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Just a vent - my post auto accident visit at the pain clinic

denali_iceddenali_ice Posts: 28
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Chronic Pain
I am not sure if this post is better suited somewhere else, if so, then please feel free to move it. Much of this is what I emailed to a friend last night but I think I really need to share with others who have been through similar.

I was in a minor auto accident on this past Saturday (2/5) - low speed and appears to be minor damage to my van. Even less damage to her car. (She pulled out from a gas station in front of me as I was driving down the road.)

I knew that there as no new injury but within a couple of hours, I knew that my existing injury was in for heck of a flare up. As with many others here, I am under a pain medication contract with my pain clinic. No big deal, right?

Here's the run down of my appt which I was VERY lucky to get as quick as 4 days after my accident.

I arrived to the pain clinic and was treated wonderfully by the nursing staff (as I always am.) BP was 160/111. I thought the nurse was going to have a stroke. I wasn't at all surprised - I thought it would be higher. Anyway, the Dr....sometimes I really just don't get him at all. Ultimately I am glad I was referred to the surgeon as I really have to hope that this will take care of most of my issues. I can't keep going back and forth with the pain clinic and the lack of adequate medication or even a reasonable attempt to control my pain. I have never ONCE asked for anything unreasonable. I have not missed one single day of work, one football game (for my son - I have stood or walked or paced through them), one birthday party, one school concert, or anything else required of me in spite of this injury. I even return to work AFTER a medical procedure when other people won't do so if they have a hang nail. (For the record, I don't fault people such as us who miss days of work, miss events, can't work etc. My marriage ended last year and I am a single mom of 4 kids. I try to protect all the leave time that I can at work. I am not at all trying to project to you that I am superwoman. I am just about to the end of what I can take with all the crap and trying to hold it all together until surgery in May. I really wanted to clear that up so as not to offend anyone. I am a mess every day.)

He asked me why I didn't go to the ER???!!! Ummm hello??? Because you made me sign a contract stating that I wouldn't obtain any pain medication for this injury from anyone other than you. This is not a new injury.

Whatever. That conversation kind of went downhill.

I told him my surgery date. He seemed to think that it needed to be sooner. "Dr. (Surgeon) can't schedule you any earlier than that?" So I explained to a Dr. that I would need help with my kids after surgery.

His "solution" today to my increased pain was another ESI. So yes... like a blooming idiot, after 4 days of hell after a minor accident waiting to see him, I consented to another needle and I am deeply regretting it.
No muscle relaxers for the spasms b/c it's "nerve pain." Even though he agreed with me that spasms can increase nerve pain...but he's putting it on the "stress" of the accident and not on the impact and jarring , apparently.

No increase on the topamax (medication for nerve pain) as now he is telling me that I am on the max dosage. 100 mg twice a day. (though my research indicates I should be able to at least be able to work up to doubling this.)

No increase on pain meds - doesn't really want me to increase them before surgery - which I don't DISAGREE with at all. I just need to get back to MY current baseline. *I* am the one who declined oxycontin on at least 2 separate occasions last year when he wanted me on it. *I* wasn't ready to take that step as we had not yet looked at other treatment options (such as surgery) - why the heck would I want to screw up my post surgical pain control potential this close to surgery.

Sleep? Hell. Who needs to sleep. I bring up the sleep issue at every appt and whatever. I suppose I can sleep for the two hours that I am actually in surgery. I give up.

Honestly, what I expected was a couple of strong muscle relaxers (or something similar) and a really strong oral anti inflammatory as I am assuming that the impact casused additional inflammation. As to stress? *LOL* He has no idea about stress. This is nothing. MY insurance is going to deal with everything. That is what my $250 deductible is for. My insurance will go after hers. End of story.

I just need to get back to where I was before Sat. morning. Things weren't pretty and pain free before 10:20 am but they were better than they are now.

I have no real hope that the steroid in the injection will help calm things. The past three did next to nothing. (Though, I would love to be wrong!!) I will say that this was the most painful one that I experienced and that is saying something. Perhaps that is a good sign? Wait. There I go trying to be hopeful again.

Oh, as a side note - not (auto) accident related but this keeps coming up as well with him. He doesn't seem to believe that the weakness in my leg is weakness since I have the ability to stand on my toes. Now, I am not sure how Dr's define weakness but I have always phrased it to him, each Dr, and physical therapist as "the right leg feels different than the left." I have always let them define it based on my descriptions and their own observations. Everyone (other than him) uses the term "weakness" and the surgeon noted sensory differences in his exam. Hopefully those are not permanent and will be reversed when there is no longer any pressure on the nerve.

Vent over. Just needed to get some of this out. I have no more follow ups with him scheduled unless I NEED to go in. My surgery is scheduled for May 2nd. Let's just hope that no one else pulls out in front of me. :)

Hope everyone else has a great day!



  • Many times I sit at home and wonder why I can't make my neurologist (he's handling medications for me) understand what I am feeling. I talk to him once a week on the phone and see him once a month. He never rushes me. But somehow I can never make him understand.

    I also wonder if the medications I am taking are enough of a benefit to be worth the side effects. My most recent addition is Topomax which I only take at night because it knocks me out. I can't imagine how you have trouble sleeping with that one :) . Today the depression had me thinking about stopping everything and then I remembered how bad that feels. But geez is it worth trading old problems for new problems?

    Then there are the days when I wonder if my doctor is just guessing...sounds like your doc with the injection. First thing I had after my accident was an antiinflamitory to bring down swelling and then a muscle relaxant to relieve spasms. That's the problem with researching the treatments...you know so much that you begin to second guess your doctor which can be good and bad.

    Well I hope that a few days will settle everything down for you. Time does heal some wounds.
  • Hi; and sorry for all you are going thru.

    Besides the pain meds, which i agree with you on not taking the strong stuff, that just hides the pain, and you will need it after the surgery.
    So dont take it now or your body will develope a tolerance to it and it wont work as good.

    Also they have to get your BP down. I went thru that before my surgery, and mine was 150/90, and the NS had me take a stress test, to make sure i was not a risk of being a medical emergency.

    Good luck to ya.
  • Kris - Topamax doesn't make me tired. Rather, if it does.. I still hardly ever really sleep. When I do sleep and I wake, I am beyond exhausted. "They" say that the cure for insomnia is an alarm clock.

    Jim - Yes, the BP is a concern of mine. I am convinced that it will continue to be an issue and I will be establishing an appt with a general provider as I don't want any last minute surprises. A year ago I was active and pain free. That has not been the case for rather a long time now.
  • Denali- are you an Alaskan?

    "If" you get real uncomfortable and can't take it call his office and tell them your meds are not cutting it. At the very least there will be a record and they may possibly get you what you truely need. Like a couple valium to get the spasms/flare back under control.

    Feel better >:D<

  • Julie - yes, I am in Fairbanks, actually. I certainly may change my mind, but placing a call to his office right now is not on my list of things to do. However, one of his nurses should call me early next week as a "well check follow up" to the procedure.

    I was able to rip the bandage off this morning so at least I can use the TENS again today. It does nothing for the nerve pain but it does at least feel nice.
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