Oxycontin Rules

Oxycontin Rules

poppiesI’m a Lucky Man. I’ve taken oxycontin for about 13 months without addiction.

I heard horror stories almost every time I mentioned I was taking oyxcontin (Percocet its brand name, oxycodone the label on my empty bottle) to anyone. Family disasters, from the psych ward to the street.  I can’t help but think I am one of the lucky ones that got away.

Other medications were tried on route to the oxy script, first just Celebrex, and different over the counter pain medications. Then T3s. Then hydromorphone. This got me through my Stage Four Flat Foot, and the first foot-bone fusion surgery.

This was when I ran out of cartilage in my hip joints, and the bone on bone pain became unbearable.  Getting a script for oxy is a story in itself and for another time.

Not that being on oxy everyday was a walk in the park, and I think part of the reason I’ve managed to give it up, is that I rarely felt high. There was definitely a cycle as it worked through my system including hyperactivity, sweats, itchy feet (some folks get so itchy all over they have to stop taking it) irritability and a general lack of patience for which  I won’t be able to blame the oxy  anymore.I  used to tell the kids when they were toddlers, “today my patience is as big as a raisin” when I was irritable. Under the influence of oxy my patience was usually the size of a raisin and rarely grew to the size of a Texas watermelon at the other end of the spectrum, which was hard for my family and coworkers. Thankfully my employer was able to provide work accommodations allowing me to telecommute 2 or 3 days a week. My last experience on disability, which included a law-suit, was so awful I was happy not to have to go there.  A big thanks to my wife, my family, my friends,  and my co-workers for their support in 2013.

My last foot-bone fusion was in February 2013, my first total hip replacement on June 14 and my second on November 29. I was trying hard to cut back on my oxy after my second hip replacement – having a goal is helpful to me.  Then I called 311 and the registered nurses they have at health-links to complain to some one other than my wife about my pain. Healthlinks is awesome.

Nurse: So. What are you taking?
V: Oxycontin.
N. That’s a good start. It’s absolutely the best treatment available for the pain you are experiencing. How much are you taking?
V: I’m trying to cut back.
N: How are you sleeping?
V:  Not very well.
N: What does it say on the prescription?
V: Two every four hours, and as needed for pain.
N: Why don’t you try that and see what happen? Sleep and rest without pain is very important to recovery. Cut back once the pain is tolerable, but not before.V: Phew. Ok.

That permission was important to me. I took her advice, and after a couple of weeks (I was on sick leave from the office for all of December), I was able to go back to the six I had been taking before in-between my surgeries. Since New Year’s day I’ve cut back, seeing my pain doctor once who was encouraging, and headaches the only significant withdrawal symptom.  I will be pleased to see my physio and my hip surgeon February 6th to let them know I’m done with oxy, and have started swimming again. I will maintain my daily Meditation Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practice, enjoy the massages as long as I have coverage from work, start exercising again. My goal : walking to work at 213 Notre Dane, from Wolseley, on my birthday in April.   Yes, I’ve kissed the poppy, but yesterday I kissed the poppy goodbye.

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