Ultram vs. Percocet. Tennis Ball Wins
Citation: sunuvuglitch. "Ultram vs. Percocet. Tennis Ball Wins: An Experience with Tramadol & Oxycodone (exp78574)". Erowid.org. Aug 22, 2009. erowid.org/exp/78574
I am a 29 year old man with chronic, sometimes debilitating back pain arising from two hemorrhaging vertębral discs, one of which burst. The sciatic nerve pain was unbearable for a period of approximately one month. The sensation was akin to being doused in acid while burned with a propane torch, nonstop, from buttock to toe on one leg just after the small of my back had been hit by a crowbar-wielding thug. This is no exaggeration, in fact it may be an understatement. These days my pain is much abated, and for it I have taken Ultram ER. If you want to read only about the Ultram, skip four paragraphs to the one starting, 'So I had another attack...'
Before the pain became that intense, it was simply horribly uncomfortable. I visited chiropractors, one of which I believe made my condition worse and one of which I am certain did. Following that came the steroid injections which did nothing. The worst point was waking up with the needle poking my nerve, screaming, hearing the doctor say 'Ok and that's as far as we go in with that one.' It was that night that my true pain began, and it was that doctor who prescribed me Percocet.
I had never had Percocet before. The most powerful pain killer that I had been on was after my wisdom teeth and a molar were removed, and that was Tylenol with codeine. That was strong enough for me to think the fresh blood staining my beard looked cool. That was nothing compared with Percocet. The doc kept prescribing me higher dosages until I was at the max. When I was still in pain on the most powerful drug he could prescribe to me - essentially, endocet is heroin. Just stronger. - he recommended that I double or triple my intake. Which I did. I took so much that I could watch a blank television and think it was a music video, still I hurt. You get the picture.
A month or more passed like this and I had surgery, essentially a miracle. It's called a laminaectomy and simply put it means that a surgeon cut a bit of bone from my back and yoinked out the offending disc material. I was carried into the clinic and I walked out. It's been about two years and I still occasionally have serious back pain and muscle spasms in my leg, and for this I was prescribed more Percocet.
So, here's the problem with Percocet: it makes me into a complete and utter zombie. I'm talking high as a kite, tingly body, soul quashing intoxicated. I could sleep all day if I wanted, which I sometimes did. I could waste weeks. Yeah, the pain is mostly gone and what pain wasn't stopped I find it impossible to care about but I also can barely function as a human, can't eat or defecate and lose all human emotion. Don't even feed the cat.
So I had another attack of some pretty intense pain. Started out slow and over a two week period it grew to where I realized walking would be impossible for another two weeks or more. Went back to my surgeon who wanted to cut me up again. The man wears a suit to the office now, that should tell you enough. His assistant was much more attentive and when I told him that I wanted to get rid of my pain and not be one of Gerry Garcia's bad days he gave me enough free samples of 300 mg once-a-day Ultram ERs to keep me in the stuff for a few weeks or so if I needed them every day.
I was skeptical about their efficacy. He also prescribed me some pretty potent endocet, and I used that first. A couple of days later I realized I had work to do - I am a freelance writer, so discipline is key. I have no boss to harass me. If I miss a deadline, I miss a paycheck. - so I thought it would be best to give the Ultram a try. The doc had described it as working on a similar principle as opiates, but not being an opiate it won't get me high. It worked, essentially as advertised. It wasn't as effective as the endocet, but nothing is. It abated my pain enough for me to walk around, stand unaided for a few minutes, stretch out a little and try to be productive.
It didn't get me high - note: I do not want to be high on pharmaceuticals, these are some of the most potent and addictive substances known to man - but it did give me some odd effects. First, I'm floaty. I feel as if I weigh very little and I'm a pretty big guy. Second, when pain does break through the barrier it is more intense. My main pain is in my buttock (yes, I have a pain in the ass, har har har) and so lifting my leg too far will cause a severe reaction. On the Ultram I feel capable of doing more, so I will bring my leg farther forward and immediately regret it. Third, I am experiencing sleeplessness. This may be a benefit as I am getting six to seven hours of sleep and waking up somewhat refreshed, but that floaty feeling gives me the insomnia effect of everything being distant. Never really asleep or awake.
Everything has a dreamlike quality which leads me to fourthly. Fourthly, I am experiencing an emotional distance like, but not as strong as, on endocet. Fifth comes the constipation. 'Nuff said. Sixth, while I'm not stoned, there is a cognitive effect. They don't say not to drive on the stuff but I would not recommend it. I find myself making typos that I would normally not. I am typing much more slowly, as well, and my coordination is somewhat effected.
After everything I've tried for my spasms and pain (accupuncture, various drugs, exercise, tai chi) I would rate Ultram a 6 out of 10. It loses four points for weakness, sleep loss, constipation / loss of appetite and the fact that if I have a flair up that it doesn't help and I've already taken one I can't take something else to compound it or I'll become a zombie or worse. The best treatments have been physical therapy which kept me pain free for a year, and gave me nice abs too, and for my most recent pain - wait for it - sitting on a tennis ball.
That's right, sitting on a tennis ball: 10 / 10. No side effects and my spasm ended.
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