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Does anyone else feel weird talking to your dr/asking for pain medicatoins?

DonnabeDDonnabe Posts: 597
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Pain Medications
I always completely feel nervous and awkward about it. I guess there is such a stigma about pain medications that I feel like I am a bad/weak person asking for drugs.

I also really like my doctor and don't want him to think I am a druggie or something!

Am I just weird or is this normal???? What can I do so the doctor does not think I am a druggie? (I am not I just want pain control!!)
ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg


  • I really have no issues talking to my doctor about pain medications. If your file is well documented and you need them, then there shouldn't be a issue. The problem always comes in on how people ask for medications. For example if you say "I only use xyz, and it is the only thing that works for me, or I need exactly 5 of xyz to make me feel better". As long as you are letting the doctor be the doctor and you just the patient, you shouldn't have any issues. I do keep a journal of my pain so we can go over how I am doing on my current medications. Which I thinks help him see, that there maybe a problem. Sometimes I go in and while I might be having a increase in pain, I don't ask for a change in meds. Typically when I go through pain spikes, I just get through them and keep with my same dosing as always. It is when the pain has continued on that level for more than a month is when I am talking about a change. Now due to the laws here, and the medications I use, I do see my physiatrist once a month. So I will give him a heads up one month that next month I might be needing a change if it doesn't let up. He will typically give me some choices to look at and then on my return if the pain has let up, I won't change, but if it has continued then we change.

    Basically I am saying it is how you go about, makes all the difference in the world. But you should never be afraid to discuss anything with your doctor.
  • It feels "weird" because we have read (in the media) so much about it being wrong to take pain medication, and because there is such a negative spin on the subject of opiates, overdose, and pain medication in general. And if we are not in 'real' pain the media would be right about that, making the reader/listener feel threatened.

    If you put all of that crap out of your mind and focus on your true thoughts and feelings there will be nothing to be nervous or awkward about. If you really like your Dr., and you have a Dr./Patient relationship, s/he isn't going to be focused on what the media is saying, but what you are saying. Actually, your Dr will be focused on you rather than the media, regardless of how good your relationship is (lol).
    Donnabe said:
    What can I do so the doctor does not think I am a druggie? (I am not I just want pain control!!)
    Ask yourself this--What are you doing that makes you think that your Dr would think that you would be a druggie, and then don't do that. Nobody can teach you how to talk to your Dr. so that he will give you a specific medication, but I can give you some advice that was passed along to me once here at SH by 'C'. Let the Dr be the Dr., and you be the patient. You can go in prepared with a list if your the type who might forget things once you get there. Even if you're not, having a list of questions, things to remember can keep you focused and just more likely to stay on track-helps the appt. go more smoothly, and I have found (at least in my experience/s) that most Drs seem to listen to me better when I have a list in hand. I don't know why. Maybe they understand that I am taking myself & this appt seriously??

  • If I am hurting I ask. I don't like vicodin or oxycodone so I try and get something a little milder that will still do the trick. My doctor knows me well enough that he trusts me when I say I need something.

    Like the above post I always make up a list.

    There is no reason to be in pain when you can help control it. And pain control is essential for healing not to mention daily living.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Thanks for your thoughts everyone! The first time I went to this doctor, (the neurosurgeon), I actually brought an outline/timeline of my symptoms and treatments. He loved it and kept a copy of it!!

    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I suffered needlessly for years because I would not ask out of fear of being labeled an addict. I finally got to the place where I could not care less what anyone thought, I have pain and deserve relief so that I can have my life back. I do not try to tell my PM what I need, just what’s going on and leave the rest up to her.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Unfortunately there is a negative view of Narcotic pain medications. You can look in almost any journal, media source and you will find something about the DEA, Pain Medication abuse, etc.

    That is why I think so many of us are somewhat timid when it comes to talking to our doctors about pain medications.

    Like, Tam, I have had zero problems dealing with this with my doctor. We have an excellent relationship and we trust one another without doubt. She very conservative and monitors all medications.

    She told me from the beginning, pain medications are important part of the overall treatment. She knows when someone is in pain vs someone that is just looking for some extras.

    I've been on Oxycontin,Oxycodone, Opana and Opana ER for at least the past 6 years. Now, I am just using Opana 5mg PRN. But I have no problem asking my doctor if there is something else or that the current medication is not working.

    I do not have any pain contract with her, she does this with many patients, but she has told me she trusts me. My scripts are always used as I am told, I keep daily journals of all medication input.

    The other day, I went to see her for a follow up. (She exists on 30day visits as long as I am on narcotics and 60 day blood work) I am having some hip issues right now that is making walking tough. She asked me how was on doing on the Opana, I told her its keeping it tolerable, but that I have had to increase the daily dosage. (The script states 1-2 tablets a day every 8 hours PRN). I have been normally using 3 pills a day, but recently increased to 5. So she added Opana ER for a month to help me get pass this.

    So really its all a matter of trust. It is so very important to establish effective communications with your doctor. Once that happens, there should never be an uncomfortable moment when discussing pain medications.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I feel the same way!!!!!!!
  • I had a doc for 5 years and a good relatiosnhip with him. He saw me through my first neck surgery,,, and a nerve problem wit hmy hand and many sinus infeections. He was a good listnerer, patient and compasionate and when i needed a narcotic ,,he usually gave me a script.

    He left to go to another state and i had to start all over with a new doc. I have had him for a year and yes,,,i was nervous. He had sent all my records into storage and wanted a clean slate i guess so he didnt have much info on my past.

    Hes getting to know me and this incidence with my back i think has established that im not a addict,. He did see when this injury first disp[layed itrself i was having muscle spasmas so knew something was wrong. He gave me tramdol and soma. He was a little conservative towards the end ... when i had to keep asking him for a refilll because there was no eveidence i had anything wrong. The last time i saw him he gave me a script for tramdol ( i think he rarely prescribes anything stronger) and said i would probbably have to go to a pain clinic.

    Butthat was b efore the MRI RESULTS CAME IN.The day i got the results in and my syrgeon saw them i was in the hop[sital in two days, Now he has a concrete record for himself that i have'conditions" that may require a pain med from time to time.

    In 4 more weeks ill be put back under my doctors care. Im going to have a apointment with him to have a catch up on all this. Ill need therapy after the neck wrap comes off and probbably will need at least tramadol to keep me going. What he will do is yet to be seen. So far he has been nice but this situation will tell me how tolereant he his about giving pain meds. At least he has eveidence now that im not making stuff up.

    I understand about doctors and being uneasy about asking them for meds. Last year i had a OBYGN that had a idea that women tended to wine and were wussies for thier complaining( at least from her comments thats is what wa sbewing communicated to me,,she had a bit of a over bearing personality)! She didnt seem to have much empathy and undertanding of some peoples inability to deal with intense pain . She wanted to put a birth control device in me to shut me down ( or shut me up) about my compalints of pain. I wasent going to put up with hormones being pumped into me so i decided to deal with uterus pain and decided to no longer go to OBYGN anymore.

    So there are doctors out there that seem suspicious ,, and tempermental about given even tramadol fro long term.. Its a stingma. One cant alwyes prove pain. So if they cant see it for sure on a test or exray,, i think they are trained to be skeptics.

    so yes,,,i do understand the awkwardness!

    Thankfully this condition was proven with the MRI AND THIS NEW DOCTOR WHO HAS BEEN PRETTY NICE SO FAR has his proof that im not a closet junkie.

    Its sad that people with real pain issues are made to pay the price for others abuse... or made to feel because they cant "take it like a man" they are weak.I think when doctors themselves as humans exsperince intense pain that cant be relived with a ice pack or Motrin or see somebody they love suffer,,, They may sofetn up and try to listen just a tad more to those that turn to them for help.
  • Anyone especialy if they already had surgery in no way should have an issue asking dr for something for pain. Even if person has had no surgery but is willing to go through some of these test like mylogram and discogram and such has no worry because you would have to be crazy to go through some of these tests just to get meds. I am sure for a dr its a no brainer. I am sure a drug seeker would not go have these tests done when some are so painfull. They would just want the drug and thats it. I dont understand why anyone in serious pain would be afraid to ask for medication especialy if you know if you end up in er and they will pronably ask you well if you are treated by a dr why did you not tell him and ask him for medication if you knew you was hurting this bad.

    These medications are for the reason for conditions most of us have and you going to worry about asking for it and let the drug seeker get it instead. I dont have the ability to worry about who will think what when i am in pain. Thats the last thing on my mind,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • My GP is somewhat conservative, but follows (most times) the recommendations of my pain management Dr.

    I also tend to be very honest with the Dr's, and completely up-front with them.

    At one time I told a Dr I was ready to go to the seedy side of town and try to score some Heroin, just to get relief.
    He didn't blink, or miss a beat, just suggested that it wasn't the best course of action for pain relief etc. as it didn't last long etc.
    He asked if I'd tried Cannabis - yes, but no real relief from pain, just relief from the teeth grinding and near insanity that comes with chronic pain.

    I currently take, as my primary pain med., 100mcg Fentanyl every 2 days, alternating between sides, on outer bicep, covered with micropore dressing to help hold it in place.
    2 days has become the absolute limit of relief they give me.
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