Re: new to all this pain medicine. some friendly advice needed
Welcome! So sorry you are struggling. I can relate to struggles with this chronic pain journey. The advice to see what state insurance you may be able to qualify for is a good idea. Also ensure you are getting any other benefits you may qualify for, such as food stamps. Every little bit helps. Some states have their own disability programs too. Make sure you appeal the federal disability claim, as it is normal for them to deny it the first or even second time. You can get an attorney for no up front cost (they only take a percent of your back pay if you win). As far as specific stuff with the pancreas and disability, some of the other forums can probably help you out.
I wonder if you can even find a local primary care physician who would see you in between GI doc visits, prescribe your pain meds, and generally oversee your care and give you more medical stability? I did that for years before going the PM route, and still use my primary doctor to manage my health since I see so many specialists. He prescribes all my meds except my pain meds (the PM doc took those over once I started)...he has been comfortable taking over prescribing anything which a specialist prescribed, as I'm sure a lot of primary doctors would.
That has got to be tough to essentially chose between the chronic pain and diabetes / insulin pump. Plus, is it even guaranteed that the surgery would take away all the pain? I guess it depends on how well your pain can be managed on the meds. 50% pain relief is a good goal for pain management. I'd try your best to start that conversation with the prescribing doctor of how the meds are helping/not helping. Keeping a pain log of your levels throughout the day and what you could and could not do may be more illustrative.
If your dose isn't lasting until the next dose is due that is another thing to mention, etc. If it ends up surgery isn't a good option and there aren't any other feasible treatments for your pain, a long acting pain med may be a better option to give you better and more stable relief. Vicodin or Percocet aren't really good med option to be taking around the clock every day in the long term (both due to the Tylenol and the stability of the relief). You need to have that doctor who listens to your discussion of your pain and your goals to start that discussion though. Hang in there! Best wishes.
constant headache since 2006