Hi, I'm new to this forum. I live in Lodi, CA, which is close to Stockton and Sacramento. I fist went to a doctor almost a year ago because of severe pain in my back and shoulders, as well as feeling sick all the time. Being sick turned out to be due to type-2 diabetes, GERD, and Hep-C. The diabetes and GERD is being treated with meds, although I've yet to receive any treatment for the Hep-c.
However, it is the chronic pain which brings me here today. My primary doctor had me get some x-rays, and then told me I have some herniated disks. As for the pain, he told me, well, you're old and have back problems, so you're just going to have to live with it. Also, I have diabetic nerve pain in my feet and hands.
The pain has kept getting worse, and I returned to the doctor several times about it. He prescribed neurontin for the diabetic nerve pain, which helps a bit with that, but it is the pain in my back and shoulders which is the serious problem, and he refused to prescribe anything for that.
The pain is so severe that I often can barely get out of bed or stand or walk for more than a few minutes. No position in a chair or a bed is comfortable. I can hardly sleep because the pain keeps me awake.
Recently the pain was so bad that I went to the Emergency room. The doctor there gave me a 4 mG shot of morphine, which gave me temporary relief for a few hours, and also a prescription for ten Tylenol 3s.
I have to say up up front that as my pain has gotten steadily worse, a friend gave me a supply of morphine. I've been taking 60 mG a day of morphine for several months, and it is the only thing that helps with the pain. It doesn't eliminate he pain, but at least reduces it to a manageable level where I can sit up in a chair, stand up long enough to do laundry or take a shower, etc.. Nothing else I've tried at friend's suggestions, tylenol, percoset, etc, does any good, and just makes me very drowsy and dizzy and nauseous. I wouldn't normally experiment with unprescribed meds, but the doctor wouldn't give me anything and I had to try something!
I don't think I'm yet addicted to the morphine because if I don't take any for a few days I don't get sick or all the classic symptoms of withdrawal. The only thing is that when the morphine wers off all the pain comes back. But even so, I'd rather take a chance on becoming dependant, than to suffer with all the pain which comes back when I quit taking it.
I'm no expert, but I think that a prescription for tylenol-3 is a joke and an insult for someone who needs 60 mg daily of morphine to cope with the level of pain I experience without it.
My Primary doctor finally said he would get me a referral to a pain management specialist. But after a few weeks without hearing anything I called his office and was told, oops, he forgot to put in the referral, but would do so now!
I guess my question to this group is can anyone recommend a primary care doctor or pain specialist in the Stockton / Sacramento area who will treat my pain as a serious condition and prescribe something that will actually help? All the doctors I've seen so far seem to have the attitude that chronic pain is a natural, normal, and necessary condition and I should just suck it up and be quiet about it :-)
I want to make clear that prior to my first doctor's visit in April of last year, I've neve been to a doctor, never been in a hospital, never used any type of opiates or pain pills, nothing except for plain aspirin. I'm not a drug user! I only took the morphine which was offered out of desperation, and found out that it really helps. But I can't depend on someone else to keep me supplied with an illegal substance. (They only had it because a relative who had a prescription died and left a quantity. But it's all gone now.)
So please forgive my rambling here. I need advice on what to do to get the medical system to recognize how bad I'm hurting and do something to help. For what it's worth, I'm on Medi-Cal, with Health Plan of San Juaqin.
Thanks for listening, and for any suggestions about what I should do.