I was given prescription opioids after my knee surgery

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    Dec 05, 2017 6:51 AM GMT
    After months of physical therapy first, it was helping but not solving the problem, I had Arthroscopic knee surgery, I am still recovering. Lot of old cartilage now bone fragments found and removed, including one huge chunk from the back of my knee cap (about a half inch in size) was interfering with my ACL ligament. This prep and operating patient table dressing for this procedure is extensive, I was completely under for most of the gown, wrap-unwrapping. I was "under" for a total of 53 minutes when I asked the nurse as soon as I awoke






    This was my first "official" surgery ive had in my life (ive had other 'procedures' Upper GI and heart cath Angiogram) which both required some form of sleep aid or anesthesia before hand. I was put under for the Upper GI with Propofol and a waist down IV inject of Propofol for the angiogram, I was awake for this.

    But for knee surgery, it was completely lights out with full general anesthesia inhaled through a breathing mask (last thing I remember). A breathing tube inserted into my windpipe to maintain proper breathing during surgery. I knew this happened, the right side of my lip felt numb for a few days afterwards, this breathing tube I think they tape to your mouth or chin, my lips were very chapped after too.

    The hospital pharma gave me prescriptions issued by the ortho surgeon. I didn't know what they were exactly just took them according to instructions. Turns out 2 of them are 'controlled substances', Vicodin for pain and Ativan for insomnia, the other was a NASAID for arthritis

    I had to look these up, I was given info pamphlets on each, but didn't realize that Ativan has been in all the news stories about the opioid epidemic in America. I don't plan on becoming addicted to these ("benzos"), but this drug is linked to many famous celebrity deaths, https://www.northpointwashington.com/blog/ativan-anti-anxiety-medications-killing-celebrities/,


    Just started back in physical therapy, post op for almost 2 months, I know doctors prescribe these opioids cause they work well but this is my first ever use of Vicodin and Ativan together, I remember Heath Ledger had both hydrocodone and lorazepam in his system after tests.
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    Dec 05, 2017 2:49 PM GMT
    ElnathB said
    Just started back in physical therapy, post op for almost 2 months, I know doctors prescribe these opioids cause they work well but this is my first ever use of Vicodin and Ativan together, I remember Heath Ledger had both hydrocodone and lorazepam in his system after tests.

    We've both been given opiods after surgery, and also because of chronic, progressive back pain (it will only get worse). Lately we've been declining to use them, and the last time I saw our orthopedic surgeon about my back I told him don't bother to prescribe them anymore, I won't take them.

    I explained that last time I did they disturbed my sleep, made me mildly nauseous so I lost my appetite, and - they didn't really relieve the pain! He replied that some people react that way

    I said I take off-the-shelf ibuprofen instead, and it works well. Not perfect, but I can feel the improvement, enough to regain mobility. My husband does the same thing. The doctor agreed that for some joint-related pain issues ibuprofen is very effective. And no worries about addiction. And although it can cause stomach issues for some, it doesn't for us.

    BTW, I had knee surgery myself to remove broken cariledge. Some funny (and very painful) stories about that, in an Army hospital when I was a Major (as an Officer I actually had a daily personal charge of $7 for my bed sheets). And really no physical therapy afterwards, I was supposed to get back to duty, on crutches and all, as soon as I was discharged from the hospital.

    After the bandages came off and the stitches were out I was advised to do some group hydrotherapy in a post pool. But by then I was too busy with my responsibilities to take time away. The work had already piled up while I was having my "vacation" in the hospital, as it was termed.

    And therapy was kinda voluntary, not doctor-prescribed, so I hadda ask my Colonel's permission for the time off. I valued my career more than pampering my body, as I saw it. Asking to take physical therapy sounded wimpy and weak; I wouldn't risk having the Colonel think I wasn't as tough as everyone else.
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    Dec 05, 2017 6:36 PM GMT
    art_deco said
    ElnathB said
    Just started back in physical therapy, post op for almost 2 months, I know doctors prescribe these opioids cause they work well but this is my first ever use of Vicodin and Ativan together, I remember Heath Ledger had both hydrocodone and lorazepam in his system after tests.

    We've both been given opiods after surgery, and also because of chronic, progressive back pain (it will only get worse). Letely we've been declining to use them, and the last time I saw our orthopedic surgeon about my back I told him don't bother to prescribe them anymore, I won't take them.

    I explained that last time I did they disturbed my sleep, made me mildly nauseous so I lost my appetite, and - they didn't really relieve the pain! He replied that some people react that way

    I said I take off-the-shelf ibuprofen instead, and it works well. Not perfect, but I can feel the improvement, enough to regain mobility. My husband does the same thing. The doctor agreed that for some joint-related pain issues ibuprofen is very effective. And no worries about addiction. And although it can cause stomach issues for some, it doesn't for us.

    BTW, I had knee surgery myself to remove broken cariledge. Some funny (and very painful) stories about that, in an Army hospital when I was a Major (as an Officer I actually had a daily personal charge of $7 for my bed sheets). And really no physical therapy afterwards, I was supposed to get back to duty, on crutches and all, as soon as I was discharged from the hospital.

    After the bandages came off and the stitches were out I was advised to do some group hydrotherapy in a post pool. But by then I was too busy with my responsibilities to take time away. The work had already piled up while I was having my "vacation" in the hospital, as it was termed.

    And therapy was kinda voluntary, not doctor-prescribed, so I hadda ask my Colonel's permission for the time off. I valued my career more than pampering my body, as I saw it. Asking to take physical therapy sounded wimpy and weak; I wouldn't risk having the Colonel think I wasn't as tough as everyone else.







    The growth hormone deficiency I suffered as a kid (pituitary) and late bloomer into puberty due to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning at 4, affected my skeletal system, although I did have the final 'growth spurt', all my joints were very weak growing up.

    The official study and treatment of hormones (Endocrinology) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrinology in the US didn't start until 1980, by 1985, the field was becoming wide spread, but by that time, I had already reached 20-21 years old which is the time frame young men officially stop growing.

    Your parents and doctors sent you, as a kid, to psychiatrist before the endocrinology practice, all those psychiatric 'clinics' started to close around the USA around the same time endocrinology "became a thing" and real treatment for these disorders.

    In my case, my pituitary gland malfunctioned, at the 'turn on' time of puberty due to early childhood illness

    Given my underweight factor (ectomorph) for my height, my bones became under stress as I gradually gained weight over a 30 year period, I suppose this was a good thing in the end, so that my entire skeletal system changed with the added weight.

    Now that am over 50, this problem ive had is certainly coming to light, weak bone (Vitamin D deficient), joint-arthritic problems, disk-spine problems, nerve damage

    I suspect eventually, I will need the same surgery to the other knee as the symptoms are the same, just not as bad yet except for stiffness caused by arthritis. I have been living with Sciatica for 17 years now, as I get older, its just going to get harder to maintain with exercise only, I would dread back surgery unless new medical advances could solve disk degenerative and or regrow these disks, for all joints

    Staying active and exercise seems to be the best way to prevent complete lock up of your body if you have these skeletal-joint-muscle-nerve health issues , but this too takes a life time commitment and energy to care for your temporary vessel

    I was never one to take "sleep aids" but the Ativan seems to be working as intended, Ive been under tremendous amount of stress for what seems like many years now, mentally and physically, it sort of really 'went down hill' after Pulse Nightclub Orlando massacre, I cried for a week after even though I didn't know anyone and was literally sick to my stomach

    In my hey days, I knew all the DJ's, dance music and hit many of dance floors and platforms being out now 28 years, psychologically gut wrenching my safe space violation. I don't even want to go into the added stress of the 2016 US election and the take over by the right wing "anti everything" Nazi, fascist government


    It was my coming out song 1990, I think everyone has one, music is powerful like this. Pulse Orlando really struck an emotional cord

  • Element1313

    Posts: 126

    Dec 06, 2017 6:53 PM GMT
    I was scheduled for shoulder surgery for torn rotator cuff, after PT did not work out ( I could not even tuck in a shirt). A friend told me about a massage therapist and it seemed to
    improve. When I went in for pre op they didn't understand why I was ever scheduled for surgery. It has never bothered me since.
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    Dec 07, 2017 2:04 AM GMT
    After my wife's cancer diagnosis, the stress made it impossible for me to stay asleep more than a few hours, and I ended up going on Lorazepam. I only used it for about 4 months, and tolerance only bumped my nightly dose from 1mg to 2.5mg, but getting off it was miserable. The only way I'd ever again use a benzo on a daily basis is if I were terminally ill and would die before having to quit. The standard protocol for avoiding benzo dependence is two days on, one day off; personally, my limit is one day on, two days off. After she died, I stopped taking all the other non-benzo sleep aids, and it took a full year for my sleep to return to normal.
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    Dec 22, 2017 2:48 AM GMT
    Replying to ElnathB:

    I couldn't take food as a baby. For whatever reason my Mother didn't breast feed me. She was busy with her career, essentially ran our town.

    I developed rickets. Hardly seen or known today. When my parents wee selling their house in 1992 and moving to Florida I came back to help them pack and clear the house. In the attic I found amazing things.

    Among them a 1950 photo of me, at around 11 months old. My legs were freakisly bowed, a hallmark of rickets. And to this day I still have slightly bowed legs, their growth stunted.

    I should have been taller, like all the men in my family are. A problem when I have a suit fitted. My torso is long, but my legs are short. Nothing off the rack will fit me, all my suits must be custom made. And my legs are skinny, like sticks. The tailors take in the trouser seams to disguise my bow legs.

    It's funny. When I sit at dinner (and I always sit bolt upright, a military habit), my head is taller than most of the men. But when I stand up, I'm the shortest. Toulouse-Lautrec without the talent. icon_sad.gif
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    Dec 25, 2017 1:58 PM GMT
    To the OP, both medicines are highly addictive. Take as small a dose as therapeutic. Get off of them as soon a possible. With Vicodin (and medicines like it) pain seems to increase when the medicine is removed. This an early indication of addiction. 21-30 days is usually enough to get addicted. MAKE SURE YOU EXPRESS YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT ADDICTION TO YOU DOCTOR. Ativan is a different kind of drug. It's similar to Xanax, Librium and Valium. Extremely addictive. Deadly when mixed with other sedatives especially alcohol. It has a long half life which means you might be "high" well into the morning after taking it at night. Addiction recovery requires hospitalization as sudden withdrawal can cause death. Please be careful.