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Great first pm visit, few questions

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Old 03-14-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
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Great first pm visit, few questions

Finally some good news! I went and saw my pm doc for the first time today, and she was wonderful! She did not look at me like a hypocondriac or an addict and actually listened to me. I have been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and have been dealing with multiple health issues due my condition. (ruptured discs, multiple dislocations to both shoulders and elbows, and all fingers, Early onset of osteoarthritis, especially in my back) Finally, I was treated like a human being and not some stray dog. She spent nearly an hour with me as we went over my complete medical history, and she explained things about my condition that I did not even know. The entire staff was tremendous and not for one second did I feel as though I was being judged.

I do have just a few questions though, and any feedback would be appreciated. Ok, so I am taking 5mg endocet 3x daily (along with muscle relaxers, nsaids) and I have been taking only as prescribed to me. So I had like 39 pills left. She said that since I still had some left, that we would try an epidural(sp?) nerve block tomorrow and that I should come back in 2 weeks and adjust my medications, if we feel that Is what you need. (btw-she did agree with me that I may need a long acting medication.) I guess my question is is this normal? Do they usually wait until your out of your last months medicine to prescibe you different ones or more of the same? Do Nerve blocks help and what are the success rates? She also changed me from Indocin to Naproxen? Has anyone noticed less stiffness when taking Naproxen?

One last thing is I also recieved a TENS unit. What's the best way to use it? How long does it usually take to start working and what is the exact purpose of a TENS unit? Thanks for any feedback, and thanks to all those who give support. This website has truly helped me realize that I am not alone in dealing with my chronic pain, and that there are people out there that will give support.

Hoping everyone is well

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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Re: Great first pm visit, few questions

I am very glad that you had a really good first visit with your new pm. It's great that she sat and listened to you, that's so important.

Some doctors will change your medication while you have some of another prescription left, some will want the old prescription before prescribing new, and others will do as yours did. This is to protect you from the temptation to take both and possibly lead to an overdose or other problems.

An epidural and a nerve block aren't the same thing. If she specifically said epidural, then it will be an injection into the spinal canal using both a local anesthetic and steroids. I can't give you a percentage of success; however, many people do have very good results while others don't respond as well. You can only try and hope to get lasting pain relief (sometimes up to 3 months or more).

Naproxen works well for me with my arthritis pain but I can't say whether it will help with your particular problem as they have different causes.

the TENS unit works well for some people. It is intended to block the nerve signals to the brain, therefore lowering your pain. You will have to experiment with the setting to find where it helps you best, or your dr. will tell you where she wants it set. Once you find the correct setting, it should bring relief in a short time...a few minutes, maybe faster. I had one but can't remember as I had a bad reaction (couldnt stand the buzzing sensation) and so couldn't use it. Others love the unit and I hope you are one of those.

Please continue to update us and let us know how you are doing. I hope you get good relief from both the injections and the TENS unit so that you finally get some needed pain reduction.


Lumbar surgery x 7 over the last 30 years.
cervical fusion...2 levels
medtronic pain pump implanted
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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Re: Great first pm visit, few questions

Originally Posted by conductor2244 View Post

One last thing is I also recieved a TENS unit. What's the best way to use it?
The best way is to hit it with a hammer until there is nothing left.

Yeah, I'm one of those people that didn't find it helpful. Others have found it to be helpful though. I have never heard from anyone that said it worked great and relieved 100% of their pain, but I know that it made a difference for them and it all adds up.

Good to hear you're happy with your PM doc. That certainly helps. Take care.

Old 03-15-2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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Re: Great first pm visit, few questions

I'd say she changed you from Indocin to Naproxen because naproxen has a far better side effect profile, and is longer acting.

Naproxen is generaly regarded as equal to indomethacin as an antiinflamatory, while causing less side effects.
The desire to take medicines is what seperates man from the lower animals - William Ostler

Multiple anecdotes do not equal evidence - Me

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