It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Pain Management Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-07-2008, 10:59 AM   #1
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 157
marbelmo HB User
Advice

Hello all,
My neck pain has been out of control lately.
I have torn discs at 2 levels as well as bulging and flattening at one level.
I had been getting by on 3 vicoprophen and tylenol for a long time.
Long story short, I learned that my liver panels came back slightly elevated and it really scared me. I started substituting extra advil with the vicoprophen in place of tylenol and my labs, while still a bit high came down..
My PCP has handled my pain management. I have been trying to take a minimum amount of narcotic medication due to multiple reasons but I remember about a year ago my doctor mentioned that if I had to go any higher on the hydrocodone we could look into methadone. At the time it freaked me out but after some research I'm not so sure it's such a bad idea.
The extra advil is starting to mess up my stomach and I'm afraid to take more tylenol. The 3 vicoprophen on their own throughout the day just don't cut it.
I'm about to schedule an appointment with my doc to discuss this but feel embarrassed that I can't suck it up and handle the pain. Though it does peak at a level 8 sometimes it's usually just a persistent 5, which isn't extreme, but the fact that is always there gets to be a bit exhausting.
Do any of you have any input on what you think I should do? While I don't post often on these boards I do read and you all seem very nice and very knowledgeable so any suggestions would be extremely welcome.

Thank you very much.
__________________
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 05-07-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London
Posts: 12
parapluie HB User
Re: Advice

That's tough. I was on Percocet (oxycodone + acetaminophen) for 4 1/2 years and every time I put one in my mouth to take, I worried about the damage I could be potentially doing to my liver. When I finally stopped taking it a couple weeks ago, I asked my doctor if I should be having blood tests done to check on my liver. Her response was that the levels would elevated because I had taken so much acetaminophen for so long but that that didn't even necessarily mean anything. So maybe you should talk to your doctor about what exactly your labs mean, if anything.

I don't envy your position. Obviously you can't live in pain but at the same time you don't want to be causing more problems for yourself down the road. Could you switch to something with aspirin or ibuprofen? As in, narcotic + aspirin? I know you said the Advil was causing stomach problems so maybe not the ibuprofen but perhaps aspirin instead? Just a thought. Good luck!

 
Old 05-07-2008, 12:43 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1,884
cmpgirl HB User
Re: Advice

Marbelmo, There are a few options out there, depending on what you want and what you can tolerate. Most (possibly all) of the long acting meds are completely devoid of tylenol or advil and they also provide a broader, more consistant coverage of pain. Just because LA meds are often associated with addiction and celebrity deaths, etc. does not mean that they deserve this reputation. Oxycontin is just Oxycodone, but in a time released formula. And oxycodone is not that far removed from hydrocodone. Yes, a little more potent, but not light years away, especially in the lower dose range.

You mentioned that you prefer not to take many narcotics, and that is absolutely your decision and nobody here will judge you for that or hold it against you in any way. Many here, have chosen to be on as few as possible and many have chosen to take them everyday.

As Executor points out, frequently, it is a cost to benefit ratio, and has to be the decison of the patient and their doctor. I personally, am of the second school and take narcotics without major concerns, because it is what works best for me.

So, my suggestion would be to either talk to your current physician or if you feel you want to take this a step further, you may want to try a PM specialist. It is always best to make the most informed decision that you can. If that means that you decide to go with some different or additional narcotics, there are so many on the market that it is usually not hard to find one that suits your individual needs.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or I did not explain something well (which given the state of my brain lately, would not surprise me ) please just ask. Good luck in deciding. Take care, cmpgirl

 
Old 05-07-2008, 12:46 PM   #4
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 472
Arthr Itis HB User
Re: Advice

You should be embarrassed! Why can't you just suck it up and take that pain like a man! Maybe because men feel pain and have problems doing life things when our pain is up. I don't know why you are afraid of narcotics but trust me they are not as bad as people make them out to be. I have a brother who thinks it's just terrible that I'm on narcs. I explain to him that if non-narcotic pain relievers worked that's what I would be on. But, they don't so it's narcotics or curl up in a little ball and be so miserable I couldn't do anything. By the way, spending your life curled up in a little ball and being miserable is bad for your general health.
Fred

 
Old 05-08-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 157
marbelmo HB User
Re: Advice

Don't get me wrong. I'm no longer anti narcotic. I tried everything from Tens units, chiropractic, acupuncture, even magnets and finally gave in with hydrocodone for some reasonable, convenient relief. I was prescribed percocet 10/325 once and found that it spaced me out and made me itch like crazy.
I guess my question is, do you guys think methadone would be a decent alternative? Would it take the pain away enough to do some decent excercising and not loop me out at work?
Is it a reasonable next step up from hydrocodone?
Thanks for any suggestions.
__________________
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 
Old 05-08-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: the DEEP S
Posts: 598
Blog Entries: 2
SpinalMalady HB UserSpinalMalady HB User
Re: Advice

JMHO, but methadone is way up the line from Percocet. I would think the doc would try some other LA meds before taking the jump straight to methadone. Especially if you had issues with Percocet making you itch, it's likely that you are not very opiate/opiod tolerant yet. Have you taken anything other than Percocet in the past? Have you tried anything LA?

Oxycontin? Morphine? Fentynal? Just curious as to why the doc would do a jump straight to methadone?
__________________
\lm/ = "I Love You" in Sign Language

12/10/04 MicroD & Hemi Lami 100% Success
09/05 Re-injured post Katrina
06-07 In Pain Mgmt. trying to deal
3/9/07 2 Level PLIF due to CES

 
Old 05-08-2008, 01:41 PM   #7
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 157
marbelmo HB User
Re: Advice

I have not tried anything LA.
Other than oxycodone and (hydrocodone,which I seem to tolerate just fine without any fogginess) I have only had darvocet(worthless) and demeral which also did not help after a discogram.
I just remember when I asked my doctor if I could take 3 vicoprofen per day he said that was reasonable but if I needed to increase that again he would look into methadone. Please, no offense to anyone taking methadone, but I was so naive then that I thought of Anna Nicole Smith and clinics and heroin, etc. It's just recently with uncontroled pain that I have researched this medication a bit more and have more respect for it as a possible analgesic.
My fear of it has kept me from going back to my doctor to this day, but I really can't take this constant unrelenting neck and upper back pain much longer. I can't afford surgery right now, and even if I could, I have 2 differing opinions from neurosurgeons on whether I should even go there.
I also really have no idea how to approach my doctor about this. I certainly don't want him to think I'm just looking for drugs or something. I just don't want to contunue to ruin my stomach or liver with advil or tylenol.
__________________
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 
Old 05-08-2008, 03:36 PM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1,884
cmpgirl HB User
Re: Advice

Many people here have had very good things to say about methadone as a pain med. I take Oxycontin, because it was what my PM doc tried first and it works fine for me. Of course over the years, I have had my doses increased due to tolerannce and worsening of my condition. This is really just part of the pain med package, when you are chronic. I, for one, can take the synthetics, but morphine sulfate is a big no-no. I react very badly to it. Others are just the opposite.

I would just be honest with your doc about your concerns but mostly about your inability to function on a day to day basis, without the assistance of a pain med. If he is a well rounded and pain management oriented doc, he will understand. If he offered it to you, I don't think he was doing so because he thought you were a drug seeker or an addict. I think it was probably more that he has had other patients get good pain coverage from it.

Good luck and keep us posted. cmpgirl

 
Old 05-08-2008, 04:09 PM   #9
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 157
marbelmo HB User
Re: Advice

Hi cmpgirl,
Thanks for your input.
I just wanted to let you know that I was also diagnosed by two Neuros as having Myofascial Pain syndrome as well as the obvious neck issues. They probably go hand in hand due to your muscles trying to overprotect, etc.

What's also been very interesting to me, not to change the subject, is the dichotomy of doctors who think this is a waste basket diagnosis.
I've had certfied myofascial release PT's who say I'm a poster boy for the condition and at the same time multiple docs telling me it doesn't really exist.

How have you dealt with the discrepancies?
I really don't know what to believe any more.
__________________
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 
Old 05-08-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,362
skych HB Userskych HB User
Re: Advice

Hello Marbelmo,

I just thought I would chime in here about your situation.

First I can totally relate to how you feel about the pain "wearing you down"

I was on Methadone at one time for a different injury than my current neck problem. While it worked well for my pain and for the nerve pain, I had run the gamet on many other meds before going to the extreem of methadone.

With my neck problems I did not want to go back on the methadone because it was extreemly hard for me to tolerate the side effects. When the time came to get off the methadone it was really really hard, even though I never abused it, it was a tough road and on e that my Pain doc and I did not want to go down again at this time.

Like others have said in your thread...there are many other LA meds that you may want to try before going to the methadone.

Maybe it is time for Pain Management if that is an option for you.

Have you ever had any other things done to your neck for pain relief....injections or anything?

I hope that you will get to talk this out with your doc and the two of you can come up with a good plan.
Best of luck...
Chrissy

 
Old 05-08-2008, 04:44 PM   #11
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 157
marbelmo HB User
Re: Advice

Hi Chrissy,
Yes, I've had multiple physical therapy sessions, traction, ESIs, etc. The ESI's were probably the most beneficial.
Finance at this point is making me want to just find some kind of convenient technique to manage pain because I have to work 70+ hours per week to support my great family.
My last Neurosurgeon recommended Pain Management and I actually had an appointment scheduled when my pcp stepped in and said not to bother because he would manage my issues. I felt relieved at the time because I was tired of the merrygoround of docs and procedures and at least knew he'd known me for over 12 years.
It's my fault that I've just bitten the bullet for so long.
But after 4 sleepless nights and 2 days in my office lying flat on the floor I have to do something.
__________________
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 
Old 05-09-2008, 08:36 AM   #12
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1,884
cmpgirl HB User
Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by marbelmo View Post
What's also been very interesting to me, not to change the subject, is the dichotomy of doctors who think this is a waste basket diagnosis.
I've had certfied myofascial release PT's who say I'm a poster boy for the condition and at the same time multiple docs telling me it doesn't really exist.

How have you dealt with the discrepancies?
I really don't know what to believe any more.
It was not easy in the beginning. The first PM doc that I went to, was one of those who saw it as a wastebasket diagnosis. My current PM is fantastic and was the first and only doc to fully explain to me, just what CMP was and why it affected me as it does.

I've had so many other docs/specialists confuse it with Fibro or disregard it altogether. While it shares some of the symptoms of Fibro, it is in no way the same condition. Not to downplay one or the other. They are both very painful. And equally misunderstood. I have just come to terms with the fact that not everyone, even in the medical profession, is going to understand CMP or take it into consideration in the process of treating me for other medical problems. I have tried to correct and educate over the years, but it's not an easy thing to do. You tend to get looked at as if you have six heads.

Luckily, I have found my knight in shining armor (my PM) and I have always been more than satisfied with the care he provides. He is a compassionate man, who listens to me and works with me to manage my pain. I have informed him several times that he is not allowed to retire or leave the area. I have several back issues as well and he treats those too. Just so you know, the AMA has officially "upgraded" CMP from a syndrome to a disease. Maybe that will bring about the attention and respect that it deserves.

Not that I'm happy you suffer from the same, but it is nice to know someone else who understands it. I hope to hear more from you, here on the board. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Take care, cmpgirl

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Negative HPT but lots of Prego Signs Advice Please kear0001 Pregnancy-Teen 6 04-04-2011 06:51 PM
please help with some advice hollie1984 Skin Problems 4 04-23-2010 03:20 PM
Your advice is worth a lot... topsy123 Multiple Sclerosis 1 04-19-2010 07:20 PM
Beware of advice in books and newspaper articles etc.. JohnR41 Healthy Lifestyle 1 02-21-2009 10:38 AM
My Advice...... pipermac Weight Loss 13 01-07-2006 12:34 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



tortoisegirl (159), gmak (156), Shoreline (151), BB07 (92), backhurtz (84), katlin09 (69), Ilovemycutedog (53), galalena (50), jonnstar (35), Isotope (34)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1011), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (761), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:16 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!