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Doc is driving me insane!

fishinwidow98ffishinwidow98 Posts: 54
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Pain Medications
I posted on this on another thread a couple days ago but since this is medicine related I wanted to throw it down here to see if anyone had any input.

I had a double-level 360* fusion 9/2/10 and am recovering rather ok I think. Doc weaned me very very quickly off of the Fentanyl patches (within a month) and left me on Neurontin 300mg x3 daily and put me on Percocet 10/325 just 3 weeks ago. In fact he chewed me out for NOT taking the old Percocet 7.5 when I needed it because that would have put me over the limit that was on the bottle. So up my dose goes to 10 mg 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours. So I called yesterday for a refill and the nurse tells me when I come in they will be putting me on Lortab (which I had a horrible reaction to in the beginning of all this mess but I guess that doesn't matter?) And when I picked up my new script they had dropped me back down to the 7.5 mg. I feel like they are treating me like a "seeker". I am overly paranoid about that since I work in the Emergency Room and I see docs do this exact thing DAILY.

I feel I am right in line with a good recovery but I still have a LOT of pain on certain days and at certain times. I still have a LOT of nerve pain and have fallen 5 times since my surgery when my foot feels like it's asleep. I walk, I even attended my kids football games, I have lost 43 pounds since my surgery and I don't abuse the meds. I get angry when I feel like I am being persecuted for my pain...

Anyway my question is this- how do I get the doc to listen to ME and not rush my recovery? I need to express to him that THIS medicine is barely keeping me hanging on as is- why would he put me on a lesser dose for one and why would he want to put me on a hydro med (which is known for short term effects as opposed to oxy meds long term usages). I sincerely feel this has to do with the face that I am a work comp case because when I had my lesser surgery 2+ years ago this same physician threw intense narcotics at me like candy (much of which I still have!) HELP!!!


  • Can you ask some of the doctors you work with if the can recommend a better doctor?
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I WISH!! Since my case is Workers Comp I have to go to who the company sends me to. The doc was more than competent before- I just don't understand why he has a problem now... I'm stuck with the guy.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    but I don't understand your question. Your recovery IS your recovery.

    One of my favorite sayings is "you don't have to let his/her craziness be your craziness". You seemed to be concerned that your doc RX'd you for Norco instead of Percocet .... That should be a good thing .... the need for a less strong med. I understand your concern about ANY bad reactions and maybe he should be reminded of the problems you had with Norco before.

    But (there's always a but) you said that you still have a have a bit of your meds from before left over. Sure doesn't sound like you take your meds for kicks to me!

    I guess I would remind him that you have had bad effects from Norco before and your concern that your pain would not be managed "optimally" and see what he reccomends

    After dealing with the whole gamut of meds (from Oxy to Methadone to MScontin to Fentynl) over the past 6 years I am starting to believe that less is more.

    Yes I believe that those of us with chronic pain or post surgical acute pain are "discriminated" against in many cases because of our need for opiate based adequite pain relief ..... it boils down to the relationship you have with your doctor, and your short term and long term goals on the useage of powerful pain meds.

    Me - myself .... I am going to work with my doctor towards a "drug holiday" as I have been on too many meds for too long ... and have been having negative ancillary effects because of them. At some point the solution can become itself a problem .... so in summary ... try not to get upset - stand up for your rights - and keep the lines of communication with you doctor(s) very open and honest. I am sure that there will be a middle ground solution.

    Remain calm and discuss your concerns with your doc ...


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  • Why not try the direct approach? Tell him how you are feeling, and if it comes to it, ask him directly "Are you cutting me down in my doses so fast because you think I am a seeker or something?" Sometimes reality shocks work wonders! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You tell him those things.

    You have made a lot of guesses as to his motives and a lot of predictions as to his reaction, but so far all you have is a discussion with a nurse. Ask the doctor!

  • In my opinion your doc is playing with you medications and with you pain I know an some point you need to go down on you medication but this is not the time yet. it's only been three months since you ve got a major surgery
  • I believe I will be frank with him when I see him and worry about THAT outcome later. My concern is that it's been short term since the surgery, 3 weeks ago he told me to take take tak the meds this week I am being told to prepare to be on a lesser med. I'm confused and scared and upset... still all a BIG adjustment.

    Thanks for the opinions and suggestions!
  • Sometimes that's the only way to be! Now as HappyHB pointed out, if most of your information has been via the nurse, I would definitely make sure you get with the doctor. Please let us know how it goes. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Talking to your doctor, or his PA, is so important post-op. You need to feel like you have access to him when you need him. It sounds like there is miscommunication going on, and some of it may be internal in his office.

    I am recovering from 2-level PLIF (9/29/10) and talked to my surgeon's assistant, who prescribes all my meds, sometimes three times a week in the first fews weeks after my fusion! Most of my calls were about pain control, naturally. I came home on oxycodone and then it was upped to Dilaudid in the first week, then back to the oxy. At 2 1/2 weeks he suggested I go off the oxy and onto 7.5/325 hydrocodone (Vicodin) and I said okay, although I was concerned it was way too early to do that. It turns out my concerns were unnecessary as 7.5 hydrocodone took care of my muscle pain just fine. A couple of weeks later he lowered it to 5/325 hydrocodone and again, I was fine. I am now off all hydrocodone and just taking Lyrica for residual nerve pain.

    I agree with Metalneck--sometimes, less is more. What I wish for you is improved communication with your surgeon and a reduction in your pain so your recovery can go more smoothly. Let us know how it goes for you. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • My doc is awesome but his PA is a jerk (sorry- but its true). My doc and I have a good report or so I thought. I placed a call and hope for clarification soon...
  • You know, is it possible they just want to see progress in pain reduction by a certain timeframe? Not a certain level, just progress.

    I don't know, just a thought. It sounds like your main issue is that he's not listening, and that the reduction was so drastic. If the PA hasn't ever been through this, he might not realize how psychologically drastic that jump feels.

    I hope your chat with the doc clears it up! My post-op pain control will all be handled by my PM, as my surgeon basically does the types of pain meds that someone who was not on meds for chronic pain would take. I will be getting oxycodone and stronger fentanyl patches- I want to test the oxy beforehand and make sure it doesn't make me sick!
  • Be straight with your doc, but don't forget to be straight with yourself too. Surgery is all about trying to stabilize and fix the pain generator. If successful, then reduction or elimination of pain meds is a natural progression. In all fairness, the attitude towards prescribing opiates 2 years ago was so entirely different than it is today. So even though he "threw" the heavier meds at you last time and isn't this time, it may have absolutely nothing to do with you and have everything to do with the current atmosphere in the pharmaceutical world.

    If you have had a bad reaction to a specific medication, then it's important that the prescribing doc be reminded. If he won't listen to you, bring it up to your pharmacist and let the "professionals" discuss it.

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Do you want to keep this doctor as your phy? Although this doctor is your doctor of record through workers comp. you have the right to seek the help of other phys. Contact workers comp and ask to speak to the person that handles your claims. Explain to them the issues you are having and ask for permission to see a pain management doctor or any other phy, you would like to see, just make sure it is a doctor that takes workers comp. To change your doctor of record there are certain forms that must be filled out, I believe it is called a c-9 form, not sure on that it has been awhile since i have dealt with workers comp. claims. Your case worker should be able to give you names of doctors who are BWC providers. Just because this is a workers comp. claim does not mean you have to settle for who your phy. is.
  • I am less than 3 months post op from major back surgery. The ONLY person who knows my pain level is me. As a health professional I am aware of the parameters for reducing pain medications and his way is not effective for me. Opiate or not- he decided to treat me with this med which HAS been effective. The fact that I am honest with him as to how often I take them and am trying to be proactive about my treatment and he continues to swing me from med to med regardless of effectiveness is maddening. I am not trying to stay in a permanent state of medication but I know my body and I know where I am in my recovery and he is moving a LOT faster than I care to. I will see how this appointment goes before I jump into looking into a new physician but I am leaning towards that as an option.
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