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Avatar universal

How do I get relief?

I'll try to give you the Readers Digest version of my situation.  I have had chronic lower back pain for years.  I have been to various physicians for evaluation, all say you have a bulging disc, we all have bulging discs, deal with it.  Finally I found a physician a few years ago who was hands down the best physician I have ever been to.  She referred me to pain management, I was handed Rx after Rx for opiates and had multiple epidurals without success.  The PM finally did a discogram which revealed two torn discs and 3 herniated discs between T12-L5.  I was referred to a neurosurgeon, but before I could get to the NS I woke up with severe upper back and left shoulder pain and left arm weakness.  I told PM about this and was brushed off, when I finally got to the NS he confirmed that I had a severe and acute C4-5 herniation that would require surgery.  A month later (and the day before surgery) I received a call from my PM telling me about my cervical herniation and at that point offered to adjust my medication.  I said no thank you, I am having surgery tomorrow.  I had a ACD with fusion the next day.  Over the next several months I re-evaluated my need for PM (after having my PCP change the provider) and pulled myself from care.  I am now having more issues, more severe...pain radiating down to the ankles in both legs and have a new herniation at C6 which the NS is not real keen on operating on right now.  He also says that because my lower back issues involve so many levels, the success rate of that procedure only sits at about 30%.  My issue is that now my PCP has left practice and I cannot find another physician who will refer me out to PM again.  I have the option of going back to the PM which spoon fed me opiates, but that is truly a last resort at this point.  I cannot find a PCP that is willing to address all of my issues instead of picking and choosing.  I have a special needs child and so I tend to appear a bit stoic, I keep telling them that just because I don't shut down when I feel bad doesn't mean I don't feel bad, it simply means that I don't have the option of shutting down.  I feel like I need to work myself into a frenzy, get my blood pressure through the ceiling and crawl into fetal position in the corner of the exam room to get someone to believe me.  I don't go in and ask for pain meds, I simply request to be sent to PM.  Don't physicians understand that PM does more than hand out bottles of pills?  A Butrans patch, an effective epidural, something?????  I am immediately looked at as a seeker.  The pain is unbearable, I can't sleep and when I do it's in the recliner.  I am at a loss and fixing to hit a bottle of bourbon soon to numb the pain.  I am open with my records and have never failed a drug screen, but my state narcotics registry does show narcotics being prescribed, from PM and then during times of surgery or a procedure that required it.  I don't doctor shop, I use the same pharmacy (unless my regular pharmacy doesn't have the medication available) and don't partake in street drugs or seek out pills from illegal sources.  What do I do?  I am at a loss......
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there, can your NS, who did the surgery on you give you a referral to PM? Also, you might benefit from some nerve medications like Lyrica, Cymbalta, Nuerontin etc. Those are made specifically for nerve pain. Good luck and take care.
Avatar universal
Since he doesn't feel like surgery is the ideal option right now, he is just backing off right now.  No one has ever offered me Lyrica although I have asked for it.  I have taken Cymbalta and I had a severe panic attack about a week later which they are attributing to it.  I have taken Neurontin for years without alot of success.  The best medication that I was ever placed on was a Butrans patch.  No aura like you get with the typical opiates and it is a maintenance medication, but it is not widely known here so physicians are resistant to it.  I'm in Kentucky and this state is beyond ridiculous with their state mandates.  I've also taken Ultram, Darvocet (which isn't on the market anymore) and Demerol, all which caused seizures in me.  I am placing a call to my NS to tell him that I don't care if there is only a 30% chance of success with my surgery, there is a 100% chance that I am going to be in pain....so I'm ready to go under the knife.  I called a PCP yesterday to establish care and when I did, they asked me about my health issues, when I told them about my back surgery and continuing issues, the first thing out of her mouth was.....we don't prescribe narcotics in this office.  It was offensive and I was sobbing after I hung up.  Not because I was disappointed that I wouldn't be get any pain medication, but because I was labeled before I even stepped foot into their office.
Avatar universal
Man, I feel for you. Maybe if you took some information about the Butrans patch to your NS, maybe he would consider it, its also only a CIII med, not a CII, so there is also that benefit of that med. I tried it for a few weeks, but it just didn't help me, but I also know some people that it works wonders for. Like I said, maybe if you print some info on the med, that might help. Good luck!
Avatar universal
I'll certainly try that.  Thanks.  Sometimes I feel like I should go in looking completely ignorant instead of well-informed.  It's like doctors don't want you to understand your own issues, because you look "internet educated" which means that you are exhibiting seeking behaviors.  What isn't a seeking behavior.  I wish there was a list.  Oh wait, the wishing of a list of non-seeking behaviors, is in itself a seeking behavior.  Nevermind.....   :)
Avatar universal
can't win can we? give lyrica a fair try ---it has worked well for me for nerve pain-----lessens not ends the pain....one more tool for your "pain-kit".....don
Avatar universal
I've asked for Lyrica and it's never been prescribed, not sure why.  You would think they would be more likely to prescribe that vs. Percocet 10.  Nope, not in this area.  I'll never understand it.  I'll just keep irritating the snot out of them until someone listens.  Thanks.
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