How do I get my doctor into prescribing me the meds that I NEED??
Hello, I am 19 years old and suffer from migraine disorder, lower back pain, and chronic leg pain from Restless Leg Syndrome. I have had back pain for a little over a year now, after a car incident when the vehicle hydroplaned and flipped twice----I am definitely lucky to be alive, coming out with only whiplash and minor back pain. Tests, xrays, MRI's, etc have been performed on my back but nothing appears wrong. I suffer pain EVERYDAY. For my migraine headaches, I have been prescribed Voltaren, Vanatrip, Maxalt, Toradol, Tramadol, Vicodin, Imitrex---but not all at once. VOLTAREN and IMITREX did absolutely NOTHING and gave NO RELIEF. VANATRIP made me tired all day, raised my blood pressure (up to 152/106), and made me hallucinate. MAXALT made me VERY drowsy and also raised my blood pressure. TRAMADOL made me sick and vomit for HOURS at a time and made my headaches worse. TORADOL took all my pain away, which is great because it is non-addictive and only anti-inflammator, it quit working within a week and is not recommended for more than 5 days at a time. Finally, one night I had a horrible migraine and went to the ER, and they gave me a Vicodin (hydrocodone + APAP) 7.5mg to take then, and wrote me a script of 20. It was the first time I had tried a narcotic pain killer, and not only did it cure my migraines but I slept great at night, without knocking me out during the day. For back pain, I have been prescribed Tramadol, Toradol, and Vicodin---Vicodin being the only one that worked once again, but it was from a walk-in clinic, so I was only given 15 of them. For Restless Leg, I have been prescribed Requip, but it made me hallucinate, and made me EXTREMELY tired, so much that I feel asleep driving and hit a ditch (the doctor did not warn me of the side effects---only told me that it was completely safe and would cure restless leg syndrome). REQUIP did not take care of the leg pain, only the muscle spams and twitches in my legs. So far, VICODIN has been the only working medication for my chronic pain. I am sick of visiting the ER and walk-in clinics. I have NEVER been addicted to any sort of drug or narcotics,though I realize VICODIN is a very addictive narcotic pain med. I want to get a monthly script of low-dose VICODIN, because it really does help. How do I approach my doctor about getting a prescription for VICODIN? I do not want to appear as a drug seeker, but 7.5mg of Vicodin twice a day gets rid of my pain...even 5mg twice a day would help. How do I ask my doctor without it looking bad on my part? Any suggestions, comments, answers, stories, etc etc would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for reading!
I'm sorry to hear of your chronic pain - it definitely can be difficult dealing with chronic pain at any age, but being so young, it's got to be especially hard for you.
I think your best bet is to make an appointment with your primary physician to not only have a complete physical, but to also talk with him/her about pain control. It's never a good idea to use the ER or urgent care facilities as treatment locations for any type of chronic illness and unfortunately, using them to help control chronic pain can definitely sometimes be construed as being "drug seeking" (no, I'm not saying that you are, just that some places do think of it this way).
When you visit your doctor, go over all the different medications that you have tried and let him/her know what the results were - positive or negative. While I don't think that asking for a specific drug is a good idea (some docs also consider this as drug seeking behavior), you also need to let the doctor know that you have been presribed the vicodin in the past and have found that it has, so far, been the most helpful. Don't go in just asking for a script for it - just let the doctor know that you have had it prescribed in the past and it has worked and then basically leave the ball in your doctor's court. He/she may say well since you know that it works, we'll keep you on it - or he/she may say that they want to try something else. There's also a possibility that your doctor may suggest that you see either a neurologist or pain management doctor, who may be able to take care of your chronic pain better.
I can tell you as a fellow migraine sufferer you will find few drs that are willing to treat headaches w/narcotic meds because of their tendency to cause rebound headaches.Your best bet as gemini stated is to make a primary care appt and let your dr know what is going on and see where they want to send you.
I would guess you will be looking at a neuro referral for the headaches and testing to rule out any other issues and to give an absolute concrete migraine diagnosis.If you are having more than 4-5 a month you should most likely be on a daily med like topomax (topamax) with a rescue breakthru med ask for samples of the meds as they are expensive and if you have ins they will limit you to a certain amount a month regardless of brand,strength,or dose.
Neuros can also evaluate RLS and will most likely order a sleep study to see what is going on if you havent had on done or not done recently.
I know this sounds like alot but like gemini said and I know this sounds bad and I dont mean it this way either but you have 2 major things going against you from the way drs are going to look at it-1 is your age and that definately does factor in regardless of what they say and no I dont think its fair-pain is pain and its not fair to let anyone suffer.2 is the conditions you have cant be "seen and documented or proven by conventional means" that factors in also.
I would make the appt and see what the dr says but I hope you dont have negative results by presenting your case as a narcotic is the only thing that will help you-you know what helps and what doesnt but you will most likely experience a deadend at the drs if you go in and say I tried this this this and this and all that works is vicodin.I can just about guarantee it due to the way that drs are really cracking down on patients and meds lately.
I really feel like your best bet would be to go in and say "I have had this happen-here is where I am at-heres all the tests that have been done-meds prescribed-reactions to them-where do YOU recommend I go from here I want my life back-help me help myself" and you will most likely have alot more fulfilling of an appt and hopefully find some answers,good drs and meds that can actually help you function day to day.Because of tolerance 1-2 vicoden wont be enough to control the headaches eventually and you need meds that can do that-the vicoden wont allow you to sleep without an increase eventually so you need to find some answers and alternate means of dealing with the underlying conditions besides the pain meds.
It is usually a long hard road to finding an equal footing with a good dr but gemini is right it looks worse to visit different walkin and urgent care places 3-4 times than to see 1 specific dr all the time who will get to know you and trust you.that is how you will get someone to listen and believe you and take you seriously in spite of your age..stick with them.If you feel your dr does not do that now and blows you off...find a new one NOW-tell them you are looking for a new dr because you know you are young and have challenging issues but want to get better...then stick with them.And then avoid the ER walkin urgent care for the 15 12 20 pill hand out-it does look bad and any dr can pull your pharmacy record and see your scripts.Find a dr you are comfortable with and you like and work with them and I think you will be alot happier and hopefully find an answer to your health issues and get your health under control.
I wish you much luck I know it is a very challenging situation you are facing.
I second the Topomax (topamax) suggestion! I have migraines and used to have daily headaches. I still have them on occasion, but not nearlu as often and the daily ones have all but disappeared. Might be worth a try for that. As far as your other chronic pain goes, I agree with the above posters. Explain your situation to your pcp and what has and has not worked for you. I had a long sit down talk with mine and he agreed to write me a script for pain meds, but did refer me to a pain management doctor to treat those issues. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Thanks for everybodys comments and suggestions, I seen my primary care physician today and he wrote me a script of Ambien 10mg. A sleep medication...wow, what a quack. Guess Im just going to have to live with the pain, also meaning dropping out of college. It's very hard to attend class, especially 4 hour nite classes with all this pain. It's hard enough trying to work 6-8 hr days trying to support myself, then having college classes on top of everything with headaches, 5-8 migraines per month, chronic back pain and leg pain thts even worse. ***** having to deal with it becuz of doctors being discriminating due to age, when more adults in my county r abusing narcotics(actual statistic done in the county) and all these older ppl makng meth labs, when not one person under the age of 24 has been caught making meth in 18 months, another statistic and proven records here in Lawrence County TN. Sorry everyone for just venting and rambling on...I'm just sick of hurting and not being able to live my old life. Once again, thanks everyone for reading and posting. God bless.
I agree with most of the posters here but thought I'd put in my two cents. I had migraines for years, starting when I was a young teenager and they lasted until my first pregnancy at age 30, then they subsided considerably. In my case, they were definitely genetic (everyone on my mom's side got them) and also partly hormonal. I saw doctors, went to a headache clinic, kept a headache diary, and I really didn't get much relief overall. Basically I did comfort measures when I got them. But many years have gone by and there are a lot of medications available that may help you.
Being young shouldn't prevent you from getting adequate pain relief. But sometimes when you're young (and in pain) we end up being impatient and wanting what we want and what we think we know is best for us.
Finding a great primary care doctor is essential. Not just for your problems now but for things that crop up through your life. A good relationship with your primary care doc will save you time, money and pain in the long run. They are the ones that know you best and will advocate for you. Keep looking until you find one you really love, no matter how long it takes. INTERVIEW your doctor before joining their practice. Lots of people make consult appointments with pediatricians when they are about to have a new baby because they want THE BEST doctor for their child. Few adults do it for themselves.
Start with a primary doctor and they may very well be able to treat your migraines, though with your history, they may refer you to a specialist. Ask them who they would go to if in your situation.
Emergency rooms sometimes cannot be avoided but it's best to try. It does tend to make you look like a drug seeker, even if you're not. Doctors are frightened today to prescribe certain medications, and rightly so. That said, no one, whatever their age, should have to suffer endlessly in pain.
I'm on many medications now through my pain clinic. We have a great relationship and work together on what meds are best for me and what procedures. One thing you probably need to come to realize is that it may be that you will never be totally pain free but you should be able to manage your pain. It took me a long time to grasp that. I kept expecting that I'd get back to normal. This forum helped me realize a number of things. One, that there is no shame in having to take medications, including narcotics, to manage my pain, and two, that pain management is just that: managing my pain.
I've had to come to learn that I can't do everything I once did. I've learned to let some things go or to cut corners. I have to do my part in managing my pain along with taking medications. Doing certain tasks will cause my pain to flare up, and when that happens, I really have no one to blame but myself. And we probably all do it because no one wants to give up control of their lives.
You may have a ways to go. Most people with chronic pain don't find relief immediately. It's a process of seeing doctors, having tests, seeing more doctors, trying procedures, maybe surgery depending on your condition, trying different medications ... the list goes on. The best advice I can offer is keep searching for the right physician and keep an open mind with them. They have seen and treated lots of patients over the years. They may not get it right on your first visit, but with time and patience and working together, it's likely that you'll come up with a plan that will work for you.
Also, I would like to say always keep an updated copy of your medical records. I have been completely screwed by Doctors writing there "opinion" about me before a diagnosis was reached and it has really screwed me out of getting the treatment I needed. I once had abdominal pain for three months so severe I was doubled over, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, conversion disorder?? Then finally some wise gynecologist stuck a camera in my belly button and found a grapefruit size ovarian cyst in torsion. Doctors are human beings too. Try not to lose your cool in front of them (even though I know it's really hard when you are in dehibilitating pain.) if you lose your cool, they can and will write all kinds of crazy stuff in your chart about you and once it's there it is almost impossible to get rid of.
I'm sorry to hear about your migraines. My friend of 30 years has them and her neurologist, WILL NOT prescribe narcotics because it gives her rebound headaches. She went to the Diamond Clinic in Chicago and they found something called DHE, Savella, Ativan, Ambien, and Benadryl which most of these she gives them to herself in shot formation and she NO longer has headaches. She's been suffering for over 10 years had to stop teaching, and her life was a pretty sad thing. I wanted to mention this to you because there is a formulation out there that does work for people who suffer with migraines that seems to work. I'm watching my friend daily become a member of society again and she is going to go back to work in August. This coming from someone that couldn't get out of bed because her head hurt. So, I understand that your neurologist may not want to give out pain meds, and it's not you, it's just that they cause worse headaches and then you need more pain medication, etc... so maybe you can look into the Diamond Clinic or ask your neurologist about the medication Savella, or DHE, and benedryl, norflex (muscle relaxer) because when my friend mixes these things together it completely stops the headache and she doesn't have to go to the ER anymore.
I just wanted to give you a suggestion of what you could do. If you decide that you still just want the vicodin, then I wish you the best of luck with your migraines and hope you find the treatment that you are needing. Take care and best of luck!
You have received a LOT of really good information on your Thread. I hope that you will use it to be of benefit to you as you search for answers to your debilitating pain from your Migraines.
Both Designgyrl and Mellie4 have givn some VERY good suggestions.
Melie4's suggestion of keeping the Headache Diary os EXCELLENT!! That way you have it laid out for your Doctor's to look at with their OWN EYES, which can be VERY important to your treatment.
Designgyrl's suggestions of the medications that have virtually relieved her Friend of her debilitating headaches after all of theses LONG years is EXCELLENT and I hope you will make a notation of them to at least speak about with your Doctor and get their take on them.
Both of them have talked of going to a Headache Clinic and that would be an ideal starting place for ANYONE with Migraines as you MUST be diagnosed by a specialist to be able to begin to get the medications that will eventually help you.
I wish you the best and hope to hear from you again with some REALLY good news in your search for YOUR cur to your pain.......Sherry
I have chronic back,sciatica pain, spinal injuries and are 38 years old.
I take MS Contin 60 mg 2 times a day, i was on 10/325 norcos x6 a day for 2 years before that.
You are 19 years old, and i understand pain,to a point where it can make a titan cry, But unless you have some sort of MRI /C.A.T Scan or any other proof on paper that says your messed up bad enough,the Dr is going to have to make a decision to give you the Devil(addiction) or let you live with it until it is unbearable anymore.
You will know when it is unbearable.
And for your Age that is a very tough decision for a Dr to make..
I had to go through allot of extensive tests for them to believe me.
If it wasn't for the Dr i have now, I wouldn't be able to walk..
I also have chronic pain due to arthritis and fibro. They prescribed me Cymbalta an anti-depressant and then taradol neither helped. I called her back and told her that neither helped and the Cymbalta made me crazy! I also told her I could not sleep from all the pain I was in and she prescribed me Ambien! Guess I will have to suffer also. I def hope things work out for you better than they have me.
Does your pcp write your pain meds? Mine simply refuses and ive had all kinds test done and so far it shows i have broken tail bone, DDD in my lower back and yet everyone says i should not be in pain and i am. I am going to find me a pcp if things dont change. I have seen neurologist once, going back since my issues are worse, numbness in arms and legs and pain is alot worse.
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