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kyadog115kkyadog115 Posts: 266
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am having severe leg and back pain paiin due to this blown L-5. As well, the back of my neck is killing me. I had a 3 level ACDF C-3-6 in Feb 08 w/hardware. Due to an argument with the Neuro who did the surgery I no longer see him. My primary gives me 10/325 hydro's but he also gives me the fentanayl patch and he wants me to stop the hydro's. I went to him today but since i used them all up before the month was up he would not give them to me. He hgave me a script for the patch but it makes me sick and groggy all day long. I hate the way it makes me feel. I am at a loss now as to what to do for pain meds. The primary knows I am..(was) a substance abuser so he doesnt want to give this to me. A new Neuro I saw(very conservative) gave me a steriod and naproxen,neither touched my pain. Now I'm worried that the hardware might be shifting or loosened. What can I do now?? I need to manage this pain until someone decides either to do a Micro'd.or fusion on this L-5



  • Wow, this is a tough one. I know the patch can make you feel crummy but since of your past history, I doubt they'd go the oxycontin route. What about methadone as a pain reliever? Many spineys are on it.
  • I think if I recall correctly,he might have given me Methadone one time. I dont think i even took it though.I don't want to get on that stuff,believe it or not. He also did give me Cadian b4, generic morphein I think it is, didn't take that either. BTW,I was on oxyCODONE,not CONTIN...I think there's a diff...right? But he has perscribed Lortab....HYDROcodone and thats what he wants to discontinue.
    I need pain relief Desperately and this is NOT fair. I have justification for having it and one of these doctors needs to undersatnd thaat regardless of my past usage history.
    Furtheremore, I have been on this stuff for 1 year(only days short of that) I probably am hooked but aren't they supposed to gradually wein you off due to potential risks?
  • I meant that they probably wouldn't want to give you oxycontin due to the potential abuse, not talking about oxycodone.

    Why don't you want the cadian or methadone? Just curious.
  • I Don' know why...maybe becaus I am hooked on these others and thats what I crave..dont know. I do know that when i dont have this drug my agitation is off the charts.

    Please tell me...what is the diff b'tween contin and codone?

  • "contin" is time released, "codone" is not. As a past abuser (not pain meds, but street drugs), I am curious if you are feeling "groggy" because you used up the drugs you are PHYSICALLY (as well as mentally) addicted to? What amount of the hydro were you taking?
  • Another thing, I have also been physically addicted to Ultram in the past (and this being 20 years after my mental addiction to meth), and being run down, having difficulty sleeping, as well as vomiting and diarrhea, are all symptom of withdrawal. You should really follow the instructions as to how much/when you can take your meds, because I'm sure if Ultram had a withdrawal process (of course, I'd taken them for 10 years AS PRESCRIBED), I'm sure these meds do too. May be just a run down feeling, but I'm sure you would rather be pain free than feeling withdrawals, am I correct? Ask your doc what you can do to help between dosages for your pain.

    One of the main reasons I finally had my TLIF was I am tired of being a slave to the pain and the drugs, for once in my life, I'd love to be pain free/drug free.
  • Have you tried the fentanyl? I had problems with another narcotic and it gave me mood disorders. So I understand your hesitation with fentanyl. I'm on MS Contin for pain and my Dr. upped the dosage and gave me no BTP meds. I'm glad to have left over percocet to take when the pain is really bad. My Dr. knows I take these meds for BTP but she won't give me a choice to change my meds. I think some Drs are adament on certain meds they give out. Hope you get better pain relief. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm sorry it's going rough for you, but you must understand that docs don't like it when you use up all your medicine before it's refill time. I think he should just let you have the hydrocodone when it is due, and say no early refills.

    You are justified having it, even with your history because of your current condition and you are waiting to have surgery. How much was hydrocone were you given?

    I'm on Fentanyl too and you DO need BT meds with the patch, I read it on the patient pamphlet. Where are you putting the patch? This makes a big difference because I used to put the patch on my upper chest and I felt sick with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness. The pharmacist said to try putting it on my belly, and when I did all the side effects went away and I've never been bothered since, even when they raised my Fentanyl dose. I feel normal on it, and comfortable driving. Give it a try. Fentanyl works better where there is more fat (not to say you have a beer belly or anything ;) I think you'll feel a lot better.

    As far as the PCP, I don't know what will change his mind. Maybe he'll let you try ultram, it's better than nothing. Keep taking the Naproxen, and ask if you can have a muscle relaxer like Skelaxin, Zanaflex, Flexeril, or Baclofen. The combination of all these classes of medicines are effective combating this type of pain. I take this combination of meds even after having had 2 surgeries. You can't rely on just one type.

    I hope you're not kept waiting for surgery long. Did the PCP refer you to another surgeon yet? I know someone out there will give you a chance. I hopes things work out for you. Keep fighting my friend.
  • Thanks to all who wrote. i was taking 10/325,3x's a day. That was the script anyway. To be honest, I'd take 3 at once.Thats the only way for me to get any relief. If thats abuse than so be it. I believe I am addicted to this drug. I've been on it for nearly 1 year since my ACDF.
    Without it I am a monster,cranky and moody and mean.I did use the fentanayl,I'd put it on my chest too. But always felt terrible. The other day I put a 50mg on my belly(I do have fat there..LOL)/...Still fely crappy. The doc had me on 75 mg patches but I couldnt handle it. Reduced to 50's now,but I cant stand it.
    I'm goiing today to a walk in clinic to see this doc there who gave me oxy's when I first blew out the L-5. He seems understanding and I'm going to explain the situation to him and hopefully,he'll perscribe.Re: this new Neuro I saw a few weeks ago,he took x-rays of my neck to see whats happenin there.As ar as the L-5 all he said was surgery was a last resort. We could do injections,some meds(steroids&naproxen),but he didnt seem to want to help me much. I have a call in to him to see whats going on with the neck as I'm having pain there. When I saw him I asked about the fusing..he said "i'm not even sure fusion is taking place"This blew me away because the Neuro who did it(who discharged me) said I was fusing well. This Neuro said "I have more things in there" so he couldn't be sure...what a disaster
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    both you and your doctor. You want to be provided with some type of pain medication that will dimish your pain, but at the same time, as you yourself stated addictive type personality, doctors are going to shy away in this area.
    You are sort of caught in a hard rock place. But there are still plenty of things you can do to help reduce your pain levels. First,what has your doctor prescribed to you after your MRI readings? Physical Therapy, Aqua Therapy, Passive Traction, Acupuncture, Massage therapy ,etc Some of those treatments can be very beneficial.
    One or all of these will prove to your doctor that you are willing to do almost anything to get better. That could establish a trust basis in which prescribing other narcotic pain medications might be in order.

    I know a doctor personally, who flat out refused prescribing any narcotic pain medication to a patient.
    That patient did everything in the world that he should hav not done, ignore all the sessions for Physical, Aqua, Massage therapy. This person, just confronted the doctor and said "I dont care about the rest of that, just give me stronger pain medications.
    Needless to say the doctor did NOT write any scripts and had to eventually have the person escorted out of the room.

    The point to that story? Its just that you have to work with your dcotors and other medical folks together as a team. Each team player has certain responsibilities to follow. When everyone is doing their job, it can be a win win situation. When part of that time refuses to help, a portion of the team is now weakened. And once weaken, it is so very hard to get it back
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • True and I understand their concerns. I just left this walk in clinic. This doc is a guy i saw in August when I blew out the L-5, he gave me oxy's then and he knew nothing about my history...well,Today he called my New Neurosurgeon.. The Neuro told him i have a sub.abuse history He knows this cause my PCP told him.

    Now this guy at te clinic is somewhat p.o.'ed.He told me I have to stop "burning bridges" and stop going to all these diff. doctors. I told him that just because I was a sub abuser,does that mean I am not entitled to pain relief? Even narcotic, They started me on this crap 1 year ago and got me addicted.now they want to stop giving it to me...B>S> That doesn't seem right. Wein me off, but dont just stop helping me.He gave me 28, 7.5/325 oxy's for now. I hahve to contact the NS for an appt in a week. This is gettin OLD FAST.
  • Hey Bro I can relate to your probs ! I am in so much pain that I gobble down alot of meds in begining of month and then I have to cut back big time towards end of month before appt. I feel sometimes in this forum there is the better than though!!!!!! and how can you become addicted to meds ???? Anyway just my thoughts and I can relate to your situation.
  • I think u meant better than "thou" right? I hear ya though......I know somethings happenin to me w/theses. I get sweaty as hell and cant sleep. I know it's withdrawal.

    I get clean from crack and get addicted to Oxy's and they dont wanna gimmie em now.BS, I dont want to go back to smoking that stuff.....it did help w/pain though.

    Thanks for writing, good luck !
  • I'm glad the other clinic doctor helped you out this time, but I have a feeling he might not refill the oxy next time. I was a bit surprised when he said to stop burning your bridges. From your standpoint, you're trying to find relief with a medication that helped you before. But the doctors' views are that you are shopping around.

    I'm sorry that you still feel sick from the Fentanyl 50 mcg. How long have you wear it on your stomach? Maybe you can ask the doctor who prescribed it to switch you to another long acting narcotic. Just tell him next month that you can't tolerate it even at the reduced dose. How do you feel about Methadone? It doesn't give you euphoria and it has a long half life. Methadone is dirt cheap too, and you may or may not need a break thru medicine. Of course there are other meds like Oxycontin, Opana, Kadian, Ms Contin, Avinza, Morphine Sulfate, etc.

    Well I hope thing smooth out for you soon. Hang in there
  • PLEASE don't let yourself go back to crack! I am so sorry that you feel you need 30 mg of hydro at a time to ease your pain, but believe me, we have ALL been there! I really don't know how to respond to this, except to tell you that I have been where you are, and it's better, whether you think it or not, to take the meds as prescribed, and call your doctor if you think you need to take more once in a while. It's so hard to bear the pain, and the fact that you may end up in tears once in a while may lead you to overdosing, but that will hurt you in the end.

    The other person that said that we are “mightier than thou”, I’m sorry you feel that, but this is not a drug rehab forum, and we are trying to help with our own insight from where we have been, and where we’ve seen others have been

    I'm not sure if you are aware, but I've been told that the fact that I've been on such a high dose (20-40 mg per day) of oxycodone for 2+ years just so I could go about normal daily activities (pre-op), it will take me much longer to recover from my surgery. I wish I had listened 3 years ago to the surgeon that was ready to put me under the knife, I wouldn't be looking at upwards of a year to just get back to normal.

    I hope everything works out for you, and that in the end you live a happy, pain-free life
  • Exactly right.....they feel that I'm "doctor shopping"..thats not fair to me. That doc will NOT fill them again for me. I have to see my primary on the 26th but I went there on MOnday to get scripts and he wasn't there and I had a big fight w/the office girl. She called the pharmacies to see when I last filled the hydro's and since it was to early she wouldn't give me the script. You see the doctor is a ways away fom wher I live so, I asked her to give it to me and I'd leave it w/the pharmacist....she wouldn't I got pissed and I know she's gunna tell the doctor(he was out of town) and he's gunna be pissed..probably discharge me, like my Neuro did.
    You know I dont want the long acting stuff, I like that "euphoria" and I get pain relief..is that wrong?
  • HI,
    Thanks for your posting. I dont feel anyone here is "holyier than thou" I didnt say that.........all here have been very supportive of me and my issues.

    Once again the trouble is pain mgmnt. You know, this new Neuro that I saw said to me surgery would be a last option(blown L-5) Micro'd was considered by my original Neuro.
    In fact the original surgeon said I must do surgery or I'd end up w/drop foot.loss of leg use and he said the longer I wait the harder to perform surgery because of scar tissue.
    Why do all these doctors have different opinions? The new guy said drop foot wouldnt happen because of the location of the blown disc....he also said I could live w/it..providing I'm careful.........I dont know who to beklieve or what to do. The first Neuro, the guy who did my 3 level ACDF w//instrumentation gave me oxy's and hydro's whenever I asked...no prob whatsoever,but he didn't know at that time I had sub.abuse issues. Once again though,because of that, should I not be entitled to get those type of meds?

  • Why are you fighting all these folks so much? Some good points have been brought up about the impression of doctor shopping and not being a team player. No doctor wants to work to help someone who won't do the prescribed treatment or take the meds as prescribed. It's a waste of their time and in a day and age when docs are being scrutinized for the prescribing of narcotic meds ... someone who appears to be doctor shopping and taking more meds than prescribed with a past history of substance abuse ... is a huge risk. Why should they risk it?

    I'm sorry that you are suffering like you are. It's not fair to anyone to needlessly suffer pain that can be controlled. If you could channel all the effort you are putting into your quest for help, into working with the docs before they kick you out the door ... maybe things will turn around a bit.

  • The first is about pain relief, and you should be absolutely entitled to whatever is available to help achieve that. Your history is irrelevant. You are a human being in pain. If there is a way for the medical profession to help with that pain (and for many of us they can't) then they should help you, whoever you are and whatever your background.

    The other is the "euphoria" issue. It may be the docs could offer you pain relief strategies - whether drugs, physical therapy, whatever - that might help with pain relief but not offer the high. If you consistently refuse those solutions (and I don't know that you are) then I can see why they might be reluctant to only give you solutions that give you a high as well.

    I do sympathise. I'm on MST and by now I'm probably addicted, but I suspect it probably doesn't matter as I'm going to be on them for life anyway. What worries me is that my body seems to begin to tolerate the drug, so I need increasing amounts to get the same effect. At some point they'll stop increasing it, and then I'm stuffed.

    Chronic pain sucks, whichever way you look at it.
  • Janey,
    I sincerely thank you for that comment. I felt that you truly meant it and for some reason I get the impression that you understand. Right,no matter my background I should be entitled to pain relief and I will do whatever they recommend..be it,acu,or water therapy, trouble is they haven't recommended any of those things to me.

    What is MST may I ask?


  • Sorry, but I wont even dignify that comment w/a reply !
  • No, kya, I never thought that you said that, it was in response to another poster (herm something) that did. I do agree with the posts later on, you are entitled to pain relief, and it's not fair that you should suffer because of your past, (i'm living proof that the past doesn't have to control your future... been on the pavement and lifted myself above, and I know in the end you will be able to do it as well!) But in the end, you really need to work with the doctors to maximize your pain relief. If a doctor makes comments about burning bridges, or you hear something different than another doc told you about your condition, get a third opinion! There just has to be a doctor out there that will look at your condition and see past your addictive behavior, and give you the help you need!
  • My Dr. never gave me a chance to get addicted. She stays with slow release meds so there's no high just steady relief of pain. Very rarely I have to take a fast acting percocet that I had left over but really hate that high and crash. Also being a smoker and having addictive personality too is another reason I stay away from fast acting pain meds. I think you need to just take only what the Dr. gives you be it whatever drug it is as ordered and make sure you don't run out. Saying you use crack hurts no one but yourself. My cousin only 45 died of a overdose of morphine and crack injected it inhaled it but could never reach that first high ever again and she overdosed and my cousin was like a sister to me because I never had one and 1 month older than me. Anyway, I understand where you're coming from and taking many pills at once you can get acute pancreatitis and it's painful and it can become chronic. So okay I know what you mean and glad you shared and vented. But you asked for help and we're only giving you support. I hope you can get pain meds because you're obviously having pain. I hope you and your Dr. come up with something that will help you but don't take more than prescribed just tell your Dr that little amount isn't working. And see where it goes from there. I asked my Dr. to increase the pain meds and she increased it to 4xday. Just ask and tell them it only lasts 2-3 hours and the Dr. should help. We're most of us here on meds and maybe for life you just got to get the right prescription for you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm not sure anyone can ever fully understand someone else's situation, but I strongly believe that everyone has an absolute right to healthcare and pain relief. And also, like everyone else on here, we all know the anguish and sheer Hell of constant and unbearable pain. Very few people who haven't been there can truly appreciate what pain does to you, mentally as well as physically.

    It might be worth asking your doctor for other forms of pain relief such as physical therapy or something.

    MST is slow-release morphine. It sometimes takes the very worst edge of the pain off so long as I don't move (currently pretty well bed-bound, can't sit at all and can only stand/walk for a few minutes/yards - been like that for over 2 months since surgery with no sign of improvement).

    I hope you find some appropriate form of pain relief soon, because living in uncontrollable pain for any length of time is a torture no human or animal should be expected to endure.
  • We all have or had pain if we are on this site. We all have a past and all have different issues. How we handle them is personal but when we put them into an open forum we must be prepared for all discussions whether we feel they are in agreement of our personal views. Kya, I feel for you and your issues however some of them were brought on by your choices. You do have a right to have your pain managed as well as doctors have the right to protect themselves from potential legal issues. You seem to be in a tough situation and I hope you find relief. Whenever you are done with this please seek professional medical rehabilitation.
    God Bless You
  • Charry
    Thanks for that comment. I know you guys on this site are offering support. I'm sorry about your cousin as well.
    True enough, you can never get it like that first one.That is part of the disaster in that whole mix..

    Indicating drug use on my part may indeed only hurt me however,I say that on this site to you all so all readers know the truth and the background. Now, with that said........if you mean saying it to the Doctors only hurts me ,well then yes...agreed. However, I didn't tell them initially.My x-gf did just prior to a scheduled surgery. Knowing that, they ommedistely cancelled. I should have disclosed this to them but I didn't want the stigma and repercussions that come along with such a matter.....As I now have, and have to deal with.

  • Hi
    Agreed.and I did out this in an open public forum and do respect every1's point.I did not dispute nor disperage anyone for comments made.I'm unsure why you think I did,.........other than the 1 post where I said (I wouldnt dignify his message).

    Thanks for the comments and hopefully I will find resolution soon.
  • I meant to tell the Dr you're still in pain and the pain pill wears off in 2-3 hours and hopefully they'll increase your pain med as my Dr has done for me. I still have pain but it is tolerable. Did you try that anti-depressant wellbutrin yet? Anyways good luck and thanks for the comment about my cousin. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN

  • About medications, you'll find that you might not have a choice about what you get, it's all in the doctor's hands. He prescribes whatever he feels is right, and I do agree that we don't have equal rights when it pertains to this. If we ask for something specific, the doctor gets suspicious. That is how things are nowadays and the DEA is all over any doctor prescribing narcotics. Please keep this in mind when you see the family doctor again. I hope things don't get blown out of proportion when you go back since the receptionist got irritated. You and him need to sit down and talk about your needs candidly and formulate a plan of action. First of all, you have a problem that needs surgery but right now no one will do it. Second, your pain is legit and it needs to be addressed. You must stay calm and cool in all of this or you won't get anywhere. I understand how frustrating it is, and I hope things do turn around.
    Also, even when we take meds, the fact is that it will not take all the pain away. Once you realize that you don't get 100% relief, you will be able to keep the pain in perspective and develop coping skills. Try heat, ice, massage, a tens unit if you have one, distraction (watching a movie, etc) when you're feeling rotten. It takes a combination of doing all these things to combat pain.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    heading no where.
    You spoke your mind and as this an open (but monitored) forum, we allow a lot of room.
    But at this point, kdog, I am not sure what your intent is.
    Anyone that starts a thread on this site is doing so for a purpose. And that always comes up loud and clear.
    I guess I just be missing something you are saying.
    I hear about medications, not getting them, not wanting them, but yet wanting them.
    So many people here had offered suggestions, etc. And actually going the step forward and suggesting what other things you could try.
    I do hope you resolve what you are after. I am just confused as to what you are trying to say in your posts
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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