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caribear 03-18-2011 08:16 PM

Question about doctors and pain meds
Hi everybody! :wave:
I've gotten to the point where I am seriously considering asking for pain meds. I've tried really hard to grin and bear it, and I've found other non-medicinal ways to deal with the pain, but I've spent four nights in the past week curled up on the couch crying and shaking from the pain. I was cleaning out my medicine cabinet and found some percocet from when I had torticollis last year (and for the record, I'd rather deal with fibro than go through that again. That was the worst pain I've ever had in my life, bar none.) I was so desperate for relief last night that I took one, and it took the edge off to where I could function. So now I'm considering asking for something like that in case I need it. But I'm a little confused about how to go about doing that. Now that I have a rheumy, should I ask him? Or is that something I should go to my family doctor for? I could get in to my family doc easier than I could my rheumy; plus I would have to drive for an hour to see the rheumy, but my GP is just down the street.
I'm feeling a little torn about this whole thing. Some people in my family are very dead-set against pain killers, and they've drilled it into my head since I was little that "if you were strong enough, you wouldn't need to take pain meds." Plus there's the little voice that says "you look like an addict, asking for medication is a sure sign of an addict." I know all of this isn't true, but it's all swirling around in my head, you know what I mean? :dizzy: It's a hard decision for me. Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated.


thefarm 03-19-2011 01:14 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
Hi Caribear!
Well, this will be long, but that's just me....
I was raised on more natural remedies... So I've never been one to take any medicine unless I needed it. All my life I'd wait until a headache was bad before taking something. Even then, most over the counter meds never did anything for me. So then, why bother taking it at all lol So, I quit taking anything at all.
When it comes to pain killers, no you don't want to rely on them. You don't want to take them all the time. But, if you want to be able to enjoy life or atleast make days easier to tolerate, they are a blessing.
When the Fibro really kicked in, I wouldn't take Tramadol until it was bad... Well with that stuff you have to wait 2 hours for it to do anything... I've taken Percs & to me one is the same as 2 Tramadol, but it helps allot quicker!
You just have to learn when to take them & not just take them because you want them... I have my days where I hurt, but I can tolerate it. There are days when I hurt so bad I don't want to move off the couch (sound familiar?) ;) On those days, I take Tramadol. Does it get rid of the pain? I wish! But it does allow me to get up, make dinner & actually feel somewhat human.
So, I say go for it! Don't worry about what anyone thinks, you have to deal with it, not them.
There is also the more natural remedies.... Trust me, I've wanted to give it a shot! It's just not me, maybe one day though...
My Rhumetologist won't give me anything except Tramadol. Percs are good but I wonder if they are a good thing to start out on. I heard we get used to the meds & end up wanting something stronger... I think Vicodin would be best... What do others think? I'd love to hear everyones opinions :)

brooklyngirl 03-19-2011 06:25 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
First, taking a pain med is not going to make you an addict unless you take several everyday for months, so you don't have to be afraid of asking for help when you need it. I have been on vicodin since 2006 when I injured my spine (ruptured every disc in my neck in 2008 so I understand torticollis well as my head was stuck to the side for four months) and only had to increase my dosage once for a few months while my head was stuck and once that subsided I went back to my normal dose (5/500mg). I also get migraines and will use the pain med then if I don't get to the imitrex in time to prevent the bad pain.
Go to either doctor both should be willing to help you get the relief you need. My former rheumatologist did not offer any type of pain med (unless you count antidepressants which I do not as they do nothing but make me feel awful) which is one reason why she is a former and not current doc. My primary offers me pain meds but my pain (from neck, lupus, migraines) is well documented and I don't ask for a lot of them. For some reason I take a lot more during the warmer months than during winter (not sure why as my activity level is similar but I do skate inside during the winter) because my pain is much worse in my neck and head. Maybe someday we will figure that one out. Basically, keep your pain documented and one of the doctors should be willing to help you. The other option is a pain management clinic.

bluelakelady 03-19-2011 09:27 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
hi little bear,
i love your name here. it's cute.
first ask the doc, all he/she can say is no. if you have never asked before i doubt they will think you are getting ready to be an addict. i go to my internist for the one pain med i take for arthritis.
second, don't tell anyone you take it. nobody's business but yours and your docs.
last, addiction is a body mind thing. some days i take nothing and some days i take up to 3. been on the same med and dosage for 13 years. skipping days is no problem.
sometimes we need to break the cycle of pain. clinical studies have proven this promotes healing. listen to your body and do what feels right for you, no one else.

thefarm 03-19-2011 11:29 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
brooklyngirl~ My pain is in my upper back, shoulders, neck then goes up part of my skull like yours... Its awful! Do you find that you have to lay your head down allot? Feels like my head weighs 30 pounds... Seems to trigger the headaches, ugh... Then there is a muscle or something that leads up on the left side on the back of my neck that can really hurt sometimes...
The Fibro makes my lower back (which isn't in good shape in the first place) hurt soo bad... Can't win can we?

caribear 03-19-2011 11:45 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
Thanks everybody for the input. I have decided to make an appointment with my GP monday and ask him. I have many other things I do to help relieve the pain, like taking hot showers or sitting in my sauna, but they only help to a certain point. I think there's just been too much emotional and physical stress on me lately...this is my last resort. I know I won't need them every day; it's usually just at the end of a really strenuous day that I get that bad. Plus I've been trying to up my exercise per my rheumy's directions, which is wearing me out. I've been keeping a pain journal for several months now, I think I'll bring that in to my appointment to show the doc. I looked up pain management clinics and they all require a referral. If nothing else, maybe I can get one monday if my doc isn't comfortable helping me.

I appreciate all your suggestions. Thanks!

PS, Thanks Blue, I got this nickname in high school and it's just stuck with me all these years...:)

thefarm 03-19-2011 12:02 PM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
I love hot baths! They help sooo much! That's my first choice before meds.
Don't take pain meds to late or they'll keep ya awake.. I learned that the hard way... But if you take them earlier on it'll help all day! You'll learn to recognize when to take them before it gets worst...
I'm really happy for you! This will really help! It will not take away the pain but you will be able to live life alittle easier. ♥

brooklyngirl 03-19-2011 03:44 PM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds

My head feels very heavy all the time! It also feels like my head is not screwed on right which is what I told my primary. The muscle on the right side of my neck often gets very tight or will spasm and then the pain goes up into my head. Do you find that driving makes you hurt a lot worse in that area? I was diagnosed with spondlyosis, osteoarthritis, and spinal stenosis in my upper and lower spine (have never had the middle checked but I know there is a curve there) which causes nerve compression. I also have lost a lot of strength in my right arm. That started in 2006 and now I have this autoimmune stuff to add to it, some days I feel 90 years old instead of 31. Do you do anything to help your neck/headache? I use a massage neck pillow, rice bags, biofreeze, pain meds/muscle relaxers, and lay down as soon as possible.

thefarm 03-20-2011 02:07 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
Hey there :)
Driving is like everything else to me... What I mean is, holding my head up for long periods no matter what makes it hurt more...
I soak in a hot bath. Luckily we have a nice big one & all I wanted was a bath pillow for Christmas, so I got it! lol It's a must have! I have to rest my head allot. When it becomes just to uncomfortable or painful it's time for Tamadol... I'm learning to recognize when that's coming so I can take it ahead of time...
I got a message for my birthday & she messaged my neck & skull... It's felt sooo good! I was afraid the message would be painful but it wasn't.

brooklyngirl 03-20-2011 05:52 PM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
I use a neck pillow if I have to drive for a long time which helps some. I am not able to take baths because of recurrent UTIs, but I use a warm shower (can't do hot water as I also have Sjogren's Syndrome which dries me out) when needed. It took a long time for me to learn when to take my pain meds because I used to wait too long and then I had to take more and they make me feel crappy in big doses (I usually take half a pill now) and sleepy. I am also anemic which doesn't help the sleepiness.

caribear 03-22-2011 07:53 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
I made an appointment with my GP today to talk to him about pain relief. About half an hour before my appointment, his receptionist called and said that he would not see me for my fibromyalgia, that was why he referred me to a rheumatologist, and cancelled my appointment. So I called my rheumy (had to anyway, they ran more blood tests when I was there) and he said my vitamin d was low so they were going to give me a prescription for supplements. I asked him about pain relief and he told me to take advil. I responded that after a certain point over the counter meds didn't do anything and he gave me a little speech about not relying on narcotic pain relievers. I told him I did not intend to rely on them, but to use them as a backup for when I can't function because of pain. He then suggested that he thought I had a prescription from my family doctor, which I told him I did not. He finally agreed to write me a prescription for something, but I don't even know what it is that he's writing it for because they mail out their prescriptions. So now I feel like [I]both[/I] my doctors are thinking I'm a med seeker. :( Yuck. I hate dealing with doctors.

bluelakelady 03-22-2011 08:12 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
hi bear,
at least he is giving you something. hope whatever it is it helps on the rough days. i used to get the lecture too. now my doc is always asking me do i need more pain med for arthritis. i reminded him last time that along with still having plenty he gave me a refill too. oh, good he says, thanks for reminding me.
a doctor who is paying attention will notice the reality of who you are concerning your use of narcotics. in time you will show them you are not a seeker.
stop worrying about what they think. time will prove them wrong and they will get on board with you. mine have. it takes time tho for them to feel safe giving it to you.

caribear 03-22-2011 08:29 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
Thanks Blue. I guess I just have this fear that if they start thinking I'm seeking meds that they won't want to help me anymore. But you're right, I guess I have to show them that I'm not a med seeker for them to believe that. It's sad that there are so many people who abuse the system that when you really need pain relief doctors are immediately suspicious.

bluelakelady 03-22-2011 08:34 AM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
yea but they have been sued alot and busted for overmedication of patients. they should think twice. you just relax and let your life be your proof that you are not looking for an easy out in life. that is what they think. dorks!

Sgmar10 04-01-2011 12:26 PM

Re: Question about doctors and pain meds
you have so much good advice about Fibro and the pain management involved

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