Hello all. I am a 24 year old with a herniated L5 disc that has given me trouble on and off in the way of a flair up at the rate of every few months for the past few years. I have received only one injection for the pain to date in 2012 and while it helped I hope to avoid them in the future as the cost, even with my insurance, is astronomical and I have concerns about the shot itself.
My doctor began giving me tramadol when I had a flair up and it helps to relieve the pain that makes the slightest moves, walking, and even laying down agonizing. Recently though on my last trip to my doctor he reduced the amount of tramadol he dispensed to me by half with no refills. This was distressing to me as that is my key to functioning normally while in the midst of a flair up....without the tramadol I wouldn't be able to go to work or drive a car...I'd be stuck in a chair until the pain lessened.
I understand that in the state I live (Missouri) the drug has recently within the past year become classified as a controlled substance but if it have a condition that warrants pain medication does that not justify the normal script? My question here is....how can I broach the topic of asking for a sufficient amount of pills to help me get through the worst of the pain until I'm at normal again? I never finished the full dose he gave me in the past and just save them for future flair ups. I do not abuse my medication and take only as needed. If he denies me a refill again I would prefer to switch doctors but that comes with trouble of its own.
In 2012 I had x-rays and an mri done. That is how my disc situation was diagnosed. As of this date, I still owe the mri tech for the balance on the bill....i retained a ridiculous amount of medical debt for the tests and the injection...and I was insured when I received the care. My fear is that going to a new doctor who may be understanding about my need for pain medication as a fix until the day I can actually afford the surgery (it that even ever comes) will necessitate completely new x-rays and mris. Is it possible to obtain my medical file from my current doctor and present it to my new doctor and explain my situation? If my pain is so bad that my torso is leaning (which it does when the pain peaks) I'm positive that there hasn't been improvement and if there has...it's exceptionally slight. I just want to have the ability to get enough pain medication go see me through the flair up and allow me to function so my work doesn't suffer and I think my doctor is more afraid of the idea of writing a script for a controlled substance than aiding me in my pain. Any advice for how to proceed? All suggestions are appreciated.