I've been on and off the forums for the last year and a half. I'm 38 years old and in good overall health, but for my spine.
About a year ago, I had an L5S1 fusion due to DDD which didn't go so well.
My pedicle screws were mispositioned and likely breached the nerve cortex and I now have ectopic bone growing in one of my foraminal canals due to my physician deciding to turn me into a science experiment using BMP-2 off label with a femoral ring, rather than the approved LTCage implant.
As a result, I've been in pain since about 8 weeks post surgery.
I've since had my hardware removed, but I'm still suffering from radiculitis down one leg and a ton of pain when sitting.
Up until about 3 months ago, my surgeon was managing my medications. (20mg Oxycontin 3 times a day, 10mg Percocet as needed (up to 3x day)900 mg Neurontin and Soma as needed).
After being discharged to pain management, my PM Dr continued the same regimen.
Unfortunately, my pain either a. become a lot worse or b. the pain med dosages I've been taking for 12 months just are not cutting it anymore.
Things definitely went down hill after the reformulation of oxycontins from OC to OP.
On my second visit, my PM Dr. bumped up my Oxycontin to 40mg (3x day) because I was still in a lot of pain.
The good news is, my pain level went down from a 7-8 to about a 2-3 with the increased Oxy dosage.
The not so good news is, I'm not really comfortable doubling my dose of Oxycontin.
Maybe I'm wrong here.. I'm not sure.. but I feel like I'm on a slippery slope and am scared to death about my dosages creeping up.
Is it 'normal' to need an adjustment in dosage of a medication after taking it for a year?
My other concern is the cost of Oxycontin, which is something like $800 a month to my insurance.
I suppose that's what insurance is for, but it seems rediculous!
On my last visit, I inquired about other options for pain management. Specifically, something that would last for a longer period of time and would be less expensive overall.
My Dr recommended fentanyl patches and prescribed a 50mcg (1 every 3 days).
I've read some horror stories with these patches and also some relatively encouraging stories on these forums.
I'm scared that the dosage I'm starting at is pretty high (as is my pharmacist).
My current daily oxycodone intake is about 80mg, maybe 90 or 100 on a bad day.
My pharmacist said the patches have really inconsistent delivery and I could die in my sleep from respiratory failure from them.
So.. I'm sitting on a script for my fentanyl patches and using up the last of my oxycontins I've got.
I'm really leery of getting the script filled because I'm under the impression that these patches are taking my medication "to a new level" (i.e It will be a nightmare if I ever wanted to stop - more so w/ fentanyl than oxycodone)
Also, I'm thinking of changing pain Dr's because I feel like my Dr's office is a bit of a mill and if I didn't instigate a meeting with my Dr. on each visit, I feel like the staff would be more than happy to keep renewing the same prescriptions month after month w/o any face to face time with my Dr.
I'm just really confused at the moment and feel like a chemistry experiment..