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Not sure what my role is here

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Pain Management
I'm fairly new to the forum and new to pain mgmt. While I had my first surgery -L5-S1 360 fusion in 1991, I have not been in any type of pain mgmt until my recent surgery. Last year I had a posterior fusion of C3- T1. And diagnosed w/ DDD and DJD in my lumbar discs and SI joint.

While i've seen the PM doc now for about a year, it is always like an initial visit when I go in. It is like I have to relate my history every single time. Then if I say the last drug they gave me...MS Contin just didn't work for me, as I could not function, they will say "Well what do you want to try?" How am I supposed to know? They are the Docs.

Is this typical? Am I the one who should be researching every drug and treatment option out there and then requesting it?

Also, I am working FT, not by choice...I really feel I qualify for disability. I am in more pain post surgery than before due to muscle spasms in my neck and arm which is aggravated by work. I work at a computer all day long and it is hard to concentrate when you hurt and are groggy from meds. Do most of you still work?

I am taking Neurotin, Robaxin, Hydrocodone and a Fetanyl patch. Along with Prozac and HBP meds.



  • ">imageWelcome to the forum!
    I'm so sorry to hear that you are still experiencing so much pain after your surgery. It stinks that you still have to work especially when you hurt so much. Thankfully, I don't have to work. I can't even imagine trying!
    Going to your doctor shouldn't have to be so stressful for you. They do see a lot of patients, but if you have seen him quite a few times before, you would kinda expect that he might remember something or at least check your chart before coming in to the room. A suggestion: when it comes to the part of asking you about your previous meds that you were taking, if you need to try something different, maybe try approaching it from a different angle. Tell him that you have been taking the ms contin but it isn't giving you sufficient coverage and ask him what he suggests. I find that fluffing the doc up by asking his opinion, makes him feel pretty good! When he suggests something, ask him how the drug works, what you can expect the side effects to be, and if you will be able to perform our job while taking it. After you get home, definitely research it! Your medical care INVOLVES you, not something that is DONE to you.

    Good luck with your continued care. I hope that it gets better for you and you have many more pain free days (rather than less).
  • completely agree with what Terrie had to say , why don't you give that a try and have you thought about applying for disability? You know your body better than anyone else and if you feel that is what you need to do then do it....you can also ask the doctor what he thinks about it. As far as what role you have here on SH , well , you just be you....seek all the support and understanding that you need and if you find yourself in a place to help others then you can do that too. There is something very wonderful when you are able to help others and believe me you will help others whether you realize it or not. Good luck to you and please keep us posted as to how you are doing....if ever I can help you with anything at all then please do not hesitate to PM me and just let me know. I will always be happy to do for you whatever I can. Take care....Miki
  • Thanks so much to both of you for your comments. I'll take your suggestions of fluffing the docs first. I really think i'll pursue the disability thing. I've given it a good shot, right now i'm on a Fetanyl patch and not sure this will work either, lots of side effects. My Pain Mgmt doc kinda brushed it aside but I have my PCP who said 'whenever you are ready' and he will help me. One thing I found out that works here in NV, if you can get your doc to initially sign you up for temp disability, meaning you can't work for 6mo to a yr. you will get disability immediately and then can transition to perm disability.
    I'm just so sick of hurting. :(
  • You are very fortunate to have that option in NV. most of us have to wait years for our SSD to be approved.
  • whenever I applied for disability I had a lawyer look over my information to see if he thought that I had a good chance of getting it. One thing he told me was that if you are taking morphine or methadone, I'm not sure what else, that you have an even better chance of getting disability. That kinda shows how much pain you're in (in his words).
  • I agree with Terrie and Miki. Approach has a lot to do with how docs treat you and respond to you.

    Holy smokes you are fused from C3-T1 and still working at a computer all day!?!?! I am humbled by your strength!!!

    I have cervical issues too and one thing I battle every minute of every day are muscle spasms. I am taking 2 anti-spasmotic drugs Baclofen and Zanaflex, which help.

    Since most of your pain now relates to the muscle spasms (if I read your post right), has your doctor considered attacking that instead of just the pain end of it?

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • The implication for chronic pain is that it restricts our endeavour to continue to have quality of life, evidence would suggest that the longer you have this type of pain the more impact imposed changes occur and your overall capacity shrinks as a consequence. The rate at which this mode progresses is different all the time and with each patient. You have done well to keep working and your short term objective should be a constituent of the longer one, we are all familiar of that feeling of not knowing what and where to go next, you may have some time to develop a more rounded strategy to cope in the longer term and have included some hopes and dreams.

    Pain is an insidious restrictor and amalgamates all those initial limits toward your overall function, time seems like an eternity but sooner than you think those collective difficulties impact on daily life and continue to compress that time itself.

    It is good that you are looking to the future and hope to plan and your perception of your own limitations, these become your norm and the life you live, only over a time period do we see them develop and much evidence is here of patients battling to seek out minimum achievement for maximum effort, patience, tears and woe.

    The reality is that no magic solution is available or possible, sufficient medication that would enable us to have no or even functional pain is that invasive to deem working normally or improved quality of life is only a utopian vision. Finding the right balance for each of us is the key, and it is evasive, the nearer we become the more the fluid its threshold, we aim high and are accepting of reduced pain.

    Even experienced patients have posed themselves the same question that you ask, where am I going and what am I doing, and still the rigours of daily life never diminish that drive for improvement, the capacity to deal with chronic pain exceeds most capabilities and we should feel proud of what we have and continue to achieve, despite the pain.

    The acceptance of the new you will be a chalange it will occur even if you wished it would not, I have been you, and so wish you well on your journey.

    Take care John.
  • Thanks for this post. It's been so long dealing with all this.
    All I can do is sigh...
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