Hello everyone. I have had major back issues for the past 16 years. I have been able to control my pain with different medications and lumbar injections. However, on 1-1-10, I fell and broke my tailbone. After that, my pain as increased dramatically. My doctor gave me Percocet, but I hate the way it makes me feel and asked for Vicodin instead. He prescribed that to me about 6 months ago...and it did help. About a month ago, I had another lumbar injection and during the procedure, my pain went off the charts and I began crying on the table (yes, I was medicated for the procedure). He had to stop the procedure. Side note: I don't cry over pain often. It must be due to having a Marine for a father. I have learned since I was little that pain is temporary and will go away over time. For the past 16 years, I kept that thought process...and I did have good days, weeks, and in the beginning months that were pain free. However, about a month ago, I broke down at work and could no longer take the pain. I left and haven't been back since. I am on FMLA and Short Term Disability. Since my last injection, I have been taking my Vicodin way more than prescribed as the pain doesn't change at all. The Rx is for 3xs a day. I have been taking 1-2 every 4 hours with little relief. Seeing how quickly I was going through them scares me, and I don't want to mess up my liver or kidneys or become addicted to them. My husband had stronger vicodin and I began taking that in hopes that it would relieve the pain. I did take less, but the little pain relief I got from it only lasted for about 2 to 3 hours. I only take 2 a day as again, I don't want to hurt myself in the attempt to get relief. I have been crying multiple times a day due to the severity of the pain. For the record, i am not depressed...just VERY FRUSTRATED. I can't sit, stand, sleep or do anything "normal" and I can't find anyway to get relief. Icing and heat do not help as I have to sit or lie down to do it. The Tens unit doesn't help either. The Orthro told me I needed Fusion...or to go oversees and have a double disc replacement. I said NO to both of those. No to the Fusion because of the recovery time and my want to have children in the next year and a half...and NO to Europe because I've haven't won the lottery yet (however, I am still keeping my fingers crossed on that one..LOL)
Ok, now that I've vented, I do have a question. What type of medication should I ask to try to help relieve the pain? My injections are not until Feb and I am meeting with a Neurosurgeon not long after that to look at my surgical options. I have heard that there are other pain drugs out there, but I have never been given anything except Tramadal (doesn't work), Darvacet (no longer available and barely worked), Vicoden (worked at first, but doesn't do anything after the bad injection experience, and Perc). I just want something that will make me comfortable as I know there is not a perfect drug that takes it all away.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any help you all can give me.
Last edited by tmorgan813; 01-20-2011 at 06:04 AM.
Hi, tmorgan. I would not suggest asking your doctor for a particular kind of medication as many doctors look at that as drug seeking behavior. Instead, describe your pain and how it affects you just as you have here, telling him that the vicoden is no longer effective. Don't mention the fact that you have been taking your husbands prescription. Again, that can be seen as drug seeking. It is never a good idea to take anyone else's medication, as I'm sure you know. I do understand that pain can drive us to do things we wouldn't ordinarily consider, but doctors are very negative about such things.
Is this doctor the same one who did your last injection or does someone else do them? Have you talked to him about how you've been since your last experience? Did he do the injection using fluoroscopy to guide him?
Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.
Are you taking any long acting medication such as Opana ER, MS contin, or Kadian? These are used to get a steady level of meds in your system and then use of vicodin or percocet for break through. I have MS Contin, Soma, Neurontin and Percocet. I can use the Percocet and Soma up to 3x/day but must take the MS Contin 3x a day no matter what to maintain a therapeutic level in my system.
I agree, its time to seriously consider a long acting drug - there are several very good ones out there, which will give you pain coverage 24/7, rather than for just a few hours a day.
There is a mild one called Tramadol (Ultram ER) which is about as strong as Vicodin, but which lasts for 24 hours, there are then the very strong ones, equal to morphine, which last either 12 or 24 hours depending on the particular drug used.
It is usual to take a LA med every day regularly, and to have a short acting med like Vicodin or percacet on hand to deal with any sudden spikes that might crop up.
Best of luck.
The desire to take medicines is what seperates man from the lower animals - William Ostler
most of the pain meds now adays have high dosages of acetametaphine (tylenol) in them, only a few that dont. tramadol (ultram er), demerol,& morphine are a few that dont have the tylenol in them.. demerol is what they usually give someone after surgery & it works..
but i agree with the others, i would not ask the dr for a med by name, and if trying to get ssdi- may cause a problem.
i have told my pain dr & my pcp that i do not want the strong meds until absolutely necessary. but since they have pulled the darvocet - i have to get something else to replace it- but pain dr knows i want a lower dosage to start, so i can find my personal tolerance level that helps pain, but so that i am not so drowsy or dizzy headed or knocked out from it.
Thank you all for your input. I will attempt to answer your questions the best I can. Yes, my Pain Specialist is the same doctor that did the injections and prescribes my medication. I went to him today and was completely honest about everything...including my fears and not wanting to take as many. He put me back on Percs and told me to call if they are not working. He even gave my husband a new Rx for his pain as I used a lot of his medication. My doctor was VERY understanding and I would recommend anyone in Delaware to see him. He never once made me feel like I was drug seeking...which I was very worried about. He did talk about other meds available, and I left it up to him to chose what he thought was best. When he asked me why I didn't like Perc, I explained to him that it made me very moody...I actually used another word that isn't very nice...and got a laugh out of him. LOL I've only taken two since I got the Rx and it does last longer than the Vicodin. So, i am going to stay with it and see how I react. He did mention many of the longer acting Rxs that were mentioned by a few of you...but again, I left it up to him.
I would like to say that I am so happy I found this web site. You have all been very helpful and it's nice to have a place to go where people REALLY understand what you're going through. Thanks again for the posts and I will keep you all updated.