I was in a car accident over a year ago and have some back/spine/disc problems as a result. I could have surgery but it doesn't seem like thats a good idea. I can pretty much do whatever I want to do, but I've learned that some things come with a cost. If I'm bending over a lot, carrying heavy things, on my feet for extended periods of time, etc, I know my back will hurt for a few days/weeks after.
Anyway, the doc gives me hydrocodone: 10-325. 120 every month, I'm supposed to take 1 every 6 hours. He says to take them whether I'm having a "bad back day" or not. I didn't used to, but for the last 3 months I have been taking them every day. Only the 4 I am supposed to take unless my back is really kicking my butt. They do a good job of taking my mind off the pain, but I also kind of like the way they make me feel even when my back isn't bothering me.
I don't even know how many mg my habit is? I don't feel a strong urge to take more than 4x10-325 per day yet, and I don't have a way to get more than the doc prescribes anyway. But I guess what really prompted this is that for random reasons my appointment this month is 36 days from the last one, so I didn't have enough pills to take 4 a day. I started taking only 3 per day but I miscalculated or something, because I ran out Saturday, appt isn't till Wednesday. I think the fact I know exactly when I can get more and counting the days is a bad sign!
Also, yesterday I felt pretty normal till I tried to go to bed, and then I couldn't sleep and had this aching feeling all over. Today I don't feel awful, but somethings not right. Going to try taking a hot bath before bed and see if that helps. Overall though I would say my WD symptoms are much milder than I've read about here, or maybe it hasnt fully kicked in yet. Honestly I expected worse since this is the first time in a few months I haven't taken them.
I read a lot of the posts on this board, you guys seem serious about this and I'm sure my amount probably is nothing compared to what some people have gone through. I guess I am just venting and trying to figure this out. I don't think it would be that hard to just not go get more pills in 2 days.. already gone 2 days without and I'm not freaking out or anything. But I do wish I had some pills and before I started really thinking about this I was looking forward to getting the refill.
I guess my question is do others of you who have been through this remember feeling like I do now? Is this like the beginning of the addiction, and in a couple years I could have a huge problem? And what do you do for the pain if you cut out the hydrocodone? Part of my reluctance to quit seeing this doc is that the pills do work well for that.. and I'm sure some of it is I just like them.
Well sorry to ramble on, mostly I think I just needed to write this down and if anyone has thoughts or suggestions I welcome them, thanks.
You are taking 40mg of the drug a day. That is pretty low. Since you are not increasing your dosage, I would not call you an addict.
But your body is used to it and will react when it is not there. So in that sense, you are addicted. I struggle with chronic pain from a recent arm surgery and have found that motrin is enough to take the edge off. Accupuncture, exercise, physical therapy can all help you manage your pain if you decide to stop the pills.
If I were you, I would not want that poison in my body anymore. Even if you do not develop a terrible addiction, you are damaging your liver. We only get one of those puppies!
Keep me posted. You might feel so much better off of them. It's always good to eliminate a drug even if you are not sure if it is a problem.
Not to be hard on you or acuse you, but I see a few 'Red Flags' in your story. Your Doc says to take them whether your'e having a bad back day or not?? That makes no sense. Pain pills are 'as needed' for pain. You like the way you feel when your back isn't hurting? That suggests your taking them without pain and enjoying the high. When you can get more and counting is normal for real pain and fear of running out but a strong sign of addiction if your pain is minimal or none. I'd be very careful my friend and regarding your question "Am I addicted to hydrocodone" Sometimes 'To Ask The Question Is To Know The Answer'. I'm sorry if I've been to stern here but so many suffer from continuing to a worse addiction that if we see red flags we 'pounce' on them. You are very smart and honest with yourself in coming her for advise. Cut those hydros down as much and as soon as you can. Your fear of addiction is very admirable and very healthy. Best to you and keep reporting in......
Yes. Pills are as needed. Not as a daily maintenance program. Sorry I missed that before. This doctor is not doing you any favors. My doctor also advised me to take them "before the pain begins." I never gave it too much thought.
You owe it to yourself to give it a go without the pills.
Many doctors tell pain patients to take their meds every day and not as needed. For chronic pain patients, it's called staying "ahead of the pain". When pain becomes uncontrollable, it's extremely hard to get it back into control without massive amounts of opiates. Now, whether you need them of not is up to your discretion. You're clearly dependent on the meds. I wouldn't classify you as an addict yet. But, the fact that you can go days without them suggests that you may want to either lower your dose or discontinue them all together.
thanks everyone, as I expected you guys are great with advice.
Darvocet1escape, thanks for taking the stern approach, it is appreciated because I am serious about avoiding a problem if there is one. From the stories of those who get really into this drug it is not something I want.
I am telling the truth that my doc says to take these every day. the bottle even says "every six hours" on it. That seemed wrong to me too, and I specifically asked him if I should take them even on "good days" and he said yes, something along the lines of what Ga Guy explained about staying ahead of the pain. I still didn't take them every day though, until recently and I think this changed because I just like them. I wouldn't really call it a "high" but its just kind of pleasant.
the pain is mostly predictable, i usually know when I do something that will cause it, and I decide its probably worth it, and then I deal with the repercussions. luckily I am doing pretty well right now so being out of pills isn't a big deal in that regard. I've never tried to go through a bad period without them, so I don't know about that. There have been times when it takes almost a month before i "recover" from some activity, but usually only a few days. So maybe I will not refill on Wed, and instead wait and try motrin or something like that when the pain returns. I can always go see the doc later if I need to, maybe thats not a good thing.. just dont know I guess.
I was on 4 x 10/325 norco daily as needed. I only exceeded the protocol twice in 3 years and only by one 10mg tab. I never ran out and ended up with over 2 months worth of pills when I quit. I still went through horrible withdrawl and wish I could go back and be more conservative in my doses. I don't use anymore even tho' I think I could easily get a supply. Search out alternative pain therapies. I use a TENS unit and ETPS. Search both. They work differently and the combination works better than either alone. The cost is significant, but WAY less than an addiction, as many on this forum have testified. Best wishes on your finding appropriate pain management
in the beginning after the accident i did go to a few months PT, and it certainly did help. however once they decided I had reached "maximum medical recovery" or some such thing, insurance will not pay for any more. maybe this is something i can afford to do on my own, most of what they had me do was just stretches and this electroshock thing.
You and I must go to the same doctor, because mine told me the same thing. Take them even if I'm not having a bad day... Then, when I approached him with how I felt as though I'd become addicted to the pills - he shut the door on me and called me out of my name. I only hope that this isn't the same thing that eventually will happen with you, but you seem to have it under control somewhat.
My grandmother took the same medication as you for over a year due to back surgeries, etc. and she took them as they were written for. Even she had the symptoms that you're talking about in your initial post above. Just because you have the feelings [physical] after you're out of the pills, doesn't mean you're an addict. However, when you state that you liked the way they made you feelm even if your back wasn't hurting you.. This might be something you need to keep a close eye out on?
update - last night was really rough. started getting chills and aching in the evening. when i tried to sleep, i laid awake for hours with mostly my arms just aching so bad. i did some stretching and walked around for a while, nothing seemed to get me tired so eventually took tylenol PM which usually knocks me out, finally got a little rest. felt tired and sore all day today.
so i guess the WD took longer than I thought it would to kick in.. over 48 hours after the last pill. i'm hoping tonight will be better. i can deal with stuff during the day but it's killing me at night.
if this is what going off of 40mg feels like, i feel so sorry for those who go through a massive WD.. it must be true hell. I think I better stay off these things, because I don't want to go through this again or get into some habit where this happens every month, no way.
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