Hello. I've been on hydrocodone for 8 years now. I've taken other considered mild pain killers from 1994-2000. All under doctors care. I'm a head injury victim from a horse accident who suffers severe degenerative muscle and joint disease, possibly fibromyalsia also. Am currrently in the process of seeing a specialist to confirm or deny a possitive test for Lyhme Disease. Lyhme test was initiated because I've requested my pain specialist to re-evaluate his un-diagnosing me of fibromyalsia 7 years ago, after 2 doctors had diagnosed me with it. My injury was in 1974, many years ago when I was 11 years old. I'm now in my mid 40's and have suffered a lot of pain issues over my adult years. No one in my family has every had any drug addiction problems. I do not like medications. I'm on Prevacid 30mg for GERD, 1x a day. Inderal LA 80mg once a day for high blood pressure. And the lowest dosage of diazide 1x a day. I see see a variety of dr.'s from time to time to aleviate health concerns I might have. I see a pain specialist every other month for 7 years now. He is he one that perscribes my hydrocodone 5/500. I take 4 a day. I started at 3x a day. Then up to 4x a day, but refuse to take anymore than that, because taking medication bothers me. The 4x a day of hydrocodone does not really take care of all my pain, but it does help me raise my autistic son, get housework done, and enjoy a more fulfilled life with my family in a limited sense. My husband is very suportive and I don't do or go anywhere really without him. I've called and talked to pharmacists several times over the years I've been on this pain med in addition to keeping all my appts. with my dr.s. And each time the pharmacists have said same thing that the amount I'm taking is ok, and not harmful. I like to call the 1-800 number for the Osco pharmacy group, I don't remember what their title is though at the moment. My husband is the one that fills my medication container, seperating each dose for the day, morning, afternoon etc. He fills it, puts it by my bedside and I take it at the appropriate times. He also is the one that calls to have refills done etc. And he goes into all my appointments with me. Sometimes, like yesterday, I forgot to take my morning pain pill. I begin doing housework etc. When it's time to eat my fruit and take my regular meds just after 10am, I notice I still have my morning dose of hydro in it's compartment. I kept that pill in it's compartment, and made myself wait until the time I normally take my second pill, so as not to mess up the rest of the pill times for that day if that makes any sense. So yesterday, I only took 3. More pain than normal is the only difference I noticed in feeling. I do forget to take one every now and again, but is not common. Might come to 3-5 days a year that I only got 3 in a day. When I started seeing my pain specialist 7 years ago, he told me he prefers his patients not to be on more than 2 thousand mg of acetametiphen per day. So I could not "boost" so to speak the hydro with tylenol. I had been doing that for a while back then not knowing the dangers as later learned from him. So over the years, I've learned to deal with the pain that the medication doesn't relieve. When I take the 4 hydro's per day. 7am, 12pm, 5pm and 10pm is when I take them. I have my case my husband makes for me each day. I take my other meds between 10am-10:30am with a banana and half a grapefruit. I drink lots of water everyday, I drink one glass of oj with fiber through each morning. When I do this or follow this each day, I function better. The meds don't make me nauseated. I don't have constipation problems. I don't feel any symptoms or sight effects that are noticable, I'm able to walk with my son each day, I home school him. I keep a house, but my activities are limited because of pain and exhaustion. I can do things best in the morning hours, then by about 1pm I'm so drained it's hard to do anything much. I will still have to often (because of family responsibilities) and it causes more pain. I sleep 6-7 hours a day. But with the things I've read on the internet by chance recently I've become concerned that maybe I should go off of the hydro, probably best to taper off gradually, but not sure how I should do that. Or really "IF" I should. I feel maybe I should just suffer more pain and not be on the meds??? Cause I will suffer, I know that much. I've tried a few other non-narcotic pain meds under my pain specialist's care. I don't feel any benefit from them at all. I had my anual health checkup in March/2008, one month ago, and my liver function is good. I would appreciate some comments on this message if there are any helpful ones for me thank you :-).