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when do u call doc or go to hospital?

angelanicaangelanic Posts: 256
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi all.

Last night my back siezed up so now my "normal pain" has turned into nightnare pain. Flexeril is doing nothing. Percocet does not do much and what little it does lasts about 2 hours. My naproxen doesn't make a dent. Can't sleep. Can barely walk. The only position that feels ok is laying on myright side almost on stomach and on stomach (if I breath through the pain). Btw that is on the floor. Sitting on toilet is hell.

So do I call doc on this lovely Saturday? If I go to hospital what can they really do? Reminder has epi 3 weeks ago




  • That's a real personal decision. I always seem to intuitively know when I need to either call the doc or head to the ER. I know from past experience, that if I need to ask someone whether I should go or not, then I can still wait. When it is bad enough to go, there's no question about it and I just tell my husband that we have to go. That's just how it is for me though. Each of us have our own tolerance point.

    On the flipside though, I always tell my friends that when in doubt, give the doc a shout and let the doc decide if it needs to be addressed right away.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  • Thanks..I called the doc. He told me that he almost never sends people to the ER because they really can't do much in terms of pain management. He told me to up the percocet since I am only taking 5 and he is calling in flexeril (instead of the tazandine I have been taking) and neurotin. He thinks I need to get my ass to surgery faster (so much for non-surgical back specialist lol) but since I can not do it then it has to be a quad fecta (spelling?) of meds (nerve med,pain med, muscle med and anti-inflamatory).

  • Glad to hear that you got in touch with the doc and he is taking steps to make you more comfortable. I hope the quad fecta works and you get some much needed relief.

  • is when YOU can't cope with the pain or if you feel that something has gone worse and you are worried ..the paramedics wont mind ..if your normal pain killers wont help then you aren't expected to suffer .so use your own discretion ..i have been near to calling them on several occasions but because my wife is a medic we have held off ,,the only time we called an ambulance was 4 years ago when i collapsed getting out of bed and i could hardly breath due to pain ..i told Kath to get me an ambulance {or words that i cart say on a open forum but you can imagine !}
  • I would have never in a million years thought that I would do this - but last Friday night around 5:30 ( of Labor Day weekend) my hip & lower back & side & leg were hurting so badly that I couldn't really walk straight or stand up. Naturally this started right after the Dr.s office closed & it was Labor Day weekend - great.....

    So I told my husband I can't believe that I am saying this but I think I need to go to the emergency room. I got there at 6 - got right in.
    The Dr. put me on an IV in a bed & told me if the
    pain lessened he would think it was my back. My
    regular pain medication from home hadn't touched the pain at all - it was hurting!

    When the pain didn't lessen, he did a series of xrays.
    He was able to match up my hardware with the xrays
    from right after surgery - I was at a branch of the hospital where I had the surgery so the old xrays were available.

    Then he thought it might be my appendix & did a catscan. Didn't find anything. Sent me home
    with instructions for the weekend & to follow up
    with my Dr.

    I went to the Dr. on Tues. & he looked at the catscan & said - I have had so much trouble going
    to the bathroom - I take tons of things for that,
    that there was so much - constipation that it was
    pressing on my back & a nerve. So he gave me a new RX medicine in addition to all the other things I take to make me go & it worked.

    I still hurt but am feeling some better. I was glad I went to the emergency room. They assured me I did the right thing. They kept me in a bed until 1 in the morning on pain medicine & ruled out situations with my back & pancreas/appendix & I was glad I went.

    Normally I would probably have stayed home & suffered.

    It can be a real problem - you don't want to jump to conclusions every time something hurts but in severe pain - I went to the ER. It was the 1st time since I started getting better after my fusion that something that out of the ordinary had happened.
  • Angelanic, my heart goes out to you in your suffering. As many have already posted, your body will tell you. my ALIF surgery was 8/24; second night home (from 5 day hospital stay) I awoke in complete agony. I have sufferred consistant left leg pain with occassional right leg issues (even my bone graft was taken from left). at 42 years of age, i think i had been to the ER 3 prior times (major issues) however this specific night, i could not move my right leg at all, it was some of the worse pain I had ever felt, my husband tried to calm me, but I could not straighten my leg nor place any weight on it at all. With small kids at home at 2:00 am, for him it was a hard call - for me it was NO doubt! ER we went, they shot me up with so many drugs, took Xrays, watched me for 4 hours and sent me home. (still barely able to move my leg, but with meds didn't care! Took 2 days for that cramp/spasm to release!
    I have NO regrets for going and getting mediated so that I was able to move on. I only felt bad for disrupting my 11 year old, who bless his heart was insisting I go!
    Ultimately, the choice is yours, your body doesn't lie to you.
    My new PM (who is spectacular) said "don't let the pain control you, YOU control the pain".
    I hope you get quickly to the point where you can gain control of your pain.

    Feel better soon & best of luck!


  • Doctors make big buck$, why do they make us feel bad to call them on a w/e or middle of the night?? Isn't that why they have on call, and answering services!
  • The day after my accident, I woke up and was vomiting up my medication and went to the ER. I will tell you, though, the 2 hour wait in the waiting room was not really a good thing!

    But the IV dilaudid was a good thing!
  • it was just after my last operation {nov 07} i was still in pain and felt unwell when i left the hospital.but i tried to carry on as normal ..i was discharged on nov 5 and within 3 days i was in so much pain we went back to the ER and was told that there was NOTHING that could be done ..go home and take your pain killers and rest ,..,so i did ..still in pain weeks on my doctor upped my oxycontin ..that settled things for a bit but it was near Christmas and it was bout the 20 dec 07 and i was in agony so off to the ER we went and yet again the same thing ..go home and take your pain killers .it was a waste of time .even when i went for my follow up with the surgeon and told him that i was still in pain he said ..well i did my best and i can't operate on you any more ..go home and take your pain killers !! ..so it has been going on like this for the last 3 years now .hence the up and coming discography and possible multi level fusion ..
    we have it bad ..dont we!!
  • i am 3 weeks out of surgery and in tears from pain. my NS wants to see me tomorrow at 3pm. i wan to go and try and get relief but is it worth it? should i just wait another 24 hours without being able to move and in tears just to go see him or should i risk the Er?
  • Jconner,

    If you can hold out and see your NS tomorrow I would. I mean the ER can reduce the pain with IV pain meds, but your NS is going to be more acquainted with your condition and know what is best for you. Just my thoughts. You might give the emergency number a call and see what they have to say.
  • If your pain is so bad you should call your Surgeon now and see if he helps you or tell you what to do. 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
  • the ER doesn't see us as we all see each other. They see us as 'drug seekers' and there is a huge, ugly stigma to those with back pain. I hate the ER...and I'm a nurse!
  • that he rarely sends people to the ER because they really can't do much. I called him yesterday moring. He added neurotin to my regimen and changed my muscle relazer. It isn't doing anything..I can't even walk. All I do is lay on the floor.

    Tomorrow I am taking a sick day and asking for an emergency appt. I am hoping he can give me another shot..I just need it to last until early October.

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