I have posted a few times on this board but allow me to give a very brief history.
Back injury and subsequent surgery in June '07. Pain started 3 weeks after surgery and has never left. I am left with permanent nerve damage and scar tissue around the nerve root. I have had injections(5), PT, TENS unit, core exercises, on and on. I am now trying acupuncture (4 visits) and may be seeing a slight difference. The guy I see for acupuncture is also an MD (ER doc for 20 some years). Told me my pain was very mismanaged (I agree). Anyway, he put me on Vicodin and it does help but when the pain is really bad it doesn't do much. I am worried about addiction, taking pain meds daily....all those things I am sure all of you worry about. Is there anyone who has been on Vicodin long term? I am so sensitive to meds that I'm not sure I could take anything else stronger. I know I need to wrap my head around the fact that I will need to take meds forever...do I just suck it up and do it? I am tired of being in pain but so scared of taking meds. You know you always read of people going to rehab and it all started with an injury requiring pain meds.
Sorry to rattle on. Please help me here.
Hi Deb. I can only give you my experience. About 2 1/2 years ago, I was experiencing increasing lumbar pain, then left leg pain and numbness. Then started to develop right leg/foot pain and and increasing fatigue and disability, all the time soldiering on in a very active job. After a long ride on the healthcare merry-go-round, was diagnosed with adhesive arachnoiditis in 10/07. Surgery is not an option and AA causes intractable pain and has no cure.
Early on, I had to decide to have the best quality of life possible by finding with my doc the optimal cocktail of meds. I am currently on Lortab, tramadol, baclofen, neurontin, Celexa, and Androgel, which go a long way to making my life liveable. I haven't regretted for a minute using meds daily.
I know that not everyone has a cast-iron stomach like I do, and some folks can't tolerate a lot of meds. In my case, though, it was an easy choice to make between dependence and not being able to function much at all because of pain. I hope you make the best decision for you. Ernie
As you can tell I am a newbie to this forum, but not to chronic pain. I have had fibromyalgia all my life as well as chronic migraines and very, very bad lumbar pain. I use a cane... the fun part is that I am not 30 years old yet.
I am trying so very, very hard to find ANY doctor that wants to treat me without big-time pain meds. It is hard and if you really want to do it, keep trying. It has worn me out for now. I take Vicodin but only to sleep... I keep taking it in huge moderation. I want it to work and don't want to be dependent. I am learning that most doctors dont want to give you the help you want and want to smother the problem with pain medications.
I also see an acupuncturist... two times a week tho... and have felt that has tremendously helped with my anxiety level! Mine doesn't really help my actual back pain, but it helps me deal.
Short answer... You are in control of what you take and when, don't just do what the doctor says... research and do what is best for YOU!! You know your body better than anyone! <3 Much love!