Breaking free of opiate pain medication

by Kimberly

I had brain surgery in 1999 for a brain stem tumor at Johns Hopkins and was in the hospital for a month. The doctors prescribed only Tylenol because they did not want my brain affected. I had to have my liver tested monthly because of how toxic Tylenol codeine is.

My doctor then switched me to Oxycodone and after a short time, I asked to be taken off that and the doctor prescribed Neurontin 600mg for nerve pain, which worked for a little while.

I had to keep increasing dosage to get the same effect and in two years, I had increased to 3600mg and $600.00 a month, none of which was paid by insurance. In 2001, I was 43 and found out I was pregnant.

ALL my doctors wanted me to abort because I had been taking Neurontin when I conceived. They told me my child would be born without limbs. I told them God would not do that to me, and now my son John is 16 and perfect. Raising him was the best physical therapy ever.

I was referred to a high-risk obstetrician, because of the brain tumor, hydrocephalus (excess fluid on the brain), and my age, 43. Immediately, they put me on Oxycodone, saying it was safe and what they prescribed to OB patients who needed pain relief.  I thought it had to be safe.

In 2005, my 17-year-old daughter was in a horrible car accident, resulting to her being in a coma for 2 and half weeks. After I received the phone call in the midde of the night, I rushed out of the house forgetting to take anything with me: no pills or pocketbook. I was stressed to not have my oxycodone and I had to go to the downtown pharmacy, which was not a safe place in the middle of the night. I should have known it was a problem then.

In 2007, I had a bad fall and the MRI revealed two herniated discs. I never increased my dose but I knew the exact minute I needed to take it. Oxycodone had such control over my mind. In 2009, first grandchild was born. Two years later in 2011, my father died.  In 2016, my Mum died. Life was flying by and I started having so many more pains that I was sure I was dying. I inherited some money that I spent because the pains were so bad that I thought I would not live much longer and I would enjoy life. 

At this point the government was trying to keep track of the optiate use. Still, I was only taking what I was prescribed 19 years earlier. I was reading up on trying to get off when my daughter called to say she was pregnant. She had been taking Trileptal for seizures and immediately stopped taking it when she found out. Shortly thereafter she said she could not believe what a fog she had been in for 10 years. I still did not have time to think for myself, even with pain and depression increasing. 

In March 2018, I finally weaned myself off. I did not get another prescription. It took about three months to completely get out of my system. I had more pains and was hypersensitive to everything. My intestines still have not recovered from almost twenty years of opiate use while there is still some nerve pain, it is quick and tolerable. I started physical therapy for my back which has been beneficial and overall I feel the best I have in twenty years.

Life is so much better. I am amazed the mind-control opiates had and I’d love to talk to anyone to help them get off opiates.

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One thought on “Breaking free of opiate pain medication”

  1. Kimberly, thank you for sharing your story. It is a stark reminder that this can happen so easily to anyone. I know others will be encouraged reading this…

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