I was on the way to my divorce hearing in 2006 when I was hit. I was traveling less than 1mph due to traffic when I was rear ended by a large SUV at 65 mph. I happened to look in my rear view mirror seconds before impact only having enough time to turn the wheel enough to the right which pushed my truck six car lengths ahead of the cars in front of me. Paramedics told me they expected a DOA. Before this point I had been given opiates very short term once for wisdom teeth removal in high school. I just recall them making me really sick at that time.
I can’t recall how soon after the accident I was prescribed opiates for the pain, though I do know I was put through physical therapy that I felt was making it worse and I literally had to refuse physical therapy due to the excess pain it caused. Come to find out later on that C3,C4,C5 and C6 discs were completely torn all the way around. My neurosurgeon was hesitant on doing the surgery due to being “so young” though once it was clear I couldn’t function we decided it was my only option. He said after he completed my surgery that my neck was way worse than anything they had seen on X-ray or MRI and fully understood my pain. He is an amazing neurosurgeon and he was surprised once he got in side my neck. I had repeatedly expressed this pin point pain numerous time with numerous doctors in the two years before my surgery. As well as being tested for fibromyalgia ten years ago because my body just didn’t feel right though then they tested for inflammation and I tested negative so that was dismissed. I am again revisiting this as a possible explanation to the problems I am currently having that are debilitating. Only problem is no one still after 15mos of being off the opiates, seems to know what’s causing it, as I have had to approach doctors with possibilities. Yet with this “false opiate war” no one will even address or look at possible diagnosis with the constant pain that isn’t from my fusion. The past year I’ve found being diagnosed as a chronic pain patient there is a disaster occurring in our medical system. Doctors hands are tied, pharmacy’s unable/refuse to fill prescriptions (others not myself) and insurance companies refusing to pay for pain medications or limited amounts. It’s a disaster.
The reason I chose to quit was I felt the pain clinic kept increasing due to pain I expressed, yet it wasn’t the pain from the lower level of my fusion I complained most about, it was repeatedly my telling them all my joints and muscles hurt and I felt run over by a mac truck. The night of my last dosage increase I was terrified at the thought of, “What if I don’t wake up?” and my son finds me unresponsive? He has autism and it is just he and I who live together. I began researching because I just had a feeling no one would know what dose would be too much. I learned exactly on my own that this new all over pain was due to opiate tolerance. I had been previously expressing my wanting to know what my actual pain was and trying out the patient cannabis program offered through my pain clinic at the time. To do this you had to be off opiates and on suboxone then you could pursue the medical cannabis program. I was set up of what the pain clinic called an “induction” and everything I had read I should have been tapered from my opiates which wasn’t an option through the pain clinic. I did find somewhere that the FDA guidelines stated, “suboxone cannot be used for detox.” by pain clinics. Which explained the induction. The induction consisted of me taking my last nights opiates, not taking any after, going into the clinic to be monitored by a nurse as they administered suboxone to a level to keep withdrawals at bay, then slowly taper from the suboxone over months. Now, I did my research on suboxone and methadone and let me tell you this.. If you are on suboxone more than 14days you will withdraw and guess what there isn’t anything for suboxone or methadone withdrawals. Nope, I wasn’t trading one for the other! I immediately started on tapering I believe it was down 5mg the first week, then the plan was to go down another 5mg the week. I called my pain clinic and said I wasn’t doing the induction and to refill my opiates as I already started an opiate taper. The next day I went to get my opiate refill and I was also given two boxes of suboxone. The prescription read: 16mg/day. Ummm…how would they know what my dosage was before the induction? So I left will everything. On day eight of my 5mg taper I literally felt I was dying a severely slow death. I had ordered CBD oil and on July 13, 2017 I took my second dose of opiates at 1pm. At 1:30pm the CBD oil came in the mail. So I took that. 7pm I would have taken my last opiate dose of the evening..though I really didn’t feel I needed it, so I didn’t take it. 10pm I still didn’t feel I needed to take them though I knew all to well the wrath that would soon follow with withdrawals imminent by all research I had done in YouTube videos and Support groups on Facebook. I started feeling rough the next morning so my son and I headed to the local hospital’s ER and I wanted to know what I should do. (My son 6yrs old photographed this unknowingly to me until later) It took about an hour of talking to ER doctors, nurses and staff to get them to understand I have fired my pain clinic as they have their hands tied with pain clinic patients due to patients contract I presume. Once I was given a room and the doctor came in and I laid out all the opiates and the two boxes of suboxone and said, “I know withdrawals are only going to get worse what should I do?” He literally said, I don’t know enough about suboxone so all I can do is tell you to take an opiate for relief.” I told him you couldn’t pay me enough to touch another opiate as in my mind I felt these were the reason I was feeling like death. By the end of our conversations I asked, “If I come back in and I am visibly in severe withdrawals can you treat the withdrawal symptoms?” He said, “yes.” I decided at that point I at least had an option. Though realistically I have no one who could keep my son for weeks if I ended up inpatient so I hit the internet and I used loperamide for stomach/bowel/digestive issues, got some marijuana off the street, drank lots of tea, a million epsom salt baths. The anxiety from getting off opiates can only be explained as anxiety on steroids. It literally is triggered by anything, it hits you fast and furious, is it horrendous. At this point the aching and muscle pain, twitching, spasming, anxiety and insomnia was unbearable and I called my primary doctor and said I need something for these issues and I was given a few different non opioid medications. My previous (general anxiety) 0.5mg xanax (used very rarely prior refills longer than 3months in between) was increased to 1.0mg. And 4mg Tizanidine for muscles twitches/spasms and 50mg of Hydroxyzine (similar to over the counter benedryl) were added to help calms these symptoms. I think the marijuana helped second most to the higher xanax dose!
Now mind you, before I did all of this, I called two treatment facilities requesting a detox from opiates. I was turned away from both because I said I was dependent and I wouldn’t need long term treatment given I have a very strong mental health therapist and a strong support system. They wouldn’t accept me because I wouldn’t say I was an addict, I wasn’t and am not and addict. My body was dependent on this man made chemical. Insurance only covers addiction. Such an absolutely broken system of care!
I could go on and on…
I didn’t finish this earlier due to the fact I received confirmation this past Thursday, that at the age of 44 yrs, I have to have all my teeth extracted and get cheap state insurance covered dentures. I felt the periodontal disease move through my lower and upper jaw during the first 6 months off the opiates, right at the time my hair started to fall out and after month out appointments, while trying to figure out all of the other issues I have going on…this is the topper. Like really?? How can one person physically, mentally, emotionally, financially get through this? One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. Would I use opiates again? The amount of excruciating pain I have been in 24/7, two days a month, I would absolutely use an opiate. Long term, no. Just long enough get a break from the pain, so I can mentally fight this determination to find the root cause of the issues I am currently having. Once we knew more, then take the opiate bandaid off and treat the actual problems. I would have never disposed of my opiate medications if I would have known things were going to unfold the way they have with pain treatment now. And I sure as hell won’t buy any off the street, which pain patients are resorting to, which again is another story altogether. As well as myself being spiritual and not political one bit prior to this experience..my faith in God is so much stronger by only ways one would understand by experience during extreme times of duress and pain. I still don’t take a political side anyway, I just know this false “opiate war” is due to politics, corruption and money on a much larger scale than most will ever realize. I watched it unfold right before my eyes..
Hopefully I answered your questions, forgive my novel writing, I’ve had a lot on my mind this weekend and I really wanted to make sure my story, my voice is heard. So thank you so much for making this possible! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
“Lucrative Lives Opiates 2018”