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I've had chronic pain from a bad car accident for years, which really started acting up again this past February/March (2004). I went to see a pain management doctor, who then put me on Percocet 7.5 and Zanaflex (muscle relaxers). They helped in the beginning, but over time they just didn't work anymore. I've had two epidurals and one radio frequency (all seperate procedures) on my lower back and one epidural and one radio frequency on my neck. None helped, even after assurances from my pain management doctor that they would. In fact, I feel like I'm in more pain now than I was before.

After the last radio frequency on my neck (which was on 12/01/05), my doctor put me on a two week supply of 20mg. Oxycontins, twice a day, and told me to take a 5mg. of Percocet halfway through. This was only supposed to be for two weeks, until the procedure had time to "work." At the end of the two week period and I was still in a lot of pain, he asked me to give it two more weeks and refilled both the Oxycontin and the Percocet (for another two weeks). I went to him two days ago for another follow-up, and he gave me even more Oxycontin and more Percocet.

I have never taken more than prescribed (although I have taken 10mgs. of Percocet, with my doctor's recommendation, when the pain is bad) .... before the Oxycontin, I was taking one 7.5 mgs. Percocet three times a day.

I need to get off this stuff because I want to have another baby (I have a 21 month old son). I have fertility problems and can't get pregnant without the aid of fertility drugs. To do that, and maintain the pregnancy, I need to discontinue the use of the narcotics and muscle relaxers.

After my initial car accident 16 years ago, I was on Percocet for three years and just stopped taking it at once. I had no problems whatsoever, except for insomnia which gradually went away.

This time, since my doses were higher, I started tapering off yesterday. I took one 7.5 at noon and then 10 mgs. at bedtime (yesterday was the first day I didn't take any Oxycontin), along with my muscle relaxers. I was extremely anxious all day yesterday and was almost freaking out at bedtime (very restless and over-anxious), until the muscle relaxers started working and knocked me out. My sleep was choppy, at best. Yesterday evening, I went to the doctor for a bad cold I've been trying to kick for days, which has now settled in my ears, and my blood pressure was really high, which was scary ... and from the feel of it now, hasn't gone down any.

Last night, I did a google search on narcotic withdrawal and got even more scared. While I am no where near the dose (not even close) as most of the people that were posting on the site I was reading, it's clear I'm having withdrawal symptoms.

I'm sitting here crying because I just can't believe the predicament I'm in. I have serious chronic pain, but what do you do when life needs to go on and in order to do that, you need to stop taking pain meds? I want to be completely off pain meds and most of the muscle relaxers (which are actually worse for a fetus than narcotics) within a month. I'd like to start doing fertility treatments in March or April.

Can someone please tell me how I should take my dose down? I *really* need to avoid serious withdrawal symptoms as I need to take care of my baby all day. Should I expect much symptoms since I'm not really taking *that* much of it (compared to most others I have read about)? And how do you control the pain once you're off the meds? I think that's what I'm most scared about ... the pain I'm inevitably going to be in. I still have plenty of Percocet (and 30 Oxycontin that I haven't filled yet) to be able to just keep tapering down, but I really need advice on what my dosage should be. I do not want to get either my pain management doctor or my regular doctor involved in this. My husband knows about it and is supportive ... he's also on painkillers, but only takes maybe two or three all week. My willpower is strong ... even if it's in the house, I don't *need* to take it just because it's there, I just took it regularly daily to keep the pain at bay.

On another note, I hate the way I'm feeling right now. I feel ashamed that in order to alleviate my pain, I took pills that I now need to wean myself off of to get on with my life. I never craved the pills, but just took them regularly like my doctor prescribed. I already have mild panic disorder (unmedicated), so the super anxiety is not helping matters. And now I'm scared that the high blood pressure will cause me to have a stroke or something ... which I'm supposed to go back to my regular doctor in two weeks for a pressure check.

I'm just a stay-at-home mom to a beautiful boy. My husband makes really good money and because of that, I am very thankful that I get to be a housewife. I'm just so disgusted at the thought that I am having withdrawal symptoms. I hate this extreme anxiousness, and I want it to go away.

If you've read this far, thank you. If you have any advice or words of encouragement, I'd be so grateful.

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