Looks like I'm 2 years too late for the original discussion but wanted to post anyway in case there's somebody out there who can offer some advice.
I've been dealing with chronic headaches due to Osteoarthritis in my back which affects my c1-c7. I'm a big guy; 6'4" 320lbs and in no way a wimp but these headaches have made me want to step in front of a train. Anywho, I've been taking Norco for 10 years. When I first started taking it I was taking two hydrocodone 7.5mg tabs a day, no big deal. After about 3 years I was up to 3 Norco a day a few less years and I was up to 4 a day, even fewer years and I was up to 5. Anyway I'm now up to 6 Norco a day plus I take 2 hyrdomorphone tabs as well. please note that all of these increases were doctor prescribed for my tolerance. It's been a few years and now the 6 Norco and 2 hydromorphone don't seem to be working anymore. before I would have breakthrough pain but an aleve or something would make that manageable. Now my head is beyond that and it's just all out hell. I need to talk to my pain management doctor but I know she's going to reccomend injections and I've had every injection in the book. The only resolve is surgery and my neurologist said that the risk outweigh the benefits but now I'm starting to wonder if it might be worth the risk. I hate feeling like a drug addict and hate being treated like a second class citizen because I have to deal with something I didn't ask for (some drunk drive weaved into me and pushed me in front of a dump truck) This has screwed my life up and God forbid I run out of medication because I'm taking more than I should trying to make the pain go away because then the withdrawls on top of the pain make life not worth living. if it wasn't for my two children I would have already said "screw it". Anyway I apologize for rambling I just don't have anyone that understands what kind of hell being in chronic pain and dependent on medication is like. Does anyone have any suggestions for any other type of medication that might be effective? My sister broke her neck and back and she is on a morphine patch and it seems to help her. I'm just lost.
Again I apologize for the rambling and any of the probably 5 billion typos.
Hi there, Well first of all I want you to know that I can definatly identify with your pain,Headaches and Back,right??? Thankfully my headaches aren't as bad as they were 30 yrs ago but I still get them!! As far as going up in dose's on your meds.,I've learned the hard way to stop beating yourself up!!Its not your fault ,it s just the way our bodies work!!!!WE take something for awhile and tolerence builds and it no longer works!!I really do understand ,!I have to take very strong dose's of pain meds and I'm only '5'1""110lbs.I hear you say You hate feeling like an Addict???Is that because you think you are or just because of others opinions???Also I hear you say your treated like a csecond class citizen???Are you really .or is it just your feelings about yourself?????I would understand that too! But enough of thaat part!I hope I can bring you some hope and happiness in your liufe because we all need it,right??? One thhing that really helps me to feel better mentally is to help others and try to do things to get out of yourself!I'm not judgeing,just relating!!! As far as other medication you should probaly be open with your DR..10 years is a long time and you need stronger meds!< I better go for now or this won't go through. Let me know how youur doing! 77grace
Hi 77grace and thank you for your reply. I don't feel I'm an addict though my body is definitely dependent on the medication. there have been times I have felt like a second class citizen during the long period of time that I was out of work and had no insurance. My pain would get so bad my only option was the local emergency room. You go in and tell them what's wrong and they give you that condescending look that says "Yeah right". I just hate that people who use these medications for recreational purposes cause people who really need them to suffer, go without or through a on of red tape. I'm anxious every time my meds get low. I'm honestly terrified to talk to my doctor about changing my meds because I'm afraid she'll put me on something that doesn't work or she'll do what other doctors have done in the past and play guinea pig with me and want me to try all these medications I've tried in the past that haven't worked. I've tried pretty much every medication out there and my current meds are what have worked for the past ten years so I'm sure you can see why I might be extremely nervous right now. I hate that I have to depend on a pill just to feel normal. I hate that I have to take this stuff for the rest of my life and live in the fear that one day I won't be able to obtain it for one reason or another; federal guidelines, doctor retires etc. I'm probably just overreacting I'm just really stressed.
Hi. I know exactly how you feel. It's a horrible feeling to be afraid that someday they may take away the only thing that helps your pain. I'm with you on that. I too have worse than migraine headaches. I'm sure you've tried this, but I take avinza everyday and morphine for break through pain. I also know someone that has the patch and it worked well for her too, it just made her "out of her head". I hope the best for you! Keep us informed about how you're doing and what your dr. puts you on.
Hi smann68, I get really bad heasaches too and so far imitrex is the only thing that helps,but since I have so many headaches I can take too much imitex and either 2 things can happen.I run out early ,,rebound headacehs ,oh and its not good for me!!!What is Avinza?? I hope you feel better too! 77grace
Thank you for your post and my apologies for the late reply. I am sorry to hear about your struggles. Tolerance is indeed a normal process and sometime a complete rotation to alternative drug is warranted. I would discuss this with your doctor. In regards to surgery - I am not sure what was discussed or what is even indicated. I would suggest you seek multiple opinions prior to making any definitive decision (one way or another) in that respect. I hope that helps. Good luck.
Taking opiates for chronic headaches is usually a really bad idea. Have you heard of rebound headaches?
How did the doctor decide that your spinal problems were causing your headaches? I had both, and had surgery for the cervical spine problems, it did nothing for my headaches, I still get them. Thank goodness my surgeon never told me that surgery would cure my headaches too. I would be very angry with him.
Morphine does not come in any kind of patch. I suspect your sister might be on fentanyl patches.
Unless you are dealing with some other kind of pain besides headaches, I would discuss with your doctor the possibility of getting off the opiates and then I would suggest you see a headache specialist.
I too suffer from chronic migraines for almost 10 years and I'm only 24 years old so I know exactly how much you have been through and what it feels like. One question I have for you is if you have tried any of the medications that are used specifically for migraine (imitrex, frova, maxalt)? The only reason I ask is because narcotic pain meds do have really bad side effects for migraine patients. It causes you to have rebound headaches (which only feel like normal migraines but would not normally occur without the presence of narcotics in the body) and can also sometimes increase the pain you are feeling from the migraine instead of getting rid of it. I remember when I had my wisdom teeth taken out about two years ago and they put me on percocet to control the pain and I ended up have twice the amount of migraines that I would normally have. Granted for me, the painkillers took the pain away (well at least for the time they worked because a medication will only work for me for a few days and then it has absolutely no effect) but I ended up being in more pain because of the narcotic medication and its effects on my migraines.
As for the surgery, I know that they have just recently come out with a new surgery for migraines but that there are very few doctors that perform it. However, before you get the surgery, they require that you have tried every other treatment option available. They will ask if you have tried all of the preventative medications that are prescribed for migraines, all of the abortive medications for migraines, and they will also recommend that you try Botox injections for your migraines. If you haven't been through the whole botox thing, they won't even consider you for surgery because the concept was developed for patients that have done well with the botox treatments. The Botox treatments consist of 44 injections all over your head and neck. The concept is that the Botox is supposed to freeze the nerves and muscles so that the pain in them will decrease. I have been waiting to get these injections for a year now and they are pretty much the last thing available that I haven't tried yet. I don't know where you live but you should definitely look for a migraine clinic or a migraine specialist in your area. Neurologists are very familiar with migraines but they are not experts. There are a lot of doctors that only focus on migraines that will be a lot more knowledgeable and helpful for you. As far as information on the surgery and Botox injections, I know one doctor in my area that performs both. His name is Dr. David Branch and here is the website for his migraine practice. http://www.migrainereliefatlast.com/
Let me know if any of this helps you or if you have any other questions. I have a decade's worth of knowledge when it comes to migraines and I will help in any way that I can. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!!
Headaches are one of the most frequently occurred irritating health problems faced by many people. Though the reasons are many, stress and tension are the most common reason. Physical exercises with nutritional food habit will help you to recover naturally.
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