How I Became Hooked on Pain Meds

I remember the beginning very well. It was a mild September day in 2008 when I walked into my doctor’s office barely able to hold myself up. Everything hurt. Even my hair felt like it was pulling at my scalp. My head ached, my entire body from my head to my heels feel as if it were burning, accompanied by sharp, stabbing pains. I didn’t know what was wrong, I just felt like I was dying a miserable death. Then the doctor came in and did an exam and blood work. It was official: I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

I was in pain and I was scared as a wounded animal. My doctor prescribed morphine and I was referred to various pain specialists over the course of 8 years. The morphine made me sick to my stomach and gave me headaches so I saw a doctor about it. I was given fentanyl lollipops for just my migraines. That night, with a fentanyl sucker in my mouth I felt like I was flying high on cloud nine. What I didn’t realize until later is that I overdosed. I didn’t go to the hospital, just made a pot of coffee to wake me back up so I could feel my senses. But that scare didn’t even stop me, the lure of fentanyl was just too much to give up. Eventually I did, and went to see another doctor. I was prescribed norcos or hydrocodone. Soon it didn’t work as well and I had to take more pills. I started stealing pills from my husband, who had his own pain issues. I felt like a dirtbag stealing drugs from him but I felt compelled to do it. What I was given just wasn’t enough to alleviate the pain or take the edge off.  I was addicted to morphine by that point so they put my on methadone to get me off of it. That was after the chief of pain specialists at Kaiser Permanente told me to take more morphine! He wanted to increase my dosage, What a joke that was! I was on a downward spiral and felt so alone in my pain and addiction. I remember crying as I laid down on the cold bathroom floor, feeling sorry for myself and wishing the pain and addiction would just go away. So I had to get off the methadone and it wasn’t easy. They replaced this med with oxycontin. I had no idea oxycontin was 50 times stronger than heroine. I felt better for awhile but I gained 30 pounds so my self esteem plummeted. When I grew tired of the oxy’s my pain doctor prescribed opana, kind of like a fake opioid. I told my doctor I wanted off all pain meds, I was tired of feeling weird all the time and the meds were not killing my pain anymore. I had built up quite a tolerance. In comes suboxone and subutex which I took for three years and tried many times over the course of those years to  get off of them without serious help. Kaiser did not have a program to help addicts get off pills. No rehab, no nothing. At this time, I was reduced to skin and bones, all that weight had come off. My husband said I looked like a cancer patient, and my daughter cried when she saw my ribs poking through. My family wasn’t used to seeing me like that. Today, I am clean! I got off all opioids myself, and how I did it I will explain in my next post.  I want to inspire you, that you too, can be clean and get your life back. Keep reading!

 

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