My name is Tom and I am brand new to this forum. I have tried to read the rules to the best of my ability and if I break one I assure you it is unintentional and I mean no disrespect. I am just very overwhelmed, upset, anxious, and I dont know where to turn or what to do anymore. I need people who are more experienced than i am to help me/point me in the correct direction.
I am a 32 year old male. By trade I am an electrician. 3 years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. I went through the whole rigamarole of doctor after doctor after specialist after surgeon etc. You catch my drift. Anyway long story short my condition was deemed irreparable by surgical means. As an alternative, and some self advocating, I was implanted with a neuro-stimulator. I got some decent relief, however, the trial surgery was much more effective than the permanent surgery, and I felt a bit duped. Regardless, I was able to stop taking the heavy-duty medication and just stay on tramadol, about (1) 50mg to (2) 50mg and some meloxicam. Not a bad improvement. As time went on, there were some times where the pain got bad again but only for a few weeks, during which time i went on a moderate dose of a narcotic, rested, stretches etc. And once again was able to return to "normal". As you might guess, there is a certain amount of pain that I always will have to live with it seems.
Anyway, I am a resident of Mass, like I said an electrician, and this winter was absolutely brutal!!!! I had to get my truck out of the driveway to get to the doctor, so I was forced to shovel, a task I ordinarily would hire someone else to do....but sometimes life doesn't always work out the way we hope. While shoveling, I suddenly felt that familiar "snap" and I knew immediately I was in trouble. I took moderate measures at first, a torodol injection at the walk in, a few days off work, ice/heat etc. It just got worse and worse and worse. The spinal stimulator started turning on and off at will almost and was giving me zero relief. It is worth mentioning that I also have Bi-polar disorder. I went to my PCP and was placed back on a moderate narcotic. Within four days, I noticed a shift in my mood (sometimes the heavier meds can do this to me) and I knew I was in trouble. I went to the ER and admitted myself into a psychiatric ward and there they got my head meds back on track and my pain under-control with long acting narcotics, nerve medicine (GABA), and short acting narcotics PRN.
I've been out of the hospital a month and my CT scans have been processed and they found that I have 2 bulged discs that weren't there before or at least as bad. Once again, surgery not an option. I've been told in very specific terms that my condition is incurable and surgery is not an option. My spine will continue to get worse over time. I don't want to be overly dramatic about this, but my point is there is no simple fix.
My spinal stimulator will be troubleshot next week, and PT begins on Friday. However, my doctor needs me to find a pain management center to find something that, long term, will be more effective for pain. I know that the course of meds I'm on now is unsustainable and is not a permanent solution to my issue. But I dont know what to do. I take the medicine and go to work because without work I cannot afford to live and have health care, I absolutely refuse to go on SSDI @ 32.....it breaks my heart thinking about it. I come home in agony, take the meds, go to bed and the cycle continues. Dont get me wrong, the pain is there with or without work, but its a lot worse after and 8hr day at work.
I have NO ACCEPTABLE quality of life for an otherwise healthy 32 year old. I want to run, ride bikes, be intimate with my girlfriend, go to the gym......but work is all I can do and I'm in tears half the day, luckily my boss understands, and i have "light duty".
I DONT WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE. I'm so distraught. I'm sick of not having a solution. I even went to a pot doctor and tried all kinds of supplements. I hate my life. Plus, I hate going to the "specialists" and being scrutinized as a possible drug addict. My gf is a nurse. I have no access to my meds, I have never diverted/sold/or otherwise abused a medicine, I have never ran out early, I have never lost a script, i have never had a script stolen, i have one prescriber, i typically only use 1 pharmacy (convenience and supply is sometimes an issue), and I have never use a medicine in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. As mentioned above, I need to find a PM doc. Ive been turned down by the one the hospital referred me to upon my discharge and I'm afraid to apply and get referrals to more because I'm afraid i might be looked at as a dr shopper.
I'm scared, I'm frustrated, I'm over-whelmed, and I'm just tired of this life. I want to give up because Im so damned tired of living this way. I see a therapist, I see a psych doc, I do what I'm told and still nothing. Does anyone know of compassionate pain management clinics/doc's in MA? By compassionate, I mean not biased, not yet jaded by drug seekers, someone who will work with me to find a way to fix this mess and not be a jerk?
Also, has anyone had to leave a profession due to chronic pain? Being an electrician is all I know. I cant do all this and go back to school? I have a family and can't afford it....I need to provide.
I know this post is all over the place, I'm just very distraught and upset right now. I don't want my family and friends to know I'm losing faith.
Please Help Me.