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Hey all!

MelWMMelW Posts: 427
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Chronic Pain
I know it has been a while but I am still alive! I have been so swamped at work, been working 12s just about everyday for the last 3 weeks and am pretty wore out. Not to mention we think we have a buyer for our house and found a house we want, which by the way we are getting an absolutely fantastic deal on from a friend, so we have been trying to pack, as long as my spine will allow :) Plus calling pool places to get quotes on putting our pool in, paid off all of our outstanding medical bills (mostly mine, imagine that), every credit card we owned, and then some. We are debt free other than a house and car payment :) feels good!

Anyway, I am still on the fentanyl patches and for the most part they are still helping with the awful, intolerable pain I was having before. I still have quite a bit of pain at times but that is to be expected. My worst days have been day 3 of the patch, when it is not quite as potent and I am having to take more of my breakthrough (bt) meds. I talked to the pain doc last time I saw him, which was about two weeks or so ago, and he said it is completely normal to have an increase in pain on the third day of wearing the patch. The bt meds seem to help, not always but mostly. Sometimes I wait till the pain is too bad and have trouble getting it back down.

One thing I have really noticed is that I am having a heck of a time sleeping, and am about ready to go crazy. I have always had some trouble sleeping but it is getting to the point of insomnia. When I do wake up in the middle of the night my neck is really sore and if I turn it too quick, even slowly really, I get a real sharp pain and it is in a specific spot. But what is kind of weird is that I do not wake up in as much pain as I used to in the morning....

Anyway, I am ready to lose my sanity, so is my husband he is about ready to sleep in another bed because of my tossing and turning and moaning/crying in my sleep all night, and I end up just getting up and doing stuff or watch TV because i can not sleep no matter what I do. I am afraid to take anything until I talk to my PM but have called and left two messages now and have not heard back from them. They are awesome when I am at their office but getting a call back is turning out to be a pain. needless to say I do not know what to do. I am so tired, which is made worse by my pain meds, muscle relaxers, and bt meds. My son take quite a few different meds, for ADHD, anxiety, and depression but nothing like pain meds, and he uses meletonin because he has a lot of trouble sleeping as well. There is not a lot of information, everything you take says to consult a doctor, so I am not sure if I should try the meletonin or just wait to hear from the doctor.

I have tried taking my meds at different times to see if that helps, like taking my muscle relaxer and bt meds right before bed, and it doesnt help. I am not sure what to do, until they call me back anyway.


  • Hi there and congrats on the house...you must be very excited about your new place.

    I'm sorry to hear your pain is still an issue but you sound very busy! Hopefully others here will be able to comment on the pain thing but sounds like you've done the right thing by putting a call into the PM doctor.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    for you. except the insomnia. I hope your pm Dr. can work that out for you.
    I've found that "Less is more" and the piece of mind from being out of debt is "PRICLESS"
    A word of caution: after my 1 fusion healed, I moved myself. And Blew out the next disc up! It only takes 1 small mistake!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Congrats on the new house -- Yeah!

    Try talking to your pharmacist about the meds you're taking and what to take to help you sleep. I find them more knowledgable than physicians on drug interactions.

    Take care,

  • lack of debt is wonderful.
    Well it was anyway...we bought a townhouse for our kids to live in through college, so we are making payments on it :(

    Otherwise we have it all paid off :D

    The lack of sleep can be a pain. You may wish to try another bed if you have on in the house. Sometimes it does the trick just to change you surrounds.Couch? Recliner?
    Warm milk at bedtime is a real "helper", Benedryl (if your doctors allow) Benedryl is the active ingredient in Tylenol PM.

    Also things like Lunesta, Ambien, Ambien CR, etc;
    I have lots of trouble talking to my PM too. When I'm in the office they are brisk and hard to deal with, calling them just gets me nowhere either.
    Thankfully they allow me to get meds for my PCP and Shrink. Who are much more "reachable" and both have access to my chart so no confusion as to what I take and who wrote it.

    Also, any caffeine at all can mess up your sleep.
    If you must have it, try and get it all in by noon, 2;00 pm at the latest!

    If it's the pain waking you, then that in itself means you need to work with your PM. You may be needing to do a 2 day patch rotation,(again, that would be your doctors call)

    I take regular Ambien, Benedryl, and Nortriptyline and while sleep has gotten "better". I only gained about an hour. I used to wake at 4:00 am. Now I'm good till about 5:00 am :?
    Sometimes you just have to settle for what you get.

    Weekends work pretty well for me, if I lay in bed from about 5-7 am I will doze back off an sleep till 8:30-9. That does not do me any good on weekdays though.
  • Thanks all for the replies.

    Last night, well this morning, I finally fell asleep around 2:30 and had to be up at 6:30 to get my oldest son out of bed for school. Not to mention when I do actually go to sleep, it is for very short periods of time. I wake up about every half hour to an hour so I really feel like I did not sleep at all. I have always had some trouble sleeping but it is getting much worse over the last few months. I used to be on Elavil but it made it to where I could hardly get up in the morning I was so groggy. And I may try Benedryl because I already know I can take that. I would do the warm milk, but I do not like milk at all, yuck. It makes me nauseous to even think about drinking it.

    And my PM doc is really easy to talk to and he seems to listen to my concerns. I am just realizing it is hard to get an answer out of his office when I am not their for an appointment. They actually tried to call me back Friday, and go figure I was in a meeting and missed the call and they close at 3 p.m. on Friday's. She said she would try calling me again today. I pray she does because I seriously need a good nights sleep. I am not even asking for an entire night, that would be nice though, I just want a few hours where I do not wake up!

    Some of it is from pain in my neck still, not every night but some. have any of you experienced sharp pains if you turn slightly. It is normally when I just barely turn my head and it happens and it stops me instantly when it does happen, man it hurts. Also, I can hear a grinding noise in my neck. I have heard others say this before but should I be concerned or is this normally after c-spine surgery?

    Over a year has gone by and I still have so many questions......

    One good thing about this weekend and week, even with lack of sleep, is my boys bdays. Oldest turns 14 on 5/5 and youngest turned 8 on 5/2. We got the 8 yr old a dirt bike :) his face was priceless when he pulled the sheet off of it and saw what was underneath.
  • Glad to see you in here to learn how you're coming along. One year gone by for me too and still have the same questions it seems. Ortho guy, that took me under his wings post op, told my on Friday that he was happy to see that I have "turned the corner" with recovery. I've had a few good weeks, lasting a full 7 days, only to have the pain stop me in my tracks for a day. He said that this will continue as the scar tissue is breaking up now & to get deep tissue massage to help break it up. Scar tissue & adhesive capsules are the last to resolve, with a few nerves still growing back. He said the pain & stiff in neck are the muscles trying to return back to normal lengths & the adhesions breaking up. Grinding sound are joints that have been missing out on the natural body fluids, but will resolve. An otc sleep aid, "unisome" works good for sleep.
    It's been a bitch hasnt it? Feels like the stress shown in MRI is backing down now.
    Anyway so glad to see you again & congrads on the new home & pool. You deserve good things to start coming your way now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    hugs to you girl, Julie
  • I'm also happy at how smoothly your life is going and I hope you guys get into a home of your dreams.

    Are you able to take 2 Benadryls for the insomnia until your next appt? I remember the patches giving me the same problems but I realized that my Zanaflex was really helpful in helping me sleep. Another issue I had, and still have to a lesser degree, was nightmares.

    I found that the patches didn't last the whole 3 days and also I was very miserable on the third day. My doctor changed me to the 2 day schedule and I did much better.
  • thanks all!

    I go to see my PM again in a week or so and am going to see if he will maybe switch me to every two days. My third day is a doozy. I get really bad migraines and feel like I did before, pain wise. It is amazing how quickly we forget the pain we had 9well maybe not forget but it is not quite so fresh in our memories), until it comes back to haunt us :)

    We are still trying to get our house sold. The market is just awful right now. We have our house priced as low as possible and have not gotten one offer yet. It is frustrating! Especially trying to keep the darn thing clean. plus I decided to do some yard work last week, bad BAD idea. I miss doing yard work :( So here I go out to the garage to get the gas powered bush trimmers, start (yes it is a pull start), trim everything nice and pretty like I like it, then thought hey lets edge the yard too, once again another bad BAD idea :'( but I was on a roll :) heeheehee. So I get all of the edging done too, go in and do some laundry, amongst several other things around the house, finally sit down and here it comes, pain, stiffness, etc. I tell you I paid for that for three days. Whew! I whipped my own butt! I get to where I feel ok and decide to push the limits as always, I am worse than a 5 year old!!!! :)

    Hugs to all of you. ((((:))))
  • I went and saw the pain doc yesterday for my follow up. He changed my muscle relaxer to Zanaflex and has me changing my patch every two days instead of every three. Hopefully this helps.

    He said he is concerned about me still having so much nerve pain and muscle tightness but this is still something that can get better with time so he doesn't want to assume anything at this point.... And I am also back to not getting sleep. The meletonin seemed to help for a few days and then I am not quite sure what in the hell happened. Last night I was back to the same routine. Up, down, up, down, up, down, etc., till I finally just got up. I am hoping it was just a bad night from the doc pushing and poking on me yesterday. I can barely keep my eyes opened at work today! If I didn't leave early yesterday for my appointment I would not have come in today. I am dying here! I know it could be worse though :)

    On another note, my oldest son's girlfriend has been really sick the last few months. I am worried to death about her. She is only 15 and her liver has been enlarged for the last few months and she keps getting really bad fevers (105-106, extreme fevers) and constantly has a sharp pain in her side. They said she has 70% of the symptoms of Leukemia. The only thing she does not have is the off blood count, well she does but it is not the type that would confirm Leukemia. I just can't imagine. If I could take her pain away I would take it and keep mine and never complain a day in my life again.

    Most of you have read my post and know that my son went through some serious emotional issues and we had to have him hospitalized in psych inpatient, which was the worst most painful thing we have ever had to decide to do but it turned out to be the best decision we could have ever made, he is a totally different kid (teen :)) now. All of this going on with his girlfriend has been real hard on him too and I am so afraid of stuff coming back with him. When she went to the childrens hospital here, he stayed their with her for two days until I told him he had to come home and I was picking him up. he was so darn mad at me but that can not be healthy to sit their watching someone that sick at such a young age. Sorry I am just venting, I know it is off the subject. Anyway, everyone keep her in your thoughts. She finds out soon about her recent blood test and I pray for her it is not cancer :'(
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