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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:47 am 
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Prior to my most recent round of active addiction, I was diagnosed with a medical condition that can cause severe pain. My doctor prescibed vicodin because he said ibuprofin would not work for this (I already knew that). There isn't really a "cure" for this although some things make it go away like menapause (long ways off) or pregnancy (shouldn't be a parent). So I can get surgery and they can remove my sweat glands. But according to my surgeon, sweat glands aren't generally waving big red flags which is why we can't fix it all at once. So I have had 17 pretty intense surgeries over 10+ years.

Anyhow, over time, I became addicted to the vicodin and percocet. Complications post surgery #1 caused me to be hospitalized for a week where they gave me IV dilaudid every day. When I returned home on IV antibiotic therapy, NOTHING worked for my pain and I was MISERABLE. It seems that after that, my tolerance remained high and vicodin no longer worked. So they gave me percocet for surgeries and vicodin on a regular basis (20 per month) which really didn't cut it because it was like I was immune. A "friend" gave me oxycontin after watcing me be so uncomfortable. She did warn me that it was extremely addictive and to be careful, but I am an addict. I was addicted within 2 weeks.

Anyhow, the issue for me then and the issue now is how to safely deal with this without getting back into active addiction. I must say, suboxone was helpful for the chronic pain and it was safe. Surgeries were difficult but now that I read some of the information here, possible if handled correctly. But now that I am off the suboxone, I have no idea how to handle this. A part of me says finish the remaining surgery I need while off the suboxone and then get back on the suboxone since it was safer and I was ok on it for the most part. What other options are there? If I do nothing then I would end up using every single sick day and vacation day every year staying home with pain. I really don't want to do that.

And to add to this....once off the suboxone it became evident that I have peripheral neuropathy (almost positive I am pre-diabetic) and neurontin works but it makes me stupid. I can function well on it so long as I am not trying to speak. When I try to speak it comes out like I have a really bad hangover. You know, where your thoughts and speech don't really connect. I wouldn't go back on suboxone for this reason alone most likely, but it seems like it was a decent solution to multiple problems and honestly I don't know what my other options might be.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:35 am 
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Hi Jackcrack,

I, like you and many others, became addicted after needing pain meds for legitimate medical conditions. I started suboxone a little over a year ago and am still on it. I take it for both my addiction as well as for my pain. (I have two chronic pain conditions - fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis.) Suboxone definitely helps my pain, but doesn't completely erase it. Some days it's tolerable, others not so much. I also take a muscle relaxer, but no other pain meds. I intend to stay on suboxone for both reasons. And in my opinion - at least for my particular circumstances, there really aren't any other alternatives.

My husband also has peripheral neuropathy so I see firsthand the extreme and constant pain of such a condition. He's found nothing at all to give him relief. So if suboxone helped with that - and I've heard it does - that's a large factor in your decision.

If suboxone helped both of your conditions, you might reconsider going back on it. In thinking about returning to pain meds, try to first imagine exactly what will happen to you. Unfortunately I don't seem very capable of writing well this morning so I don't know if this will help you at all. I just wanted you to know that when it comes to chronic pain, you're not alone. I hope you find a solution that works for you. Oh - and in using suboxone for chronic pain, some doctors (like mine) will have you dose more than once daily.

Take care and keep us posted.

Melissa

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:02 pm 
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I also have interstitial cystitis along with a bunch of other things...what fun! I have a dear friend and a relative with fibro; my relative is on disability because of it. I feel for them.

Anyway, along those lines, I just came across this patent application and--admittedly, I haven't read the whole thing--thought you both might find it interesting if you haven't seen it already:

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/59004 ... ption.html

I am working on some solutions for my migraine dilemma--maybe I won't have to be in such a hurry to taper off subs if I can have a compounding pharmacy make up a proper buprenorphine concoction for treating severe pain. I'll have to ask my new doc when I see her at the end of March.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Thank you SO much, Morningglory, for that awesome link. I've got some reading and research to do.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:49 am 
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You're welcome. Hatmaker!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:17 pm 
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I read most of the information in that link.

What I'd really like to hear is Dr. Junig's opinion on the differences between Suboxone and the bupe that's being spoke of in the article for treatment of CFS/Fibromyalgia.

I know you're busy, but any opinion, SuboxDoc?

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:23 am 
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I've found that Suboxone helps with my chronic pain. It doesn't make it go away, but it does keep it at a level I find manageable most of the time. I normally get Facet and trigger point injections, and the combination of all three worked very well, but I'm unemployed now, so I can only afford my Bupe doc and I've applied for the Patient assistance program with the manufacturer of Suboxone so I can get it free while unemployed.

Bottom line: Bupe is an okay pain reliever. I may complain that it's not helping enough when I'm taking it, but if I stop taking it or forget to take it 1st thing, there's a noticeable spike in my pain, so it's doing something. It's not Dilaudid, but it's better than Advil.

J

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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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