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Want to help my husband - chronic pain, high level of meds
  1. #1
    Wifeofchronicpain is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Want to help my husband - chronic pain, high level of meds

    Hi everyone, first post here for me, and I'm looking for advice.

    Cliffnotes version. My husband is a chronic pain sufferer, has spinal fusion from T3 to S1 (middle shoulder blades to tailbone), and a HOLY HELL of a dose of pain meds. I'm a pharmacy technician, and my husband was on the highest dose of OxyContin we've given out. That includes all cancer patients, too! 60mg three times a day, plus 40mg of Percocet a day (often more, and he'd run out before his next appointment... the normal stuff, from what I've been reading). Pain meds for nearly 4 years. Totally dependent.

    Because of the way narcotics seem to cause MORE pain for people, and because of wanting to use the electrical stimulator implant, and the general desire to get back to LIVING if possible (he's officially disabled for the past 43 months, not even 41 years old yet)... We looked at detox to Suboxone.

    Now to the longer part.... Last Friday (2 days ago now), husband went into a small hospital for the drug switchover. He took his last OxyContin Thursday night, and they put him on a Dilaudid pump while the OxyContin ran through his system. They turned it off 12 hours ago now (8:30am Sunday morning), and were going to wait about 8 hours before giving him Suboxone. By 2pm he was doing HORRIBLY. His main withdrawal is emotional along with aches and pains. He was angry, saying that this wasn't going to work, picking at his fingernails until they were BLEEDING..... and it's such a small hospital that they are not equipped to deal with the psychological issues going on for him. They gave him 1mg Ativan, didn't help really.... Then they gave him the shot of Suboxone early, whereas he PROMPTLY threw up. Still insisted that it "wasn't going to work". Yeah.

    I got him to calm down, but the doc sent us home since husband was unwilling to stay (needed more distractions anyways, and no WiFi at this place so religated to the couple games on the laptop and Solitaire). We have a 5 day supply of Suboxone if husband is willing to use it... But he "can't handle the pain level". So he's taken 2 Percocet 10's.

    *sigh* In the car before this, ANY bumps would make him wince and groan. On the way home? only ONCE did he groan when there were a LOT more bumps. His pain level was still a 6 or 7, but that's what it was on the pain meds before anyways! yet, he still took the Percocet. I've MAYBE convinced him to take no more of it and see what his symptoms are of withdrawal after a bit and as SOON as he's withdrawing enough, do another dose of the suboxone.

    Doc says to just take 1/4 of the 8mg strips... But I'm wondering if that's not enough meds to kick his pain out to the point of NOT taking other stuff.... His metabolism is FAST, so I'm going by withdrawal symptoms starting back up before giving him another dose. He SAID he's willing. That's the first step, at least.

    We see the doc again on Tuesday morning (just 36 hours... it's been nearly 72 since his last OxyContin already!), so he'll really be able to help regulate the does then (IF hubby sticks with the med... I REALLY hope so, we need it just for a couple months so he can get the stimulator going and then see about other meds...). But what about in the meantime? If the 2mg doesn't do it, for those who've tried, what about using 4mg to see what happens for the next dose? I have patients in my pharmacy taking 8gm 4 times a day, so I know it's not a OD or anything.

    How can I encourage him, and how to distract him through this so he keeps up with the Suboxone and doesn't return to the narcotics until he's supposed to? I'm amazed at the difference already, but I know we need more coverage for him to stick with it. I love him, but he is just one of the most stubborn pains in the BUTT you could imagine.

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Wifeofchronicpain is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015


    Quick update. It's been about 4.5 hours since he took the 20mg of Percocet. He's heading to bed, sleeping meds plus 800mg ibuprofen. I plan on waking him at 6am to put on the TENS unit again and see where he's at with withdrawal. If things look positive (heh, well, how positive can you be in withdrawal?), we'll do another 2mg of Suboxone. We'll see how things are at 8am, and I'll call his PM around then to ask what they think long-term and if we should/could up the dose while we wait to see the Suboxone doc on Tuesday (different doc doing the Suboxone treatment short-term with my husband, then the PM will be taking it over again after a month or so - the two are working together for the detox).

    I told my husband that as long as he is willing to do 1 day with me on the Suboxone to give it a fighting chance, he could get the Lego Slave 1.... yeah. *sigh* Early Christmas present being ordered tomorrow afternoon as long as he does in deed give it a fair try.

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