Help, I am at my wits end and don't know where to turn. The pain is unbearable. I literally wonder if it's worth waking up anymore.
First I have been bounced from doctor to doctor because of pain medication needs. Every time I told a doctor the meds were not helping much I would get a letter from their office within the week that the doctor could not treat me any longer. It took 5 years and a stint at the ER where I was admitted and spent a week before anyone ever requested an MRI. Turns out I have severe spinal stenosis with herniation’s at C5, 6 and 7. Significant narrowing in the thoracic region and Spondylolisthesis in the lumbar area. I am scheduled for surgery to fuse C5, 6, and maybe 7 on February 5th.
The Primary Care doctor I have had since April 2015 prescribed Percocet 10/325 every 4 hours. He really wanted to make it every 6 hours but I explained they only worked well for about 3 hours and there was no way I could bare waiting 6. Been there, done that. A couple of months after that he changed it to 1 and ½ Percocet 10/325 every 4 hours, and then a few months later he added OxyContin 20mg every 12 hours. (He also gave me a referral to a Pain Specialist) Problem is my insurance doesn’t cover this medication and I can’t afford the $300 out of pocket. The Pain doctor took over 2 months to review my case to decide if she would accept me as a patient. She refused me. When asked for an explanation, I am told the reason is because I tested negative for pain medicine in a previous urinalysis, in 2008 when this all began. (Of course I didn’t have pain medicine in my system! My primary care doctor sent me to you for that.) Back in 2008 I had been referred to this doctor along with a Rheumatologist. At my one and only appointment with this Pain Specialist, all that was done was a urine test. Weeks later I received a letter from her office stating they could not treat me. Thank goodness in the meantime I got into the Rheumatologist office who promptly prescribed pain medication to ease my suffering. I never gave another thought to this pain specialist until now when it turns out this is the same one my current doctor is referring me too. So now I have no pain management doctor and my PC doctor has decided he is not comfortable prescribing the meds nor staying as my PC because, “I am too complicated of a case” for him and now I am being transferred to a different doctor in their office. That appointment is this afternoon and I am not feeling to comfortable going to their office at all but I need the pain medicine! And they have my MRI’s. When the other PC doctor looked at them he shook his head and said, your back is a mess!
Why must I be made to feel like a drug addict by the medical community because I rely on pain medication to function. I have hundreds and hundreds of pages of documentation validating my condition, so why are the doctors running scarred to prescribe to someone who has this proof?
Why don't the doctors stand up for their patients? Are they guilty of writing to many prescriptions for people just to get them to shut up or more than likely to get them as a “return customer” without knowing or caring of the medical necessity and instead thinking of revenue. I am so fed up with it all.
Any words of encouragement or direction would be greatly appreciated. I am sorry I rambled on, just trying to get it all in and looking for suggestions on what I can do now.****************************************************************************************************** Welcome to Spine-Health
You really didnt provide us with any information regarding your condition. Some statements about MRI results and an upcoming surgery. But the focus of your thread was all
about pain medications. That does become a problem for many doctors today.
Things have changed so much since 5 years ago. Because of the abuse from both doctors and patients, there is a tight clamp down on how pain medications are administered.
The following is a general discussion and not directed at you
as an individual, it is a general statement to anyone. This is something that is discussed over and over with patients. But it is important to understand.
Its not a question that you want them, its a question if you need them. Why I say that is because pain medications have never been intended to manage your pain levels. They are just one part of it. Look at the The Blend
Here are explain all the different modules we have at our disposal to manage our pain. Its not a checklist that everyone must follow, but its a concept.
Once doctors , pharmacists, etc get the feeling that the only thing a patient wants is narcotics, they will soon be dismissed from their practice. So many people state they need pain medication to exist day to day. They need to look further into what else can help them. No one is going to continue to supply anyone with pain medications just to have them exist. Thats when the concept and idea of 'Drug seeker' comes about.
What you always have to keep in mind is pain contracts and patient responsibility. If a patient fails a urine analysis, it is not the fault of the doctor, you can not blame them for the medications that you have taken over the years. Their license is on the line if they start to prescribe narcotics for people that may not need them or have shown in the past that they abused them.
Doctors do help their patients. But its not just black and white. Because a patient feels they need something and the doctor is not providing it, then the patient thinks that doctor is not trying to help at all. Medical necessity is the key word, but its not up to the patient to decide that. A good doctor will look at all the diagnostic tests, perform clinical examinations and rely alot on how the patient is communicating. So many times its about What the Patient needs vs what the Patient wants
While you may have provided us with some information, there is always more to provide.
One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.
So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.
Here are some questions that you should answer:
- When did this first start?
. Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
. Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
. Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
. Physical Therapy
. Ultrasound / Tens unit
. Spinal Injections
. Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
. Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
. How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
. Name of Medication
. How long have you been using this?
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.
Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules
I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ
There you will find much information that will
- Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
- Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
- Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
- General pieces of valuable information
Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
- Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
- Medical advice of any kind
- Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc
What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.
It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have areI’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?
Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.Specific comments :Personal Opinion, not medical advice :
--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 01/29/16 15:05 est