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Have trouble with pain and doc wants to wean me off my narc

newgal51nnewgal51 Posts: 2
edited 10/07/2014 - 7:41 AM in Chronic Pain
I feel so alone I moved to new large city from small town. Now I have chronic back pain for years but my doc just gave me narcotics to treat pain. I have degenritive dics in my lower back and I have tried all kinds methods to get rid of pain. Nohting seems to work. Now I move here to bigger city and this resident doc wants to wean me off. She is treating me like I am some kind of addict which I am not. I follow rules on pain management agreement I signed. I know I can get serious trouble if I don't follow rules. But now feel so depressed and alone. No kids No Husband No real friends in this city of Pueblo CO. I find myself not want to stay here anymore. I got NO FRIENDS Im all alone just me and my chronic pain. I know that I am getting depressed. I just wish I had support in my life. I have isolated myself since I got this pain I really need relief and a doctor who will understand me and my situation. I was told that I can get point where My spine damage is close to where well the doc ue to ask me if I still had control of my bladder etc. Which means my future is adult diapers some day. God just the thought of my future makes me shatter to pieces. Like now today So here I m reaching out to anyone who has had probem with pain and narcotics and doctors who don't beleave that I am in pain. Im 51 use cain, have bad feet also. Im not proud of my life has become so EMPTY god help me!


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/07/2014 - 7:56 AM

    Why does your doctor want to wean you off the narcotics? What medications are you taking and how much of them per day?
    Everyone has some form of degenerative disc disease, some worse than others, but if we are over the age of 21-25 , we are going to show some evidence of it. DDD is a misnomer, it simply means that as we get older the hydration of the discs lessens over decades. It doesn't automatically mean that it is painful, or that your spine is in horrible condition or that you will be wearing diapers as you get older. Doctors asking about urinary incontinence are checking for signs of Cauda Equina Syndrome to make sure that patients don't sustain spinal cord damage.
    What other methods of managing the pain do you use? What else have you done procedure wise to ease the pain? What type of doctor are you seeing?
    When is the last time that you went to physical therapy? Or aqua therapy? Had injections or tried other methods to manage the pain? What do you do on a daily basis for the pain?
    The use of narcotics should only be one small part of a comprehensive overall pain management program, not the ONLY option.
  • attheinletattheinlet Posts: 32
    edited 10/08/2014 - 7:43 AM

    Look op online to see if the Statehouse of CO has passed a legal definition of intractable pain. Many states are defining this.

    If there is a definition and you feel you meet it talk to your doctor, do not treat your doctors as God, They are FAR from perfect. Tell your doctor that you believe he is treating you as a drug addict and making you sign contracts, the reasons I would never go to a Pain Clinic. Some of these clinics contract do not allow you to receive medication from the ER without defining it as a violation, denying you pain relief even if unrelated to back, say a car accident.
    Talk to the doctor about intractable pain and if he doesn't treat patients with intractable pain, tell him that you want to put into contact with a pain doctor that treats intractable pain. Tell him that if you knew their goal was to have you suffer in pain, you would have never signed up.

    As far as bladder involvement, the person above mentioned cauda equine syndrome, which is the herniation of discs directly into the cord or large nerve bands for the lower back. Just know that this is not the only way to present with cuada equina syndrome. I have arachnoiditis and the fibrosis inside the dura can press and mimic the same syndrome. My problem isn't incontinence, mine is the inability to go. After having an epidural injection on a Friday, I immediately could not walk upon leaving the doctor' office. By Monday afternoon I could no longer void. We went to a respected hospital in Jacksonville where they did an MRI in the ER. They only do it when you present as a possible cauda equina syndrome case. I did not have it, in the classical sense. But since learning I have adhesive arachnoiditis, I also learned that this disease can essentially cause the same problems. As for the epidural injection, afterwards I learned these are not FDA approved. The doctors are doing them off lable as many doctors do things off label. However some of the drugs that they are putting in your back are labled by the manufacturer as not for epidural injections. You can go to YouTube and under arachnoiditis find two parts from Dr.Oz show and you will see how many clinics lie about it being FDA approved and the drugs being okay.
    I think you need to be armed with as much knowledge as you can find. You need to understand why the doctor is doing what he is doing, how long he intends to make you suffer before he realizes this could well be intractable pain.
    EDITEDYou need a written out plan of how long he will keep trying to wean you off. Keep a pain log, be specific. The pain??? and it is causing me to Cry, think bad thoughts, whatever the case is. Can you identify what you were doing earlier in the day that might be a trigger. if you wake up in pain several times a night, you need to note it. But I think that it is most important that you get a written plan that you can agree with. If you can't agree, ask for help getting the doctor who treats intractable pain. And if necessary hire a lawyer to come with you to an appointment or to at least help you void the contract without consequences to health reporting and to assist you in finding a doctor who treats intractable pain.

    Pain clinics tend to think they are doing just fine if they reduce your pain by 50% and that assumes they don't think you are an addict to begin with. Also note that drug addiction is different from drug dependency. Sometimes your brain gets used to the dosage you are on and it stops helping as well, this is drug dependency from how I understand things. You wouldn't rob a bank to get the meds whereas an addict would. I am fearful that your contract doesn't allow for marijuana. Because that is a legal route to go if he won't help you.

    I can only wish you the best. If you can't get treated and decide to leave, I know of a doctor who has written a lot on intractable pain and he is in West Covina CA. He too, would try to see if you really don't need the meds. You can download The intractable guide for painfree times (not the exact title) his earlier edition is the Intractable Patients Handbook for Survival. When I saw him, after his evaluation and diagnosis, he basically has me on high opioids for palliative care.

    If I can help in any way, please PM me.

    Post edited for inappropriate content
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    Intractable pain law as a means to help you on a daily basis. Colorado does have a Intractable pain law But that does not mean you are in that position.

    To start with, what exactly is your condition? I know you mentioned chronic pain for years, but

    • What discs are you talking about? Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar?
      What treatments have you had so far?
      What is the doctor's action plan for you?
      Have you had any spinal surgery?
    Degenerative Disc Disease will be found in almost everyone by the time they reach 30 years old. It is basically the aging of our spine. Some folks may have more aggressive problems with DDD. But most of the time, it is managed via Over the Counter NSAIDS, an approved exercise program and approved diet.

    Lots of questions, but that helps us understand your situation better.
    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
  • hiddenseashhiddenseas Posts: 3
    edited 10/08/2014 - 4:40 AM
    I'm sorry to hear that your doctor is treating you so awfully about the medication. You say youre now in pueblo from a small city. Did you happen to be from Colorado city or rye? That's where I grew up in.
  • The phrase degenerative disc disease covers a multitude on sins & is pretty meaningless when describing pain. The fact you are using a cane & in constant pain I doubt it's natural aging. Maybe if you describe your symptoms & diagnosis a bit more we can give better advise to help you.

    I'm so terribly sorry. I'm very isolated to. We moved from England to the USA & in hindsight it wasn't a great choice for me but now I'm kind of trapped. I know it's awful living like this. I wish I had some great advise for both of us.

    Some pain management doctors & clinics will automatically reduce your narcotic meds. Some don't prescribe at all. Believe it or not I've met a PM who automatically increases meds! If any one of us went to an anti narcotic pm we would be taken off of our meds...ALL of us, no matter how well we are doing on them.
    You say you tried a lot to manage your pain. If you know you need medications & you're with a PM who doesn't believe in narcotic therapy you need to find another doctor. interviewing docs is not the same as doctor shopping, just don't fill any prescriptions until you've broken your contract (simply phone & say you won't be going there anymore when you find a new PM). I met with quite a few PM's before I chose mine. It's a very important relationship for a spiney. If you needed work done on your house you would get several different 'quotes' & opinions before making a choice. Why do we stick with the first pm we're sent to?
    When was your last MRI & surgical consult? It could be worth starting there again. The surgeon might think of something you haven't tried yet & he might have a PM that he commonly works with who will support your narcotic treatment. I use many different things to control my pain. My meds allow me to exercise & function. I've tried an all natural approach several times but can't achieve an acceptable level of pain control. Unmanaged, unrelenting pain is incredibly damaging to our bodies. It's like living in a state of chronic stress. We all have to decide if the risks of narcotics are worth it. My vitals sky rocket dangerously when I'm not medicated. It's a no-brainer for me.
    What meds were you on & what's he reduced it to? Is his plan to get you completely off? Does he prescribe narcotics for any patients or is he a no narcotics doc? How well were you functioning on your old meds? Do you also take nerve & muscle meds?

    Again, I'm sorry you're going through all this. Hang in there. Moving to a strange place is very stressful without adding this to your load. Remember the reasons you moved for. Don't dwell on what the future may or may not bring. You will handle it when you get there...I have to keep reminding myself of that! There's no use crying over milk that hasn't spilt yet. I try to focus on the here & now. I'm always doing better when I have an action plan to focus on.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I was in the same boat as you in many ways. My back pain started when I was 28 years old (53 years old now). I had been going to the same doctor in FL for the past 12 years. Last May I move to MN. I spent day and night worrying about if I was going to be able to find a doctor who would continue my meds. After reading what seemed to be a million webs sites later on what you should say (never ask for a certain opiate medications) how to act (don't be to calm or to hyper) along with a bunch of other opinions I finally decided to just open the phone book and find a family doctor close to my home. When I went I brought all my health records for the past few years, my surgery notes (last one in 1995 for spinal fusion), my last 2 MRI's (2002 and 2009) and my pain diary record for the last 60 days ( When I have a big increase of pain I put down the time, what was I doing, how bad using numbers 1-10 and what helped decrease it). If I did not have a increase of my normal pain I recorded that also each day. Since this was a family doctor I was hoping only for a consult to a PM doctor who would continue my medication. I was amazed that after she did a brief physical exam, reviewing my records and talking to me about my history and went over the pain contract which I signed, she prescribed all my medications. I do not know how I was so lucky to find such a great doctor. The one I thing I did not do was take anyone advise about not talking about the medications I was on. Talking about the medications that have worked for you is part of your history. So why would I not share that with my doctor or waste time and money on medications that have no helped in the past. Your best bet maybe to find a family doctor who may continue your meds or knows a PM doctor who will. I think bringing my pain diary was very helpful because it records how the medication I am taking is helping me. Sometimes you have to see more then one doctor to find the right one. I was just very lucky to find a doctor who believes that chronic pain is hard to control so if you find a way that works then continue with it. My doctors words not mine.
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