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How to ask Doc for a different pain med?

oliversmommaooliversmomma Posts: 24
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Pain Medications
Hey everyone!

I am new to the site and very thankful I've found ya'll!
I am scheduled to have ACDF on 3/7. I am in tremendous pain and am trying to be patient for the surgery. Right now, I am taking Lortab 7.5/500's for the pain. They seemed to be helping in the beginning but now they barely help with the pain and within 2-3 hours, I'm back to feeling terrible. I have to be able to get through the next two weeks. I don't know if I'll make it being in this much pain. I am wanting to call my Dr. tomorrow and ask for something a little stronger or a different med. Any suggestions on what else could help?


  • It's really not a great idea to up your medication right before surgery, otherwise you will have a harder time staying on top of the pain after the operation and during recovery when your acute pain is going to be higher. If you are really finding it difficult talk to your Dr., well .. you should discuss this with your Dr. anyway, but try not to take it personally if (s)he asks you to wait until after your operation.
  • I agree. I am in such bad pain for over 2 months now that at times I think I can't bare it any longer. BUT I have surgery coming up on March 15th and already know that controlling my pain afterwards will be a BIG chore. If I get my meds upped now it will be worse.

    I know that sounds harsh. It is not meant to in ANY way :hug:

    I currently get about 4 to 5 hrs a day of lower pain levels and the rest I have to "suck up". Which is TOUGH to do :(

    I pretty much fit everything of a 12 hr day into those few hours - cooking, cleaning etc.

    I had surgery in Oct 09 and afterwards OMG! The pain was unreal and very very hard for the Drs to control due to current meds.

    PS: I also want to say "hi" :wave: & welcome you to this site. Please do keep us posted on how you are doing :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Thanks for the info ladies. I guess that does make sense. Just really frustrating and depressing. Two more weeks isn't that long I guess compared to how long I've had the pain.
  • I've been in your shoes (awaiting surgery, in pain) a few times now and I would say that your best bet would be to just lay low (reduce activity, do nothing that increases pain) for the next couple of weeks until your surgery BECAUSE if you increase your med dosage or amount this close to your surgery date...the meds (any narcotic prescribed to you) won't be as effective afterward and you'll wish you didn't increase them now.

    I've actually DECREASED my dosage before-hand on a couple of occasions and man was I glad that I did...they worked as advertised for me! Best wishes, hope your operation is a great success!

  • The other consideration is that you are taking a short acting pain medication so you are only going to get somewhere between 3-5 hours of pain relief with those type of medications anyway.
    And the others are right, with your surgery coming up so quickly, changing your medication to another at this point is only going to complicate matters post op when you are really going to need and want better pain control.
    Best of luck to you with your surgery and recovery,
  • Maybe you can call and in place of a pain med increase see about getting a muscle relaxer to help out. I am sure if you need cervical spine surgery, your having some degree of muscle spasms. You will also need that med post surgery anyway, but a lower dose now may go a long way. Good luck with surgery and keep us posted on how you get along. Also don't forget heat and ice that might help reduce your pain levels.
  • Thank you everyone for your replies. I guess I do need to just wait it out. I'm sure the pain will be worse after the surgery. Just very difficult seeming I work full time, go to school full time, and I'm a wife and a mother. It's extremely hard getting through the day with this much pain. I called the Dr. and requested a muscle relaxer so hopefully this will help. I'm having extreme muscle spasms at night in my neck and upper back so this might actually help me to get a little rest. Once again, thanks for all your insight.
  • Before my most recent med change, the PM doc suggested adding ibuprofen or another NSAID to my vicodin to give it a bit more of a boost.

    It does seem to help.
  • with my family doctor and he understands that i know a grate deal about my condition {in fact i have given talks to junior doctors at the surgery and at my home regarding back pain and i was asked to attend a meeting at the hospital to talk to about 50 young doctors about back pain and how it effect me as a patient's {could not attend as i was too ill ...but i did talk to the doctors at the surgery and at my home } anyway ..all i do is ask my doctor if; whatever; will work on my condition and we go from there ..the best way is to be honest about your condition and if you have an understanding doctor you should be fine ..well that my experience anyway
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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