February 23, 2015 at 11:23 am
Hello Kurt, I have read your article with great interest because I am on opioid therapy and am taking the same dose for 4.5 years and have never needed an increased dose. A little background – I had a lot of pain as a child then it let up during my mid-teens, presumably when the growth & sex hormones kicked in. The pain returned in my early 20s (early 1970s) and of course could find no real help. I was diagnosed with fibro in the 1990s and by 1997, the pain was suicidal. I found some local doctors that would treat with small opioid doses but was still in agony.
Finally, I went to a nationally known pain specialist, Dr. Forest Tennant (see: http://www.foresttennant.com/index.html). He found by genetic testing that due to a genetic defect, I am a poor metabolizer. Not being afraid of opioids, the good doctor started slowly titrating me upward until I was comfortable. Now, I am on an ultra-high-dose therapy (2000 mg. morphine equiv. per day) and since age 60 to present (age 65 next month), I have enjoyed the highest quality of life since adulthood. The most remarkable thing is I have stayed comfortable for 4.5 years on the same dose that he initially titrated me to about 4 and a half years ago.
Gee, it’s so nice to hear from a patient who received help from Dr. Tennant — especially since I was one of the patients who didn’t.
Mary Ellen says:
February 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm
As a chronic pain warrior myself, I know a lot about pain tolerance. My doctors and pharmacists and family all have developed tolerance for my pain! It’s the “so what? You’re always in pain.” Attitude that burns my toast.
After being on doctor ordered OxyContin for five years, I took myself off. It was hell, but I couldn’t think on it and felt like I was walking in jello. And people stole my meds and broke into my house. When the detective told me to go live in a nursing home this ADAPTer had to act.
No health insurance meant I had to not go to the hospital. I doubled up on blood pressure med and muscle relaxers. I envisioned life better and the pain was amazing and auditory and visual holucinations (I can have it but not spell it) were entertaining. They actually made me know I was going to make it.
My doctor didn’t think I could do it because he had never heard of it or seen it. I got myself off and, of course, still had treatable pain. I have been on low dose Percocet for years. And I have a huge blessing. A bone previously fractured and healed “backwards” only hurts when my brain wants more. So, I learned to take myself off just the Percocet for a few days to reset my pain. I’m 61 and this has worked for me for 8 years.
A doctor who has never heard of or seen a pain patient stop taking Oxy? Where does this doctor practice?
And this patient didn’t re-set her pain; she re-set her opioid tolerance. It’s something that medical cannabis patients do also — stop the drug for a day or two so that it will become more effective. Of course, ceasing the use of cannabis for a day or two is sooooooo much easier than stopping opioids.