I can't eat. I can't sleep. Every few seconds, my legs twitch and jerk. My body feels as if it has been invaded by an army of red ants. I know what is happening. I am going through withdrawal. Except I am not a drug addict.
I am a 65-year old woman, wife and mother, who has been a chronic pain patient for more than 15 years. For most of that time, I have been very, very lucky. Although I was never pain free, I still was able to care for myself, keep the house clean, and even work part-time. Until recently, when break-through pain became a problem. My primary care physician wrote me a prescription for more morphine sulfate IR ("instant release") and sent me on my way. I wasn't worried. From what I had learned after years of reading about chronic pain, I wasn't worried. This was what leading pain specialists usually recommended doing.
But the break-through pain continued. My PCP wrote a prescription for even more morphine sulfate IR. Now, I was worried. This was not what I remembered being told at the pain clinic I attended. When break-through pain became a problem, another tablet of MS Contin ("morphine sulfate continuous action") was prescribed.
I wasn't sure what to do. I always had been leery about taking any pain medications. I had refused them when I had complicated dental procedures done, and I also had refused them when I gave birth to my son. What I didn't realize was that the pain I experienced in the dental chair and the pain I experienced giving birth was "acute" pain. It had a beginning and, more importantly, it had an end. "Chronic" pain may vary somewhat in intensity, but it is with you 24/7/365. It never ends. Never.
When I was told about UPMC's Senior Care Center, I made an appointment immediately. UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) has a reputation for being among the better medical centers in the country. I thought that I would be in good hands. I was wrong.
The doctor I saw initially raised my dosage of both MS Contin and morphine sulfate IR . I don't remember much about the month which followed. I slept through most of it. Every time I took one of the MS Contin tablets, I fell asleep. Sleeping for 6 to 8 hours, I would wake up in pain. Pain bad enough to be forced to take one of the morphine sulfate IR tablets.
At my next appointment, the doctor reduced my dosage and sent me to UPMC's pain clinic. Thus began a nightmare from which I have yet to awake. The doctor I saw there reduced my dosage of MS Contin and discontinued the morphine sulfate IR. A 75% reduction in pain meds without titration. And without medical supervision.
Since then, I have been in severe and unremitting pain. I have called both doctors many times, but they have yet to return my calls. I have been to several emergency rooms, only to be told that my doctor refuses to prescribe any medication.
I don't know what to do now.
Can you help me?
Welcome to MedHelp. I am so glad you found us. We listen well and offer support and suggestions. I am not near Pittsburgh and I don't know any good PMP in the area. I am sure someone here will be able to help you with that information. We know about the kind of pain you are experiencing and I am so sorry that you are having such severe pain
I think you have the right idea, find a new PMP. In my opinion you were overmedicated if you slept the month away. MS Contin does not work for me. I may as well take aspirin. Every one's chemical makeup and metabolism is different. What works for one, doesn't work for another. You may have better pain relief on another drug and even at a smaller dose. That would be my approach with your current PMP but obviously while you are seeking another PMP. However when you explain your plight and that fact that Morphine has never been effective he/she may work with you better. At least that would be my hope. I do not know from what your CP originated. If it is nerve pain than they should add medications to treat it. Additionally I hope they are prescribing an antidepressant that will also help with the pain if not that would also be my request.
I am so very sorry you are in such severe pain. Have they given you any thing for anxiety? If so I would try it along with warm baths and distractions until you are able to see your PMP or another physician. Please keep us posted. Feel free to PM me if you just want to chat. Responses will be a little slow due to the Lbor Day Weekend. Hang in there and take good care of yourself, Tuck
I would like to ask what was the reasoning behind the extreme reduction in your medication? Was it due to your sleeping excessively?
I think Tuckamore is right and you need to discuss the issue of the MS contin not working for you. I think you would benefit from trying a different medication and also asking about what other options you have such as therapy , biofeed back, massage therapy and many other options. Have you had injections done at any point? The medication needs to be changed and you need to ask what else besides the medication is available for your type of pain.
Make sure the Dr knows all the symptoms your having and express your concerns about the excessive sleeping but also make it known the medication is NOT helping too. Sometimes we think the Dr knows little things that should be obvious to them but they are human and miss things too , so make certain you are informative and clear about what is happening to you and tell him you need something done now as you just can't handle the pain any longer. I have mentioned this before here, ask if it were his Mom what treatment would he suggest as you want the very best treatments that are available to you We don't realize that Dr's see a number of people everyday and if you put the question of what treatment would you provide your Mom with it makes the Dr put you in a more human light in a sense.
In the mean time hot baths and even getting in a hot tub if ones available to you may help and taking it easy as possible until you can get in to see the Dr again. Don't feel you need to keep up with the things you used to do, it will only make you feel more down and cause you more pain and you don't need that.
I wish you only the best and wish you well. Keep us posted and we are here for you if you need anything at all please let us know and we will do whatever we can to help:)
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