Quitting Oxycodone with Loperamide- My story begins... - Part 133

By Jungledog · Dec 6, 2014 · ·
  1. Day 45

    Woke up my usual tired self. I have been battling a migraine for 3 days and last night it peaked. It is a result of the combo of job stress, my pain, stress from this stupid taper and my period. I still have it and it is beginning to really piss me off. Just took more ibuprofen.

    Detox wise I am fine. I dropped to 1.25 tsp. I need to find time today to exercise as I have not had time the past few days. I have been doing the yoga but I need to walk too. Those endorphins need to be made.

    I wanted to take a few minutes to explain about my injuries. Most people have no clue what a brachial plexus injury is but it is important to the telling of my story. When the patient attacked me, he created two injuries; 1) Multi-level cervical and thoracic disc herniation and 2) A brachial plexus injury. The problem was the doctors missed the second part.

    I was shaken violently by the guy and literally thrown into a wall. Initially, I had fairly classic whiplash signs and a lot of pain but about 2 weeks after the event I went to hang up a 1 liter bag of IV fluid on an IV pole. I wasn't able to lift it. I panicked and left work to see my then doctor. She sent me for a stat MRI. This came back with several herniated cervical discs. It was ASSUMED that the spinal cord compression from the protruding discs was the cause of my sudden arm weakness. Well, you know what they say about assuming. Anyhow, I was instructed to start physical therapy which I did several times a week for 6 months. The pain was horrific and I took opiates a lot the whole first year. The follow up MRI done around 6 months showed some improvement of the position of the discs. I was told to give it time (by both my doctor and the workmens comp doc). This medical error has cost me a lot.

    About 18 months later, I finally sought out a second opinion. The third physician did nerve conduction tests and a few other studies and explained that I had a complicated brachial plexus injury that had been overlooked. What is this injury? Essentially when the patient grabbed my arm violently, he stretched and partially tore a nerve root coming off my spinal cord. This is WAY more damaging than simply having a nerve compressed by a protruding disc. So for those of you here dealing with neck and back problems that required surgery and you know how bad that pain got...this is way fucking worse. These are the injuries that newborns can sustain if the OB/GYN pulls on the infant's arm during delivery.

    So there are different types and mine was significant. The key issue is there is only a short window of time to surgically correct the problem and so now my injury is permanent. I have BOTH injuries; compression of the nerves caused by injuries to my cervical and thoracic spines plus the torn nerve in my brachial plexus. This has left me with weakness to my arm and hand (I can't lift anything heavy with my arm and I often drop objects with my hand). My pain is a constant burning pain from my neck down my arm, achiness in the arm, muscle spasms and these sharp zaps of electricity that shoot down the arm. I ALWAYS have pain. The level of pain fluctuates but it is never gone. Dealing with this for 12 years has been exhausting. It is part of my AI.

    Keep in mind that nerve pain is the worst type of pain there is. It responds poorly to treatment. The thing that brings the best relief is the gabapentin. But understand that nerves feed the muscles and other structures of the extremity and so the opiates help treat this. I have tried anti-inflammatories, heat, ice, creams, I have a TENS unit (this really helps), do acupuncture, tried hypnosis, eat right, exercise, take herbs, do yoga, have completed several rounds of physical therapy, have taken steroids, have had epidurals and facet injections and the reality is that I have a damaged brachial plexus that will never get better. Had it been discovered in the first few months, I would have had a much better outcome and would only have to deal with the neck disc injuries.

    I am not trying to say my pain is worse than everyone else's but I do believe the pain I have is anything but average. I wish all I had to deal with was arthritis or herniated discs...I have both of those things PLUS the nerve shit too. My pain management doctor is 100% correct that I am screwed and that I need to be realistic. There is no solution. With opiates I am fucked and without I am equally fucked. Make sense?? Anyhow, this is why I get annoyed when people tell me to find alternative pain treatments. I have tried everything and honestly what I suffer with everyday is not run of the mill pain. It sucks to be me.

    I just wanted to explain my dilemma. And NO I am NOT making up excuses to use. Hell, I could just take the damned things and just lie about it. But this time I have promised myself to be honest.

    Jungledog added 25 Minutes and 4 Seconds later...

    I also am quite aware that I get defensive about this. I resent being told that I should be able to deal with the pain without opiates and conversely I resent my doctor telling me that I am foolish to think I can function without them. I also resent being reminded by my husband that my pain negatively impacts my family and kids. The whole thing makes me super angry because no matter what I choose to do...the "choice" solves nothing. My next life better fucking be better than this one...just saying.

Comments

  1. lostlygirl
    I think you are in a tough spot, my friend. I would firstly recommend that you give it 30 days from when you give up Kratom, and then see how you pain is at that point. I understand it takes a while for the body to fully regulate it's own pain relieving endorphins. A month without anything should give you a pretty accurate idea of what you are up against.

    During this time I would keep an honest and accurate pain diary. At the end of the month compile the data and reassess. If the month is unbearable, or there are more bad days than good, then take the time to look at all of your options.

    After all of this time I think you owe it to yourself to take a month totally clean. Then, if you do decide to go back on narcotics you will know that you gave it your all, and gave your body time to adjust without anything.

    Then, and only then, I think you should also consider this. JD, I am going to throw something out there, although I will most likely get well and truly thrown under the bus here goes!

    We are in a similar situation. I have permanent nerve damage to both of my legs and it's also irreversible. I completely understand your dilemma. I had planned to stay on the fentanyl patches for pain management for the simple reason that when using them as prescribed it's almost impossible to get high from them. The only way to get high from them is to abuse them, and then its a 'dirty' high. That's why the boards are not filed with fentanyl abuse and withdrawals.

    The patches have several positive aspects that are worth considering. As pointed out, it's difficult or impossible to get high from them when used correctly. There are no feelings of euphoria, or excitement, or a rush, or anything like you get with pills. They really don't take over your life in any way, which is what I liked the most about them. I abused pretty much every pill I was put on (my marriage sucked), and yet for 10 years I never once had the desire to abuse the patches until this June. I was off of all pills for 3 years and never abused the patches.

    I honestly don't think I would even consider going off of the patches EXCEPT that I figured out how to (very dangerously) abuse them. If I find that my pain is too intense without any narcotics, I would go back on the patches because they are the option that I would least likely abuse.

    I know I have kinda given the patches a bad name, but they really do work well for their intended purpose. You just really don't get any kind of rush or high from them, which is why I could control them so well for so long. For someone with permanent chronic pain the patches truly are a good option. I seriously doubt you would have any issues. :)

    I know this is frustrating. Chronic pain is a bitch, and there really are no good options. You truly are stuck between a rock and a hard place.


    On a side note, I woke up being able to think!! Love to you my friend.
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