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My Situation.Your Help & Advice.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm not sure where to start, but I'll try to explain my problem as best as I can. I have chronic pain due to two different and seperate problems. I am almost 45 years old, and a female. I have had lower back problems over the course of my life, but they were usually brought about by lifting something wrong, and it would cause severe muscle spasms, but would go away with rest, etc.. I started seeing chiropractors in my early twenties, and would use them, as needed for occasional adjustments. Also, my Father had lower back problems, so I just assumed that maybe it was hereditary?
Approximately 3-4 years ago, I complained to my Family Dr. that my lower back hurt horribly at times, and my left leg would go numb. ( the numbness would start in my left hip/buttocks, and wrap around to the entire leg area above my knee). She used her thumb and felt along my spine, and hit right on a certain spot, and I said, "Oh, right there!, that is where it hurts" and she told me that this was my Sacrailius? Joint. At that time, I would have these episodes of pain/numbness maybe once a week. I asked her if physical therapy would help? She said, yes, we can try that.
Within a few months of this conversation, at the end of November 2005, (day before Thanksgiving) my husband and I were rear-ended. I was driving, had shoulder belt on, and head was turned to the right to say something to my husband, at time of impact. My neck hurt right away, but pain worsened terribly throughout day. Went to see my chiropractor at that time, and he diagnosed me with Whiplash, and determined that I was to need adjustments at least three times per week, with stimulation treatments, heat, etc....
This went on for several weeks, and I was getting no relief. He did x-ray. Determined no fractures. Because my pain was so great, I turned to Family Dr. for pain medication. She prescribed Vicodin. Initially, I would only use it when in severe pain. All the while, continuing to see chiropractor. Muscle between neck and shoulder was always hard as a rock,so I was prescribed Flexoril too.
What started as several weeks, soon turned into months, and this chiropractor just kept saying, "It WILL get better. It will just take TIME" Eventually when my dr. would bring up the idea of an Orthopedic specialist, I would tell my chiropractor this, and he would quickly discourage this, by saying that all an Ortho Specialist would do is give me "injections" and so, what did I know? This went on and on for a year, and then my shoulder started to become "unstable" to where I would need to get an adjustment just so he could put it back in place. At one point I was so sick of the pain and wondering, when the heck this was going to get better, I DID decide to go to an OOrthopedic Surgeon/Specialist. On my FIRST visit, without any warning or understanding of, he came back into the room tto tell me he wanted to give me a steroid injection. That shot hurt so bad, and then he basically left me hanging, not knowing what to do next, but telling me to let that rest, and to not go to the chiro anymore. Trying to fast forward here, my Dr. did not know what to to for me. An MRI showed nothing of real importance, other than some degeneration and arthritis in my neck. But my shoulder and clavicle were always, clicking, popping, anc CLUNKING when my shoulder was out of place, causing the muscle to spasm, etc...Dr. decided pain management was an option, and this was the beginning of my starting to feel depressed and hopeless and scared that I was going to have to live with this pain for the rest of my life. I couldn't work outside of the house, my housework and daily activities suffered greatly. When I started PM, I didn't know what to expect. I had only taken the Vicodin (and 800 Ibuprophine and muscle relaxers) up til this point. So when the PM Dr. asked me if Iwanted to try "Methadone" or "Morphine" I was like, "Whoa! Oh God no! I'm scared of taking such hard drugs like that!"
He wanted me to try the Fentanyl patches. I absolutely hated them. They made me queasy, and dizzy, and gave me horrible nightmares. Then he tried me on maybe Oxycontin? I honestly can't remember how those helped or not. But his goal was to treat me for the continuous pain within a daily basis, so, he basically wanted to try extended type medication. Meanwhile, I aksed to have physical therapy because no one was telling me WHY my shoulder kept popping out, and I was having to go to this stinking chiropractor up to three times a week just to have him put it in place! Then the therapist, I swear she made it worse, by pulling on my arm and my pain was excruciating after that!!! I went back to my Dr. told her, Please help me. Please send me to someone who can tell me what my exact problem is!! She sent me to another Ortho Surgeon, and he ordered an orthogram? Where they inject dye into shoulder to get a better view? Two MRI's did not tell him what he wanted to see, apparently. He tells me, surgery IS necessary, to re-connect tendons? something to do with cartliage, and that he would know more when he went into my shoulder.
I guess I must have been naive, because I actually thought, GREAT! He will do surgery, and then NO MORE PAIN!!! NOT! He did fix the part that was causing it to be unstable, so that it no longer pops out, and he removed 4-5 long sharp bone spurs, etc... BUT, this surgeon also made me feel SO Horrible because I had taken narcotic pain medication for the past almost two years, he would actually almost yell at me, saying, "You need to get OFF this pain medicine!" You're ADDICTED to this Pain medicine!!" I wanted to punch him in his face!!! He told me, " I fixed your shoulder, you shouldn't BE in any more pain!!" Well, I was. But I certainly nounderstanding or sympathy from him. But my Dr. did believe me, and so she recommended to go back to Pain Management. (Where I naively thought I would be done with myself after the surgery) After the shoulder surgery and physical therapy for that, my lower back started to hurt more fequently. It was not continuosly, but when it hurt, it hurt horribly. My shoulder was my main reason for being there, but I told them from the start how my low back hurt so much and my leg going numb. I was prescribed Lidoderm patches for my shoulder, but I started using them on my lower back and got SOME relief. My surgery was in June of 2008. I went to PT by about the end of Aug, beginning of September. While in PT for my shoulder, my back started hurting more and more and every day. My Pain mangement Dr. had asked me if I wanted to try Avinza. I had never heard of it, and he told me it was Morphine, but it was a 24 hour pill that was fairly new, but would work throughout the whole day. He also prescribed Percocet 5/325, one tablet, 3x's per day for breakthrough pain. After the guilt trip and lecture from that surgeon AND my OWN determination to eventually not need any pain medicine, ( I actually thought that I would be in PM just until my shoulder healed and I could strengthen it and that eventually I would not need it. I agreed to try the Avinza. He started me on 30 mg. I complained about the shoulder pain and my back pain all the time to him when I would see him. I was told by the PT, that "It's GOING to hurt" But you have to work through the pain.
The Percocet DID help my shoulder pain, but this Avinza did not seem to help either my shoulder or my back. If anyone can understand, at this point I was becoming so discouraged and more and more depressed, because I was starting to realize that I may have to feel this pain for the rest of my life. For me to pay for this Avinza would have cost me $50.00 per co-pay EVERY month! Same with Lidoderm patches. And alonw with all of my other prescriptions. This financial burden alone was stressful. The PM gave me a card that covered my co-pay, and saved me the $50.00 per month. I was so grateful for that, but inside I was in such a dilema because I KNEW it did NOT help with my pain! And at the same time, I kept telling myself that it will just take time, and you will not even need to be on it anyway, so just take it, and keep working on strengthening your shoulder, etc..
I told that PT at the end of last year, that my lower back was killing me every time I had to lift weights, or when I did my shoulder exercizes at home. He told me to get an order for my back from my DR. and he would instruct me on how to exercise my lower back. HE told me, it was my posture, and maybe because I was overweight, etc, and he said it was my sciatic nerve being pinched, etc.. I was encouraged to think that I could help myself through exercising. Well, my PT ended around November of last year, but I persisted in doing my lower back exercises and shoulder ones too. It felt like it DID strengthen my back but the pain never went ANYWHERE. I finally reached the breaking point in trying to tell my PM and my family Dr. that I cannot take BOTH of these pains!!! I'm getting so depressed. Because I was afraid to tell my PM Dr that the Avinza did nothing for my pain, I made the wrong decision and took more Percocet than the prescription was written for. I did this when my back was so bad I wanted to die! He had JUST ordered me an MRI to see what the problem was in my back, and shortly after that, but before I had my MRI, PM called to tell me I had to do a "pill count" I was terrified! I knew my count would be short. But I took my Avinza in, which I had all that I should for that, but NOT my Percocet. I was subsequently let out of the PM program for failing to do the pill count. I am so embarassed and humiliated and scared and frustrated. I had to tell my family DR. what happened. She BELIEVES I am in pain, but she feels I should be under a PM Dr's care. She referred me to a new one, and in the meantime I had an MRI, and just this past week went to see a Neurosurgeon to tell me what the MRI findings mean. Also, the new PM clinic she referred me to? Even though I was completely honest and straightforward about the Avinza NOT helping me? They ended up treating me like I am a drug abuser/addict, and kept trying to make me think that I should not be in so much pain BECAUSE I have been on this AVINZA, when in fact, it NEVER helped at all anyway!!! And they are basically pressuring me to get these steroid injections.
This is what my MRI says:
Findings: There is chronic disc degeneration identified at L5-S1 with secondary marrow changes.

Impression: Bulging discs are identified at multiple levels.
There are early changes of degenerative stenosis at L4-5 as well as at L5-S1 with central protrusion identified at L5-S1.

This Neurosurgeon said that the kind of surgery he would do is called discectomy with fusion. Because I was crying and emotional, he said I need to see a "psychiatrist" to help me get mentally ready for surgery. He said I needed to get strong mentally and physically before surgery, and that even surgery may not help. He told me he tells all patients to get a second opinion also.

I know I am depressed. I am terrified in so many ways. I don't even want to get out of bed anymore. I am so upset because half the time I am treated like I am addicted to pain killers, but I can't even function without some sort of relief. Because I am not under a pain management doctor I took it upon myself to double my dose of Avinza. The last prescription I recieived was for 45 mg. I'm getting told that I am addicted (but I was told that when I was only on the Vicodin by that surgeon for my shoulder) but I'm so desperate for some relief, I can't think straight. I am so scared that no one will believe me, because I do not think I am addicted, I think the Avinza was not the right medication. Can anyone help me to know what I can do next? I cry several times a day. I don't even want to leave my house. Desperate for advice and understanding.
I'm so sorry this was so long. I appreciate it if you took the time to read. I will answer any and all questions you may have.


  • hi!! hold on a minute and first give yourself a break. :? you are among a large group of people who use pain medications daily and manage to lead somewhat normal lives. :D we follow the directions on the bottle and stay under the care of our pain management doctors.try doing one thing at a time. go see your new pm doctor with all honesty and see what he has to say. :-C that is a good first step. in the meantime, you should have a second opinion or even a third if necessary about surgery. do some homework. there is alot of information on the forum about your problems and the suggested fusion. do some reading so you have some questions to ask your doctors about. you need to learn all you can!! =D> and then relax alittle. spend some time here and make some new friends, gather some info and become involved in the forum. :D i do hope this all works out for you.. taking things a step at a time will really ease your mind. :) and being a drug addict is very much different than being a pain patient on pain medication. check out the "Pain Medication" forum and do some reading.. good luck and keep us posted. Jenny :)
  • Thank you Jenny for the kind words. I already have gone to this new PM doctor, and honest was exactly what I was with them. I told them all about the Avinza not working. I even brought it with me, to show them, exactly how much I had used, and that I was requesting that they change my prescription to something that worked on a shorter acting time, such as 12 hour, instead of the 24. I told them that I was not taking the Percocet as prescribed by the former Dr. but I did not take that prescription with me. After my Family Dr. referred me to them, I was to receive a call from them to set up my first appointment, which I did. The one making the appointment with me, asked me if I had been to any other pain management clinics in the last year. I said yes. She asked where, and I told her, and then she said they would need all of my records from there, and that I was to call and arrange that they were faxed to them. I did that.
    Then, when I got to this new PM clinic, they said nothing about the former PM clinic, even when I was explaining in detail about my medications. So, I said nothing either. But was assuming that they had gotten the records faxed over, and that they knew everything I had been prescribed. She even had the bottle right in front of her to read and see the Dr's name, date, etc..
    Much of this time was spent trying to convince me to set up an appointment to get this steroid injection. I was very skeptical, but was somewhat open to it, as I am feeling pretty desperate to try anything.
    The next thing I know is, the nurse is asking me who prescribed this Avinza for me, and I told her who and from where, and she leaves and the Dr. comes in, and starts grilling me about why did I not tell him that I was under another PM's Dr's care? And I said, "well, I would have told you, but nobody ASKED!" and "I assumed you had all of my records" and then this dr. says,"Well, I didn't have time to look at your records before I came into see you" and I was looking at him like, well, how is that MY fault? And then he's flipping through his paperwork, and he says, " I see you were dismissed for not complying with a pill count, what was that about? So now, I realize that he DOES in fact have my records, but am completely miffed at how he got so adamant about me not saying I went to another PM DR!!!
    They then tell me, that they have to wait on the results of the urine sample, and that I should call the next day, to set up an appointment for the injections, and THEN they will tell me, if he decided he will switch my medication.
    I called the next day, and had to do more waiting, and phone tag, and then finally, the nurse that handles the urine samples took my call, and in a very condascending way, informed me that, they did receive the urine samples back, but did not find ALL that they were looking for. She said the Dr. would like you to get started on the injections, and something about AFTER I recieve the injections he will determine IF he wants to switch my medication, or in my case, GIVE ME ANY AT ALL!!!
    So, while I would love to relax, I am in quite a quandary, not knowing what to tell my family Dr. I do not know WHAT she will want to do next! Obviously this place did NOT listen to me, and made me feel like I was lying to them, when I thought I was being completely honest by bringing in my medicine.
    I'm already mentally exhausted, and I am scared that ANY dr. is going to pre-judge me, and make assumptions.
    I need advice on what to say to my Dr. I need to know where to turn next, so that I can be taken seriously.
    Please someone help me figure out what I do here.
    I'd also like to add that it was exactly one day before that I learned that I even HAD these disc problems and was just starting to let it sink in that this Surgeon had said that surgery was an option, and something he recommended because I was young enough. As of now, I am petrified that if I do not get surgery, then I am DOOMED to live in this pain, but if I DO get surgery, then as I have read from many on here, surgery does not always help. That PM was all too eager to tell me that surgery was a very bleak prospect, and that they mostly see people who have HAD surgery.
    Is anyone understanding my dilema?
  • Well, since you asked for advice, mine would be to get the injection. Not only is there a really good chance that it could actually help your pain ( it does mine ), but it will also let this new PM doc know that you are willing to try other methods of pain management besides just pills. PM docs have a lot of different things they can try for DDD and bulging discs. Epidurals, decompression sessions and acupuncture are a few. By giving the shots a chance - or other things he may suggest - you will go a long way in building a trusting relationship with this new doctor.

  • Are to make sure you are taking meds as prescribed. If you need to alter your dose, you are supposed to call your PM immediately. Pills counts are done to make sure you aren't selling your pills; urinalysis is to make sure you are taking what you are supposed to be taking. I'm a little skeptical of a PM that would go from Vicodin to Fentanyl - that's a huge jump!

    I wonder if the depression you are feeling isn't a side effect of those meds. Try the injection, try physical therapy. Buy yourself some time to think things through, adjust your meds, before you jump into surgery. Remember PM's tend to see the surgical failures, not the surgical successes. Having said that, it will be a lot harder to control your post-op pain when you are on relatively strong meds to being with.
  • I agree that was a huge jump! That was why I was like, OMG! But that situation happened when I first went to that PM clinic, and BEFORE I even had shoulder surgery. I only tried the Fentanyl once, and hated it. Then I was put on the Avinza, but had shoulder surgery and wasn't going to PM anymore, because I thought the surgery would "fix" it. Well, it didn't. My shoulder is alot better, but in the meantime my lower back kept getting worse and worse and now it's to the point where it is unbearable.
    When I went back to the same PM clinic, he put me on Avinza again, and I just went along with that, because I was still under the belief that my shoulder would continue to heal and feel better, and that then I could once again stop needing PM. Plus, the Avinza was free, because of the card they gave me to save me $50.00 per month on the co-pay. My PT was telling me that my shoulder was SUPPOSED to hurt, and that it WOULD, no matter what! So, I didn't really know if it was a matter of not being the right medication. Plus, part of me was AFRAID to tell him (PM Dr.) it didn't help, because I didn't want him to try to give me Methadone or some other high powered drug. I complained about my back pain every time I saw him. The Percocet DID help with the shoulder pain and the back pain, but he only had me on that for breakthrough pain. So, that is why I took it more than prescribed. I had no idea I even had disc problems until recently. I just kept telling myself, work on your shoulder and then you can deal with your back, by exercising, etc.. on my own.
    As for getting these epidurals, the one poster is about the only one that I see who says they WORK. I've read the articles that say they only help about 50% of patients. I've seen people here say that they gained weight, felt dizzy, and other side effects. This scares the daylights out of me.
    I am not under anyone's care right now, except my Family Dr. and this latest PM Clinic I went to, I really don't appreciate them making me feel pressured to get these shots.
    I'm willing to work my butt off in therapy, but when do I get to have a say in what treatment I think would work for me???
    I don't know what type of DR. to ask my family Dr. to refer me to. Am I supposed to just keep trying new PM clinics until I find the right DR. who will listen to me? Or is there a different type Dr. that will address my medication issues, such as a neurologist? Does anyone know of a good PM program in Ohio? Or a good Dr. who will listen to me, and understand me as an individual, and also believe that I am not just trying to take pain pills?
  • I was the one who said the shots helped me. You said your MRI said you had DDD and bulging discs. That's part of what I have also. I had 2 epidurals which worked "ok" and then a set of facet injections which worked really well. My PM is also going to give me a shot right in the thecal (?) sac next. Lots of different things to try.

    But you're right that they do not work for everyone. Of course I have no idea whether or not they would help you, but since you were thinking about something as drastic as surgery, my advice was - and is - to give the epidurals a try first.

    Also, unfortunately, you have something in your files that says you broke the rules of your meds. I was just trying to say they you might need to build up a relationship with this new doctor before he will feel comfortable with prescribing heavy-duty narcotics to you. I know you are upset and need someone to help you but, again unfortunately, doctors now days are being WAY more careful about pulling out the script pad. But, if you think that he is simply treating you unfairly and you're getting a bad vibe from him - definately keep looking. This doctor is someone you might have to deal with for years and years (with the DDD), so you probably ought to like him!

    Good luck and keep trying!

  • I (and most everyone here) definitely feel your frustrations, you've certainly come to the right place. Everyone here has "walked a mile" in the chronic pain shoes and has an intimate understanding.

    I've seen the same PM doc for over a year now and we have built up a very good relationship. I've not signed a contract nor have I ever had to go through a pill count.

    I can say that I've been very open to his suggestions for treatments and have gone through many things, so many injections I've lost count, denervation, discogram and enough MRI's for my insurance company to buy an MRI machine I think. Anyway, with all the docs I've seen I have refused prescriptions and referred them to my PM doc to prescribe. I feel much safer knowing one person is writing my scripts and that I am much less to have drug interactions or other problems. If you can develop a good doc/patient relationship that will go a long way for you.

    Please keep us updated on how you're doing! I've found that it is hard to find the right combination of meds!
    Welcome to spine health
  • My Primary Dr gives me all my meds. The PM Dr. said to give me Cymbalta which I'm taking now with Lyrica. Are you on any nerve pain meds? I also take amitriptyline for nerve meds. Cymbalta and amitriptylline are antidepressants as well as help the nerve pain. The epidurals have helped my sciatic pain but it's been 5 injections to really help as well as 3 rounds of facet joint injections. I would tell your Primary that the pills you take only last 3 hours and then wear off and you need something else. If your Primary isn't helping you I would look for another Dr. Don't forget to use heat also for your pain. Where I live there are no contracts and that must be terrible to go through. I went to ER since my Dr was on vacation and they gave me pain meds if you go there they may give a shout out to your PM Dr or Primary. That's terrible what you're going through I'm on 4X the med my Dr prescribed at first being in pain. Your Dr. should be looking out for you. I would keep looking for a Dr who will listen. 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
  • You sure have gone through a lot these last couple of years, and I certainly understand your frustration and pain.

    I see a pain specialist too and it's been a good relationship and they are willing to try different treatments or meds.

    Yes, it's true that things are REALLY strict now, and if you make a mistake it is grounds for them dismissing you. I have urine screens done at my office but no pill counts. I want to say that I understand how bad the pain is and how discouraging it is to deal with it, but now you now that if this new clinic gives you anything, that you must take it as prescribed.

    If the pain gets too horrendous, give them a call so they can refer you to the ER to get it under control. The last thing you want is to come up short at pill counts or run out before your next appt.

    I hope the spinal injection will help your pain. Unfortunately they never helped with mine but I think you should still give it a try- you never know if it'll do the trick until you try it out.

    Well, I've been through a lot these last few years with chronic pain and surgeries, and I must also say that before you do anything, always research about it so you know what to expect. I've also taken Fentanyl patches for a year and a half now and I got over the initial side effects by putting it on my belly and no where else.

    I'm sorry the Avinza didn't work for you and I hope your new PM doctor will switch you to something else. It doesn't have to be Methadone- there are choices like Oxycontin, Opana, Kadian, etc.

    Be very careful about considering a fusion surgery because it's major and doesn't come with a 100% guarantee. Some people get better, some stay the same, and others fare worse.

    You have a lot to think about, but for now take things one day at a time and get this PM clinic situation straightened out. I hope things work out and they give you the appropriate treatment for your lower back pains as well. Take care
  • I truly appreciate all of your sympathy and advice. I'm already so mentally exhausted and depressed, that I don't even want to talk to anyone, or go anywhere. And with all of the Dr. visits and PT and testing I went through for my shoulder, and oh, how can I forget all of the horrendous financial burdens, this situation has got me so down in the dumps.
    I can only try and have my family dr. put me in the right direction. I cannot go back to that last PM.
    Thank you everyone.
  • I can understand how this situation is making you depressed and hopeless. I had an evil doctor that I stuck with for a year thinking I would "gain his trust" when in all actuality, it wasn't that he didn't trust me, he was just an egotistical prick. It wasn't meds that was the problem, it was the way he made me cry at every single appointment, and I don't freaking cry easily. I learned my lesson and refuse to stay with a doc if they are playing the power game. I understand that in your situation, sadly because of one mistake, this is going to be much harder.

    My pain got so bad that I was willing to try anything to help me. I did 3 epidurals, and I didn't gain any weight, didn't have severe pain, and didn't have any other ill-effects to speak of. Trust me, I'm 100lbs, I think I might have noticed if I'd gained any weight! :))( I'm sure if you have many, many injections over a period of time, you could gain weight, but the amount of steroids in a shot is sooo small, and the number of epidurals allowed in the same spot in a year shouldn't cause you to gain weight. Even if you have other types of shots too, the amount of steroids is minimal. Please at least try! Wouldn't it be great if they helped?!?!?!?

    It's one of the scariest things in the world to not know how you're going to manage your pain. My best advice is to give this doctor and the shots a chance, at least he didn't shut you out completely, that's a start. If you have a couple of appointments, after you've been totally honest about the Avanzia not working and the oxycodone working, and he doesn't help you with meds, keep searching until you find a doctor that will. It's best not to ask directly for meds, something like, "My pain is so bad, I can't live like this, (insert specific small things you want to do but can't), I'd do anything to be out of pain." If this doesn't get his attention, move on. Remember, once you have surgery, you can't go back, so exhaust every option before making such a life-altering decision. Be persistent and you WILL find help!!!

    I'm always here to listen!!!

    Much love and understanding,
  • Im sorry to hear of the troubles you have and are currently going through. If I were you, I would go to my primary and explain the current situation with your new PM doctor and ask if your primary will perhaps prescribe something different or maybe a stronger version of the percocet. BUT, if your primary trusts you enough and does this you MUST take your medicine as prescribed and not break that trust. I understand you wanting to be pain free, but thats how you got in trouble with the last PM doctor. Also, you have to tell your doctors when something is not working for you. Had you done so, perhaps they would have changed the meds for you at that time and upped the dose of percocet you would be on for breakthrough pain. Also, you should tell your primary you will at least give the injections a shot (no pun intended :)) And you should try other methods of pain relief as well. If you count only on meds, then you will be in big trouble if or when you need surgery because no pain meds will work when you are in recovery. After you have done all this and if your PM doctor still refuses to provide any medicinal relief, then I would suggest finding a new PM doctor. At least though when you go to the new doctor, you will show that you are at least trying other methods and wont appear just there for pills only. I know this may come off as harsh, but I dont want to see you go to multiple doctors and refusing other treatments and getting yourself into more of a bind then you are in now. No doctor will want to treat you if it seems you are not cooperative to trying alternative methods along with conventional ones.

    Take Care >:D<
  • there isn't going to be many PM places to go as they see you were non compliant and released from the first the same things will happen

    you must take them as ordered as everyone has said. start out the convo even with the 2nd doc with I know did something wrong I thought I was helping myself I was desperate and be willing to do other things even if you don't think it will help like the epidural injection, if it doesn't work after 1 then you'll know and can say hey that's $1000.00 and really wasn't great, you may be pleasantly surprised and get some relief.

    When my DDD started I got 2-4 wks from them which was a nice break. the reality is the 1st experience will haunt you but you can fix it. I'm not saying you should take verbal abuse the doc is responsible to be aware of transferred records in fact you would think that was the 1st thing a doc would look for or ask...

    you're not an addict, there are alot of drug seekers and crafty ones which has made our lives more difficult but when we take meds to function it is normal to be physically dependant which is a big difference.

    take care
  • Review these characteristics and signs. If you or someone you know shows or exhibits a majority, they have IP.

    •Frequent crying spells, grinds teeth, grimaces, and overheats skin with heating pad or hot water bottle.

    •Afflicted persons are reclusive and remain at home ("shut-in") and shun social contact.

    •Pain is constant and never stops even for an hour.

    •Sleep is not possible except when medication is taken to reduce the pain.

    •Pain is so severe that it causes a rise in blood pressure and/or pulse rate.

    •Pain is worsened by movement, activity, or stress.

    •Appetite, motivation, energy, libido, and desire to socialize are reduced to zero or minimal levels.

    •Without potent pain relief medication, usually opioids, the person with intractable pain will be bed, couch or house-bound.

    •Adrenal and pituitary hormones are altered as the body attempts to deal with the biologic stress produced by the pain.

    •Due to hormone and other biologic changes, the body's immune system is dramatically impaired and infections of all kinds may occur involving the skin, urinary, and respiratory organs.

    •Due to alteration of adrenal hormones, calcium in bone and teeth are lost causing osteoporosis and tooth decay.

    •Attention span, concentration, and reading ability are dramatically reduced. It is unsafe to drive a vehicle if pain is uncontrolled.

    •Due to poor concentration, persons with IP frequently fall or stumble.
    Persons with intractable pain feel hopeless, helpless, depressed, and often commit suicide if their pain is not relieved

    Does anyone else experience these symptoms? I feel that I am experiencing numbers 1-8, 12,13. I do not know if 9 & 10 apply to me. My pain has been so bad at times over the last year that I have many times felt my blood pressure rise, and it just pounds in my ears. The parts about wanting to be housebound and have no social contact have been progressing since around January. I can't count how many times I told that PM Dr. that I felt like I was going to have a heart attack, because I couln't take the pain from my shoulder and back at the same time. I told them often, that at times, I felt like crawling under a rock and dying. I have often wondered how this pain is affecting my whole body in general. How can I determine if my pain and depression is simply due to "normal" chronic pain, or is in fact categorized as this?

    I went to my family Dr. We all know I'm depressed, so I guess I have no choice but to go to counseling. She also ordered me aqua PT. She decided not to switch my medication, and suggests that I wean myself off the Avinza. She has referred me to a neurologist who's name I came up with because he was listed on the American Pain Society, and he practices Pain Medicine too. I do not even know how to approach this new Dr. I want to be honest of course, but am totally worried that he will only see me as a pill seeker. According to the report from the Neurosurgeon, he noted Spondylosis? I guess he sees where the bone is overriding the disc? Not sure how to describe it.
    As I sit here, my blood pressure is high and I have a terrible headache that Motrin and extra strength Tylenol did not help.
    Here is the entire article I pulled those symptoms from. I'm not saying I have this, but I certainly have the majority of symptoms. Or, if any of you could attest to, maybe these are just par for the course with chronic pain?

  • like I suggested you need to start with the facts (noted above...I was desperate etc) with the new doc, any new doc if you're not a drug seeker than pls don't complicate the matter they can usually tell and if they are testing you they are just feeling the situation out for their protection. like are you defensive when asked certain questions and so forth.

    we all probably can relate to some IP symptoms. If in fact we are at which point. some folks here are just post-op most will get better and move on. some just need advice someone who gets it or have questions about new stuff going on

    Spondylosis is just a fancy name for arthritis. which usually is in the joints ie facet joint.what does the bone overriding the disc mean? If you don't mind me asking for clarification

    finally I'm so happy for you that the family doc is working with you and helping you find a specialist

    take care...water PT is awesome
  • According to my Chiropractor, it looks like it's bone on bone, and something is overriding eachother. The surgeon had said something about bone on bone too.

    My Dr. told me this neurologist doesn't usually call and ask for records, but I should tell him myself that I was in PM and how I messed up on taking a different dose, right?

    When he asks me about my pain, am I correct to want to tell him just how bad it is? As in, I feel like I'm dying inside from all the pain and stress, and depression?

    I'm sorry I seem so stupid about this. Maybe you could give me a general idea of what YOU would say? What would they be looking for if they are "testing" someone? I have only the truth to tell about my own pain and experience.
    Should I not even bring up the idea of him prescribing medication on my first visit? Even though, I'm ready to check myself into a hospital if someone doesn't help me control this pain. I have many other questions for him, and I will have them written down beforehand. Is it reasonable for me to expect that this one Dr. will oversee my whole treatment plan, as his patient?
    Also, because I still have chronic shoulder pain, do I talk about that too? God, I feel so ignorant, and weakminded, and like I'm going to say the wrong thing.
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