3 Yrs Clean - Facing Major Surgery
Posted: December 1, 2018, 10:03 AM


Posts: 1
Joined: December 1, 2018



Friends,

My hell ride with opioids began when my Crohn's Disease and Autoimmune Liver Disease led my doctors to start me on 5/500 Vicodin. Unfortunately, because of whatever messed up condition my body is in - I have extremely high resistance to the effects of narcotics. Most people have colonoscopies with the use of "conscious sedation"... I require propofol otherwise I'm wide awake and making jokes. Consequently, my dosage of Vicodin quickly became a dosage of oxycodone (too much acetaminophen in vikes for my struggling liver.) That graduated quickly to oxycontin. Then the dose just kept getting increased until I found myself taking 285mg daily.

3 years ago I made the conscious decision to stop altogether (despite my doctors telling me that I couldn't do it, and shouldn't do it.) I cleared my schedule for a month, locked myself in my house, and went cold turkey. My wife took care of me, and with the help of some diazepam and cannabis I was able to endure the pure, evil, life-sucking misery of detoxing.

I have not touched an opioid since the day I stopped.

Fast forward to today - 3 years clean, and need to finally bite the bullet and have two surgeries that I have put off for far too long because of the fear of opioids that I have. Time can no longer be stretched.

Surgery one - double, external hemorrhoidectomy. An unpleasant sounding endeavor to say the least. After speaking to several people who have gone through this surgery - it is also one of the most painful surgeries. The docs will offer pain medication and my instinct is to decline, and tough it out. Despite the YouTube videos where a bunch of people complain about how awful the recovery is, I think I have what it takes to tough this one out.

Surgery two - elbow ligament surgery. I've had orthopedic surgery before and the pain is off of the flippin' charts. I feel extremely confident that I will NOT be able to tough this one out.

My question;
If I allow a very measured and controlled administration of low doses of opioids for as brief a period of time as necessary (my wife will be in control of administration), am I betraying the 3 years of work I've done to stay clean?

Because I've never gone back to even a 5mg oxy, I don't know what type of "draw" my system will adopt that may suck me back into the dependency again. How do I do this?

I really need some advice and support, and I thank anyone who is able to help.

Malachy Caélan Browne
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Posted: December 1, 2018, 12:23 PM


Posts: 6294
Joined: May 27, 2005



The decision is yours. I recently had hernia repair and told the doctors no opiates. I regretted that decision LOL but I got thru it and was ok in a couple of days. If I HAD brought home opiates my plan was to have my husband hold them and only take them as prescribed till I no longer needed them but I can't say how that would have turned out because I didn't have that choice. Have you told the surgeons that you are an opiate addict? They seem to be more aware of addiction than they were in the past. The will give you the lowest possible dose and the least amount needed. Well, they should anyway. Just remember, YOU are responsible for your recovery. You can't rely on doctors to make choices for you. Have your wife hold them. Be aware of what you're taking and get rid of them when you no longer need them. Sometimes we just have to take pain pills. It's up to us on how we do it. Good luck!

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