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Unread 11-28-2007, 07:41 AM   #3
Junior Member
Posts: 25

Hi there! I just got here today too, but wanted to let you know I got to this point somewhat the same way - back pain led to use, then a back surgery which failed, and led to ongoing use. Eventually I wasn't getting relief from the drugs anymore, and was scared to ask my dr to increase them for fear of him discontinuing them altogether - so I found way way to make them 3-5 time more potent - iv use. What I didn't plan for was the instead of taking 30 minutes to act, it only took 7 seconds. Sometimes I didn't even have the needle out yet.

I started out taking generic vicodin, and 5 years later I was crushing and injecting dilaudid. If you had told me when I started that this would happen, I would have thought you insane. In fact, once when at dinner with a friend near the begging of this all, I took my pills during the second course. My friend told me that I should watch out, that stuff is addictive (right before she excused herself to do a line of cocaine - a drug I can honestly say I've never even wanted to try.)

Well, now I'm on day 3 of suboxone. I already have tested its limits and know that it does indeed prevent other opioids from working (or at least working as expected.) The main problem I'm having (other than the one about 15 minutes of withdrawal a day) is that this stuff doesn't cut it as a painkiller. I can tell I've taken something - because I can move when I wake up. With no pain killers at all, when I wake up in the morning, the 15 steps to the bathroom medicine cabinet take me 20 minutes,and I'm in tears when I get there. With the suboxone, it only takes me 5 minutes (still moving slow) but I'm not in tears.

If your pain is nerve based at all (mine is both nerve and mechanical, sadly) you may want to ask your dr. about Gabapentin or Pregabalin (Neurontin, and Lyrica, respectively.) It took 3 weeks to find the dose that worked for me - gabapentin 400mg 3xday, but after that, the shooting pains in my leg, and that awful pins and needles sensation and general weirdness that my doc called parasthesia (Which I thought meant phantom limb, and was reserved for amputees, but apparently covers weirdness in still-existing limbs as well) were gone. I still have the back pain, but it's more tolerable.

I worry that I will need to go back to opioids to manage my pain. But I'm not there yet.

Here's a list of tricks I've acquired over the last five years for back pain. Keep in mind that my injury was disc herniation at l4-5 and l5-s1, left of central, with nerve root compression. Compression was corrected by discectomy with laminectomy at the l4-5 level. both discs have since desiccated, and shrunk in height by 1/4. Your injury may mean different things work for you, and I wouldn't advise taking any of my advice without a dr's okay - you don't want to do more damage.

1 - Heat. I spent $500 on a hot tub. It's saved me from er trips, no kidding. Heat is a very good muscle relaxer. (However, if your pain is from inflammation - this will make it worse in the long run.)
2 - NSAID's (I take ketoprofen, which used to be orudus kt, and over the counter. As of feb of last year, it's rx in the us now. Most doc's don't mind prescribing it though - especially if you are doing so to avoid more potent drugs.) Even if you don't get immediate pain relief, take it on schedule for at least 3 days. If your pain is from inflammation, this will reduce it for sure.

3 - inversion. I can't afford an inversion table right now (because I bought a hot tub, see #1.) but hanging upside down decompresses my spine, and feels wonderful. It doesn't last long - maybe a few hours tops, but if you have trouble sleeping because of back pain, doing this before bed helps a ton. Plus, it makes me a 1/2" taller. (I got 1/2" shorter after back surgery. I'm not a tall person to start with.)

4 - and this sounds weird, but google "brain wave entrainment" and you will find loads of software (many with free trials) that uses sound and or light to affect changes in brain waves. A lot of the sites sound like new age snake oil, but I was desperate and tried it. I found that waves in the range of 0.9 Hz , after about a half hour, actually do generate some pain relief. This goes away almost immediately upon turning the sound off, but if you are in a bad way, if can help. I'm not much on placebo effects, so I was surprised this worked at all. It is, to be honest, inconsistent at best.

I hope I've been of help. Just having someone to type back to at almost 3am helped me.

Good luck, and best wishes.

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