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Welcome mjbrook! Pain is a difficult thing to describe to someone else, just like being on opiate drugs and going through the withdrawals. I've been in both places and neither was fun. Fortunately, my pain only last 5-1/2 months and suddenly went away on its own, even though the damage is still present on the MRI - I ain't complaining!!!

Sometimes I would get so frustrated because people would tell me how they strained a muscle in their neck and try to compare it to the pain I was in and I wanted to hit them with a baseball bat and say, "Did it feel like that?" My wife is a nurse and she could see how much pain I was in and she was very supportive. I was lucky. Many spouses don't understand and cannot relate.

Maybe like carrara suggested to consider getting off of the pain meds (WITH DOCTORS ASSISTANCE) and see where the pain is at. Reassess your pain level. It will take months for you to taper down from the levels that you are at, so it will give you a good indication if the pain is manageable at lower levels or without any meds at all.

I would not have known that my pain was almost completely gone if I didn't go cold turkey so I could go into the neurosurgeon's office w/o the meds covering it up, so he could get an accurate evaluation. I subsequently found out that the pain level was much less and that the Percs were covering up the fact that I felt better. I was on 60 mg oxycodone a day at that point when I went cold turkey not knowing anything about the drug I was taking. Don't ever do that! I spent 12 hours with my head in the toilet thinking I had food poisoning. Not! Again, w/o doctor supervision, I tapered down to 10 mg/day on my own, since I still had some residual pain and tried going cold turkey again. I spent the worse 50 hours of my life before I went back on the oxy and found this forum.

Eventually, I tapered properly and went cold turkey after finally listening to the advice of the people here. They've been there and done that, so they know. My doctors turned their back on me and I was basically on my own not understanding the drug I was taking or the effects on my body. I know about it now! Never try to stop taking pain killers w/o working out a plan with your doctor or a doctor that understands opiate withdrawals.

I wish you the best in making your decision and I say to you, ask your questions here for answers and do your own research on the Internet. If you do detox, you'll spend many a sleepless nights up wandering around the house, so you might as well do the research then.

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