Pain Management Community
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Avatar universal

Breaking Point

When I woke up this morning, took every pill under the sun, and still was in excruciating pain, I called and begged, begged my rheumatologist to see me for just 15 minutes tomorrow. The answer was no and to try Urgent Care. So I paid $100 waited 3.5 hours and had a 2 minute session with the doctor telling me he could prescribe me nothing, not even topical lidocaine, and the go to the ER.

By the way, sorry if you're getting sick of my posts but I've had it and don't know what to do as I'm about to relapse-i.e. go out and get some heroine or alcohol and numb everything.

Long story short I called my spronsor in tears after the doctor left the room, as I felt I deserved a few extra minutes being that I paid $100 and only got 2 minutes and my body literally gave out at that point as I lost all hope. The charge nurse immediatley came into my room, asked me to leave, and then called security. Then, as I left and walked into the hall I collasped. My muscles became weak and they literally gave out, perhaps my body just sank into the tiredness as I had lost hope.

So they thought I was psychotic and called the cops.

Ya. That's my life. How could this get worse? I'll be out of my pain meds before I see my doctor, and I already can't take the pain with them. Pain is the number one reasoin for suicide, although I do want to live, just making a point. I just feel like if there's a God, he/she is putting me through Hell before I get relief and I fear this will get worse. I just seem to have the worst luck

I give up. Nothing I do works. I'm just done trying. I'm so sad my heart literally hurts. I'm so tired it hurts. And I physically hurt so much I don't even notice the other hurts, I need someone else to be my advocate and stand up for me, but my mom won't do it and my friends are busy. I just need help if Im gonna make it.

21 Responses
547368 tn?1440541785
By your post I assume you are a recovering addict that has severe chronic pain. Is that the case? I apologize that I don't recall your diagnosis.

As an RN you know that Urgent Care and ERs will not often treat a Chronic Pain patient...no matter how severe their pain may be. I am so sorry that you are dealing with all this and hope that you are able to find a solution.

Do you see a PMP? If not I encourage you to request a referral to one. Often they can help. As you know there are medications that they can prescribe for someone in your situation. Also try adding some holistic pain management. It can also be beneficial.

Hang in there. It may take some time but there is hope. I wish you well.

Avatar universal
Hi SLadylani,

I'm so very sorry that you are having to go through all of these difficult situations!  NO ONE should have to put up with being treated the way that you are.

Tuck gave you some REALLY good suggestions I hope that you will try them.  A PM Doctor IS what you need. I HOPE that you will ask for a referral IF you don't already have one.  :)

Best of Luck and PLEASE keep us posted on your progress......Sherry
Avatar universal
Yes, I am a recovering addict with I suppose now, chronic pain. I have 4 years, one months, 3 days clean/sober. That makes it worse because healthcare providers are even more relcutant to prescribe, even thoguh statistics show a recovery addict is more likely to relapse if not appropriately palliated with meds than if the pain is preoperly treated, as if the pain is not treated, they are more likely to seek other means-such as street drugs-to treat the pain.

I'm still waiting to see my new PCP, there's a waitig list. Since I'm paying out of pocket for this reumatologist and neurologist I will now need referrals for those, and orthepedist due to my twisted/slanted low back-which will probably need surgery, and a PMP-which I'm not sure medical even covers. The problem is I'm pretty sure the referral process with Medi-Cal takes months and I just can't wait that long.

I'm almost out of meds, which only work half the time anyway, and am desperate, I don't know what to do. One doctor at the hospital even suggested I go accross the border to Mexico (I live in San Diego). I just don't think I could make the 2 hour drive, handle the stress, and don't want to seem that desperate.

I'm just so tired of this and am getting tired of fighting and explainging. I feel chronic pain has to have a cause, and I have one cause, my xrays show it, but none of these doctors seem to care or believe me, even when I offer to have them faxed 0over they refuse to look at it, almost as if they want me to be wrong and not have any problems and just be drug seeking as that makes it easier for them.

Anyway, thank you both for your suggestions and support, I really appreciate it!

1508881 tn?1313114901
That's not really true. I live in California and have yet to find a doctor that's not disappointing. Also insurance plays a big part in which doctors we can see.
765439 tn?1292960414
well most drs are dissapointing, but overall, less dissapointing in CA.
1508881 tn?1313114901
Well we do have a lot of specialist here and teaching hospitals. In San Diego where I live with have UCSD teaching hospital but I've been there and it was more disappointing than all of them. But if I get feed up with the frustrating world of medicine, than I can always go to medical weed.
Avatar universal
seriously!! My neighbor randomly left weed on my door step as a Christmas present...is that a sign? There is also a doctor a friend of mine referred me to in Hollywood that thinks I should be on a pot pill as it would be the best thing for my gut, pain, and liver,

I already know the world of medicine ***** which is why I'm trying to get my nurse practitioners so desperatelky. But I cant help others until they help me first. I collaspsed i the pharmacy today, was on the floor for 20 minutes as my legs were numb and went to the ER driving with me left foot as my right foot had a clonus. The ndoctor assumed I was drug seeking and refused to treat me and ordered a psych consult. I was discharged bot able to walk and the numness and tingling had progressed to my left arm and I was in excrutiating pain. That's medicine in a nutshell,

Luckily tomorrow I get my brain MRI and see a neurologiast to test for MS and will know more,
1412606 tn?1282882129
Yes, that is a horrible situation. When my herniated disc problem started, I went through something similar. They didn't send me away,  3 different ER's  and doctors in 1 week, all kept saying the same thing.You pulled a muscle. All I got was a hand full of vicodin and a few muscle relaxers. Anyone with this issue knows that vicodin doesn't even touch this kind of pain. Not even with a 10 foot pole. Took me 2 months of living every day, night, hour, and minute in agony before I got any help. And I live in California. Problem was, I couldn't see a doctor till I got medi - cal. Which took over a month. Atonicat is right. Our insurance here does tell us who we can and can't see. I am lucky to have a doctor myself who isn't afraid to give me some meds, even though I was a drug addict over 15 yrs. ago, when I was a teen. For the last month I have been complaining though. She will only give me a long acting med. Which is Oxy contin, which my doc won't pay for, or MS contin. I Hate The MS Contin. It is the worst thing I have taken. Ok, it does help with pain, ( until the breakthrough kicks in) but the morphine just makes me feel sick. Not drugged, just tired... all the time, and sometimes nauseous. And She gives me percocet, but only 2 5/325 a day. Which I have to take every night when I wake up in the middle of the night. I have nothing left for the day. Sometimes breakthrough pain will hit me 3 hours after taking it. That means I have to wait 5 hours before I can take the morphine again. And then that takes an hour to kick in. So I don't mean to sound selfish, but sometimes I think, " What's the point of taking these long acting meds, if your not going to have the right breakthrough meds."
Avatar universal
I need help. Last night I went to the ER...again... because my legs have been getting weaker and collapsing under me, but usually I'm able to get back up. This time I was on the floor for 20 miinutes, my legs were numb and jello like, I had double vission, then they started to tingle ands burn. My friend insisted I called an ambulance, but I didnt want the hub-bub so I drove to the ER with my left foot, as my right foot has an on/off clonus rigfht now.

Long story short the doctor is wonderful at first saying he'll figure out whats going on. I became so scared ands was in so much pain I couldn't extend any of my joints and hjad to be in the fetal position. The security guard kept me company upon which he heard my story.

The doctor came back and started to yell at me saying he looked at my records, found out I was a drug seeker ands could never receive nbarcotic s at that hospital again and that he was gonna discharge me right there. He wouldn't even give me the chance to explain I wasn't asking for narcotics and wasn't going to ask for a prescription, I was just scared that I'd have to be in wheelchair permanately and by this time my left arm was numb as well, m y pulse 141 and short of breath, which are symtpoms of heart attack/stroke or from a panick attack, for which he wouldn't treat me.

He didnt beleive me that with Medi-cal there are waiting lists and I'm switching primarys right now as the old one wasn't doing her job, never faxed the appropriate referrals, no doctors could ever get a hold of her, she thought I was a drug addict and would drug test me each visit, and refused to see me last visit as I was 5 minutes late and they said I had to schedule another apppointment with her...for a month later. So that's why I've been having to go to the ER for scripts.

He said there no such thing as a waiting list and tyhey sould be able to get me in in 2-3 days. I told him I call every day for cancelations, but it's the holiday season/. The security guard witnessed it all and felt so bad for me and the way he treated me was inappropriate.

Next there was a hysterical psych ;lady next to me that no one coukld calm down, I offered to help but the psych consult said no, the doctor says I need to see you next anyways. He ordered a psych consult on me. Basically the hysterically lady, who was screaming and disrupting the entire ER demanded I talkj to her because I had suggestions for her as I had been were she was. After talking to her she stopped screaming and crying and started to be logical again. Top the staff, my helping thwem out went unnoted.

The psych consult said that my stories weren't matching up with all the nurses and doctors and I tiold her thats because I gewt a different diagnosis and instructions each time. I don't know what to say, but I never lie and she could call each doctor, check charting, or talk to my friends to verify everything I said. She didn't believe me and disagreed with pseudoaddiction-she didnt even know what it was.

I left in so much pain and unable to walk.Today I run out of percocet 10/650 and Vicodin 5/500 timers 2 tabs and a muscle relaxer, all of which I take three times a day. I am a hospice nurse and majoring in palliative or comfort care and I cant even get it myself. I have seen miracle when we take patients off all the percocet and vicodin that doesn't work and put them on one pill twice a day-either MS Contin or Oxycontin. Their mood changes, they can function better, they feel better and happier and freeer. But I can't even get a doctor to prescribe vicodin to me anymore, even with the xray of a serious back injury.

Basically I've decided I have to become home bound again and I'm just going to continue to take large amounts of sleeping pills so I can sleep for a long time and hope that by the time I wake up someone will be there to help me. I cannot take the pain anymore.

Last year, my first huge pain flareup, I tried to commit suicide to get away from the pain. I don't want it to get to that point this time. I have 4 years 1 month and 1 week clean/sober today, but am most likely ghoing to relapse to get rid of the pain because when it comes down to it, relapse is probably better than taking my own life,. I worked so hard dfor this clean time, grew so much, and have such a strong message to carry. And to through it all away is just so sad. But I dont have any other options because I dont care what people say, I cant tolerate this pain/.

And my supporting recovering addicts are great, but unless youve been in chronic sever pain yourself its hard to understad. I just don't get why for 23 years of my life I've been in some kind of pain, whether it be emotional mental, spiritual, or physical. Why can any loving God do this to me? Ive been told I will only be given what I can handle, but I cant do this anymore. I dont want to get hgih IO just want the pain gone so I can function becauzse I'vbe nev er been able to be 23 and go out on dates or anything. I've always been sick in some way. and its tragic to think that I have dreams of changeing healthcare and the world, but might not be able to do that because no one cared enough to go out on a limb for me. Any resources, any suggestions, any support or just love would help right now. Thanks. Sara
Avatar universal
I'm sorry for what you are having to deal with right now BUT I read some of your other posts and I noticed that you had your MRI scheduled for today and your Neurologist appointment right after that and I wondered how they went and what you found out?

Also, what day is your NEW PCP's appointment scheduled for?  On Dec. 4th when the ER refilled your prescriptions, you said that they gave you a referral to a NEW PCP. :)

I HOPE that you can hang on for just 2 more days as I noticed that your Rheumatologist appointment is on the 15th.  :) You said that with the prescriptions that you received on the 4th from the ER that you felt that you would be able to get through until the 15th until you see your Rheumatologist. :) I'm a little confused by those posts and then these two posts that you posted today.  I HOPE that you will be able to explain this as I'm VERY concerned about you.  

Looking forward to your update........Sherry  :)
172023 tn?1334672284
Give acupuncture a sincere try, if you haven't.  Be sure to ask for a practitioner who uses tha Balance Method.  It's different from traditional acupuncture.  You may need several treatments.

Also, just a comment.  If you are taking percent 10/650 tid, and vidicon 5/500 2 tabs tid, you are exceeding your max daily safe limit of acetaminophen.  You are at risk of liver complications.  In fact, some of your symptoms could be those of chronic acetaminophen poisoning.  

At some point, just as I have had to do, along with most CP patients, you will have to learn different ways to cope with the pain.  You will likely not be able to make it go away, no matter how much narcotic you take.  Eventually, no matter how much you take, your body becomes tolerant of that dose, and you need more.

You should never, no matter how much pain you are in, take more meds than is prescribed and safe.  I know that no competent practioner told you to combine percs and vics in those dosages.  I know that you came up with that on your own out of desperation and pain.  This is how true addiction occurs, rather than the dependence that necessarily accompanies long term opiate use for pain control.  Most of use are dependent on opiates to some degree. But when you exceed safe dosages, you are crossing the line.

I am in the process myself of accepting that CP will be with me for life, and I'm getting past the hysteria of trying to find "something" that works.  Nothing, in fact, has helped me for long.  So now, it's up to me to find a way to live with it, and to make my life worthwhile.  It's the only life we have.  It's our choice to live it in drama, pain, screaming, crying, and taking countless pills, or to learn to meditate, smile when we don't feel like it, find something that interests us, and learn to love the small things that crop up and delight us from time to time.  

To a point, it's up to us.    I am not being critical of you.  I'm saying this out of the utmost of care and concern.  It's a fact that you were a former addict.  You have a propensity to have that addictive drive.  You must forever guard against your disease finding ways to get you to over use and return to the addiction lifestyle.  Danger sign number one is taking more medication than is prescribed and safe.  danger sign number two is ER visiting, no matter if you are "asking" for pain meds or not.  

I'm sorry if what I write sounds harsh.  Again, I mean it out of the utmost of care and concern for a fellow RN.  Your former disease really wants you back.  It will likely make you furious at what I just wrote.  It will likely make you dismiss what I say as "but she just doesn't get it".   I assure you, I am in a lot of uncontrolled pain, with 4 herniated discs, severe spinal arthritis, and now shingles.  I've never once taken drugs in the amount you described.  It's not safe.  Your disease is telling you that in the short run, it's ok.  It's telling you that you just haven't found the right combo of meds yet.  It's telling you that MSContin would likely work.  Lies, my dear.  Lies.  

I wish you the best, and I fully understand that you will not like me much after this.  But, that's ok.  I'll still like and be concerned for you.

Avatar universal
Thank God someone other than me recognized the APAP overdosed....my MDs were totally missing it despite my pointing it out. And thanks for everyones warm and even seemingly harsh words, I take them all as wisdom. Just been in bed for past 3-4 days minus appointments, off meds completely, in so much pai I can't tell you. But I'm doing it becauase that's what were told in recovery is that we're not given more than we can handle. We won't have to relapse or explode over anything. Period.
172023 tn?1334672284
Now you're dramatically going in the other direction.  Even recovering addicts should have pain treated when needed.  You simply have to be very careful about it.  

As a nurse, you are well aware of how much is too much acetaminophen.  If Dr. 1 gives you an rx for Vicodin, and Dr. 2 gives you an rx for Percocet, it is understood that you will not take both at the same time.  I know that one doctor didn't give you both to take at the same time.  

I have the utmost sympathy for what you are going through.  I assume the "harsh comment" remark was for me.  Concern can be tough to hear sometimes.  It doesn't always come with cuddles and kisses.  

You clearly have improperly treated pain.  You need a pain management doctor.  ONE doctor who handles all of your pain management.  You will not be able to get rx's from other doctors.   One doctor.  You may be asked to sign a contract agreeing not to get rx's from other doctors.  You will often have to agree to only use one pharmacy.  Some here have had to agree not to use ERs or Ugent Care for pain meds.  You may be drug tested randomly to be sure that you are taking your meds, and aren't taking anything else.  

So..take your meds responsibly.  You know as a nurse how to do this.  If you can't, address the reason why.  If your disease is triggering you to use more than is wise, you may need more treatment in the addiction realm.  If your pain is inadequately treated, a PM doc can help, if you will comply with their requirements.

You DO have more than you can handle right now, regardless of what they say in rehab.  You need some help.  That much is clear.  Again, I do care.  And I'm worried about you.  Sorry if you perceive my message as harsh.  That's your disease coloring what you read.

I wish you the best,

Avatar universal
Well I know, it is my passion and belief and major, that no one in life deserves to be in pain. I supposed I just surrendered to the fact that I was not going to be able to have my pain treated the way Sara wanted to and had to surrender and accept to another, or what we call in recovery-sorry-a higher powers plan (thats part of our twelve steps).

So I'm searching the holistic realghm and OTC world right now until I get get into see my PCP next week and get referred to a Pain clinic and proper doctor, not chiropractor, for my back and neck conditions. And the doctor that gave me the percocet knew I was taking the vicodin, thats the thing. I always go to the same ER so they have my medlist there and I always show it to the doctors at each visit so they know what I'm taking. I never tried to hide or maipulate expect for maybe hiding the fact I used to be an active drug addict-that can either work for my benefit or detrement in pain treatment I find.

Believe me, I find as a nurse it's often the doctors that make the mistakes and the nurses who cathc them. But I already go to one pharmacy as I don't want the DEA after me, and I would love to get all my scripts from one doctor and to never go to the ER again.

My friend goes to a pain clinic here and says it really works for her so I'm going to ask to be referred to the same one. I know that you care, and I so appreciate that, I just need to stress for my own relief that my addiction is in order and I am working a strong program right now and have not been abusing pills as I've been in direct communication with my sponsor and other addicts and myself- who is the harshish judge.

172023 tn?1334672284
My heart goes out to you.  I know you're in pain, and I know what it's like to work in pain.  I hope you find some relief soon.

Best of luck,

Avatar universal
Thanks Peek,

Avatar universal
I guess I'm confused.  I thought the ER doctor refused to prescribe medication and asked you to leave?  Did you go to a different ER?  I'm sorry I just got confused at that point.  I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with your back.  As a fellow neck and back pain sufferer I know it can be really horrible.  

I do see a pain management doctor and have found that to be working out really good.  I hope you can fiind one, because I think that may work for you. Then you can have one person looking after you and giving you good care, some of the information you have told us, you have been treated very unfairly and I don't know if you have written any letter of complaints but I know I would have.  The way the ER doctor talked to you was just terrible and nobody should have to go through that.  NO MATTER WHAT.

Please hang in there, and I hope you can find a pain doctor soon.  Don't give up.

Avatar universal
I'm really glad that you are looking into going to a PM Doctor.  That's EXACTLY what you need to do!! :)

You NEVER told us about your MRI.  How did it go and what did you find out.  Also what did your Neurologist say after your MRI?  We'd like to know how your Rheumatologist appointment went on the 15th.  We are VERY concerned about you and are HOPING that these Dr.'s - the Neurologist and Rheumatologist - were able to be of help to you and give you something for your pain!!  :)

Looking forward to your update on these appointments. :).........Sherry
Avatar universal

Just wanted to check in about all my appointments last week and the upcoming this week. So I had the MRI, but then I found out that it only diagnosis about half or sdo of all MS sufferers, others are diagnosed through other testing such as a spinal tap. I saw the neurologist who said he would look at the images and get back to me but never did...he never even asked me about my symtoms...the appointment was about 5 minutes.

I see my New Primary care doctor this week on Wednesday and am going to ask her for  Medi-Cal referral to one and discuss my symptoms with her, as I am really concerned there is something more to this. People have been comenting lately on how bad I shake/have tremors and I'm hoping it's not from damage to my spinal nerves, which would be the only other region.

I'm also going to ask my PCP for a referral to a orthepedist as my chiroprator just seems to be doing nothing, if not making it worse, and from the looks of the last xray, it appears when I injured my back 4 years ago, I must have broke it in some way-I was in so much pain-and it healed completely wrong-twisted and slanted 20 degrees.

The rheumatologist was a real disappointment as my good friend who also had the lupus referred me to her saying she was great. The day of my appointment, after waiting three months, she calls in sick, so I had to see this guy! Turns out the same thing happened to my friend at first and we had the exact same stories. He told her, like me, that she didn't have lupus, so she went of all her meds and ended up needing 2 blood transfusions.

He stated I had severe fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome an d the only treatment was to suck it up and deal with it and push through the pain. As a Hospice nurse majoring in palliative care, that's not an acceptable answer to me. I feel that because I am so young people are reluctanmct to believe I could have any of these problems, even though I test positive and have all the signs and symtoms. 4-5 years ago I was diagnosed with SLE/lupus like autoimmune disorder so I'm going with that as my friend said not to trust this doctor.

But I am not so concerned with finding a diagnosis any more. I just want to find a way to live. Today I did have to take one percocet, my  first in a week (I save 2 from my last script) but that was ok. And tomorrow hopefully the pain won't be that bad and my herbal stuff will be ok.

Oh, and I am so excited, in my AA/NA group I was referred to this great pain management doctor, who works with a lot of other alcoholics and addicts in the program like me! I don't care if he doesn't take my insurance, he's what I need and what my gut and heart will feel safe with and who I can trust. I already called and am waiting for his nurse to call back and schedule an appointment.

So thats the jist. Pretty much every day I start at a 4/10 pain and end at a 6-7/10 pain, but on several days out of the week I have an 8/10 pain and on my bad bad days I have a 10/10 pain, and those are the days I would need something. That's all I want. And I just want a doctor who trusts me enough to be able to do that.

I so appreciate all of your guys/girls support, I really don't think I could be doing this without you. I look forward to opening up  my computer every day and hearing from you!

Sara :)
1375159 tn?1311688344

I'm sorry that your appointment didn't go well. I think that it's great that you're going to go to a doctor that specializes in addiction/pain. That is WONDERFUL! I have read about people with addictions/pain who have found great success in pain management this way. I'm very happy for you.

It's awful that the other doctor just told you that you have to deal with it. I don't understand why people like that become doctors. I mean, they should be trying to get you to be able to live your life. It's so easy to get consumed in just being in pain all of the time when your pain is not under control. I hope and I pray that the other doctor is a great doctor who can diagnose and treat you.

Hugs (and thank you for updating),

Avatar universal
Thanks Flower!

Ya, a part of me does not understand how one can become a specialist in something unless you've had personal experience with the area yourself. In other words, if you have never experienced pain, how can you be a pain management doctor?? Anyway, thanks for your support.

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