thanks so much for your response. I read your post about your recent hospitalization and, wow, you have been through quite an ordeal the past week or so. It actually puts my knee pain into some perspective. My pain, as I said is bothersome but not unmanageable. The ibuprofen hurts my stomach but Tylenol helps a little.

Queenie, I'm so glad you made it home, made it through your stay in the hospital, made it through all of the pain, were able to take some strong pain medication only for pain relief, and able to get back on Subs. That is quite a lot to go through in 10 days. And what an accomplishment, it takes strength and courage to go through all of that and really want to get off the opiates and back on Subs. So, you are a great role model.

It was also relieving to read that your doctors were familiar with Suboxone and how to provide pain relief while on Sub. That is an anxiety for me, as well as many other people. I worry so much because I am an opiate addict but I also suffer from chronic pain and I really don't respond well to many types of pain relievers. Ibuprofen can help a little but is very hard on my stomach. Tylenol also can help a little but not much.

Suboxone has helped my chronic pain immensely, but I'm scared to have pain that I can't get relief from. There was a thread a little bit ago about having dental work and most people saying all they needed was ibuprofen and i felt panicky just reading about it. I remember having a complicated root canal done several years ago and I was using prescription strength ibuprofen type medication that was working a little when, bam, horrible tooth pain. Like a migraine in my tooth, or like knives repeatedly stabbing. I had to call my dentist in tears asking for something more. So, I worry that people just won't believe that I have a sensitivity to some type of pain . . . Still gives me chills thinking about that pain with no relief.

Queenie, thank you, please make sure to keep taking care of yourself at home. Be well, stay well, and thanks again for all that you do for everyone!
Best,

Tragicom

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