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dealing with people/ DR. being stingy with pain meds

LattoLLatto Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Chronic Pain
first I want to say hi! this is my first post and I'm not sure if it in the right location

and it's going to be a rather long post...

okay so a little background on what happened first:

I'm 21 y/o male and 2 years ago or so I was involved in an accident while backpacking down the west coast, I was walking next to a train and (no reason to lie I know it's my fault I'm more than aware) I tried to attempt to train hop... I didn't put into account that I had a 50LB backpack on as well, so I ran with the train jumped for a bar and grabbed it and swung inwards (still hanging on) so I swung between two of the freight cars and my hands slipped and I basically got run over and owned by a train luckily my body didn't go into the actual track rails or I wouldn't be here today (I am incredibly lucky) but in result the top of my humerus bone was kind of ripped off (I can't lift my left arm till I have the piece of bone sticking up shaved down) and I also injured my back. my back is the one that's been making me suffer over the past 2 years, I got multiple compound fractures in my lower L2 L3 L4 parts of my lumbar spine and my spine is like straight where it should be curved... yeah so basically I have chronic pain everyday of my life etc.. I'm sure members of this board know the rest of that story. I'm a full time student/I want a job soon

so what spurred my joining of this board and this post was I stumbled across this post http://www.spine-health.com/forum/chronic-pain/letter-normals-a-person-chronic-pain and to my surprise by the end of reading it I was in tears because that letter put how I've been feeling into the words that I've been unable to articulate up to this point... also a facebook post that I made and just vented on

these are the copy and pasted facebook posts:

I'm sorry I didn't die two years ago, what a bummer. now I'm such a burden with chronic pain day in and day out. next time I'll try my hardest to not fail and get killed like I should have the first time.

friend B
Come on man, don't say that....
friend C
go take a bong rip
well with the way my doctor and mom are treating me I might as well have...
friend D
be positive my friend God had a reason to keep u alive
friend A
dude, straight up you're strong. Those little things that get you down won't last forever, don't let anyone or anything get to you.
shit's just depressing
friend A
I know man. Sometimes you just don't want to here it. If people wanna make a fuss let them, they'll be giving themselves a headache, and it's not your fault. Bong bong hit. Enjoy the things that make you happy
friend E
god has plans for all of us, & you didn't die yet for a reason. I feel like the chronic pain, is there to remind you to appreciate yourself & what you have even more. i understand it was a huge impact to you, but see it as an opportunity. a second chance, to make things better. obviously we strived through the worst of the worst, but not to go back latto. yes, there are tough times, but you just have to find a detour and make it through, things can't always be perfect as we want them to, and turn out how we want, but i learned that there's alternatives, that aren't as good, but in a way, just as good. you just have to figure it out, somethings better than nothing right? it could always be worst. you told me when i was down, that i just had to find myself and find something that makes me happy, i feel like you should do the same. ♥
that's not exactly what I'm upset about, and I'm not suggesting that I'm going to commit suicide or anything. it's the people don't understand my chronic pain and why it's not going away if ever. there's no way to treat my pain except strong pain killers and when my doctor is being a bitch about prescribing them because of bs reasons I find it extremely disrespectful. people don't understand I don't know what it's like to be a 21 y/o male without EDITED pain everyday of my life, I can't do so much of the things I used to enjoy without worrying about the pain consequences later on. I have to map my day out depending on my pain. it's aggravating and depressing when people don't understand or are ignorant and think they can even begin to understand the pain I've been through/ am in right now. I can't play the sport I loved for 14 years of my life anymore... after 15 minutes I'm in agonizing pain and the doctor won't give me my pain meds because of the "side effects" they can cause... well here I am now taking up to 6000mg of tylenol a day and 15 advils a day... they do nothing and I'm absolutely rotting my liver. I can't stand this shit it's bearing on me, I don't like to show my pain infront of people so they don't know how much it's ruining me. and it's not going to get better I realize that, so if I have to keep dealing with this bs from people and there is no alternative to "fixing" me so I can lead a normal life again... then honestly I might as well have died on those tracks that day. I'll never be normal again I can't help but to be depressed over it now and then. but still thank you friend E
I'm not asking for sympathy or anything but because of recent events... well it's been along time since I've got emotional as much as I have tonight over my back/shoulder, I can't just put life on pause forever because of my injury's... it's just frustrating and there's nothing I can do. being helpless is an uneasy feeling...
friend E
you do your best latto, & sometimes that's all that matters. it doesn't matter what your mom or doctor says, just ignore them, and do you. do what YOU want to do, what YOU're able to do. :/
me wanting to do and being able to do are on different sides of the world. and with no pain treatment they are on different planets. what my doctor says and does have a big impact on me... they say I have to do something to fix myself, I'vebeen to two physical therapy places and completed them, I do yoga, I do light exercising... what else is there? and why can't they give me a clear answer yet she holds my pain meds from me. one day I want a job... whatever continuing to think about it is just making me more depressed then I need be over this whole thing. of course my doctor/mom get to wake up tomorrow and go through the rest of the year without this pain but I gotta do it everyday so no use getting sad over something that's never going to change. goodnight and thanks friend E :]
hey Latto. Sorry to hear about this... With my two car accidents and my job working with people who are in chronic pain I have some very slight understanding of what you are going through. I have had a lot of success going to Jaime Gardner, who does a certain type of massage called Structural Integration. I also wonder if you might try going to a chiropractor? I know that is all very expensive, but might help. Might at least make you feel better for a little while even if it doesn't fix the pain forever.
yeah, I plan on trying a chiropractor soon because my mom keeps suggesting it, though I don't think it will help too much, I hope it does. but with my injury I don't see how they could do much more than my last physical therapy treatment where she worked on correcting my spine (and when she did I was put in terrible pain throughout the next few days) because it's (my spine) straight now where it should be curved. and nothing but an extreme surgery can fix the mutations that have been caused by all the tiny little cracks in the lower lumbar sections of my spine. what else is there for these "alternatives" they want me to do for pain? I'm even down to get a cortisone shot (I am absolutely scared shitless about that shot though) so after that.. what? acupuncture? eastern voodoo remedies? just tired of dealing with the "just deal with it" type people... I'm not the type of person to speak of my emotions/feelings out loud with people in general, so I'm also not one to bitch and moan all day about pain, I don't show it whatsoever most of the time. I hate to say that the constant pain is my norm now/ I'm used to it but I am. so just because I don't show pain in my face or voice it doesn't mean I'm not feeling it. What it comes down to is age discrimination, since I'm a 21 year old male (not going to bring race into this..) and I'm asking for powerful painkillers then it's assumed by people that I must be getting high off of them or selling them or whatever goes through peoples mind. I've dealt with enough in the past 2 years in silence aside from the pain... but I just don't want to be forced to feel pain everyday when it could be helped to an extent... if only the world worked in such naive thinking to assume there's a "cure" for everything. so again her reason for not prescribing pain meds is the "side effects" that they cause, she always brings up testosterone as the major issue that will decrease over prolonged use of pain killers. so now I drown the pain in alcohol, I swallow over the counter pain meds like they're candy such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) at very high doses 6000+ mg on a bad day.. that drug kills 450+ people a year by liver failure.. and atop of drinking alcohol? *of course I don't combine them* and marijuana (which is not practical for everyday use, I have shit to accomplish or want to accomplish in life and marijuana makes me so unmotivated). so I want her to explain to me what is more unhealthy? sigh I'm ranting via venting right now so I'm going to stop. I'll try the chiropractor soon... whatever

also, initially when I made the facebook post I was more of mocking and making fun of the situation but it turned serious.

so how do I go about dealing with my doctor? I need my pain meds to function in daily life... it sucks and I don't want to be on them, but I can barely sit in class the entire time (I struggle and just in pain the whole time) I'd rather not bring my books in my backpack but I'm required to and lockers are full.. etc shit sucks
my DR's whole thing is she's "weaning" me off the pain meds.. so I did stop them at the beginning of the year (I've been on oxycodone) so I was off of pain killers for 3-4 months and I just can't do it anymore, can't pretend that I'm not in pain or whatever they want me to do...

sorry for such a long post :[

Post Edited by Administrator Dave


  • I would go to a different Dr. you have rights as a patient and to have your pain taken care of. Also do not exceed 4000mg of Tylenol a day that's the limit. I went to an ER when my Dr. was away and after an accident and got some pain meds. Do what you need to find the right Dr. who will help you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Welcome latto,

    I would find a different doctor asap and like charry said take no more than 4 grams of tylenol a day or you are playing with fire, esp. with you drinking alcohol. You need a doctor that will be a total advocate for you and is willing to perscibe medication for you and I would also ask for a letter from the doctor to give to the school in order to get a locker. There is no way you should have to lug a back pack full of books around all day, I broke down and got a handicap placard for my car and it has helped so much on the days when I really need it.

    This is a great site, there is a ton of information and some great people here for support. Keep your head up and hang in there and hope to see you around.

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  • thank you guys, I called today and I might end up looking for a new doctor soon cause this is ridiculous... I think I realized my problem with doctors in general
    I always see them as an intimidating superior (and alot of them act rather elitist about their profession) so I turn into like an emotionally closed off turtle in his shell while in their offices and don't speak my mind. I always listen to what they tell me to do, so when my doctor said she was going to wean my off narcotics I said to myself, well this is probably the normal procedure for someone with pain so I went with it
    and I couldn't articulate to even myself as to why my broken back wouldn't heal like other people when they break stuff... I was just being naive
    but now I'm trying this new thing called listening to my body, I have pain and it's not changed in 1.5 years now and it's greatly affecting my daily life and my school life, I'm trying to take college serious and it's hard enough dealing with my ADHD in school but sitting in a lecture room or a lab for up to 6 hours at a time turns into just suffering ...anyways I'm rambling on, but I'll keep this updated as I try and find a better solution
    btw if there comes the time when I might need to switch doctors is there a way to find one that will be understanding towards pain and be knowledgeable?
    and am I allowed to ask medication questions here? probably a subforum for that I'll check after

    THANK YOU again! I'm always so nervous about first posting :p
  • New doctor vote! Find some one who works with pain patients daily.

    Good luck,

  • If you have a broken back and this Dr has been treating you for 1.5 yrs and weaning you from all pain medications, there may be a reason. I am not saying that there is, just that this is a possibility. Often there are extenuating circumstances that we (as members) are not privy to. You are 21 yrs old, but you mention your mother in relation to your Dr & medication. I don't want to assume, but that sounds as if your mother may have had something to do with this weaning situation..? The fact remains, you are an adult and as such you are entitled to proper pain management. If your current Dr is not helping you to keep your pain under control perhaps it is time for a referral to PM.

    It is sad when a person of your age is injured and needs to be treated with pain medication, but it happens and this needs to be addressed. People younger than yourself get hurt and injured every day. It becomes a problem only if the person does not take their medication as prescribed, or thinks that they will need these medications for the rest of their lives. Being a young man who was obviously physically fit (sports for 14 yrs), will allow you to bounce back quicker than most middle aged or out of shape persons, and hopefully with PT, proper medication, TENs unit, heat/ice, walking, aqua therapy, massage therapy, ESIs, etc.., you can regain your health and put this chapter behind you.
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  • Is there a reason that your Mother has so much control over your medical care? Even if you are on your parents insurance, when it comes to you there is a secrecy bond between you and the Dr that can not be broken without your permission.
    You are still alive for a reason, we don't always know what it is, but your time is not up. You survived that horrific experience because you still have something to do in this life.
    Be careful of exceeding recommended dosage of both perscription and over the counter meds as they can destroy your liver.
    Does your school offer student counseling? It can help in dealing with the pain, your mother and being more assertive with your doctor.
    You should use what you have been through with your doctor to establish a better relationship for your medical care. You have more say then they do, it's your body. Please keep us informed of how you are doing, stay strong and good luck in school. Who knows maybe you'll be the one to find an answer for those of us suffering from chronic pain.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Latto -- regarding your doctor quoting effects on testosterone as a reason for not prescribing you opioid analgesics: one of the foremost, most widely used pain management texts ('Pain Assessment & Pharmacologic Management' by Pasero and McCaffery) addresses this concern in a chapter titled 'Unwarranted Withholding of Opioids'. They say that although endocrine changes can occur in both males and females on long-term opioid therapy, leading to so-called 'hypogonadism', it is something that can be easily managed if it occurs.

    To quote the authors:

    "Based on available information, it is not reasonable to withhold opioid therapy because of concerns about endocrine effects of long-term opioid use. These can be monitored and treated."

    They also say:

    "Is withholding opioids from patients with persistent noncancer pain warranted? Multiple reasons have been given for withholding opioids from this group of patients, including fear of addiction, tolerance, limitations on activity such as driving, opioid-induced hyperalgesia, harm to the immune system, and opioid-induced hypogonadism. As will be seen in the discussion that follows, evidence does not support using these reasons for denying opioids to patients with persistent noncancer pain. Rather, the decision to implement a trial of long-term opioid therapy should be based on a careful assessment of potential benefits and burdens."

    Other pain management guides that I have seen back up this info and advice. I think sometimes doctors use these kinds of reasons because they know that the patient is unlikely to be educated about these drugs and their side effects. Sometimes, unfortunately, the doctors themselves don't seem to know better, especially if they are non-PM specialists.

    Right up to my mid-forties, my pain management doctor was reluctant to prescribe me strong pain killers because he said I was too young! I told him that doctors had been telling me that for twenty years, and asked him when exactly I would be deemed old enough and how much pain I was supposed to put up with before I was treated with the kind of medication I needed. That discussion and others like it seemed to make him reassess the whole situation, and since then he has been much better about prescribing me opioids as part of a balanced system of pain management. It really is important to find a doctor with whom you can build up a good, trusting relationship, one who will actually listen to you and do everything he/she can to help you suffer a bit less and function better in life.

    It still surprises me how many doctors still harbour misconceptions about opioid drugs, and it's sad that these misconceptions lead to unnecessary suffering. I hope you get the relief you need soon - good luck.
  • first thanks for the responses everyone, it's rather nice to finally have an outlet/source of info dealing with the pain situation

    second, in regards to my mother and what she does, realize that convo was through a facebook post, so I was actually more venting about her opinions that she gives from time to time i.e. "what are you gonna take pain meds for the rest of your life?! you're too young" etc.. she actually has no say in my medical treatment and doesn't accompany me to the doctors. she just gives annoying opinions. I should have stated that in the initial post

    so now and update, after just about having a breakdown at school over thinking about the pain situation I decided to call my doctor and got in a rather heated argument with my doctor's assistant over pain meds and prescribing them
    (also note: my "Doctor" is just a family medicine general care doctor, I went to her soon after my accident in seeking of pain treatment because my neurosurgeon that took the MRI's and diagnosed me told me that he will absolutely not prescribe pain medication unless he does surgery)
    so yeah I got in a heated argument with my general care doctor's assistant because she wouldn't refill my prescription, so I told her I'm going to get a different doctor then... so now she referred me to a pain management specialist that I'm currently waiting on a call from so I can go see them.
    just a waiting game... in the meantime I have to go to a mlb baseball game this weekend and the seats there are like hell built into plastic for my back... yay...

    really I allowed my doctor to attempt to "wean" me off pain meds because I was being naive and downplayed myself in thought of the doctor most likely knows best. and the people around me telling me yada yada why isn't your back healed yet, and I didn't and still don't know why so I just thought I was doing something wrong... but I just wasn't listening to my body as the pain hasn't decreased at all in over a year
    and after I think 7? MRI's countless x-rays and 2 different neurosurgeons opinions, they still haven't told me why on occasion this extreme stabbing pain shoots down my right buttcheek and onto the top of my thigh ending just before the knee...
    I think I've just gotten straight neglected on good care, I mean if it wasn't for my opinion right after the accident the paramedics told me that I'm probably just soar and to go home and sleep a bit and walk it off tomorrow... oh well no need what ifs
    hopefully this new pain specialist can help me :]
    glass half full
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