Tuesday, April 26, 2005

And this is fun why?

In my previous post I promised you the skinny on hydrocodone withdrawal.

Where to start? Hmm...

First off, Mom started the Lortab when she was discharged from Stallworth. Before that, she received meds in hospital but probably kept herself undertreated for pain. Since we have been more adequately treating the pain, Mom has been more active and has had fewer bouts of severe depression.

That said, what it hasn't done is to make Mom high, excessively jolly or led to any particularly smashing visions.

The withdrawal symptoms for narcotic derivatives include severe agitation, paranoia, 'scratchy' skin, unstable melancholy and inability to sleep.

'Where exactly is she going with this?' I hear you thinking.

People abuse these drugs. Some are even Class 3 narcotics, meaning they have been abused a lot. So again, I ask, this is fun why?

Withdrawal symptoms take one to two weeks to dissipate. One to two weeks of thready tearful agitation and insomnia.

Undertreating short-term pain, besides the obvious quality of life issues, decreases wound healing and leads to higher levels of chronic pain.

The crux of the dilemma is that Mom doesn't want to develop addiction or repeat the withdrawal experience but she is battling pain she cannot control with over the counter medications.

Currently we are trying to walk the fine line between controlling the pain through judicious use of a less strong narcotic (Tylenol 4s) and avoiding addiction. Probably a fruitless battle as we still have a surgical procedure and an actual surgery to go. In addition, Mom is starting rehab on the ankle this week which will bring pains of its own.

What a long stupid road we travel. How lucky we are to have all of you on this road with us.


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