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*HELP* advice please! WHY is the PM Dr. not listening and giving me enough for pain?!?!

Leamomof3LLeamomof3 Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:46 AM in Pain Management
This is my 2nd PM Dr. Loved my first one, but they just weren't listening to me. They gave me Tramadol and said that should do the trick. It doesn't even touch it for more than an hour. I go again on Friday and would like some advice on what I can do to get them to understand my pain level & concerns.

My fiance and I have even split up after 7 years because he says " I'm about as fun as a wet noodle" I'm irritable all the time and I know I'm no fun. But how can you be when the pain consumes you? I just want relief. I know I'm not going to be 100%, probably ever again. But I'd like to at least be tolerable of the pain enough to bring me back to life again. Regardless, I'll never go back to the ex. If he's not going to be there with me through this, then I can only imagine what type of burden I would be if something more serious would happen.

2nd Dr. has given me Oxycodone, but I told him how well the ER worked for me.... 20mg's, 2-3x a day. The oxy works well with the Tramadol, but only for a few hours (3 tops). He told me to alternate. Take a Tramadol, then my next dosage take an Oxy, etc.., etc... That didn't work so I was taking a Tramadol WITH 1 1/2 Oxy every 4 hours.

How do I make them understand I want longterm relief with a breakthrough med? I DO work and I need to be able to continue doing so. But this pain every single day is waring me down. I don't get much sleep (due to pain), and then I come and work for 8 hours.

AxiaLIF Procedure done in Oct. 2009, no relief & in worse pain than ever.


  • Maybe it's your emotions I am getting here, but my guess is this. If you approach the PM or any doctor with 'drug' ideas, right off you red flag yourself as a drug seeker.

    Me? I would try to get the doctor to sit down where I could give details on what "kind" of pain (muscle, spasm, nerve etc.) and where. What pain is constant, what it feels like when you flare etc. Then let them make suggestions. If they bring up a drug *you know* does not work for you, then state it, but don't tell them what you need - they will shut down on you! Good luck with it!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • We've had a long talk.

    He also says he likes the fact that I'm working in which this shows him I DO want to get better.

    I also do my exercises that I learned in PT every evening, I have a TENS Unit, and I ice daily.

    My concern is, is this as good as it gets? Am I ever going to be able to sit down, get up, walk, lift my leg to the brake, lift my leg to get in the shower,etc..without having pain that takes my breath away? I would just like it to be managed, if anything else, that's all I ask.

    There are people far worse off than myself. I can work, while painful, at least I'm able to at this point.
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  • You wrote in another post that you told your doctor you didn't have time for physical therapy.

    So what I get is that you want some hard core drugs but you have kids at home and can't make time for physical therapy. Didn't you say that your doctor walked out on you?

    In general, with schedule II drugs, you don't tell your doctor what you want. Your doctor decides whether you are a candidate for schedule II drugs based on many guidelines, one of them being as Avi stated whether you are a seeker. So you go in, let the doctor review your records and see what he thinks you need.

    Usually doctors will start on the lowest dose and go up until you find relief.

    If you hop from doctor to doctor rather than letting the process take its course, it will take even longer!
  • Howdy Lea,

    I am one of those that so far hasn't gotten better, and it caused me to retire earlier than I had planned or wanted too! I wish I had a crystal ball for the future, cause like you, I too ask the question as to whether it will get better, stay the same, or of course, get worse!

    I see you 'aren't fusing'- what is your surgeon saying concerning it? I finally started fusing on my last level only to have the vertebra between the fusions crack - and now yummy, have most of my C5/6/7 add 8 symptoms back! I hit a year tomorrow. My surgeon gives it a year to see if fusion starts. If he doesn't see it, then future surgery is offered *if* symptomatic or testing shows damage possible! He is 'concerned' about my crack, but watching it - he feels it may fuse on its own. *sigh*

    Have you by chance asked your surgeon too if he can recommend to your PM alternative medications to try? Are you on any nerve pain meds (Lyrica, Neurotrin etc.)? I agree with what you've posted, you can't do much more on your own to help yourself - most won't do half of what you are. :) I was the same way, if my PT gave me homework, I did it religiously!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Happy~

    No, I can't do the PT that he wants me to do. I wish I could, but due to my work, I can't. First off, I won't get paid for those 2-3 days a week with 35 minute drives each way. Secondly, I will lose my job. He's got 3 offices in 3 different locations.

    This pm has another office RIGHT HERE next to my work literally 30 seconds away. (This is where I go again on Friday) I can even see it from my parking lot. He WILL NOT give me therapy there because the people that do the Yoga, Martial Arts, etc. that he likes to incorporate into the pain mang. process are only at the one 35 minutes away. Am I going to lose my job over this? NO, I will NOT. His asst. even got upset how he walked out on me and told me these are things I can do at home. He was upset because unless I go to the office that's 35 minutes away to do the pt there, he won't get paid for it. Does that make sense?

    I do my PT every night (that my pt after surgery taught me) at home and a few in the morning.(Usually my YOGA stretches) I am faithful to these along with walking each evening. Granted, it's not much of a walk but I do get out and get some exercise. I also get a massage 1x a month. I wish I could afford to do it every week, but I can't.

    Who said anything about hardcore drugs? He asked me what worked, i told him what worked and what didn't. I would just like something that works? Geez I guess maybe I don't know much but I thought this was a forum for support, not picking apart someones pain/lifestyle & choice of words on a forum.

    I don't have a 2nd income in my life. It's all ME. No man, no food stamps, no medical assistance. ME. I have to work and I need every penny I make. There is no reason I can't be taught the physical therapy. NONE. So, excuse me for wanting to make sure I get paid AND asking for advice/support to get my pain under control so that I CAN provide for my family.

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  • Any extended release narcotic is getting into "hardcore drugs" as far as I'm concerned. I take them, so I'm not saying that in a judgemental way- just in a "you're stepping across a line" sort of way.

    My comment was simply that you don't seem to be at a place to discuss this with this doctor at this time. Does he really only do PT in-house? I've never heard of that. Does your insurance allow him to do that? You might call them and ask whether he can under his contract or whether he has to allow you to choose any local PT. I know that PTs have to fight really hard for their contracts with different insurance companies, they might be annoyed to find that their territory is being impeded upon.

  • I do believe in another few months (once it's been a year) they're going to do another scan to see if I've fused. Doesn't look good so far, it's done nothing at all. My question about that is: Does that cause pain? I mean, the not fusing.. is there something about that that would be causing this? That's something I will ask my PM on Friday. I just found out 2 weeks ago that I haven't fused. ( My chiro took pics for me and showed me the everything.)

    What caused your issues that you had surgery on? Mine was a fall about 5 years ago that started the downward spiral.. lol I do try to be optimistic most of the time. It's all just so frustrating.

    GULP! I am so sorry about all your symptoms returning. What the heck are they doing for you to keep it manageable? See I hear your story and I think what in the world am I complaining about. Hugs to you!

    I did do the Neorntin & Lyrica, but neither of them agreed with me. They made me way to sleepy. Even the lowest dose they started me out on. It was nice to sleep, but I can't sleep my life away.. lol

    Hang in there!
  • Sorry I didn't mean to get snappy and I apologize. Again it just shows my frustration and tihs so isn't like me.

    Yes, he does have only in-house. Or should I say the Extensive Physical Therapy that he wanted me to take which included Yoga & Martial Arts. And I think that's great and would absolutely love to be able to do that. Unfortunately I can't and sure wish he would have someone teach me these to do at home. While I do some already, it certainly isn't going to hurt to do more. Also, he did do something that he called "accupuncture nerve black". He called it this because otherwise the insurance won't pay for it. That's when I realized, after he walked out, that he wants me to do the OT so bad from the other office because then he'll get insurance to pay for it.

    My previous pain clinic has only that, a clinic. Then they had a completely seperate office off of the hospital for PT. Which is where I learned my current exercises from. I went there for 1 1/2 months then had to start doing them from home to prepare for my journey back to work. They were perfectly fine with that. Didn't want me going back to work, they said I needed lots more time to heal, but I had only planned on being off for a month. And that was after my surgeon had told me " 2 weeks tops and you'll be back to work". I played it safe and told them I'd be gone 4 weeks. You know, I thought about calling my "nurse" through my insurance company. She's kind of a case nurse and she's the one I talk to about anything to do with my back. Might be something I need to ask her, for sure.

    I guess I didn't realize that what was working for me, and what I told him worked for me was considered "hard core". I think of hard core as Methadone, Morphine patches..stuff like that. I'm sure the longer I'm in this predicament the more I'll learn about all these things.

    Again, I'm sorry for being snappy. I was so glad when I found this forum and could see all the people who, unfortunately, are dealing with chronic pain, flawed surgeries, etc.. I know I'm not alone and strangely enough in this situation, that does bring comfort.
  • What is it that you take?

    Is it helping? Are you managing the pain? Can you at least smile and enjoy things for the most part?
  • Howdy Lea, :)

    If there is movement in the area that hasn't fused, that is possibly the 'generator' for your pain. My crack moves (the bone) sideways and fore and aft a bit (my ENT told me), and it changes the pressures on the exit nerves, and as such a lot of my symptoms came back. It could be you have a bit of movement, it could be some scar tissue growing (grown) in there, or a little piece of disk still in there (they don't always take *all* of it out)...lots of things can cause that. My surgeon is waiting to see if it self corrects (fuses) on its own. Yummy...

    I crashed a helicopter 26 years ago, and back then of course, no MRI (though not sure if much would have shown then?) just X-rays. I was told I "sprained my back but good!" From the base of the skull right to the tail bone; but more so the neck, mid thoracic and upper lumbar. Those now are the areas that are failing me. If you ever see the old piston helicopter pilots, you'll see we sit a bit curled forward, so picture about 6g's down, then immediately out sideways and then spun 180 degrees from a speed of about 70mph. What was left of the helicopter, the NTSB investigator was surprised I was walking never mind alive! (G) Guess it wasn't my time!!!

    Pain management so far for me has been Lyrica (300mg a day) and Darvocet. About 85% of my pain is nerve, and I am so amazed at how well Lyrica controls it for me! Darvocet I take infrequently as it makes me so sleepy, and that kind of fubars a day! (G) I have a pool now, so I do aqua therapy and at times I just float to take a 'spine break' if you will. Ice and me also get along pretty good. Now I have a Tempur Pedic bed, so that helps decompress as well. :) By the way, on my first week of Lyrica, I got buzzy and sleepy with it, then that passed. I guess it has to build up in our bodies, or we become tolerant? Thanks very much for the hugs. :) I think it's all perspective as well all have different things going on, different ages, different pain - all stinks no matter how you get it! *HUGZ* back to ya!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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