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desparate for help with chronic pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:34 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello...i am a newbie to this forum. I have had fibromyalgia for about 12 years, and then 3 years ago I had a back car accident and had a compression fracture of L1 in my back. They finally did surgery a year and a half ago...they had to take out a rib and then do a vertebral body replacement at L1 with rods and screws. I have been on Norco since my surgery for the chronic pain. My husband is a medic, and I am a photographer and own my own photography studio, so I stay very active. The problem is the constant pain I am in...either from my back/side from the surgery, or the aches and pains that goes with the constant weather changes due to the fibromyalgia. My ortho doctor is frustrated with me I can tell because I still have so much pain. I only take 4 Norco max a day when I need it...like from crawling around in the floor from taking pictures of kids and babies! I was once told from a doctor a long time ago who was treating me with fibromyalgia that I'm better off to just take pain meds and be active, than NOT to take anything for pain and have to rest all the time. I've always been one who doesn't like to have to rely on ANY time of medicine, but I have reached a point with all this medical crap that I have to in order to keep going. Is this normal??? I hear my husband talk all the time about "drug seekers", and I am so afraid my ortho doctor thinks I could be this way because of the way he acts when I tell him I am still in pain nearly every day! I cry a LOT in mourning of the type of life I USED to have before. I just simply don't know what to do. I have the epidural injections 3-4 times a year, but like anything they wear off. This rib removal they did STILL hurts so much. Can anyone tell me if I'm wrong in continuing to go to my ortho doctor for my pain?? I go back every 3 months and he is so rude to me AFTER the fact my surgery is over. I feel like I'm bothering him. Please, anyone that can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.
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Comments

  • with your chronic pain i feel you are your own boss. there is no right and there is no wrong. by experience we have to follow the path that WE feel is best. other people try to help by giving advice but we are living our lives of pain as we feel fit. if work is a priority and drugs are necessary then so be it. most people dont know how we feel. you and i know pains hold on us.
    i made a decision not to use narcotics. i felt too depressed on them. you or someone else might chose to use them. we try this we try that and hope for the best. youve come to a good place to share info and your feelings. youll learn also of different ways to control pain.
    the only suggestion i can make is to work with a dr. you feel comfortable. feeling relaxed with your dr is important...so on we go trying to find our way....

  • I would suggest you consult with either an interventional pain management doctor or a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation (sometimes called a physiatrist.)

    Surgeons only enjoy seeing you as long as there is a procedure they can perform. And they expect their work to turn out perfectly...and feel bad when things don't turn out as well as expected.

    A doctor in one of the specialties I mentioned will be able to take over your case and manage it appropriately. They can give you injections, do any of the procedures other than surgery, prescribe meds, etc. Also, they respect the fact that their patients have pain on a regular basis. They spend their whole careers dealing with patients and their pain, and on the whole, are more sympathetic.

    It is quite common to have depression along with chronic pain. You might want to ask about one of the drugs that can be used to treat both, like cymbalta. Again, someone who is well-versed in every aspect of pain management can help you with this.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. why haven't you tried any Lyrica? :? it is especially for Fibromyalgia.. there are other nerve pain medications which may help as well.. also, it sounds like you need a long acting, time released pain medication.. =D> it works so much better than a short acting pill, no ups and downs!!! a good pm might be your best bet!! :-C good luck and don't stay in pain!! ~X( Jenny :)
  • krikit said:
    Hello...i am a newbie to this forum. I have had fibromyalgia for about 12 years, and then 3 years ago I had a back car accident and had a compression fracture of L1 in my back. They finally did surgery a year and a half ago...they had to take out a rib and then do a vertebral body replacement at L1 with rods and screws. I have been on Norco since my surgery for the chronic pain. My husband is a medic, and I am a photographer and own my own photography studio, so I stay very active. The problem is the constant pain I am in...either from my back/side from the surgery, or the aches and pains that goes with the constant weather changes due to the fibromyalgia. My ortho doctor is frustrated with me I can tell because I still have so much pain. I only take 4 Norco max a day when I need it...like from crawling around in the floor from taking pictures of kids and babies! I was once told from a doctor a long time ago who was treating me with fibromyalgia that I'm better off to just take pain meds and be active, than NOT to take anything for pain and have to rest all the time. I've always been one who doesn't like to have to rely on ANY time of medicine, but I have reached a point with all this medical crap that I have to in order to keep going. Is this normal??? I hear my husband talk all the time about "drug seekers", and I am so afraid my ortho doctor thinks I could be this way because of the way he acts when I tell him I am still in pain nearly every day! I cry a LOT in mourning of the type of life I USED to have before. I just simply don't know what to do. I have the epidural injections 3-4 times a year, but like anything they wear off. This rib removal they did STILL hurts so much. Can anyone tell me if I'm wrong in continuing to go to my ortho doctor for my pain?? I go back every 3 months and he is so rude to me AFTER the fact my surgery is over. I feel like I'm bothering him. Please, anyone that can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.
  • krikit said:
    Hello...i am a newbie to this forum. I have had fibromyalgia for about 12 years, and then 3 years ago I had a back car accident and had a compression fracture of L1 in my back. They finally did surgery a year and a half ago...they had to take out a rib and then do a vertebral body replacement at L1 with rods and screws. I have been on Norco since my surgery for the chronic pain. My husband is a medic, and I am a photographer and own my own photography studio, so I stay very active. The problem is the constant pain I am in...either from my back/side from the surgery, or the aches and pains that goes with the constant weather changes due to the fibromyalgia. My ortho doctor is frustrated with me I can tell because I still have so much pain. I only take 4 Norco max a day when I need it...like from crawling around in the floor from taking pictures of kids and babies! I was once told from a doctor a long time ago who was treating me with fibromyalgia that I'm better off to just take pain meds and be active, than NOT to take anything for pain and have to rest all the time. I've always been one who doesn't like to have to rely on ANY time of medicine, but I have reached a point with all this medical crap that I have to in order to keep going. Is this normal??? I hear my husband talk all the time about "drug seekers", and I am so afraid my ortho doctor thinks I could be this way because of the way he acts when I tell him I am still in pain nearly every day! I cry a LOT in mourning of the type of life I USED to have before. I just simply don't know what to do. I have the epidural injections 3-4 times a year, but like anything they wear off. This rib removal they did STILL hurts so much. Can anyone tell me if I'm wrong in continuing to go to my ortho doctor for my pain?? I go back every 3 months and he is so rude to me AFTER the fact my surgery is over. I feel like I'm bothering him. Please, anyone that can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.
  • krikit said:
    Hello...i am a newbie to this forum. I have had fibromyalgia for about 12 years, and then 3 years ago I had a back car accident and had a compression fracture of L1 in my back. They finally did surgery a year and a half ago...they had to take out a rib and then do a vertebral body replacement at L1 with rods and screws. I have been on Norco since my surgery for the chronic pain. My husband is a medic, and I am a photographer and own my own photography studio, so I stay very active. The problem is the constant pain I am in...either from my back/side from the surgery, or the aches and pains that goes with the constant weather changes due to the fibromyalgia. My ortho doctor is frustrated with me I can tell because I still have so much pain. I only take 4 Norco max a day when I need it...like from crawling around in the floor from taking pictures of kids and babies! I was once told from a doctor a long time ago who was treating me with fibromyalgia that I'm better off to just take pain meds and be active, than NOT to take anything for pain and have to rest all the time. I've always been one who doesn't like to have to rely on ANY time of medicine, but I have reached a point with all this medical crap that I have to in order to keep going. Is this normal??? I hear my husband talk all the time about "drug seekers", and I am so afraid my ortho doctor thinks I could be this way because of the way he acts when I tell him I am still in pain nearly every day! I cry a LOT in mourning of the type of life I USED to have before. I just simply don't know what to do. I have the epidural injections 3-4 times a year, but like anything they wear off. This rib removal they did STILL hurts so much. Can anyone tell me if I'm wrong in continuing to go to my ortho doctor for my pain?? I go back every 3 months and he is so rude to me AFTER the fact my surgery is over. I feel like I'm bothering him. Please, anyone that can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.
  • Hello - Your experience is your experience. Only you know how much it bothers you and you are the only one who can relate it to others, keep trying! Your Dr may be at his/her witts end.

    I know mine was when I returned every week for 9 weeks. I kept asking questions, keeping a pain log, body chart and pain/time scale recorded. Then I had an acute episode with my back. Pain was a 10, went to ER. I was on 2 canes and just able to shuffle my feet along. Blood Pressure was really high. I asked them to use a certain narcotic to bring things down and another muscle relaxant, by name, as well. Told them that this was my usual Rx and told them when I had been in last. So with that history they were able to check and confirm the issues and then treated it quickly.

    I know for myself - that the issues of chronic pain are exagerated due to the structural damage and acute pain that my back, legs and arms responds to. So it just circles around in a never ending day.

    As for mourning loss, I know that it something I think of every day. I miss somethings terribly, and there is nothing I can do to change them. No matter what I do, sometimes the most simplest things are out of my reach. Sleep - gosh - I'd love to have a sleep that was uninterupted, but that has been 20 years - if ever.

    Every one of us has tried and continues to try to sort out an answer for ourselves. It is complicated by the fact that the question changes every day too and that is just confusing.

    I hope your feeling better -
  • Krikit:

    My experience with orthopedic drs has been that once they do all the surgery they can do, they want nothing more to do with you. My ortho dr abandoned me when he discovered that the surgery he did on me only made my pain worse. I would get rid of the "rude" ortho dr and find a good pain management dr who will treat you with some respect and try to find a treatment that is best for your pain. Good luck.

    Lynn, from Florida

  • and welcome. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through so much, and are missing your past life. It's hard, I know. I love photography, went to school for it, but didn't finish (joined the military instead). I get so frustrated that I can't kneel or squat down, take long nature walks, etc, that I used to do to get the photos that I love to take.
    I would suggest to definitely find a pain management clinic. They are better equipped to manage pain and get a treatment going for you, than a surgeon or gp. I actually just posted about my first visit in the pain management forum.
    As for taking meds, if you need them, and take them as prescribed, you should never feel bad about having to take them. You gotta do what you gotta do, to live as normal a life that you can. The struggle is to find the combination of things that will help with that, be it drugs, physio, physical training, massage, etc. I must say I don't know much about fibromalagia, except that it's painful. But what I can say, as a student in addictions counselling (my career choice for after military life, but I'm not one yet, so this is my personal, not professional opinion) if you take the meds as prescribed, and don't abuse it, you should have no problems, and don't let anyone make you feel like a seeker. If you find a pain clinic, try what they give you, go through the course of the prescription, and if it isn't working after a couple of weeks, let the doc know. You can ask if they can change the script and find something else that will work. That is not drug seeking, that is just seeking a venue that works for you. We are all different, and what works for some, may not work for others.
    Anyways, I wish you luck, in finding relief, and keeping up with all of this and your business as well!!
    Kelly
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I totally agree with the comments made concerning getting a pain management doctor. My surgeon did not return my calls after leaving me with a dural tear and huge seratoma ( lump) the size of D cell battery on my back for many months- he would not even see me.

    I was in extreme pain at the time, worried that I had a continuing spinal fluid leak and his attitude was more or less- if the surgery didn't work, sorry- go away, I don't have time to deal with you.

    I then went to a pain management doctor who happened to have been this surgeon's instructor in University. He called and read this surgeon the riot act for not returning my calls since it was obvious that I was not faking it. The surgeon called and basically groveled in apology.

    My advice is find a doctor who will take the time to listen to you, and will really try to help.

    From what I have learned, there is much doctors don't understand about back pain, and pain in general so it is hit or miss- something will work for one patient and not another. They don't even know for sure what is causing my pain. Is it the disc, the stenosis, the bone spurs, or what?

    You ultimately have to weigh the risks and benefits of all treatments and make some tough choices.

    My pain management doctor has not been able to "fix me" but I do feel he actually cares about me, and will do everything he can to help me. That has been really important to me.

    Hang in there, you are not alone in your frustration, all the best-

    Wendy
  • Thank you EVERYONE for all your posts. I am definately going to take your advice and seek out a pain management doctor! I can't tell you what a sigh of relief it is to talk with people that can actually sympathize with what Im going thru and can give me some direction. I am so blessed I have found this community. Thank you ALL!
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