To start off... Kate- I have heard of something similar to what you describe but I don't know enough to comment on it, Sorry. It sounds like it would really help lots of people.
I am a 5 year plus narcotic user. I have rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, dual entrapped sciatic nerves ... shall I go on? (lol!). I am being treated by a specialist. I get 120 vicodin a month plus 60 10mg oxycontin, 90 soma ,30 1mg ativan and 30 ambien(to sleep). Needless to say, I do need aggressive pain management. I found myself double doctoring, getting 90 percoset a month from my primary - each doctor not knowing I was getting double meds. When I went through 120 vicodin in a little over a week, I got really scared. Even if I run out of everything - I have ready access to refills. I realized I must stop this! I turned all my meds over to my husband and have been only taking my prescribed doses for about 4 days now, using 1/2 tablet of ativan in the late afternoon to quell the bit of anxiety I start to feel. Today I only took my oxycontin and 2 vicodin. This is a major cutback for me but I felt really good! My head is starting to clear and I am starting to feel more motivated.
I have read every single post on this board over the past week and finally got the guts to post myself. I am a nurse. Well, I am a retired nurse because of my disability I am no longer able to work. Back in May I decided to let all my scripts run out and stop taking anything - oh my god I thought I was going to die. I told my doctors this and their response was "this is not the time to deal with dependance, your pain management at this time is the main concern, there may come a point in time when we can deal with the dependancy but now is not the time."
So... now I am trying to justify my dependance/addiction with the words of the people who's care I depend on. Any feedback? If I can live on 2 10mg oxy and a couple of vicodin for breakthrough pain and an occasional ativan for anxiety - is this a bad thing? I do recognize that I need pain control or I am curled up in a stiff useless ball of pain. Will this be the rest of my life? I know I can't do what I had begun to do - abuse the drugs by taking them in large doses just to feel good. That really started to suck, and scare me.
I would have posted a new thread but the system wouldn't let me. I am sorry for that and hope you all respond. I feel I know you all because I can relate deep in my core to all your stories. I also feel I can help because of my first hand experience and my professional background. I woke up at 3am with the shakes and diarrhea to beat the band, but what did I do? I took 2 soma and a bentyl (antispasmodic) to calm my gut down and decided it was time to reach out to you guys.
Is there a happy medium somewhere between abuse and living comfortably at our prescribed doses? I just started the oxy and I think so far it's a lifesaver! I am able to avoid the roller coaster and only take the vicodin for breakthrough agony.
Any feedback you can give me will be so appreciated. I look forward to getting to know you guys. Thanks so much for listening.
OffTopic Blathering Chick :)
You need to take control of your addiction. Only take what you absolutely need to live a normal life. If you cannot take control of your addiction. You might consider methadone or LAAM maintenance. Opiate addicition is a serious and dangerous disease. It times it almost sounds like you are bragging or boasting about the medicines that you take. This a serious and debilatating disease if you let get out of control. The pills that you are taking are morphine substitutes with almost the same addictive properities. Support is not about sugar coating this serious disease. Do the right thing and remember what you learned in nursing school about addictive substances.
Stay Focused and Good Luck,
Thanks for the reply. I really didn't mean to come off sounding like I was "bragging or boasting" about the meds I take. That wasn't my intent at all, I assure you. I'm sorry if I came off sounding that way. I was trying to be honest. I know you are an active participant in this forum and you are a source of great inspiration and support for everyone. The last thing I want to do here is, well... blather on and sound like an idiot. Anyway - I do thank you sincerely for your response.
blathering chick :)
Chronic pain *is* depressing sometimes. I'm sorry about your neice, wow. You aren't blathering! I like to read what you have to say. I am glad I am not alone in turning my meds over to someone else and having them doled out. Weird thought I keep having though... if I continue taking the dose I have been, by the end of the month I am going to have a surplus... then I get my refills - wow - I keep thinking - when I have a reserve - would it be so bad to play a little for a few days? I know the answer to that!! It would be VERY bad!! I guess it's time to start working on the mental aspect of this thing. Thanks for your input! Stay strong :)
blathering chick - also known as Deja
Have you heard the old expression "it's better to have and not need than to need and not have"? Just having the peace of mind that you are not going to run out of meds is important to well being. My wife has been taking Xanax and Lortab for six years now and always has a surplus. She is not an addict now or has ever gotten into abuse. She is the epitomy of moderation and that's why I can trust her as I do. Why we all can't be this way is a mystery to me! Left to my own devices, I would be in deep sh*t within a month with my addictive personality. Just a thought to ponder. Be well!
It sounds to me that you may have been drug seeking and got scared after taking a month's worth of painkillers in a week. I think anyone except for really hardcore abusers would get concerned. It is good that you are trying to cut down! I let my wife control my meds as I've had problems with abuse in the past. She keeps mine in her safe.
I have some of the medical problems that you have so I know how the pain can get to you. Sometimes it is depressing when you think about the long term aspect of narcotic pain control. I have a niece that has been on narcotics since 1992 for chronic pain and it has really made her life all but unfit. She was in med school when she was involoved in a terrible car accident that caused spinal problems that can't be repaired. She is a legal junkie but I would never trade places with her just so I could have narcotics. Now look who's blathering here!
......Now getting back to the original question. Doc Dan? Tom?
I have read that there is a vacination being researched to abolish or help with cocaine cravings.
Wow - You are so right about the stress, lack of respect for what we do and the general burn out factor alone that comes with the nursing profession! Before I had to stop working because of my disease I left patient care and went to work as a technical field support person for a big medical laboratory. I was on the road visiting doctors and teaching their staff- yadda yadda yadda - needless to say - it was great! I was also being handed sample meds by the bagful - not so good in retrospect, lol. "Hey! Need some xanax today?" Duh!!
I did something not so honorable yesterday. My husband hurt his back at work, went to the doctor and was prescribed vicodin ES. I took ONE last night. So - my total for yesterday was 2 oxy, one ES and one regular 5.5 (and my 3 soma for the day)... better than I was a few weeks ago but I shouldn't have taken that ES. I told him to hide his pills - I can't be trusted. So now he has his hidden, mine hidden and he fills my bottle with only my prescribed dose for the day of which there has been left overs in every day for about a week now.
Boy - I know what you mean about having that relief to look forward to at the end of the day. I remember coming home so emotionally and physically spent - taking those pills and feeling "normal". What a way to live, eh?
Would love to chat with you. Do you have ICQ? I could give you my email address also.
Deja (aka blathering chick)
Euphoria is not a healthy state of mind. It is what keeps you addicted to opiates. It is a very unhealthy coping mechanism. There is a term for nurses like you. It is called impaired medical professionals. I have a lot of respect for the nursing profession as a whole,it is a wonderful helping profession. Get a hold of your addiction and get some help. You sound like you are a very intellegent young lady. You need to address your pain and
and addiction problems in a more appropiate manner. You are in the early stages of your addiction get a hold of it before it damages your career. I must say there are more nurses who cope and face the problems without turning to substance abuse. Do the right thing.
ps: A good pain/addiction specialist is the way to go.
Hi there, welcome to the forum! As a nurse myself and also a chronic pain sufferer/addict, I think we will have a lot to offer each other by way of support! I have met/read about SO MANY other nurses who are also addicts, whether simply due to recreational use or as a result of injuries or both. I often wonder if there is something inherent in the profession that leads nurses to abuse drugs. We function day after day in a relentles, high stress profession. If we haven't had the good fortune of learning BEFORE becoming nurses how to cope with stress in productive ways, I believe we are left with almost no other choice but to turn to drugs or alcohol. Unlike physicians, who function in the same environment that we do, we do not usually receive the necessary respect, support and accolades that they do. Its damn hard. There are nights I come home from work feeling so beaten down by my fellow nurses, the demands of my patients and the physicians I work with. That fact combined with pain and exhaustion leaves me oftentimes thanking God that I have something I can take (ie opiates) to make me feel a little bit of happiness and euphoria at the end of my day...I am looking to get into another area of nursing that will provide me with a work environment that is less "challenging" than the one I am currently in (a high risk specialty area). Until then, I know I cannot give up the pills. It's so sad I think. I work incredibly hard to provide my patients with as pain-free an existance as humanly possible, yet I cannot do the same for myself at this time. Sorry to rant, I just had to get some things out. Good luck to you, and hopefully you will post again soon, as I (as well as Im sure everyone else here) am very interested in hearing more about you and how your cut-backs are going! Peace...
Sorry to be butting in here but I think you may be right about the nursing profession.
My mother is a retired RN. She served in the Korean War and retired shortly after the Viet Nam War. One of the reasons she got out of nursing was the disrespect of the younger nurses and doctors. Some days she would come home crying! In the military she had all the respect her rank gave her. After the military she went to work in a private hospital and dreaded going to work each day. Finally, she got out of the profession and now does volunteer work at the VA hospital.
I remember seeing large bottles of Fiorinol with codiene in her medicine cabinet twenty years ago. She was probably using them to cope with life at the time. Today she is totally drug free and happy as a clam!