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New here - with history

IxasumIIxasum Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all, new to the forums. I am on hydrocodone 7.5/500, Soma 350mg and Gabapentin (at night only as it knocks me out). I have had back problems/pain on and off since '96 when I first bulged L4. In Jan. '08 I ruptured L4, a 'mushroom rupture' which pushed the calcified bulge material into the spinal column. LOTS of pain then. I had a discectomy to correct the onset of cauda equina syndrome shortly after that. All was well but my lack of taking care of my health and excessive smoking took its toll. I am now living with a large mass of scar tissue engulfing the S1 nerve root as it leaves the thecal sac, a small bulge on L5-S1 disc that is pressing on the scar tissue primarily on the left side but also in the middle. I also have a Schmol's Node at L3. The odd thing is that my pain is primarily down my right leg, outside thigh. I know surgery wont help the scar tissue long term so I dont know what the best course of action is with my doctor. I hurt but its managable with 3 to 4 lortab and soma a day and a single gabapentin at night. I've been dealing with this for so long I swear I think I am losing my mind. Like Leeann, I am starting to feel sorry for myself. I am also doubting my pain. Am I just a drug addict or do I really hurt. If I dont take the meds I have a lower quality of life but my pain isnt impossible to deal with....or so I think. I miss a couple doses and I am miserable. The pain increases, the muscles in my back go into spasms that twist my body and I feel the only relief is to drink myself into an unconcious state. Taking the meds is no picnic either. I constantly feel 'dumb' and cant remember things that I know. The long term effects of pain, according to my doc and webMD, are worse than the long term effects of chemical dependecy on these meds. This affects every aspect of my life. TMI but my wife and I had sex for the first time in over a month yesterday because I managed to get numb enough that I knew it would hurt so bad that I would lose my erection. Yes, this is embarrassing to discuss but I am fighting to get this out in hopes that others have advice. I really feel like I am losing my sanity. My doc added Prozac to the mix to help but I still feel the same.

My doc is an osteopath but also a GP. He doesnt believe in pain meds/muscle relaxers but he keeps prescribing them to me....but that is all he has done. I cant get an answer as to whether I should seek out a pain management doc. To that end, I know I cant because I also smoke pot as it helps me relax and eases the pain in conjunction with the prescription meds. Let me be clear, I dont smoke all day long and I stay sober at work, save the prescription meds. I am not looking to simply get high. I am seeking relief in any way possible. I dont want to increase my dosage for pain meds because I feel I can manage on this level even thought it doesnt relieve the pain more than 50%. I am also scared to ask for an increase in the meds for fear he would cut me off completely, which would make my life beyond horrible. I have considered those websites where you speak to a doctor and they write a prescription which you then fill at an inflated price for a larger quantity of meds but I just dont believe those sites are legit. Sometimes I just want to let myself break down but I cant. I have to stay strong and keep fighting. I go to physical therapy and an acupuncturist but this has really drained my savings so I dont know how long I can keep that up. I really feel like I am a weak man for complaining about this as there are so many people out there that have worse problems. I dont really know what I want in the way of response to this post. I dont feel like I need sympathy and I dont really want it. I guess it would be nice to hear from other sufferers that I actually do have real problems and that where I am at is pretty normal. Feel free to flame me if you think I am being a wuss.


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry you are not finding pain relief with your medications. i use medical marijuana for sleep, anxiety and pain control... i often find it works better than pills. please don't feel like you are weak for "complaining" about the way your life is right now. things are not so good and you can say so!! that is the good thing about SH.. we are here just for that kind of thing.. it will help you feel better to vent and let out your feelings here where people understand. we really do!! please make yourself at home. don't hesitate in seeing a pain doctor.. they have many things to offer besides just medication.. look into it!!! good luck to you and keep in touch anytime! Jenny :)
  • Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for the warm welcome. I will try to participate here and offer up advice that I have gained over the years.

    My main frustrations and complaints come from how difficult it is to get the medications I need. Pain management doctors arent really an option because I dont live in a state that supports medical use of marijuana and all the local PM docs drug test. If you come up positive for anything that is not prescribed they note it in your digital medical record and then release you from any further treatment. I cant afford for my digital record to have this information in it for obvious reasons.

    Here is my latest example of difficulty getting my meds. I am leaving for holiday travel on Saturday. My current prescription has no refills so I have to call my doctor (he never gives me refills) to get him to call in new prescriptions. I am not due for a refill until the 26th. I wont return until the 29th. I have called and discussed this with his nurse. I asked for a partial refill so that I would have enough meds for my travels. The answer was 'we dont refill early under any circumstances, period'. So I am now skipping days worth of meds to stretch my prescription. I am miserable now. My pain levels are up over the last few days as well so it makes it even worse. I have resorted to trying to take the Gabapentin I have during the day but have determined that it makes me...wierd. I get angry, feel violent, see very little pain decrease and have medicine head something fierce. I usually dose off for about an hour at my desk after taking it but my employer is being very good about all of that.

    I guess my solution would be to carry my latest MRI films, radiology report and current/latest prescription bottles to a urgent care facility when I run out. Maybe they would be willing to refill my meds, partially, to get me through. So frustrated.
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  • hi! :H i can see your problem and feel for you!! it is so difficult to travel anyway and then to not have enough medication is just miserible.. i am sorry marijuana is not legal where you are, that does make it almost impossible to use it and take medication from a doctor..i wish i had a solution for you and could find you an understanding doctor.. they are out there!! it just takes so much time and money and energy, most of which we don't have, to do even that!! take care and remember we are here for you! Jenny :)
  • Hi Again :)

    Yeah, it is frustrating but there are no real solutions at times, only delays. I will make it through all of this.

    I wish I could find a compassionate doctor as well. I have the time and the money to do this but I am very nervous about being flagged as a 'doctor shopping'. If you have any tips on how not to get red flagged as a doctor shopper I am all ears.
  • hi! how about going to look for a new doctor but presenting it as just that! once you are in and have your records there and are speaking to the new doctor, then let them bring up the meds and you bring up your need for more or different meds.. everyone has the right to look for a new doctor and so do you..and to talk to as many as you need to! this is not "doctor shopping." you are looking for someone to treat you!!! not a bunch of doctors!! so maybe, try that approach!all the best!and get your rest! Jenny :)
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  • I'm so sorry you're having trouble. I've had similar problems. The doctors seem to think that we WANT to take these meds, but they are not fun at all, they just make the pain bearable enough to function on a more-or-less reasonable level. And I her you about the sex thing--I'm a woman, but my sex life has tanked as well. It's hard to have fun if pain is distracting you. Keep talking to your partner, and keep looking for a doctor that you can trust and who trusts you. I don't know about "doctor shopping" but I agree that you have the perfect right to find a good doctor--you don't have to be satisfied with the one you have for fear of appearances.
  • Hello LX and welcome to Spine-health!!!

    I will say this just one time since you dont want sympathy ;) but I am very sorry that you are having such a hard time right now with finding a caring Dr!! OK thats out of the way..LOL:)

    Now you have every right to find a Dr that you are comfortable with. That is a huge part of treatment, in my opinion!!

    Please keep us updated on what you find out and discover during your journey! We DO care and you are NOT weak....just in pain!!
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