I'm new to the board. A friend told me about you guys and said it has been a blessing in their life... I hope to experience the same
I am in the Columbus Ohio area. I also suffer with chronic pain started in 1987 when I was in a bad accident. I have plates and screws and DVT etc etc.....
I have been a patient at an Indiana methadone clinic for more than ten years now. It is an expensive and time consuming reality that robs me of valuable resources that leave me tired and scared...
I know of a few people who have made the switch to a pain clinic and for many reasons, mostly quality of care and respect as a human, I want to make the switch as well...
I have reached out for a couple of Dr.'s and I feel like I have a scarlet "J" on myself and get the door slammed in my face. What I am wondering is if any others have had this experience and if so were you able to overcome?
Also, can anyone suggest a good Dr. in the Columbus area that may be able to help me?
I am not surprised to hear a need for more definition on my situation. It is a difficult Q to answer. In many ways, it depends on the day and the circumstances as to what the answer is....
I went to the methadone clinic after many failed attempts at abstinence based life. Am I an addict? Yes... Do I suffer with chronic pain? Yes...
Early off I think it is safe to say that addiction was more of an issue than the chronic pain. At the same time, the addiction would not even be an issue as things evolved were it not for the chronic pain.
At this point in my life, addiction is so far in my past that I can't imagine ever having to deal with those things again. Other than the hoops I am forced to jump through in order to be a patient at the clinic I attend.
In other words, the pain continues but the addiction is in the past. In fact, the pain is getting worse as I age and one of the factors I face today is being forced to take a certain amount of medication just once a day. Often, by the time morning roles around, I am all but crippled.
Does this make any sense? I welcome any and all more specific Q's you all may care to ask. I appreciate your time and experience.
I think if you keep looking, you'll eventually find a compassionate Doc. Although some out there "judge", others do not. I would listen to what Sky has to say as she has a lot of practical experience in this area and can provide some very unique support.
Please know that you are not alone! If you do some research on the topic, you'll find that this area is a new and growing field of pain mgt. For example, I have seen major parts of PM seminars devoted to this topic....All sorts of people have chronic pain, and they deserve to be treated.
I think if you keep looking and be honest about everything, you'll find a Doc who will treat you with compassion. As you say, it's such a long part of your past, that it's really irrelevant now.
I was not able to make it to the computer yesterday... so sorry for the delay in replying. Yes, sky, I would like very much to talk with you! You will have to educate me tho on what the acronyms stand for and how to use them... I'm a bit too old to be well versed in these kind of things. I pick them up quick enough, just does not come natural.
The accident was a 4-wheeler ATV. I was 22 at the time... I was considered for one of those episodes of "I should not be alive" but the people who helped me then could not be located... but I digress. I was by myself in the middle of the Sierra Nevada mountains surrounded by a forest fire when the ATV rolled and I sustained a massive compound fracture on my left arm. Turns out, that was the easiest part of the whole thing to deal with...
I had a series of four surgeries to put the arm back together. I was in the hospital for eight weeks that first go around when two of the surgeries took place. Over the course of the next three years, I had two more surgeries and intensive physical therapy.
Today, the arm has a ten inch plate and six screws that hold it in place. I also had the head of my radial bone removed and many bone graphs. That I still have the arm is amazing. That it works as well as it does is nothing short of a miracle. In spite of how well it works, as the years go by, the pain in my elbow grows. Sometimes it throbs so bad that I don't sleep for days.
Then a few years ago, I slipped and fell at work. The tibea plateau in my right leg was fractured and my ankle dislocated. I have not had to have any surgeries on this injury tho I am still doing physical therapy. When the original fracture was healing, I developed blood clots in the leg. That is what the DVT (Deep Veinous Thrombosis) is from. This injury has become even more painful than the arm. The pain is similar though in how it just throbs.
The best part of the day are the hours after taking my medication. I am on 140 mgs. of methadone once a day and I take it in the morning. On a good day, I get five or six hours of what I consider to be "pain free". I always feel the elbow, but during this time on a good day, it does not throb.
I have been a patient in a methadone clinic for almost 13 years now. I have not used illicit drugs in this time nor have I used my prescribed meds wrongly. I am considered "compliant" and can get up to a months worth of medication each time I go to the clinic. As well, I have to spend a minimum of thirty minutes each month with my counselor. I am subject to random urine drug screens. but the most difficult parts of this treatment beyond not addressing my pain issues more than once a day is the cost and call back policy. It costs $101.00/week to be a patient that all comes out of my pocket. As well, I can be called at any moment and required to bring my medication in within 24 hours for an audit and if I fail to do so, I loose all my take at home meds and have to get them at the clinic daily. Since the clinic is 100 miles away each way and I no longer have a car, this scares me the most. I have to borrow a car days ahead of time just to get there on my scheduled days. I am but one call back away from my entire world crashing in on me....
Anyways, that is the short of the long. I just want to live a normal life as much as is possible for me. But the lawmakers playing Dr. have made this all but impossible. I don't blame the Dr. or the clinic. They are just doing what they have to do in order to be able to stay open... And all my attempts to establish a relationship with a Dr. outside of the clinic system have failed as it seems they are afraid of treating a patient with a past for if I did abuse the treatment they give me and someone ends up hurt or dead, they fear loosing their license.
Any more Q's are welcomed and desired. I thank you again for your time and support! And I look forward to hearing back again. I will try to get to the computer sooner than later this time.