From Podcast #77 – My experience with taking Oxycontin and morphine after knee surgery.
Real Sobriety Ep. 77
Opioid Pain Management – I’m High
As I record this podcast, I am extremely high on Morphine and Oxycodone.
Last week I had major surgery on my right knee. I injured it many years ago, had an emergency operation to get it sorted out, but, eventually the 40 year/40,000 mile warranty ran out and I now have a state of the art replacement joint.
As my surgery date approached, I was anxious about a lot of things, including pain management using mainstream drugs. I hadn’t had opioids in decades. Over the years, in meeting after 12 step meeting I would hear people braver than I claim that they had major medical and dental procedures done without pain meds. They’d claim to manage the pain with over the counter solutions like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. And ice, lots of ice. I’d hear old timers give new people advice that sounded something like this: If you take that morphine in the hospital, you’ll have to begin your recovery all over again. If you take those pain pills, you’ll have to go back and get a beginner’s chip, with a new sobriety date. This is total BS. Total and harmful advice. As if there aren’t enough things to be concerned about while recovering from surgery, the last thing a person needs to hear is that they will be throwing away their sobriety by taking prescribed pain medication with medical supervision.
Let me tell you – a total knee replacement operation hurts. Like really, really hurts like nothing I’ve ever experienced. After about day three in the hospital, the anaesthesia team removed the nerve block they placed before the operation, and the next 24 hours were absolute torture. Every little move or jolt during physical therapy would have me on the verge of tears and wanting to puke from the pain. During this time I was getting long acting oral morphine, short acting oral oxycodone and immediately acting IV Dilaudid. Yes, It was a sweet cocktail that had me wanting to do nothing more than wear dark glasses and listen to Jazz music on the hospital network. And, I did. I revisited Miles Davis in the middle of the night to help distract me from the acute pain.
Now, I’m home. I take morphine twice a day and I also I have a big old bottle of oxycodone that I can go to every 3 hours as needed for pain. I’m trying to time the pain meds to kick in when the physical therapist visits, or when I need to travel in the car to follow up appointments. And, I take a dose in the evening to help my pain settle down so I can sleep. Sometimes at 3 in the morning, after a difficult trip to the bathroom, I’ll need a few more to get back to settled in my bed. But, believe it or not, I’ have never taken anywhere near the maximum dose I am permitted each day.
I’ve lost friends to opioid addiction. One friend stated out with oxy and muscles relaxers to help with chronic back pain, and a few years later was doctor shopping and had a dozen prescriptions, as well as street sources. He was n pretty bad shape, and had a drowned off the Florida coast during a Scuba dive. The toxicology report showed multiple pain and anti anxiety meds on board, and it is possible he simply nodded out underwater and never woke up.
I am being careful as i can be, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the little warm rush that envelopes me like a cozy blanket about 30 minutes after i take my meds.
Here’s my advice: If you are in recovery and your doctor or dentists suggests that you take opioid pain meds under their supervision, take them. Don’t listen to opinionated, pontificating know-it-alls in your group, or even your sponsor for that matter. If you doctor and your sponsor disagree, I’d keep my doctor and fire my sponsor.
I’m going to continue to take the meds as prescribed until I no longer need them. After that, we’ll see where I stand with pain management. I’m hoping I can still access some natural and hebal solutions like Kratom to help get me through. If you see me out on the street looking for Oxy’s kick my ass and take me to a meeting.
Thanks for being here for me today, I’ll continue this conversation over the course of the next few podcasts.