Can almost see the light.....

Old 02-11-2010, 10:37 AM
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Location: Mc Donough, GA
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Can almost see the light.....

Hello I'm new to this forum and wanted to share my story.

In September 2004, it was discovered that I have a "bulging disc" in my neck. Which cause severe pain, tingling, numbness, down my left arm, hand, and fingers.

The first method of treatment was epidural injections in my neck to where the inflammation occurs. This method was ok, but only gave me temporally relief. It's given in "sets of 3", and then you cannot get another shot for 6 months. I wasn't satisfied with this and wanted to know what "other methods" the pain clinic had that could offer relief. The doctor recommended methadone. I wasn't completely educated on the drug so I figured, why not? Plus the "warning" sheet they give you no where near goes into detail about what I was in for. My wife, family, and friends were not too keen on this idea but I was the one in pain so I went ahead with the treatment.

I think they originally started me on 5mg every 8 hours, which I took 5mg in the morning, 5 more in the after noon, and 5 @ night before bed. That was roughly around November 2005.

Of course after a while, that dosage wasn't doing much for me and they had to increase to 10mg every 8 hours, then eventually I got up to 20 mg @ a time, 60 a day!! Also was being prescribed the drug "Neurontin" because it supposedly relaxes your nerves.

Well as you can guess, even at that dosage, the relief wasn't as great over time, and decided to get the shots again, this time we went with a procedure called a "nerve block". Like the epidural shots, the relief was only temporally.

And of course the effects from the methadone has pretty much destroyed my marriage, made it VERY difficult for me to function @ work, drive, be a good dad. It was so bad that I would be giving my son a bath, and he'd have to shake me and say Daddy wake up as my eye's started going into the back of my head while was on the side of the bath! I spoke to the doctor several times about trying to get off and about how bad the drug was.
They insisted the drug was safe so I would dismiss the idea of getting off.

Well about 4 months ago, I finally decided enough was enough and wanted to get off the medication. I've done alot of research and apparently only 10% of methadone users are actually able to get off the medicine by tapering off. The must successful way was to go through detox at a drug rehap. center. Although that method would keep me from my family and work for quite some time, as well as be really expensive. So I decided to just taper off and take my chances.

Now it's February 2010 and I'm down to 10mg a day!! I've noticed the withdrawal symptoms and the worse is the damn cramps! Nothing worse that waking up @ 3am with your legs feeling like the someone is hitting them w/ a hammer! The jitters are bad..and not exactly easy to stay focused at work.

I plan on staying on this dosage for a while, before going down to 5mg a day. It has been a rough road and I know it'll only get rougher once I reduce the dosage more. But I have faith in my self that I can do it.

The next step when I'm completely off, is to figure out a new method to help with the pain I STILL have going down my arm and hands. I'm thinking about going to a more natural approach, like acupuncture or something like that. Any advice or recommendations is appreciated!

I am still not ready to have surgery. I've had many family and friends who've had surgery on their neck and back with nothing but BAD things to say about that.

Thanks for reading my story!!
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:12 AM
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Wow. I've had bulging discs/herniated discs/ and a ruptured disc in my back have had surgery and gone through the steroid injections; I've known many many people with disc problems in back and/or neck and never known anyone to get put on methodone for it. I know nothing about getting off methodone but have personally found physical therapy/yoga/and acupuncture at times to work tremendously. I had back surgery and know many others who have as well and it's not that bad, yes quite frequently several surgeries are required but that to me is better than a drug addiction. Also, if you haven't been to a neurosurgeon you should go, then can often work wonders in areas where an orthopedic surgeon cannot.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:32 AM
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As soon as I'm completely off the medication, a more natural type therapy like acupuncture or yoga is my next step.

They would have to remove the disc and "fuse" my vertebrae's in order to "fix" the problem by surgery. I have a half brother, that has probably had 5 or 6 different surgery's on his back AND is on the strongest pain meds you could imagine right now. And will be in a wheel chair full time soon. I have an aunt that is multiple issues with her back and again several surgery's and STILL is in severe pain every day.

So hearing things like that, has me from wanting to dive right on them messing w/ my spine. Plus I've had a few MRI's and my condition, according to the films, doesn't appear that bad, and I could be in ALOT worse shape. Pain is something I have learned to live with but being a "slave" to this damn methadone, as well as , having pain, is for the birds!

I'm sure there are several options I can consider and the worst mistake I ever made was deciding to use pain meds as an option for relief. They should make it illegal to even offer it for pain relief! Or atleast let you know of ALL the risk you are in for before deciding to go down that road.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:38 AM
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I don't know anything about methadone, as my doc was alcohol. I do hope you can get some relief and be able to get off the meds soon, as well as find relief for your medical/pain problems. I would suggest you look into our methadone/suboxone forum for more experience and knowledge from those who have been down that road.

Suboxone/Methadone Maintenance or Detox - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

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Old 02-11-2010, 11:41 AM
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Good luck with getting off the medication, There is a suboxone/methodone addiction detox section on here that you might check out for support.

Yoga and meditation has been the best medicine I've ever received.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:36 PM
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Hi and welcome,

That's a shame your doctor was not more supportive when you needed.

There's plenty of good advice and support here on SR. Aside from your physical detox/withdrawal from the drug which you seem to have covered you may wish to consider NA meetings. Even once don't have the drug in your system any more you may find coping with life difficult, particularly with the underlying issues with pain and your health. A 12 program can really's also a great way of connecting with people face to face who have had similar addictions to drugs.

Take care.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:44 PM
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Snowman -

Welcome to SR. You will find so many wonderful folks here with a wide variety of experiences.

I don't know about pain meds or backpain so I can't comment on either of those. But I do practice Yoga for a knee injury. Love it!!! For me it helps strengthen and balance my muscles and spirit.

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Old 02-11-2010, 01:58 PM
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I have no experience to offer but I wanted to welcome you Snowman

You'll fidn a lot of support here.

Take a look around - you may also find it useful to look at our substance abuse forum and pain management in recovery forum as well.

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Old 02-11-2010, 04:04 PM
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Welcome Snowman,

There is lots of information and support here!
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