As the top end of Vicodin began to fade on me, I tried the pill form of Dilaudid and then moved on to 60mg Morphine Sulphate Slow Release twice a day, and 5mg of Oxycodone for break through pain as needed. I have been on this combo, with one tick up to 75mg of Morphine, for nearly a year. This has been my magic bullet of pain relief, I can function again and not constantly think about pain. I still HAVE pain, but it is a dull thud now instead of a screaming presence. I follow my doctors instructions to the letter, he stresses how important it is to STAY AHEAD of the pain. Waiting for the pain to peak, then taking a pain med will never work. To fight severe pain, you need heavy duty pain meds and you need to take them at a steady rate. I do not drive within hours of taking any of these, my wife generally drives as is with the condition my feet are in. And I am very careful to stay out of dangers way. These are controlled narcotics and they DO affect you, however if you truly NEED these pain meds they are not going to affect you as they would a person taking them just to obtain a "high".
The danger of addiction to narcotics for people who are truly in need of them has been stated to be only around 1 percent. The problem with narcotics is the unofficial, recreational use of them that we hear of all the time. When was the last time you heard on the news "RA patient enjoys a decent day due to taking regular doses of Morphine?" All we hear is the person who abused the drug and crashed a car, or worse. I, for one, am very thankful I was open and honest with my doctors about pain levels, and they reciprocated by treating my pain as one of the symptoms of my disease. I do take random urine screenings to protect the doctors licenses, and assess my pain levels to them on every visit. It is a small price to pay for days of moderate pain vs the pain I remember and still occasionally encounter. At least now I know I have a weapon to fight back.
If you are in constant pain, it affects your daily rituals, your relationships, your work, your sleep, your LIFE! I implore you to talk to your doctor about pain management, or find a doctor that will assess your need for pain medications. Don't think that you need to suffer daily and your only hope is a bottle of OTC pain relievers. Be honest and open about pain, and you too can have days where the pain is just a distant thud you can easily overcome. Keeping the pain to yourself will end up just hurting yourself, and the caretakers around you.