Thank you for your suggestion; I started a "pain journal" to document how I feel throughout the day, hopefully it will help my doctor decide what to do.
Sorry, I should have read more of your post and addressed more things. You said that you "have not heard good things about oxycodone." Remember that hydrocodone and oxycodone are both very close. They are not very "far" apart. So the good things you hear and the bad things you hear apply to both. Yes, it's tempting to think (because you have not yet tried it) that it is this magical pill. When, or if, you are prescribed it, there's a good chance you won't be able to tell the difference!
Regarding your question if it takes a while for your body to respond... everybody is different. If I were to venture a guess, I would think the *longer* one takes it, the *less* you will respond! That's why many people feel the need to take more and more to get the same result, and that's why opiate therapy is NOT something to take lightly! In fact, a great many people say that if they could turn back time, they never would have used opiates.
And, then you said you want to be on the lowest dose possible. That's fine. As with everything related to these matters, TELL your doctor that. Ask him to please put that note in your chart. Taking the lowest dose necessary means that if or when the time comes to get off of them, the easier it will be than if you were taking a higher dose.
And, finally, there are other medications than hydrocodone and oxycodone and narcotics. Your doctor may even *reduce* your hydrocodone dose, but *add* a different kind of medication that may result in a safer, more effective treatment.
It is good to have a good doctor. Then you can be open minded, and try the therapies that are prescribed.
Some like oxycodone better, some like hydrocodone better.
Here's what I've heard: for short term pain (like after a root canal, surgical procedure, etc., where the doctor gives you 2 or 3 days worth of a prescription), oxycodone works well. But, for long term pain (e.g. pain lasting weeks, or chronic pain), some find that although oxycodone "hits the pain hard," it wears off quickly. And some physicians and patients find that to be a recipe for dependence and addiction.
Imagine taking an oxycodone pill and your pain almost totally goes away and you're like "Wow, this is great, why doesn't everybody take these," and then about 3 hours later your pain is coming back with a vengeance and you look at the bottle and it says "take once every 6 hours."
Whereas some find that hydrocodone lasts longer. It might not hit the pain as hard, but gives longer relief.
So, this is one of those circumstances where you explain to your doctor *exactly* when and how much you are in pain. In fact, your doc may appreciate it if you wrote out a sheet of paper for the day a schedule. For example: 7:00am, get up, feeling good. 8:00am, pain hurts bad, take a pill. 11:30 am pain level is a "5," 2:00pm, pain is bad, took a second pill, etc., etc.
This is how I think of my own pain: I let my doctor decide what is best. I remember that I'm the patient, and I'm the one experiencing the pain (it's my body!). But, at the same time, I remember the doctor has seen a bazillion patients like me and will usually know what is best, so I always give my doctor's advice a chance to see if it works.