Sounds like what I’ve suspected -from doing lots of reading (but not much posting) on this site, and my own experience- is true; Opioids help with ATN more than almost anything else. I’ve had this now for 18 years- it was bilateral until I had the MVD procedure done a year ago. Now, I still have constant pain but only on the left side.
I use Gabapentin, tegretol, diazepam, and 10mgs of oxycodone 3x daily plus OxyContin-10mgs 3x daily. I’ve found using too much of the opioids does definitely make me more toxic (I’ve been on much higher doses as well in the past-like 10 years ago now) therefore creating more pain, and like everyone am currently worried about the DEA freaking out about this so I’m trying to get down to the lowest dose possible.
If you can get away with a lower dose, do it, but don’t feel like a drug seeker or addict for needing this medicine. One can get just as harsh withdrawal symptoms from gabapentin, tegretol, and much worse from diazepam, but the DEA doesn’t worry about that dependence as much, simply because people don’t use them recreationally (except maybe diazepam). Also, all those anti-seizure medications are harder on one’s organs than the opioids are, but the medical community is so scared now of prescribing them, and possibly losing their license, that many are simply saying it’s not worth the risk to prescribe opioids. So they are treating people based on fear and not on what’s best for the patient anymore. It sucks to have this pain right now- in this time. Those of us who have real pain and use the narcotics responsibly for that pain are being so affected and stigmatized, due to those who have become addicted recreationally, and due to those who overdose on their meds- for whatever reason.
I figure I’m just as physically dependent on the other meds I take, and if this pain magically goes away someday (quite doubtful but, who knows?), I think I’ll be pretty happy to just have to go through getting off the drugs at that point.
This should go on a different thread perhaps but I’m finding that biofeedback and paying attention in a different way is helping reduce my pain and helping me taper off higher doses of all my meds! As I’ve had this for 18 years, I’m always looking for alternatives to the meds and this has worked faster and more effectively than any other alternative. If you have the chance, try it! If you don’t have the insurance to go somewhere, there’s a book I can recommend that is allowing me to try it on my own and get fast results. I don’t know the rules about naming specific books and authors on this site, so I’ll check that out, then if allowed, I’ll post the name and/or authors of this amazing, short, and easy to read book that is changing my life in just a week. After 18 years of almost nothing else working like this, I only started it because my focus and concentration have been really reduced since the MVD on my right side last year, and a friend recommended it for that. However, I’m finding that the super simple exercises are helping my pain (and my mood!) as much or even more than my concentration ability.
Good luck everyone. Each one of you rocks. If you’re living with this constant pain and still functioning, you are a strong, amazing human being. If you need a certain medication to get occasional relief, take it, and don’t feel guilty!