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View Full Version : Pain meds. How long?



Kayde
11-12-2011, 10:38 AM
I am wondering about how long it takes to get off the pain meds. I have cut back from 2 every 4 hours to 1 every 4 hours. The oxycodone is hard to keep your bowels moving even if you are taking the magnesium and softeners without worry. I got 4 days worth of Valium for the muscle spams which actually helped me more than the pain meds. I was told that I couldn't get the Valium and will be given more oxy and then I will move to a hydrcodone soon. Did anyone else fund muscle relaxers helped more than the strong pain meds and what is the average time o be on pain meds. I really hate taking them and not sure why muscle relaxers aren't given for a longer period of time. I was able to walk much farther with the relaxers than with the pain meds. I am up to 6 blocks of walking per day. So very happy. Does anyone have a recumbent trike - if so how long before you could ride. Thanks

Kayde.

LindaRacine
11-12-2011, 12:09 PM
Youll stay on meds as long as you need them. We're all different. I was a regular schedule of drugs when I was about two months postop. I took Vicodin as needed for another few weeks. That usually amounted to 1 or 2 pills daily, usually late in the afternoon.

I got the OK to ride a recumbanf bike at 3 weeks p/o.

Linda

Marina63
11-12-2011, 05:43 PM
I remember wondering the same thing, Kayde. Should I be off the oxycodone? Should I be taking the valium? When should I start the hydrocone?? I got the feeling from my surgeon's nurse that the sooner I wean myself off the hard stuff the better. But of course, like Linda wrote, everyone is different and only you know when you should be off the narcotics. I had to go back to work so it was important that I get off anything that would impede my ability to work or drive. I was often scared to go off the pain meds but once I did, I was fine. I am four months post op now and take no pain meds at all. No Tylenol, nothing.

Hang in there : ))))

Marina

debbei
11-13-2011, 06:41 PM
I was on pain meds for 3 months. My advice is when you cut back, do it SLOW, otherwise, you might get withdrawls, which are no fun!

Vali
11-15-2011, 05:44 PM
I quit my pain meds on day 15 post op. The discomfort I had was very bearable. I was still able to sleep comfortably. As many people have said before, don't judge your recovery against others. People recover and respond to things very differently. My suggestion is to listen to you body and do what you think is best for you. Best wishes.

Kayde
11-16-2011, 08:43 AM
I started cutting back a few days ago. Been taking one pill only when the pain gets bad and then taking half a pill. I have some muscle relaxers which helps me more. I have had more pain on the left side rib area than I ever expected. My curve was to the right and all my pre-surgery pain was always on the right. I actually walked my first mile a few days ago which of course every time I walk a few hours later I have muscle spasms. I am still very numb and my lower back is in the not really numb but sensitive to touch. I think by another week or so maybe I can just take an over the counter pain reliever with some muscle relaxers as needed. Idk how long my back will be numb but it certainly makes sitting in chairs very uncomfortable. I haven't even tried to put on a bra yet, just wearing tube tops. I agree with you that when the discomfort is bearable to just stay off the pain meds. 15 days is really good. How long did it take for you to get back to more normal movements and sitting in chairs etc. I am 24 days post surgery and I know it takes a while to heal and I do think the walking is helping me.

Marina63
11-16-2011, 09:45 AM
You are doing great, Kayde! I know what you mean about the numbness. I am 4 months post surgery and my back is still numb. I think it can take up to a year for it to completely go away. My surgeon said that I may have some permanent numbness around the incision.

Keep up the walking. I know it helped me tremedously. You are in a tough place right now in your recovery but you are making huge strides. When I look back at the first weeks post surgery, I cannot believe how far I have come. My only issue now is varying degrees of muscle tightnes in the thoracic area.

Chairs are still tough for me even now. I have to sit in a straight backed chair with head support. I tried sitting in a lazy boy a few weeks ago, which was super comfortable but an hour later my back was telling me that it wasn't ready for a chair without good support. I have a deck chair with a high back in the den where I sit and watch TV. It doesn't go with the decor but I can't sit on the couch yet ; )

djkinkead
11-16-2011, 09:50 AM
I am at eleven weeks post surgery now. I am taking one tylenol and 1/3 a vicodin two to three times a day now. I still have some valium for muscle spasims (sp?) at night, although this doesn't seem so necessary anymore.

However, that said, I think there are people who had some additional surgery involving the ribs--to totally eliminate the rib hump. I still have a bit of one, but greatly reduced.

Pushed myself a bit too hard yesterday. Took the train and then metro into DC for a meeting. My husband dropped me off at the train and picked me up to eliminate the stress of having to walk a long distance in the parking lot (I was catching last morning train). We went out for burgers for dinner and right after it hit me like a freight train: I was pooped. Went to bed at 7:15, got up at 9:00 to take meds and went back to sleep.

Need to call my doctor's office to tell them three months recoup time is not long enough for me to go back full time regular schedule of commuting. I can telework and do just as much from home as I can my office. I am slowly working up the number of hours I am working too...but 11/23 is just too soon.

Marina63
11-16-2011, 10:45 AM
I am at eleven weeks post surgery now. I am taking one tylenol and 1/3 a vicodin two to three times a day now. I still have some valium for muscle spasims (sp?) at night, although this doesn't seem so necessary anymore.

However, that said, I think there are people who had some additional surgery involving the ribs--to totally eliminate the rib hump. I still have a bit of one, but greatly reduced.

Pushed myself a bit too hard yesterday. Took the train and then metro into DC for a meeting. My husband dropped me off at the train and picked me up to eliminate the stress of having to walk a long distance in the parking lot (I was catching last morning train). We went out for burgers for dinner and right after it hit me like a freight train: I was pooped. Went to bed at 7:15, got up at 9:00 to take meds and went back to sleep.

Need to call my doctor's office to tell them three months recoup time is not long enough for me to go back full time regular schedule of commuting. I can telework and do just as much from home as I can my office. I am slowly working up the number of hours I am working too...but 11/23 is just too soon.

From where to where were you fused? I am about a month ahead of you.

I went back to work at 7 weeks post op. I'm glad I didn't have to work full time, though. My job is not physically demanding at all and I have found working to be very helpful in my recovery.

Love NOVA! I'll be up there visiting a friend next week in Fairfax and spending the night in DC. I will be driving to VA (9 hours) on Monday and then to DC (3.5 hours) that Tuesday. Hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew ; )

Kayde
11-16-2011, 06:04 PM
That is very encouraging. I worry I won't feel like telecommuting in another 6 weeks. I'm sure the first month is the hardest. Hoping to turn a corner soon where I can stay awake 8 hours at a time and feel somewhat normal.

djkinkead
11-23-2011, 08:47 PM
Kayde,

I got off the Oxycodone one week post surgery so I could escape rehab place from he'll. Went on the vicodin and it worked well enough as a substitute. Definitely had less output problems, but still used stool softeners a bit.

You are putting me to shame on the walking. I need to get out and walk! I telework and it's hard to step away from computer. Good excuse, eh?

Only occasionally use the Valium.