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  • Frustrated Father in pain

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    Old 04-26-2017, 11:48 PM   #1
    Jsalsberg's Avatar
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    Jsalsberg HB User
    Frustrated Father in pain

    I've had 2 Back surgeries, a microdiscectomy and an ALIF fusion (L5S1). A recent MRI showed that I have another herniated disc at the level above. We've taken the conservative approach injections, rhizome, with no luck helping. During this last 4 weeks I've been in more and more pain. I've made 2 extra appointments to talk about hoping my pain meds until we focus of if I need surgery but my pain doctor will not bump them up. I don't know what to do. My pain is close to unmanageable and affecting my relationship with my family, complete chores around the house, the ability to get my school work done or to play with my son. I hate feeling desperate over pain meds but as the pain gets worse my personality and disposition get worse and I know I'm not fun to be around when I'm hurting bad. That makes me desperate. I don't understand why my doctor refuses to adjust my meds until we figure out a plan. It's not like there isn't proof either, he read the MRI that showed my newest herniation. It's like he doesn't believe in on that much pain. Maybe it's because I'm built like an athlete and don't look like I am in as much pain as I say.

    Can anyone relate to this? I'm almost out of meds because I've had to take more than I'm supposed to. I don't like doinbe that but if I didn't I'd be in bed. We have a 2 year old and a newborn so that's not an option. Do I find a new doctor? Why would a doctor who knows I have lelegitimate pain decide not to up meds even after I've gone back in and asked 3 different times? The only change he's made is getting me ER instead of regular release.

    I would be grateful for any feedback. I'm tired of this being an issue and tired of apologizing to my family for never smiling anymore. I just want my pain under control until we figure out the best treatment to get me better permanently. Then I'll gget off these $&@! meds completely!

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    Old 04-27-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
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    Re: Frustrated Father in pain

    Welcome! Sorry you are going through this. Pain management is unfortunately moving away from using opioids for noncancer chronic pain. People are getting their dosages reduced or even cut off, so you are actually lucky to be getting anything at all. The literature says that that opioids aren't very effective for long term pain, can cause hyperalgesia, has dangers, etc. It puts us in a tough spot however if we have tried many other treatments and opioids are the only thing that helps.

    Even if you did get a doctor to up your dose, eventually you will get tolerant to that, and there is only so much they will up it. You'll be back in the same place in months or years. The rate that tolerance is built can vary a lot. Some believe that the use of long instead of short acting meds will have it build more slowly (as the levels are more constant in the system). Young folks often seem to build tolerance more quickly. Its been something I've dealt with a lot.

    Also, unfortunately we never get as much relief from opioids as we do right in the beginning. Some people try to chase that great relief and end up increasing their tolerance too quickly that way too. Some medications may be better for having tolerance build slower; the long acting ones like I mentioned, and Methadone (which isn't typically a first line med as it has some added risks, although they can mostly be mitigated, but it works very well for some folks like me who didn't respond well to anything else).

    I would get another opinion. Actually, more than one. Not so much specifically for a higher opioid dose, but to ensure your current doctor isn't overlooking any other treatments as a whole. Each doctor has their own approach, meds they typically use, etc. I would discuss with any doctors that you see that your pain is not under control and you want to ensure that options aren't being overlooked. Don't specifically ask for a higher opioid dose or anything like that, as they could see that as drug seeking.

    Discuss specifically what activities you can and cannot do, and what your goals are. For most with chronic pain it isn't realistic to be able to get a treatment that enables us to go about our life 100% like we used to. Some can no longer work. Most make lifestyle adjustments. 50% pain relief is often a reasonable goal to set. If you decide to switch doctors, be sure not to sign any opioid contract or accept any prescriptions from a new doctor until you end things with your current doctor. Preferably both in person and in writing.

    Please please don't take more than prescribed. It can actually jeopardize you being able to get any meds in the future. If they do a UA and you don't have anything in your system, or even just not enough, they can cut you off and put a note in your records which makes it very difficult to ever get pain meds again. Better to have something than nothing at all. You wouldn't want to put yourself into withdrawal from running out early either, which on top of pain is miserable. Its tough not to take an extra pill when you are in pain, but remember that any short term relief will cause you long term problems. Hang in there! Best wishes.
    constant headache since 2006

    Old 04-28-2017, 11:26 AM   #3
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    Re: Frustrated Father in pain

    Shame pain pills have become so hard to get/prescribe.

    I would ask the doctor for an epidermal.

    I have also heard good things about getting a botox injection in the back where it's hurting. I haven't tried it personally but it's worth a shot.

    Praying you get some relief.

    I've had knee pain for a couple of months and the doctor will only prescribe Ibuprofen which I get cheaper over the counter.

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