Hello, I'm 20, almost 21, years old and for a the past few years I've been suffering from a high amount of pain. More than what the average person my age goes through. I'm not sure the cause of my pain, but it may stem from many different things. I'll find out what exactly it is when I go to the doctor's next month. My big problem is that most pain medications do not help. I have taken Diclofenac, Gabepentin, High strength ibuprofen, and more, but none of it really helps, and by it doesn't really help, I mean I literally feel nothing when I take them. The only medications that have worked are higher dose Hydrocodones. Even the lower dose ones do not work very well.
The thing is, doctors know people my age tend to abuse the higher strength medications and do not typically prescribe them to young adults except for sever injuries or after surgeries and even then, it's really only for a few weeks, or a month's time.
Would I be able to convince a doctor to prescribe me something like Hydrocodone on a regular basis? If so, what is the best way to go about doing so?
I have no interest in abusing the medication. I am in legitimate pain and need legitimate relief. Not only is it overwhelming, but it's also depressing. I see people my age having fun and participating in physical activities, but I can't even stand for more than 10 minutes without getting shaky and unbalanced. Being that I used to be very active as well makes it even worse. I just want to be myself again and the only time I can do that is when I have taken something that actually relieves my pain, and even then.. it's only for a few hours. It also affects how and where I work. Standing up at a counter for hours at a time is unbearable, so 90% of the jobs I could get are pretty much out of the question.
Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear you are going through so much pain. I'm glad to hear that you are going to see a doctor soon. I'm sure it would be nice for you to find out what exactly is causing your pain so it can be treated appropriately. Usually, the doctor will prescribe pain medication based on the diagnosis and level of pain.
Where is your pain? Can you share what kind it is? Throbbing, tingling, sharp, dull? It would be helpful to get an idea of where and exactly what you are doing when the pain hits. Or do you feel the pain all of the time. Does it ever subside or get worse with certain movements?
For the most part the pain is in my lower back (which tends to extend up to my neck and shoulders), but I tend to hurt just all over. Specifically in my joints, but even in random spots like the middle of my lower and upper arms and down at my thighs. My knees hurt as well, but they've been hurting since my days of skateboarding and they never hurt as bad as anywhere else except when there's moisture in the air and my joints swell.
They're all very sharp pains that do not subside no matter what natural pain relief exercise I attempt and low grade pain reliever I take. Simply resting does not help. I've even taken 50mg Tramadol and 325/5mg Hydrocodone prescribed from past injuries and the effect is barely noticeable. Don't get me wrong though, I don't take these medications on a regular basis so it's not from developing a tolerance. It all gets worse with movements, especially my lower back. To the point where I am in complete agony and in tears, which is a little embarrassing to admit, but it does often leave me in that much pain.
I should go to a doctor sooner, but because I have not been able to get a job and afford insurance of my own and am currently stuck living with my parents, I have to wait until I can get Medicaid.
Hello and Welcome. I agree with bluebird that once a specific cause is found hopefully the doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment for you. I'm sorry you are in so much pain and I hope your doc can help you remedy that soon. Things such as herniated discs in your back, spurs, nerve issues, etc. can cause the radiating low back issue you are describing but only tests such as a MRI or Cat scan can determine your cause for sure. Other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia, just to name a couple can cause the body wide, severe pain that you are describing as well, and further testing will be necessary to determine those as well.
The main thing in helping to control pain is to try to alternate work, rest, and play and do all of them in moderation . Trying different things such as frequent position changes, avoiding sitting, standing, or walking for longer than 15 mins at a time before you change positions or tasks often helps reduce the pain to a lesser degree. You mentioned that most docs won't prescribe pain meds to someone your age from fear of abuse. Abuse of medications can occur in any age group so I doubt that your doc will withhold prescribing you the proper medication based on your age so please don't let that discourage you.
Please keep us posted on what you find out, and how you are doing. Good Luck and God Bless Brenda
Welcome to the Chronic Pain Couch. I am so sorry to hear about your chronic pain. We know how very difficult it can be to manage on a daily basis. My heart goes out to you.
Before most reputable physicians will prescribe opiate medications on a long term basis or in higher strengths you will need a diagnosis. Recently I spent six months in another state. The PMP informed me that they are not even prescribing opiates for such things as Fibromyalgia. It has to be a diagnosis that can be "seen" on imaging. (We all know how very painful Fibro can be.) Fortunately or unfortunately I do have multiple pain producing conditions that can be "seen" on imaging. However had I not they wouldn't have prescribed me anything stronger then an aspirin. My heart goes out to ppl that do suffer with conditions that cannot be diagnosed with the tools currently available to medical science.
I tend to agree that sometimes age can play a part in what medications and their strengths are ordered. It has to do with time. If you start on high doses of opiates at twenty to manage your pain where will those doses be at twenty six or thirty? So physicians lean towards, less is better. Holistic and alternative treatments are heavily relied upon when a patient is very young.
It may not seem fair to you but the future would be pretty bleak if you had no where to go with medications in several years. I know that's probably not what you want to hear... and I apologize but I don't want to offer you false hope. That would not be kind.
First, find that diagnosis and then see if there is a treatment option for you, or even a cure It's possible that PT, injections, an oral burst of steroids or other similar treatments will help ease or eliminate your pain.... along with a small dose of opiates.
Brenda is correct. Abusers are in all age groups. It's also a statistical fact that less then 4% of Chronic Pain Patients ever become addicts.
Managing chronic pain is not all about taking opiates.... It's also about learning how to live with your pain. Good Pain Therapists can be invaluable. Proper Pain Management is not high doses of opiates, indeed that should be our last resort.
I wish you well at your physicians appt... ask to get to the root cause of your symptoms. Please let us know how you are doing. We'll look forward to your updates.
Thank you all for your replies. They are very helpful and I appreciate it.
@Tuck: Your post was very informative. Starting at a lower dose does seem a lot more reasonable when you put it that way. I wasn't so much expecting any specific answer so it doesn't bother me that you suggest alternative treatments as well. Pain therapy will be something I will look into for sure. I'm hoping to see the doctor very soon and when I do, I will be sure to find a diagnosis. One of the worst things about being in this amount of pain is that I don't know where it comes from most of the time.
I already do a lot of exercises, physically as well as mentally, in order to reduce the pain I'm in. I have changed my diet, even, to improve my overall health, as well as taking supplements on a daily basis. I try to stay as active as possible while attempting not to overwhelm myself. It all helps to some degree and it helps me get through the day.
It won't be long until I can see a doctor. I finally turned 21 the other day so I can now get medicaid which will allow me to finally see one and get an appointment.
I was able to talk to my mom about this and found out that a condition known as Ankylosing Spondylitis runs in her side of the family. Many of my relatives have the condition and my second oldest brother has also been diagnosed with this. A lot of the symptoms are spot on with the symptoms I experience, although I experience a few more symptoms, which might just be related to something else.
Again, thank you all for the replies! It helps to be able to talk people who don't pass my pain off as imaginary and/or start a contest to see who hurts more (a little too common of an experience :/).
Thanks for your update. It's so good to hear from you again. Often ppl post once and they are gone... we are left to wonder and sometimes worry about them. So again thanks, and belated Happy Birthday!
Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis. In time it usually causes the affected spinal bones to fuse. It is more prevalent in males then in females. I sincerely hope that you do not have this condition.
I hope you will be able to get to the bottom of your symptoms. No one should have to suffer with untreated chronic pain... regardless of their age. I didn't intend to mislead you. some ppl your age are prescribed the "Big Dog" opiates. It will depend on your DX (diagnosis) and your physician's practices.
How has your pain been? I hope you will let us know how you are doing.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a scary thought, to be honest. I really don't like the thought of it, but the symptoms are there and it does run in the family. It's an unfortunate possibility. I really hope that it's not it, either.
There has been no misleading here. Yours and others' posts have helped and have been very informative. It helps not only to have this information, but to have people I can actually talk to about what's going on. The level of anxiety and depression that has come with the pain can get overwhelming and this helps a lot.
Unfortunately, the pain has been gradually increasing. The warmer it's been getting, the more I've been trying to push myself to be active. I try to keep everything balanced, though, and keeping my mind off of the pain is about the best thing I have right now. I don't hurt as much typically while being active, but the moment I stop, I feel it and I feel it hard.
I hope to get to the doctor's within the next month.
We know that you have not been misleading. That's one of the wonderful things about this group, we trust what ppl tell us. We know what it's like to not be believed. And we know the pain and anxiety that chronic pain dumps on us. I think that is even more acutely true when you have no DX. :o( I know it was for me.
The day I finally had a DX was truly one of the happiest days of my life. That would sound extremely strange to anyone other then those of us that have been there.
I have found great comfort and understanding at the MedHelp Forums and this Group. Mollyrae and I joined MH in the same month, same year and only live 50 miles apart. We became fast friends. We saw a need for this Group and Molly ran with it. I hope you will all keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she is struggling right now.
But back to you Anonymous. Are you taking any NSAIDs? If not discuss these with your pharmacist until you can see a physician. Pharmacists are really the medication experts and their input can be valuable.... and it's free!
Heat rubs can also be beneficial. Personally I like ThermaCare.... but that's not a rub and will only cover one area... but the heat is penetrating and lasts 8+ hours and feels so soothing. There are some generic forms of that now that are less expensive. They aren't quite as effective but will do.
I hope you'll be able to get that appt very soon and please let us know how it goes. I'll be thinking of you.
I was finally able to get medicaid so I've been able to make an appointment for myself at last. My appointment with a doctor, who I've heard good things about, will be on the 21st (in two days) and I also got myself an appointment with a psychiatrist on August 5th for my anxiety problems.
I'm glad I'm finally going to be able to get things done about my back, since things only seem to get worse as time goes on.
After finally getting quite a few tests done, such as a lot of blood work, x-rays, and an MRI, a test finally came up positive for what I have. This is an odd thing to be excited about but it means I can get it treated properly and the pain isn't coming from nothing. A blood test has confirmed that I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I finally get to get things done. I have an appointment on Monday to figure out where to go from here.
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