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Questions from a young sufferer.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Pain Management
Hi everyone. I have been lurking for a while, and I feel for each and every one of you.
I am 24 and have had major back issues for nearly 5 years. To date I am told I have bulging, herniated, degenerative discs from my skull to my butt. I also have Spondylolysis in my lowest vertebrae.
I live thru daily pain, but occasionally experience some of the most horrible, literally paralyzing pain imaginable. I've had 4 of those episodes in the last 5 years, and if I so much as breathe the wrong way, I could have another.
I have seen more specialists than I can count. None of whom I continue to see, other than my Pain Clinic doctor, who I see weekly. He has had me try many medications, and 2 different kinds of nerve blocks. The block did nothing. Same with 99% of the meds we have tried. To date, all that works is Oxycontin. We have found nothing for breakthru pain. OxyIR, and Percocet for whatever reason don't work. Mine you I don't take a high dose, but that's the reason for my post.

I experience the worst of my pain at work. Thus, I only feel the need to medicate while working. I thought doing it that way would ward of the possibility of becoming dependent. But lately I have required so much to be comfortable, I have noticed withdrawal symptoms on my days off. My PM doc suggested taking my Oxy twice a day, work or no work in the hopes that being constantly medicated would prevent the really bad pain, and make dealing with what I have easier. But, twice a day isn't enough. Rather, twice a work shift isn't enough. 30mg of Oxycontin takes the edge off for 4 hours if I'm lucky. Then the tears come. I found myself taking 3 doses in 8 hours one day. The pain was just too much.

Anyway, this is becoming a novel. I am interested to know the doses and schedules of those taking Oxycontin. How long does it work for you? Do you need another full dose when it wears off? What do you take for breakthru?
And for those out there who are as resistant as I when it comes to meds actually working, what have you found that does provide relief? Were you lucky enough to find something for breakthru too? Please feel free to PM me if you would rather not share with the world.

Thanks in advance.


  • I'm sorry you're having all this trouble. I can't imagine how you make it through the day at work. So you're only taking Oxycontin 3x's a day? You really need to take some kind of breakthrough medication; maybe your doctor will prescribe the Oxycontin 3 times a day along with something like percocet or oxycodone. How many mg of Oxycontin are you on?

    Has any doctor talk to you about surgery? If you have a herniated disc or a bulging disc that is compressing a nerve, something can be done surgically to relieve the pressure and pain. I suffered two herniations at L4-S1 and after going through meds, PT, epidural injections I went on to have a microdiscetomy. I did reherniate a month later and had other problems going on which required a 2 level fusion.

    I understand how difficult it is to have unrelenting pain everyday and I'm sorry you have to go through this so young. There are many of us here who relate and can offer support and good advice. We always around to help you out. Take care >:D<
  • It is not cool being young and in pain most of the time. I know!!

    When I have been in a job i was not enjoying or ergonomically was causing more harm than good I knew I had to change.

    Is there any aspect of your work that you can change?

    I have discovered that my ability to sit and study and drive a vehicle have been severly affected by my back so my current thinking is dedicated to this question...What am I going to do earn money that is not sitting on my bum all day or driving but involves a mix of slow controlled movements? Oh and that pays well?

    I notice that the more stressed i feel pain is worse and that can be from physical and mental stress, even the cold or heat can do it.

    So one suggestion could be to look inside yourself for the answers to what will make you more comfortable and more painfree throughout your whole day.
    Take care
  • One day last week, I took 30mg of contin 3 times in 8 hours. I had to to get thru the day at work. Percocet and OxyIR doesn't work. I've also tried Hydromorphone and Morphine Sulfate for breakthru - Nothing. In the past I've tried Diluadid, Tramadol, Fentanyl (lowest dose) and I am sure others. And still, nothing. All that's ever worked is the Contins, and 3 shots of pure morphine at the hospital during my last episode. BUT, I was HORRIBLY ill the next day.

    Surgery has been talked about many times. Each time saying no surgery is an option for me. My issues are too wide spread. To fix one thing would worsen some thing else.
  • I am a dog groomer. :) I love my job. I have been on modified work for almost a year now. Modified being small dogs only, so no heavy lifting or wrestling with stubborn big guys. I am on my feet all day, constantly moving. I too find sitting stationary to be torture. I HAVE to keep moving. The only thing about my job that I know is hurting me is the stress. We are worked to death with no time for breaks. I do force myself to sit down when needed, but that puts me behind. So my 8.5 hour day sometimes turns to 10+ hours. Insane, I know. But, I refuse to give it up. I was off for 2 months last year due to my back and it just about killed me. I couldn't wait to go back.
    I know with the right combo of meds I can get thru my days, but my PM doc and I can't seem to find anything that works!
  • Forgot to mention my PM doc has mentioned Methadone to me considering it's long life. Does anyone have any experience with it verus oxycontin?
  • I think my PM Doc explained it best when telling me that I could only EVER expect a 20 to 30% of decrease in my chronic pain level...with the use of narcotic pain medication.

    When I started to look at my pain level in that regard, my expectation of what the med could actually do became more realistic. Sometimes our expectation of how much pain the med will temporarily eradicate is unrealistic, and then we get disappointed when we can't work, play or attend school the way we'd like to.

    Hang in there Jen and realize that your med use can and will be only PART of what is needed to deal with your symptoms and pain. I would think that in your case (and at this point), that a surgical option just might be necessitated.

  • You seriously need to get a second or third opinion. You are too young for this and you've got to find a doctor with an open mind (and well qualified of course) to help you.

    I have severe DDD in my lumbar spine and widespread degeneration too, and even so I had 2 back surgeries. If a nerve is being compressed, surgery is indicated to prevent permanent damage. Do you have nerve pain? It hurts when I sit, stand, walk, etc and part of the cause is permanent nerve damage in my right leg.

    I take a combination of an extended release pain med, short acting pain med, muscle relaxer, nerve pain medicine, and anti inflammatory to deal with every aspect of this back pain. Maybe you can talk to your doctor about adding these types of meds to your regimen to help control your pain because one medication can't do it.

    Hang in there Jen, you're young and strong and something CAN be done for you.
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