Hi. I am a chronic back pain sufferer - have been for 16 years. Was put on Tramadol in 1998 after 2 back surgeries. Stayed on low dose for a good number of years. In 2005 pain started getting worse and Tramadol was upped until I was taking the "maximum" dose - 400mg a day. This wasn't enough to stop the pain and although it didn't really change things, pain wise, I was taking 600-700mg a day. Eventually I was accepted into a Pain Managemnt Programme and they put me on Fentanyl Patch (25micrograms). They gave me NO information on what it was, what it did or how hellish it would make my life. Pain wise it was a godsend but the side effects were nasty. As the months passed, it stopped working quite so well. I started taking 100, then 200, then 300mg of Tramadol on top of it. As my body became more used to it I found it wasn't lasting the 72 hrs. I started changing it at 66hrs, then 60hrs until I was changing it every 2 days.
I recently had a Neuromodulation device (spinal cord stimulator) implanted and that is controlling my pain. So it's time to start coming off the drugs. My GP (who was furious that I'd been put on Fentanyl in the first place and without any information) has switched me onto 100mg (25mg x 4 daily) of MST (Sevredol) which is supposedly the equivalent dose. I'm only on the first 24hrs and feel as high as a kite.
I feel completely nauseas, headache and spaced out. I'm very tired but not sleeping. To be honest it could be (and has been) worse but I'm just feeling low - like at the bottom of a very steep hill. Part of me can't wait to finally be drug free but part of me is anxious about what life will be like. I've been on prescription drugs since I was 18 (I'm now 29) so I feel like they are part of me. I don't like to call myself an addict but I guess through no fault of my own I am. I certainly don't want to offend anyone but I have to ask - am I an addict if I get no "high" from the drug? I only take them for pain yet I cannot function without them.
If there is anyone out there that can give me a little boost, a bit of moral support from someone who's been there before and is standing at the top of that mountain a free man (woman!) then I'd love to hear from you.
Thanking you in advance