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Horrific Post Surgery Experience

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Yesterday morning I had a Lumbar Laminectomy and a Micro Discectomy. I've had a pretty rough time since the surgery but I'm here and I'm at home now. Since I was awake all night I wrote in detail what happened. I thought I'd forget if I didn't. I'm cutting it and pasting it from Word to here for anyone interested in reading about my horrific experience.

About a week before my surgery I wrote an email to Gigi at the Washington Brain and Spine institute with several questions and concerns that I had thought of over the past few weeks. One of my concerns was that the amount of medicine I was on prior to surgery would not be taken into consideration when selecting the dose for my post op medicines. Another concern that I had was that the doctor or nurse wouldn’t know how to convert Opana in to the medicine I was to receive. Gigi explained to me that I would be bringing a list my medicines to the pre-op appointment so that the doctors would know what doses would be required after surgery.
When I had my pre-op appointment I told them that I was taking 40mg’s of Opana twice daily and that I was taking 15mg’s of Roxycodone 4-5 daily. I explained to them as well that the Opana was twice as strong as Oxycontin as stated on Opana’s website on the conversion chart. I was also told that I could take pills the morning of the surgery but it’d be better if I could do without. Since the surgery was scheduled to start at 7am I did not take my pills the morning of the surgery.
Just a few minutes before the surgery started, while in the operating room I was asked by the physician’s assistant what is Opana. I explained to her that Opana is my long acting pain medicine and that it’s converted 2 to 1 from Oxycontin to Opana. The Physician’s Assistant told me that the hospital didn’t have Opana and that I’d be given something comparable and I told her that was fine. I also told her that the doses I’d been on prior to my surgery hadn’t been effective but I didn’t have them raised since I knew they’d be raised after my surgery and I didn’t want them raised twice. I remember thinking “oh great, I have a feeling that this will be an issue later.” That was the last thing I remember prior to surgery.
After my surgery, I remember waking up in a lot of pain and telling the nurse that I was really hurting. She said she was going to give me a shot of Delodid. When she came back with the shot I asked her what I would be taking while in the hospital. She told me that I’d be taking 40mg’s of Oxycontin twice daily and Oxycodone every four hours. She also said that if I needed something between the four hours that I could ask for a shot of Delodid. She also said that I’d only get the Oxycodone if I asked for that as well. I told her that couldn’t be right since my Opana was stronger than the Oxycontin. She said that’s what was ordered. I explained to the nurse that 40mg’s of Opana was equal to 80mg’s of Oxycontin. She said she would look in to it. I continued to tell her that I was in pain and she would occasionally give me a shot of Delodid. I saw my wife only for a few minutes but she was told that she couldn’t stay in recovery. I was also told that there were no rooms available and that I’d have to stay in recovery by myself until a room opened up. The nurse gave her a $5 gift shop voucher to make up for my wife having to sit in the waiting room for an extra 6 hours after I came out of the anesthesia. My wife and I both agreed that it was a nice thought but doesn’t come close to making up for this. I had to sit alone for the first 6 hours after I was out of the anesthesia. I even asked the nurse several times if she could let my stay with me as an exception due to the circumstances and I was told that she could not stay back there. I was pretty concerned because my pain was severe and wasn’t going away. I kept telling the nurse about my pain levels and my concerns about the Opana. Between the pain, the medicine mix-up, and the fact that my wife couldn’t be with me, I was getting scared and agitated. Around 2:45pm I heard my nurse talking to someone who appeared to be a head nurse. I heard them talking about the conversion of my medicine and I also heard the head nurse say that she at took medicine for chronic pain and when she didn’t take it, she became agitated. I really thought that at this point they had it figured out and that they were going to finally be able to get my pain under control. I didn’t hear anything else from anyone for about 45 minutes which is when I finally heard that a room was available. I was told that it was a nice single room that they were putting me in and that it was a really nice room.

When we got to the room I was introduced to my nurse. I told her about the confusion regarding my medication and that I was in a lot of pain. She said she’d look in to it. The Physician’s Assistant that asked me about Opana prior to my surgery came to my room with another woman. I told her that my medicine doses were still messed up and that I thought they were close to figuring it out downstairs. She said “I told you downstairs that we didn’t have Opana and that we’d have to substitute it. “ I told her that I didn’t have a problem with that but that the levels were wrong. She told me that they pharmacy decided on those levels and they knew what they were doing. She also said that my medication was lower because the disc fragment that was causing me so much pain had been removed and that I shouldn’t have as much pain. I told her that I expected that but I was thinking that it’d be at least a few weeks after surgery before they started cutting back my meds. I said that I actually expected them to be a little higher than I had been on since I now had an incision. She told me that some people don’t even stay at the hospital at all after these types of procedure and that my incision was only a small one. I continued to tell her that the conversion was off and that I hadn’t yet received anything to replace my Opana. She said she’d look in to it. By this point I was beginning to feel a significant amount of withdrawal symptoms. I was very restless (especially my legs) and I was alternating between shivering and sweating.

Around 4pm, my nurse came in and told me that she had 60mg’s of MS Contin for me to take in place of Oxycontin since the conversion hadn’t been done correctly. I thanked her and took my medicine. A few minutes after the nurse left the room I remembered the conversion cart that I had looked at on Opana’s website. I didn’t think that 60mg’s of MS contin was equal to my 40mg dose of Opana. I looked it up on my Blackberry while my wife called her brother to have him look it up and we both discovered that 60mg’s of MS Contin was equal to half of my 40mg dose of Opana as well. The conversion chart states that for 10mg’s of Opana you need 20mg’s of Oxycontin and you’d need 30mg’s of Morphine. It was around 4:30pm that I verified that my doses were still only half what I’d been on prior to coming to the hospital for my surgery. I couldn’t understand why they would have switched me from being on half my dose in Oxycontin to half my dose in MS Contin. Even if the dose would have been doubled, I would have only been at the dose I had been on for the past several months. I was told I’d be getting 15mgs of Oxycodone which would have been a max of 6 and I was already taking 4-5 of those per day. It was around 4:30 that I began trying to get my nurse so that I could explain to her that this dose of MS contin was half just like the dose of Oxycontin that I was originally prescribed. I pushed the button on my remote and waited but nobody showed up. After waiting about 15 minutes I tried to push the buttons on the bed but still nobody showed up. After about an hour my wife went looking for the nurse. My wife got the nurse and when she came back she found that the nurse “call button” didn’t work in my room. She replaced the controller. My son was at home sick and my wife had to leave soon but she didn’t want to leave without getting my pain medicine resolved. My wife explained to the nurse that I was in severe pain and needed to speak to someone again about the doses. The nurse said that she’d call the Physician’s Assistant again. She said he wasn’t the same PA that I’d seen before. The nurse told my wife that she called him and he was in a procedure and that he’d come talk to me as soon as he was finished. My wife came back to the room and continued to wait so that we could resolve the issue before the she went home to our sick son. We waited several hours while I tossed and turned restlessly in withdrawal. I was also shivering quite a bit. Around 8pm my wife had to leave and could not wait any longer. I called the nurse back around 8:30pm and told her that I wasn’t doing very well and that I was in a lot of pain and I asked for an ETA on the Physician’s Assistant. She told me that she’d try to call him again. Around 9pm a doctor showed up and said that he heard that I was in pain. I told him that I was in severe pain and that I was also in withdrawal. He said that I was explained earlier that the hospital didn’t have Opana and that’s why they were substituting them with other types of medication. I told him that I didn’t have a problem with that but that I’d been telling the staff for the past 12 hours that he dose was half my normal dose and that I’d been in agony the whole time. I should have had a morning dose of Opana (or something comparable) and that it was already time for my night dose and all I’d had all day was half of one dose and shots of dilauded. I explained the whole story to him. After hearing the whole story he said that the issue had been sent to the pharmacy and they were the ones that confirmed the doses and that it was right. I told the doctor that I had the conversion chart right here on my Blackberry and that he could look at that or even look it up on his own. I told him that I felt very uncomfortable being a patient and telling the doctors that they’re all wrong but that in this case, they really were all wrong. He said he’d have to look it up himself and began using his Treo type of cell phone device. I told him that all he’d have to do is Google “Opana Conversion Chart” and any of them would show him what I had been trying to explain for the past 12 hours. About a minute later he stopped typing on his phone and said “you were right. You have been getting half your dose all day. He said “I’ll get your dose of MS contin switched to 120mg STAT.” He said that when the nurse came in to give me my PM dose of the MS contin that he’d have her give me an extra shot of dilaudid. I thanked him and he left.

About 20 minutes later (approximately 9:30pm) my nurse came in and said here’s your 60mg dose of MS contin. I said “you have to be kidding me”. She said that she wasn’t kidding and that the doctor wrote to change me to 120mgs of MS contin and to give me 60mgs as my evening dose. I asked her how that made sense and she wasn’t sure so she left the room to find out. She came back a few minutes later and said that since I didn’t get my AM dose until 4pm that I couldn’t take more than 60mgs for my PM dose. She said that I wouldn’t actually be able to switch to the correct dose until 4am the following morning.

Around 12:20am I was due for another dose of Oxycodone. Around 12am I told the nurse that had been around all day that I was in such agony and that I’d like my dose of Oxycodone. I decided to tell her at 12am so that she could have it ready by 12:20am when it was technically due. She said she was getting off soon so she’d pass it on to the next nurse. I told her that the Oxycodone actually seemed to work better than the delaudid. Around 12:50am I still hadn’t seen anyone so I called the nurse again. The new night nurse came down and said she hadn’t heard anything from the previous nurse about me needing anything. She then gave me a shot of Delaudid that she said she had been carrying in her pocket. I told her that the Oxycodone works better which is why I requested that an hour ago instead of the delauded. She said that it was too late and that now that she’s given me the shot that I’d have to wait a few more hours.
I noticed that my lip was swollen around 5pm when I first went to the restroom on my own. I asked the nurse and she said that can happen from the tubes that go in your mouth during surgery. She said to just leave it alone and it will go away. I asked the doctor that came around at 9pm to address my medication concerns and he said the same things about the tubes from surgery causing it and that I should leave it alone. I went to the bathroom around 3am and noticed in the mirror that it looks more swollen and like there are numerous blisters inside my lip where it is swollen. When I returned to my bed I noticed that my sheets were all twisted up from my restlessness that the withdrawal caused so I paged the nurse or tech to come to my room to help straighten my bed. The tech came and straightened my bed and while she was there I asked her about the blisters. She told me that she’d send my nurse down right away. It is now 3:50am and I still have not received a visit from my nurse.
At 4am I called for the nurse to come down to give me my 120mg’s of MS Contin. When she came I asked her about my lip and she said that it may be from tape or something and that I could ask the doctor. She gave me the 120mgs of MS contin which would just get me to the level I was at prior to having surgery. I asked if she could also give me a shot of dilaudid to help with the pain while I was waiting for the MS contin to kick in and even once it had kicked in since it was only the same dose I had been taking prior to surgery. She said that even though I was told I could have the Dilaudid in between Oxycodone doses that she didn’t feel comfortable giving me the shot of dilaudid at the same time as the MS contin. At 4:07am I called the nurse back to explain to her that the 120mgs of MS contin was just to get me to where I was at prior to coming to the hospital but when I called I was told she was in with another patient and would come back as soon as she could. I also thought that the MS Contin was a 12 hr pain medicine so I’m not sure I understand. Would I not be allowed to take Dilaudid at all during the 12 hours?
I’m pretty sure that I’m supposed to be on an equivilant dose to what I was on prior to coming in to the hospital plus dilaudid as needed in between my Oxycodone doses. Right now it’s 4am which would be exactly half way in between my doses. The nurse came back in at 4:17 with the dilaudid and said “I’ve brought you your dilaudid but it’s not time for anything else.” I told her that I didn’t need anything else. She said “well earlier you said the dilaudid didn’t even help. I said “earlier it didn’t help. This 120mgs you just gave me is equal to what I’ve been taking twice a day for the past 6 months. I didn’t have that earlier so the dilaudid didn’t help. Now that I have taken my proper dose of my base medicine, the dilaudid should help. “ She cut me off saying uh huh. See you later as she walked out.

I have been sick before. I have been in pain before. I have been through plenty of uncomfortable and bad experiences. I can say without a doubt that this was the most painful and horrific experience that I have ever been through. I never expected that I could tell so many people that I was in such a severe 10 out of 10 pain for so long and have nothing done. All that had to be done was for someone to look it up to see if what I was saying had any merit and that never happened. I was regularly blown off and left in excruciating pain for well over 12 hours. I first told the PA about the meds around 7am on Thursday the 24th. I continued to explain the situation to the post-op nurse from about 9:00am on Thursday July 24th until 5am on Friday the 25th when my 120mg MS Contin dose kicked in. I can say without a doubt that this has been the worst experience of my life. I will say that as of right now, I’ve been in severe, untreated pain for 20 hours. I’ve also never been treated so poorly or had someone be as unsympathetic as this night nurse has been. She has seemed rude and put out about everything she’s had to do.

Here's an update for anyone who has made it this far. I came home today around 2pm. I got setup in bed with my laptop and a walkie talkie. My wife has the other. I have my Opana and I'm taking the 15 mg Roxycodone's every 4 hours instead of 4-5 times a day.



  • I am so sorry to hear of your awful treatment, I don't know what to say that might make it any better apart from to let you know that I read your story and I am appalled at the way the medical team have acted.

    I hope you are able to get some significant pain relief soon and that over time the operation will prove to be a success.

    I think you have done the right thing in making a written record as it will help keep things straight and in time if you want to make a formal complaint you have the material you need.

    I hope you feel better soon,

    Take care

  • I'm not sure how to answer that question about if I'm better as a result. I've been in severe pain for just about every moment since the surgery yesterday. I have incision pain, back pain, and am having more severe leg pain then I had prior to the surgery. Should I be feeling some kind of releif on the day after my surgery?

    I have two ruptured discs, one of which is broken in to pieces. My first doctor wanted to do a two level fusion. The second opinion and the one I went with said that we should go in and take out the broken pieces of the one disc and leave the other ruptured disc alone. He mentioined to me after surgery that he removed a piece of broken that was the size of a large marble. My surgeon asked me how my leg felt and I told him that it felt fine. That was before I stood up. As soon as I stood up I had an electric leg pain that was worse than ever. I assumed that may be due to nerves being irritated during the procedure. That's me trying to be optomistic.

  • to hear of the horrible way that you were treated in the hospital. I will bet that this type of treatment happens very often and we just don't hear about it. I hope that when you do feel up to it that you will file a formal complaint with the hospital. You may be able to prevent others from going through some of the stupidity and torture that you did. I hope that now since you are home you will have a much easier time controlling your pain which will help lead to a speedy recovery. Please keep us posted.
  • to hear all that youre going through while trying to recover after your procedure. I wonder if you would have been better having the fusion. I do hope the people you have to deal with get it together and start behaving more professional.

    Take Care,

    Christina :)
  • I am so sorry for your horrific hospital experience. I do wish that Pain Management docs would be involved from pre-op and manage their patients pain needs while in the hospital for medical or surgical problems. I am a nurse and I have seen this situation before all too many times. The docs and nurses are afraid of these drugs. They are afraid of over-medicating their patients into respiratory depression. Nurses and surgeons are not used to managing chronic pain. That is why a PM doc would make so much sense to handle the pain meds. Even when the meds are ordered and available, the nurses may hesitate because they know their licenses are on the line if something negative happens to a patient. "The doctor ordered it" is not a legitimate excuse in a court situation. Typically we are taught not to overlap narcotics, they are usually either/or not both at the same time. Surgeons and nurses are more familiar with acute pain management and the chronic pain management is better left to the PM's. Now how to get this to be a standard practice? I am sure the insurance compainies would not want to pay another specialist for their much needed assistance, unfortunately. I sure hope things start to look up for you. Where are you located? I have never heard of Opana or Roxycodone. Sue
  • Opana is a brand name of Oxymorphone just like Dilaudid is Hydromorphone.

    Roxycodone is the same as Oxy IR (instant release).

    Here is the conversion chart for Opana which is Oxymorphone. I got this off of RxList but you can get the same thing from Opana.com or many other websites. I kept telling the PA's, nurses, and doctors about this chart but they just wouldn't listen.

  • Sounds like if you are taking a significant amount of pain killers pre-op then you need to have a letter from a pain management Dr to take with you.
    Yes I know that nurses often dont listen to patients -or dont seem to listen, but this is often because the patient had got it wrong. - I'm not trying to make excuses for what happened but I know that my Dad who also had a bad back is forever telling me that he is taking 40mg Oxycontin SR twice a day for pain. Now my Dad is pretty with it but this is not the case at all. He is taking 5mg not 20! I spoke with his Dr.Imagine if the nurses and Drs had taken what he said at face value :jawdrop:
    So what I am saying is take a lettter from the prescribing Dr with you to hospital. Dont you take your meds in with you??? In Aussie, we always take our meds with us which has dosage etc on the box.

    Now if I have gotten this all wrong then please forgive me, I read the post last night but was too tired to reply so may have forgotten some points and it was just too long to read again LOL

    I hope things settle for you
  • I was not taking narcs pre-op for my 2nd surgery, only lyrica and amitryptaline and zoloft. I should have been/wish I would have been taking something to help with the pain, but I'm kind of stubborn about pain meds. Pre-op the day of surgery the nurses asked me for a list of my meds, and they were shocked that I wasn't taking anything. The nurse then said that she feels really bad when people come in for surgery already maxed out on pain meds, because they don't have many options to help them. So maybe it just depends on each individual patient as to how much the doctor is willing to give you. They said they have many more options and can control people's surgical pain better if the patient is not taking a high doseage of meds. Just a thought. Maybe it wasn't safe to give you more. And with todays society being such a litigous one, if they gave you more and you reacted to it, their licenses are on the line, and law suits are something they try to prevent.

    Sorry you had to go through all that post op pain. it hurts no matter how much meds they give, because anytime you have been sliced open it is going to hurt. the purpose of pain meds isn't to take the pain away, but rather to reduce it to a more manageable level. I hope the next few days are better for you. Good luck with recovery.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • My doctor took me off all pain meds for 4 weeks prior to fusion. His reasoning was that it should lower my tolerance so that pain meds post surgery would work better. It was really hard and I went through some withdrawl. Needless to say I didn't get enough pain relief in the hospital until I was taken off the morphin drip and given percocet.
  • I think there is some confusion on a few posts. The first one is Angelback. It's not that there was any doubt or confusion as to what dose I was taking. The knew and believed that I was on 40mg's of Opana twice a day. The problem is that they didn't have Opana at the hospital and they didn't know how to convert Opana to Oxycontin or MS Contin. They thought 40 of Opana equals 40 of Oxy but if you look at the conversion chart you'll notice that 40 of Opana (Oxymorphone) is equal to 80mg of Oxy.

    The second is Neck of Steel. It's not that they didn't have many options because I was maxed out. The problem is that they weren't converting it properly. Now that I'm at home they have me on my regular dose of Opana and 320mg of Oxycodone evey 4 hours. I'm still in pain but I fall it's plenty of medicine. I wouldn't want to be on more.
  • I am glad that you kept track of all of this. Not only would I make a formal complaint, I would call a lawyer!! Not only did they get your dose wrong, they refused to listen to you, ignored you, treated you rudely.... and caused you to go through withdrawls!!!

    There is something totally wrong with this situation!!

    When I was in the hospital after delivering my son, I was in terrible pain. (As most of us mothers know)

    My nurses treated me like an inconvenience. I have worked in a nursing home. I understand the toll it takes on a person being a nurse, long hours, being short staffed, dealing with cranky patients.

    But I was in pain. And I had to argue with them just to get tylenol with codeine!! I had to beep them every time my meds were due. There was only one nurse, who was sympathetic to my pain. She came in with a smile, checked my "wounds" and gave me 2 tylenol #3 every 4 hours, without me ever beeping her. If only she could've stayed with me the whole time!!! lol

    BTW... I love Nurses!!! I'd like to be one someday. I only wish there were more, to take some of the stress off of the existing ones.

    Good luck to you, I hope you start feeling better soon!!
  • I'm definitely calling a lawyer. I'm not sure how to pick one but I am going to look in to it.
  • Why would you need a lawyer? You have nothing to go after the doctor or the hospital over. They were doing their jobs. Better to under-medicate you then to over-medicate you. The whole idea of the surgery is to get you off the drugs not increase them. My pain meds were DECREASED after sugery. Stop looking at the negative side of everything and start looking towards the positive. Your surgery is over, now you just have to heal.

    Take Care,

    Christina :)
  • I'm just curious that you refer to the nurses and various doctors. Did your surgeon come to check on you at all? When I was in the hospital, I asked the nurse if she could stop my IV since i was on liquids (peeing every 2 hours). She said she would have to ask the doctor. She called my doctor and he said no. This was almost midnight.

    My point is my doctor was availabe and he was fully aware of any and all medications I was taking. I could count on my doc or one of his associates coming to check on my every morning, even on weekends.

    I'm not putting blame on your doc, but he is the one that would be aware of what you were taking and can take.

    I also see no need for a lawyer.
  • Just concerned about you.

    First, don't waste your time with a lawyer. You don't have a case.

    Second, how on earth can you handle taking 320 mg of oxycodone every 4 hours. I went back and read the thread that Paul linked to on the old board. You owned up to having a drug problem then (5 months ago), and you were trying to go cold turkey. How did you get to this point where you are taking so much meds? I understand pain, I live with it too. But come on man, you are going to kill yourself with all that junk.

    I watched my brother do exactly what you are doing, and he is now dead. It was a car accident, but drugs played a part in it. In fact, his wife was driving and they were both strung out on 5 different drugs, a couple of which came from his back doctor. She is now a felon with a vehicular homicide conviction. Don't let these meds ruin your life. Only you can determine how strong you are and how much you can handle, but you need to get off of the amount of opiates you are taking and come back down to earth. I would bet that if you get off of it, you'll realize that you aren't hurting as bad as you think you are. When you get to the point you are at, your brain is telling you it wants more meds, and this is easily interpreted as pain. I'm not saying you don't have pain, but I think you are so concerned about what level of pain meds you have that you have forgotten that you need to work to get out of pain too. Come back down to a more reasonable level of pain meds and you will feel better in the long term.

    I just set myself up to be slammed, but I don't care. I think this needed to be said. And I am not saying it to be mean, but to try to get you to take a look at yourself and open your eyes to what you are doing. You mentioned that you have a son. Love him enough to take control of your life and manage your pain in a better way.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I was not looking to be over medicated. I just was expecting that they would at least give me the ammount I was on prior to surgery. I would only talk to a lawyer my workers comp lawyer to make sure everything is fine with what's going on. I agree that the reason I had surgery was to get off all meds all together. I just didn't expect that I'd have to have withdrawals on the day of my surgery. I've never heard of that happening. If the PA would have just listened to me she would have known that they were wrong. Not wanting to go through withdrawals the day of surgery is not drug seaking behavior. I didn't really start this post to be attacked. I've had plenty of non medication related posts on here. I'm 3 days post op and I've had a really bad time so far. This isn't what I need. I don't want people siding with me or against me. I think it would be best to not use this forum if this is what I get. I'd apreciate it if a moderator would delete this thread all together.
  • I had an appointment with my doctor on May 20. From that point I didn't see him again until the day after the surgery. I didn't see him at all before or after the surgery on the day of the surgery. I didn't see him until the next day just prior to me being discharged. When I did see him that day I told him what had happened the previous day and he was so sorry. He couldn't beleave that had happened.

    It wasn't until 9pm that they sent a different doctor that I didn't know in to my room to talk to me. It was him who finally listened to me and actually realized that I was being severly under medicated. I agree that it would probably be safer to under medicate but all that anyone would have had to do is listen to me and verify that what I was saying is true to PROPERLY medicate me.
  • I'm pretty sure that there are guide lines if not state laws on how much narcotics that can be given to a patient. I don't see how a lawsuit can be filed. I have never heard of a doctor perscribing so much pain meds to one patient. Please take care of yourself and try to cut back on the pain meds (under a doctor's care) because that seems to be your only concern and not in getting better.
  • Hi there,

    How is your pain at the moment? are you getting any relief from your pre-op pain level or are you too sore from the surgery to know yet? I hope things settle down soon and you have a good recovery.

    Take care

  • The blisters inside my lip have gone down some but I have taken the new dressing off since my wife put it on Friday so I'm not sure how the blisters are around the incision. I'll change that and check tonight.
  • When I went into the hospital 3 weeks ago for my lumbar fusion, I was very careful to tell my anesthesiologist that I had taken Oxycodone for many years and had quite a tolerance. They were very concerned about controlling my post-surgical pain, and told me they would start out w/a "normal, average dose", and I should tell them if that does not work. Yeah, right. Needless to say, I constantly told them, and most of the time for the 3 days after my fusion and bonegraft from my hip, I was waaay undermedicated. Not as much as you, discretekarma-God, how AWFUL to be going thru withdrawal!!!
    But still, they gave me dilaudid shots into my iv line, every 2 hrs. But I truly did not even feel them! Then they gave me a 40mg oxyER (to last 12 hours), w/the shots as needed, and finally they gave me 2 #5 mg. oxyIR every 4 hrs for breakthru pain. I told them at home I was taking 2 15mg IR's every 4 hrs, for pain, and postsurgical pain is a BI*CH!!
    Finally, during the 2nd night post op, after they gave me all my meds, and I didn't even feel ANY relief, I DEMANDED to see a dr. or pain management team NOW! I was very nice about it, but I had HAD it!! I was in the hospital by myself (I'm single), and it was really hard to have to advocate for myself like that (and even harder when I got home ALONE and tried to care for myself 4 days post-op!).
    Well, after many hushed whispers at the nurses station outside my door, I finally had a doctor come in at 3 in the morning, and I told him this was not adequate, it was not even as much as I take at home, and I asked him for Dr. Kevorkian (haha, but I was REALLY in agony!). He upped my dose of meds, and that helped make it more tolerable, but I could not believe the way those meds were handled-like someone said, you can tell they are SCARED to give them to people at more than they are used to administering. I did have one terrific day nurse, a man, and he was really generous with the meds (at least w/the shots) for me, and for that I am grateful. But I asked my dr. at the post-op- if the postsurgical "screaming pain" period of time was not the time to "get out the big guns", WHEN is?? He explained to me that it was a delicate balancing act- I had lost a lot of blood and needed 2 transfusions, and my BP was REALLY low, so they could not just "pump the painkillers" into me. I had been told by several doctors that I could not use the TENS unit I had brought from home, too, and that made it even harder!
    I was never so glad to get home, and administer my own pain meds to myself. (wish I would have had a spouse on the other end of a walkie-talkie, though!! What a sweetheart she sounds like!) I did ask to be discharged from the hospital early, I just couldn't take it anymore!
    But as for the fusion itself? I am feeling MUCH better, and the pain of the surgery was worth it! I still have some intermittant leg pain-sometimes it's really nasty-but the surgeon said that's absolutely normal, and it would take up to a year to be pain-free. Well, I'm glad I'm on this side of the surgery, and hope the time flies!
    Sorry you didn't have as much luck, Karma. I hope things will start to improve very soon for you. I wish you the best, and thanx so much for posting that-I really had a similar experience!
  • The doctors weren't under medicating me due to any guidelines. They just didn't have Opana and didn't know how to convert it to what they did have. It was a mistake that caused this to happen; not guidelines. It looks like people are posting that haven't read all of what happened. If all I cared about was meds and not getting better I would have stayed on the meds and not had the surgery.

    My back is pretty sore from the surgery so I can't tell if that is better than post op. I have a sharp/electric pain going all the way down my right leg which is worse than before the surgery. I'm hoping that will settle down. I'm not taking all the meds that were perscribed. I was told to take the Oxycodone every 4 hours and I'm just taking that as needed which is only about 4 times a day like I was prior to surgery.
  • If you didn't want people commenting and giving their thoughts on your posts then maybe you shouldnt post at all.
    I'm not trying to sound mean but I read the link Paul posted earlier and it's a link to a thread you posted in February complaining of your meds not working and you having to go ahead and up your medication on your own without telling your doctor causing you to run out of your prescriptions too early. The pharmacy wouldn't refill your presciption as it was three weeks too early so you tried to lie to your doctor and tell him that you lostthem in order to get more. Doctors prescribe a certain amount for a reason and they are hesitant because these narcotics are so addictive.
    I'm not trying to pass judgement. I'm just asking you to please watch yourself when it comes to these heavy narcotics. I hope there comes a time when you dont need them anymore.

    Christina :)
  • I couldn't agree more that what I did was wrong with the meds in Feb. I'm glad it happened. It opened my eyes to what can happen with these meds. I have beenn very cautious since then and even though my doctor has said several times that I may need to up my meds and I always decline.

    You and Paulgla are 100% right about that. I just don't think that has anything to do with anything in this thread and I don't believe that this time or this thread was the right time to bring this up. Once again I must say that it looks like people are posting without reading everything that happened. That's the only reason I can think of for some of the posts being made at this time.

    I definitely welcome posts and opinions. I just don't feel like Paulgla post was necessary or on topic with the rest of my post.
  • I was totally blow away when I read your first post; I couldn't really follow b/c of the confusion and combination of drugs you were taking and asking for. But, I came way with the impression that you were all about the drugs. Sorry, but its true.

    I'm not going to lay into you as others have and not because I don't think they are justified b/c I do; it's just that you've heard it already and it makes no sense to repeat it all.

    If I were you, honestly, I'd pick my priorities, like getting healthy - which means recovering from your surgery as pain-less as possible, with the utlimate goal in mind of getting off all those meds. This doesn't mean you won't be on something for a very long time or maybe always, I don't know, but 320 mg of Oxy is beyond comprehension. You need to be weaning down and this process should be controlled and monitored by a PM physician so that its done right.

    Accordingly, ditch the "I'm getting a lawyer" mentality, and focus on the positive and where you need to go from here strickly from a health point of view. Maybe there were problems in the hospital and maybe not - there are 2 sides to every story. Still, get over it and go from here. That is the past and I think if you continue to hold onto it, its going to hold you back in the long run.

    You had your surgery and hopefully it will help you out. You need to wean off the meds and see where you are. That's the only way to get a true picture. Like everyone else here I wish you only the best. Anyone who you may feel is attacking you is really only trying to help. Please consider all that has been posted in that vein. :)
  • I am fairly new hear to this forum. I have not read any of the posts from the old forum. After reading this post, my suggestion for consulting a lawyer came from the understanding that the doctors and nursed repeatedly refused to listen to his issue. Issue being that he was not being given the appropriate conversion of opana to something else, while insisting that they were, and that he was wrong. They did at one point admit they had it wrong, and eventually converted the med to his pre-op dose.

    My reasoning for calling a lawyer, was the fact that he was left under medicated, and going through withdrawls, after numerous attempts from he and his wife to straighten out the situation... I obviously don't know much about the medical field, what is worth a case and what isn't... My bad =)

    Neck of steal, I most certainly am not going to slam you paulgla or anyone else here for that matter. I understand your concerns... and have learned a little lesson here myself.
  • Just my opinion, but I beleive you have to be able to prove you were physically harmed in some way for a lawsuit to have any basis. I am wondering if you had a pre-op visit to the hospital where you actually brought your med bottles in to be examined and documented? With the huge doses you are on perhaps they needed concrete proof. I recently had a patient with chronic pain who was on fentanyl patch, oxycontin, methadone, and norco10 every 4 hours. When her pain was uncontrolled her surgeon, not PM, ordered Demerol 50 mg IV. Well guess what, she stopped breathing! That one extra med was one too many. Of course the nurses intervened and she was okay after the med wore off. But it just goes to show that upmost caution is needed when dealing with such potent meds. I am sorry you are hurting so much, but perhaps the docs/nurses had your best interest in mind. Sue
  • I'm not really thinking that I'll sue the hospital. I did have a pre-op visit where I showed them all my perscrptions and they wrote them all down. That's the list that the Physician's Assisstant showed me when she asked what Opana is, told me they didn't have any, and I explained the conversion to just prior to my surgery. I even have an email saved that I sent to the doctors assistant where I expressed concerns that my meds that I was taking prior to surgery wouldn't be taken into consideration or converted properly when he was selecting my post-op meds. I'm sure it's hard to prove what caused what but because I was in withdrawal all day on the day I had my surgery, I had terrible restless leg/body syndrome and caused me to move my legs over and over which caused me even more pain. I also had really bad shivers and sweats and I kept telling them about this all along. I'm not sure if the restlesnes and restless leg syndrome caused by the withdrawal did any permanant damage but it certainly caused a lot of pain that day. I'm not thinking that I'm going to do anything about it. We'll see. I'm certainly not going to post anything about it if I do. I guess what's a lot of medicine to be on is subjective. I know a lot of people that take 2 80mg Oxy's a day and many that take more. All I know is that I'm on more than I want to be on. I'm only taking the breakthrough meds during the first two weeks and then I'm cutting them off. That's the first thing I'm planning on doing.
  • I asked my wife to change the dressing on my back today and when she tried to take of the dressing she realized that the blisters had attached themselves to the gauze even though she put lots of ointment. She pulled off some places and cut off others after wetting it all down with warm water. It wasn't pleasant needless to say.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    I apologize, I wasn't around this weekend to comment on any of this thread. Now, that I am back there are a couple of things that I would like to say:

    1) You are taking too much pain medication. Unless that was a type, 320mg of Oxycodone every 4 hours is enough to sedate a large working horse.

    2) While I can understand you are in pain, the discussion regarding pain medications , pain dosages, how the hospital pharmacy didnt do things right, etc is too intense. Like Paul, I remember many of your posts from the older Spine-Health and you admitted having drug related situations.

    3) Reading your initial post, I am also lost at the calling of a lawyer. Some of the things you described can be very common at larger hospitals, understaffed hospitals or over crowded hospitals. But in the scheme of everything, nothing was done that was life threatening. When it comes to priorities, hospitals should always focus in on critical and life dangering situations.

    4) Now that your surgery is complete, I hope that you try to focus more on the recovery phrase than on the pain medication side. Pain medications while very important during recovery are only one phase to getting back to normal. The objective is to look to reduce the pain medications and work on all the other parts of recovery.

    There are many members here that can sympathize with you and others that while they understand your pain and frustration also see that other initiatives need to be taken.

    Having spinal surgery is always a traumatic activity, there are so many people involved before during and after the process. Please remember that a large portion of the post process is how you handle everything.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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