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Being more proactive - need suggestions

Hi, my name is Jackie and I'm 31 years old, I live in Australia. I have anaphylaxis to all NSAIDs including COX-2 inhibitors.

I have been suffering from increasingly severe sciatic nerve pain for the last six weeks. For the last two weeks I've been pretty much incapacitated. After two days of incapitation I went to my local GP clinic. The doctor I saw prescribed 5mg OxyContin to be taken twice a day and 5mg Valium to be taken at night with codeine + paracetamol 15mg/500mg to be used for breakthrough pain. The OxyContin barely takes the edge off and codeine does almost nothing, the Valium is letting me sleep.

I saw another GP at the same clinic four days after my first appointment (mainly because I needed a certificate for work and study) and he upped the OxyContin to 10mg twice a day, it helped slightly but I'm still pretty much unable to walk. I asked about switching to another painkiller and he insisted that OxyContin was my best choice.

I am now staying with my parents in a different state because I am so incapacitated I can't look after myself and went to the local GP clinic to get a referral for an MRI. After a fair bit of a fight, I got one. He insisted that it was not necessary and a waste of money (I don't have insurance so the MRI costs $200), my mother and I insisted it was necessary because I have genetic disorder, which amongst other things weakens my bones and we want to check for any micro-fractures in the spine. The doctor I saw yesterday is that I could not possibly have a disc prolapse because my reflexes are normal and that the sciatica old be self-limiting but then wanted to refer me to a neurosurgeon, a chiropractor and a physio without getting an MRI to determine the nature of the problem, basically he has no idea what he is doing. I asked about getting steroids, lyrica or gabapentin, he insisted that was unnecessary and just prescribed more OxyContin 10mg.

I have to go back and see him with the MRI results once I have them and I want to try either gabapentin or lyrica and depending on what the MRI shows, steroids and maybe baclofen in the place of the Valium so I can get relief from the muscle spasms I've been having during the day without being totally zonked. How do I convince my doctor to allow me to try the new meds?

Every doctor I have seen says it is important to keep moving but I can barely walk th 50ft to the bathroom and back without ending up in agony. I am getting extremely frustrated with the situation and none of the doctors I have seen seem to take the pain I am in seriously.



  • meaning that in most case, it flares, and then goes away on it's own. Doctors don't usually like patients to self diagnose or treat, and in this case, it sounds like the doctor is sure that based on his exam of you, that a herniation is unlikely. Unless there are signs of neuropathic compression, like a drop foot, or numbness or tingling, he has no reason to believe that there is nerve involvement, so taking Lyrica probably is not going to be helpful to you.
    Oxycontin is a long acting opiate pain reliever, and is usually dosed at twice a day. Valium is a muscle relaxer, and tranquilizer, so it should help with the muscle spasms. Not walking, even though it is painful is not going to help your recovery. No matter what, walking, activity must be kept up in order for your body to not loose muscle tone and stamina.
    Short walks, many, many times a day will help keep your core muscles strong and help your recovery. You can try using a heating pad or ice if that feels better to ease some of the muscle ache as well.......
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 919
    edited 09/16/2013 - 3:46 PM
    Sometimes swimming will feel better than walking due to buoyancy. If you have access to a swimming pool, walk in a figure 8 pattern to exercise your muscles, but not necessarily feeling your body weight.

    I agree with Sandi. If you have strictly sciatica, it will go away with time so long as you are not repeating the same behavior that caused the first flare up. The fact your doctor gave you Oxycontin for sciatica is pretty bold. In Kentucky, they would send you home with Ibuprofen or Tylenol and told to use a heating pad. Grant it you can't use Ibuprofen (NSAID), but narcotics are out for this. Doctors here have been threatened with their medical licenses if they "over prescribe" any narcotic.

    I do think an MRI is never a bad idea when dealing with sustained back pain. What may be sciatica could turn out to be something different. If the $200.00 for an MRI gives you piece of mind, you go girl!

    I have to say, in the USA, an MRI can cost $1,200.00. You're getting a great deal! Also, I'd donate my left kidney to visit Australia some time before I die! I traveled the world while in the military, but never had to chance to make it to Australia.

    Good luck!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • desicated discs- also known as degenerative disc disease, which is a big misnomer. As we humans age, our discs start to dry out some, once we get over the age of 18. In the population, by and large, it is not a painful condition, it is simply a finding on the MRI . The discs are not supplied with their own means to rehydrate, which is why the drying and wear and tear occur.
    The disc that is herniated, assuming that the surgeon agrees with the radiologist is most likely the source of the pain you are experiencing, and may resolve itself after some time and mild walking, or better yet, as ems guy suggested, swimming helps due to the weightless environment of the pool.......so if you can swim, the more often the better.......
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 09/17/2013 - 1:28 AM
    I have sent you a PM as I live in Australia also so please read your PM which you can look at when you sign in by going to you inbox.

    By the way EMS guy I have travelled the world and Australia really is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I live in Queensland, it's still the end of winter and beautiful one day, perfect the next. It is well worth the flight. Great for pain too, it is warm up here most of the year.
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