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advice for pain management for 8+ months

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Old 03-26-2011, 05:15 AM   #1
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advice for pain management for 8+ months

Hello everyone! First post so I hope I'm putting this in the right place!

I'm a 22yo female and I've had severe abdominal pain for nine months. For six months I also bled so heavily I was on pills to ease the bleeding and iron tablets. I saw countless doctors, had several ultrasounds and a laparoscopy, which was normal. I got told it was stress, as my grandfather passed away, I got told I was going crazy and just wanted to avoid life.

It should be noted that I got a job about a month after it started, which involved a lot of standing. I had to miss quite a few days due to specialist appointments, sheer agony (pap smears would leave me unable to walk), and two weeks off for my operation. So it hasn't exactly been fantastic for my work!!

During these six months I was on 8 panadeine forte tablets a day and had to have heat on my stomach as often as possible, as the painkillers often weren't enough. I can't remember the exact dosage, but it was the highest dose a doctor can prescribe in Australia. I was prescribed various painkillers but panaedine forte was the only other thing that worked.

Finally, I had an Implanon put in, as I was once told by a doctor that the pain had started roughly the same time as my Implanon failed.

For nearly two months the pain and bleeding stopped. YAY. Except then it started easing back in until I was missing days of work due to pain. Finally, I went back to the doctor, who put me on 10mg of endone a day ... which, frankly, isn't enough.

I'm getting a few side effects from Endone - headaches, decreased sex drive, dizziness and nausea - and don't feel like it's doing too much.

Because of the addictive nature of painkillers, will a doctor toss me out of their office if I ask to change specifically to panadeine forte? For the six months I was on it, it got increasingly difficult to get a prescription because they believed I was simply addicted to it (which physically I probably was, but it was still the only thing that would ease the pain).

I've been told by doctors that I self-presribe too much and I worry they'll just toss me out and won't let me have any pain relief meds.

I have another appointment with a new doctor who specialises in hormones next week but am worried about asking for pain medication straight off the bat.

Is there some sort of protocol when asking a doctor for pain medication? Has anyone else had similar problems to do with people not taking their pain seriously? How do you deal with it?

Is there any other ways of relieving pain other than strong medication that anyone has found? Any natural "cures"?

I've also had problems in my life not accepting that I'm in too much pain to do much else beside work, but I suppose you just keep people around who do understand and won't mind chatting to you when you're a bit whacked out on codeine or morphine, right?

Sorry this is so long, hope someone can help me a bit!

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Old 03-29-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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Re: advice for pain management for 8+ months

First, welcome to the board. Second I am sorry for all the "female problems" as my mother used to say. As far as starting with a new doctor and telling him what kind of meds you would like him to prescribe to you-I wouldn't. I don't know aqbout where you live, but here in the states it sends a red flag straight up in the air and the sirens go off in their heads and they back away from you. I certainly is often considered the sign of a drug seeker....or doctor hopper.

What I would do if it were me would be to start a pain book that lists the pain-how where why type of pain. Then I would put what was taken, how you reacted, time it worked. You get the idea. Because you only have a week, I would make a past history area that is clear and consise with as little emotion in it as you can. Give the history of your issues, what doctor you were at, what he tried, how you reacted, why, and why he wouldn't give or change your meds. Also take along any xrays, copies of your records, hostoiry etc. This way you have the list ad nauseum to hand to him. Whether he reads it is another story. After he has all of that and you are discussing things, if he asks you what has worked, then you can mention it. But as a new patient, you need to be open to trying anything that he is willing to do for you. If you are lucky, you may get your med without any problems.

You asked what else thereis to tyr. There is always heat and ice-off and on. There is yoga which often helps people. Accupuncture has worked for centuries. I went for a year with great success. You learn to use any of the different modalities that help with your problem. Even it if is as simple as walking up and down stairs, or massaging that area. You learn to make do as you have episodes that occur.

As far as being addicted to meds. If you are taking the medication for the rush and buzz, then you ARE addicted. PM folks are physically dependant on pain meds to releave the pain, not to get the rush. And in successful PM, the goal is to reduce the pain, not to eliminate it entirely. Then you would be "whacked out"-as you put it, which few PM folks ever are. PM docs goal is to remove enough pain that you can function on a daily basis.

Good luck and I truly hope you find success with this doctor.

Old 03-29-2011, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: advice for pain management for 8+ months

Thanks for the advice!

I already have a list of all that's happened, when it occured, pain levels etc because of all the doctors I've seen, it's easier to have a list. Will gather my ultrasounds to take though.

I actually just found a yoga group in my area, so I'm interested to see how that will help!

I live in regional Australia, which I don't think is quite red-flag as the US but certain doctors are. A few I've seen just think I'm exaggerating the pain, which I suppose is only to be expected.

And unfortunately, the few pain medications I've been on have left me feeling tipsy and a bit drowsy - but the endone leaves me feeling sick and has a stronger effect in these areas than my previous ones. But then, no one's ever tried to really reduce the pain, they just tell me to keep taking them! :-/ I'm kind of at my wit's end. The endone affects me in such a way that I can't - or wouldn't - drive while they're in my system, so I have to be very careful about when I take them.

I might look into accupuncture though, I hadn't even thought of that one!

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