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Need your opinion....

caitycccaityc Posts: 268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Pain Medications
Ok, I will try to make this as short as possible... :o)

I moved for CA to AZ March 2009. Met with my new primary. Brought x-rays and MRI, explained my condition, she had no problem prescribing my meds (Norco, Flexeril and Mobic). After a few months she told me she wanted me to go to a pain management doc. Sure, no problem.

I met with (let's say) Dr. Z, he's a great doctor and a great man. In the past year I have had 4 epidurals. They helped my leg pain, but never touched my back pain. January of this year he tells me he wants me off the Norco (he began prescribing my meds when I transferred to him, no problem) for 3 weeks so he can evaluate my "true" pain. OK, kinda scared, but no problem. After the 3 weeks, I go and see him, he evaluates me. I'm thinking he is then going to put me back on the Norco (which, by they way, he did not tell me he had no intention of putting me back on once the 3 weeks was up), but he didn't. He tells me he doesn't believe in narcotics, that they only mask pain and allow you to do things that can further damage your back, etc. I started crying. I cried because the past 3 weeks had been hell, and I felt like I was totally screwed. I told him I have to have something. He told me he would put me on Tramadol, a non-narcotic. I was TOTALLY ok with that. If a non-narcotic works for my pain, GREAT. So off I went with the Tramadol. It proceeded to take the edge off the pain. It didn't work as well and the Norco, but I was not about to ask to be put back on it.

So fast forward to almost 2 weeks ago when I went back to my primary for some unrelated issues. Without even planning on it, I wound up telling her that I feel that I have come to the end of the road with Dr. Z. He's given me 4 epi's that haven't worked. I also told her the Tramadol just wasn't effective in controlling my pain. But that Dr. Z had said he didn't believe in narcotics, etc. She told me she had no problem prescribing me something, but that she would have to talk to him first, just to touch base. I had no problem with that. I understood why.

Bottom line is that she prescribed me 2 5/525 Norcos a day. I was on 3 10/325 daily before I was taken off. I take 5 50mg Tramadols a day.

I'm feeling as if they don't trust me. I have heard from both of them, that they know I am not a "drug seeker", and that my condition warrants pain meds. But why would she prescribe such a small amount? When her nurse called me to tell me the doc sent the prescription in to the pharmacy, she told me my doc wanted her to tell me that she will not be prescribing these on a regular basis, yet the prescription has a refill. I'm so confused.

Do you think they are concerned I am abusing meds? Or are they starting me out with a low dosage, so I have room to gradually increase my dosage? These are more retorical questions, but I'm wondering what you would think if this was you?

Don't worry, I have an appt. to discuss this with her. I'm not sure if they still want me to take the Tramadol, and use the Norco for break through? I'm just confused. :(

Thank you all so much for listening, and your opinions. I really appreciate it!!!



  • Did you sign any contract with Dr. Z saying that you would not get pain medication from anyone other than him?

    I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. When us chronic pain patients take our meds responsibly, we deserve to be treated with more respect. Some physicians are very hesitant to prescribe narcotics.

    Hope your next appointment goes well.

    Best wishes,

  • Caity ~ hugs~

    My sister takes tramadol and norco but she takes 150 mg of tramadol in the am and again in the pm. The norco she takes only as needed. Some days she doesn't take it but then some days she does. Tramadol takes time to build up in your system, from what my sis says there could be a difference in the generic vs label as well.

    Can you get a "new" second opinion from a NS or OS. If they still say your not a surgery candidate maybe they can refer you to a new PM who might offer a scs or pain pump? Do you have a tens unit? I still use mine and I use ice and heat daily.

    When was the last time you had an MRI to check your spine & damage? Things can degenerate- getting a new set of eyes on the problem might be a good idea.

    I recently was reffered to PM. He changed my meds, I thought the Norco 10 mg were not doing anything for my pain. I was allowed 1-2 every 6-8 hours but rarely took more than 3 per day. The med change has been difficult. I have had chronic nausea for the last 2 months or so, rashes, headaches/migraines etc. I am exhausted every day, and don't like the new meds. I have changed them 2x's already! I was on the Norco for 3-4 years with no problem- what was I thinking? I feel over medicated but when I don't take the meds my pain levels get so high I am out of my mind. Kind of a catch 22.

    Try to Feel Better & stay Positive >:D<

  • hi! meds are such a problem for us pain patients.. it is difficult to be labeled a "drug seeker" and to be disbelieved... i lived in Hawaii for 3 years and finally had to leave there because i could not get medication.. they have very strict laws there.. and finding a doctor who believed me enough to give me proper medication, even with my other doctor's findings and medical results, became impossible..living in mexico was a different experience.. i had a great doctor, and enough medication to keep me comfortable. every place is different..moving away from my current doctor is something i would not want to do!!! anyway, i would not think she is going to be giving you more meds... they both sound as if they want you off the meds.. perhaps it is time to find a new doctor on your own.. someone who will take time with you and follow your condition and believe you!!!! i am sure you have medical proof as well and that just makes me so angry!!! how do they expect you to get by on such a little bit of medication,2 Norco and Tramadol at that?? i wish you the best of luck.. i hope you are feeling better soon! Jenny :)
  • Marianne - I did not have to sign a contract with my pain doc. He did mention to me at one of my visits that he does have certain patients sign one, but that in my case he did not find it necessary. I have never had an issue with abusing my meds, so he didn't feel it necessary to go that route.

    Julie and Lulu- My MRI is super clear that I have serious issues. My last MRI was in March. I plan on getting another one soon, because now I have noticed that I have hesitancy urinating. And knowing about the epidural fibrosis that was discovered on my last MRI (caused by scar tissue), I'm afraid the tissue has grown, and I'm on my way to cauda equina. The problem is hubby is unemployed :S (has an interview 11/22 so wish us luck!), and although I do have Medicare as a SS Disability recipient, we don't have the money for the deductible and co-insurance. ~X( I have faith we will soon though. :)

    I have considered perhaps trying a new pain management doc, but don't want to be labeled as "Doctor Shopping". I've heard too many horror stories from people on this board who are honest, and truly in pain, and were not treated fairly, and "labeled". It's so funny though because I don't even know if I'm supposed to keep taking the Tramadol with the Norco, what meds my primary is going to prescribe. I told her I felt my pain management doc has helped me all he can. So is she going to prescribe my Flexeril and Mobic too? So many questions.....

    My medical records are on their way to a highly recommended neuro surgeon in Phoenix. Their policy is to review all my records, MRI's, etc., and THEN decide if they will even see me. So now I am just waiting for the call....

    Thank you for responding so quickly. You guys have given me so much support that is so appreciated. >:D<

  • My primary is also taking over all of my meds. I ran out of my Mobic (anti inflammatory) so she refilled my prescription. It's for one 15mg Mobic daily. I have taken two 15mg Mobics for 2 years. So I thought it was just a mix up. I called her office on Friday and left her a message. Her nurse calls me today and says the doctor said that if I am taking 15 mgs, then I only take one a day. If I take 7.5 mgs, then I take 2 a day. I told her "OK, I always took 30 mgs daily, but OK, thanks".

    I just don't know whats going on! My husband is unemployed, so I don't even have the money to pay for the co pay to discuss this with her. So I was never able to go to the first appointment, but thought she could just address my prescription questions over the phone. Her nurses guard her like shes the president, no joke!

    My husbands job interview was bumped to today (he actually just left for it), and I really hope he gets this job. We are supporting 5 people on $800 a month, and that doesn't even cover utilities. You can see why I have no co pay money.

    As soon as I can though, I am going in to figure out what is going on. I just feel like I am losing support. =((

    Thank you everyone,

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