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My Pain Story

Jan 16, 2011 - 3 comments
Tags:

Pain

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Oxycodone

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hydromorphone

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morphine

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hurt

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Ankle pain



I am a 31yr old chronic pain patient, wife, mother of two, daughter, sister, & friend.  Strange thing I think is I identify as a chronic pain patient first & have been since sometime in 2000. My pain began in my lower lumbar spine from the very beginning. I started out as a patient with a Primary Care Physician with a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease, stenosis, & sciatica. I was working in a call center where I sat for 10 hours a day plus.  I was in a true living hell and felt like no one understood.  I felt so alone for a very long time.  I was prescribed Lortab and they didn’t work at all.  Then I was prescribed Percocet 5mg tablets.  I found only the brand name was beneficial and helped manage the pain. Percocet made life bearable but eventually my dose had to be increased to the 7.5mg tablets and then to the 10mg tablets.  

Percocet worked well for me until 2003 when one night I had a flare in my lumbar spine that felt like someone hit me in the back with a sledgehammer! It was later found to have been in my facet joint.  This landed me smack into the ER.  They gave me Percocet tablets and later a shot with a combination of Dilaudid and some other anti-inflammatory and still I was hurting.  The next day I was scheduled at an Ortho Center and met with a surgeon.  He determined that I would benefit from their pain management program because I was too young for spine surgery.  The next day I was introduced to the doctor that I still have today.  He scheduled for a procedure to do an injection into the facet joint the next day.  I was scared to death.  I am scared of needles… even tiny ones.  Have you seen those spinal needles? I almost fainted when I checked it out online and found out what it involved.  Still scared I felt better about things because I felt most importantly my new pain management doctor addressed my pain and medication.  He changed me to the Duragesic Patch 50mcg which was my first saving grace. I am allergic to the generic but I had great insurance along with a coupon for $50 off that I could print each month took care of my co-payment.  Over the next period of my treatment I went through McKenzie Physical Therapy for ankle and spine.  My Duragesic patches were increased to 75mcg and then to 100mcg.  I was given Oxycodone 15mg and Dilaudid 8mg (6th month intervals) for breakthrough pain.

I also went through a Medical Branch Nerve Block for pain behind my shoulder blade that went down into my arm.  It caused weakness and was a very sharp, shooting pain.
After the nerve block the pain behind my shoulder blade never returned.  I have had numerous facet joint injections, epidural injections in lumbar & lower thoracic spine and cortisone shots (in ankle before surgery in 2008).–

In 2008 my right ankle was fused with 8 bolts, a rod in my leg and what they call a “nail” in through my heel to connect everything.  It was the result of a not at fault car accident in 2006.  A lady looked right at me and pulled out in front of me anyway.  I was only going 35 before I started to stop and it still totaled my car and my ankle broke… snapped in ½.  I had an open compound fracture causing me to walk with a permanent pain.  For the first 2 years I walked on the ankle after they put it back together.  It kept getting worse and worse as time passed.  I ended up with a cyst in the joint, bone spurs that the ligaments and tendons rubbed against when I walked.  My ligament never tightened back up correctly. One night I got up to go to the restroom and ended up in the floor.  I had avoided it until it was impossible to avoid any further.  I was scheduled for surgery the next week.  The surgery resulted in an estimated disability rating at 35% by the surgeon one year after surgery (2009) while it was still healing.  I go back in January for an evaluation for a new rating.  My hardware is permanent but I am having problems with one of the screws.  My pain doctor believes it is working itself out on the outside of my ankle.  Again I am scared to even think for a second I might have to have surgery again.  The worst pain I ever felt was when I woke up from the fusion surgery.  It felt like they forgot the pain medicine… and I had on a Duragesic patch which made no dent on that pain! Now, I can walk for short periods of time and have a huge limp which has causes my back to become more painful.  After my last spinal injection in 2010 I asked to have my breakthrough medicine reduced in ½ (it had been doubled after surgery in 2008) and I couldn’t walk so the doctor changed it back. I was then diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Approx a year ago the brand name Duragesic patches which were the ones with the well of medication become no longer available… after going through withdrawals from the new type of patch I find they have changed not only how the medicine is made into the patch but also the way the patch dispenses the medication.  At this point my doctor changed me to MsContin 60mg every 12hrs instead of the patch.  It didn’t last the entire 12 hours and seemed to wear off after 6hrs.  I explained this with a pain diary and chart and he decided to change it to every 8hrs. That worked ok for me for a few months until I got a new job sitting most of the day in this horrible chair.  Even after a new chair I was miserable.  The next change was to the 100mg tablets, still three times a day which is every 8hrs. And for breakthrough I still take Oxycodone 15mg tablets, two tablets three times a day.  Together I finally feel like a person again… I honestly find a few times in my day where I can say I do not hurt at all, ankle or back.

Working Today.... Blah

Jan 15, 2011 - 0 comments
Tags:

Blah

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working

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humana

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Call Center

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medicare part D

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health insurance



260370?1295090523
Can you believe they are making me work today? SATURDAY.... well I guess it's my own fault.  I have to go to the lawyer next week and since they are REQUIRING 10 hours overtime from everyone I have to make up my time before I ever miss it!  I am thankful for overtime considering I only make $9hr. but I just do not know how I am going to make it all week long sitting in the chair with no breaks, 15min lunches and 10hr days.... I am going to call my doctor and get a note that says I cannot work that many 10hr shifts in a row.... that way I can work 8 of the hours on my day off and come in a little early every other day to make the 10hrs.  Wow... I surely didn't miss working in a call center.  Atleast I have a job.  I am working for Humana.... in the Pharmacy department explaining Part D Medicare coverage.... so if you have any questions I can probably answer them.... hehehe..... Wish me luck... its 8am to 2pm today!

Struggling with ankle pain...

Jan 11, 2011 - 5 comments
Tags:

Ankle pain

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struggling

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x-rays

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morphine

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Oxycodone

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fusion

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ankle fusion



259362?1389705153
I am struggling with ankle pain and no response really from my pain management or ortho doctor.  The only feedback I got was there is not a hardware failure... well, even if there is not there is still something wrong! IT HURTS! I mean I often cry at night in pure unforgiving pain.  I just need my doctor to listen to me, to increase my medicine or here's an idea fix what's wrong! It's not my fault the lady pulled out in front of me but I tell you, I am the one who is suffering.  It's just not fair... and with no insurance I have to pay for my medicine which is $120 for one and $100 for the other.  That's alot for someone making $9hr.  I posted three new x-rays to my profile... take a look... does it look normal to you or like it has to hurt! because it looks just awful to me.  Attached is one of the x-rays... it appears as if it has not fused all the way.... but it has been since 2008.... I could just cry thinking about it.


Working & Hurting

Sep 20, 2010 - 5 comments
Tags:

Pain

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hurting

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working

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lumbar back pain

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Facet Joint Pain



I just don't know if I can do it... I don't think I can make sitting for 8.5-9hrs in this chair all day.  Even with my medicine I am almost in tears.  I am hurting so bad, especially today, my back is screaming out in pain.... I could just cry!