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Needing any help I can get!

como kidccomo kid Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Chronic Pain
Hey all this will be my second post. Short background on me: I am 24 and an ortho nurse. I have 4 herniated discs ( T6-T7, T8-T9, L3-L4, L4-L5 is the worst) I have arthritis of the spine and have a deformity where my L5(transverse process) is tilted over and has actually formed a joint with my left hip. All I take for pain control is tylenol and ibuprofen with an occasional flexeril for muscle spasms.

Part of my problem is that when I was 16 I started having abdominal/chest pain and was told for 2 yrs it was acid reflux only to end up in the hospital with pancreatitis and needing my gallbladder removed emergently. It was horrible. All that "acid reflux" had been me passing gallstones for 2 years. The doctors never believed I was in as much pain as I said I was. The other part of my problem is being in health care and knowing how doctors think. Also knowing what some patients are like.

Flash forward to now. I am dealing with back pain daily and it is seriously starting to effect my life. I just had an ESI which seems to only have decreased my pain by probably 20%. I am afraid to ask for pain meds or options because, well I am never sure that the doctors believe my pain. I also think that the doctors think my pain can't possibly be as bad as I say it is. I handle pain well (or at least I think I do). At the pain level I am in regularly I am miserable most of the time. I am too young for a surgeon to consider surgery or any other plan of treatment really. I need better pain control though. I just don't want to be thought a drug seeker. My anxiety about what my doctor will think or tell me about my pain is so great that at the moment I am choosing to live with it and avoid an office visit. I'm not sure how much longer I can last though. My biggest fear is my doctor telling me there is no reason for my pain and even though I have diagnosed problems I worry he still thinks there is no reason for my pain. I worry I'm becoming a hypochondriac maybe my problems aren't as bad as I think. Any advice, help, support, or wisdom appreciated. Thank you in advance!



  • With all of the problems you have I can't imagine a doctor not taking you seriously. It almost sounds like your feel guilty for being in pain! Don't let uncaring doctors scare you away from what your body truly needs.

    I used to just take everything doctors told me as gospel. Now I question everything. I know my body better than anyone else and if I feel something is going on that they are not finding, I am assertive till they find it.

    I have fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, had a spinal fusion in 1998 in L5/S1 and now degenerative discs above it, and last year had terrible hip and low back pain and kept going to my doctors till they found out what was wrong. Turned out I have severe lumbar facet joint disease in the bottom 6 facet joints. I went through a series of facet joint injections which they knocked me out for, but they only helped a little- not worth the $23,000 cost of which I paid $1500. I felt like I was a number there and went back to my well known fibro doctor and go every 2 months for trigger point injections which help the most.

    The last bout of pain through me into serious depression and anxiety, but thanks to intense therapy with my wonderful Christian psychologist and low dose celexa, life is very good again. I have had bad reactions to celebrex, mobic, flexeril, vicodin, tramadol, and ibuprofen so the only thing I can take is aleve. I just started on an herbal anti-inflammatory, zyflamend and am hoping it will do the trick. I also use lidoderm patches on my low back and penetrex cream on the hips. Both help a lot.

    For me it took a mind, body, spirit approach and I have many different kinds of doctors and therapists who help me in different ways. When the pain level gets to the point I can't exercise, I search with my doctor for how to lower it to a level I can cope with. You have to be your own best advocate for your health care. Don't let any doctor intimidate you- be assertive, not aggressive. Know your own body and mind and go with your instinct.

    sue in ohio
  • Thank you so much for your response Sue. I am so glad that you have doctors helping you and you have found a method that works. I admire your tenacity and courage. I think that is what I need to muster up. I need courage to take charge of my own health care. I guess I just dont want to be a complainer or come off pushy. I also don't know if the pain I am feeling is legit. I often wonder if others with similar issues feel the same amount of pain or if maybe I'm just being a big baby. I guess I just need reassurance that with my conditions I should have pain and that there is no issues with trying to do something to alieviate it. I don't want to be made to feel as if I am crazy by a doctor ever again. I have trouble asking for help because it makes me feel weak. Maybe I should be tougher and grit through it. Sorry I know I should childish and stupid. Just waring with myself over my physical needs and emotional insecurities. Take care Sue!
  • CoMO Nurse, Please, tell your Dr/s the same thing that you said here. At some point we do have to bite the bullet and just let go, and trust that what WE say is going to be accepted as our own unique and individual truth. I do understand how you feel, and many many people have been faced with your very same dilemma, even if they don't voice or put it into words. Such a stigma has been put upon the person who is asking for pain relief, try to let it go.
  • Thank you Robin. Beautifully put! I know you are absolutely right. It is hard. Thank you thank you. Your words are a great comfort to me.
  • And - if your doctor doesn't take you seriously, you need a new doctor. You have a lot of issues going on for such a young age and you are way too young to be miserable all the time. It isn't fair to anyone, but when there are pain meds that can keep it at a decent level - then that is what you need to be looking into. Good luck, so sorry to hear anyone dealing with all this crap so young...
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