It's been almost three weeks since my PM visit. Still no TENS and no word on when it will be in. I'm not even sure if it's mailed to my house or if I have to get it from somewhere. About two weeks ago I was told it takes 7-10 business days to get it. I don't want to call my PM and bug them. They were nice and gave me some pain meds but honestly I can't even tell I've taken anything. I spend all day at work with a heating pad and when I come home I use an ice pack and then a heating pad while I sleep. I just want to quit everything and stop trying. My next appointment is in three weeks and I'm seriously saying that if this pain can't be managed or fixed than I'm going to give up.
Should I go to a different type of doctor? I don't have a Rheumatologist in my HMO plan. I've already seen a Neurosurgeon who could not do anything for me. He didn't even look at my MRI disk. Just did the test with the pin and said I was not a surgical candidate. I don't have a pain psych in my HMO plan either. I'm basically limited to family doctors and internal medicine. Unless I switch my entire HMO group which would cause me to loose my PCP, PMP and psych. I'm just at the end of my rope. I'm tired of hurting. I'm tried of being under treated. I'm not even sure I'm being treated for the cause of the pain. And to top it off the norco I'm on right now is giving me horrible nausea and bad mood swings. Mostly anger. I don't even want to take it because of these side effects. I don't know why the 7.5 would be so different from the 10. I didn't get any of these side effects with the 10.
I'm so sorry that you STILL haven't received your TENS Unit yet!!
I don't think it hurt for you to give them a call on Monday and ASK about it. You could find out WHERE it is being sent, whether to them or to your home. Maybe they will have been notified IF the Unit has been shipped as yet.
It's a SHAME that you you are having ALL of this pain and your meds aren't helping. If I remember correctly, they gave you Norco 7.5/325 BUT before you had been taking the 10/325, is that correct? I'm SO sorry that they aren't helping your pain at all. There's NOTHING worse than when you can't get ANY relief from your meds!! My meds would be making ME angry too about now if this were happening to me. :(
I had a thought about your HMO. Could you OR your Doctor call and get a SPECIAL OK for you to go OUT of your plan and SEE a Rheumatologist? Sometimes when a Doctor will request this they WILL let you go outside of your Plan. It MIGHT be worth a try to see!! Your Doctor could tell them that you NEED to be seen by a Rheumatologist and just see what they say.
Kat, PLEASE stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. We're ALL VERY concerned about you My Dear........Sherry :)
Hey Kat I am so sorry you are having a rough time .I can feel your desperation in your post .Listen to Sherry .Her advice is always right on the money .She is right too about us all being concerned for you .It hurts us all when we see one of our members hurting and feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel .I hope your TENS unit arrives this week .Again Sherry gave you good advice about that .See if you can get a tracking number for it .That will give you a much better idea of when it will arrive .Just try to hang in there sweetie .I know that is easy for me to say but I have been in your position of being not treated ,undertreated and when you are hurting so much the pain seems to take over your whole being .We are all here for you to support you in any way we can .I am not as eloquent as some of our members but I hope you can feel what's in my heart in my message to you .There is light at the end of the tunnel .I know it's hard to see that sometimes but it will get better .I hope when you get your TENS that it will work magnificently for you . Also as Sherry has said see if your Dr can request a rheumatologist for you .That was an excellent idea .I will keep you in my prayers and send all the positive vibes I can to you ..I wish you all the best because you deserve it .
I am very sorry to hear that you are not only having increased pain and symptoms but that you have not yet received your TENS Unit.
If you were told it would take no longer than ten days than by all means you should contact the person that was responsible for ordering it. That is not bothering your PMP. You ordered a product and should have received it. Any number of things could have happened to it.
I am also wondering if you are not experiencing some withdrawal symptoms from the decrease in your narcotic dosage. I know it was not a huge change but it still could account for the nausea, bad mood and anger that you are experiencing. If that is the case it will improve in another week or so. However it may just be because your pain is not as adequately controlled as it was on the higher dose. Time will tell.
Sherry is correct. If your HMO does not offer certain specialties they should be willing to refer you out of plan. It will require your PCP written appeal but it is worth a try. Most HMOs will approve a consult out of the plan when they are unable to provide equal services. They do not want to risk being urned into the insurance commission. So please talk to your PCP. Get his approval and begin the appeal process.
My dear you just need to be assertive, don't give up. You are your own best health care advocate. If I can encourage you to do anything it would be to be assertive. Don't forget that we employ these physicians. They work for us. They are not doing us a favor. When you can look at it from that aspect it will be easier to be assertive.
I'll look forward to hearing from you soon. Hang in their our friend in pain. We are here for you. :)
Thanks all. I'm not assertive at all. I feel like I'm just a burden on my doctors. On everyone actually. I'm just going to see if it comes this week or if they call me. If not I'll call. For now I'm spending my day on the couch with a heating pad feeling sad. At my next psych appointment I'm going to ask him if there are any therapist in his practice that know anything about pain. As far as the medicine it's the same dose I was on if you think about it. I was on 10/325 3 times a day and now I'm on 7.5/325 4 times a day. So it's the same amount of medicine in a day. It just has such different effects on me. I'm taking Dramamine with it to try and help with the nausea but those pills are expensive! I've never reacted this way to norco before and I've been on it for 1.5 years. I know that young people don't get treated as well because of the abuse potential. But there is more abuse with short acting meds so I'm not sure why she keeps giving them to me even though she knows I have pain 24/7. I don't want to ask her for a long acting med because I don't want to seem like a druggie. Blah.
Is the brand of medicines the same with the Norco? I know that not all the brands use the same fillers. I have the same problem as you when it comes to the meds. They make me sick to my stomach. I was able to adjust to the percocet, but I can only take the endocet brand. The other brands give me horrible headaches and make me throw up.
I hope your tens unit arrives on Monday. I'd call the office on Monday afternoon to see where it is. It can't hurt to call. I hope the tens unit works for you too. Your insurance does not allow you to see pain management? That really is terrible. A good pain management clinic would be a good choice.
Maybe your doctor could switch you back to the 10mg. I've had to switch before and I've never had a problem doing so. I hope you feel better soon. Take care.
I'm in pain management. It's the only one in my HMO. The brand is the same. Made by Watson. I don't know if I should call and tell them that these are making me sick or what. I don't want them to think bad of me so I'm not sure if that's a good idea.
I think I'd call the Pharmacist and tell them what is going on FIRST with the meds and see what they have to say. I'd HATE for your Dr to take you off of them and NOT have a plan of action for your pain. That's just a suggestion!!!
I'm sorry you're going through this! It's so frustrating when you're in pain, trying to do everything you can, and the doctor doesn't seem to be very hepful.
Try to stand up for yourself and let the doctor know what your life is like with your pain not being controlled.
I also don't think they'll think anything bad about you for calling to check on your TENS unit.
I hope you get some relief time soon!
I'm just getting really frustrated with being treated by age and not pain. It's really messed up. The only thing that has worked for me so far is Norco, which is the only narcotic I've ever been on. But my doctor doesn't want me on pain killers long term no matter what my pain levels are. So she's trying everything else. I do agree that I'm 26 and don't want to be on pills forever and if there was a way to fix this tomorrow I would do it and that's the way she feels. She thinks I'm too young to be in chronic pain and wants to try all the "aggressive" ways to get rid of it. I really thought the injections were it but after all the side effects and of course they only lasted a few weeks, she said they were not for me and wouldn't make me get them anymore. So it's TENS and if that doesn't give me relief than she wants me to do the trial for the SCS.
The things that are wrong with my spine are only going to get worse with time. She feels that they can be fixed. She told me that most people my age don't even notice that they have a herniated disk. She seems to deny the fact that that's not all I'm dealing with. At this rate I'll have full blown DDD in a few years. The DDD will cause the arthritis to get worse and unless the disk goes back where it's supposed to be, it's going to cause me pain also.
The good thing about all of this is that when this all started over a year ago I tried physio therapy and I put myself on Wellbutrin after reading about pain management because it said that's one tool they use. So she's not making me do physio therapy again or try other anti-depressants. She is still making me take a NSAID daily to be a tool in my tool box of sorts but I wish I could stop taking it because of the stomach risks. I'm just so tired of being let down. Everything I try fails. I just want something that works.
I feel ya on the "being treated for your age" thing. I'm really sorry that doctor isn't treating your pain. I have two herniated discs and several buldging with DDD. My doctor seems to feel that treating it with medication is the best thing. There is such a variety of opinions in PM!
Hang in there. Is it possible that you could find a new PM? It does sound like she's treating you too much based on your age and not enough based on your condition.
I really hope that you get that pain under control. I know how frustrating it is to be young and in pain all the time.
This is the only PM practice in my HMO so it would be a big ordeal to switch networks. I would have to start all over from square one. But I might switch to a network that has a rheumatologist because I really think I need to see someone in that field. But I won't take that step until I've done all I can with this doctor. Which would probably be the point of the SCS trial. I know I have inflammatory back pain and a rheumatologist is best to diagnose that. The one thing I really wish was that my pain was not worse with rest. I can't even relax because that's when the pain is the worst.
I'm sorry to hear of your pain and also of the TENS unit not arriving.
Correct me if I'm wrong (and I may very well be - dealing with MAJOR lack of sleep because of pain) - if you were previously taking 3 10/325 a day and are now taking 4 7.5/325 a day, while the hydrocodone is the same amount over the course of a day, the acetaminophen level is higher (975 with the 10/325 and 1300 with the 7.5/325). I wonder if this increase of the acetaminophen, perhaps along with the NSAIDS could be causing, or at least adding to, your nausea.
Would your doctor perhaps prescribe something such as phenergan for the nausea? It works really well for me and since it's an older medication, it's relatively inexpensive (especially if you have drug coverage with your insurance). Zofran also works wonderfully - actually better than phenergan (for me anyway) - however, the zofran is prohibitively expensive for me and is not covered by my prescription coverage.
I didn't even think of that. I'll have to ask about that. I have a fear of throwing up so that just makes my anxiety go sky high when I feel nauseous so I'm trying not to take the Norco so the anxiety doesn't make the pain worse.
I take phenergen every day as well. It's the only way I can take any tylenol or NSAIDS.
I forgot to address where you said you don't want to be on pills for the rest of your life. I completely understand that. I feel the same way. We're much too young to be dealing with the pain and dealing with the things we need to take to manage the pain. From what I have heard about the SCS, I'm not sure how permanent a solution that is, but please let me know how it goes!
I, personally, have put my hope (first in God), second in artificial disc replacement. I've heard one bad story about it, but I have heard a lot of good. I'm even willing to travel to Germany to pay out of pocket for it. I know the DDD is a condition I will have all of my life, along with the brain aneurysms (which don't hurt), so I will always have to modify my life. But hopefully someday I will live without pain meds.
Also, I wanted to share that my husband was in a terrible car accident about 10 years ago and after many many surgeries, serious PT, and some opiate therapy, he has not taken any prescription med for at least 2-3 years. He has built up his muscular system around his spine to keep everything in line. He still has pain, but he takes Goody's powders or aspirin for it and when that's not enough he just deals with it.
He's how I know it's possible to live pill-free eventually and he is supportive of me no matter what. I find it comforting to know that it's been done before and I can do it too.
I hope it makes you feel a little better about the long run of all of this. We're all in it together.
There was a period of about 4 months since I've been hurting where I did not take anything for the pain. I figure if I could do it that time, I could do it again. I do yoga almost everyday trying to strengthen my muscles but it doesn't seem to be helping. I'm so fed up with the medical field that I'd rather hurt than be let down. I've spent so much time and money on doctors and I sort of want it all back because I don't see the point in any of this.
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