CSN Login
Members Online: 0

You are here

How long did you take painkillers after your lobectomy?

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

My upper right lobe was removed on 9/4 and I spent a week in the hospital. I had a follow-up visit with the surgeon on 9/24 and he said I should try to get off the Vicodin. He did say I could take it if the pain is too bad so I decided to cut back drastically and try to quit. I had been taking 4/day so on 9/25 I squeaked by with just half a pill in the afternoon and another half pill before bed. Yesterday 9/26 I took no Vicodin and it was a tough day. I barely slept last night for the pain. This morning I couldn't stand it anymore so I took a Vicodin at 11:30 and I feel much better.

I feel a little discouraged to know that I shouldn't need Vicodin anymore. But I would like to know your experiences. The doctor did say it's OK to take Ibuprophen but that just isn't working so well for me. Thanks in advance for your help.

PS Except for the Vicodin he said I am healing nicely.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I am not one to stay on painkillers. For one thing, their effect on my digestive system is somewhat depressing...I'll spare you the painful details. Nevertheless, I went to my doctors about 3 weeks after surgery and asked for another prescription of the Oxycodin first prescribed. I was still in pain and thought I needed my sleep without ouching every time I moved so I could heal. I also had a cough that the pain killer seemed to help. At least it didn't hurt every time I coughed while I was on it. The doctor was worried that I would become addicted to the stuff. I wasn't. He finally relented and gave me one more refill, but urged me to try to get off the painkillers as soon as possible. I ended up switching to plain extra strength Tylenol during the day and stretched the last of my first bottle out over a few nights of the next week. Eventually the stretches between the prescription stuff became longer and I weaned myself off the extra strength Tylenol and took just the regular strength tablets during the day. I was glad I had the refill of the "real" stuff, though I never used it. It made me feel better just to know that it was there if I needed it. It was somewhere between week 4 and 5 after my last surgery that I was able to finally do without the prescription meds altogether. Gentle stretching, milk exercises during the day (like slow walking) and such seemed to help me rest too. Everyone is different in how they experience pain and how fast they heal. I'm glad my doctor cared enough about my health to point out the dangers of addiction. I know some folks that have gotten in a bind NOT getting off the meds. But we all have to go at our own pace. I'm sure you will get there soon. Good luck!

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks cabbot, it's good to know I'm not so alone in still having pain 3 weeks after surgery. I am also concerned about addiction, but it's hard to be in pain all the time and I can certainly sympathize with those who do get addicted. I will try extra strength Tylenol, hopefully that will work better than Ibuprophen.

Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2009

I am also very concerned with addiction. I asked the Dr. to take me off Oxycodin, but he put me on Percacet. I hardly have any pain (I had my surgery last June 30, 2009, however, I take one (if needed) when I go to bed just in case. However, I do find more help in Xnax but I am trying to keep away from Xnax. I take it when I feel that panic attack coming at me. But the reality is that if you can bear the pain keep away from the pills.

Good Luck and good health.

Don Carlos

stayingcalm's picture
Posts: 654
Joined: Feb 2007

Percoset is Oxycodone, and for some reason ER doctors love to prescribe it for pain. Diagnosed in the ER with pleurisy, I was sent home with a prescription to take two tablets every 4 hours and in my naïveté I did so for three days straight. I weigh in under 90lbs - okay, under 80 these days, and the prescription was way over the top for someone my size. (cabbott, talk about a depressed digestive system!) Anyway, after only three days, when I abruptly stopped taking them I had withdrawal symptoms the day after, not fun.

As long as you're not in really bad pain, you're definitely better off without the Percoset.

I still use Xanax in the same way that you do, Don Carlos - when I feel a panic attack coming on and talking myself down isn't helping. You're right, however; if you can bear the pain - physical or mental - it's better to keep away from the pills...

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

I have started taking Tylenol instead of Vicodin. It hasn't been easy so last night I had a weak moment and took another Vicodin. It was the only one I took all day. It didn't help much and I barely slept. Today I have made it so far w/o Vicodin and I will not take one tonight. I do have Xanax so maybe I'll take one of those and get a good night's sleep tonight. I have tried to be more active and walk more and that seems to do me some good.

I agree it's best to stay away from pills and thanks for that reminder. Hearing it from others helps to give me the strength to stop using pills.

Subscribe to Comments for "How long did you take painkillers after your lobectomy?"