I recently visited my doctor to discuss my low back pain. It originated from boot camp, Marines, in 2000, so I have been in this pain for 8 years. I get all medical care for my back through the VA. I left the appointment feeling like they didn't believe I had a valid reason for pain. Now, to explain even more, I am on Fentanyl 50 with oxycodone for breakthrough. The biggest reason I am on Fentanyl is that I have had reactions to most other medications, including morphine, and methadone. The patch does work well for me as I have zero side effects, including no spaciness, no constipation, no sexual issues (I know this has been a big issue on these boards, and I guess I am the lucky few that has not lost that to medications), just absolutely nothing.
Their argument was that if I build tolerance too fast, there will be nothing left that will help me. And I do understand that, I am on a strong med at a relatively high dose. I was on the 25 for one month and on the 50 for two, and really wanted to move to the two day schedule instead of the three. Their other argument was there was no severe central canal stenosis. But I feel I am justified because my mris have revealed the following: disc dessication at l1-l2 and l3 to l5. L4-l5 have moderate type 2 endplate degeneration. L3-l4 is a mild proffuse disc bulge, with a posterior annual tear. L4-l5 is trapped in scar tissue, narrowing the right l5 nerve root, following a discectomy in 2003. Also at this level disc material and fact arthropathy produce moderate left neuroforamina stenosis. A more recent mri (2009) echoed the same, adding that there is spurring at t11-t12 with moderate narrowing of the disc space. There is also a new herniation at l4-l5 which impinges on the intradural portion of the left l5 root. Also new: degenerative disc disease at l3-l4 with the annular tear still present. I know you are not doctors, but with my extreme back pain, which feels like my spine is about to explode, also buring in hip and lower back at night, and an inability to get up in the morning due to extreme pain. I also cannot stand or walk for more then five minutes without extreme pain, causing me to bend over forward constantly. I have one of those balls for stretching and just completed pt which gave me more stretching which I do. I am frustrated with my doctors reponse as I cannot understand how with all of this the don't seem to acknowledge my pain. I am young and have two small children to raise, and I am sure most of you can understand my frustration with this. Sometimes you get tired of fighting. Do I have reason to seek out more relief or are my injuries not enough to justify any more? I am confused as to what I should do. Also I finished a course of prednisone to see if that would help, but no luck. Any opinions?