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Old 02-18-2009, 05:45 AM   #1
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Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

I've got a back problem, hence the name.

For the first 13 or so months after I injured myself I was given pain meds to make me more comfortable. At some point I messed up and right now I'm waiting for freedom of information so I can find out what happened as it's all quite a daze. They cut me from the pain clinic as a patient, and the health department was informed I was a drug seeker, and I was ordered to taper down at home from the meds I was taking. After 4 months, I was allowed to go into a detox hospital facility to detox cold turkey.

I'm 13 weeks clean from the meds, and I struggle all the time because the people at the narcotics anonymous meetings don't understand that I have legitimate pain and I suffer so much guilt for all of it...On one hand I think I should be given controlled pain meds so I have no possibility of being addicted, so that I can use them when my pain is extreme as the saying I keep hearing in my head says "How could they be so cruel as to leave me like this???"......then on the other hand I think perhaps that voice is my addiction and I should stay away from all drugs including medication to treat my pain.......which is always followed with "But I need something, even if it's only one tablet every six days or something, I would look forward to having no pain and it could make the pain between now and then more manageable knowing it's going to end for a short time in a few days"

Does that sound familiar to anyone? I swear I haven't found one single person who thinks this way.

I can't post this on the addiction/recovery threads btw (I know it sounds like more of an addiction problem but it's not, I don't think, plus you're not allowed to post this issue there)

I have no idea how to become more comfortable, or how to get the doctors to understand it's really quite debilitating. I have tried acupuncture, chiro, homeopathy, back support cushions, a back brace, mattress liner, and I'm currently doing physio and hydrotherapy. The other things are waiting until I have the funds to try them. My pain centre appointment in the new place I was referred to is in April.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:55 AM   #2
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

i hear ya. just keep being 100% honst to dr.'s, try to find dr. who is also or works with an addiction specialist. its not healthy for u mentaly or physically to be left in chronic pain, you will end up in depression and possible nerve problems, from nerves constantly carrying pain signal to brain.
addicts sometimes need pain mngnt. too ya know. and it is possible to treat them also. but u have to be very carefull. and you have to find a dr. who is willing to go out on the wire for ya. ya know they put their med lic. on the line.

you could also find a methadone clinic, or go to a dr. that is lic. to use suboxone, that treats pain for some paople also, good luck to ya i hope you find balance in there . try not to go crazy, your gonna need alot of patience

 
Old 02-18-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

Sorespine,
I know pretty much what you mean because I have been there. I never abused my pain meds but I am in recovery and go to meetings as well. I used to feel guilty until I read the booklet about being treated for health issues/pain while in recovery. Can I asked how exactly did you "mess up". Did you take more than you were supposed to? Were you taking the meds for the "high"? There are some things that you could do to treat the pain while being a recovering addict:

1. try any type of non-narcotic medication (however please know that Ultram(tramadol) or Ultracet is actually a mild narcotic medication even though it was initially marketed as non-narcotic)

2. try Suboxone/Subutex - it treats pain but also has a medication in it that prevents you from getting "high" on it. it does have it's limitations though

3. try the fentanyl patch - only if your pain is moderate to severe and your doctor agrees. it is less likely to be abused, delivers a steady stream of medication and is a patch that you wear.

4. if you do need a narcotic medication you will HAVE TO give someone else the responsibility to handle the medication and give you them as prescribed.

5. Methadone - it is used in pain management to treat pain even though it is also used to treat heroine addicts.

It is going to be very difficult to find a doctor to treat you now. However, as long as you stay clean you stand a better chance of being treated as a human being with pain. Trust me I know exactly how you feel and I never though I would be treated appropriately for my pain but I found a doctor that is caring and understanding. Please keep posting.

brian

 
Old 02-18-2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

Thankyou both.

I have been taken off of methadone, because of the loss of teeth I had (back ones luckily) and because of the difficulty of being at the chemist every morning to pick it up.

The only information I was given, besides a receptionist calling me a doctor shopper before hanging up the phone, was that two scripts were filled instead of one, and that I was visiting numerous doctors. I thought I had a right to choose my doctor, and was only visiting other doctors in the same doctors' surgery, so I still don't understand what the problem is there (all information in the same surgery is shared on computer with all doctors working there). I have said in my defence that if I filled a script early while I still had tablets at home, it would've been because of a long weekend coming or something like that where I knew I'd run out. I did take more morphine than prescribed (4 tablets instead of 1, I know, I know) and that was because I'd been in agony and they weren't working, and I was unable to get in touch with my pain doctor or my gp. I think I should have just gone to hospital, in hindsight, but at the time, I figured nobody's helping, so I have these, they're not working, so I guess I'll have another one.

I must say, honestly, I do like the feeling I get, taking pain medication - but that shouldn't make me ineligable for pain management should it? There are other people who don't have addiction issues, who like how it feels too I'm sure!

Thanks though, hey. I do like to hear that I deserve to be treated humanely, and however that is, and whatever restrictions apply, I should be helped! I know it's an uphill battle now, and that's very upsetting, but at least there is hope. Or I hope there is hope!

 
Old 02-18-2009, 08:28 PM   #5
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

ther is always hope. help is around the corner. dont give up.

 
Old 02-20-2009, 06:41 AM   #6
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

Hi sorespine, I hope ur day is going ok today - it sounds like you've been through hell. I've got a couple of suggestions but that's all they are - they might not be the right thing for youm
I live in aust too and I know that everyone deserves to have their pain treated and a second chance. It seems unfair but you'll probably have to fight for your rights. Have you thought of approaching your local member of paliament? It sounds mad but they can be really helpful - just tell them what happened and ask forhelp finding a dr that will listen. It's not your fault you can't take methadone and it sounds like you'd never make a mistake again. You could also try ringing the HIC or somewhere like that and explaining what a difficult situation you are in. You're not the first person to make a mistake and I've heard of this working before. Anyway, whatever you do, I wish you all the best. Keep your chin up ok

 
Old 02-20-2009, 06:47 AM   #7
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

Ps: hope you could understand that msg - am on the blackberry and it's hard to type. I meant to say parliament, sorry. also, you can go see both liberal and labour or whoever until you find someone who is compassionate. It sounds extreme but they have a lot of sway in the medical community and usually love solving problems. Either way, I'm here whenever you want to vent - it's nice seeing another Aussie

 
Old 02-20-2009, 08:15 AM   #8
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

It sounds as if you violated the terms of your pain contract and/or clinic rules....One in the same really. As you probably know, while in PM, you cannot see more than one Doc for the same condition and you cannot fill scripts early. It's water under the bridge now. You undoubtedly learned a valuable lesson and taking ownership is good.

You are right in that just because you had some problems, doesn't mean you shouldn't have access to pain mgt. You should try to seek out another Doc and don't stop looking....Eventually, you will find a compassionate one. This go around, you are much more likely to be a model patient. Some on this site can attest to that first hand.

Best of luck to you.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 02-21-2009, 08:31 PM   #9
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

Executor, it may interest you to know that our pain clinics do not tend to have terms or 'agreements' as such - there are also no laws preventing you from seeing more than 1 dr in the same clinic in Australia. I often have scripts written by other drs, just so long as I don't go anywhere else. This is why I think Sorespine may have been treated unfairly, even if she did make a mistake byneeding more pain meds than rxd - it sounds like our government should be helping her because the 'rules' where not explained. Good luck sorespine

 
Old 02-23-2009, 09:56 AM   #10
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

been reading your story here SS and i do feel for you. i too am a recovering addict who has been in PM now for five years. so i do know some of what you are feeling,trust me. i am just wondering what is the nature of your actual injury/pain generators? just knowing what is causing your pain to even be there will help in giveing you the best possible suggestions as to how to try and manage it, hopefully without involving any narcotics at this point. the only good thing i had going for me when all my nightmares occured and the need for PM was just there was alot of clean time in between when i sought help for my addiction and when things happened for me. being an addict does not exclude you from getting caring and compassionate help with your pain at all, we just have to sometimes do things a bit differently along with heavy monitoring and very very direct guidance and compliance. we can NEVER ever go out of our PMs or our docs rxing guidelines either, for any reason, ever. once you justify doing just that, in your head, its all over for us. its just the mindset of an addict pure an simple. that is how i have been able to deal with all of this, by not actually doing anything i am not Rxed to do. it just is the only way we can deal with this level of situation. unfortunetly you are 'in' full addiction right now from what you have stated about the use and how you feel with narcotics. this will make things a bit more difficult for you but not impossible to get good relief using certain modalities and meds.
i do have some possible suggestions for you if you could please explain just what the nature of your pain is, or what you have been Dxed with. hang in there SS,marcia
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:35 PM   #11
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

sorespine - we don't know each other and it is hard talking to someone you don't know about such difficult matters. I am sorry you hurt.

You already admitted you have a problem with medication use. You also have multiple medical people saying you have a problem. Maybe it's time to steer away from trying to figure out how to get the narcotic pain medicine and steer towards what things the doctors working your case are willing do to right now to help you get some pain relief and drive down your pain levels. I can't imagine that they would be willing to leave you in moderate to severe pain and not offer some solutions???? Do you have family support system? What do they say?

There are many non-narcotic medicines like neurontin or lyrica types, there are epidural steroid injections, oral steroids, and high dose ibuprofens and celebrex types, external TENS units, stimulator implants. Have you tried any of these singularly or in combination or have they been discussed with you?

Exactly what is the pain you feel, how does it feel (ache, stab, burn, jolt, etc.) where is it, what levels is it (1-10), is it constant or random or what? You haven't really talked about it in all your posts. I may have missed this, but I went and read old posts and didn't find it.

Might come up with some ideas for you if you answer back. Peace be with you tonight.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 03:10 AM   #12
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

Ok I'm answering the last two comments. I am an addict but I am a recovering addict, I do not use anything right now. I don't smoke or drink alcohol or even tea or coffee. There's nothing in the way of substances here, except panadeine forte which I don't bother taking because it doesn't work.

The pain is from the herniated disc L4/L5 and I am sure that since January I have had another one come out right under where my bra strap goes (centre of my back). It's a new pain and it's the reason I am desperate, the lower back and leg pain is quite intolerable too, but nowhere near as nasty.

It burns, and it also feels like someone's stabbing me. It is constant when I sit, from pretty much the first 30 or 60 seconds after I sit down. It is always painful in both my middle and lower back, and I also get numbness in one knee, in one heel (both knee and heel it's right and left but seems to occur one side at a time?), as well as crotch pain like pressure and feels like someone's just kicked me between the legs with steel caps and I cry from that, can't do anything when I get that pain - especially standing. Buttock pain too, and hips, my hips feel like there is something wrong deep in the joint. I have had trouble walking numerous times, sometimes for weeks - it would take me ten minutes to walk across a street distance so obviously I couldn't do much back then though for some reason nobody offered to do anything for me and would just walk reeallly slowly with me or whatever. I know my hips haven't been dislocated or disjointed but sometimes I feel a click. I think it is something structural that's probably to do with my back or posture, and it's been a few years I've had hip issues.

The level of pain is usually 2/10 constantly, unless I sit. First 10 minutes sitting it'd be 6 or 7/10 and then it becomes unbearable, becomes more desperate, I can push through it still, but I had a 10 pound baby at home, and going on that being 10, it's 8/10. It remains that way either until I've laid down for a good couple of hours, or until I finally fall asleep (which I can't do very easily these days, it takes ages as I can't get comfortable for the pain).
It is definately constant. All day, every day, it only goes more intense and back to normal. I can sleep, though; but I do have a sedative/anti-depressant to thank for that.

I have a tens machine. Before I had the pain in the middle, I could get a good response from going up to maybe 6 or 8 on the level chooser thing, and now I can't feel anything until I get to 20. I have used it as directed, usually once, maybe twice a day if that, most days I don't bother as it doesn't offer much relief.

I just bought a menthol based ice-rub and that seems to help a little, but it is a temporary thing I can't use for more than 2 weeks.

I have battled with the idea of fronting up at an emergency department at a hospital. I know I would have to drag the kids along, I'd have to wait, and worse - I'd have to sit to wait. And you can wait anywhere from 2 -6 hours.

I've asked my doctors to please send me for a ct scan again, that I have intense new pain in the centre of my back now, and please find out what it is and help me! But they said no. I have now decided to never go back there and have a friends' doctor to visit as she said he's compassionate and very thorough. That's tomorrow at 5pm.

Wish me luck, cos I think if he can't help me, I will probably go straight to emergency after that appointment. If my mother in law will babysit (she'll be doing sitting for me all day and this would mean all evening too as hubbie's away tomorrow night)

 
Old 02-24-2009, 05:31 AM   #13
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

I've only got a minute but I wanted to say good luck for tomorrow. I hope this dr comes through for you - by the way, no dr can refuse you a ct or other diagnostic scan for a previously undiagnosed illness or injury. Diagnostic imaging is your right. Be strong.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

There's a lot going on that sounds like they aren't listening. From just how you describe it I think you need your thoracic looked at for sure. What you describe sounds like pain coming from maybe a possible bulge in your T levels like T5, 6, or 7ish. They are rare but having littles ones and lifting all the time etc. it isn't outside the possibility that you just did something there.

I hope this new doctor took the time to listen to you and looked past the other stuff. Congratulations on beating the addiction part, but I think they must be seeing some "behavior" that was there making them uncomfortable. But if you talk to them like you just wrote here, I don't see how they aren't helping you! Try to focus on what hurts, where it hurts and how it hurts when you talk to them. As a suggestion avoid asking for pain medications and instead ask them what they will do to help your case. What are the things you and they can be doing. Talk to them about the other things you are doing like the rubs, baths, tens, etc. From there the other things will come naturally and they won't get their radar up. Talk to them about using the other medications like Neurontin or Lyrica, the pain you describe sounds like it would respond to one of those type.

I will be watching for an update. Prayers with you. NP

 
Old 02-24-2009, 08:39 PM   #15
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Re: Issue with needing pain relief but an addict

Quote:
Originally Posted by neckpatient View Post
Congratulations on beating the addiction part,
Trust me you never BEAT addiction but you do go into recovery. There is no cure currently but it can be arrested on a daily basis. Opiate medications probably will always set off your addiction so you must be aware of it and take the necessary precautions and do not try to hide it from doctors because they will usually find out (from your previous records) and then you will be in worse shape because you have been deceitful. Keep us posted though and I do hope they can do something for your pain.

brian

 
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