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

Pissed Off and Disappointed

ldavis2333lldavis2333 Posts: 108
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
It is now 5 weeks from surgery which was a Laminectomy L2-L5. I mentioned in previous post that I fell down the stairs 2 weeks after surgery. I did see the surgeon last Friday and got an Xray. The Xray came out ok. I needed to ask for more pain medication. When I got home I saw that the surgeon is weaning me off vicodin. He prescribed 1 tablet every 8 hours for pain. I can't stand up for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain. I can barely walk. I still spend too much time in bed.

I am just so PISSED OFF at having to constantly justify the pain I am in and having to beg my Doctor's to help me. I don't take it unless I need it. I don't consider myself an addict by any means. It felt like they were cutting corners in the hospital and didn't even put me on the pump and this was after having to lay flat on my back leaking spinal fluid for 48 hours. I've been down the same route with injections, pt and pain clinics. They're all the same.

The surgeon told me that the surgery may not give me any relief from the back pain and he was right. The pain is worse now than ever. I know my own body and believe I should be feeling better than this by now. Without pain meds, I am going to have to consider a wheel chair to go anyhwhere. I am just so disappointed with these results. I know it is still early but, this is my fourth spine surgery.

It scares the hell out of me to know that this isn't going to change. The thought of living the rest of my life like this is more than I can handle. I have lost almost everything. Family and friends don't know what to say so they don't bother to call anymore and it is very hurtful. I try very hard not to talk about it but, it's written all over me. Sometimes I do need a shoulder to cry on and there's on one willing to take the time to listen. Because I don't have a life anymore, I feel like I have been left in the dust.

I called my PCP office this morning and the assistant told me that she will probably refer me back to the surgeon knowing that he doesn't want to prescribe anything and here we go again. :??


  • Wow I am really sorry. Maybe you can find a new doctor or new pain management doctor. I don't have any problem getting medications, my doctors know I am in real pain and I am responsible. I am sorry your doctors don't have the same belief. Surgeons usually don't prescribe meds longer than a couple of months at most. They then refer you to pain management. Sorry :( Hugs.
    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 have switched doctors for being talked to in a demeaning way and pharmacy as well its hard enough when your in pain ive had a fusion from c 4-7 and l5 s1 and am facing another surgery to fix the rods and screws in my back now the problem is so many people are using the system for money making and doctors are scared to give medications anymore its really sad im very blessed to have a great doc who listens to me if I were you I would talk to your surgeon about a referral to a pain management doctor especially with no relief after surgery you still have alot of therapy to go through if he doesnt listen talk with your family doctor they are humans too and forget to be compassionate sometimes as well i dont take any kind of negative talk from a doctor i show them respect and I demand it too good luck
  • I keep asking myself what it is about me that I seem to get this reaction a lot. I have a very hard time hiding my anger. I see more and more people going through it. They were saying at the Pharmacy that it's the Federal government that's cracking down. They're trying to clean up the streets. Insurance companies track everything now. Between the two, they are making a lot of lives miserable. Having to go through this just makes recovery even harder. I held off on surgery for a long time and this is one of the reasons.

    Thank you for your kind words. Everyone here is so supportive. It helps a lot. X(
  • Just curious...why an XRay and not an MRI?
    Xray is more for bones and while it can show disc height issues, MRI would show if you herniated.

    As for back pain, doctor is kind of right. The laminectomy tends to free sciatic nerve and related leg pain.

    Back pain is a bit of a different beast. Have you see a Pain Mgmt doctor or Physiatrist? Maybe worth a shot.
  • I think they did an xray because I just had an MRI before surgery. I asked him what shape the discs are in and he told me they are still bulging. I have been to the pain clinic and the only relief I got was RFA on my neck. I went along with the program because I know they would give me a hard time if I didn't. The Pain clinic wouldn't write pain prescriptions. They referred me right back to my PCP. She was sympathetic before surgery and gave me pain medication. I put this surgery off for a long time because of all these issues. My PCP didn't return my call today. I have a few days left of meds. The surgeon is in the same office so she has access to all of my records. I will call again tomorrow. I just read about a new law on prescribing pain meds in MA. It's going to get worse. I am getting so that I dread every appointment and every call. It is so wrong. I am honest and don't deserve this. ~X(
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    It is so unbelievable you are left to continue suffering.

    I think I would consider finding a new pain management doc. They are supposed to work with people in pain even if the pain doesn't make sense to others.

    Maybe it would help to talk about just wanting to increase your quality of life. ..like out of w/c and be able to walk.

    Agreeing with doc you understand you will not be pain free...but current level is just torture.

    Honestly, I never know what is going to get through to my docs..but I just continue to repeat the same complaint of pain.

    Best of luck to you and please keep us posted!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • What state are you in? Just wondering when you mention the crack down on drugs and such,

    They can crack down on all the drugs they want on the streets but they beter not hold back from anyone in pain,!

    You have to have a good follow up dr such as a pain specialist who trusts you and knows these drugs is only for the pain control,

    Taking something for the pain every 8 hours if its regular pain meds wont last 8 hours to control pain,

    Most of my meds will say every 6 hours or as needed! So some days i take it every 4 hours as needed which is ok as long as i dont go over the limit by the end of the day,

    On a good day i might stick with every 6 hours, As long as the dr sees you are responsible in taking the meds there should not be a problem,

    Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I'm just curious what kind of surgeon did the laminectomy? Was it a general surgeon (part of the group in your pcp office)?

    If that is the case then there would be a red flag for me. Especially if you still have bulging disc's. Have you seen a neurologist or neurosurgeon? Or a fellowdhip trained orthosurgeoon only speciallizing in the spine?

    I'm in PM now, but after both of my fusions my NS kept me well medicated for several weeks 20+. Your surgeon removed a lot of bone. I can't imagine how sore you must be- add in the still bulging discs and inflamtion and I am sure you are suffering above and beyond.

    I can only suggest you get a second opinion either into Pain management or like I said a fellowship trained spine specialist (neurologist/neurosurgeon/orthosurgeon). Maybe your pcp will refer you out of her group?

    Hang in there,

  • My 2-cents...I would try to let your body settle 'down' from the fall but if you are still not feeling right by the 10-week mark (~3 months), why not ask for a new MRI? Before surgery is very different than after surgery and after a fall.

    Might I suggest you find a good primary care physician (General practitioner)? I hate to say that but mine is wonderful. I'm 2 years out of my 2nd Micro-discectomy and was having a lot of lower back pain. My NS said to visit my GP and have him send me to PT. Luckily, my GP felt like I did...why do PT without first making sure my back was holding steady. And, instead of PT, he sent me to a physiologist to get a more holistic treatment plan including PT.
  • Thank you everyone for your responses. I see a lot of questions and I am happy to answer them tomorrow. I am tired and want to give you an update. My PCP called me back this afternoon and I filled her in on what has been going on since surgery. Her first response was that I should call the surgeon back. I explained that the Surgeon had given me a script on Friday and what the dosage was and she also realized that it is not enough medication. She wants me to take 1 pill every 4 hours. I will try this tomorrow and see what happens. I will call her at the end of the week before I run out. She said she will give me more medication and at some point wants me off of it completely. I want to stop taking them but, for the time being I need to get enough relief so that I can at least stand up and go for a short walk. I am relieved that she is willing to work with me. I haven't been her patient very long. I also went back to see my therapist. I haven't seen her for about 3 months. I have so much going on in my life that I am so overwhelmed. This isn't the appropriate place to get into it. I feel completely broken down physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. I am doing all that I can to get the Professional help I need. Thank you for being patient with me.
  • I live in MA. The pharmacy will now track how often we get pain medication and the quantity. Dr's will only be able to write the script a 1 month supply and up to a certain quantity. Even if the Dr. gives us another script they won't fill it. If I run out of medication, it will make it much harder to get it in an emergency. Many Dr's are refusing to write prescriptions for class 1 and 11 drugs. More Dr's are refusing to take chronic pain patients. My career was in Healthcare such as Insurance, Appeals, Hospital and Spine Clinic. All of these accidental overdoses with prescription medications in the news are adding fuel to the fire. These laws were updated 02/02/12.
  • The surgeon that did my Laminectomy was an Orthopedic Surgeon. I have been through the Pain Clinic. The Pain Clinic only does injections and other procedures. They referred me back to my PCP to get pain medication. They didn't want to have to deal with patients looking for scripts. Personally, I think it defeats the purpose. Seems everyone is passing the buck and people like us are suffering because of it. My PCP told me today that she will give me pain meds and made it very clear she was not happy about it. Having to go through this song and dance over and over is just so frustrating. I know she hear's it in my voice. I am also taking Anti-Depressants which also raises a red flag. I don't know anyone who is in chronic pain that is not depressed. Eventually I will have to have another neck surgery. I am definitely going to check out a Neurosurgeon for my neck. I was evaluated by a Neurologist. He should be able to refer me. The results of my recent brain and neck MRI were upsetting. Time for bed :<

  • Hugs >:D<

    I completely understand how you are feeling.... You poor thing. It will get better.

    Also keep in mind not all pain managament doctors are the same, just as not all spine surgeons are the same. My PM does everything inlcuding medication and he sends notes to my NS after he does procedures to keep him updated as well as my PCP.

    Feel Better & Get Some Rest,

  • What is so sad about this is that it happens all the time. I've had 4 surgeries and about to have a 5th (lucky me not) my first was a neck surgery they had to approach from the front of my neck to reach the spine. I had a large disk herniation that caused me not to be able to use my arm, once they got inside they found large bony spurs they had to remove (I'm thinking with a surgical saw of some sort) then add a plate, a interbody spacer for a disc and 4 screws! Then the doctor wanted to provide me with one of the weakest pain killers on the market. It being my first expeirence with surgery or surgeons I was FLOORED after I called for more meds and the answer was the doctor won't write for anything stronger and not longer than a certain amount of time. Although a very good surgeon he treated every patient the same with how he dispensed medications. I like you had to go to my PCP. I'm really sorry and just wanted you to know I feel your pain and am frustrated that the pain seekers have made it so difficult for those who really need the better medications to assist with post op surgical pain. It's a sad state that we've become so phobic of allowing people to have the relief they need because of a few bad apples. I hope you get the relief you need/deserve. Best wishes!
  • It is so sad, it's disgusting. These Dr's are more concerned with their own pockets and don't want to treat people in pain. I hate to say it but, the medical profession is more heartless than most people know. It is very frightening. When choosing a surgeon, I have always assumed that pain meds would be taken care of. The word PAIN freaks them all out. Politicians are now doing pain management. They keep passing laws to make it harder for the most desperate.
    Thank you, Lorraine
  • Well when surgery fails and they put a person in more pain they beter not have a problem giving them the drugs needed,

    Its all about quality of life and nobody should have the right to make that an issue,
    And when they do is time to join together and fight congress on this issue,

    Congress is already so screwed up they dont know if they are coming or going and this what they know nothing about and passing laws that only aply to drug addicts is absurd,

    No dr should do surgery if they are not willing to follow up with a person if surgery dont work and posibly made a person worse,

    I noticed myself when surgery failed and them knowing full well i was on pain medication before surgery and dr assuming you can stop taking pain medication after a surgery failed and caused more harm then good how is there any logic in thinking now this person is in more pain then before so he dont need pain meds now,

    Only an idiot would have that kind of logic, So i have seen that as some dr might have this i am god syndrome and i worked on you so you are fine now,

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I am giving a lot of thought to my situation and as it stands now, if I am forced to continue to suffer, I am going to call a lawyer and sue the surgeon. Something must be done. I will keep you posted.
  • I am giving a lot of thought to my situation and as it stands now, if I am forced to continue to suffer, I am going to call a lawyer and sue the surgeon. Something must be done. I will keep you posted.
  • I am giving a lot of thought to my situation and as it stands now, if I am forced to continue to suffer, I am going to call a lawyer and sue the surgeon. Something must be done. I will keep you posted.
  • Sorry about your situation. I hate when that kind of stuff happens. I had the same surgeries you had just over a year ago and still have chronic pain. I was on methadone but it was not helping and just giving me negative side effects so I just got done getting my self off of that, which is not a fun experience. My opioid tolerance is so high now from basically being on every kind of ER and IR pain medicine that In order to get any relief what so ever I need to take 80 mgs of IR oxycodone. Which to some that is a lot, but to some one with my tolerance it is not much at all. I've been in your situation before, where you have trouble getting your script filled which you need to take at least SOME of the edge off. Post lumbar surgery, especially a lami, is horrendous. I feel your pain, hope things get better for you. I absolutely hate doctors when they look at some one who has chronic back pain from spine surgeries like they are drug addicts. Its like, our lives are hard enough with the pain and the loss of so much, some doctors try an make us seem at fault and that we have a problem or are doing something wrong. Just like you I had no problems with addiction and had not even taken vicodin prior to about a month before my surgery. People who use drugs to get high or get a "buzz" are addicts. People who use drugs for pain relief due to a very painful procedure and condition, like us, may technically be "dependent" on pain meds. It is not fair to group people with chronic pain with addicts who are just seeking a high together, which in my experience is what happens at a "pain clinic" Any way hope you feel better, stay strong and try an be as positive as you can. Good luck to you and your healing and God bless.
  • I am going to try methadone now! Have you considered it or talked to your PCP about it? I am frustrated as well with being judged an addict!

    Good Luck

  • Yes I have heard of Methadone. I know it is used to treat moderate to severe pain. They mostly prescribe it for cancer patients. Before you request it from your Dr. I would find out if your health insurance will cover it. Methadone will have to be pre-authorized by your insurance. I also don't have any idea of your medical history. If you have a Medicare Supplement, you can look it up online. If you call the Insurance company, they don't want you to have this information. If you have a well documented history and your Dr. is willing to try it, it's worth a shot. You might have a better chance if you've been going to a pain clinic. I know whenever I am talking with my Dr's and request a stronger medication they usually disagree. I think they want to take credit for it being their suggestion. You know the "God" complex. Do you know of anyone here who has been on it? Good luck and I would be very interested to hear how it goes. You can PM me. :)
  • My heart goes out to you. You have been through so much and you are so young. Do you have any idea how this has happened to you? Do you know why the surgeries failed? From my perspective, I don't have any quality of life now. I am not able to do the things I have to do to take care of myself. I only take pain meds because I can not function in my life. I am not an addict and if it were to happen that I was comfortable enough to not have to take them, I will gladly stop. I really did not anticipate this amount of pain. I had an L5-S1 fusion with cages and that was a breeze compared to this. I've been wondering if it was me.

    God willing, you will not have to have additional surgery for quite some time. Don't wait for your future. Do you have any positive people around you to talk to about it? You know that you have some limitations, maybe thinking about something you really want to do and something that really holds your interest. It helps to take your mind off of what you can't do and empowers you to think about what your own talents are.

    I will be praying for you and hope to hear from you again. You hang in there too.:)
  • Suboxone is an alternative for the addicts. I am a recovering addict (clean since 2/14/03) and I know some others who are in chronic pain and use this for pain relief. There isnt a high but there is some relief I understand from them.
    If you're considering Methadone, it may be worth considering this as well.
    I have been taking percocet since ALIF L5S1 on 9/27 but I am weaning and almost off. One more month and I plan to be only on Ultram. The pain is great but the pain of being on Narcotics is greater. I sincerely hope the pain is not too great by the time I stop the dope. If so, I am going to reconsider the Suboxone route as well.

    I'll keep watching this and keep you posted too.
  • Yes this does suck. Thanks for the support ldavis. I had a herniated disc from doing carpentry work for about four years after high school. I also, just found out that I have Retrolysthesis or what ever. Which my doctor beleives caused my disc to herniate so being so young. As for those considering methadone, I would put a little more thought into. I was just at such a high pain level when I decided to take it. It definatley did not help me, it just gave me negative side effects and increase the sh#t out of my opioid tolerance. Plus it is very hard to get off. Ldavis, there is no way you are an addict no matter what any doctor says. That is one of the most frustrating things when you have to not only live with chronic pain and also have a health care "professional" judge you when they are the ones who perscribed you the meds in the first place. Yea, i've had my pain be so bad with no improvements from the surgeries, just more pain, that i've wanted to blow my head off. I could not do that to my family or my girlfriend(and cat). That is taking the easy way out. I have good family that are supportive which makes a big difference too, and that is one thing I will not forget a long time ago. I have learned from this to not let any good deeds by others go unchecked. You try an stay strong and so will I. Good luck
Sign In or Register to comment.