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Unread 11-28-2007, 07:07 AM   #1
tabttu
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Posts: 25
Default I'm a NEWBIE and have some questions...

Wow! I never thought I would get here! Before I go any further, I want everyone to know that I am terrible at grammer and spelling, just to warn you all! (LOL)

I am having a few problems and questions that I need help with... Like: #1-For some reason I get really bad headaches almost every day and at night my leg swells up and hurts like hell, whats the deal? #2-Just over the past 24hrs I have started craving that little blue pill... I mean it is to the point that I am starting to obsess about it... I really just need some kind of positive reinforcement. You would think that having my life and my kids back would be positive enough, but I am really strugling. I also think that it may have to do with the fact that I still have some left over from before I stopped. What should I do? #3-The entire reason I started taking hydro's was because of back pain... Well my back is killing me, any suggestions?

[u]For anyone that wants to know, here is a little more info on me: </u>
I'm 24 yrs old, married, and have 3 of the most BEAUTIFUL little girls in the world! (of course I'm a little bias!) I started taking hydro's in late 2004 for a work comp back injury. Little did I know that taking that first little pill would lead me down this destructive path. I tried many times to stop taking them "cold turkey" with NO success. BIG suprise! Then, just when I thought I would be taking them for the rest of my life and there was no hope left... I heard about this MIRICLE medication called Suboxone. I got on the website and started reading more and more, I located a Dr. and in less than a week after first hearing about it I was STARTING TREATMENT!

Well, that was last Wednesday (Nov. 21, 2007) which puts me here, today Nov. 28th. Its been 1 week and to say the least it has been AMAZING! I never thought this would work, but it has!

I have been reading thru some of the posts under different topics and I really must say that it seems like there is more of a support system going on here than you will ever find anywhere else! This place is wonderful and I hope to gain a lot of knowledge and maybe a few friends during this experience!

THANKS TO ANYONE THAT POSTS A RESPONSE and HOPE TO HEAR FROM EVERYONE SOON!

TABTTU
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Unread 11-28-2007, 07:14 AM   #2
tabttu
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I forgot to mention that I also get REALLY REALLY sleepy sometimes during the day, does this ever go away? And I also have times of "feeling great w/ lots of energy" only to end with "feeling not so great and exhausted" is this normal or will it go away too?
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Unread 11-28-2007, 07:41 AM   #3
n3rve
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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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Unread 11-28-2007, 08:07 AM   #4
julie1129
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Hey Tabttu, welcome to our little home! Glad you stumbled upon us! It's a great place with lots of great people and a ton of info.

Now, to answer some of your questions, first of all, headaches are very common when you first start Sub. I remember that for the first week I got really bad headaches, but they do eventually go away once your body adjusts to this medication. The legs swelling, I'm not familiar with that one and I didn't experience that, but I'm sure someone here can help you out with that one.

Now, your second question has to do with craving pills. That's a big one and can be controlled very easily by raising your dose, so talk to your doctor about that. One of the huge benefits of Sub is that it shoud completely eliminate your cravings at the right dose, so definitely talk to your doctor about this because that can be fixed pretty easily.

Now to your third question about having leftover pills. Do yourself a favor right now and get rid of them. I remember when I started Sub last year, a few days after I started I got an unexpected delivery from the FedEx man with a whole bottle of hydros. I was panicked, to say the least. But after coming here to post what had happened, everybody here walked me through it and gave me the support and encouragement I needed to flush those babies down the toilet. So don't keep torturing yourself having those around, especially with you having such severe cravings right now. Do whatever you have to do to get them out of your house. That will be one less thing for you to have to worry about.

And now your last question has to do with having to deal with your pain now that you stopped taking your pain meds. There's a lot of people here who suffer from chronic pain, who I'm sure will be on later, who can give you some suggestions in that area. The truth is, some people get great pain relief from Sub and some people get none, so it's really a very individual thing. Usually pain patients dose every 4 to 6 hours instead of just once or twice throughout the day to help control their pain. Talk to your doctor about this and maybe he'll have some suggestions for you. I've also heard people say that just taking 600 or 800 mg ibuprofen along with the Sub really helps a lot. So it's just going to be finding out what works for YOU, which might take a few weeks, but you should eventually be able to find a "routine" that works for you.

Well, I hope I've answered your questions for you, and I'm so glad you found us. You've taken a huge first step and you're on your way to having the life you've always wanted. It just takes time and a little work, but it sounds like things are going pretty good for you, and it's only going to keep getting better. I started Sub last November 29th (gosh, it's gonna be a year tomorrow!), and I was taking 40 hydros a day and my life was a complete disaster. Now, a year later, I can't tell you how much my life has improved. I've met some great people here who have held my hand and helped me through some very tough times, and we'll all do the same for you.

Welcome aboard and good luck to you. If you have ANY questions at all, or just feel like chatting, just hop on here and ask whatever you want. Someone's always on here. See, it's 4:03 a.m. and I'M on here!! And there's gonna be lots more folks saying hi and welcoming you a little later, so get ready!

Okay, I've babbled long enough now so I'll end here. Keep us posted on things and I'm looking forward to getting to know you in the coming weeks and months.

Julie
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Unread 11-28-2007, 08:10 AM   #5
tabttu
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n3rve -

Wow... Its a little erie how realted our cases are. I have 3 herniated discs C6-C7, T4-T5, and T5-T6. I have not had any surgeries(yet) and do not currently plan to. I really think that I am too young to have that kind of surgery.

I have tried taking Lyrica but didn't really have any positive effects. Also, NSAIDS are a killer. I am allergic to them, which really stinks because I know they really help. I have also taken flexeril, skelaxin, celebrex etc. and have found little relief from the constant pain.

HEAT SOUNDS HEAVENLY! I have only been able to use heat packs and a TENS unit for relief (which is minimal, but I'll take what I can get!) A hot tub really sounds like it would be GREAT! But... I don't think I could get workers copm to cover it! LOL

I have been blessed enough to have work comp cover my SUBOXONE treatment! I am on day #7 and truly think that this is an amazing drug! However, I too worry that I may end up going back to opiates simply for the severe pain! But I'm am not there yet either!

Thank you for your response and all your advise! I will use as much of it to my advantage as possible! I hope to hear from you about your progress and wish you the best! And YES, it is nice to have someone to type to at 3am!
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Unread 11-28-2007, 08:21 AM   #6
tabttu
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julie1129 -

Thank You! I will talk with my Dr. about all the things you suggested. But one other problem I have is with NSAIDS... they are a killer (I'm allergic to them)which really stinks because I know they work.

Just knowing that someone is here that really cares makes a huge difference! I look forward to meeting everyone and becoming a member of the AMAZING family of support, support that will aid in my continued success as an addiction survivor!
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Unread 11-28-2007, 08:38 AM   #7
julie1129
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You're very welcome, Tabttu. Yeah, I saw after I posted that you're allergic to NSAIDS. Definitely ask your doctor what other options are available to you.

And in a little while there will be A LOT more people on here to help you, so you'll be getting lots more suggestions and advice about what to do and what things have worked well for other people. Just remember, our bodies are very unique, and sometimes what works for one person may not work for another person, so it might take a little time to find YOUR perfect "recipe." Sometimes people with the exact same drug habit will end up taking drastically different amounts of Sub. It's a totally individualized thing. So don't get caught up in "the numbers" and just concentrate on what works best for you.

Good luck! Everything's gonna be just fine.

Julie
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Unread 11-28-2007, 11:30 AM   #8
najohn
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Don't forget stretching every morning. That helps with the pain. And exercise works for most everything, (learned that on this forum, it works).

Have fun...............John
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Unread 11-28-2007, 06:34 PM   #9
astro
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Can't really help with chronic pain issues but wanted to welcome you.
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