Hi, my name is Justin and I am new to this forum. I am writing today in hopes of finding other people that have gone through what I am going through and maybe some insight that will help me with some concerns that I have. A long story short....In November of 2009 I injured my lower back. An MRI showed that I had a problem with two discs, one was herniated and one had a bulge. The pain was horrible, it started in my lower back and went down my right leg into my foot. I had already been taking Percocet 7.5/325 (2xday) since 2005 from a surgery that left a great deal of scarring on my chest wall. My doctor raised my dose from 2 a day to 3 a day and sent me to a specialist to have two epidural injections which did not help at all. After this failed to help we decided to ride it out in hopes that the discs would just naturally heal over time. Instead of healing the problem just seemed to get worse but my wife and I were having twins and there was never a good time to stop and focus on finding a solution to the problem. I was avoiding surgery because of all the negative things I have always heard about back surgeries.
Around July 2013 the pain was becoming almost unbearable. The three Percocet a day was becoming tough to get by on and it was very hard to make it last the 30 days. I talked with my doctor about increasing my dose and he said that 3 a day was his limit and he wanted to set me up with a surgeon to discuss options and a pain specialist. The first surgeon I saw would not agree to operate because he thought this had become a permanent problem because of how long I had the herniation. He didn't think a surgery would fix it. The second surgeon I saw thought he could at least make things more manageable and thought operating was worth a shot so I decided to do it. On February 28, 2014 I had a discectomy & decompression. It has been two months since the surgery and I have seen no improvement. If anything the pain has been worse at times than before. Since the surgery my surgeon has prescribed me 8 percocet a day for the first month & 6 a day for the second month. I am now in the process of finding a pain management specialist that I feel good about and this seems to be a very nerve racking thing for me. I have been taking Percocet everyday for at least 8 years because I had to have something to function and do everything that I need to do. I haven't really thought about it until now but I would have to say that I am physically and mentally dependent on this medication, for good reasons but still dependent. It has allowed me to do things that anyone should be able to do, like play with my kids and take care of them. I believe my anxiety comes from knowing that I am about to be with a new doctor (a pain specialist) and I have no idea what I am going to be given to manage this. I just have so many overwhelming thoughts in my head and I don't know what to expect. I keep telling myself that whoever I choose to treat me would surely take into consideration that I have been taking the Percocet for such a long time and if they change my medication it would be something that will not only help me more but also make the transition from Percocet an easy one. I know very little about the long term chronic pain medications and I want this change to be one that is good for me and my family and not one that puts me into some depressed mental state. I am at a point in my life that I am going to have to work so hard just to catch up and get my life back in order so that I can support my family and the thought of this is very overwhelming to me. If anyone could give me some advise that would benefit me I would so greatly appreciate it. I know that there are others out there that have been through far worse situations than mind that can relate to this. I would love to hear what you have to say. Thank you.