Please help ! Unbearable pain, vertebrae fractures
First of all, I would like to thank you in advance for your help and advise.
I'm a 42 yrs old male and live in Queens, New York.
A 1 1/2 year ago ( August 2007), I sufered a major motorcycle accident; my injuries were:
- 5 fractured vertebraes, C4, C5, T7, T8, T9.
- 5 broken ribs.
- broken right wrist in two places.
- fractured pelvis; one fracture on the right side, two fractures on left side.
- punctured right lung.
- dislocated right shoulder.
I was hospitalized for two months and released on a wheel chair that I used for two more months.
At that point, I was treated with Percoced first, then Oxycodone, and Vicodin ES with APAP 7/750, on that order. Then after aproximately 8 months, my care was transferred to my PCP by the Hospital. My PCP then started to get me out of Vicodin after about 2 months due to the narcotic nature of it. And he prescribed up to 8 Tramadol 50mg per day combined with Ibuprofen 600 mg as needed, usually 3 to 4 a day.
At that point, the pain increased but was a little tolerable. ( I am a bit of a tough guy and have high pain tolerance ). So, I dealt with the pain,( aprox 4-5 /10), up to now May 2009.
As of now, May '09 the Tramadol and Ibuprofen no longer help and my pain has increased trememdously to a 8-9/10 level. It is now, specifically localized on the back of my neck and torso section of my back, it then wraps around my ribs, working its way down to my pelvic area where it intensifies even more specially at night and then goes down both of my legs specially my left, it hurts to the point of crying.
I went to my PCP and he prescribed Vicodin 7.5 / 750 again and said that in two weeks he will start a course of anti inflamatory injections.It has been a week and the new meds help ease part of the pain but do not do anything for my left leg and pelvis; this section keeps hurting unbearably. It is a sustained and permanent high pitch pain, for lack of a better term.
My thoughts are beginning to wonder out to a self destructive path. And, I really do not want to dump this on my family, they have suffered enough with this.
I respectfully request your help and advise in any way you can, as I do not have the slightest idea of how to deal with this. In return, I can only offer my immense gratitude and prayers for all of you.
Thats' quite the story. I'm sorry that you have had to suffer like this. In my opinion, you have not had the right Doctor or Pain Medicine. I'm sure that with your Spinal injury, you have seen an Orthopedist. I feel that it is time to re-visit them and have some imaging done.
Things sound like they need to be re-addressed and rather quickly. I'm not sure who does the prescribing in your state whether it be your family Doc or a pain specialist but from the sounds of it, you need a pain specialist. They may offer you a different pain med regiment that may be much better for you like an extended release medication.
Have you thought about seeing a pain Phsycologist? They might be of some help with your mental state from all the pain you've had to endure.
I'm sorry that you have had to suffer so greatly...a lot of us do here. This is a great forum to just vent if you have to. You don't have to hold it in here !!! Start a journal....others will reply to it and offer you some suggestions. You will always have someone to talk to here.
Hang in there...it will get better. You just have to find the right treatment. Please take care and keep posting.......
Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am so sorry to hear about your accident and all the injuries you have sustained. I had a MVA and spent almost 6 months in a hospital and also suffered many injuries that have caused me life long pain and disabilities. I hear you. You are not alone.
My PCP at the time went the same route yours has taken. Get her off the narcotics and let her live with the pain. I was stanch and have a high pain tolerance and thought I could handle it. I thought I had no choices. I also thought about ending it all. Who wanted to live the remainder of their lives in such pain and agony? I am so glad I didn't take that route.
As Mollyrae said you may need to start again with diagnostic testing. A PMP and even a new PCP may be a good idea. You have reasons for chronic pain and don't let anyone tell you differently. There are treatments available that may ease your discomfort. And if there isn't there certainly are long acting opiates that can aid in your pain management.
We must all be assertive in our health care. No one feels that pain but you. There are good pain therapists out there, or even a good therapist may help you deal emotionally with the cards you have been dealt. Ask for a MRI or a CT Scan. Discover if there is an abnormality that can be corrected or at the very least treated. In the meantime you should explain to your PCP how much pain you are in and how if is effecting your life. If your PCP is unwilling to do these things find a new one. It took me a long time to find the right diagnosis and a PCP that understood my pain and treated it. She is a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) and that may be a good place to start in your PCP is not agreeable.
Best of luck to you. Please keep in touch with us. We are here to support you and offer our suggestions. This community is full of ppl with similar pain that will listen. I'll look forward to hearing from you again soon.
Take care, Tuck
Mollyrae and Tuck are right! You should see about being re-evaluated. Tell your PCP how localized, severe, and radiating your pain is. With the tremendous number of fractures you had, you can't be too careful. Scar tissue, or bone spurs could be pressing on a nerve causing the new radiating pain. Doctors hope for, and are often so convinced that your recovery will be smooth and steady and in one direction, that they're blind to the possibility of new conditions developing from the old injury. Be insistent!
Also, as Mollyrae and Tuck said, you may need a Pain Specialist. Because of the complexity of our Central Nervous System, and the difficulty imaging the brain, until recently, pain is just beginning to be understood. PCPs just aren't capable of staying up to date with everything - hence our plethora of specialists. It makes medical care more cumbersome and inconvenient, but the more we learn, the harder it is to cover all the possibilities when diagnosing conditions. It's also why we have to be our own medical advocates.
I wish you well, and keep us up to date with how you are doing.
Wow, you sound almost identical to me. I'm 33 and in Oct of 07 I crashed really bad on my dirtbike resulting in a broken back, multiple broken ribs, broken collar bone, internal bleeding, seperated shoulder, chipped pelvis, two collapsed lungs as well as other injuries. They too started me off on oxycodone, hydrocodone, and even xanax for some reason. As of today, all they have me on is 200 mg a day of tramadol and anti inflammatories. I know the pain you are describing, my mid back and neck always hurts and I have the pain that wraps around my back through my side where I broke the ribs and sometimes its very unbearable. It almost feels like bones are pushing on me from the inside out. It hurts to take deep breathes and I have bones that feel like they pop out of place in my chest, ribs, and back when I move certain ways. I've been seeing doctors for a 1 1/2 year without much relief, they've had me on tons of anti-depressants and all they seemed to do was make me sick. It just so happens that today I finally got a referral to see a pain management doctor. My appointmet is in 2 weeks and I will get back with you after the appt to let you know if its seems like its going to help, because I havent had much luck so far. Talk to you later.
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