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I've been reading through the boards, debating, and I've decided I can't live like I am anymore. I've had a series of medical problems. About 2 yrs ago I was hospitalized with sepsis & with that severe abdominal pain. Through tests they found a hiatal hernia and what may or may not be pancreatic cancer. I have CT scans & tumor studies every 8 weeks. The studies are consistently inconsistent & the spots haven't changed so its just a constant wait & see approach before they take any action. With the abdominal pain I was prescribed Lortab. I then progressed to Percocet 5mg and now 10/325. I take between 10-14 a day. I only have 1 kidney due to cancer so between that & potential liver damage I know I'm looking at big trouble if this continues to progress. Plus I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in January.

My stress level is off the richter scale between my medical problems, a daughter who's been sick all summer, the financial problems as a result, foreclosure, I've lost everything due to medical bills & divorce. I don't have much of a support system because everyone is so quick to tell me I'm wonder-woman, I'm strong, I can handle it. Well I can't anymore! When I first started on the pain meds the pain was totally out of control 24/7. It's still not under control if I cut back too far so I'm gonna have to look at other options. Initially it started as needing them for pain and I'm still dealing with that, but I crossed a line at some point. I don't do any other drugs, heck I don't even drink & I sometimes wonder how I let this happen.

I'm not gonna lie - I like how they make me feel. It's that euphoria that makes me feel more relaxed I guess. I can't quite put it into words, I just know I like the feeling I get, but its short lived and not worth the hell I'm going through. My dr. prescribes 100 at a time and I'm getting them filled about every 8-9 days. I don't know if that or the amt. I'm taking is considered excessive to some, but IMO if its turning my world upside down or I feel like it's a runaway freight train, then that's beside the point. The pharmacist has given me nothing but grief from the first time I even got a prescription filled because of his own personal beliefs, but now the ins. co. is denying the refills because they're now getting filled too soon & the last time the pharmacist wouldn't even give the script back so if he ever needed any ammo to give me a hard time, he's sure got it now. If I run out before a refill I go thru w/d's and they are AWFUL and I'm then trying to figure out how I'm gonna get my hands on more when I can't get a script filled. I can't believe my thought process has come to that.

I've been on FMLA for my daughter & even tho I should be protected, a mgr keeps threatening my job for taking off to take her to the hospital. Because of that, taking time off to deal with this is simply not an option. I couldn't afford it even if it were. If I lose my job I won't even have a roof over our heads. I currently take Requip for RLS, Toprol XL for my blood pressure, 5mg valium (supposed to be 2x a day but I only take 2.5 mg at night) & Lasix for CHF. I've read info on drugs that can be taken to help with w/d but I dont want to end up having to worry about coming off yet another medication. I don't know how I'm going to handle this abdominal pain, but these pills are not the answer. They're consuming my life! I'm SO tired of worrying about my next refill, if ins. is going to reject it, what I'm going to do if they don't fill it, what the pharmacist is thinking, living a lie to myself and my kids & my kids freaking out when they see the w/d signs but don't know that thats what it is. As it is I'm going to run short again, not knowing if I'm going to go through hell again on a refill.

The only thing I can think of to do is taper off. It's what I want to do, I just don't even know where to start or how to do it. Is it even possible to go thru the tapering process & work at the same time. I have no idea. I'm so lost & confused I don't even know which end is up anymore. Can someone please help me see that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't another train??
Hi, Newlife:

I also am taking prescription oxycodone (generic Percocet without the fillers to help protect my liver). It appears we are in the same crisis boat. I need them for pain control as well. I take them exactly as prescibed, but like you, I also hate the way they control behavior in that I need the pills as well. It's a horrible double bind to be in. I panic over the exact same issues you have written about and I feel strongly and deeply for both of us -- all of us. When you wrote that your doctor was a "she" I immediately thought to myself that we possibly had the same doctor -- but then I read you are in a different state. I swear, you were like a mirror image of myself in so many ways!!!

*I also take Lasix for congestive heart failure!* I am going to be talking to my doctor about all of this and I am going to lay it on the line when I see her this week. I can't go on like this anymore either. Okay, here is what I think both of us should do. Let's BOTH talk to our doctors ASAP!!! Obviously, we are both in a detrimentally, dangerous medical crisis. We both need pain relief and must not go off abruptly. Tapering for me is not an option because of my heart, so I am going to ask her about Suboxone. Neither of us should be feeling this guilty over being seriously ill and in terrible pain. So please don't--okay? I am going to stop driving myself crazy over this and just talk to my doctor--period.

I am currently taking 15 mg of Oxycodone, 12 times a day + 80 mg oxycontin every 12 hours. It comes to a whopping 260 mgs a day!!! Underneath all of this medication I still have pain! This is so heartbreaking and so hard! I cry over it, too. It sucks bigtime! We both owe it to ourselves to talk candidly to our doctors about making the switch to Suboxone. You are correct, this is no way to live!!! I am certain you nor I never intended to become reliant or addicted at any time in our lives.

I have a hospital bed in my home and for a long time, a nurse came every few days to check up on me. I also had another visiting nurse who came to cook and clean things up for me while I was totally incapacitated.

I have been reading the boards and I am astounded at just how many people here started out taking pain meds for valid physical pain, only to have it backfire and become addicted. In this section, it seems to be nearly everyone's story. It was never your or my fault, but it certainly is now our problem. I wish the doctors who prescribe narcotics would spend a week just reading story after story here. I wonder if a doctor would take Percocet for an entire year or more and become addicted. These rhetorical questions go on and on (sigh). I hope my doctor will prescribe Suboxone so I don't have to go to an addictions specialist. I learned that a regular doctor can legally prescribe Suboxone for chronic pain -- but if it's prescribed solely for addiction, they can't legally prescribe it. So I am hoping she will prescribe it for me. But at this time, I am still in a lot of pain and not yet ready to make the transition. I'm still using a wheelchair fulltime.

I wish you much luck in beating this thing. The only alternative I can think of for you and myself is Suboxone. I wish I could think of more, but I am at a serious loss for words other than Please Hang in There and post all you need to in order to blow off stress! -Caf

P. S. I read that you are worried about drug testing, so I have one more thing to add. Should you make the switch, Suboxone does not show up on a blood test! Take care now.

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