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Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:57 AM   #1
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Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Hello people. I have been to the clinic(pcp)left with tears. That has been two days ago. My doctor started treating me like I am a commodity, a toy perhaps I should say. He does not ask me how I feel anymore. I think he hates dealing with me, chronic pain patient who decided not to go to the pain clinic and instead getting meds from him.

He used to be so kind and nice to me. He even told me chronic pain is not a good thing. But recently(last couple of visits)he changed. He can't stand me anymore. He wants me to keep on taking oxycontin. I was there shivering and me, who is not afraid, was suddenly afraid of telling him oxycontiin 40mg DOES NOT work anymore. It just stopped working. How can I tell him that? something is not normal with me. how come I have such a high tolerance to narcotic pain meds?. Within a year I need oxycontin 40mg and I hardly use it. I am very careful to not use it everyday so I won't have a tolerance but I do have. how is that possible.?Something is wrong with me. THis pain I have in the neck is NOT normal.

So I sat and wanted some answers if ever I will be CURED from this pain.
He said NEVER. He said if it is for 5 years already that is my life sentence. So I kept on asking him, why doctors cannot fix me?. he did not answer and I pressure for answers. he just said what meds you want so I can let you go.
All I wanted to know if in the FUTURE I have a chance to be CURED. He does not seem to be interested that much in NECK pain. Perhaps they do not teach or know enough about neck in med school? anybody knows?. I just wanted him to give myself hope. But he said no hope, you will suffer all your life.
I just wanted to know if there are any news in this field called neck pain but he did not want to talk about it anymore and started shouting/arguing at me.

I do not know what to do anymore. It is 24/7 pain in the neck. I do not have a life.

Howcome he does not have a mercy on me? If he only felt a day of 24/7 of pain in the NECK, he would know. But he does not suffer from that.

So he wants me to stay on oxycontin(it stopped working as I said)so I add to it advil together it works.

Then he added celebrex. When I asked how is Celebrex he did not answer, I asked if it is a good medication and no answer.

Doctor does not believe that I cannot sleep cause of pain!!!!!!!!. He thinks it is emotional!!!!! He stopped believing me. I told him, I can only sleep 2-3-4 hours that is all and the pain waked me up. Why doesn't he believe me?????
I asked for serequel for sleep and he refused. He said it is for crazy people.
He said I need to go to a psychologist but as he knows me they won't aprove? it for me cause I am not crazy. Well, thanks a lot. I know I am not crazy.

I do not have any hope left. If I have such a high tolerance to narcotic and oxycontin 40mg does not work anymore. Then what is the point to take narcotic???? every 3 weeks I will have to do an increase????????I am serious, every 3 weeks an increase? no doctor will agree. I could ask him for fentanyl patch but decided this is not the right time. Honestly in a year oxycontin 40mg DOES NOT WORK ANYMORE. What I am trying to say is that I have been on oxycontin 40mg for couple of months and was really careful with it. did not take it every day.

I hate this pain in the neck, it brings me to tears now that my doctor said they cannot fix my neck. Does he sound like he does not understand about how the neck is built? what is going on here?. all he wants is writing prescriptions and get me out of there. That is what he said.

He used to have have mercy on me. Now he is a different person. No compassion. There will never be a way to fix you. NEVER.

So I have oxycontin 40mg, gabapentin, Clonazepam 4mg, celebrex and I added tyneol pm which I take with 2mg clonazepam for 2 nights already. It worked great one night cause I slept for 7 hours - first time in 5 years since the accident but the next day I was sleeping only 4 hours.
I am losing my mind. doctor also does not care for the sleep issue that much.
2-3 hours is ok for him. but it is not ok for me. he also said not to EXPECT ever being able to sleep 7-8 hours again since for 5 years my body got used to sleep 2-3 hours. IS IT POSSIBLE???. WAs he right?.

I am miserable with this neck pain and crying. doctor does not care anymore.
Why is he doing this to me? I told him it is not my fault I have been in a car accident. I did not drive this car. I could not anticipate it. and he said I am unlucky cause most people who have whiplash get better, it is only me.

HELP ME PLEASE HELP. Should I take two pills of tyneol PM together with clonazepam 2mg? so that it is not addictive? so I can perhaps sleep 7 hours a night.

so anyway, doctor does not want me to use ms contin only to stay with oxycontin.

and as we know it, even a surgery does not take neck pain away. to nobody.

I have got no friends I can talk to about that. I all alone with this chronic pain. I do not understand why it happened to me, WHat have I done to deserve such a life. Was I such bad girl? I don't think so.

P.S I stopped taking Topamax, was on 50mg a day and sometimes even increased it to 100mg. The reason I stopped using it is cause it made me FORGET things. I forgot the names of people and I decided I will have to stop.
Though it really helped!!! But what can I do??????It was like I have dementia.

Last edited by nochange; 02-01-2011 at 07:00 AM.

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:41 AM   #2
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Hi a person can become immune to medicines. That does not mean they are addicted to them it just means the drug no longer does what it did once before. A person can become immune to many drugs and then what? The pain is still there, the doctor visit is wasted because the money paid does fulfill the purpose and the drugs damage the body organs such as liver, kidneys, stomach and mind over time. The money for the medicine is then worse than wasted.

Celexa can cause joint pain why bother with that if there is a painful neck?

What happened to the neck is it arthritis, a herniated disc, an old injury?
Has St. John's wort and a daily walk and seeking the good and happiness of others been tried for depression?
If doctor can't be courteous why have him? The body obviously is not better anyway.
First the doctors oath is supposed to be do no harm.

So then we must think what can be done to make a body feel better. I think health measures are good to prevent and even heal damage to other organs in the body.

So I hope this at least helps prevent problems for the rest of a person.

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?


I'm sorry for your distress. I can't say for certain because I don't know your PCP, but most of them are uncomfortable treating chronic pain patients. They have not been trained in chronic pain issues. They also don't like to write scripts for Class II narcotics. They aren't schooled in their use and it makes them anxious to dispense them. The thought of having the DEA come down on them for mis dispensing them is a legitimate fear.

You need to find a Pain Management Doctor who will treat your pain with the meds that you need to control it. No doctor will give you enough meds to make your pain go away entirely, but they will help you control the pain so you can have a daily life. PM docs have training in meds that can help with the pain.

have you been to a neuro surgeon? Have you tried anything except meds? There are alot of different modalities that can be tried to help with the pain.

I don't think your doctor thought you were crazy when he told you to see help. It's not because he thinks your crazy, but you can get help from talking to someone else.

I know that you are distressed, that is understandable, but there is help out htere. I too have beent old that I will live with some degree of pain for the rest of my life. It wasn't pleasant to hear, but I've learned to live with it. You have to learn to not let the pain rule your life.

I take cymbalta and find that it helps with the pain. It is also an antidepressant. You said you had quit Topomax. Have you tried Neurontin? That is also for nerve pain. You might want to give that a shot.

Hang in there....and keep posting.

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?


I am new at posting on this board or any for that matter!(a bit intimidating for me)but here we go..I am a pain management patient and have been for many years, 10 to be exact!! I have found that the PMC is better equipped in the diagnosis,treatment, and med protocol for chronic pain. As there are other alternatives or additional treatment to correspond with med relief ie; such as trigger point injections,TENS equipment that sends eloctronincal waves transmision to the pain area, physical therapy and sooo many other alternatives new and old that they may attempt to use to control your pain. However, In my opinion, and this is just from experience only!!! As we are all different, I am not here to steer you to what I think is best!! Only you can make that choice.. But here is my personal (HELL) in chronic pain ie; supervised by a PMC dr...
Which by the way is an anestheologist by trade with a license to practice in this field of medicine. I too have a verrrrry High tolerance to opiates..that built very quickly, as there is no ceiling of how high a dose one who has high tolerance can withstand. You can go higher,higher and even higher than that.. Which in my case my dr. put me on methadone a drug wildly used now adays to control moderate to severe pain. It no longer carries the stigma of use for heroin dependant people anymore(though still used also in that case setting). Well after years of use with percs,vics,oxy's (tolerance up to 180 + per day, none of these pain meds would any longer nick any relief. (unless you go higher, not an option for me as that presented horrible breathing difficulites a commnon and serious side effect of high dosed opiates.. I too suffer from neck pain, myofacial pain,upper back pain..due to breast augmentation surgeries x2 with major complications.

I had breast augmentation which left me in worse condition then B4 I got the first one(and then they ruptured inside leaving me in severe pain.. well after that was fixed with
another surgery the dr.implanted implants that are too large..that is when my journey of real pain presented with a vengeance..I guess the ole saying is true don't mess with mother nature & leave well enough alone. My experience with a PMC doc has been a bandaid to my pain. Now, I suffer with methadone dependance, and from what I am finding out ,to withdrawl from this most powerful and should be last straw attempt to control chronic (in my opinion from personal experience is worse than any other ie; due to its long half life.. I am currently starting my detox from this med. It is not easy.
I'll go through that at another time when I muster up the courage to share all of that on my own thread. But yes your metabolism is high tolerance to opiate relief it built quickly and not so unusual in many people..this by itself is not exactly addiction but with this type of tolerance it very well may lead to opiate dependance, as in my experience.

Did you get an MRI,CAT scan, Xray or another other diagnostic test to validate the need for opiate relief? Maybe this testing will rulen out the need for such high tolerant meds for your metabilism. Find a reputable PMC dr. and ask alot of questions and request distinctive diagnostic testing. One more thing my husband gets steroidal injections in his back which gives him up to 3months of relief (ie; these injections are similar to an epiderall block for pain but long acting..just a suggestion. Keep us informed as people like us are in this journey together and here for you!!!

Lots Of Luck!!

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Old 02-01-2011, 09:15 AM   #5
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Hi if a person has been prescribed something they should always read the insert that comes with it. Some meds can cause terrible stomach pain and other serious side effects.

Old 02-01-2011, 09:51 AM   #6
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Thx for your thx!!! I am just getting started in being comfortable in opening up about my living hell with PMC's and opiate relief...One does not know how they will really react and or tolerate or end the end be dependant on these of so powerful narcotics!!! But you are sooooo!! Knowledge is power!!!!!! and in chronic pain relief more knowledge B4 Using can make all the difference at the end, because eventually everything takes its toll on a person even at what gives so musch relief at first can be your worst enemy in the end.

Sorry for the Philosopfical (Blah,Blah...but words cannot express the spiral a person may embark upon when using such highly strong and possible physically and longer lasting emotional side effects...Knowledge is KEY!!!!!!

Best Regards,

Old 02-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Hello Friends,
I agree with the other posters who suggest getting a complete workup and set of tests. You need to find out exactly what's going on with your neck. You need a definitive diagnosis. I also agree with the suggestion of going to a neurosurgeon. He can order tests, read them and give you a diagnosis, and come up with a treatment plan.
I also agree that there are many other treatment modalities that are very important to a pain management treatment plan. At this point though, nothing can move forward without a diagnosis by a specialist, and a subsequent plan.
Please hang in there, there's hope. Please keep us posted on how you're doing, we care.

Old 02-01-2011, 06:53 PM   #8
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?


Again, so sorry to hear that things are not working well for you. 40mgs of OxyContin is not a high dose in Pain Management terms, but I'm sure you have read this here before that OxyContin tends to be one of the worst drugs for escalating tolerance and diminished pain relief. It just seems that there are many unhappy Oxy users who are continually needing to increase their dose.

Problems I see:

1) Why are you not taking it every day? LA Pain meds need to be taken on a regular schedule. Even if you think you are doing your tolerance a favor by skipping doses, you are not.

2) Increasing the single dose strength is not the only answer. You also need to increase the frequency. If you are b.i.d, you may need t.i.d, or q.i.d

3) Why can't you switch from OxyContin to another Narcotic? MS-Contin may help your sleep, but remember you will need to double the dose also. For example, for you. 30mgs Q.i.d. That would be 120mgs of Morphine.

4) Or, better yet, choose a more potent option. Exalgo, Opana, or Levorphanol. Generic Hydromorphone, Oxymorphone and Levorphanol are inexpensive. Levo comes in 2mg doses I think. Start at 2mg t.i.d and titrate up from there to 6, 8, or even 10mgs. Levorphanol will be strong enough for you and it lasts a good long time!

5) Find a new Doctor.


Old 02-02-2011, 06:14 AM   #9
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Thanks guys. I need a new doctor. Why do I need him shouting at me.

I have done MRI 2 years ago and it showed 2 bulging disks(minimal). That was all. What I think is that it PRESS on my nerves inside my neck. THat is what I think. I think I have said here before that i have been to a orthopedic surgeon, a very GOOD ONE. and he told me it is not for surgery. At least this surgeon gave me hope. I asked him, do you think in the future they will find a cure for it, and he said, nobody can tell the future. So hope is always good.

I even went to the pain clinic, and there they could not believe that I still suffer from pain so many years after the accident. The pm there told me that 90% of this pain I have is my pure imagination. It is not true. Then was sent to bio-fidback something and hated it. It is nothing when you have neck pain.

So I do not want to go to the pain clinic. I do not want them. They never felt what pain feels like. I need a doctor who really feels that sort of pain.

I will see what will happen next. I am fighting to get better.

Old 02-02-2011, 07:01 AM   #10
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?


I feel horrible for you!! Everyone has the right to manage there pain !! And I an apalled at the pmc dr. that he/she even considered the fact that it is all in your head!!! What a contradiction of the code of ethics that they all so swear by!!! It Is The Law to be able to have your pain managed. Call your local Chamber of Commerce and see if they have a reputable and highly qualified pmc clinic that comes with 5 star ratings. They should have a list of which you can chose from..Maybe if you can spare the xtra time see if the nearest state to where you live has a more qualified list of pmc clinics to choose from.

We are all partners in pain and here for you!!!

Lots Of Luck!!!
Keep Smiling,

Old 02-02-2011, 07:51 AM   #11
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Hi How much water is taken in daily?
Is it enough for a person's body weight?
Is proper posture kept?
Is a flat pillow used at night?

Old 02-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Hi No Change
I feel so badly for you. You replied to one of my posts a long time ago and I just want to give you my support. You are always here on these boards giving your heart felt advice to others.
I had such a hard time trying to get used to taking narcotic medications. I tried Tylenol 3's, moved on to morphine. But I never got any pain relief. My real relief came when my doctor finally put me on a long acting medicine that I take twice a day.
Like you, my pain is never going to go away. So this long acting medicine has made all of the difference. It seems to have taken some of the emphasis off of the medication as I only have to take it 2 times a day and the relief lasts all day.
Please try to find a doctor that can help you and not belittle you or yell at you. You don't deserve that. Perhaps your doctor really can't answer your questions as to why you have this incredible neck pain and your prognosis. Perhaps he feel he has failed you and is becoming defensive.
What ever the case, I really hope you can find help, don't stop looking for a doctor that has your best interests in mind.
I think that Jonstar mentioned a medication regime he felt would help you. I really think he was right on the money with his advice. The LA meds would make a world of difference I think.
My best wishes for you!!

Old 02-02-2011, 05:32 PM   #13
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?


I'm sorry you have had this problem with your Dr. I think there are several steps that you need to take at this point. I know this post is long, and I know that parts of it might may you upset, but I'm hoping this will help you. At least consider what I'm saying, what you have been trying hasn't been working for you so maybe it's time to try something different.

Since it's been more than a year since your last MRI get a new one. At the same time you request the MRI request a referral to a neurosurgeon or orthopedic spinal specialist. Get copies of your films and the reports for your own records. If you post what's on the report here there are people around who know enough to decipher what it says. While you are waiting to see the new Dr. start a pain journal if you haven't already. One thing you could try requesting from your current Dr. is a Lidoderm patch, I really think that if you tried that on your neck at night it would help with the extreme sensitivity you have with your neck coming in contact with the pillow.

Next, you need to accept that there isn't going to be a magic medication/treatment/surgery that is going to put things back they way they were before your accident. Right now the technology to repair damage to nerves and things just isn't good enough to do that, maybe it will be in the future but right now it's just not. On the bright side, there ARE treatments that can improve your day to day life, it's likely going to be a combination of treatments, and it's going to be an ongoing effort on your part to make it work.

When it comes to prescription medications you need to take them EXACTLY as prescribed by the Dr. and to give it a fair trial, at least two or three weeks before deciding it does not work. Unless you have an outright allergic reaction don't rule something out just because you don't sleep as long as you'd like for one or even a few nights. I suspect that you taking an LA med in as strong a dose as you are taking is just making things worse and increasing your tolerance. LA pain meds take time for you to get the full benefit, you need to get a stable level in your blood plasma to get consistant pain control. Only taking one dose every other day, or every two or three days lets the pain get completely out of hand and makes it harder to control. This means that you will need to take the LA med two or three times a day, every day, for two or three weeks before making any dosage changes, adding anything else, or deciding whether or not it works. You may also need a short acting BT med, and adjunct medications such as an anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, or anti-convulsant. Just because a Dr. prescribes an anti-depressant it doesn't mean you are depressed or that they think you are depressed, these medications do help with pain, in particular nerve pain. Even more so than the LA meds, adjunct meds often take up to a month or so before you get the full benefit, so one or even a few days isn't long enough to decide if it works or not.

Depending on what the neurosurgeon or ortho determines you may need to find a pain management Dr. or at least an internist who deals with chronic pain. Most GP's aren't comfortable dealing with chronic pain paitients and don't like to prescribe pain medications on a long term basis, nor are they trained to deal with chronic pain. You need to at least try some of the adjunct therapies available, PT, massage, TENs and other electronic units, accupuncture/accupressure, meditation/relaxation/bio-feedback techniques, ice, heat, and possibly even injections if the Dr. thinks it would be helpful. If it's recommended at least TRY it, if it doesn't work then try something else. None of these is going to control the pain 100% by themselves (except sometimes nerve blocks do for some people), they are meant to give you tools to handle pain spikes that the meds don't cover and to help improve your pain control overall. Don't automatically rule out a psychologist either, stress is one of a chronic pain paitients worst enemies and a competent psychologist can teach you techniques to better control the stress, and we all have it. A suggestion you see someone doesn't necessairly mean the Dr. thinks it's "all in your head", rather it's likely just one more tool meant to help you manage the pain better, just like an ice pack or tens unit.

I would also suggest that you concentrate on getting the pain under control FIRST and handle the sleep issue seperately after the pain is controlled. A pain management Dr. doesn't deal with sleep issues, just like they don't handle flu shots or sinus infections, they deal with one thing and one thing only - management of pain. Anything that is outside of that scope they just aren't going to deal with, it's for your primary care Dr. to either handle it themselves or refer you to the appropriate specialist. Once you have a pain management regimine in place that gets your pain down to say a 5-6 or lower on a day to day basis, if you still have sleep issues go get a sleep study done by a Dr. that specializes in sleep problems. In the meantime, just try to not worry about how many hours you sleep at night and try to practice good sleep habits. No caffine or other stimulants, no naps, the bed is ONLY for sleep and intimacy, no reading or watching tv in bed, only try to get to sleep for 20-30 minutes and if you can't get up and do something until you feel sleepy again, etc. I realize that's easier said than done, and it's harder for chronic pain paitients than for most; however, sleep problems are one of the things that you can psych yourself into having. Just worrying about something keeping you from sleeping can cause you to have problem sleeping that night. Like many chronic pain paitients I almost never sleep through the night and personally rarely get more than 5-6 hours a night, and often only 3-4 hours. It is what it is, worrying about it will only make it worse.

I hope you find a solution to your issues soon.


Old 02-02-2011, 09:36 PM   #14
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

I'm heading fastly towards my 3rd year with chronic pain, and started with some really crummy doctors who weren't interested in my original injury or in providing help or pain relief. Luckily my physiotherapist sent me to a doctor he knew, and she's been a Godsend. She's taken care of me for over 2 years now, and we did the gradual ascent to endone (oxy), I was on it for just over a year when I too found it just wasn't doing anything to help. In the mean time I've done and gone to everything she's sent me, have been to orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists (all of which have said they can't do anymore than they already have through the surgeries and procedures they've done). I'm on a pain management waiting list, still attend regular physio, acupuncturist and have gone out of my way to join a pain management group and mindfulness group...just other people like me who I can talk to and who understand where I'm coming from. It's hard living with chronic pain and feeling so isolated and like nobody understands what this hellish life is like. I've had ultrasounds, x-rays and MRI's done, so they know what the issues are, but that there's nothing to do about them. I also see a psychiatrist, because realistically, you can't live with constant pain without it eventually causing some mental distress. Anyway, after a few weeks of telling my doc that taking oxy was a waste of time, that it gave me very little relief for a short amount of time, she just started me on Norspan patches, I live in Australia and the pain meds are very limited over here, so the patches are pretty much it from a general doctors point. They seem to be working quite well, minimal side effects, so I'm lucky. The main problem with the patches is I have to have 2 on and when removed, they leave big red burn patches, so finding new safe places to apply is becoming fun after a few weeks of being on them. Even after 3 weeks, I still have burn marks from the first ones, I'm starting to look a little patchworky. No one can really tell you to stop or not to stop taking pain meds, but I do suggest you look into alternative therapies, and to never give up the hope of finding something that works for you.

Old 02-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #15
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Re: Should I stop Narcotic Pain meds?

Hi nochange!! I agree with everything tigger and daisy said. I think you are doing a huge disservice to yourself by not taking the Oxycontin everyday. It's usually ordered twice a day. Is this how your doc ordered it? When you take a LA twice a day, everyday, it builds up in your bloodstream giving you better pain relief. I would bet a much better pain relief than you have now. Regarding the sleep issues...when I used to be on Vicodin before my last fusion, if I went 24 hours or so without it,(because I didn't need it) then took a dose, I couldn't fall asleep that night!! I just wonder if the way you are taking the Oxy; every other day, might be affecting your sleep? Just a thought. I only wish you the best...janiee

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