Hi, I'm new here, but read a lot of the posts for a while now, but here goes.
I hope this doesn't get too long, but I need some advice. I'm 59, divorced, raised two great sons by myself after 16 years of marriage. I was a heavy equipment operator and dump truck driver all my life and owned my own trucks also for many years. At the age of 25 I started making kidney stones, had a few operations to remove them, dealt with that for years until they got worse, lots worse . I was passing 5 or 6 a month at times. At age 35, I fell off a roof, busted my diaphram, ribs , wrist etc. almost died, and messed up my neck somewhat in the fall also. On pain meds for about 8 or 9 months, got off them and carried on for about 10 years with work and family usually in pain, just lived with it. Then coming home one day I got rearended at 50mph and shoved into another car ahead of me, double whiplash, they called it. I had terrible pain for over 2 years, my arm was completely numb, physical therapy, acupuncture, nerve meds, nuerontin, head meds, which the docs said there was nothing wrong. HA. Finally a friend introduced me to his neurosurgeon, in a great clinic, they took THEIR OWN MRI's and cat scans, and told me my C-4, C-5 was mangling the nerve and had been permanately damaged because of putting off surgery for too long. Operated, numbness went away, but the pain remains. One year later, driving a dump truck and trailer, trailer steer axle broke, pulled me off a 20 ft. embankment and a bad wreck. Threw me around in the cab, gearshift hit my spine, and once more, more discs screwed up. Anyway, at that time I started the kidney stone making again and finally the doc disabled me. Several years down the road, the discs above and below are pinching 5 nerves the surgeon says and he doesn't give me much hope of relief IF he DOES operate, BUT... I WILL be paralyzed possibly if he doesn't. I am in some pretty heavy pain with the muscle degeneration from the whiplash, and the docs say that every muscle in my neck was torn in the wreck and their is arthritis and also disc degeneration in my entire spine. I have been to so many doctors, had steroidal injections into the disc spaces, lots of them, with about of 1-2 weeks relief, then tried accupunture, nerve stimulators, you name it. Finally my doc put me on methadone with morphine for breakthru pain. It is the only relief I get, I still have bad days , but my quality of life has been much better for the last several years of being on them. I was blessed with IBS also for many, many years, and one GOOD side effect of the narcotics was that the IBS virtually stopped. I have never abused the drugs, asked for more either. Now my doc is retiring, and I go to this pain clinic, they tell me they are taking me almost completely off narcotics, because they say in Oregon, people are abusing them. I have no idea what to do. They cut me in half in one month, I passed a kidney stone a week ago with virtually no medication, went to the hospital, they gave me steroids? Does any one know a good doctor on the west coast who believes in narcotic therapy, or is there any new drugs that will help my kind of pain? Or is there really a new law stating that narcotic therapy is no longer useful? ANY help in these areas I've mentioned would be greatly appreciated, sorry my post was so long, Thanks.
Steven A. Collins