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My Doctor Wont Listen To Me About My Pain

2009 i had a Lumbar Stenosis Laminactomy done in 2009. Since then, i have been in so much pain. I've been taking Norco 10/325. 1 dose every 6hrs, 90 per month. When i told my Doctor if i can take it every 3 hrs. He said he doesn't recommend it. But i told him that having to wait every 6hrs to take another was brutal. I told him i would be in pain having to wait for the 6th hr to take my next dose.
So then he sent me to Pain Mngmt. The MD their gave me 12 shots in my back. Well, i had so much relief that day. I felt like i was in heaven. Then the next day....I was back to having pain again. So i called the specialist again and told her the pain was back. It was like she couldn't believe it. Like if i was lying to her. So then she said to come back. so that she can do it again. I need advice here. Can someone help me. Thank you


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 09/05/2014 - 4:34 AM
    No doctor should allow a patient to take any medication in 3 hours dosing schedules, unless they are acutely post op, meaning they just had surgery.
    Pain management is about learning to manage the pain, and using combinations of therapies, medications, excercise, and alternative medicine to manage the pain, and keep it at a level that you can function at.
    There isn't enough medication that will bring you to a level of no pain, once you have an injury.
    If the injections helped, then it is not unusual for the pain to flare up again for a few days afterward, then once the steroids in the injections start working, the pain decreases again.
    In the meantime , use ice, 15 minutes on, and off for an hour, to ease some of the increased pain and if your doctor says it's ok, then maybe some anti inflammatory medications might help to ease the flare.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,862
    Pain Management/Control is a very difficult discipline in medical health

    Years ago, the medical field would just throw more and more pain medications your way and up the dosages.
    Fortunately , everyone got smarter. Looking at the total package is what became so important.

    Regarding your injections, what type where they? Trigger, Epidural, other??
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hi Questx. Living with chronic pain is actually made harder by having glimpses of what it would be like without pain isn't it? I bet those post procedure hours were sooooo blissful. Back to reality. Ugh!! What kind of shots were they? There is a diagnostic aspect to shots so it's good that they now know where your pain is coming from. I always get pain flares after shots. I take ice blocks (the ones you put in kids lunch boxes) with me & ice on the way home. That helps! It's not too late, ice might bring the pain down now.

    Will you let us know what your current diagnosis is? That can really help us give advise & compare notes about what's helped us with similar problems.

    How long have you been taking the Norco for? Since 2009??? It could be that you're tolerant & need to change things up a bit. Is this the first time you've been to pain management? What else do they have in your action plan? What have you tried over the years? What do you usually do to deal with flares & maintain? Have you tried any of the alternative stuff? I like airomatherapy, my prescription ketamine cream & my hot water bottle for flares. I have arthritis so nice hot Epsom salt baths help with flares & diet & exercise is important.

    Pain free is an unacievable fantasy for me at this point. For me it's about chipping away at the problems & using all my tricks to keep my pain at a manageable level daily. Your results from the shots sound really promising.

    Hi & welcome! ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • It is understandable that you feel 6 hourly dosing is too long. Hydrocodone, the opioid medicine in Norco, has a duration of action of 3-4 hours. Have you mentioned to the pain specialist that you feel the med wears off long before your next dose is due? I think perhaps your doctors are listening to you, but you don't feel they are taking much notice. They have a way of working and at some point the specialist will devote time to a medication review, in which she will be receptive to your input. She may just want to leave the meds as is while trying the procedures so as not to confuse things. That is what my PM doc did.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 09/06/2014 - 8:59 AM
    After experiencing PM for over 8 years, doing a lot of reading, talking to patients & doctors, I've realized that there are some standard ways of practicing when it comes to narcotic pain meds...

    Most GPs are only comfortable prescribing a certain level of meds. Guidelines advise referring a patient to PM if continual use is needed. A patient complains of inadequate narcotic pain control so their GP refers them, both GP & patient expect different meds or increases. When this doesn't happen it can cause a lot of frustrations. Some PMs do not prescribe or are very wary, others support narcotic therapy. Some PMs (in the first category) seem to automatically reduce meds with the goal of eliminating them no matter how the patient presents due to their personal views of narcotics.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • You might want to talk to your doctor about taking longer acting pain medications that last 8 -12 hours instead of 3-6 hours. No matter what medication you take you will not get total pain relief.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    edited 09/16/2014 - 9:15 PM
    Keep one for a few weeks then show the journal to your Dr, as many said a PCP is unable to prescribe the long term meds so maybe a pain Dr may be just what you need, Pain managment is not just about medication, it involves therapy ,injections, mental health and yes some Pm docs still do meds. Let the Drs know what a day in the life of you if like. If you have the medical documentation to back it up someone out there will help, It may take a few different docs to find one you feel comfortable with and feel that he has your best interest in mind, Not just handing over pills but the overall care.
    Good luck
  • of pain management thread in the FAQ section of Spine - Health.
    http://www.theacpa.org/uploads/Pain Log Rev 2010-V2.pdf
  • I hate to say it, but after being on massive doses of every painkiller known to man, I think that 10mg Hydrocodone every 4-6 hours is as good as it gets. You don't want to hear that though, because that means your life will be hell and there is no easy escape from the pain. The problem is that long acting meds are hideously grotesque long-term, and you might end up just like me, begging for the good ole days when a simple, cheap Hydrocodone pill was useful. Be aware nowadays that if they put you on the time release, they will very likely want to take you off the Hydrocodone right away. Then guess what? Your tolerance shoots way up, and Hydrocodone would be useless anyways. What else happens when tolerance goes up, is physical dependence goes up, and that means you get to learn what heroin addicts feel like if you ever want/need to get off the meds. It's just like a special place in hell.

    You probably will ignore me, I know the pain will drive you into a corner pretty easily, but I'm just suggesting you try toughing it out, and not make things more complicated. Force yourself to wait between doses, no matter how uncomfortable it gets. Heck, that's exactly what I'm doing right now. It's hard, and it isn't fair. Try to stay busy so you don't think of the pain. If the pain is below a 4, try holding out for as many hours as possible. Try skipping doses when the pain is only an annoyance, and don't pre-emptive dose unless you know you can't handle it that day. Try always taking a half pill if dosing in advance.

    Sorry, no easy answers here. These are the tools I use to get by, and it is a hard life, but it could be worse.
  • One of the problems of pain management, particularly with medications, is we are all very different. Some find that narcotics turn them into a couch potato. I find that they allow me to function & be more active. I've come off of all of my medications a couple of times. I've titrated down slowly & never had any problems. I change between 'families' of narcotics rather than increasing doses & that works for me. I've been on very high doses & I promise you that it will not take your pain away. I've been on none or too little & it had terrible effects on my health both mental & physical. I developed EVERY trigger/pressure point for fibromyalgia & was miraculously 'cured' once my pain was effectively managed. As I said "We're all very different".
    Pain management is about finding the right mix of meds, therapies, procedures etc. that work for you. I'm constantly tweaking all the parts of my blend trying to keep myself in an acceptable level of pain that allows me to live the best life I can. Sometimes I'm doing well & others I struggle just to keep my head above water but that's as much to do with my mood & life experiences as it is my pain. I always say that I'm a work in progress...aren't we all? I think it's so important to remember that. This time next year I might be taking a completely different approach to my care & that's ok! I'm very lucky, my doc is willing to try pretty much anything. I can ask him to take me off of all my meds, then a few months later I can decide it was a huge mistake & he'll give them back to me. We work together & I can't stress enough how important that is! I've had inflexible docs, prescription happy ones, anti-narcotic ones, needle crazy ones. The stress of dealing with 'those' docs made me feel 100 times worse.

    Living with chronic pain has been the most monumental adjustment I've ever had to make. Leaving home, getting married, having kids, emigrating to another country, all pale into insignificance by comparison. No-one ever said that living with unrelenting pain was easy but I never knew that anything could be this hard. We need a tremendous amount of help & support. If any of your specialists are making you feel worse, if you dread that appointment & leave in tears, if you're afraid to be honest & open then you need to find a new doc. They can make all the difference in your life.

    As Toddrick so wisely said there are "no easy answers here". If today sucked don't beat yourself up, just plan to do better tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that.....
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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