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Significant other doesn't like me on pain meds

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Pain Medications
Anyone else have a significant other who doesn't agree with them being on narcotics?

I know I'm young, but that doesn't dismiss the fact I had a laminectomy at age 25, and a fusion at 29.

I've been taking Vicodin for about...hmmm, 5 years maybe, on and off.

For a while, I was down to Darvocet (that doesn't do poop for the pain).

Now I go to the spine doc tomorrow, my 4 month post-op checkup, and I'm afraid of asking him for a prescription. His nurse refused to do it a couple of weeks ago, so I got my primary care doc to write me a weeks worth.

I know I'll prolly end up going back to the PM doc, but my fiance is NOT happy about the Vicodin sitch.

There is SUCH a stigma attached to narcotics.

The thing is, I can't leave the house, or be a sort of productive human being, if my pain is WAAAAY outta control.

How do you get what you need, in a prescription....without looking like a drug seeker?

It's not my fault my back pain has increased 10 fold, nor is it my fault the ortho surgeon has kept me outta PT for 4+ months. My muscles are SERIOUS atrophying.

I always have that fear that the doc won't help me out, leaving me in terrible pain. It's happened before....

Thanks for letting me vent :S


  • After my surgery, The N/S would not write any pain medication. I could be wrong but I don't think N/S deal with pain mgmt issues.

  • My surgeon took away my pain meds after he released me following my fusion, and of course I was miserable for months. My company nurse suggested I go to a Pain Management Dr., and that is where I found some relief.

    They gave me a script for Vicodin and Lyrica, which was change to neurontin due to weight gain side effect. None of the steroid shots worked so she sent me to another pm Dr. who switched my Vicodin to Kadian (extended release morphine)

    I know exactly what you are talking about though, I feel like such a druggy asking for refills, and my best friend thinks I take them for the mental effects. Not even, I wish I didn't have to so that I wouldn't be so sleepy.

    I don't visit the Dr. now but maybe 1x or 2x a year when he has to see me because of the scripts. He fills it every month, told me if it's not broken don't fix it, and that means if the drug is working we'll keep using it.

    What I need now is a muscle relaxer. My back and side seem to cramp up on me with this spinal cord stimulator, but I'm afraid to ask for anything because of the stigma. Reading this site it seems like everybody just asks the DR.for different drugs and they get them no problem.
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  • Let me first address the fiance not wanting you to take narcotic pain meds. This is your body, not his and only you know what your pain level is. If your pain is out of control, YOU do what is best for YOU, not him. It's kind of like a woman I know whose husband didn't want her to have an epidural during labor....hello, until he gives birth, he should leave that decision up to her! Now about the pain meds. My NS too was reluctant to prescribe any pain meds beyond the initial surgery. He left it up to my PCP and then referred me to pain management. Be honest about your pain levels with your PCP or PM and they will help you through it with meds, PT, acupuncture and other methods....by the way if you have not tried acupuncture, do....it is worth it. It worked very well for my pain.
  • First the NS part. I was lucky with my NS. He refilled my RX's for about 6 months after surgery then that was it. I didn't need them anymore either. My pain hit me like a train about 1 yr ago. Went to see the NS he referred me to a PM. I now see a spine specialist. So most NS wont refill past the 6mo point of post-op. Be sure that when you see a PM or PCP that you are very open and honest on your restrictions due to pain. My best advice to you is to buy and start a journal. Nothing fancy just something to write about the pain in. I write in mine about 3x's a day. Morning, noon and then before bed. That way the morning part I can explain how I slept, pain level while trying to sleep and how I felt when I woke up (pain, stiff, sore etc) then after lunch I write how my day is going with the pain, my pain level etc. And before bed how the rest of the day went. Be very specific in it and write down dates and times. If all of a sudden my pain level rises then I write that in the journal when it happens. This way you can document everything and dont have to pull all the info out of your head.
    Now about the fiance. My DH (dear Husband) does not like the pain meds either. BUT he also understands the pain I am in. I went off of my meds (by MY choice) just to see how I felt without them. When he said that I was in bed for days on end and not due to withdrawl but due to pain, he ask why the hell I went off of the meds. I told him I wanted to see what the pain level was without my meds. I also told him I felt guitly being on narc's all the time. He said if you need them to function then you need them. I am very very lucky to have an understanding DH. His friends that knew I was on pain meds told him that I need to get off of them. He put them all in their places and said that they can't say anything until they lived a week in my shoes.
    My suggestion would be to let him read your journal after you get it started. That way he can read what you are going through. Only make it a pain journal, dont write about all the personal crap we all go through with the loved ones. Make a seperate journal for that. Maybe he will understand a little more if he reads your journal entries. Let him know he can read it whenever he wants to also and if he has questions to feel free to ask you. Also do some research on the meds. The meds that do more harm to our bodies are the Tylenol, asprin, NSAID's etc. YES we can get strange effects from the narc part but I no longer have these effects. I used to get a euphoric or energetic feeling from teh meds, I no longer have these do to the length of time that I have been on narcs.
    As far as getting refills without looking like a drug seeker. WEll no matter what some docs think that we all are. As long as you stick to the RX and take as directed you wont look like a seeker. When you need early refills or are too pushy about your RX that is when people look like seekers. Let your doc or PM know what works for you. All of my docs have told me that if I already know what works for me it is less work for them to try to figure it out. Also with the vicodin. Are you taking vicodin or Norco. If you are taking vicodin try to switch to Norco. Vicodin usually has 500mg of acetominophen in it and norco only has 325mg. The less tylenol the better. Norco is Hydrocodone which is the same as vicodin. Norco comes in 5/325, 7.5/325 and 10/325. so if you are on vicodin 5/550 the see if you can switch to Noco 5/325. My NS switched me to Norco due to all of the acetominophen in the vicoden. The acetominophen can reek havok on your system if you take it steadily.
    Anyway I hope at least some of this helps you. If you have any questions you can Private Message me. Good luck and I hope things change for the better for you.
  • Thanks so much for your reply. It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one, ya know?

    I need one of my docs, whether it's my ortho surgeon (which I see for my 4 month checkup), or my pcp to give me a referral. I did go to the pain center before, but that was months ago. It makes me feel like....I'm not getting any better if I have to go back to the PM. They thought I had delusions of grandeur, thinking I'd be fixed and perfect after my surgery. Ok, maybe I did a little bit...I thought I'd bouce back to normal.

    I wouldn't feel bad about asking the doc for a muscle relaxer, I mean...they're not the "dreaded" controlled substances. By relieving the spasm pain, your pain will most likely go down. It sucks, I'm allergic to Flexaril...and that works REALLY well, but makes ya REALLY drowsy and groggy. I've tried Skelaxin, which is the lowest on the drowsy scale, but now I'm on Soma. It took a few weeks to get used to it, but now it doesn't make me feel loopy, thank God. After starting the Neurontin, I'll take all the alertness I can take!
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  • Thank you SO much for your reply. I totally needed to hear your suggestions.

    My first surgeon was a NS, my fusion doc is a ortho spine specialist. These surgeons want NOTHING to do with you once you're cut open and alive, I swear! I've been in terrible pain for the last month, and it took me 3 weeks to get an appointment with him. They're all too busy.
    His nurse yelled at me, so to speak...when I told her my Darvocet wasn't working. I really hate it when my docs leave me hanging in pain. That happened before my first surgery, my PCP didn't think anything was wrong, and gave me Ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer. I ended up in the ER about 5 times, 'cause he wouldn't give me anything for the pain...or order a MRI. Neither did the hospital. One night at 3am, I called an ambulance, cause I thought I was gonna die. Well, they finally did a MRI...and they told me I was being admitted, and I needed an emergency laminectomy. I felt like "there doc, take THAT! There IS indeedy something horribly wrong with me!"

    I'm just afraid my doc isn't gonna take care of me tomorrow. I mean, I do need a referal to the PM doc. I did see them for a year before this last surgery, and the PM DOC was REALLY nice. I hope he'll give me a two week supply of SOMETHING that works while I'm waiting for an appointment with the PM, and will listen to my concerns, feelings, and limitations.I just don't wanna be left hanging in such bad pain. I basically have to cancel my life, and appointments...which makes me depressed, cause I can't function, ya know?

    I LOVED your idea of the pain journal, I think that'll really help me, and the fiance. There are still other people, like my soon to be in-laws, and my parents, who yell at me to get off the pain meds. I try to explain my pain, but it's so subjective...especially over the phone, that they still don't get it.

    I shall mention the Norco to my doc tomorrow, you're totally right about the Tylenol! I don't need liver problems too :(

    Sorry about the little book I just wrote :) Thanks again!

  • My advice for yo is about your medicine and family members (and future family members)... just don't tell them about what you're takin! I don't talk to anyone besides my husband about what I take. It's not any of their business and EVERYONE will have an opinion about what you should or shouldn't be taking. The only people that won't tell you what you should be doing are fellow sufferers, unless you ask for their advice.
    Good luck with your upcoming appointment... I hope you are able to get some medicine to help you get some relief!
  • I was taking acetaminophen+codeine for chronic daily headaches for over 10 years and my wife was convinced that I was addicted to the codeine even though I was taking less than the maximum daily dosage. Every time she saw me taking it I would get a scowl from her (at best) or at worst comments about how I was addicted to the stuff! It gets to the point where we feel we have to hide the medication from our significant other and only take it when they are not around or not looking, which in turn makes us (or at least made me) feel somewhat bad as I don't like having to hide things from my wife.

    Even discussing it with my doc and my wife, and having my doc explain to my wife that at the amounts that I was taking was not going to cause addiction, or cause me any other harm, only helped her understanding in the short term.

    Thankfully, I have found other ways now to fix my chronic daily headaches so I dont take the stuff any more.

    As said by others, one of the biggest problems is that unless you suffer from chronic pain you have absolutely no idea what a chronic pain suffer goes through day in day out.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Thanks Terrie, I like the smiley by the way ;)

    You know, you're absolutely right about not telling my mother in law about my meds. I do have another question though...my dad (who lives outta state) will ask me if I'm off my pain meds, do I lie to him? I'm not sure how to handle that 'sitch.

    My appointment went...so so...the doc

    1)gave me Vicodin
    2)gave me predinsone to help with this flare up
    3)took me outta my back brace =D>
    4)discontinued my bone growth stimulator
    5)said I'm pretty well fused!!!!!!! Yay!

    BUT thinks I MAY have another herniated disc above the fusion site...so L3-ish I guess :|

    He wanted to do a myelogram (sp?), but will settle for an MRI for now.

    I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo done with the invasive procedures!!!!!
    The discogram was HELL, I can't do another similar test [(

    All and all, I'll take the good news with the bad.
  • "Reading this site it seems like everybody just asks the DR.for different drugs and they get them no problem."

    I'm sorry - but that is not a fact. We ALL have struggled and have dealt with not getting treated medically as we would have hoped to be.
    A lot of us have a long road behind us that you may not exactly know about.
    Myself, for example, I have been injured for over 2 years and have only began my pain treatment appropriately in March. That is only 6 months. I had a good amount of "untreated" time as well.

    This just struck a cord with me, I could elaborate a little more, but in fear that my pain is talking - I'll just let it go.

    But please keep in mind, we do not just go to the doctor and say 'ow' and walk out with a morphine pump.

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