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Telling a doc your meds don't work

mcjimjammmcjimjam Posts: 307
edited 05/05/2014 - 10:52 PM in Chronic Pain
I am inpatient at a psych facility right now. I met my doctor today. I told her I don't feel like my pain meds help at all but she seems not to believe me. I told her I missed an appointment a week or two ago and ran out. The pain was exactly the same so I figured they don't work anymore and stopped taking them. My GP agreed that there's no point taking it if it doesn't help. Now in the hospital they have me back on it. Why would I have stopped taking the med if it helps? I'm thinking tomorrow when I see the dr again I will flat out ask for a different pain med. Will that sound to much like drug seeking? It's not as if I can abuse or misuse it in here. It will be doled out dose by dose like all meds in a hospital. I don't want to be a demanding, difficult patient but I would be so easy for them to help me. I'm on a weak med, codeine 60mg. There are a bunch of others that would probably make some difference to my pain. Part of the problem is that the doc, who is a psychiatrist, wants to get a consult with a PM doc, which is great, but it looks like she's not gonna do much for me in the meantime. How do I voice my concerns respectfully without xxxx anyone off?

Post Edited for Inappropriate Language Liz spine-health moderator


  • whats your health problem >/? I take it your back? if you can give us some more information past medical history previous operations .maybe we would have a better idea of what kind of meds or other treatment you could be on .
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 05/06/2014 - 3:18 AM
    It's all in his history.
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  • I hope you are feeling some better, if nothing else feeling better about being in the facility you are in, where you can be watched and hopefully in the end helped.

    As far as your pain meds. I think it would be better to wait until ur dr and the PM specialist have had a chance to talk about your current situation. I'm sure at some point they both will be in to talk to you, personally. I would think at that point would be the best time to open up to your drs & the fact that the codeine doesn't help, but I wouldn't suggest any particular medication to them, they will be the ones to make that call. If they ask you if anything you have ever taken has worked then tell them, I'm sure they will ask you that question.

    James, please continue to take care of yourself. Work with all your dr's in finding the best medical solution for you & your needs.
  • I'm so pleased to hear from you! I wasn't sure if you'd be able to contact us while you were in. Are things feeling a bit more controlled now? I really hope this is part of the answer. This is all so bloody hard to deal with sometimes. Do you feel like you can be completely honest with them? They need to understand that your uncontrolled pain is a huge guiding part of your depression & you need to get a handle on it before you can truly move forward. I believe you can say anything to someone so long as you say it the right way. I'd try being completely honest. Even tell them about the discussions we've had here. Tell them how bloody hard it has been for you.

    Please let us know how things are going. Does it feel like its helping?

    You're in my heart. Huge hug ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 05/06/2014 - 5:35 AM
    I would just be honest and tell them that a large part of the reason that you found yourself doing what you did was because the pain is unrelenting, and is not being effectively controlled, not even a little.........the codeine doesn't work and hasn't worked for some time.
    I wouldn't personally make suggestions, and demonstrate that you are willing to follow the suggestions they give you, but you have to also be aware that your choice to do what you did the other night is also going to be a factor , and may even cause some reluctance to try something more potent. I think that I would simply explain that I was so desperate for some relief, that you made a really desperate choice, and then realized how dangerous it was, so got yourself into treatment right away......that may help mitigate any concerns.
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  • Thank you all for the advice and concern for me. I will keep it all in mind when I talk to the doc today. It's not too had in here, really. The staff and other patients are all very nice. It has helped in taking away the option to harm myself or use illegal drugs to relieve the pain. If my mind turns to that I just think, "well, I can't do that here" and that's that.
  • I totally agree with Aaron. I have been told that I have situational depression, again, due to my pain and all the side effects that come with it. (stress, job loss, etc) I realize that my life wouldn't be perfect, but pain management is my main goal, and I know what would improve my depression. Do you feel like it is like that for you? If you do, maybe it would help to talk about how the pain meds aren't helping, and exploring other meds. Good luck, thinking of you!
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • re history ..all I can say is be honest with your doctor .if something doesn't work for you then you need to ask for something different .it took almost a year to get my drugs right and even now I can still run short if the pain get too much ..spinal pain is notoriously difficult to control ..before I had back problems the strongest drug I ever took was a paracetamol .I did not know what a narcotic was and even when I was put on them I did not realise I was taking narcotics .that was ten years ago ! unfortunately they are the typical double edge sword .can't live without them the pain is too much ..I will be on them for life now .and that's sad but an evil necessity .what worries me and upsets me is a 10 second car crash has ruined my life .{and many more of you on here are in a similar position I am sure ]
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Tony. That's an English thing! I never thought of 'pain pills' as narcotics. If you asked my Dad if he'd ever taken narcotics he'd say no! He's been on prescription 'pain pills' for 30 years. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • like i have mentioned before, there are psychologists that work with people with depression and chronic pain. if you have not done so, i suggest those who are depressed due to chronic pain and cant get out of the funk make an appointment with a pain psychologists. what is the harm? if it does not work, at least you gave it the old college try. there are also meds that help with depression and a benefit they also help with chronic pain. they go hand in hand. if i were depressed i would be beating the door down with a chronic pain psychologist. remember it does not help over night. it takes time and maybe the meds will help both the pain and the depression. my pain doctor has a psychologist in the same office as his. they also go hand in hand and work together.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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