Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Apparently MY pain is NOT subjective...

fishinwidow98ffishinwidow98 Posts: 54
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Chronic Pain
I had my hardware removed Thurs June 30. My 360* multi level fusion (L4-S1) was in September. Until my surgery I have been on:
Neurontin 300 mg q6* a day
Percocet 10/325 mg 1-2 q4-6* a day PRN
as well as my regular meds for depression & anxiety (this injury has done a number on my sanity- I am sure NO ONE relates to that right? ;))

Since my surgery the doc has kept me on the Neurontin, the Percocet is to be used for "breakthrough" pain management, and I am on Oxy IR 15 mg q3* and Soma. I was released the same day I had the hardware removed because the pain was under control (at the time) but returned to the ER that night because the pain got un-under control quickly. I called the docs office the following morning (mainly because I had had him paged 4 times and he answered NONE of them which irritated me) & his RN informed me that the doc has NO ideas as to why I am hurting and they are just going to send me to a pain specialist so this can be dealt with. Apparently MOST of their patients who have hardware removal surgery leave with Lortab and are fine within a week or 2. Yay for them? /:)

So we changed the dressings last night and I have a lot of drainage (none of which looks concerning to me) but my gf took a pic and there is insane bruising, swelling, and redness. It burns like crazy. The doc's RN says this is normal for me to have heat and pain and that is the way a incision feels when it heals. Um, ok. :?

I realize I am very soon out of surgery but I am tired of being treated like I shouldn't be having the pain I am having. I am still optimistic that this surgery will fix all the issues (back pain AND nerve issues alike!) but I feel like I am being blown off when it comes to my pain concerns. I hurt. A lot. I've been in major pain since I was injured in May of 2010. Due to the previous injury, the clinic I went to did nothing but throw pain meds at me so I have developed a kind of immunity to pain meds. I feel like saying this though makes me look like a "seeker". I work in the ER so I see people come in, laughing, smiling, chatting away on their cell phones, but their pain is a "9" or even better, a "12". I feel strange asking for people to acknowledge MY pain because of what it might look like to the docs & nurses involved. I don't know WHY I have this thought/guilt etc... but it's ridiculous!

Basically what I am asking is- how do I ask for relief when I know it means asking the doc for more meds, stronger meds, etc...? ~X( Between the pain, the disgust at the surgery issues anyway (that's a whole other story in and of itself...) & my irritation and depression- how can I approach my physician without him acting like MY pain is a joke? Bear in mind- it is common thought in the medical community that a patients pain is subjective and we are NOT to question their claims on pain level. It IS still a touchy issue however, especially with people my age (I am only 32) & because apparently I shouldn't BE hurting according to the doctor. #o

I write this after having been up all night, in major pain that I only recently got under control. I am laying on my cold water circulator, and was finally able to get myself propped up with enough pillows to have minimal pressure on my incision and of course my meds have helped. I am exhausted, maybe to the point of anger & additional depression. I just don't know what to do anymore. Please please help y'all!! I)

Thanks for taking the time to read my drama... >:D<


  • Sorry you're having so much pain post-op. I, too, had surgery a month ago, and am having extra pain that I know I shouldn't be having, I wasn't in this much the last time, as well as other issues that my surgeon can't explain so far.

    My question is, does your pcp treat your pain as if it's a joke? If not, then just simply tell him, your pain is not controlled anymore. Print out your post above and have him read it, I think it explains what you're going through pretty clearly, and maybe he'll address your depression/anxiety issues as well. It's perfectly normal, I think, for anyone to have the guilt/shame/whatever it is when it comes to asking for help with controlling pain, especially for someone in the medical field. You are the one who takes care of people, not the one who needs taken care of. It's a hard pill to swallow when you become the patient, pun intended, haha. Are the docs and nurses that you work with part of your medical team, do they know what your issues are and how you're dealing with them? If not, well, there's nothing to really worry about, is there? And even if they do know, you have to take care of you first, because if you don't then you won't be able to take care of anyone else. Don't forget that!!

    Anyways, I hope that your doc can help you out. Just be honest and to the point. Good luck!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Your doc sounds like he has given up. I hate the fact that they can just check out of a case while the patient is stuck!!

    I would give it one more day and then if it is still this bad get into his office tomorrow. I know after my surgery my follow up got pushed out to 12 days because of a holiday. I had called to say the stitches looked like they were getting red and they said it was normal. When the doctor saw my back he grabbed the remover and ripped them all out himself. I could tell he wasn't happy and he asked my why I waited to come in...uhh duh!!
  • I am not seeing my PCP for my pain although I AM seeing my PCP for my anxiety & depression. I was hurt at work so I am seeing the doc that my employer wanted me to see. I don't see the people I work with for my care although if I did I know I would get exceptional care and this wouldn't be an issue at ALL!!!

    Thank you for the giggle. I love punny stuff!
  • When I called yesterday they said they would call me today...we shall see. I wish this doc would pass my case on to his partner. I've heard nothing but wonderful feedback about him. I wish I had had a choice in my care...ugh! I will remain diligent! Wish me luck and thanks for the support!!!
  • I am one member who certainly can understand how the whole work comp process works and it bites is putting it nice. I had one of those surgeons almost the same thing as you once I returned following hardware removal at two weeks he said your all better, although I couldn't talk and was in more pain than prior to the removal. I am a cervical patient so hence the loss of my voice. He declared I developed post nasal drip waking up from surgery. Long and short the best place for me was away from him and back in pain management, as it was clear he didn't want to treat me. I liken it to the employee whom doesn't want to come to work on a given day and you try to force them and something happens cause they are not wanting to be there to begin with. I most certainly don't think your pain is subjective or you deserve that kind of care. But maybe for your sake you should find someone willing to treat your pain like pain management.

    I know the whole pain is subjective and it really messes with someone. The worst part is you understand it more than most working in that field, but you know it hurts and that is all that is important. Hopefully they call you today, but don't count on it. If he made you MMI, then are you free to see whom you want? Hopefully so and you can get someone to get the pain under control. Good to see you are still optimistic about the pain and it is going to get better. So while you might have some depression issues going on, at least your still thinking positive and hopefully this is a minor set back with the hardware removal and things will get much better. Take care and keep us posted.
  • I think one of the worst things about health care workers and pain, is that we see all the fakers, and hear all the stories--we know how much of that crap goes on, and we are terrified of being placed into that group!

    I am always afraid that someone will think I am exaggerating about or making up my pain.

    Just try to remember the pain scale--what it states, and how that applies to you.

    10 is the worst pain you can imagine--you have to use your life experience to decide what the worst pain you can imagine. I can't imagine how bad it must hurt to be badly burned--that is beyond my experience, but I can imagine (and have experienced kidney stones) Therefore to me-a 10 is a kidney stone. This is what works for me, and if anyone were to ask what I would compare the pain to, I do have a valid point of reference.

    Pain is hard in so many ways. Find someone who will listen to you and treat your pain. I hope you are able to get relief.
  • Even though this is a WC claim, you can choose your own Dr. If I were you, I would get an attorney to protect my rights. You shouldn't be suffering like this.

  • Bobbi,

    Work comp is controlled by state laws and not all states allow you to choose your own doctor. If you refuse the doctor you are provided through workcomp you also give up your rights to treatment, and then your insurance can hold you accountable for the monies they pay out for your health care. Some states you can do a one time change but the doctor will have to be agreed upon by both parties. But not all of us can choose our own doctors.
  • Wow...I have no advice but I feel for you. You clearly have a medical team that only cares about their successes and not their challenges. If they were to improve, don't you think they'd want you to be a success and therefore spend some time looking at the incision, bruising, and other 'things' that might be going on after the surgery?

    Frustrated for you!

    Can you ask for your post-operative report and final office visit doctor notes? In the USA it is not uncommon to ask for these so that you, the patient, can have all your records in a single place in the event you move or have issues down the line.

    The post-operative notes are interesting and may give you some insight as to what challenges they encoutered removing the hardware.

    Are they sure you don't have an infection?

    I wish I could give you better advice but your pain IS real. Trust me..it's only subjective as to the level of pain.

    I live with pain. The subjective part is that I've learned how to live with the lower levels of it and 'ignore' those so that I can distinguish when higher pain hits which is less frequent. But no one can tell me I don't have pain. When I first ruptured my disc I minimized the pain though this was silly b/c I couldn't get out of bed. I tried and basically almost passed out from the pain so I ended up in an ambulance ride in which I was virtually in tears from the pain from the movement of the vehicle. When I still minimized my pain at the ER, thank goodness my husband told them everything about how for 10 hours+ I could barely move 2 inches to reach the phone to call for help.

    From that moment on, I do not judge anyone on their pain and trust that if they say they are in pain, they are in pain.

    I hope you find some relief soon.
  • I have a real issue with this , in my opnion, abused procedure called "out patient care".
    I belive its used to much. I dont like the fact of such invasive surgeires such as what people go through here,,and hernia operations that i had last year and people are sent home the same day?
    Its tome to save a $ for the insurance companies.

    Hospitals are suppose to be here for sick or injured people. It seesm top be u have to be almost dying to get a few nights in a hopsital.
    MY doctor told me when he wanted to do this surgery that i could go home the next day. I said NO! I said i cant be sent home to nurse myself,,, after a operation LIKE THAT, HE SAUID",,"OK"
    AND I GOT I THINK WHAT THE insurance would alow ,,two days and nights.

    Many people who are in deep pain and coming out of anesteshia just cant take proper care of themselves. This is to me what hopsitals are for, To look after a patnent to see to it they recover right. Last year when i had my hernia surgery it saeemed to me they couldent get me out fast enough. I went home and got sick, The doctor under prescribed me for pain meds and it was miserbale. It was a bad exsperinc e and took a long time to get well.

    Whats wrong with letting people two and nights in the hopsital for obsrvation after having thier body opened up? With my hernia i dont tghiunk i even got any antibiotcs and only a small script for pain.

    It makes all the difference to be able to have a few nights in the hopsital., One a person can rest, They dont have to worry about caring for themsleves or burdening thier family because the nurses are there to watch u. One has fast acess to meds if needed , The food is often good and nutritious,

    When i have a decent hospital stay i get well faster. I spent two days and nights for my operation that took two disks out. I had a full round of antibiotics,,, pain meds when i nedded them,, and very good food. I had a cath so i ddint have to keep getting up so i could rest. The second night io was given a sl;eeping pill to help me rest through the night. By the time they discharged me i was still sore but ready.

    With out patient care in my opnion there should be a law that a patient gets AT L:EAST 8 to 12 hours in a recovery room. No less. I also belive thatthey need to make it that if people ask ..that when ur body is opened up in any way u can get at least one night.
    My opnion based on my exsperinces. Sick and hurting people should get good after care. Im so tired of $ being the source of making thease decions. How many people have died or suffered neddlessly because they didnt get enough hours in pos op or at least one night in the hopsital for observation could be a scandel if known.

    It makes me angry.But what can i do? Im just one person with a opnion.
  • I know its tough to ask for drugs,,
    i have been on meds for 6 yrs.
    and have had to increase due to
    failed surgery , and the simple fact
    that the surgeon wont acknowledge that his work
    is what caused me to increase my drugs.

    But you cannt think of what someone else my think
    of you..
    When your in pain,, you'll do just about anything
    to releave the pain..
    Ask your General practitioner , and talk them
    them about yr pain..

This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.