Avatar universal

Pain day in and day out!

My story begins 6 years ago when I visited with my doc about joint pain in my ankles and knees.  He said "here..take one of these a day and that should do the trick."  That was when my ride began.  That first pill 6 years ago was a 10/500 lortab and it did work all day...for a few months.  I vividly remember calling him back 4 months later saying "the pain has returned." so he gave me two pills a day and the rest is history.  

I do have legitimate pain but I recently read a few articles that has piqued my interest.  These articles stated that men taking opioids for pain control over an extended period of time will eventually experience symptoms of low testosterone.  Low testosterone has been linked to pain all over the body which is exactly what I am experienceing.  It also stated that the lower the testosterone goes the less effective opioid pain relivers become.

This is right up my alley.  I am now up to 5-6 pills a day and I HATE THESE DAMM THINGS!  As I look back I can see all these symptoms slowly creeping up on me which is why more and more pain pills are required.  This is not my only medical problem.  I've had two ulcurs perforate and almost bled to death one night.  I had two diverticulum rupture and waited 72 hours before being treated...this is 99% fatal after 24 hours, gall blader removed, appendix removed, kidney stones and now a damm pill addiction that I cant quit.  doctors had me on 80mgs of Protonix a day for over 5 years...the approved doseage is 10mgs for a week...they forgot to tell me this as my body & mind was falling apart.  I also read that depression and anxiety also come along with people wanting off opioids but cant seem to quit.  Anyone else out there with similar experiences?    
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1508881 tn?1313114901
Do you know what your actual pain is or have you been taking the pills for so long, you no longer know what your actual pain level is? It may not be a bad idea to taper down your pills to find that out. You may find that you're pain is not as bad as you thought. Tapering or quitting cold turkey can cause rebound pain, but after that settles you will know your actual pain level.

I've quit cold turkey so many times I can't even count. I've currently been off all opiates for six months. Granted I had a procedure done that took away most of my pain, but the fact of the matter is still the same. It's possible to get off opiates. I did have depression and anxiety a few times, but it does fade. But then again I have major depression so I am a little different in that regard.

If you go to your doctor and tell him you want to taper, he may be able to give you something for the depression and or anxiety. You may try posting in the addiction and substance abuse forum here on medhelp. They have a lot of good advise about coming off opiates.
Helpful - 0
547368 tn?1440541785
Hello Soonerdean,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am glad that you found us and took the time to post. I hear your frustration and my heart goes out to you!

Please don't be so hard on yourself. Do you have a diagnosis for your pain? If it makes you feel better you are not on a huge amount of opiates and you don't sound like an addict to me. There is a huge difference between addiction and dependency. All of us Chronic Pain suffers that have been on opiates have a physical dependence.... far from addiction.

Here's a link to information about addiction vs dependency:

All of the medical conditions that you mention are probably not related to your opiate use unless the opiate irritated your stomach lining.

There has been some investigation into the impact of long-term therapy with opioids on male endocrine function. This is from one article I found on the web:
"Dr. Nathaniel Katz reviewed data from his patients showing that in opiate users, total testosterone was half that of nonusers and free testosterone was one third that of nonusers. Older age was also a significant factor leading Dr. Katz to conclude that age-related declines in testosterone may be accelerated in opiate users."

IF this is the case with you then there are supplements that can address this problem. I'd consult a urologist. It can't hurt and you may feel better with some concrete  answers.

Depression and anxiety can come from Chronic Pain (CP). When we require opiates to control our pain it too can add to depression and/or anxiety. I encourage you to consult your PCP. A good one will listen to your concerns and help you figure out where to from here. Please don't make any changes in your meds without his approval and monitoring.
There are good pain management therapists that can also help you. Don't be too proud to attend a few sessions. It's helped many of us.

I'll look forward to hearing from you again....you'll do fine with the right medical guidance. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. ... and Please know that you are not alone.

Take Care,
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st. louis, MO
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