Been a chronic pain patient for awhile with a failed L5-S1 surgery in 1997, got somewhat better after 2001, and then worse after 2007. I lived in California at the time and had a great family doctor who managed my pain medicine and referred me to specialists as needed. Was set up with alternating my fentanyl from 12mcg-50mcg/hr depending on pain levels and keeping my body from "getting use to it and always having to increase", and then once a year I had nerve burnings done to help manage my pain.
Then earlier this year due to a job offer for my spouse I moved to Oregon. I didn't even think about my health care as I've never had a problem with any doctor and just blindly moved thinking I would get the same great care.
I had on massive rose colored glasses! Wow! I suddenly felt like a massive drug addict the way I was being treated as I tried to find a personal physician! Let me remind everyone in case you don't live in this state, that if I want to get pot it's as easy as 1-2-3, and seems to be the state's approved plant! But have a chronic pain issue and take a narcotic and suddenly you are the scum of the earth! I had to keep going back to CA to get medication refills from my old doctor while trying to find one physician who would even see me while taking narcotics!
Finally after 3 months I find one doctor who will see me, and he is like the biggest jerk. I've had him walk out on me and tell me to speak to his assistant, who I promptly asked if he always had a "stick up his arse" or if I was special? Well she told him and that seemed to help our relationship a little, but not much.
Finally I get a referral to a pain management doctor, who I explain my whole medical history, bring my x-rays, MRI, and CT's on a CD and he agrees to do my rhyzotomy. He asks me how I like the area I moved to and I tell him the area is great, the health care is terrible and everyone is treating me like a criminal. He acts like it's because I'm new and by no means does he think I'm drug seeking. Well after his procedure I don't know what he did to me, but I came out of it worse then when I went in with horrible left sciatica pain (first time for having sciatica pain since 1997), and shooting pain down my left leg. Usually for the procedure I was given IV fentenyl and Lorzepam, but this doctor decided to use propofol instead since "you're on fentenyl"... I was basically knocked out instead of semi alert for the procedure. I get home and I'm in so much pain I'm crying and I don't ever cry! My spouse called the doctor up who immediately has me return to the office. Of course the first thing is his assistant points out on my chart I take fentenyl and they give each other that look "she is drug seeking"....
I'm so frustrated. I know and I think my medical records show I've been a very well behaved narcotic pain relief user. Most people who have been on pain medication for over 4 years are on much higher doses then I am. I've had the same bottle of Vicodin for break through pain for over 2 years. And one of the big reasons is I have horrible GI problems with higher doses of pain medication so it's a balancing act to keep my gut working and my pain in a somewhat manageable level. That is why I also use the Rhizotomies to help with the pain, and not have to use more pain medication to have a life.
Well now I'm so frustrated with the available care in my area, I'm actually thinking of going back in for another spinal fusion as I'm in way worse shape with the left leg pain, sciatica, and numbness then I was before Dr "let me pull a Micheal Jackson on you", and/or trying to get a pain pump so I'm not dealing with the monthly fight to get my medication refilled (which the new doctor says he will never increase/decrease the dosage so no more keeping my brain trained).
I guess I needed to vent and would love to hear from some pain pump folks. I tried asking the PM doc but he said I would wind up needing more and more medication instead of staying like I am with my fentenyl. Yet I've spoke with a friend of a friend who says in 3.5 years she has never had a increase since using the pump.
Thanks in advance and it's good to be back after my kinda long absence!
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