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Re: Narcotic Stigma
Jeffn #264382 02/21/14 11:14 AM
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The pain I'm feeling is about a 3 or 4. It's not terrible. It's annoying. It makes it hard for me to get comfortable and sleep. It makes me irritated. I try everything before taking a norco. Sometimes I even break the norco in half and see if that helps first. The norco dosage I take is 5-325 so if I break it in half, I usually will take another tylenol 500mg with it so it's like I get the arthritis dose of tylenol with a tiny amount of hydrocodone. That helps sometimes. Sometimes it's not enough so if that doesn't help within an hour, I'll take the other half. I feel like I do need to, occasionally, take a norco but I'm conflicted only because of how society looks at someone who takes narcotics for pain management.

See, I started a new job about 3 weeks ago. Ever since then, I've been flaring. I think it might be because I'm flipping back and forth between night shift and day shift so much. So I'm going to go see my rheumatologist and see if we can start a new medication. I've tried cymbalta and it didn't work for me. And it was really expensive. I was surprised that the effexor did work for me. It worked for me for about 6 months (along with my neurontin). And it is really cheap. It definitely threw me for a loop. I didn't expect it to stop working so suddenly. I'm going to make an appointment with my rheumy today so we can try another medication.


Kay (28 years old)
Diagnosis: Ankylosing Spondylitis (January 23, 2012), HLA-B27+, Fibromyalgia (July 27, 2012)
Current Medications: Enbrel, Flexeril, Prilosec, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Savella, Zanaflex, Zoloft, Neurontin.
Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264384 02/21/14 02:54 PM
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I waited about 6 months before I thought I would lose my mind the pain was so severe. I now have vicodin that I' ve taken less than 5 times, but knowing that I have it is reassuring for that ' just in case moment'. I do have it hidden as I have teenagers traipsing through my house on an almost daily basis. Remember, just because you have it, doesn't mean you need to use it!!!! Good luck!


Iritis/uveitis
GERD
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Condochondritis
Skin Rash
Arthritis in distal appendages
Enthesitis
Gastroparesis

Meds-
Remicade infusions
Tramodol
Hydorcodone
Cyclobenzaprine
Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264413 02/21/14 10:31 PM
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I would have started with half a pill, too. I think if your pain were bad enough to need Norco regularly, you wouldn't give it a second thought. I'm in extreme pain without mine, barely able to do anything normal. I don't like needing it while only in my 20s, but I know it's right for my situation. People who aren't my doctors or close family don't need to know about it.

I'm not sure how your strength of Norco compares to the Vicodin strengths, but it might be worth looking into if you can start lower. When you take NSAIDs, are they prescription strength? Maybe you can go stronger on those.


Amy

27 years old
AS diagnosis 2013; neck pain for seven or eight years, and spreading multiple-joint pain for about two years
Also: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's, hypoglycemia, Raynaud's phenomenon
Meds: Remicade, Norco (10-325 mg), Gabapentin, allergy shots, Prozac, Synthroid (25-50 mcg)
Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264427 02/22/14 04:11 PM
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I take Vicodin when needed, ie. when the pain gets bad enough. Usually this is more regular at the beginning of a flare, or occasional when I've overdone something. I used to be more hesitant towards using it but have lately come to the conclusion that there is no point in me suffering for nothing.

I have also found that in with continuing, irritating but not that severe pain (like what you described Kay), one Vicodin in the evening can effectively stop the pain for longer than the duration of the pill in your system. Breaks the cycle or something?

I too find comfort in knowing that I have something to take at home if the pain gets bad, like Mama Wicks said.

Many of my colleagues, all my friends and the nearest members of my family know that my back pain is bad enough to require Vicodin at times. I feel that being open about it raises awareness about chronic pain conditions and helps people to understand my condition and limitations better. Situations and people are different in this respect, though (maybe cultures too).

Hope you get some relief soon, try not to worry about what other people think and do what's best and right for you.

Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264435 02/22/14 09:26 PM
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My feeling about opiates is that you know in your gut when you need them and when you don't. If the pain is interfering with work, sleep, concentrating etc., or you really are focused primarily on your pain, you probably should take one.

I avoid anything heavy duty.

Also, be very wary if you are getting any feeling of pleasure or relaxation from these drugs.


Male, mid 50s, Dx Reactive Arthritis 1981. AS+ 1991, HLA B27+, Tylenol 3 PRN for flares. Considering a biologic. SI and thoracic involvement and costochondritis. Many bouts of uveitis. Some bowel issues, anemia. Inflammation of the joints in hands and feet.
Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264442 02/23/14 07:38 AM
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Norco and Vicodin are both combinations of hydrocodone and tylenol. I never take either unless my pain is either a 6 for a long time or spikes to 7 or above. Also, 2.5 mg of hydrocodone is below the minimum effective dosage, so you probably shouldn't take it that way. I take 10 mg of Norco four times a day right now.


Dx w/ AS in 1985. HLA-B27+. Left total hip replacement in 1998, lost 2" of height due to osteoporosis. Relevant meds include Remicade, Oxycontin, Percocet, Lyrica, Soma.7 hour spine fusion surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy and radiculopathy but have residual myelopathy. I have generalized osteoarthritis and have worn out hips, knees, big toes, and some fingers are fused or growing bones. Disabled since 2015. Chronic pain patient on a high dose of opioids. Live in zero gravity chair.
Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264485 02/25/14 11:16 AM
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Sean and Lizzie, that's what I have been doing. I just went ahead and took one. And Lizzie, it did help break my flare. The drug isn't even in my system any more and I still feel much better. Jeffn, I'm glad you told me that 2.5 is below the minimum effective dose. I did not know that. After taking a vicodin that night, I was able to work the next day, all day, on my feet, for 13 hours without much pain. I felt so much better! Sean, I used to get a little dizzy feeling from the vicodin but not any more. I never really "liked" the way I felt. The only thing I liked was not being in pain.


Kay (28 years old)
Diagnosis: Ankylosing Spondylitis (January 23, 2012), HLA-B27+, Fibromyalgia (July 27, 2012)
Current Medications: Enbrel, Flexeril, Prilosec, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Savella, Zanaflex, Zoloft, Neurontin.
Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264486 02/25/14 01:22 PM
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Glad to hear you're feeling better!

Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264501 02/25/14 08:38 PM
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In my experience, you will know when you need it. Anytime I'm on the fence, I remember that there actually is no prize for enduring the most pain.

Good luck to you and I hope you find a solution that works for you.


Greg (49)
AS
HLA-B27 neg, MTX, Folic Acid, Belbuca, Cosentyx (failed Enbrel, Remicade, Humira). Diclofenac caused kidney failure, Hard breakup with Norco.
Re: Narcotic Stigma
Dobeigh #264503 02/25/14 10:45 PM
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Dobeigh, I hope I did not sound holier than thou or anything. I do think that opiates make some people feel good and they would be in danger of being hooked. They do nothing for me except take pain away (or make it less acute).


Male, mid 50s, Dx Reactive Arthritis 1981. AS+ 1991, HLA B27+, Tylenol 3 PRN for flares. Considering a biologic. SI and thoracic involvement and costochondritis. Many bouts of uveitis. Some bowel issues, anemia. Inflammation of the joints in hands and feet.
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