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Old 09-04-2011, 12:48 PM   #1
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I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

I'm seriously at my wit's end!!

In my early to mid 20's I simply bent over and thought I had been stabbed in the back. Went to the hospital, they did some x-rays (have no idea what the diagnosis was), but they sent me home with some muscle relaxers and after a couple days it was fine. From time to time I do feel like I have a pinched nerve that will bring me to my knees. That happens a few times a year.

Since then (I am now 44), I have horrible lower back, shoulder, and neck pain that NEVER goes away. I have been diagnosed with depression and ADHD with anxiety by my psychiatrist and have recently switched from Zoloft (did nothing!) to Effexor XR. I do feel the Effexor has helped me to be a little more social and want to get out and do more things. I also take .5 klonipin as needed when I'm feeling super anxious or having one of my anger episodes. I don't want to be that Mommy who is constantly yelling at her kids because of little things (not picking toys up, making a mess, etc.).

Here's my problem. My shrink won't rx me any pain meds and she said I had to see my GP about it. I can't understand that because I have read that depression and back pain are directly linked to each other! However, the shrink did give me the Effexor XR and neurontin (I am currently only at 600 mg). I visited my GP about the excruciating, never ending back pain that I have lived with for 20 + years (just feels like knots in my back, shoulders, and neck) and he said to give the neurontin a chance to work. He also mentioned that for pain he would have started me at 1200 mg. vs. the 300 mg. that my shrink started me on. This is about the 3rd or 4th time I have seen him for the same issue.

I know that vicodin works and does not make me feel loopy. I can function on it during the day (unlike muscle relaxers). I nursed 30 vics over 6 years and took them ONLY when I felt that pinching sensation that would bring me to my knees. Usually one or two pills gave me enough relief and that is all I would have to take.

I don't want to start asking my GP for pain meds by name - although he did give me 20 vicodins to take sparingly when my back pain was unbearable. That was in 2009 and they are now gone.

I also have a standing order for klonipin .5 mg (90 day supply) and do find myself sometimes taking 2 or 3 a day, but there are days that I don't need any. A friend let me have a few 2mg Xanax and they seem to work really great, but have a very short lasting effect - the same as the klonipin. I don't want to have to take a benzo every hour when I have anxiety.

So, how exactly do I go about asking for vicodin and a stronger/longer lasting anxiety med? What anxiety med actually lasts longer (like a few hours vs. 1/2 or hour?)

Oh, I have also tested 3 times for a positive ANA and Rheumatoid factor, so they think it could be RA, lupus, Sjogren's or just some random auto immune disease that i may never get a diagnosis from.

The bottom line is that I am in pain and I feel like NOBODY will listen to me. Any suggestions on what to do next?

 
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:38 PM   #2
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Why don't you take your case to another doctor, health care expert or others.

 
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Despite the fact that pain is pain and needs to be treated, the reality is that you are more likely to have your pain treated if you have a diagnosis. And this is where it can get tough for some of us. You might try a consultation with a specialist at a teaching hospital or even a pain-management center. It sounds like the problem might be an inflammatory form of arthritis and that would require the attention and treatment of a rheumatologist. It is also treated w/medications that only they generally prescribe. They can also diagnosis fibromyalgia. If the problem is your spine or lower back I wonder if an MRI would be helpful if one hasn't been recently done. I have found that drs often don't like to treat "pain" even though it is a legitimate medical problem of it's own without knowing the source of the pain. I tend to be very aggressive here and collect opinions until I have the best "diagnosis" I can get. Best wishes to you!

 
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Thank you for your responses! I found out today that I have a normal sed rate, normal c-reactive protein, still positive for Anti-Nuclear antibodies (1:320), my rheumatoid factor has been reduced (it was at 27 and should have been lower than 20), but the nurse didn't tell me the number, I'm negative for HLA-B27, and they tested me for Lyme, but she didn't mention that either. Grrrr...

So, I keep having positive ANA, but I'm not sure where to even to. I did ask for a referral to the rheumatologist, but we'll see. My back, shoulders, and neck ache so bad (sometimes my joints) and they just won't give me anything for it. I'm not a very pushy person, but I sure do think that having something on hand like vicodin would be handy. I can take it during the day without feeling loopy, and if definitely makes my back feel better. Just not sure how to ask for it since he didn't volunteer one single thing except telling me to continue on the gabapentin that my psychiatrist put me on. I'm only at 600 mg and he said at east 1200 mg for pain. I'm willing to give this a shot if it make me pain free, but I don't want to have to take that drug (it's a anti-convulsant!!!) if I don't have to.....especially in such high dosages.

:::sigh:::: I'm just at a loss.

 
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

I'm so sorry about the pain you're experiencing. Has your GP ordered studies of your spine (MRI), to find out what is causing this pain. I honestly think this should be the next step. They need to find out the root of the problem, to properly manage the pain that goes with it. A referral to a spine specialist sounds to be in order and possibly a pain management clinic.

I hope you get answers and relief from the pain very soon.

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Old 09-07-2011, 10:42 AM   #6
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

I agree with the previous poster. Make an appointment with a spine specialist to rule in or rule out a mechanical issue. Since you've had this so long, it makes sense that there is something that is degenerating. Probably from time to time, something is a little inflamed and it causes some spinal nerve irritation.

The spinal nerves carry signals of sensation and pain out to the limbs. Thus, a pain or numbness in a quad or toe or finger may be coming from a "pinched" spinal nerve.

Once you have a diagnosis, it should be easier to figure out a plan of treatment...or a referral to a pain management specialist.

 
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:37 PM   #7
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Mama, I'm sorry you are having such a bad time. Do yourself a favor, never take a friends' perscriptions. For one thing it's dangerous to take stuff without knowing how it will act with your other meds. It's also illegal. As for asking your GP for meds, just ask him! He gave you vicodin before just tell him how they worked.
Good luck.

 
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:21 PM   #8
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

U need to go see a doctor in pain management or a pain clinic, they are more willing to presscribe u pain medicine when u need it pain is the most undertreated symptom IMHO best of luck to you and hope everything starts looking up

 
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Hi, well the shrink is not going to give you any kind of narcotic pain med, might as well not waste your time there. I have BiPolar and am a Chronic Pain pt...the 2 do not mix. Your best bet is to go to a spine and back clinic, or try a Pain Managment doc...although they usually want a diagnosis, so they know what they're treating. I know it's frustrating and can feel like your being shoved from one doc to the next, unfortunately these type of problems are too complex for the average GP to deciper....

A back/spine specialist and a diagnosis is your best bet for the physical pain, stick with your pdoc for the mental issues.....they all have their specialties and there's a reason for that. Not trying to be crass, it's just one of those irritating facts of life. I can seriously assure you though, if your seeing a pdoc for depression, there is no way he/she will RX narcotics or opiods....we depressed folks tend to have those nasty life ending thoughts, which don't mix with bottles of narcotics....your pdoc does not want that responsibility.

Just ask your GP to refer you to a back doc and go from there, that will be your best bet.

Take care,

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Old 01-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #10
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

It's important to have a MRI and you may have to change Drs. and go to a Pain Management Clinic.

 
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:08 PM   #11
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Yes unfortunately you are just going to have to keep going and looking for a doc and or diagnosis. You are where I was years ago, in my 20's, this pain that nobody really looked for a cause for and a pat on my head as they ushered me out the door. I was also in an HMO and my primary refused to refer me to anyone although I was having acute issues that he had no choice.

I would make 2 recommendations. One is go to an internist if you are not already and let him/her know everything going on and ask for referrals to specialists in areas where you are having problems. Ortho, neuro and Rheumatology come to mind. I was diagosed with a rare auto-immune disease that explained everything I was going through but it took 20 ******* years of me saying ah.......something is wrong here.......

You asked about a long acting anxiety med, if xanax worked for you there is a long acting version. My mom is on that and she says it works well for her.

Keep looking and do not give up. I know it's hard, frutrating, aggravating, etc. But you know your body and you are your best advocate. I literally got to the stage that I thought I was crazy because the docs kept saying there was nothing wrong with me yet I KNEW there was something seriously wrong. I will need an organ transplant before this is over(which I will not do) and that might have been avoided if I was diagnosed earlier and had intervention sooner before my organ had permanent damage. And lucky me because of the statue of imitations, I cannot sue the idiot doctor who missed the diagnosis that was WRITTEN RIGHT ON THE FRIGGIN BIOPSY REPORT! RIGHT UNDER HIS NOSE!

You are worth it!

 
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Hi, I know how you feel. I have the same problem. The excruciating pain in your mid-back that can bring you to a stop and can hardly breath in pain like a knife is going in your back. I was in a public lady's room and couldn't even get myself up from bending down and was complaining in pain and the lady in the room was like are you ok. It was dibilitating so I know the pain. My pm dr has me scheduled for an intercostal injections. Yeah, scary just the sound of it. I firmly believe that depending on your condition, it depends upon the dr that you go too as to what meds he/she will prescribe to help you. My new PM dr. doesn't believe in looking at evidence of record MRI's or any reports from any other drs. I told him my conditions and the pain in my mid back and he said to me without even looking or examining me that he was going to give me injections. How does he not know if its a cyst or tumor for that matter. Then he made me sign something about doing these injections i guess so that he is not responsible if something happens to me..Doesn't sound too professional. The receptionist didn't want to tell me exactly what it was when scheduling it. I told her that it's my body and my health and before I get a procedure done in your office I really need to know what he will do to me. Did you ever hear of this? anyway, I wish you to feel better and let me know what the dr says it is.

 
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:41 PM   #13
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Changing your antidepressand to Remeron would help with the anxiety as well, such that you would probably find that the Klonopin would then be adquate (Remeron blocks te 5HT2 receptors that are involved in anxiety)

As for the pain, ask your doctor about Tramadol. It is a narcotic, about as potent as Vicodin, but it has an extremely low potentil for abuse and dependence.

You cant take it with Effexor or the SSRI's though.

Given how sparing you are with the Vicodin, taking those as needed shouldnt be an issue for your doctor, if you used say 10 pills per month.

Somthing to try for less severe pain would be taking 2 x Extra Strength Tylenol and 2 x Advil Liquigels - the combination works against pain in 2 different ways and can be very helpful.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:22 AM   #14
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

Thank you so much again for the replies. I am finally seeing a rheumatologist TODAY...in about an hour....so I'm hoping to get the ball rolling and digging deeper to find out some answers. Will keep you all posted. Thanks again for reading and responding!

 
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:55 PM   #15
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Re: I feel helpless! Doc won't give me anything for pain

I hope everything works out for you.

 
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