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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

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Now what?
Feb 21, 2007
Hi all! This is my first time posting on this board, however I have been reading your posts for some time. Three years ago I was diagnosed with bulging disks in my lower spine which were causing quite a bit of pain. After going through physical therapy which did not help at all, I was referred to a pain clinic where I was prescribed darvocet and also received steroid shots. As would be expected, the darvocet did not help with the pain very much and after about a year, I was prescribed vicodin. Now, I have always taken the minimum amount I could to just take the edge off of the pain because I was always afraid of addiction / dependence. My pain doctor always said that surgery would be a last resort so after 2 years of taking the vicodin (still taking minimum amount - max. 5 - 5mg per day at my worst pain) I decided it was time for the surgery. So, I had back surgery this past summer and had to continue to take the vicodin (now was down to 3 - 5mg per day) for a couple of weeks after due to residual pain. My back pain is now minimal, thank God. Here is where the problem comes in - I continued to take the vicodin 2-3 5mg. per day up until this past Monday. I tried to stop a couple of weeks after my surgery when I felt like I no longer needed the drug for pain but of course I would start withdrawal. Because I work full time (went back to work 3 weeks after surgery) and had used all of my vacation time I could not take off work to detox until after January. So, here I am - I'm on day 3 of taking no vicodin. The withdrawal is uncomfortable but not as bad as I had expected - probably because I was on a pretty low dosage. Here is my question (finally! but I had to give you the background). In about 1 1/2 weeks I will start my period. I have very painful periods for which I have always taken narcotics to quell the pain for years - well before I even had back problems. In the past I would take 2-3 per day for usually 1, maybe 2 days for the menstrual cramps. I cannot take ibuprofen due to stomach problems and regular OTC pain remedies do not even touch the pain. So now what? What do I take in 1 1/2 weeks when the pain starts? I have to be able to function at work and the pain honestly will not allow that. Yes, I have spoken numerous times with my gynecologist about these problems and the answer is always "well, you have fibroids and endemetriosis so the only cure would be a hysterectomy". I am not willing to do that at this point in my life. Any suggestions? Will I be playing with fire taking the vicodin in the next week or so since I am just now detoxing off this stuff? I have no desire to take it for any reason other than for pain, but I don't want my body to become dependent again. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, you don't know how much all of your posts have helped me the last few days. I had no idea what to expect during this detox and reading your posts really informed me and made me feel like I wasn't alone. Thanks so much to all of you for that.


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