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Just 'Flunked' my MEDIAL BLOCK test

I am so aware that so many more of you have higher pain issues than mine and deal with so much more. But I'm struggling with my cervical issues a lot right now. I have a great pain specialist -- who never seems to give up on trying treatments or even repeating some as long as he remains within the insurance boundary........but here I am 3 years with such strong cervical pain it is taking my whole life away.

I know I shouldn't holler about that either. I'm 72 --I've had a good life and an active one -- but this dang pain is the only thing wrong with me. My pain is directly on my spine from my shoulder blades to the nape of my neck.....and once it hits the neck I'm stuck with a back of the head headache which is above Level 7 if I don't medicate it by 7 am. I've tried gabapentin (a whisper); cymbalta (pretty good); topamax (probably working but doesn't solve it); cortisone (lasts briefly; ablations on every part of my spine with varying success as he searches for which nerve ?may? be the culprit. About a month ago he repeated an ablation in the, 5,6,7 discs (herniated but not leaking) which had been done about a year or so ago since it had given several months of relief.....no help. So yesterday he tested me out with a medial block to see whether it would be worth it to ablate the right side of the same area. I flunked........so here I am going woe is me......falling into Pity Party # 3, 333, 333. ..

So -- I'll call the clinic today to tell them about the pain level -- and I know they will see me again -- and I am pretty sure they will have another ????something??? for me to try. After 3 years, tho, I'm feeling my hope waning.

I've heard the doc talk about a permanent pain patch (very painful to put in) -- or a low dosage weekly pain patch I could. I hate to 'bow to the opiate use' --- but I'm so sick of pain and I know they will watch me like a hawk for usage.

So now that I've whined thru this letter, I suppose I'd like to know whether anyone out there feels free to tell me whether they use anything that sounds like a weekly pain patch? Does it work? Did it require more dosage after awhile? Etc.

Guess I'll go gather my thoughts to call the clinic -- ye gads, sounds like I'm gonna gather my 'plate of worms'.



  • DobieloverDDobielover Posts: 17
    edited 03/16/2014 - 7:39 AM
    Your doc is probably talking about Butrans. It is a slow release opiate pain relief patch changed weekly. I am currently using it.
    Opposed to pain pills, it is good because you don't have the ups and downs, nor do you have the groggy, dopey feeling after your body gets used to the medicine, which for me took about a week or two. I still have hydrocodone for breakthrough pain, and need epidural steroid injections in my cervical spine about every 6 months, but the patch has defiinitely been a big part of my pain relief in the last couple years.
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