Opioids....the nightmare continues...

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  1. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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    Just need to rant...
    Have been taking Oxycontin ER and Oxycodone for over a decade. Had a Spinal Cord Stimulator and a Vertiflex implanted...the pain I was feeling from busting my ass at the USPS for 20 years, at least in my lower back is gone.
    Oxy...aka "Hill Billy Heroin"...My insurance company requires me to get an annual "prior auth". With this months script my time was up. Went to pick up my meds, pharmacy told me nope, it's prior auth season again. Katie, the woman at my docs office that deals with this sort of stuff spent 6 hours this week, including a solid 75 minutes today, arguing with my insurance company. They would not approve it. I am down to my last 2 days worth of pills...so needed to do something. Dropped by my docs office, without an appointment, hoping they could see me. My doc told me that they had exhausted every avenue in getting my script approved.
    He also told me that the reason the insurance company was sticking to...the fact that people are crushing the Oxycontin ER tabs and snorting them, often times ODing. I knew this was a thing, hell, I lost a co-worker to this. They did approve a script for Xtampza. If you google it Oxycodone pops up. However, it is in a capsule mixed with a few different thing so that the opiate-induced euphoria does not happen if someone were to empty the capsule and try to snort the contents. Co-pay, using the readily available discount card from the manufactures web site was $100. I was paying $130 a month for the Oxycontin ER. With the way the price of fuel is climbing the extra $30 will be going in my fuel tank but that is a whole different problem....
    I am in the process of reducing my daily dosage of these poisons. My doc does not think I will be able to get all the way off of them. I am determined to. Ever since seeing the Pain clinic my long term goal was to get off of the oral meds and have a pain pump put in...if need be.
    I am tired of dealing with the "Pain Contract". Tired of pissing in a cup damn near every other month. Tired of the fog that these drugs cause.
    All you folks that have jobs that require repetitive motion...or perhaps being hunched over a fender all day...you may want to reconsider what you do for a living. Dealing with this crap is no fun. Hurting to the point that you can't walk 200' to open the gate on your driveway sucks. I feel like a frigging child...always whining about this crap.....but sadly it has pretty much consumed my existence.
     
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    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      I know this is a long shot and forgive me if I am suggesting bullshit......but have you tried or thought about alternative things? Such as low impact Yoga and Tai Chi? Just a thought.
       
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      • Jim Lusk

        Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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        I hear ya. I haven't seen a friend of mine in a long time, but he started with the back problems before I met him in 1984 and it continues to this day. He was a heavy equipment mechanic who didn't think anything was too heavy to lift or move. He's also got some cool cars that he cannot enjoy...

        But, I will say it's not just bending over fenders. Over the last few years if I spend too much time here in this chair at the computer my back gets to really barking at me. I NEED some activity to keep things a little loose. The real problem with me and many of us with what I consider minor back problems is lack of core strength. If I just do bridges once every few weeks my back pain drops to almost nothing. If I did them every day I probably wouldn't have any back problems, but I'm not that disciplined.

        I do feel very fortunate in that 41 years ago I cracked T-11 and don't really have any lingering problems with that.

        Also, don't feel bad about venting on here. We're supposed to be the family that didn't mess up your head growing up...
         
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        • 67Dart273

          67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Damn Doug I feel for ya. No real answer. "Back when" I was still stuck with that "Heritage Health" outfit, I had some for a short time. They did not give me enough and would not renew them. People there were incredibly unhelpful. It's a God Damn crime in this "great country" that people that NEED pain meds are doing without because of some addicts
           
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          • LocuMob

            LocuMob Fluid Technician FABO Gold Member

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            I'm not longer at my job, and I'm feeling 100 times better because if it. The last two or three months, I was wondering if I could make it 20 years to retirement. It was killing me. Both shoulders are worn out, one elbow, and my back was in constant pain, I was walking while leaning to one side. I've had back pain off and on since I was 18, but the last five years it was constant. I got to lift garbage cans full of dense product by myself. We had just enough staff to run, and not the proper number to have help. I have done plenty of drigsy by choice, but saw two friends go crazy when Oxy was readily available on the internet, and I only take pain meds when absolutely necessary, usually a vicodin which I don't even notice. I wish you the best in getting off the pills, take it slowly, but you can do it.
             
          • Big_John

            Big_John In my defense, I was left unsupervised.

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            I feel for you. Pain sucks.

            I haven't reached that point in my pain... Yet... But it's being really rough for me. The Tramadol works OK, but now has gotten to the point of where it causes migraines and those are worse than the pain. They tell me anything in that line of drugs is going to have the same results. Due for another nerve ablation in my neck in a couple weeks that should help.

            Whatever you do, please don't start buying "off the street". Right now the counterfeit oxy drugs are nothing more than fentanyl pressed into pills that look like oxy. You think the opioids are habit forming and deadly??... Yeah... Fentanyl is killing people right and left, but they are calling it opioid overdoses even though it's really the amount of fentanyl. BTW, the street fentanyl comes from the same province in China that brought you Covid. But that's another rant.
             
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            • kursplat

              kursplat FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              good luck, i hope it works for you. i hurt every day, but nowhere near what you, and some of the others on here do.
               
            • 'Cuda_ragtop

              'Cuda_ragtop Well-Known Member

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              Back pain or any pain for that matter sucks.
              Long story longer...
              I broke my back back in 2001. Speared the ground head first launched off a quad in the dunes at WOT... about 60-64 MPH didn't see those whoop-de-dos.
              Shattered T5 and T6 vertebrae into more pieces than they could count.
              Now I'm fused solid T3-T8 with a couple titanium rods and 8 screws in my back.
              Oxycontin and Oxycodone worked well for me.
              When I came home from the hospital, I had both. ate them like candy. I would take a 20mg + 3 5mg at once just to try to sleep... I stopped taking them as soon as I could.

              Thought I was going to live with back pain the rest of my life. But in my case there is a happy ending. About 2015 my chiropractor suggested I try some deep tissue massage. He had added a couple LMT to his practice so I gave it a try.
              1.5 years later and I was pain free and no longer waking up in the middle of the night from back pain. I can put my socks on standing up. WooHoo!
              My back rarely bothers me unless I've been doing things that would make anyone have a back ache.
              It was my low back that was always tight and where the pain never went away...
              Meds just made it more tolerable.
              I scheduled a 1hr Deep tissue massage once a week but all in for a year and a half it was a total of 41 visits. Wasn't always able to make it work with my schedule. My copay was $8 per...

              Then one day my insurance decided that they were not only not going to cover the massages going forward but they reconsidered the previously approved claims and denied coverage after paying for them and demanded I pay them back.
              Went round and round with them for a while.
              In the end they ate it but said no more. Lucky for me I really didn't need any more.
              Now I pay 100% out of pocket if I want a massage but I've been pain free and haven't needed regular maintenance... knock on wood.
              Once in a while I feel my low back getting tight and achy so I go in for an hour or 90 min deep tissue and maybe follow up a couple days later. Once or twice a year at most. Haven't been in over a year due to covid but I've been good.
              Have a couple bottles of scripts still but they are years old and I haven't needed to open one for at least 5 years now.
              March 3rd 2021 will be the 20 year anniversary of the day I broke my back.

              The LMT that I was seeing was better at her craft than any others I had ever been to and I had been to quite a few. I've kept track of where she is so I can see her when I need a good massage.
              My back is probably better now than it was before I broke it...
              A car wreck in 86...
              A slipped disc in the 90's...
              Seemed to always have some common nagging issues before but not so much now.

              Times like these I'm reminded just how lucky I am.
              I rarely think about it... I could have been a quadriplegic or worse.

              To keep my perspective I truly believe my worse day ever was/will probably still be better than 7 Billion or more other people's best day on this planet... Life is Good!

              I guess, I'm just saying, don't give up. Try different treatments if you can.
              We are all different and we all have different struggles.
              You are never alone. Never give up hope.

              Best to all.
               
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              • MOPARMAGA

                MOPARMAGA FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Good luck with that !
                I went through opiate addiction myself.
                With some help from the "law", support groups which I still attend (voluntarily) & 6 years on methadone before I got the courage to slowly withdrawal off of that for 2 years. I have had no cravings. That was always the hardest part for me, I had a $300
                A day habit on oxycontin which was about 5 80mg pills I used to snort them 2 at a time, then started smoking them. Eventually when the company's messed with the formula I changed to heroin, crack, meth. Wound up a street scumbag. I was lucky to get arrested as many times as I did, back then Seattle would put people in jail for drugs. I got drug court to get rid of a felony & took the opportunity to really change my life. I sit here now a home owner, married, clean & sober & grateful for everything.
                I can't give any advice but don't beat yourself up, be hopeful & WIN !
                 
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                • RustyRatRod

                  RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                  Pretty courageous story man. Glad you're still with us.
                   
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                  • toolmanmike

                    toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Is your injury something that can't be corrected with surgery or do you not want to go there? I'm sure it has been asked before.
                     
                  • Ddaddy

                    Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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                    Doug, my best advice is to lose weight and take the burden off your spine. I don’t say this lightly, I know how hard it is to do...but I have lost over 97 lbs and the change to my chronic back pain has been incredible. I can’t begin to describe how much the pain has improved. It’s almost non-existent now.

                    Check out my thread here and see what I have done with just a minor change in how much I eat. Note that I said how much, not what.

                    Weight loss and perseverance

                    Remember, 10 lbs of extra weight on your stomach area puts 100 lbs of lateral force on your spine. An extra 100 lbs is like walking around carrying a pile of bricks every time you stand up and move...not to mention the strain on your spine.

                    For me, the reduction in my back and knee pain alone have been well worth the effort, not to mention the rest of the improvements in my health and fitness.

                    You can do it!

                    3D613693-5983-4A48-BAA3-C674D366F462.jpeg
                     
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                    • bobscuda67

                      bobscuda67 Well-Known Member

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                      I hear what your saying!
                      I am totally fed up with insurance company crap. I got to the point to where I refuse to get a pee test when I go to the pain doctor. I'm on the phone constantly at every script renewal and I'm trying to ween myself off of the drugs.
                      All I can do is wish you luck.
                       
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                      • yellow rose

                        yellow rose Overnight Sensation FABO Gold Member

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                        Yep. The criminals get all they want, but legit, chronic pain sufferers are made into criminals. Pisses me off.
                         
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                        • RustyRatRod

                          RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                          Showoff! LOL
                           
                        • Mpacker

                          Mpacker FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          Couldn’t agree more. I broke my back in my early 20’s while in the army. Kept doing my job (infantry, considered one of the hardest jobs in the world) for 3 years with a completely ruptured disc at L5/S1, nerve damage, multiple torn ligaments and several other bulging discs. Even when you break your back, you’re not “hurt” in the infantry. Keep going until you get promoted then get it checked out. Well, pain management started me on Percocet and just before I had my surgery I was walking around on morphine sulphate tablets, still doing my job.

                          Had surgery and they treated my pain with the same level of drugs I was taking pre-op. Made me feel like I went in on nothing. I don’t miss the constipation or pulling over to puke and shit my brains out because I missed a dose by about 45 minutes while racing home. God forbid my insurance wouldn’t come through for me. That happened a lot and I’d spend the time curled up in a sleeping bag writhing around on the floor for days until they’d fill my prescription. Went to the ER routinely when this would happen.

                          As soon as the surgery was over, I got off the opiates. I did it on my own and stepped down my dosage by cutting up my pills and taking less and less over time. Going cold turkey on this stuff could kill you. Even after stepping down, I spent about a week puking and shitting my brains out in the worst state of delirium I’ve ever had and ended up losing 18lbs in 1 week. I routinely say it was the worst experience of my entire life, and I’ve been through some serious shit.

                          Got through that and started walking all the time to start my rehab. I wasn’t super overweight, but had a good 40lbs that needed to go. After physical therapy, I started screwing around at the gym and ended up getting hooked on fitness and healthy living for a while. It was the best I’ve felt in my entire life. I fluctuate now, but man! Even an extra 5lbs makes my back scream! It’s extremely noticeable.

                          One big misconception I’ve always told people about my experience with surgery. It doesn’t make the pain go away. It helped me a ton, but there’s many people out there who make a routine of going under the knife to chase their back pain. Mine has since been replaced by nerve pain and arthritis since the surgery, but I’ll always remember coming off the opiates. I’ll take them if I have to, but holy shit I’ll never be on them longer than a week if necessary. I manage my back pain with physical therapy exercises and Tylenol now. If I live right, eat right, and exercise routinely, I barely notice it’s there. But, life’s a struggle and it gets away from me sometimes.

                          Having said all that, I’d try everything possible to get off the drugs and to lose as much weight as possible, as safely as possible, as soon as possible. If you can, start taking long walks, then move to long walks in hilly areas. It doesn’t happen over night, consistency in diet and exercise are what matter most. If you ever need to talk about diet / exercise, please PM me. I’m educated and used to maintain several certifications prior to starting a career in a totally different field.

                          Best of luck with your situation! Sounds like you’re good and ready for a change!
                           
                          Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
                        • barbee6043

                          barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                          I feel for you. I got bucked off a colt in about '95 and cracked veretbrae in neck and back.. Could not afford to go to the ER so I made it to local chiropractor. He had good x ray machine. But I have never had any pain. My neck makes this "noise" when I turn it tough. I try to thank God every day for being whole.
                          I was always in shape at 47 and did 60 sit ups first thing every morning. Never could do any after.
                           
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