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End of Rope and barely coping

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Pain Management
I joined this forum because I need someone to talk with that understands my situation.
I am going to whine a little bit here so I thank you in advance just for listening.

So, to start, I can't hardly talk with my wife or relatives anymore because thay are burdened enough with their issues. And if it weren't me that is in pain then I will have to admit that it would be very difficult to listen to someone whine about their situation 24\7.

I have Degenerative Disc Disease. My pain management doctor has me on oxycodone, 3 - 40mg tabs every 8 hours.
I have had a total of about 7 injections. At the time they were a godsend. Now I am in a scary situation that I just don't understand.
I have lower back pain that is extremely intense. I have never encounered pain like this before.
The most scary part is that it seems the oxy pain relief is not working anymore.
I had an injection Thursday but I believe they went in the wrong place. My pain is at hip level and he went in nearly at the bottom of my spine at my plumbers crack.
The excrutiating pain has subsided but I am in constant pain that I can barely cope with and the meds just aren't working anymore. Last weekend was the worst. I took 7 in one day with no relief whatsoever, not even any kind of 'high' that is always associated with this pain med. It is as if my body refuses to accept it anymore. I can't help but feel that God has raised his hand against me and is determined for me to suffer. Why I do not know. Constant prayer is not helping either.

Have any of you heard of or experienced this kind of situation to where the pain medication just does not work anymore?

If so, please tell me so I don't feel the way I do.

I am very depressed over this(as you might tell)
I had to beg the Back Institute to get me in for an injection. The doctor I see has 0 empathy and I think is stuck on whoever comes thru her door is just trying to get some drugs. I can feel it and see it in her eyes. She is like a robot. I am so sick of being made to feel quilty because I have this condition.

I am just generally sick of being trapped by this situation. I have scheduled another injection but I have to go in for a meeting first to discuss it before they will give me an injection. That appt is one week away and then it will be another week before I can get the injection.

My plan is to wean myself off of this drug and eventually get off entirely to having maybe a couple of vicodin a day as needed if we can get this worst pain down to a manageable level. The withdrawl from these meds is the most awful experience I have ever had to face. When I try to space my next doseage out to try and wean myself back down I go into severe depression and actually experience feelings of panic as if my life is ending.

So as it stands I am faced with trying to live with this pain, the pain meds giving minimal relief and waiting 2 weeks before I can get an injection in the right place.
It just seems like everything has turned against me, no matter what I try to do. The most recent devastation being the injection in the wrong place.

If anyone lives on the Dallas Texas area and can refer me to a good injection doctor who will take patients in on emergency cases please, oh lord, please tell me. The back doctors I have been to just do their injections on one or 2 days of the week. They gather all of us up and do a herd at a time. Last weekend I went to the hospital but there was nothing they could do except give me a prednisone pack that does little to nothing.

Well, thx. It makes me feel better talking about it and thank you for listening. I hope my next post will be more upbeat :)


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. I have a look around and you will find many whom have had or are going through the same as yourself. As far as with drawing from the meds you need to go over this with the doctor whom is prescribing these meds for you. They should be involved in this process with you.

    You can use are search feature here to find a doctor and see if that yields any results as to a pain management doctor. Hopefully someone else will come along and have some answers for you. Sense we don't permit the naming of doctors or institutions on the site they will pm any information they may have.

    Anyway just thought i would stop by and welcome you to spine-health take care. Keep us posted and I hope you get some relief.
  • I'm sorry you're having this pain. i hope you see your Dr. to help you with your medication weaning. I have been to 3 PM Drs and this last one was so gentle with injections. I go again next Thursday for my next one. I hope the next injection is better for you. Did you put ice on it? I plan on decreasing my meds also and going to mention it to my Dr. also next when I see her. I only had one pill for one day instead of the usual amount and I had terrible withdrawal also. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • hi txdd
    welcome to a place were you will find many ppl simular and can share there experience..
    i have been to 6 diff pain mang docs over the yrs...and for me before fusion some injections worked..
    last summer did 2 injections and made my legs and body so much worse..
    We all here feel you pain and frustration and i have been in some deep dark holes of depression..
    AS tam said look in search here for docs in your area..also read alot of posts you will find ppl that are going thru same issues your having..
    As for the power of prayer,,keep praying..god does listen and gives us only what we can handle..and at these times when your in so much pain don't loose your faith..
    keep us posted and keep reaching out in here and searching you will find a doc right for your needs.
    hang in there
    we all care
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    My take is a little different than the others here. I think you need to try and get to the root of the problem, where the pain is coming from and finding a doctor that will guide you along.

    Many times with severe lower back pain (I've had it too), there's a series of things that the right doc will try, for example first PT, then injections, then nerve blocks, then further investigation if these things don't work. Pain management is just a part of the picture, it seems like there's more happening here than pills alone aren't going to fix.

    I'm not a doctor at all, but I believe you need to find a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, either ortho or neuro, that works only on spines. Many times they can be found in a clinic that includes a physiotherapist and physical therapist.

    There's so much that could be happening such as facet problems, stenosis, etc. You need someone to help you find out where this is coming from.

    You can use our Find A Doctor feature here on this website to begin your search. I'm just saying that if injections and medications aren't helping, then other options need to be explored.

    My pain included extreme lower back pain, pain radiating into both hips, and pain down the back of both legs to my knees. The final diagnosis was facet joint problems and stenosis and could only be fixed with surgery. I'm not saying you need surgery, I'm saying you need to deal with the whole picture and what's causing the problems. The injections and pills might be just bandaids on a larger issue here.

    I really feel for you and understand how frustrating it can be. Complaining to family gets old for them and I believe you need to be your own advocate and find the right path to deal with your spine problems. The severe pain you're having to deal with is not normal and needs to be addressed, perhaps with more than injections and pain medications.

    Take care and please keep us posted. We're here for support and many times it helps our relationships with our loved ones and friends because you can vent here and that means less venting at home.

  • From your description, it sounds like your last injection was a Caudal Epidural, which is more of a broadbased injection versus one that targets a specific nerve root. So in essence instead of pouring a soothing mixture onto one finger, the doc bathes the entire hand in a larger amount of the mixture, in hopes of providing more relief.

    I understand the fear associated with the pain meds suddenly not working anymore. It's a very stark reality that can shake a person to the core. The withdrawal from Oxycontin isn't any fun and as everyone has pointed out, is something you would be best served by asking your doc to help you. There are many other things that can be done to ease the agony of the withdrawal. I was placed on Clonidine patches and also had auricular acupuncture done 3 times a week to help with the Oxycontin withdrawal. The key for me was working with my doc to get through the worst of it.

    It is still early on in the results for the injection. Normally there is an increase in pain for a few days after the anesthetic wears off and before the steroids get a good hold of the inflammation. As Charry pointed out, normally we are told to use ice for a few days to help with the increase in pain. Hopefully the pain will start to ease over the next few days.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • I am with Cath. Plus, you need someone you can call when the pain is so bad, or you need more meds.
  • TXDDD said:

    I took 7 in one day with no relief whatsoever, not even any kind of 'high' that is always associated with this pain med.
    Just thought I'd point out that Oxycodone comes in 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 mg and Oxycontin comes in 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 160 mg. Oxycodone is an immediate release tablet whereas Oxycontin is a controlled release tablet. You essentially took 280 mg of oxy that was slowly released into your body. You could have easily OD with that amount and by taking so much have abused the prescription drugs you were given for pain management. Doses greater than 40 mg should only be used by patients who have been using opiods and have become tolerant to opioid therapy. Administration of large doses to opioid-naïve patients may lead to profound depression of breathing.

  • David,

    Thank you so much for your concern.

    I will have to say you are absolutely correct. At the time of the post I was exaggerating to get my point across and it is not the amount I took in that one day. It was like 4-5 but they were not all at once. This was in a 24 hour period. And I am by no means wanting to make it sound like this is acceptable pain management. The point I was wanting to make is that the pain is so bad that no amount is seeming to help.

    Also, my prescription bottle reads: Oxycodone 40mg
    You may be correct in your statement but this is what my prescription reads. I do very much appreciate your concern and it is good you are there to help.

    Everyone, thank you so much for your empathy. I am trying to get doctor appts today to discuss what we can do for this non-relenting pain until I can get another injection.

    In my original post I had asked if it is known that your body just shuts down to taking anymore pain med.

    Or is it possible that my pain is so bad that the med is just not taking care of the pain.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to get the pain under control? I have taken ibprofen and it seems to help but you are only allowed to take so much of that a day. My chance for another injection, at the very least, is a week away and I am just in misery.

    Also, I can start another topic perhaps in a different section(not sure where so please tell me if you know) but I would like to know why back injections cannot be a part of a hospital's emergency care. Why must we suffer when relief is there but on the pain doctors schedule? How would one go about starting a campaign to get this changed? Etc.

    Again thank you so much. It helps to know you're not as alone as you think.
  • Have you ever tried acupuncture to fight pain? I used acupuncture along with other therapies to manage pain until I had my SCS implanted. I found that at times, a single acupuncture session could successfully break the acute pain phase and allow me to regain control via meds and ice.

  • You just really need another doctor. Oxycodone 40mg? How long have you been taking these? I'm wondering if you've built up a tolerance already, because that's one heck of an elephant dose of oxy. And if you've built op a tolerance, they aren't going to do a thing for you.

    And if you have a pain doctor who you can't call when you have severe pain, who is driving you to decide on your own to increase your dose to dangerous doses (if you'd like, you could probably in 5 minutes find 5 well-known stars who found themselves accidentally dead doing that), and who seems to not be dealing with what could be a dependence/tolerance issue (note I am not saying addiction- you have pain, and are using it for pain, so I'm talking about effects of the drug on your body).

    This is a very good article.


    Read the parts about tolerance and dependence.

    You might also want to read about opioid induced hyperalgesia just to see if that's a question you should ask.

    Listen, we're in interesting medical territory. Never, I repeat never, count on a doctor or pharmacist to understand everything that could be happening with you. Research everything, keep immaculate records, and keep on top of it. And if you don't feel like a doctor is on top of it, find a new one.
  • happyHBmom

    That is really interesting information you gave me.
    I have already decided that once I get out of this hell and get this major pain taken care of I am going to quit taking oxy (with my doctors help)
    If I have to I will get another doctor or psych to help me.
    I have found the danger in this stuff is that when you are in extreme pain there is nothing a hospital can or will do for you because of the dose you are taking. As well, the tolerance is causing me all kinds of grief. You are correct, I need to find a doctor that fully understands the consquences.
    It did provide me relief for so long but I never thought I would get hit with a pain or situation like this. Perhaps it is a blessing in disquise.
    I do know that Withdrawal is going to be beyond miserable but if I can get this bad pain taken care of I will tough it out because I see the awful conseqences now.
    Someone said they can put you in a coma to withdraw. Has anyone heard of that?

    I have 2 doctor appts scheduled today so I will let you know what they say. thx!
  • As for emergency injections I think your Pain Management Dr. should help you out if you've been with them for a long time they should open up an emergency appointment to get it. As for it being done in an ER the hospital would have to have an Anesthetist on call to be able to do emergency injections so not sure if that will ever happen. ER usually just provide an injection of a painkiller to help if you're in severe pain and usually have to follow up with your PM Dr. I've had 3 Pain Management Drs and the first 2 were a little rough and the injections were so painful I swore I would never had them again. But this year I just found another PM Dr. and she is so gentle I barely felt the last epidural I had done recently and I go back for my 2nd set in 2 days.

    I found my Pain Management Drs online search for Pain Management Centers in my City. Hopefully you can get another opinion from another PM Dr that can help you.

    As for your Oxycodone my pills say that underneath the Oxycontin on the bottle and my 40 mg pills are peach in color and have CDN written on one side and 40 on the other side. I wonder if you're on immediate release because immediate relief only last for 4-6 hours. Oxycontin lasts for 8-12 hours so that's my dose so i'm getting a rate at 5mg an hour. I use heat on my back and leg and ice especially after an injection. Hope you find some pain relief soon. TC. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • TXDDD said:

    Someone said they can put you in a coma to withdraw. Has anyone heard of that?
    It is called UROD Ultra Rapid Opioid Detox and it is done under general anesthesia, not coma. It is an extremely risky procedure and it does not preclude you from experiencing weeks to months of withdrawal issues after the procedure. Highly unlikely that any doc would be willing to risk putting a person through this for the amount of opioids you take daily. I am not saying that to minimize your situation. It's just the reality of it. Also the failure rate is tremendously high, most especially for those who do not have the source of their pain repaired prior to detox.

  • TXDDD,
    Many arrive here angry, frustrated and questioning the future, for the most past you have been surviving this increasing symptoms and pain in isolation and even when evaluation brings with it more clarity of the route ahead, you still have that daily pain to manage and endure.

    A strategy that works just for you will take time, everyone wants adequate pain relief and a variety of proposals are suggested as a range of options, it is a process of finding what works for you, evidence here suggests no easy solution as we all try to gain some control of the pain.

    It is understandable that you feel overwhelmed or depressed have you seen your doctor, we all have that desire to reduce the medication and need adequate provision to make the pain manageable if possible and find a combination that works for us, even with the side effects.

    Talking does help and here we try to help, many here have been where you are and relate to your experience, it is not easy.

    Take care and good luck.

  • Hi there, I'm new to this forum but sadly not new to back pain and I have thought and felt most of what you have written in your posts, and though Im cross the other side of the world in New Zealand I am going through my pain all day every day too, and the thing I tell myself everyday is "hang in and keep on going its the only good option"!
    I totaly understand when you talk about the depression as I have suffered from clinical depression (actually called distemia) since I was a child and god it makes the pain so much worse some times, but thats when you have to go back to my saying and dig in, I find looking at the beautiful faces of my little girls just to remind myself what I'd miss if I wernt here.

    Iv have had a back injury for 3 1/2yrs now, and I too am at my worst right now. For 3 years I coped with the pain and used dihydracodine and tramadol, but just before christmas I fell again pushing my already bulged disc further out, and like you said was treatd by the Dr's like I was a druggy looking for a fix when I went for meds and any other help.

    Finally though after much pushing I got new scans (MRI)showing the new damage and finally they are prepared to opperate to remove the disc and fuse the vert (L4&5). Though Im still waiting because we have a system here in NZ called ACC that our tax pays for when its an accident and they dont like to pay for big things like this so while they drag it out I wait.

    So I lay here not able to walk much, or take care of myself let alone my family and rely on my wonderfully supportive family and husband! Its hard yes yet I still think myself lucky to be here.

    The meds do stop working thats normal, there are many reasons for it and when they stop you can either try another but there may not be one and you then have to fight to find anything to work from there. Dont worry about the pills or addiction, cause right now you need them or something and thats nothing to feel ashamed of! Just find what works for you!
    Im on oxycontin 40's slows 12hrly + oxy instant 4hrly. It doesnt take the pain away but gives a hand to cope.

    So do what works for you and hold on to life, it will get better, take it day by day. If you ever want any ideas of things to try for the pain or depression I have lots of different things I do to help myself and I dont mind sharing them. Just let me know, I hope my story might have helped, your totaly NOT alone! Good luck and take care :-)

    All the best Kristy
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