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Pain and fear

Pain pain and more pain! I had two surgeries in 2010 ACDF and Laminectomy. I have been on pain meds and still am. I have done radio wave injections that made pain worse. The other injections/ block that sometimes offer some relief for just a few days but pain doc pushes them hard. Here in Ohio lately the doctors put you through the ringer to get your meds. Expensive urine drug tests that insurance pays around $700 for every other month, contracts, a phone call makes you come in to count your pills. I am 57 totally disabled ex cop and I feel like a criminal. I am also a disabled vet but the VA is useless and not thinks pain management should be handled with relaxation classes, group meetings etc.
They have also just told all their doctors nationwide to not prescribe pain meds if at all possible. Luckily my pain doc us not connected to VA but sadly I get everything free there. I choose to pay so I can get reasonable treatment but I have to go through hell to get it. In my last MRI a year ago it showed my lower spine has worsened since last surgery in 2010. I am getting another MRI tomorrow because I am begging them to try another surgery which I never thought I'd do but that's where I am. Lastly my pain meds help a great deal but they make you feel afraid to say we need to adjust dosage but I am at the point I am going to push for that at my next appointment Friday. I am literally fearful about the trend that's going on in the US that will and has punish chronic sufferers like us because if drug addicts who just wanted to get high. Medical Mayrijauna is not yet legal in Ohio because I want to see if it will help me. Can't try it because of random and often drug testing. I don't know how pain management is across the US and across the world but I can tell you I am concerned. Sorry for being so long winded I haven't been on in a long time so like you I am looking for advice too.


  • asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
    edited 11/14/2013 - 3:58 AM
    Yeah I am so sick of it. Use to deal with PTSD which I thought was a lot. This has hell and the doctors as I said are uptight. I hope yours isn't as bad. Sometimes I struggle to hang on. My wife is a Saint no pun intended and I feel sorry for her at times. I have had to try to accept there's not much more I can do about it.
    Hope you are well and Friday I am going to push for a more workable dosage for me.
    Thanks again
    AL S
  • Ice manIIce man Posts: 123
    edited 11/14/2013 - 10:30 AM
    I to am a vet and have been in law enforcement for 23 yrs. I am at the end of the road as well and feel like the same criminal that you do. The same one's we have been putting in jail for years. I worked interdiction on the interstate here in Georgia and on any given day could stop a car coming from the pill mill's in Florida going up north with 1000's of roxicodone's and oxicotin's. Sad thing is they would have prescriptions. I was heavily involved in Operation Flamingo Road with DEA and the Kentucky State Police and it made me sick. I, just like you suffer daily because of these scum bags. If it makes you feel any better I locked up hundreds of the dirtbags!!!! I get so angry just thinking about it!
  • Hi, my work was to deal with Military guys who had PTSD before discharge. I can't tell you how many tough guys I have seen break down in my office. In Australia the Vietnam vets are really good. They produced a video on PTSD that is not only for veterans' but their families as well so your family gets an insight into PTSD behaviour. My experience was the guys who talked openly about it - to their wives or anyone who would listen got through it. I had it too and was so outraged at what had happened I told everyone who would listen and it stopped. It's scary being somewhere when everything just disappears and your mind becomes a movie projector and the only thing you can see is what happened. You never know when it's going to happen - or what is going to trigger it - that's the scary part. I have seen guys become literally housebound because of it. That's isolating and the last thing they need.

    So if there is a Viet Vet association in the States call them. They do great things here and look after anyone who has been in the MIlitary - run courses for families, especially wives and children cause it's scary for them as well. It's frightening to see your partner change into a different person and lose the plot if everything isn't exactly in the correct place

    Also if you are still being looked after by DVA (must be called VA in the States) they have some very good programs and counselling services here that are all free for families as well.

    I have just realised through reading that it needs to be a medical strain of MJ to work. If it does work wouldn't that be so much easier than pain meds. It's not addictive and it's a natural medicine. Seems we have gone backwards medically with some things. Kratom is available in the US and I've heard really good things about it. Sadly it's banned in Australia.

    Please take care and talk honestly to your wife - it's frightening for her as well, to marry someone and for them to change into someone else. Viet vets have holiday places here and retreats with other guys which are free as well. Best of all they will look after any Vet and are getting a lot of young guys using their services now.
  • Thanks to both of the last two comments. First to the fellow police officer it does make me feel better that you locked so many of the scum bags up.
    About PTSD I have been through in patient 7 week treatment, groups, 1 on 1 therapy for years. I was totally housebound for over 5 years at one point and I am doing better in that way. I am still isolating thou has I said when this chronic pain entered in really bad it has just overwhelmed me in addition to my other problems. The hoops I have to jump through just make it that much worse.
    Thanks again
    AL S
  • deltaladyddeltalady Posts: 610
    edited 12/02/2013 - 8:57 AM
    It sure seems like the bad guys are winning.. What you have to go through to get your pain meds is just plain crazy...all because of the people who choose to abuse them to get high...I don't thnk the doctors mean to act like but they are scared of having their medical licenses taken away if they are audited and found to be giving out too many pain meds...I had this conversation with my primary care doc....I wish the governing bodies that put new rules in place would not be so single minded about getting the "bad" guys and think through what they are putting the law abiding citizens through with their decisions. Believe me, there are many other things in life that give me happiness than taking a pain pill...but, at 59, I'm trying to get through the day and keep my job and health insurance (which I couldn't afford if I lost my job - catch 22).. Just know that there are people out here who support you ....the crazies are winning and I'm sick of it.....

    Post edited to remove masked inappropriate forum language.
  • I don't think people realise, who have not been in the position, how isolating constant pain especially combined with PTSD can be. I didn't, though I didn't get back pain either until I had it. Thanks for writing about getting help for people with PTSD. There are so many tough guys who don't get help - it's great to see that it can happen to even the strongest, toughest person and that you had the guts to get some help. Sorry I didn't mean it's great to see you have experienced this - I meant that you got help as you were intelligent enough to realise when you needed support.

    Deltalady I think it is crazy that they make rules for around 2% - 3% exceptions rather than for the 98%/97% of people who do have real intractable pain. Any one who has higher education is taught not to make rules for the exceptions in management - do they just forget this isn't good management practice after they leave Uni. I am so glad in Australia addicts go through a different system. It is still incredibly hard to be prescribed pain meds here and is regulated by the government - but at least we are not normally competing with addicts for pain meds from Dr's.

    I am starting to think the bad guys are winning as well. That is just too depressing to dwell on so I'll try and still believe most people are basically good and kind although this journey has taught me a lot of things that I really would rather not know - I just didn't expect it or even contemplate it before my accident.
  • asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
    edited 11/18/2013 - 6:11 AM
    The bad guys are winning I think. The worst part of all this is that even with pain medication my life isn't the same. I spend a lot of time in bed isolating from friends and family . Depression is alive and well here . I don't enjoy things anymore. Sometimes I think if I could only do without the pain meds life would be better. I prayed a lot but lately not even that. Anyone else experience this? I have for 3 years now. Any ideas would be helpful.
    AL S
  • I have been living with chronic pain for over 18 years now and I've lost everything. I got so depressed that I tried to kill myself. Well try would be a mild way of putting it. On the way to the hospital they revived me. I still battle with depression it never ending. I don't have any close friends or family near me I am alone with this. I was in the mental ward at a hospital in Ohio. While I was there I was ashamed and upset that I gave up so easily. Each day is hell and I'm lucky to get anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of sleep a week. I know how the pain management doctors can be here. Even regular doctors. I just recently had a spinal stimulator installed for a trail run as of now it helps with the burning sensation I get in my left leg, but that's about all. I take an assortment of meds and it isn't a way to live. I found that after my attempt at killing myself that I enjoy the little things more. I try everyday to just attempt to enjoy those things. everything from a great song that I've always enjoyed to just watching the clouds role by. Its the things that I have always taken for granted over the years that I now find much more enjoyable. It doesn't take the pain away but it helps to distract from thinking about how much I hurt and how horrible my life has become. I found the more I took the time to try and enjoy those little things the easier it became to do it. Try it, it might help. you and everyone out will be in my prayers.
  • Things seem to be a little better at the moment and I am trying to enjoy while it lasts. I just got a new MRI sent to a few neurosurgeons to see if there is something more they can do for me. Keep the faith and thanks for sharing, I could truly relate.
    AL S
  • Like you I had a ACDF in 2010 and have been all kinds of pain meds and muscle relaxers. I have hydrocone for break through pain, but it knocks me out for a couple days, so I don't like to take it. I have a 9 yo I have to be somewhat alert for. I have been treated like a nut case the last year because, I had to get a new Primary Care and Ortho-spine, along with a new Pain Management Dr. who I no longer have. He was a bit bizarre. I had a second opinion about a possible non fusion with a NS, who was (a nasty word I don't usually use). Finally I got a patient advocate to coordinate my care, and found another Ortho, who is very good, who referred me to a neuroradiologist. Between the 2 of them I am getting answers. Yay! and some effective tx. About a month ago, I was debating which would be better, jumping off a bridge or a tall building.
    I got a epidural with a different steroid under CT to a specific area of my neck, now they know it is not the fusion, and are pretty sure the problem is in the c4-c6 area. Because I responded so well they know something is irritating the nerves, they just can't see it with any test they have conducted. It had been since last sept 2012 I started having an increase in pain. So keep the faith. I am also a vet and my husband is retired vet, but luckily we live close to a military hospital. It is a teaching hospital which I am an advocate, anytime you have young eager to learn medical students they may be willing to do some research for you to find answers
  • asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
    edited 12/01/2013 - 2:27 AM
    First thanks to you and your husband for your service, Basically for me I had a ACDF in my C spine covering 3 discs procedure and topping it off with a titanium plate. As best I can tell from my latest MRI about two weeks ago my DDD continues on a fairly rapid decline with my disc moving from one side or another, herniation's, to pressing on the nerve roots in two specific locations and a few other things. I haven't met with the neurosurgeons since the latest results came in but I was wondering why they couldn't perform an ACDY on my lower spine? My last MRI 13 months ago they didn't want to do anything since my chance of any improvement was only 50/50 and there was a possibility of making things worse. This MRI I am hoping will show a more clear cut way (no pun intended) to make some repairs thus allowing me to be more active and rejoin the living. It took me a long time to recover from my past two surgeries so this isn't something I take lightly. I being a 100% SC disabled vet have to use the VA but I have other insurance thank God because there are a few areas at the VA I can't tolerate or lets say trust completely. So I take the good and go elsewhere for the clinics I perceive are under par and the pain clinic is at the top of that list.
    Thanks for your feedback.
    AL S
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