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fear over narcotic pain meds

Christy76's picture
Christy76
Posts: 27
Joined: Feb 2019

It's been a while since i've posted here. I've been away from the board doing all kinds of fun things like swallowing Xeloda pills and laying inside a radiation machine. I have nine more treatments left before I get some time off to recuporate before surgery. For about three quarters of the radiation treatment I did well. There was little pain. The fatigue got me around the end of week two but the pain held off until about a week ago. It was then that going to the bathroom began to hurt and burn so bad that I litterally screamed while on the toilet. The doctor gave me hydrocodone for the pain and I've been averaging two pills a day of the lowest dose.

I'm following my doctors instructions on how to use them and I'm in no way abusing them but I have my fears. I'm not one to mess with mind altering substances. I don't drink, I've never smoked weed and I stayed far far away from hard drugs. In short I've lived a sober life  but now I have to choose between pain meds and severe pain. This does not seem fair and I don't want to end up like the people you read about on news sites. I guess I'm just overly fearful of the pain meds.

 

Christy

 

 

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I was told by a nurse that if I'm taking it only for pain then I'm not abusing it. I haven't taken any in a few years but I did for a while. When I didn'tneed them anymore I just stopped and that was it. I'm like you except that I was a bit of a socialdrinker when I was younger. No smoking, no pot, no drugs, nothing. So I was a little intimidated by the pills. They sure helped when I needed them, though.

When you need them try not to worry about it. It's just something that will helpyou right now.

Jan

suzycruise76's picture
suzycruise76
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2019

Christy,I am glad you came back after yout first post about a month ago. We started the same treatment just a day or two apart,and I was hoping we could share our experiences. When I did not see you here on the forum,I sent you a personal message....had you found it?

Anyway,as you I am getting to the end of those "fun things" as you said ;-),and really looking forward to it. I see we responded a bit differently to it. My fatigue has been lasting the whole time,but I have been having it from long before I got diagnosed by cancer.My iron levels in blood are extremely low because of long lasting rectal bleeding.

I started having slight pain while going to the bathroom,and started using the sitz bath and pro-shield cream very soon- during second week of the treatment. It helped me a lot!

My more intens,but just occasional, pain is inside,just where my tumor is located. I got much lighter painkiller than you: it is Lenoltec,other name Tylenol #1. I took one pill only 4-5 times. 

I cannot help you with your fear of narcotic pain meds,but we can compare our fights with this ugly thing called cancer.

 

Today I got lot of important dates for next steps: oncology consultation in 3 weeks from now, consultation with my surgeon,CT scan and MRI all in May,and tentative time of my surgery end of May-beginning of June.

I am glad it goes fast and hoping for good outcomeSmile. Wish you all the best and please keep in touch,

Suzy

 

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 893
Joined: Apr 2017

I have no real experience with narcotic pain meds, but it sounds like you have a healthy caution about them.  If that is what it takes to get you through the treatment, I do not see why you should worry too much.  Once the intense treatment is over, you can get back to your normal lifestyle.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6220
Joined: Feb 2009

The narcotics they gave me didn't help with the pain going the bathroom so it was useless for me to take it.  A sitz bath, calmoseptine (works wonders and is only available behind the pharmacy counter) and soaking for the raw bottom.  I'm not sure if you have rectal cancer (sorry can't remember) but the radiation burns on me hurt so bad I'd sit there in pain and cry because the acid from going was so bad.  Don't be afraid to take the pain meds you are prescribed as long as you don't find yourself taking more and more to help the pain - then you need to cut back down to the dose on the bottle.  It's a good idea to talk to your doctor about your pain situation as well.

Kim

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 996
Joined: Aug 2013

Most folks who use opioid medicine aren't going to get hooked, though long-term use can make you to varying degrees, dependent on them, but that's if your using large amounts for a long time. If that occurs, doctors or nurses can help you taper off of them with minimal discomfort. For a small group, opioids are a bad thing, they straight-way get going on them and can't stop without professional help. I wasn't like that, there was no "high" for me, merely a "warm blanket" kind of feeling. I have bad feet/ankles and while working and taking care of my wife, it became real easy to take the abundant Norco and liquid morphine we both had scripts for. After a while I realized that I'd become dependent, and quiting was miserable, like a bad flu with a side of skin-crawling. I got through it and don't want to do that again, but I  did/do need to deal with chronic pain for work, or sit on my butt most of the time. Tramadol is a similar painkiller, but without the warm- fuzzies or withdrawl issues. It's less strong but still enough to allow my day to proceed. You might ask about it. If your doing it the way the doctor says to with the hydrocodone, you'll be fine. the ones who get in trouble would be wanting more already............................................Dave

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6220
Joined: Feb 2009

That drug made me so sick even when taking 1/2 a pill.  I'm allergic to it so I'm not able to take it and they prescribed that instead of the opioid medication.  It's become such an epidemic that even the people that need those meds aren't able to get them.  Glad you are doing better but it sure would be great if you felt better all together.

Kim

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

It's true, they're hard to get and if you ask they look at you like you're a criminal, unless it's your primary doctor. I've never been a druggie and never even tried things when I was younger and could never figure out how people became addicted to drugs. But taking the pills I did, Oxycodone, made me feel so much better that I can see how they could be addicting. I'd take them every day if I could, just to feel better. But I also have the fear of becoming dependant and I have the last 3 sitting in a cupboard from about 4 years ago. I don't know why I don't just toss them, it's some sort of comfort to know they're there. They're probably not even any good any more.

Jan

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6220
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm the same and mine are probably about 2 years (since my last hip replacement) and I've got a couple stored as well.  It's terrible how everyone makes you feel about taking it if that's the only medication that helps.  Hydrocodone never worked well for me either so I'd tell them don't even bother writing me a script because it will just sit in the bottle.  Certain meds work for people while others it doesn't have any effect.  I'll probably never toss mine.  It is a comfort in a way even if they aren't any good anymore.

Kim

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 996
Joined: Aug 2013

Thanks Kim, but it's likely going to take the replacement of my ankles to improve the situation. I'm working on it, and when I'm not up and about, I don't take anything, just to keep it as minimal as possible...................................Dave

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1721
Joined: Nov 2001

I suffer badly from chronic back pain.(i was on high dose prednisone for a couple of years and it wrecked my back)  In his wisdom my gp at the time put me on Targin . I finished up on a dose of 40/20 twice a day (4omg oxycodone 20mg naloxone) . At the end of 2 years It was causing more pain than it was stopping. Not only that it was causing severe constipation and with everytargin dose I had to take two dulcolax and two coloxyl. I asked to get off it. I asked how to do it and the gp said just stop taking it. I got a second opinnion from the chemistand he said that's a good way to suffer heart failure. He worked out a regime and it took me 33 weeks to wean off it. It was not pleasant and now I just take panadol. useless but not as dangerous, Ron.

Tunadog's picture
Tunadog
Posts: 233
Joined: Mar 2017

I take Norco for pain in my rectum. (25-30mg daily) I was taking ibuprofen which worked but caused bleeding. After a major infection I no longer take ibuprofen.

They had me on 45 mg Morphine which was too much for me. I went thru withdrawals for a few days when I stopped. The Morphine Extended Release made it harder for me to walk and made me “high” I think.

Norco relieves the pain but doesn’t make me feel “high”. I can stop it without withdrawals.

Works for me, your mileage may vary.

LSU2001
Posts: 24
Joined: Dec 2017

Hey Christy,

Please try not to fear the pain meds.  There is a huge difference between physical dependance and addiction.  As long as you are careful and follow the prescription instructions correctly there is very little risk of addiction.  With that being said, 7-10 days of continous opioid use can and most likely will create physical dependence.  I have had to take opioid medications off and on for many years.  The first round  started with a back injury in 1992 and continued until I had back surgery in 2010.   I was diagnosed with Stage IV rectal cancer in 2016 and my first round of treatment was chemo-radiation.  I had to wear a pump with 5FU five days a week and had radiation therapy 5 days a week.  

Several weeks into the radiation treatment the rectal/anal pain got to be very intense.  Like others have said I was literally crying and in severe pain with each bowel movement.  At that time I was taking hydrocodone and ultram. THese helped me bear the pain but it did not totally elimanate it.  THe best thing for me was a combination of hydrocortisone cream mixed with a lidocaine cream.  This would almost instantly numb the anal pain and the cortisone helped with the swelling and inflammation.  

Now, I currently have to wear a fentanyl patch 50 micrograms per hour and I have a fast acting fentanly spray that goes under my toungue when the pain gets too intense for the patch to take care of.  My current pain seems to be swelling and inflamation inside my rectum due to the long term damage from the radiation therapy.  The radiation totally killed my primary tumor in my rectum so i was able to avoid surgery that would have left me with a colostomy bag at least temporarially.   

With all this said, I have never had an urge to use the pain meds recreationally, in fact, I try my best to not take any extra meds, and tend to use much less pain medication overall if I do not let the pain get too intense before I take the meds.  Once the pain gets going bad, it is difficult for the meds to adequately control the pain and it usually takes more to get it back under control.  If you notice that you are wanting to take the pills just for the feeling or high then you need to report this to your doctor quickly and maybe there is some other alternatives.  I strongly encourage you to see about getting the hydrocortizone cream and the lidocaine cream to apply to the anal area.  The numbing really helped me use the bathroom without major pain and it helped me get through the therapy.  

Hope this helped,

TIm

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