No pain management for ex methadone addict

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Hi guys 

             Heres some background ... i was on methadone for 8 years and recently became clean ( nearlly 4 months now ) and im so glad ive put this behind me 

             however the main reason for getting off methadone was due to a discomfort i had on the left side .... anyway to cut a long story short a MRI revealed ( after 14 months of tests ) i have 3 slipped discs ( 1 x thorasic at T6 and 2 x lumbar ) ...

               now my doctor had put me on gabapentin and naproxen ( also buscopan )  .. but she has stated i wont be given any opioid based painkiller due to my previous methadone addiction,and if there one time in my life i need something stronger its now 

               personally i think im being punished for my wrongs ( my methadone addiction ) and i feel even though im off the methadone it will haunt me for the rest of my life 

               is my doctor right in refusing me strong pain relief and what (if anything ) can i do 

               luckily the gabapentin and naproxen take some of the pain away but why should others get pain releif and i dont purely based on my previous history 

               many thanks 

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  • Posted

    Hi Brian,

    No, it doesn't sound right at all. No one should need to deal with severe pain. I am glad you have some relief, but may I ask how the doctors found out about your previous addiction? Is it on your records or did you tell them? If the latter it is possible to find another doctor (take your scans) and lie on the forms (I always do). They may provide something, however, if you were truly an addict (taking it to get high and for no other reason) I am not sure it is in your best interest to take opiods again, ever.  I am afriad, that especailly after only 4 months, you may fall back in the same trap. But, you know yourself better that I do. I assume you thought the pain in your side was related to your liver? 

    May I ask how you got addicted to methadone? Did something else come first? My experience tells me that methadone is generally only given to peple addicted to something already, unless of course you can get it on the street (I guess you can get anything on the street, but I now live in the country). 

    Maybe ask yourself why you started taking methdone in the first place, and decide whether these reasons would still be there? Do you really want to go down that road again after the progress you have made? 

    I wish they had other real painkillers (non-opioid) that actually worked. But they don't, and if they did they would sort of scare me (they have no idea how or why gabapentin works for instance—love that : ) I am luckily allergic to it, or at least had a severe reaction when they tried to give it to me, but pharma synthetics sort of freak me out). Opioids are produced by nature, we have a receptor in our spines for them and them only, and heck—they work!!! 

    Sorry, that is of no comfort to you. But, I have recenrtly cut back my morphine from 7x25 and 3x60 (long acting) to 5x25 and 2x60. I am kinda proud of that, but I still have pain so I don't see myelf getting off them completely. And the cut-back has meant I now bite (into 3) and chew the long-acting ones to get enough relief through my day (those long-acting ones do nothing otherwise). So, maybe I am not doing any better. I just don't have a doctor anymore and my new clinic not only requires visits every 2 weeks (3 hours away) but there are 18 days (not 14) between my first and next visit, meaning I had to come up with a way to get through an extra 4 days. If only doctors could count.

    Sorry to reign in on your story. But, I don't think anyone should be forced to suffer when we have (many natural) drugs that work. However, you know your tendencies... If they gave you morphine would that start you vicious cycle all over again? Can you get over-the counter codiene with acetaminophen or anything? They are terrible on the gut, and liver, but may help. Take them with a glass of wine : ) 

    I wish you the best, hope you soon heal, that you may no more feel pain, and that you don't head down your old road if you don't need to : )


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    • Posted

      Hi judi 

                thanks for your response .... well heres my story ... many years ago i stupidly bought some methadone off the street more for curiosity ... and before i knew it i was having to buy it all the time ... why i started is a mystery but i was taking a weaker opioid "co-proxamol" which was actually prescribed by my doctor on a repeat prescription ( so i could just place another order in when i needed some ) 

               if the methadone addiction is related to the co-proxamol well thats another question .. personally i think it may but that was then and now is the problem 

                in regards to prescribing opioids to me ... well if any opioids are taken for pain ( and not for recreational puroposes ) the chance of addiction is negligble .. its only when the pain goes ( which mine wont ) that the addiction starts 

                when taking methadone it was for the way it made me feel were as now i need it for pain theres no opioids present and the methadone ( apparently ) has damaged some of my pain receptors which are were the natural "endorpines" are produced .. so apart from having no opioids in my system my bodys producing less of the natural stuff 

                   that said hopefully the endorpines may return in time and i should feel even better 

                   i dont think its just pain with me however ... the 3 slipped discs are located in the lumbar( 2) and thorasic .... but its the thorasic that gives me most discomfort/pain ..... each of the discs are responsible for sending signals from the brain to specific parts of the body and the T6 disc thats damaged is resposible for the stomach ... so when i eat ( which i love may i add ) i feel full and can actually feel the food in my stomach ...what dosent help is i have also been told i have gallstones ( 1 x 16mm stone ) ... if this is contributing to the problems with the stomach is another question 

                 i have had a CT scan which showed my liver is in good condition ( also bloods which showed a normal LFT ) ... kidneys are fine and im peeing ok ...pancreas is fine ..basically nothing was found on the CT scan to worry the doctor 

                  i also has a barium meal to check the stomach for ulcers ect ... nothing found .. stomach is actually quite good for a 50 year old .. allthough a spasm in the esophagus was noted but i think that was more to do with the worry of having the barium meal 

                 a ultrasound was also done ( this was actually done first ) and thats when the gallstones were found ....but what concerns me is "is it the gallstones that are causing many of the problems "... back/side pain/discomfort is a symptom of gallstones and the problems with my stomach could be also ... or is it a mixture of the two 

                  im no expert and i like to think i can trust my doctor but i think they are slowly getting tired of me ..ive been to the doctors more than 20 times in the last few years .. prior to that i hadnt been in 10 years .... and another problem is when you get to see your doctor you only have 10 minutes to tell her ( or him ) everything .. and nine times out of ten you forget something ...

            in regards to buying over the counter meds.. my wife has both co-codamol ( 30mg codeine and 500mg paracetamol/acetaminophen ) and also co-dydramol ( the same but with 10mg of dihydrocodeine instead of codeine ) 

             however im dubious about taking them incase they interact bad with the gabapentin ( which work to a degree ) ....and if the doctor discovers i have been taking her meds they may stop her,s aswell ...

              i have spoken to my doctor about opioids and he stated "if you broke your leg or arm the hospital would give you morphine for a few days "... well personally i dont want to jump of the wardrobe to get pain releif lol .....

               anyway today is a good day and your reply has made me feel better ... i do beleive a problem shared is a problem halved..and thats what is good about these forums 

                anyway thanks for your respone judi and may i wish you a happy new year and a pain free 2016 

                      bri  XX 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing Brian and I am so gald to help. I find it helps to chat too, even with people you have never met who may be on the other side of the world! I don't know anyone that has been taking opioids as long as I have (9 years or so now), although everyone I know knows I take morphine...

      I am also worried about how long-term morphine use may be affecting my pain receptors, and brain chemistry. But, I am not willing to lie in bed all day in pain, go on disability and lose my house; so morphine it is. But I am sick of being treated like a junky. I have been looking for a new doctor for months and am on 1.5 year waiting lists. I found a doctor (also a 3 hour drive to the city) who was accepting patients and she said "no I only prescirbe this for palliative care patients". Bascially, "you're a junkie get out of my office". I am a professional, run a business... Now I need to take a full day off work every two weeks to go to a pain clinic 3 hours away. There goes 10% of my income (not to mention the gas).  

      Anyway, I wish you well, much less pain and a very happy 2017!

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    • Posted

      Hi judi

      Update. ...I have been taking codydramol 3 day and these seem to be doing the job. ....nothing too powerful and cutting down on the gabapentin to ensure my body isn't being affected too much

      However I'm hoping my doctor will give me these ( buying them over the counter at the moment ) .If not then I will be taking legal advice on the NHS for not giving me adequate pain relief....

      No one is more scared of addiction than me so that's why I'm taking the absolute minimum dosage that's needed. .I'm no fool and I want the doctor to treat me with some respect

      Anyway thanks again judi

      Bri xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Brian,

      Thank-you for the update, and I glad you are able to manage your pain effectively without needing anything heavier. Again, things like gabbapentin do worry me a bit, not just because of the negative reaction I had, but becuase it is one of those "we don't know why or how it works, but it seems to". The point was to act on Gabba receptors, but they found it has many other 'modes of actino' such as as an anti-epileptic. It seems like one of those 'let's give it to everyone and see if it works' sort of things. Anyway, please take care of yourself!

      I have been able to get down and stick to pretty much 5 short a day and now one long-acting out of the necessity to make them last. It meant I had to cut my work-day by near half (no evenings) and things, but... Maybe I can even go further, we'll see.

      I wish you the best and keep in touch : ) 

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