Friday, June 21, 2013

My own experience with Oxy-Contin. I'm serious.

Wow. It's been four months since I've paid any attention to this blog. I have no really good reason. The truth is, I've been trying to move forward with my life, marriage, job and relationship with my son.

What more would I have to share? I'm not the kind of drug advocate that I thought I could be. That is, I'm not involved with any kind of organization for parents of drug addicts. I no longer attend Nar-Anon meetings. Pretty much, I think I've put my son's addiction to Oxycontin and Heroin way in the back of my mind. Like, filed under "past" and I didn't want to reopen that file.

Then, something happened. After a few years of procrastination, I finally went ahead and had a total knee replacement.  This isn't my first major knee operation (same leg).  My arthriticaly diseased knee finally made my daily life a battle against pain. Standing, for more than a few minutes, hurt. Walking down a steep hill would blow out my knee. Forget sitting in a theater, unless I could stretch out my knee.

So, on June 11th I spend three nights in the hospital, after a success operation.  What did my doctor prescribe for my pain?

Oxycontin. 10mg.  One to two, every 12 hours.

My heart sank.

When my doctor checked in on me, it just leaped out of my throat. "I don't want to take oxycontin!"
He was a bit taken aback. I quickly explained that my son is a recovering drug addict, and this is the very drug that tore our lives apart. 

I'm not gonna lie. The post-surgery has been a daily heavy dose of pain. The physical therapist causes me nothing but anxiety-- though he's the best.  Bending my stiff knee, under his trained body pressure makes child birth seem like a walk in the park.  I find myself unable to hold back the blood curdling screams.  I am begging for mercy.   So, I have resigned myself to reserving the Oxycontin for the days he is coming to see me. I also have Oxycodone IR, and I can take 1-2 every 4 to 6 hours.  I opt, instead for Tylenol 500mg, no more than four times a day. So far, the Tylenol does a decent job with pain management... except for when the Physical "Terrorist" arrives at my house.

At least, my fear of becoming addicted was unfounded.  While Oxy gives me a sense of relaxation, and eases some of the pain (except for the excruciating stretches), I don't like the feeling of nausea that follows the "come down".  I sleep a lot, too. My appetite is pretty much non-existent. I eat, because if I don't, my body has the shakes. You could feed me my favorite gourmet dinner, and I might as well be eating sawdust with gravy on it. 

As I was laying on the bed, watching daytime TV (which I never do) I caught an episode on "Katie" about drug addiction.  One of her guests was a 23 year old boy, who was addicted to heroin. His path to destruction was no different than my own son's. 

Oh my God, the emotions welled up inside me.  I saw my own son, who was a shell of himself.  I listened to the boy talk about how he's been in and out of rehab and still can't get off the stuff. What I didn't hear this kid say was that he wanted to be clean-- with enough conviction. He was carted off to a top level rehab center in Malibu, CA-- free of charge. How I wish this young boy success in his sobriety.

Next, came a guest who is a 27 year old girl who has been clean for 5 years.  She was beautiful and articulate. She shared her journey in her addiction to Oxycontin and heroin.  She said exactly what my son's words were-- the key to her sobriety is the key to my own son's sobriety.

In my own words, this is the summary of why my son is no longer using.  The #1 reason, that my son could not find success in staying clean, is that he was terrified of going through withdrawals.  That's what the girl admitted, herself.  I can only relate to that moment, when my physical therapist tells me to lay flat, and I feel him picking up my leg that I begin to hyperventilate. I try to talk myself through the pain that I know is going to happen.  He stretches... he stretches, the pain begins and then I'm screaming bloody murder! 

My son says that withdrawals are a pain that he wouldn't wish on his worst enemy.  If it's anything like what I've going through, I understand.  Fear of pain is paralyzing.

Yesterday, I told my physical therapist to stop. I had no more to give. I couldn't give him ten stretches. I had to stop at three.  When he relented, I wanted to cry with joy.

Maybe, for my son, that is what his relapses were to him. Relief from the agony and pain.

So, when people write to me and say to tell my son to quit "being a bitch" and suck it up-- well, I can tell you that I wish I could the same for my leg therapy.

We all have different pain tolerances.

I receive numerous emails from desperate parents and family members-- and they ask me what they can do to help their loved one become sober.

It all comes back to the addict. The only thing we can do, is to educate ourselves.  Try to learn as much about addiction that you can. Take classes. Read. Talk to other parents.

To see our own child, suffering from addiction, is an emotional pain that I don't care to repeat.  Yes, I was one of those parents who helped my son to buy the drugs he needed because he was so "sick". No, I didn't buy the drugs for him. But, I gave him money for some "need" he convinced me that he had.  I was in self-denial that the money would go to buy drugs.

That is so hard, because it is counter-intuitive, as a mom, to not want to help our children-- when they are in pain or danger.  I've watched enough Dr. Phil shows, to hear his rebukes that enabling our addicts is the worst thing we can do.

Reluctantly, I told B that I had Oxycontin as my pain management. At first, he was upset. For me. He began to question my physical therapist on why this was the prescribed pain med of choice.

Later, B told me not to worry about hiding the meds from him.

"Mom, don't worry about it. I no longer have cravings. Besides, the last time I relapsed and used Oxy, I didn't even like it. "  He also reminded me, that even if he took Oxy that nothing would happen, since the suboxone blocks those receptors of "pleasure".

While B is still on suboxone therapy, he is no longer using street drugs. B says that he no longer has cravings. He has an entirely new circle of friends. He still has the same job, for more than three years. He pays us rent, never complains and doesn't ask us for money.

He has stepped up to the plate, and is helping to take care of me. Role reversal.  I'm not as mobile as I had hoped-- though it's only been ten days since surgery.  I putt around, on a walker, but I'm not gonna lie-- as of today, I regret having the surgery.

That sounds bad, I know. In two more weeks, I'll be singing a different tune.  I just wish I had known that all my old scar tissue, from previous surgeries, would cause my knee to have a 50% decrease is my range of motion.  I thought I could endure the physical therapy, but I can't take the pain!

A year from now, I hope that all of this will be behind me. I visualize myself walking with my husband, without fear of stairs or steep hills.

With my own son, I still long for him to have an "organic" sobriety.  Clean. No prescribed drugs to keep him from using.

But, you know, this is his own sobriety.  I have learned to let go. I rejoice in God's Grace on us. I am so very thankful that my son isn't strung out on drugs. 

Best of all, I have watched my son's true personality emerge. He looks healthy, again. He laughs a lot. He is respectful and affectionate.

Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I had to make a decision to endure pain, so that my knee would be good as new. My son had to make a decision that he didn't want to live his life broke, and spending every waking moment thinking where his next fix would come from.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, that nothing is too great for you. Thank you for wiping my tears, holding me when I lived in fear. Thank you for sending people into my life to support me, to educate me and for making the finances and insurance available, to help my son.

Thank you for reaching my son's heart and for helping him to see that he had a choice to make in which path he wanted to follow.

He chose sobriety.



Dad and Mom said...

It gets better as long as you stick with the physical terrorist. Speaking from experience, not a knee but a complete shoulder.

I was scheduled for therapy for 6 months. Doctor said at the end of six months whatever range of motion I had then would be what I had rest of my life. Scared me me I was a PT nut. My terrorist called me his overachiever. He released me at 4 months.

For the first 6 weeks I took my pain medication, vicodin before therapy and after. After that massages and ice packs worked wonders.

Be sure to ice that puppy down after therapy. It helps tremendously.

I don't know if you read my blog anymore but Alex is doing wonderfully. He is buying a house and closes and moves into it next weekend. Never dreamed it would happen.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

Yes, Dad and Mom, I do keep up with your blog and with Alex. You have chosen to share your story and to reach out to those who are in need of hope, wisdom and comfort. I am very happy to hear that Alex has a family, and will soon have his own home. Your story is one more ray of hope in a very dark world. Thank you for sharing your story to me, and to others in need. Hugs, Debby

chiropractors nj said...

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Cheri said...


Thank you for sharing your story and your faith.

Praying for you complete recovery to come quickly, and for B's continued sobriety.

God bless you,

danine rowe said...

Dont you understand that Suboxone is not sobriety??? Its merely a legal alternative for an addict. just a little insight on myself, so you know. I've struggled with opiate addiction for the past 10 years. I'll be 31 years old in two days. I have no job, no car, i live with my parents. I had a year clean until about a month ago and I had a relapse. Hard. Im a junior in college and I do get financial aid. Needless to say, what I had left of my last check is long gone. I know how 6 days clean. Starting over again, wish me luck. look, I certainly don't mean to rag on you for your sons suboxone use, in comparison, it is better than having to find stuff on the street, but I know its not the answer.

Robert said...

So glad to hear that things are going well for your son! Really, really excellent news. What you said, of your son's words and of the girl on the talk show, is really a profound thing, and a realization I think. Pain is really scary. Pain of any sort. And now, reading through your blog and others, that fear of pain can be one of the biggest obstacles out there for recovery.

Alexis said...

I don't think that many people have been able to find something as powerful as you have when it comes to understanding their loved one's addiction. I know that I haven't. But your post has made it incredibly tangible and I will forever be grateful.

I've often heard the horror stories about opioid withdrawal, but I don't think anyone has put it in such perspective for me. As I work to get my daughter into rehab and encourage her to find the path to sobriety, I will make sure that I find a facility that encourages the use of medically supervised detox to prevent the pain she has often described to me. I think this will go a long way in helping her find the sobriety we all crave for her.

Anonymous said...

You may feel guilty taking medication that has harmed and had disabled your family life..I know this because I have suffered from arthritis for 29yrs and when I found out that my son was an addicted and i was his pharmacy I stopped taking all medication to ensure that there wasn't any med he could get high on...that left me with pain..My son was a garbage head, a phrase that he didn't have a particular drug he liked until he realized that heroine was his drug of choice.. He did get in trouble with the law ended up in jail and we refuse to bail him out..He had to learn that life in jail wasn't a slap on the hand as is so called friend made it seemed. We worked it out that he would go to rehab after 2.5 wks in jail he went to 28days rehab facility..there he came out different person full of hope. This was his 3rd attempted but his first true stay in the program. After completing the program, he went to outpatient rehab for about 4 months.In the program they teach you about People places and time. but its hard when the person you used to use come to place where you are trying to get clean, that person make believe he also wants to stay clean and then you start hanging around with them and then all hell brakes loose..Back to heroine again...for the next 3 month all the pain came back. i was so naive to think that this time would be different I mean he was clean for almost 6 months..During his relapse he started again in the suboxone which he hatted becuase made him feel high and he acted high on it...until the body get adjusted and he hatted the taste of it...So we compromised on Vivitrol shot..He has tried once to overcome it..but nothing happened I guess an addicted will always try it once or twice...but it has helped our family...He gets it every 3 wks his body metabolize it fast. Is one time shot and he doesnt need to worry about taking medication everyday...He been on it for 4 month now and i hoping he will stay on it for about 2 to 3 yrs...until his receptors start healing again. Good Luck to you and your family..May God bless you and thank you for listening...Sometimes that all we need; a person to voice our pain.

Lilly said...

Looking for hope and finding in your blog was like manna from heaven this afternoon. Your son sounds glorious, he really does. My own son is the best company I could ask for. We are very close but I never had a clue that this was happening to him until I broke my ankle and had to have surgery and all of a sudden, 100 pills of oxy were missing. He confessed and is now on Sub, it's only a few days but the cravings are gone and his withdrawal is so much better than it was. He's at his first counseling session now. My husband took him. He is very committed and says he hadn't been able to get high on the drug for months, it was only to let him feel like a human being. Anyway, your post comparing your pain to withdrawal and our own and other's judgments is superb. I am astounded by your perception and appreciate so much that you wrote this. It lifted my heart to read your posts. Bless you, you make a very real difference. Never doubt it. Blessings.....and love are wished for you both.

Roxicodone Addiction said...

It is never easy to all of sudden someone can get over the addiction it is time taking in the half of the path one can feel that i am lost or i can't do it but there should be patience and focus towards the destination...

Chasenomore said...

Hi Im Kay, Im inspired by you and your story. Ikicked an 11 year addiction to Lorcet 10 650. COLD TURKEY !Im going on 3 yrs clean ! It was the hardest thing I everrrrr had to do in my life. My experience is that... no matter what you do or say to an addict, they will not get clean unless its their time. Some people have to literally hit ROCK BOTTOM ! Iam happy with my life. My story has changed peoples lives. Please read my blog CHASENOMORE.COM It details my 11 year addiction struggle. Thank you