Oh Boy! What i’ve gotten myself into!

    • Anonymous
      June 26, 2008 at 12:50 am

      So, basically this is crazy! Not sure if you’re aware of my diagnosis/testing situation, but to make a long story short, the neuro told me last week that my problem is my pain medication (1 Vicodin every 6 hours as needed). Thought he was crazy.

      Went to my obgyn tueday and he agreed. His theory is that even though i do not abuse my medicine, it has taken a huge toll on my nervous system. He said, “It’s flipped all your switches, keeping the doors to your receptors open. You need to stop all medications, even plain tylenol, and close those doors”. Again, i thought he was crazy but appreciated that he honestly cared, so i told him id do whatever he says. I told him i hope he is right, that stopping the medication will be all it takes to make me better, but that in a way i want him to be wrong. The thought of me doing this to myself for the past 7 months (although i did nothing wrong), is devastating.

      Doc said id go through withdrawls. Again, thought he was being silly. The last vicodin i took was monday night at bedtime. Saw doc mid-day on tuesday. Felt unusually good until bedtime and then it was horrible. I havent slept a wink since then (it is now wednesday night, actually thursday now since its after midnight).

      First, i had my typical symptoms – the pain, electricity, weakness and fatigue, along with the gagging. GAgging turned to vomiting. I was drenched with sweat, and felt like i was in a sauna. The “electricity”, weakness, fatigue and pain got worse and worse. My arms and legs were thrashing around however they wanted. it was hard to breathe. I could barely speak and cried A LOT! The only time i was more miserable was when i first got sick 7 months ago.

      I managed to call my obgyn and he said to take vitamin c tablets, drink tons of water and pomegranite juice, and eat only things that would cleanse my body, like fresh fruits and veggies. Oh my goodness! Its hell. I do believe i am going through withdrawls.

      Doc called me at 10pm tonight to see how im doing. By that time, it had been 36 to 48 hours since i took my last pill and i was starting to feel a bit better. I said, “It is hell, but i have stopped crying and have been able to eat a little”. The worst thing now is that my entire body hurts soooo bad. My joints and legs are by far the worst. I cant see me being able to sleep tonight either – the pain is just too bad. Im impressed, though, that im okay enought to get on this computer. Im just trying to distract myself from teh pain. I have a heating pad, but im already roasting, and i have capsacin cream but it burns my skin.

      So, just wanted to share my rediculous story and ask for good thoughts to come my way to get through this. Doc says im gonna be really sick for 3 days, and will continue with symptoms for a month. Im just happy the first bit of this is over and i hope it is all thats wrong with me!

    • Anonymous
      June 26, 2008 at 6:24 am

      Hi Jamie
      If it does turn out to be the medication, dont blame yourself – how were you to know? See how you go over the next few weeks and if you start to improve then fantastic – as long as you get back on track who cares what the diagnosis was! What have you got to lose, its not as though any of the other doctors were jumping out of their skins to help you was it.
      And no matter what the diagnosis is in the end, you are part of the “family” now!

    • Anonymous
      June 26, 2008 at 9:23 am


      I too struggle with a dependancy to prescription pain medicine.

      Hang in there – its going to be a tough time, however if you’re over the first part, you’re on your way.

      Just know that people here are willing to help, any time of the day. Just try and get rest.

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 2:54 am

      Go to the PainFoundation.org. It has PainAid-website for discussing all types of pain/medications/ways to help yourself when in pain.It talks about withdrawal too.

      I am lots of major pain stuff-the fentantyl patch and would not want to go “cold turkey’ with this level of meds.My nerve pain was so bad I’d rather not even go there to describe it now.
      So are you suppose to feel better off all pain meds?? What were the symptoms that the doctors felt all your problems were due to pain medication??
      If you’re still having significant pain are you suppose to just endure it?? Live in pain?? Have they any ideas on non-pain meds like Lyrica??
      Good luck-at least they could have had you cut down on the Vicodin over a few weeks time. Sounds too harsh to me.

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 7:17 am

      withdrawls from vicodin are worse than any flu I have ever had.

      Hang in there Jamie….I hope things are getting better.


    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 7:43 am

      I’m surprised that the doctor didn’t put you on a scheduled reduction plan. The “cold turkey” approach can be rather intense as you have found out. As others have said, you appear to be over the hump so hang in there. You will be in my prayers each day.

      If your pain level remains high, there are alternate non narcotic medications for nerve pain. I might be worth discussing the pros and cons of each with your neuro [and/or possible get a second opinion]. You can get some background information by researching some of the post that talk about pain and researching each of the medications.

      Hang tough and just take it one day at a time. You make it through yesterday and tomorrow holds the promise of a better day.

      Jim C

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 9:23 am

      Hi Jamie-my neuro and gp know what meds I’m on(my neuro has never said that to me in 8 years) and I agree with the others-especially stay in touch and if you continue to feel so bad I would ask for something. I stick with one pharmacist too-that way I feel like we are all on page 1 together….the challenge for you is to find a balance-I know my meds are addictive but sometimes they are the only things that ease the severity of the pain-I don’t abuse the system either, but I feel we each have to find out what works for us. I feel badly for what you are going through. Probably didn’t help you much, but wish you well…..:) Emma

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 11:55 am

      jamie, was going to call you yesterday but then read your post and thought it might not be a good day. Hope you are feeling better. I am praying for you…

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 2:41 pm

      So, today is friday and im still alive:eek:

      I think each day is getting better.

      Yep. Cold turkey. The pregnancy complicates this situation.

      docs said absolutely no meds. obgyn said the baby will be born addicted if im taking anything, and will have to stay in the hospital for a month on an iv drip to wean him. Talk about feeling like a bad mommy, even though i know i didnt do anything wrong. docs knew what i was taking. we actually had a conversation specifically about the vicodin.

      Had a huge reduction in the “electricity”, so thought everything was great, although the muscle and joint pain kept me in tears. Then, last night i had the “electricity” all night long. I usually only took my Vicodin before bed, and when i woke up. Maybe that is why im worse at night now.

      My obgyn has been great. calls me every day just to see how i am doing. made me an appt with a rheumatologist for a week after i have the baby (about a month from now). told me to call him anytime i need help, and that he may need to put me on an antidepressant because withdrawls can really mess with your mind, even make you suicidal.

      Psychologically, im fine, just a little bit of an ego issue from having to tell my family, “Yeah, ummm, i guess im addicted to vicodin”. They know better than to think id abuse it, but my little brother (age 18) rolled his eyes at me and said, “Nice! And you’ve been preaching to me all this time about pain pills!” thinks im a hipocrite (sp?) But, like i told that bratt, i had a reason for taking it; him and his wreckless friends don’t.

      Something i feel silly about…i had no idea that ultram is essentially the same as morphine and is highly addictive! And im a nurse! It is a drug we never gave on our unit though, since its more for chronic pain that acute pain (i worked a surgical floor).

      So, this is all making more sense now. I was on ultram briefly. Then, i found out i was pregnant so i stopped all medications. That is when i got sick. I remember asking my doc if it could be because i stopped my meds and he said, “No. It is neuromuscular”. When i was too sick to work anymore, the docs said the only thing i could take was vicodin (after going cold turkey for a week). Then, i got even worse. So, i guess it is possible that i was withdrawing from ultram at first and then the vicodin was icing on the cake.

      Anyway, just wanted to update you guys. thank you sooo much for your kindness;) you are all wonderful!

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Jamie, from one nurse to another, hang in there–it is so hard to flip flop over into the role of caregiver to patient..you are doing so great–you really are..and you are right, pregnancy does complicate things,,I have one worry that maybe if your ob/gyn doc puts you on antidepressants, that the really bad side effects are suicdal thought too…geez a tradeoff between the Vicodin withdrawl and the antidepressants…your ob/gyn sounds like a very caring and compassionate doc-calling you every day is almost unheard of. So hang in there nurse, mommy to be. We are all rooting you on…Emma PS and go stuff your little bro in a closet….LOL-keep up the great job:)

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2008 at 10:06 pm

      I also want to add my support and well wishes. I hope tremendously for you that this might be what is the problem, because after days of being really tough, you will get better and getting better is the hope in all of this. The mind is a powerful thing–for good and for confusion. We admire your strength to try so hard to get better. Through all this, I have often found myself hoping that it was originating from my mind because I then would know it was not permanent and could get better. Even more often I have hoped it all was just a nightmare and that I would wake up and it be over. It takes strength and courage to face that this might be a consequence of the complexities of interaction of mind and body or even that part of it might and to put aside pride enough to tell people in order to get their support in this. We are not alone. Hang in there.

      WithHope for cure of these diseases

    • Anonymous
      July 3, 2008 at 6:07 pm

      Sorry everybody, that its been so long, but ive been busy – first with the withdrawls, and then from trying to catch up on everything thats been put on the back burner for the past 7 months!

      So, made it through the horrible first 3-4 days. not really sure how! it sucked sooooo bad! and my husband was gone at work, so i was totally on my own.

      now, im doing great! i still have the electricity every night and sometimes during the day. it is my entire body, so that has not improved. my arms take turns going numb and i still choke, but not as often. i think my “bloodhound” nose has tamed itself a bit. my breathing is tremendously better! so are the fatigue and weakness, although i know ive lost a lot of strength being laid up for 7 months.

      baby is fine. small though, like 6.5 lbs now and probably 7.5 when born at the end of the month. normal, but my first two were 8+ and 9+ lbs. doc says it isnt because of my health – just a smaller little one. my ob had never seen me as a patient before this and i was already sick when i first saw him. so, when i went to my appt this week, he kept telling me how i looked so good, like i should be at a photo shoot. how sweet! but there really was that much of a difference (hair, makeup, jewelery, etc.).

      I know its silly, but i almost feel bad telling everyone how well im doing. im not totally normal yet, but i do have hope and things improved rapidly once i stopped the vicodin. i guess my body is just really sensitive to drugs? now, i feel bad that i was so mad at my neuro for telling me that my breathing could be related to the vicodin, but he never explained anything, didnt act like he cared, and when i asked about my other symptoms, he said nothing. my ob took the time and cared enough to explain everything, encourage me, and answer all of my questions. that was the difference. im sure you all understand.

      take care everyone!

    • Anonymous
      July 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm

      It is awesome that you feel better. Please do not feel bad to tell us. We celebrate that you do feel better. It must especially feel better to be breathing easier and not be so scared about that. We all hope that you continue to get better and stronger. Just take your time. Your body is/has gone through a lot in the last seven months and it will take time to recover from how hard it has been.

      When I first got Guillain-Barre, I read this paper about hypotheses about this and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The writer hypothesized that both illnesses were from reprograming of the nervous system to be oversensitive. It made me really mad then, but this week I went to a Neuropathy support group and the neurologist there also talked about the feedback loops that happen–that sensory changes no longer get filtered out/down and the brain focuses on them (sort of like a dripping sink most of the time does not bother you, but it you have a headache after a stressful day, it seems the drips will drive you bezurko!). Minds are extremely powerful to heal. We are proud of you that your mind is helping to make this better whatever the cause.

      WithHope for a sure of these diseases

    • Anonymous
      July 4, 2008 at 10:20 am


      I am so glad you are doing so well and thankful that you are healing. I am also thankful that you probably don’t have GBS, (we can think not, right?) I have been thinking of you constantly and will call you now that I know you are beginning to feel better. I too have been swamped this week. My hubby celebrates his 55th b’day so we are having a big BBQ tonight for hime. gotta go and get the food ready but will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

      Way to go Jamie on taking this step and getting through a tough time.

      With love and best wishes…

    • Anonymous
      July 5, 2008 at 1:04 am


      what you said about the dripping faucet makes so much sense! that is exactly how i felt, like i was allergic to myself, to the entire world. i felt like my body was overreacing to every single thing around me, and then shutting down. it felt like the world was too much for my senses to handle, so they were all shutting down. you get what im saying, right? that must be a good doc you have, for him to take the time to explain things to you in such detail. that hypothesis sounded kind of confusing, though. but, i get it, in one of those weird, “yeah, i gotcha but i have no idea how” kinda ways.:p


      perfect day for a bbq, right!? it was here, anyway! sure you had your hands full, though, with all of the prep for the party. hope it went good for you, and your body provided you with tons of strength and energy! i had a great day. it was the first time in a while that i really got together with my extended family. i felt good, looked good, and everyone noticed a huge difference in me. i was actually talking alot, laughing, and breathing at the same time! crazy!!!!!!!! it felt sooooo good!

      Alright, think i’ll head to bed. sleeping is my biggest challenge these days. the “electricity” is horrible every single night, and sometimes during the day. ive starting going the the massage therapist and chiropractor once a week, so hopefully that will help. im hoping it is jsut taht my back is outta whack, and that it will get a bit better after the baby.

      take care! good luck! happy summer!