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What should I do?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Pain Medications
Pain doc has me on 900 mg of Neurontin daily (1 capsule 3X a day...any more of that and I can't think normally) and diclofenac 2X daily. The combination has reduced my pain by 30-40%, not great, but tolerable--barely. Since Saturday night, I have been having intense pain, sharp and stabbing in the lower area and around the L5-S1, as well as wicked radiculopathy. I called the pain mgmt doc this morning and left a message for the triage nurse. She leaves me a message back and says the doc is gone until next Monday, and they'd be happy to help me then. WTF? I called her back, and of course got her voicemail, left a message stating that I was in a lot of pain, like a 7 or 8 on the scale. No call back.

Not knowing what else to do, I called my orthopaedic doc's triage nurse and left them a message. I don't want to go to a walk-in clinic or someplace like that b/c I know it looks like I'm some drug-seeker, and that is NOT the case. I have to be able to go to work and take care of my kids, and if my back hurts like this, I CAN'T.

What else should I do? Any ideas? I feel quite hung out to dry by my pain doc...I mean, there are five other doctors in the practice, and not ONE of them is covering for the guy?

Am I overreacting?

Thanks...gonna go try heat now that I've tried ice...this sucks....


  • I would not hesitate to go to a walk in care or to the ER if need be. Just explain what happened with the PM doc and that you could not make it until next Monday. You certainly have enough issues that you wil be credible. When it comes right down to it don't worry what these people that you may or may not ever see again think of you. Take care of yourself. That has to be your main concern. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. You may really want to find a new PM when this is all said and done. Good luck and please let us know how you make out.
  • If you decide to go to the ER, I would call you PM and leave a message, that you are heading there. Your pain in unbearable and this seems to be the only option until you are able to see the PM. As long as they know what you are doing and why I wouldn't think there's a problem. Just my opinion though.
  • So sorry to hear that you are in so much distress. Diclofenac is not that strong of a pain medication so I am not surprised it is not touching your pain. I agree with the above posts, contact your PM's office and let them know you are on your way to the ER for acute pain. Let the ER physician know you see pain management. I would suggest that you also make an appointment with your surgeon. It sounds like you may need further treatment. Have you ever had flexion/extension x-rays of your lumbar spine? Many times a MRI and plain x-rays do not show other problems that may be causing spinal instability, such as spondylolisthesis (slippage of a vertebrae over another). Bulging discs sometimes are a result of that.

    Best wishes to you,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    but before you take that route, I would insist on talking to the on call physician. I am not aware of any medical practice that does not provide this. I have heard of this even in the smallest towns way out in the wildnerness.
    Doctors need to have another doctor cover for them. I have heard where the office managers or staff folks will tell you there is no covering doctor..
    I would push this one to get a doctor from the practice you have been seeing talk to you. Many times a trip to the ER will not produce much except for trying to reach your doctor.

    And if you pain is approaching those levels, then you should be looking at the ER. If it hits around 8, you are really not mentally functional to take care of yourself
    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
  • I feel like I spent all day either leaving messages or waiting for the phone to ring. The PM's nurse called me back, and when I finally talked to her she sounded very sympathetic but wasn't about to throw me a bone. She asked me if I had a family doctor (which I don't, b/c I fired her back in July when she refused to order me an MRI and I haven't had time to schedule with a new one) or if the orthopaedic doc would be willing to give me a script for something stronger. The nurse said that the ortho's nurse could contact her if she needed verification of the situation. She took notes and told me they'd pass them on to the PM doc on Monday. Ugh. Thanks a lot.

    Played phone tag with the ortho's nurse, and finally spoke to her at five tonight. I explained the situation and she said since I'd just seen the doc on Friday, they could call me in a script. She sounded reluctant, but I just kept thinking, you haven't called me in a script in over six weeks...you think I'm some druggie now? Double ugh.

    I know when I have a chance to breathe and focus on something other than the pain and what I have to gut through in order to get my family situated for the night, I am going to be good and pissed about this. My sister, who works for a doctor, told me I needed to throw a fit and be difficult b/c the PM people are full of crap--of course they had someone on call, they just deal with hospital or very serious cases. I was *thisclose* to going to the ER today, amd if it weren't for the monster bill it would signify, I would have. Money is tight in this household, and it's easier for me to put up and shut up b/c it means Christmas for the kids.

    I have had X-Rays done to look for spondo by my chiro, and he looked all weekend at them after he took them. He was unable to locate any significant spondo, but my PT thinks I have it b/c when I lay on my side, my lower back will click/pop on its own accord. She felt it one day while I was at PT.

    Regardless, I will have plenty of time to think of my response in the next few days. My husband picked up my Vicodin tonight, and I took one right before dinner. It's helped somewhat...more relief than I have had since Saturday, for sure. Things will have to change on Monday, though...I can't do much more of this.

    Thanks for all your support...it's so nice to go to a safe place full of people who "get" it.
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