I'm nine months out of L4-S1 fusion with instrumentation and the pain persists -- and the doctors all seem to want to put me on opiate painkillers. I hate opiates. They give me horrible side-effects, like dizziness and nausea, and I'm concerned about dependency or addiction. My pain doctor wants to try me on Suboxone, which is indicated for opiate addiction but can be used off-label for pain. It gave me the worst side effects so I stopped after one tiny dose. Won't touch it again. Norco is OK but it also has similar side effects and makes me feel loopy. Discontinued it three days after being discharged from the hospital.
So -- for all of you chronic pain sufferers, please help me out here. I feel like I messed up my life once by having fusion surgery that worsened my pain. I don't want to mess it up again by getting hooked on dope. I don't trust doctors anymore.
The docs also recommend exercise and mindfulness meditation. I'm pretty active with exercise -- work out three times a week at the gym. I try to work through the pain at home, keeping active despite discomfort. I just don't care anymore. I'm going to live my life with or without pain.
Is anybody here really satisfied with the treatment they've been getting? Are painkillers the only or best way to go? When will the medical insanity stop?
I'm sticking with Tylenol for now.