Almost off Opiates

Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 235
edited 02/09/2019 - 10:47 AM in Pain Medications

But not sure if I can take the pain(s)

Have been on very high doses since my two lumbar surgeries last year - Oxycodone 30mg, 6x day and morph sulf ER 30mg 3x day. 360 mme. As of today I am off Oxycodone and only take morphine 30 2x day.  The titration schedule from my doctor has me going back up on Oxycodone 5mg 3x day while I take morphine down over the next 9 days, then 1.2.3 drop the Oxy and be done with opiates (forever  ?)   

The idea is to see how what my baseline pain is and if I can deal without taking opiates. Based on how bad it’s been since I was on 10mg Oxy/day I can imagine a low dose (relatively) 5mg at night to get through this. 

 I am still taking 600mg Gabepentin and 4mg Tizanidine 4x day. Dr just added cymbalta.   I have horrible nerve pains mostly below the knees as one of a few residual surgical effects.  My feet are in constant pain after walking .25 miles so I can’t  get much walking exercise in right now.  PT with major stretching and exercise ,some swimming, and light cardio are all I can handle.   I get loback steroid injection Monday to try and alleviate the foot pain.  I get acupuncture and massages regularly for very tight muscles which spasm like crazy at night. I continue to try to find the right mix of MM, that certainly takes the edge off but makes me stupid and on top of the gabepentin just makes me stupider and sleepy.  



  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 259

    Your progress is exciting and a testament to your self-discipline and determination. Hopefully your nerve pain will lessen over time and you will be even better! Your progress and success is encouraging to me. Thanks for sharing! Keep up the good work! Jerome

  • Hi
    Fantastic you have achieved the point you are at and if anything a huge positive is that if you have to go back on opioids you will get more relief with less possibility. 
    Has your doctor said "no more" meaning he or she will not go that direction period? If that is the case that is worrisome to me since I have been down that road before. What is his reason for you not taking them at all? Don't misunderstand me I think all doctor's should monitor and try to get us taking pain medications as less as possible for the right reasons period. I just don't want you to be one of those who ends up not having them as an option if needed. You need to ask is this it or what? 
    It's all about quality of life if your doctor has a plan and it works then that will be the best. But if you get to a point that you are suffering too much you need to make it clear how you feel. 
    The current trend is to take us off pain medications hope that is what is happening here. 
    I get rambling due to old age ;) but also I am very passionate about the negative attitude towards use of opioids for pain control.
    Wish you the best and please take pride in what you have been able to achieve.
    Keep us posted on how you are doing.

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  • Thanks for the encouragement Jerome and Sherri. The doctors have said I may need to go back up to some level of opiates to relieve pain but since I was on such a high dose right after surgery it’s impossible to tell where my actual pain is.   And I’ve been afraid to go off cause I for one do not deal with pain very well nor the withdrawal symptoms.   And they have said the knowing what the lowest possible opiate dose necessarily wouldn’t be accurate unless I went all the way off, got a baseline and then gradually add back in Oxy or morphine again, or some other treatment.  So Sherri, I think I’m good if I have to go back up. Also    I am uncertain that the cymbalta helps at all.  Right now it’s cbd 1:1 3x day seems to help more than anything , 

    Yesterday, I feel my pain. Get settled. Try my MM and then am able to move with less pain though I’ll admit it’s a little froggy in my brain when I do that. Same today after I get through withdrawal symptoms .  On weekends that’s fine but during workweek I have no avenue of relief and find it impossible to focus on tasks. 

  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 382

    Joel,  does that morphine three times a day really help? Also do you have a lot of muscle stiffness?  I feel a lot of my problems are due to taking medication and not being real active .  Also my torso muscles are very stiff. Would you say you feel better with less opiates in your system ?  Your problems seem similar to mine. Take care and God bless 

  • HI
    That is so encouraging to read that your doctor will work with you and he is right going clear off is the way to go. Just think how excellent that would be if you did have to use them again to have better pain relief with less. You are stronger than me. These past months I did go down from 30 mg to 10 mg Oxycodone ER then back on the 10 mg it was hell. I even had break through pain meds thankfully. l have decided l need to be tough like you quit it all in order to get where you will.
    You say cbd is helping you glad you have that option. Utah is still in a battle mode even though it was voted in by the people there are those who want it changed. So who knows when it will be a option now which is a huge disappointment for those who need it.
    So keep up the good work and keep us posted

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  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 235
    edited 02/11/2019 - 10:36 PM

    Mike, at this point, I really don’t know if the Morphine works or not.  The day I dropped from 60mg to 30mg was not fun. That was yesterday.  Last night was horrible worst nerve pain I’d had in months.  I laid in bed 4 hrs before I finally took of all things a Xanax, slept all night and back at it today , albeit very stiff.  

    Had a caudial injection this afternoon and we’ll see how fast and effective that is, the idea is get the nerve pain under control. This is not the pain dr I see for med refills since post op, but he is high up at a university pain clinic I was referred to after my official diagnosis of failed back surgery, neuropathic lower body pain (likely due to surgery, and not neuropathy) and of course chronic pain.    I hope I can get to ground zerOpiates but wow, what a journey.  Wished one could sleep through it  

    No matter how bad I felt all night I am making it a point t to exercise regularly. I am down to one 1:1 PT and 3 times in the gym per week starting today, my insurance reset my PT sessions and tripled the copay... yeah, not happy, it’s always something   

    I do have muscle stiffness in my loback around my fusion at L3-S1, but ever since my surgery I’ve felt like all of my muscles hurt, just some less than others.  I’m told that is usual due to all the pain and other meds  

    the best part of reducing meds??? Less trips to CVS lol

  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 235
    edited 02/18/2019 - 5:57 PM

    An update, I’m off my morphine 30 1x day and am only taking oxy5 4x day, tomorrow 3x day, the pain is consistent but as long as I stay ahead with the methods I’m using it’s tolerable, only had two sleepless nights. So dropping 5mg every three days gives me 12 more days, though my PM dr said if I get to 10-15mg / day,  I should be able to just stop completely without much side effects.  I cannot wait for the nausea to go away so I plan on expediting that to maybe this weekend when I can rest with no work stress.  The drop off from morphine definitely gave me some awful nausea but it comes less often today. 

    I would say Mike it didn’t really help my pain now ( a year later) but I thought it did 10 months ago when I was put on such a high dose 30mg 3-4x day I thought it was the thing that cut through and finally helped get my pain under control 2 months post op. 

  • This isn’t easy and is taking forever.  Pain flaring up is not helping.  I’ve had SI issues and a left glut muscle issue that at times revisits painful sciatic feelings I haven’t experienced in a while.   I still wonder about whether I should have done suboxone and gutted it out for a week just to get the weaning over quickly.  I was told that if that was in my records that I’d be labeled on paper as an opiate addict.  

  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 382

     Good job Joel     Keep going 

  • Hi Joe so are you off now completely? How are you doing do you think you will be able to handle without any? You have to think about your quality of life that is what is so important.
    You know I have had so many doctor's tell me Suboxone would be a last resort. for that exact reason would be labeled as having a drug problem. Back before I got more involved with what was given me I was given it by a doctor who did not have a clue years ago when it first came out. Got so sick and had the worst panic attacks ever so off immediately. 
    I hope you will reach your goals and the outcome will be positive.
    Best wishes Sherri

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