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Old 11-07-2014, 06:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hydrocodone


Yesterday I was referred to a doctor for my knee. I have been on Hydrocodone for 4 years now, I have never taken my max possible doseage and usually go 2 months on my 1 month prescription even though I'm in 8/9 pain most of the time. The doctor upon seeing I was taking hydrocodone immediately explained that I am experiencing phantom pain and should be off the hydrocodone yesterday. I stopped taking it and now probably 48 hours out from my last dosage my only symptom is that my leg is back to an 8/9 level pain. No headache, no stomach ache, no chills, or other pains. I have agreed to wait four weeks before taking another in order to solidly confirm or deny his hypothesis.
My mother is an alcoholic so I have always been remarkably cautious of any substances in my body. During the 4 years of taking vicodin I have tried changed diet, STIM, accupuncture, physical rehabilitation, weight loss, green tea, copper bands, magnets etc. I also stopped taking it for atleast 3 days each month to assure that I received no withdrawal symptoms.
I guess the question I am getting to is, has anyone had this phantom pain. And has there been anyone who has had 0 withdrawal symptoms but had them come in more than 4 weeks later.
Taking these has not affected my life in any negative manner. In fact this past month was my first month of relief with a new brace cortisone shot and less vicodin than i had taken in years I was finding myself pain free.
I am not asking for anyone to explain the horrors of taking these pills, believe me it's not my favorite thing ever but I'm 28 and can barely walk without pain management, not taking them ruins my life. I'm looking for advice and experience with withdrawals and fantom pains.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know about phantom pain, but it doesn't sound like you are physically dependent on the medications other than they make it so you can live a normal life and that is actually the goal when it comes to any pain medication, not just narcotics. I don't even know that I would be concerned about becoming physically dependent on them anyway as they are treating a serious condition and you are taking them as prescribed.

Honestly, regular doctors know so very little about addiction and if this is a new Dr. i would be hesitant about taking advice. I rely on doctors who have consistently followed my case for my best information. It is your choice on how you take your medications when it comes down to it, but you are well within your rights to ask for a second opinion.

Good luck, and I really hope you find a solution for your knee. Medications or not, that sounds horribly painful!
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're not sure about the advice you got, I think a second opinion is a good idea

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Old 11-07-2014, 08:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payne View Post
... My mother is an alcoholic so I have always been remarkably cautious of any substances in my body....
I, too, am hugely careful about pain meds. My docs all know how scared I am of _ever_ getting addicted. I follow their directions exactly and have several friends with whom I share my "stuff" so they can help me spot any kind of "stinking thinking".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Payne View Post
...has anyone had this phantom pain. ...
Not me. As far as I know, "phantom pain" is what a person feels who has _lost_ a limb. They feel pain _in_ the limb that they lost, even though they can see that the limb is not there.

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Originally Posted by Payne View Post
... The doctor upon seeing I was taking hydrocodone immediately explained that I am experiencing phantom pain and should be off the hydrocodone yesterday...
I've been to various pain docs over the years and nobody has _ever_ taken me off a med like that. They _always_ work out a "step down" schedule with me and make a plan for a different form of pain management to replace the meds. Every few years my docs "rotate" me to a different plan, with different meds or different combination of meds so that my body does not "habituate".

You mentioned your knee, so I assume the Doctor you mention is an ortho. If that is the case I would be very unhappy about an ortho that is giving me pain management advice. There are docs that specialize in pain management for people with chronic pain. Any doctor that gave me the advice you mentioned would be _off_ my list immediately and I would be out shopping for a new one.

Oh, and congratulations on having the cortisone shots working for you. There is _nothing_ in the world as wonderful as being free of pain, even if only for an hour.

Mike
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You don't know how much pain you are really in if you take them for extended time.

My back was literally killing me for years.

I'm totally sober and clean now, and the back pain is VERY manageable.

The problem with other opinions, is that you WILL find a doctor to write you scripts if you look hard enough.

If you can stand to stay off a while, you may find that you are in much less pain than you imagine currently.
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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DoubleBarrel I am not looking for a doctor to write me one, and haven't taken any in a week and so far the only side effect has only been increases in pain. However I do appreciate your advice that was what I wanted to confirm, I thought that it could do weird things to my head, I will be laying off them a bit longer just to assure that it isn't my head playing games with me, however with each passing day I'm becoming more sure I'm just forcing myself to be in pain out of fear, however since it is plausible it's a great idea to be sure every once in a while.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think I can help I get the same thing.GEt with me i am new to this stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Payne View Post
Yesterday I was referred to a doctor for my knee. I have been on Hydrocodone for 4 years now, I have never taken my max possible doseage and usually go 2 months on my 1 month prescription even though I'm in 8/9 pain most of the time. The doctor upon seeing I was taking hydrocodone immediately explained that I am experiencing phantom pain and should be off the hydrocodone yesterday. I stopped taking it and now probably 48 hours out from my last dosage my only symptom is that my leg is back to an 8/9 level pain. No headache, no stomach ache, no chills, or other pains. I have agreed to wait four weeks before taking another in order to solidly confirm or deny his hypothesis.
My mother is an alcoholic so I have always been remarkably cautious of any substances in my body. During the 4 years of taking vicodin I have tried changed diet, STIM, accupuncture, physical rehabilitation, weight loss, green tea, copper bands, magnets etc. I also stopped taking it for atleast 3 days each month to assure that I received no withdrawal symptoms.
I guess the question I am getting to is, has anyone had this phantom pain. And has there been anyone who has had 0 withdrawal symptoms but had them come in more than 4 weeks later.
Taking these has not affected my life in any negative manner. In fact this past month was my first month of relief with a new brace cortisone shot and less vicodin than i had taken in years I was finding myself pain free.
I am not asking for anyone to explain the horrors of taking these pills, believe me it's not my favorite thing ever but I'm 28 and can barely walk without pain management, not taking them ruins my life. I'm looking for advice and experience with withdrawals and fantom pains.
....

Last edited by DesertEyes; 04-05-2015 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Fixed broken quote
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Old 05-17-2015, 02:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've never heard of phantom pain with attached limbs. I have heard of rebound syndrome which does affect a small percentage of people taking opiates. the very symptoms that were being treated with the opiate can come back and cause worse pain after a considerable time of taking the drug.
I have taken opiates for pain after breaking my neck in 2000 and for my back and knee pain after another accident. I now am taking only natural pain relievers but when my nerve pain gets really bad which is does ocassionally due to increased work load, I take Cymbalta and Norco. I've been fortunate for 15 years in that I have only had intermittent bouts of severe pain for approximately 5 months at a time and only a half dozen times. Weight loss and exercise restriction keep me at a 4-5 pain most of the time. Thankful for that.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am having shoulder surgery a week from today.

My doctor will give pain meds to my wife, who will dispense them to me.

We have done this drill with other orthopedic surgeries.

My objective is to get my shoulder fully functional again - not to change my sobriety date.

I have a lot of respect for pain meds, even though I never took them recreationally or addictively.

I will post on my surgery and recovery.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Same here, SoberCAH,

Good luck on your surgery!

I'm looking to a TKR and a shoulder surgery in the upcoming future. I had no problem with my partial knee surgery with pain medication. Switched quickly to plain Tylenol. Sometimes you just gotta grin and bear it some. Better than dealing with another addiction.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Kris - I had a couple of bicep tendon surgeries, and recovering from them was a snap.

I took 2 pain pills after the first surgery and 1 after the second.

Then I switched to Advil.

Keep us posted when you have your surgeries.

That is a lot to deal with, but I am grateful that we live in a time when we can get many things fixed.

I am spending the weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway with my surgeon and his wife and daughter in their motor home.

None of us drink and we have a very large time together.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Tomorrow is my big day.

I will keep everyone posted.
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sending good thoughts, well wishes and prayers your way for an uneventful surgery and full recovery.

Kris
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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BTW,

I was at the docs today and he thinks the shoulder surgery should come first due to needing my shoulder and back to help with my knee surgery. So, we'll see what happens over here.

Will be looking forward to hearing how all went!
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My shoulder repair surgery last Thursday went wonderfully, and my recovery has been a snap.

I wish I had gotten this fixed a couple of years ago when I foolishly tore my labrum lifting too much weight.

I have taken 1 HC before bedtime for the last 4 nights, but none in the daytime.

I will probably take 1/2 before bed for another day or 2 and then none.

Mercifully, it does not have a euphoric or fun effect on me (based on the way I feel before going to bed), but I still respect it because I am an alcoholic and addict.

Thanks for the thoughts and support on this thread.

I truly appreciate it.
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Heal well and get on with life I say!
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Home after my TKR. It will be a month post op on October 2nd.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Glad to hear you have your surgery behind you, Kris.

I had to have follow-on surgery on my shoulder 10 days ago to fix something I tore after my surgery in May.

All is well.
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Phantom pain in the context you describe, no, I've not heard that diagnosis or metaphor used. I have both heard of, and experienced, narcotic induced/enhanced hyperalgesia. I'm a chronic pain patient and have taken various prescribed narcotic pain killers for quite a few years. On a few occasions, in the last, oh, 6-8 years, I've experienced my neck and back pain increase after sustained periods of taking the pain meds without taking breaks from them. Hyperalgesia doesn't exactly sound like what you're describing but it might be worth your while to research it.
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think a second opinion would be good. I've never heard phantom pain used in this context either. You obviously are not even close to abusing your pain medication - quite the opposite. I seriously doubt that you would feel no withdrawal symptoms for weeks and then have them suddenly appear. Great you recently found a combination of things that works, and a bit of a shame it's been 'taken away' again. I know from years of chronic pain that it is not a good idea to let the pain 'get away' on you. I think a second opinion would be good. Sounds like you have been coping incredibly well :-)
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