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New to this but at wits end

Hi, my name's Heidi and I am only 40 yrs old. Too young to feel like this. My symptoms are too many to count but I need some good advice. I see a pain management doctor who doesn't listen to a word I say. I am NOT a drug seeker and even refuse all narcotics at the hospital. My mother died at 48 and I'd like to remember whatever years I have left. The problem is that I spend all my time in bed. Most months I'm lucky to manage a shower a week. I don't want to be drugged but this isn't the life I want to remember. I chose to severely limit my pain meds but now I live in a limbo of pain and withdrawal. I don't know what to do and my doctor won't listen. I'd rather pass on than live like this. Are there any options?
Any advice would be appreciated. Heidi


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 07/29/2014 - 11:41 PM
  • You don't say much about what your doctor is not listening to. So it is hard to comment on that. Some doctors don't listen well, and they don't communicate well. For these doctors, you need to be more of an active listener. On your next visit, come with a list of questions. If you want to tell him something, put it the context of a question.

    Pain is not a good thing. Most normal people don't like to be doped up on pain meds. However, pain meds are not only about coping with pain. Pain can cause muscles to tense up hindering healing. You need to make sure that your pain is controlled so that healing can take place. Pain management usually is a progressive thing. It can include oral meds, PT, and other less intrusive approaches. You may need to get injections if the more conservative approach does not work.
    At some point, if things are not getting better, you can end up requiring surgery. Most people that suffer back pain don't require surgery. However, they may need new exercises or some pain and anti-inflammatory meds to get their bodies to heal.
    Listen to your doctor, and make it active listening.
  • I think we all know how you feel. Living with pain is horrible and nobody really understands what you're going through except maybe some of us on-line that are experiencing the same thing. I agree with Liz, you've got to try and stay mobile, maybe go to the mall and walk there but lying around will cause the pain to increase and your mood will decrease. Although you may not want to take pain meds there is a point where you have to review your quality of life...if the pain meds help get you out of the house for a couple of hours each day then maybe you should do that. Good luck and keep us informed.
  • It never hurts to get another opinion. What treatment options have you been offered? What is your diagnosis? What type of pain are you experiencing? It is important to walk, stretch etc. As painful as it may be, it will help in the long run. The more information you give about your situation, the easier it will be for people to comment.

    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • have you sought another opinion regarding your present health issues .do you have anything in your past that could be contributing to your present situation for example a MVA previous surgery ??,I am sorry that you lost your mom as such a young age my friendly advice would be to see someone totally new and get a fresh pair of eyes on you maybe some medical test some scans /bloods and then you may have a better picture as to why you feel so bad
  • You clearly need to find the right doctor. You didn't elaborate on your symptoms, but don't let feeling down about your pain get in the way of persevering to find a solution. I am sorry for your suffering, but hopefully connecting on this forum will help give you the support and encouragement you need to move forward. Don't give up.
  • staying in bed, is only going to worsen things. You don't mention what the medical problems are that are causing you such pain that you are allowing it to limit your physical activity, but you do have to do things to help yourself, and that includes forcing yourself up and out of bed, taking short walks, multiple times per day, getting showered daily, and interacting with family and friends.
    Coping with chronic pain, and the use of medications are only one small part of the formula, the other parts include support, in real life, the use of anti depressants when necessary, stretching, physical therapy if needed to get you moving again, daily activities of life, topical ointments, creams, lotions, ice, heat .
    The reality of learning to cope with any chronic condition is learning to adapt, and accepting it as a part of our lives, but not allowing it to consume our lives.
    Have you considered seeking support with a therapist to help you learn coping mechanisms and to have support for getting back into living with chronic pain?
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