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Question about medication

sacramentassacramenta Posts: 16
I have a strange question about medication. I first saw my neurosurgeon for herniated disks and HORRIBLE sciatica a couple months ago. He ordered physical therapy and gave me percocet 10 mg. 650 tylenol. I average about 1 a night and 1 in the morning. Some nights I take none but other days I might have to take 3 a day. Depends on the pain. Believe me, there are many times I want to take them for relief but try to drag them out as long as I can. My first appointment was after a month and I told him that I was out of them after a month (he gave me 40). He kind of said..almost puzzled "How many are you taking?". I explained my pattern and he did give me a refill but his reaction was almost that I shouldn't be taking them so quickly. (?) Maybe I read his reaction wrong? My next appointment is coming up in a few days which will have been 16 days since I saw him last and I only have about 10 left. I can't take any anti inflammatories due to hemmoraging. Landed in the hospital from it. So in between I take plain tylenol. I was wondering if most people here have to medicate everday and also is there anything else I might be able to ask the doctor to give me. I know they don't like to give you narcotics for a long period of time but I need something at least when I go to bed and when I get up in the morning. I feel so foolish asking this but until you have this daily burning, throbbing pain you know it is very hard not to try and get some relief from it. Any suggestions when I see him? Thanks!


  • first and fore most he works for you, make sure you go in there with that attitude, you pay him for his service, you are in a sense his boss, and if you dont speak up for your rights no one will- if he does not want to give you what you need fire him and find one that will,
  • I agree with Paul's comments. Be sure to express to your doctor your level of discomfort. I developed sciatic pain in October of last year and YES it is a BEAR to deal with. I had never experienced such pain in my life. It is just recently that my pain levels have dropped and that's after months of chiro, PT, massage, ice, heat (you name it, I tried it). I take tramadol (non narcotic pain reliever) and lyrica (for nerve pain) and I have oxy (from my primary care physician) for breakthrough pain (levels 8, 9 10, etc.). You might ask the doc about getting on Lyrica or Neurotin along with your percocet or he may offer that to you. It takes a while for the pain to go away. If you've been reading the posts here you know that many people are on high doses of pain relievers, muscle relaxers, etc. so you're not alone.

    Your doctor's reaction regarding the amount of pain killers you were taking may have had to do with not realizing HOW MUCH PAIN you were having.

    Good luck at your next appointment and just speak frankly with him about your pain issues. I broke down in tears one time in my ortho's office because I was just so miserable (mascara rolling down my face, the whole deal -- not so pretty when you're in your fifties (LOL)).

    Take care and hope you feel better soon -- I know how miserable it is to try to get through you day in pain.

  • This is not a strange question at all. I felt strange asking for Vicadin refills when I first had disc herniation. I started at 5/500mg and when the pain worsened more my doctor increased it to 10/325. I think back then I took 1 tablet every 4-6 hours but they only gave me a 2 week quantity at a time. How did your doctor write your script?

    I agree with Paul that the doctor will prescribe narcotics according to how much damage you have as shown on the MRI. Please be careful with all the tylenol you're ingesting, and let your doctor know how much OTC tylenol you take. I'm sorry you can't take any NSAIDS to help with the inflammation aspect of your pain.

    Most of us have to take a combination of medicine to treat our chronic pain such as a long acting narcotic such as morphine, immediate release med (Vicadin), muscle relaxer (Soma, Zanaflex), NSAIDS, nerve pain meds (Lyrica, Neurontin, Cymbalta), and NSAIDS. One medicine doesn't cut it when it comes to dealing with back and sciatica pain.

    Just let your doctor know if you're having too much pain, and he should help you find the right medications to manage your pain. He'll probably want you to have an epidural spinal injection to help out. I hope things work out and that you get relief soon. Take care
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,858
    The best approach with any doctor is to establish solid two way communications and build on confidence levels. The fact that you pay for a doctor's service has no bearing on what you can demand.
    If you go into a doctor's office with the attitude that you are in control and they must do what you want, you will quickly find out that the doctor is not going thrilled about you and in many situations will tell you that you should go see another doctor.
    People that 'demand' things from doctors and other people in the medical field will quickly find out that they are not going to be getting anything.

    And that applies not only to the medical field, it applies to any professional service provider.
    If you walked into a car repair shop and start to demand that they fix your car in 15 minutes, do this and do that just because you are paying the bill - it wont fly
    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
  • Your HORRIBLE sciatic pain will not be helped much by any narcotic as it works on a different part of the brain than the part that senses nerve pain. It is for this reason that drugs such as neurontin and lyrica are prescribed for nerve pain.

    Sometimes a pain pill will take the edge off, but simply take a larger dosage will not help with nerve pain.

    Often applying ice to the lower lumbar area for 10-15 minutes at a time is almost as effective as pain medication.
  • as to how the script was written. Even though the paperwork I signed with my surgeon last October said they would only handle my pain management for two months, they're still prescribing me my meds - flexiril and hydrocodone. The hydro says 1-2 every 4 hours so it's important that I don't take more than that (I actually take half that amount usually). So what is the dosage on your meds? It shouldn't raise any eyebrows if your are within or below the prescribed dosage.

    I agree with the others - you have to develop a trusting relationship with your doc. If he realizes how much pain you're in and what your situtation is, he should be taking care of that. Demanding anything from a doctor will get you out of their door very quickly and on to another doctor to start all over again.

  • Yes, many of us on this site take something every single day. I am on a scheduled dose of oxycontin 3 times per day and have percocet for break thru pain. It's a tough road and the side effects (constipation) are horrendous and have landed me in the hospital and on 2 other meds to combat that. If you don't have to take the narcotics, its best not to start on them every day, but to use as needed. I have been on fentanyl patches in the past and got off those only to go about 6 months on prn meds before needing the scheduled meds again.

    The issue docotrs have, and rightfully so, is that they get burned a lot by drug seekers...which I have been looked at like that before. It's so hard b/c we NEED these meds and some get them to sell or get high and we all get labeled. It's a very tough life to lead. I recently went to the ER and they were so rude when checking me in...the nurse (after I went over my med list with her) asked me "Are you out of narcotics?"....in a very mean tone. I said "no, I'm not here to get pain meds, I need to see a doctor b/c I can't keep anything down"..I was very dehydrated and hadn't peed in 20 hours! So, that is the issue the doctors havce with us taking these meds. I could only pray that each and every one of you who really need the meds could find a PCP like mine...he is so compassionate and way more understanding than even my pain doctor.

    Blessings to you and hope you feel better.
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