What do I do when pain meds don't work anymore?
Hi, my name is Anthony I am 46 years old. I have had numerous spinal operations starting in 1985 when I was 21. I have been dealing with severe pain longer that I haven't. I am tired of the medical solutions available to me. I want to live a normal life more than anything. 3 years ago I decided to go back to work after being on disability for 1 1/2 years. I was loosing my mind sitting at home. I have had my low back fused at L4 & L5 with Harrington rods and a bone graph from my pelvis. I have had a lamanectomy at C3 and I have had an anterior fusion at C5 & C6 and I have nerve damage in my right arm. This doesn’t include all the minor procedures along the road. My question is this..... My pain is getting worse by the minute and I can't imagine another surgery. The pain meds are no longer working and I am taking morphine extended and immediate release. Before that I was taking Oxycontin extended release and morphine immediate release. I have tried every remedy except a spinal cord stimulator and a morphine pump. I don't want to take drugs to live anymore. I am tired of living in the shadows. I have never abused the drugs and I have only missed 4 days of work in the last 3 years. I’m in so much pain and I am so tired, I don't think I can do this anymore. I’m so scared of being on disability agian. I don't know what to do?
I read posts like yours, and I really don’t know what to say, except that I know I have to say something. To some extent, I know what you’re going through, I’ve been through the whole neck and back surgery thing myself. My back worked out great, my neck, not so great, I’ve been dealing with Chronic pain myself for years, although I don’t think I’ve been experiencing the level of pain you are, at least not on a consistent basic. I haven’t given up on surgery yet, I’m going to let them cut me open again, maybe I’m crazy, I don’t know. I figure if I can get a 50-60% reduction in pain, I’ll be happy.
Are you seeing one of these so-called “Pain Specialist”? I know you say you’re sick of drugs, but if you’re pain level could be gotten to a tolerable level, I think it would be a lot easier for you to figure out how to live the rest of your life. No one wants to be a slave to drugs, but in your case it’s a lot smarter than having a surgery that might not even help or might make you worse.
The fact that you don’t want to be on disability is admirable, a lot of people would just dope themselves up and sit around and feel sorry for themselves, at least you’re trying to live. People that have severe pain like you don’t tend to abuse drugs, we use them to function, you’ve just developed a tolerance, most people do. You just have to move up to the next tier of drugs, they exist. There’s people in pain management that don’t have half as much wrong with them as you do, taking much stronger narcotics, check out the pain management forum here. So don’t feel bad that you need them, that’s what their for. I think if you can get your pain under control, things will start to fall into place and be a little easier to deal with.
Have you ever thought about joining a support group for chronic pain, you can share all the wonderful experiences (sic) you’ve had with people that are going through the same thing. More importantly, you can help people who are new to this and are scared, by sharing what you’ve been through and how you felt and dealt with a particular situation. I’m telling you, its helps a lot. Nobody can understand the physical and emotional toll pain takes on a person unless they’ve been through it themselves.
You got hang it there, you can’t give up.
I know exactly what you are feeling. I recently called my pain mnagement doctor and told him that I have been in severe pain for the last 4 days and my pain meds (norco 10 ) aren't working for me anymore. The doctor said he wasn't going to change my meds, but I could make an appointment to come in and discuss the matter with him. i'm so tired of people giving me the runaround. I sit here day in and day out worrying about what I'm going to do next. I've lost everything I have because I cannot work and have no money comming in. i have had 1 surgery on my back and had a disc decompression, the doctor says I have permanent nerve damage. My back hurts, both legs tigle so much that it is very painful and I still have pain that goes from my back down my left leg to my knee. I feel like everyone has given up on me and no one wants to help. Sometimes I think it's easier to just give up.
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