IamA 20 year old male with CRPS II (42 out of 50 on the McGill Pain Scale, about equal to the amputation of a finger, except it never goes away). Ketamine saved my life.
I have Type II Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, AKA Causalgia, basically a type of nerve damage / neurological disorder commonly found in gunshot / bone fracture patients with healing deficiencies). Throughout treatment I was scripted basically everything under the sun and developed an Oxymorphone addiction, got clean, and have subsequently been sent into remission by Ketamine. I've been clean from opioids for 11 months (October 31st will make it a year) and control my pain strictly with high dose ibuprofen (6-800mg 3-4x daily) and ketamine "boosters" every couple months.
That's 60 20mg Oxymorphone ER and 90 5mg Oxymorphone IR. I posted that pic to /r/opiates about a year ago under a throwaway account, if you really need more proof just ask and I'll post it. By the time I quit, I was taking 2 40's everyday along with 4-6 10mg Hydrocodone / Oxycodone or 4mg hydromorphone / 5 mg oxymorphone. (In pain management clinics, they tend to cycle you through opioids so you don't become too tolerant to any particular one). In addition my other daily meds throughout all this were 600mg pregabalin, 20-30mg cyclobenzaprine, 100mg Amitryptaline, 40mg Celexa, 2mg Clonezapam, 900mg Oxcarbazepine, 2-300mg Tramadol, and I also usually hit around the 3-4k aceteminophen mark. To help potentiate the medications for better pain relief, I'd take 40-60mg DXM daily, tums, and cimetidine (All CYP2D6 modifiers). To stomach all of this shit I was prescribed Zofran (Ondansetron), pretty much the best anti-emetic on the market and I also smoked about 2-3 grams of weed daily. To sleep, I was prescribed ambien and seroquel.
Despite the truckload of medication, I was in a nearly unbearable constant state of pure and utter agony. My CRPS manifested itself in two joints in my left foot and made walking pretty much impossible for about 3-4 months after the first two surgeries. I underwent 4 lumbar sympathetic blocks, physical therapy, electroshock therapy, and 3 months of twice weekly accupuncture without seeing any relief. My left foot basically felt like it was constantly in a bath of hydrochloric acid that was eating my skin and bones right off of me (I'm not exaggerating, this would last for hours every single day, sometimes it would last days, there were multiple occasions where I literally passed out because of it). Allodynia was a major symptom of mine, for those unfamiliar, its a painful response to typically non-painful stimuli. For instance, I could never have a fan circulating air in the room I was in because the, however minuscule, current from the air would be picked up by the highly sensitive nerves in my foot and end up causing me intense pain (best way to describe that sensation is dragging the top of your foot barefoot on concrete, except it wouldn't stop). A lot of the time, I'd feel like my blood vessels were exploding inside me. As if I had my own personal lightning storm of nerve pain going on within me.
The first time I did Ketamine the pain I had come to expect as an inevitability of my future simply vanished. I didn't realize how it would change my life at first, because I had experienced relief prior from things like narcotics or lidocaine patches, but the difference with ketamine was that after I came down (you can definitely get high off that shit), the pain relief stayed. At first the relief only lasted about 2-3 days (a miracle in its own right as anyone with CRPS will tell you. I swear my nerve blocks didn't give me a fraction as much relief), but the more I did, the longer my relief lasted. My gait improved, I was able to tolerate water on my left foot (I'm not sure anyone really has any idea what its like taking a shower with a bag on your foot because any water that comes into contact with it feels like straight acid, but yeah, try doing that for over a year and lemme know how it goes). Anyway, I can now go about 3 months without dosing Ketamine and my pain levels remain under control enough that over the counter NSAID's (I like ibuprofen nowadays) handle it adequately.
Anyway, ask me about my journey. It's certainly been long, strange and taken me to places I never thought I'd go.