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Oxycontin and Surgery
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Oxycontin and Surgery

Hello:
My dad (75 years old) had cancer surgery.  The doctors neglected to take into account that he had spent the previous nine months on oxycontin.  12 hours after surgery dad goes into a 3 day delirum.  The doctors finally talk to us and we tell them that he has been on oxycontin for nine months ( we had delivered dad's medical history to the doctors before surgery).  Dad now has a blood pressure problem (he can't stand up without his blood pressure dropping), he is falling down and he is having mild seizures.  Can any of this be related to the oxycontin?

Thanks,

Bob
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In all honesty you should talk to a Medical Malpractice attorney. Yea lawyers suck.
But I would think his advanced age 75 Cancer and major surgery could very well be the culprit.   I am a lot younger and healthier and had surgery while I was taking lots of pain meds and it did not have any ill effects. Did you ask his doc why or what he thinks is causing the blood pressure drop and other problems? They might have him on blood thinners and many even a Beta Blocker, you need to ask lots of questions.
Good luck.  

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i also had surgery while addicted to pain meds and had no problems, although i was 26 at the time(28 now). i was mainly addicted to oxycodone which is the drug in oxycontin. before, during and after surgery i was given pain meds like morphine, fentanyl(sp?) and more oxycodone. i had no withdrawal symptoms during my stay in the hospital or any time directly after that. that is only my experience so i'm not sure if you can apply it to your father's case or not. i would suspect that at least a little of his problems are a result of his age and condition and possibly even the type of surgery he had. hopefully someone with additional experience in this area can give you a more definate answer, but it might be wise to take vettezr1's advice and talk more extensively with his doctors. both you and he have a right to a full explaination and if they won't listen to you, again, maybe an attoney or at least the threat of talking to one is the right way to go. good luck to you and your dad.
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Hey Bob - Consider speaking to your father's physicians about vasovagal reactions. The vagal nerve is a central receptor throughout the autonomatic nervous symptom. Increased vagal tone typically presents first with hypotension, then bradycardia (heartrate below 50 bpm), which can present itself as mini-seizures (do to low cardiac output and systolic blood pressure). In reality these are not seizures, but normal response mechanisms from the brain due to a temporary interruption of bloodflow.
Vagal tone is almost always increased following a tramatic event such as surgery. Pain perception is usually the leading suspect in vasovagal reactions.
Bottomline is that his pain levels may be quite high and this triggers a vasovagal reaction. Just my two cents worth. Good Luck.
Peace to you.

Kilo
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Was about to hijack your thread & noticed your post.  

Your father is suffering from hypotension & I know this because I have it as well.  It's now relatively under control.  I was diagnosed at 35 (42 now) & with florinef & potassium, felt like I had a 90 yr. old's disease! It's a bear & I've had a skull fracture, coma, 8 broken ribs (not all at once), broken tailbone, etc. from standing up & blacking out.

Going off opiates (did he for surgery?  I was confused by that) will drive UP bl. pressure. When I quit I was ecstatic because mine was 115/65.  Alas, saw specialist yesterday & after standing after lying down for 30 min., it was 80/40.  Not abnormal for me even with the meds.  All they worry about - and me - is how I feel & that I don't black out.  

I'd strongly recommend you consult with a blood pressure specialist which is usually  an internist.  There is a list somewhere of the top in N.A. & I'm very lucky to have 1 of them as my doc. Just try & find someone who is not general but runs a bl. pressure clinic, or specialized in b.p. disorders.

How was his bl. pressure before?  Always low?  OK?  Typically, docs check it every time an elderly patient goes in for a visit.
The diff. in before symptoms & before Oxy would be very telling.  For eg. I have always run low, then very low & then it started skittering southward as did I, far too many times!  I've had every test & they can't identify what has caused this.  Mine is called orthostatic hypotension.

There are physical "diseases" where low b.p. is a symptom.

A lot can contribute to this and/or bring it on & for most ppl, it is a transient condition, not chronic like mine.

Narcotics affect the autonomic nervous system which is where the controls reside to control b.p. I still don't entirely understand it all but it is a consideration.  Generally, opiates are *not* the bad guys in these cases but I know when I was abusing codeine, I'd get symptoms almost immed. after taking it.

The elderly are much much more susceptible to this.  It will hit them much harder, whereas same factors wouldn't affect someone younger at all.

Lack of salt can do it & believe it or not, I *have* to add salt to my food which I hate!

Diuretics, or water pills, and many anti depressants will lower b.p.

Why don't you do a search on goggle for "hypotension causes" ?

Please keep an eye on Dad.  I honestly can't tell you how many x I've blacked out & seriously hurt myself.  When getting up, he must do it VERY slowly.  As in sit up & wait 3 or more min. until he feels secure.  Then someone should help him stand & hang onto him. If I lie for awhile, my b.p. drops 30 some pts.  2-3 min. after I'm aright.  (Once I'm up& about I'm normally fine but it's when they make me lie there at b.p. clinic & then jump up, or 1st thing in the morning).  You might be able to identify "attack" of hypotension. You get very pale, shaky, a bit confused, start swaying, sweating & if you really get an attack - projectile vomiting!

I wish I knew more about the Oxy connection but I urge you to get him to a doc who specializes in this.  I got called every crack-pot name in the book & suffered numerous injuries before I found my specialist who literally changed my life.  

Good luck!!!!

Dancing in the Dark
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Hi everyone,
I have had problems with many drugs including, oxycontin, vicodin, cocaine, lorcets and alcohoal.  I am 23 years old and have experienced many hardships and I now sleep on the coach at my parents house.  I am currently seeking treatment in a 12-step program.  It has really helped me.  Also, I do have to endure lots of pain.  I get constant migraines that I am now taking blood pressure medicine called clonidine.  It is not an opiate.  My entire family, including my fiancee' has a problem with drugs.  This problem will never disappear, however it can be treated.  My father is in an emense amount of pain after back surgery and takes opiates quite often.  If you or anyone in your family has a problem with perscription drugs or any drugs or alcohoal, it is important the entire family seek treatment.  This is because addiction affects you and everyone around you.  If there is an addict in the family, there is likely violence, co-dependency, financial problems, emotional problems and mental problems.  If an addict is unwilling to recieve treatment, it is important that the people that care about the addict seek treatment to learn how to live with someone that has such a disease.  Pain and addiction is by far the worse and the most difficult to treat.  Physical therapy, to help get through the pain is available versus drugs that can and will kill you.  They almost killed me.
***@****
email me if you want to talk.
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Hi Erika,

What a sweet post. It completely made my day until I realized....hola....that may not be me!  Could there be another me?  Pas possible seeing I'm such an original.  :-)

I haven't posted at webmd but much at drugabuse.com under the looooooong fiorinal thread.  Could it be from there?  Oh, pls tell me it is so! We F folk had a long thread going here until everything was deleted so by the time medhelp was up & running again, everyone had moved over there.  I  still hang out here as I still crave codeine - like tonight - but the devil on my shoulder is definitely fiorinal.  It's no wonder they deleted our thread here as we write A LOT!  I also love the ppl here.

I'm going to pretend the kind compliment was for me because I need it tonight!  BTW; I too enjoy your posts.  BBTW; where the heck are you on webmd?  I took a gander & became all confused as to where you all might be.

Thanks again, Erika...I hope!  Do take care & happy to have made your acquaintance.

Best,

Dancing in the Dark
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Where you a poster from webmd?  I would just like to say welcome. You always have so much caring thoughts and comments to give. I was happy to see your name here.
Just wanted to say hi!

Take care----erika
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First...I'd like to say that I enjoy your posts & writing style. Very cool & deep stuff.

Second...In 1997, my Grandfather died from sever kidney failure associated with his taking handfuls of Fiorinal. I'm sure he was taking them for years before he ended up on dialasis but the outcome was devastating to my family & very much myself. You'd think that'd been enough to keep my sorry butt from abusing the Vicodin...But it didn't. I'm not familiar with the make-up of Fiorinal as opposed to Vicodin but I no longer have my Grandpop. He suffered from so many headaches. He was traveling to different counties in Oregon to see different docs & pharmacies. I don't quite know what my point here is other than the fact that my Grandpop died form abusing medication. I got clean back in July of last year from a severe Vicodin ES habit. I know that taking the amount of meds I was is no less dangerous than what my Granpop was doing. I just hope that people here realize that you ABSOLUTELY CAN DIE from taking too many pills. He was only 55 years old. Please don't take this as a direct "threat" or jab to you Dancing...I just shiver when I hear or read the word Fiorinal. I hope you are doing well & keep on posting...I sincerely get a kick out of your style.
Take care & be careful,

FINISHED!!
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I also enjoyed your post, read from other site you mentioned. Was just given the fiorinel and have been able to sleep through the night for the first time in a long time, I must be very careful as I don't want to go from the frying pan into the fire so to speak :)
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It was you! I love reading what you have to say. I used to post here quit often but havnt that much latly because of all the bickering. This site really has helped me alot in the past and still enjoy visiting with people here and there. I always read your posts and admire your strength's and thoughts on what you have to say. Your a caring individual whom should be respected here.!!!
Take care my friend!
Luv-Erika
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Hey there sunshine...How's the footsies? I hope you got through O.K. I posted to you on you know where but after your procedure was done. Sorry about that. Hope you is okie dokie.

FINISHED!!
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Why, I just feel like a blushin' bride!!!!

I so appreciate your compliments and may I add - you are all remarkably astute! :-) Seriously, you are so very sweet & your comments mean a lot to me.

BTW; I greatly enjoy all your posts as well.  I've made a mental note of all of you & I expect, birds of a father probably need... more feathers!  

FINISHED!!  You are to be commended for being sober since last Aug.  As you know, many of us, myself included, relapse so often we feel like a toilet seat at a mixed party!!  Your posts are always so inspiring & this forum needs not just your success story but your wisdom & ever positive attitude that helps make people like me believe I too can achieve that success.  Like, uh, soon, or someday. ;-)

I'd also like to thank you for sharing the grievous story of your grandfather.  In reading it, my heart didn't just take a (much needed) leap of fear but it ached too, for such a seemingly senseless tragedy.  I have no doubt your grandfather was suffering the type of headaches we all do over at our thread at drugabuse.com.  We've oft discussed how fiorinal (F) takes hold of your evil addictive side but perhaps worse, and for us, it is the ONLY thing that relieves the headaches.  We have all developed tolerance, needing more & more & I suspect your grandfather was in the same boat & desperate.  Believe me, I know how that is.  I am so sorry for your loss.  

Would it be alright if I cut'n pasted your post over there, naming you as author of course!  We've often discussed side effects etc. but sometimes one needs a good poke in the eye.  I do recall Kat (posts here too) saying F is hell on the kidneys & that worries me even more because I have to take florinef in a fairly hefty dose for my hypotension.  That's used for kidney disease & hypotension.  That dithers around with your fluids & salt balance & I do worry.  I need that to live & it's funny how no doc has ever suggested a kidney or liver panel.  I find they tend to all focus on their own little dept.  My GP has prescribed me drugs that would throw me to the mat because I've finally learned what my b.p. specialist would say.  Conversely, my specialist tried to take me off anti-depressants when I was a disaster because he thought they *might* interfere with my b.p.  I went off them for a yr., no change to b.p. but I was in a pit of despair with no hope of rescue.

I should probably add to the forum my own story of a friend, 51, who died Aug. 26 from a hefty mixture of alcohol and Tyl 3.  He'd been a party boy since his twenties & after he broke both legs 3 yrs. ago, had several surgeries & hospital stays.  The docs gave him huge amts. of T3 & he lied to them about his drinking.  (This lead to a big fight btwn us last Jan. & imagine how I felt when he was dying in the hospital.  I was sitting right up beside him on the bed so I could hear him & with tears in those daffodil colored eyes, he told me I'd been right about the danger of the mixture, he was going to detox & now he knew he was an addict).  He died 26 days after he was admitted to the hospital. That's how fast it happened.  He'd still been moving the night before he collapsed & it was game over & he couldn't even hope for a transplant because he'd never survive the surgery. His doc told me it was the combination of tylenol and alcohol because that last yr. he was drinking like a fish.  Knowing him such as I did, I believe he was so utterly worn out & fed up with the surgeries, tests, skin grafts & hosp. stays. Oh, and they wanted to amputate his leg.

I too don't want to scare people but sometimes we all need a good wake up call.  Wayne's death set me on the road to recovery because I realized how much tyl. I'd been ingesting.  Thankfully, I hardly drink at all.  Most people don't realize alc.& tyl together have a synergisitic effect & your liver gets a dbl whammy.

Yikes.  I'm late for an appt!  I'll write later to sing Blue & Erika's praises.

Hang in there, team!  Together, we will get there.  It's a support network like this, sans the bitching (!) that I suspect is our strongest ally.

Best wishes to you all,

Dancing in the Dark
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ABSOLUTELY!!!! Cut-N-Paste away. I hope you can kick the demon in the crotch & twist the nipple of addiction off VERY soon. Your story saddened me. A lot of stories here sadden me. Death is a VERY REAL possibility in what we do daily with our "little friends." Take care & be careful...

FINISHED!!
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Dearest,

Thank you so much for allowing me to put your post up on drugabuse.  If you read our old thread & current, I think you'd cry with some sort of exacerbated, frustrated despair.

Without exception, the regulars among us, numbering about 8,  continue with & w/out F, still suffer fairly regular MO-FO headaches, as one of our members describes them.  Of this group, we have tried all the other meds, such as vikes, percs, morphine, codeine, every muscle relaxant, etc.  As we've all agreed, they just don't work & yes, we abused & are addicts.  I am certain this is the quandary that befell your grandpa. Undoubtedly, he was addicted, like all of us & followed our familiar path:  Needing ever increasing doses & suffering the rebound/tolerance syndrome we've all been thru.  For us (the hardcore grp) the hardest part is not quitting - not at all - but the eventual return of the h/a, undoutedly exacerbated by rebound syndrome.  Offhand, I can think of 3 of us who have successfully quit, or massively cut down only to find their h/a eventually returned with a vengeance,  2, after countless tests & treatments were given F scrips from the docs who initially prescribed it & wanted them off it.  Ironically, these 2 have not yet filled their scrip.  Perhaps more ironically, none of us have ever found relief from any of the "big guns" & want off F now & forever with an incredibly strong passion & conviction.  

Even our dear Thomas, admitted the TR would not help us much & wasn't quite sure what would.  Even after quitting, the damn stuff stays in our systems for up to 6 mos.!  Now, how much does that suck?

Perhaps that is why we needed our own thread.  Not one of us denies being an addict but we face such a different scenario in detoxing, most espec. the absolute necessity to take it very slow.

I hope you'll jump aboard our forum & add your wisdom.  I can unequivocally assure you, we would welcome it.  Most everyone is 40+ & has had the same long-term h/a scenario.  I'm 42 & the baby in the group.

The very fact that you took the time to share such a pesonal story with us is a testament to your kind and caring spirit.  I will c & p your story but don't hesitate to jump over there & add your wisdom.  I think it would be *so* helpful to us all to get an outsider's point of view & this grp would embrace it.

I couldn't yet write back to blue because she's now taking F & IMHO, that req'd an uber missive.  I want to grab her by the throat, toss her to the mat & then go flush those pills away & get her doc's assurance she'll never receive another scrip for it.  She's not just playing with fire.  She's in the bloody bonfire!

You are an amazingly compassionate, inspiring man & I'm so glad to have made your acquaintance.  (Jeez, I hope you're a man or my radar is way off tho the fact that I'm not 100% sure is a true compliment!)

Thank you Finished, for all you have said, and perhaps more importantly, all that you have achieved.   BTW; our thread is at drugabuse,com, under Support & 1/3 down we have a LONG F thread, including where I found our long lost MH thread , with all our "stories", med. info., anecdotes, etc.  

We need you.

And thank you, more than you'll ever know.

Best,

Dancin'  (I must find my specs because I can't see diddly so 'scuse typos etc.)
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I'm hanging in there. Could be better. The stitches hurt and are really raw. :(   Im limping around like a freak! Thank you for caring both of you. It means alot to see you post to me. Your both a inspritation to me. Love you both.
Erika
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oh, you are the best. i hope your feeling better!!!! LOL see ya later!
linda
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Hey Blue!

I'm playing the mother hen here because I'm very worried that you have been prescribed fiorinal.  "Finished" was very concerned for me & the others as his grandpop had died from F abuse & that same concern is how I feel about you.  

One of our most brilliant members goes to a neurologist/headache specialist who told him (and I've seen this cited in scientific papers & medical sites)that if you tak it 3x a week, just 1-2 caps, you are hooked in less than 3 wks.  Any annalgesic & barbituate is ILLEGAL in Germany & that's just what F is.

Let me speak for every person on that site to tell you once F gets its talons into you, the thought of more, more, more consumes your every waking minute.  One of our members had 11  different doctors precribing it to her. I wish I had never had even one and the cruel irony is that it works magnificiently on the tension/migraine headaches.

May I ask what you are taking it for?  

PLEASE be careful.  I went from codeine to fiorinal & then started taking both, undoubtedly  because I had such a high tolerance to F and couldn't get enough from my doc.  I've kicked the codeine but the F?  HA!  While my headaches are markedly improved from neurontin, I crave more & more F.  We've all been thru this.

I'm sorry to lecture but I know tooo well how seductive this drug is.  We find it gives us a buzz &  we feel more confident & outgoing. In reality, F can cause slurred speech &  a scattered frenetic attempt at productivity. If we stop taking it even for a day, we get rebound mo-fo headaches from hell & risk seizures.  I consumed my weekly supply in 3 days & am 2nd day without & my hands are shaking such that it's hard to type this.

Please Please be careful!

Best wishes,

Dancing in the Dark
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Sailor,

I'm disappointed in you.  11 doctors?  Honey, I had 18 doctors under my belt, so to speak.  And yes, they were all male.  Of course *that* was entirely coincidental.

Well, off I go to keep a smile on not only my face but all the provincial M.D.'s as well!  

Dancing...Indeed
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Thanks for the warning. I got them not from a doc but a friend to help me sleep while I was cutting down on the Oxy. I took them for 4 days and I haven't taken them since:) As some have said before I have no buzz from the big F and from what I read that is a good thing, so it was easy for me not to touch again, now whether I would be saying the same thing 3 weeks from now with daily use, we will never now cause I ain't goin there :)worked to hard to get where I'm at now don't need to add to it.Hope you have a great day. J
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Good morning, my creampuff. ELEVEN simultaneous doctoroo's? I'm in shock AND awe! I gotta get my hands on HER book. I think it was you, actually. Who else could charm 11 docs at once? I bet they were all men, too. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... exposed you are! You're ally is the dark side of the force ...

Thomas

P.S. My spellchecker informs me that
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Thanks for all the info a few days back. I went back to my Doc and he put me on 20mg oxy twice a day. It is now day four and the intial n/v has subsided and the headaches are gone. I must be the only on in the world that gets headaches from opiates! so far this has been the most helpful my pain is way down I don't have the constant up and downs with the shorter acting painkillers and no acet. to kill my stomach.

I'm also trying to get into a new surgery program at U of M wherer the implant a stimulator and it helps block the pain. I don't have all the info and they have to select you for the surgery you can't just say you want it. I need to get a current MRI and a few things and we will see how this shakes out maybe this will be my answer. Have you heard of anything like this or has anyone else out there???

A doc on that last thread said I should just get the surgery but when it comes to losing **** function well I'm a bit leary as you might imagine.

I also wondered is it common to get horrible leg pain when withdrawing almost like growing pains from hell? I foung that and the anxiety to be the worst but probably the leg pain the worst of all.

Hope all is Well!!!

P.S. Nazareth was a college nickname picked up 15 years ago that seemed to be the only thing I could think to use when I first signed up so it has no significance!!!
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Glad to hear you're getting good pain relief. Interesting that our doc here is willing to risk you becoming impotent rather than endorsing pain meds. Well, I guess it isn't HIS ****, is it?

The leg pain is a standard opiate WD symptom, one of the worst ones. Hot baths are the best way to relieve it. But you shouldn't have to worry about that for a while.

Thanks for sort-of explaining the handle. But why did they call you that in college?

Thomas
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Its a dumb drinking game (the name game)where everyone sits in circle and you say a famous name. Then the person to your right has to say a a famous name that starts with the first letter of the persons last name.  Ex. I say Frank Sinatra then the person next to me says Sam Kinnison then Kenny rogers etc. also a double like Mickey Mouse reversed the order in the circle and double first last name would do thatb Sammy Sosa etc. At first it is easy but as time goes on you start running low on names and while you are thinking of a name you have to be drinking. Well we had been playing for quite a while one night it came to me and I had to think of a J name. I'm drinking and drinking and finally I say(slur) Joseph of Nazareth. Well everyone is so drunk they don't catch at first that Nazareth ain't a name.  Finally after a few people take their turns they figure it out. My first name also happens to be Joseph so Nazareth, Naz, Nazerine all became my names instead of Joe. To this day some of those guys from college only know me by those names. One of those you kinda had to be there but that is the story and I'm sticking to it!!!
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