Driving on pain killers

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Driving on pain killers

Post  Paradox on Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:13 am

I'm in horrible pain to day with my lower back and legs. I worked a 12 hour day yesterday, much of it on my feet (I usually sit at a desk).

After a very restless night I did go into my water walking class. Being in the water felt good, but now it's hurts even worse than before.

I want to take my vicoprofen so badly, but I need to drive in a hour to go to PT and then pick up my kitty. SO, at least three more hours until I can get pain relief. It feels like torture.

My mood, which had improved yesterday, is now back in the ditch.

Do any of you take EFFECTIVE pain killers that you feel comfortable driving any distance on?

Charlotte
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  LG on Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:27 am

i've done this once in my lifetime. if its crazy bad, i took a half of a vicodin and crushed it up and
put it in a really sweet drink. it kicks in faster, therefore its out of your system faster.
i dont know your strength of painkillers, mine are kind of weak so it works for me.
i think its dangerous to do this with any more than a half of a weak painkiller.
i think you have to know your own boundries, too.

my husband used to take painkillers for fun in highschool and he used to do this with his friends,
so at one point he suggested it to me when i needed fast relief.
it made it kick in fast but like i said as soon as it kicked it,
it was also gone fast too so i dont do that anymore.
i would rather wait longer for it to kick in and feel relief longer.
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  xmom on Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:13 am

I do, but I rarely take more than one pill in a 24-hour period, and I don't get dopey from them. I think you have to know your own response. If you know it will dope you up, don't take it if you have to drive.

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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  Brenda on Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:20 pm

I only do it if I've taken them before and I know they don't make me dopey or drowsy. WHen I first went on the Nubain there is no way in the world I could drive on it. Now, I'm used to it enough, that it doesn't affect me like that at all so I can drive on it.
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  CluelessKitty on Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:27 pm

If I have to drive on painkillers, and often I do, I remind myself constantly "I need to be extra alert, I need to be extra alert" and that usually helps. But then, percocet usually doesn't make me drowsy, rather the opposite - a bit agitated.
Unless I have M #7-10 or more on the scale, then the mixture make me sleepy and exhausted. Then I don't drive.
But then again, it all depends. If it works, if M goes away I might be okay. But 'nuff about boring me.

In a city it's not that bad to drive on p/k, I think it would be much worse on a highway on a longer stretches of a way
where you just 'float' - then you may fell into a kind of stupor and forget what you are doing and drift off.

Hope you'll get your kitty asap, Charlotte - can't wait for the piccie!!

Risa cat
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  AuntieBubbs on Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:11 am

I think not only does it depend on you, it depends on the painkiller. I can drive on vicodin and on soma and on tramadol no problem. Ditto toradol. I can even drive on stadol on a low dose.

I've driven while on a higher dose of stadol though and it was a bit of a scary experience. I drove maybe a mile down the road to get something to eat. Was home with a migraine ( an 8/9) and took stadol as a rescue med, which cut the migraine down a lot, took a nap, woke up feeling hungry, felt I'd be ok to drive to the store to get something to eat. We had no real food in the house, and I did realize I shouldn't really cook anything. Figured going through the drive through for a chicken sandwhich would be ok. It wasn't.

I didn't get into an accident, and nothing bad happened, but I freaked myself out. I was not alert enough and clear-minded enough to handle driving. I'm lucky I did not hurt anyone, and lucky I didn't get pulled over by a cop. Told myself I would never do that again.

Stadol is a narcotic though, and I had taken higher doses of it that day than usual. So I do think it does depend on what painkiller you're taking, how much, and how used to it you are.
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  tecky on Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:59 am

The only driving I do any more is locally to/from my physical therapy appointments, and only when I'm feeling up to it. We live near a small town and there is little traffic. I take the least traffic route and drive way under the speed limit as I feel my reaction times are not normal.

I've taken the senior citizen's bus a few times when I've felt too out of it to drive to my appointments.

I no longer feel comfortable driving any distance. The chronic migraines have worn me down, and I no longer feel like I'm as alert nor have a reaction time that would be safe. It may partly be due to the preventatives too--I've been off/on several different ones over the past two years.

Loss of driving abilities definitely takes away your sense of independence, but I would be devastated if I ever hurt someone (or even an animal) because my reactions aren't quick enough to notice them. Better safe than sorry.

Becky Sad
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  Olee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:06 am

In this age of blood test and the fact that opiates can show up 3 months after use, is enough to stay from behind the wheel or at least reconsider. To each his own, me personally, I just never take the chance.
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Pain Relief and Medication

Post  Richard on Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:51 am

I prefer for some else to be the driver at all time because I am always using pain relief medication.

But I will ONLY drive when I am using breakthrough pain medications. I am only "normal" (not in pain or episoding) when using my pain relief medications.

Am I taking a real chance of a DUI conviction if I have an accident? Maybe. Well, probably. BUT I honestly believe I am a SAFER driver when I have to drive if I am not episoding or in pain.
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  tortoisegirl on Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:54 am

I am probably in the minority such that I have never felt impaired while on any painkiller. I currently take Methadone daily and Opana as needed. If I felt my driving was impaired I would not drive, and be switching medications. I am safer driving on my medications as my pain is reduced and I am more alert. When I begun to take opiates, even though I felt I was driving safely, I took my now husband with me and asked if I was driving ok. He said no worse than normal lol. The chance of DUI conviction varies by state. In some states, if the officer thinks you are impaired, prescription or not, you can get charged. I have no choice in the driving matter as I work full time and otherwise can function close to normally since I started on my current medication regimen. Nonetheless, this a topic I am very aware of. Both my husband and I and our group of friends will not drive after even 1 drink (unless it has been several hours). I would not stay on medications that make me feel out of it. In my opinion, if you routinely feel out of it on daily medications (not short acting while staying home), then you may need to reconsider if you are overdosed. In pain management it is typical to way under treat the pain, such as 50% relief, so the patient does no build tolerance and is not over medicated. I know a lot of us here are in different state of opiates and other mind altering substances as some are on long acting opiates, some take them frequently, infrequently, or never. I am actually surprised my prescribing doctor has never talked to me about this. He won't give me any IV or injections without a driver, yet I take "strong" meds daily and drive to my monthly appointments. Even in the ER I've never been given anything I didn't feel completely fine on. Never gotten a high on a medication, maybe a couple buzzes though a few years ago when I started this whole mess. I agree we all need to be very careful and I commend all of you who have made that tough decision to not drive any longer. Best wishes.

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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  Mianna on Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:14 pm

In my humble opinion......please do not drive on ANY pain meds. I know that can be difficult, inconvenient, a hassle, etc.......but a bad outcome will ruin your life and possibly someone else's.

Make the effort to coordinate the details so you don't drive on pain meds. I have to do it....it's not easy, it takes having to ask others......

but it's worth the peace of mind.
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yes Mianna

Post  crt on Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:08 pm

I agree with Mianna and Olee. It's not worth taking the chance. I know that sometimes it seems like there is no alternative. I have done it myself and I am not judging anyone. But I just don't think it's a good practice and I promised myself to look for another way before I hurt others or myself.

Chris
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  tortoisegirl on Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:04 pm

Would you advise to those who take pain meds around the clock as part of a pain management program and feel no effect on their thinking, driving, reaction time, etc, by them to still not ever drive?

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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  Anna's Mom on Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:49 am

I'm surprised Tiger Woods isn't being charged with something. Vicodin plus Ambien plus a vehicle accident in the middle of the night. Driving under the influence perhaps, with a bad outcome.

Cheryl
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  Paradox on Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:51 am

That surprised me too. But didn't one of the Kennedy's get away with an accident while driving on Ambien?

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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  estre004 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:13 pm

I think it comes down to just being plain responsible. I know I can drive on Vicodin. In fact, it has no effect on me at all other than minimizing pain. One thing for sure is that it is safer for me to drive after a vicodin than it is without it while having a migraine. I remember in the early days of my migraines when a nurse would tell me I had to come to the office before getting anything prescribed. That was a killer trying to drive while throwing up. Now I can pretty much get anything over the phone. A word of caution though: As previously brought up on this forum, whether you can drive safely or not, if you were in an accident totally unrelated to being on any medication, this might have a serious impact. If I know I will be driving, I wait it out before taking anything. Not worth it. As with any laws, it is because of abusers that we have the laws in the first place. May not be fair, but it saves lives.

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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  lesherb on Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:52 pm

I'm never not on pain medication. I have my husband drive me to my doctor's appointments whenever possible, more because of the fear factor for me (I hate I-95). The speed limit on the interstate is 70 MPH, which means everyone drives at least 80 MPH. I miss NY because of this. I don't believe there were any MPH signs above 55 on Long Island. Upstate on the Thruway, maybe 60 or 65.

I rarely leave my house but when I feel up to it (not migraining or in bad pain) and need to go to the store, I will drive. I am like Richard, I am better off driving on my meds than driving with a migraine.
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it's not for me to say

Post  crt on Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:41 pm

tortoisegirl wrote:Would you advise to those who take pain meds around the clock as part of a pain management program and feel no effect on their thinking, driving, reaction time, etc, by them to still not ever drive?

I would not advise others in this matter. I don't feel like it's my place to do so. Folks have to make that decision for themselves based on all the factors of the individual instance. I'm just saying I don't think it's a good idea and I won't do it again, although I have in the past.

Chris
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  LG on Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:11 am

lesherb wrote:I miss NY because of this. I don't believe there were any MPH signs above 55 on Long Island.

Yep. Correct Smile LI has max speed of 55, but people drive like maniacs here so I stay off the road
most of the time anyways. I'd be scared to drive in a 70mph zone too though. I wouldn't drive at all!
It seems like within the last few years, as more people have come to live on LI, driving conditions here
have become plain old dangerous. People are absolutely crazy on the road, and I feel like if you are impaired
even the slightest it is very unsafe to you and others. It may be different for other more rural areas.
There have been many instances where I've been driving and been in someone elses blind spot and they
have turned into me. Thankfully I was prepared and avoided the accident, but if I was on any medication
or otherwise impaired I may not have been able to get out of their way. I think a lot of factors have to be
concidered before you get behind the wheel, regardless if you have taken anything or you have a m.

I'm a bit sensitive to it because I have a child. I think that you should be 100% confident that you are
fine to drive before turning that key. If someone were to injure my kid and they knowingly got in their car
after taking anything I would murder them, and I wouldn't care if they "knew they were okay to drive because they've taken it a thousand times and never had any ill effects."
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  lesherb on Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:22 am

I can understand you point of view completely. Where on LI do you live, by the way?
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  LG on Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:42 am

I live in central suffolk. Its a smaller town in Brookhaven. Where abouts were you?
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  lesherb on Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:00 am

I am from a little area called Flanders. It is located in Southampton Township (just at the very beginning of the southfork) but the schools, zip code and closest shopping and business districts are Riverhead. I spent my first 37 years there.

Are you familiar with Swezey's Department store? It's closed now but it was headquartered in Patchogue with other stores in other towns. My Mom worked in the Riverhead store from my junior year until it closed about 8 years ago.

I don't know how long you've been there but I just don't recognize my hometown much anymore. The southfork is much the same but the influx of people in Riverhead is staggering. The traffic is atrocious. I grew up at a time when the place was considered pretty rural (potato and duck farms). Now Riverhead is more like Smithtown.
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  LG on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:00 pm

I've lived here all my life. I've been in the same area though, and yes. I've noticed that people just
keep moving here and it has become very populated and congested. It definitely isn't what it used to be.
I don't mind much usually, but sometimes it's inconvienent. I find that people are rude and in a rush, too.
I didn't notice that when I was younger, but now I do. I try to be as polite as possible, opening doors,
sharing even when I don't have much. People look at me like I have 5 heads and respond to me with
distaste.

My grandmother used to frequent Swezeys department stores. We used to joke that
if she hadn't been there in a week, they'd send her a letter making sure she was okay. Razz
I think its now become some sort of college. I'm thankful for that because I've been there enough
for one lifetime.

I grew up in Sayville for the most part. We moved when I was a teenager, and I went to Pat-Med school
district. I spent all my time in the town of Patchogue. I got into a lot of trouble, but I had a whole lot of
fun.

I don't spend a lot of time in Riverhead but I'm mad at them right now. Last weekend on the way home from
getting a tree in Cutchogue, we hit a huge pothole after the traffic circle. It blew two tires. Right across
from CVS. No cone, nothing to warn you, right in the road. Ugh. Luckily, one tire was a slow leak so we made
it home on the spare and found out about the other one the next morning. Thank you Riverhead. We'll be
visiting really soon. Smile lol
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  lesherb on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:16 pm

Ah yes, Swezey's was an addiction for many people, LOL. I figured if you've been a LIer for a long time, you'd know the store. I have no idea what they've done with the building in Riverhead. Main Street has been so empty for so long. The stores on Rt. 58 (where you got attacked by that pothole) have really made sure that no one will invest in any retail on Main St., that's for sure.

I'm not very familiar with Patchogue. When my folks were first married and living on the island (back in the 50s), Patchogue was the "big city". By the time I came along, Riverhead had enough businesses so they didn't have to go anymore.

The haunts of my youth encompassed the Hamptons (in the summer) all the way to Cutchogue on occasion. You could drive on the roads at 2 AM and no one else was on the road. I don't think that's possible anymore. (gosh, I sound like an old person).

Do you remember Eastern Federal Savings and Loan? Their headquarters was in Sayville. I worked for them in the early 80s and trained in Sayville for a week. After that, I worked in Hampton Bays. I guess that's about as far as I can go with you and I possibly crossing paths (I'm sure I am at least 10-15 years older than you).

Is the Smithaven Mall still going strong?

I guess I really got off topic here.

£eslie
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Re: Driving on pain killers

Post  LG on Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:12 am

My husband and I like to get a babysitter and drive to Montauk late at night just because.
We go, look at the stars, say gee, its chilly out, get back in the car and go home.
Usually there are no cars on the road at say 3am, except the Hamptons, which is a well known
party spot thanks to Lindsey Lohan and all the other celebrities partying it up at the clubs there.

I do remember Eastern Federal. I think that has changed over as well.

One thing has not changed, that is Smithaven Mall, although they have added a wing. I don't shop there.
The prices are rediculous and there are far too many people crowding the place, especially this time of year.

It's kind of neat to know someone on the board grew up where I did Smile
Brings me to the next question. Any good neuro recommendations?
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