I haven't been on here in years, not since this site first started up. But at this point I need some outside perspective and advice.
The run down is (and I will try not to be too long winded here)... I'm 37, have degenerative disc disease and I *think* failed back surgery syndrome. I've had 5 surgeries on my lower back, the first one when I was 19 and the last one in Oct 2013. I have been under pain management since 2007.
Everything was going fine with my pain management until the end of 2011 when I started having increased pain and new numbness. Turns out that L4,L5 had deteriorated and ruptured. I had my meds increased.
I also did a trial for the spinal stimulator implant and was in more misery for those 3 days than I had been in years!
I moved to Mississippi in 2012 and had to start over with new pain management. I have so far not found a doctor I either feel comfortable with or does not have a pill mill type practice. My current pain management doctor is Chinese and his English is very difficult to understand as well as he does not seem to understand me very well. Every appointment I have to remind him that No, I do not want to try the stimulator implant as I have already been down that road. Also that I have a unique situation because of having had gastric bypass where I can't take certain meds and I need a bit higher dosage because of my absorption.
The gastric bypass and not being able to fully absorb medications seems to be my biggest issue. I have tried the fentanyl patches and ended up with hives where ever on my skin I put the patch (some of these hives have left scars). I tried going back to a methadone/norco cocktail but the dose he had me at was so low (5mg every 16 hours) I felt I was going into withdrawal every 5 minutes (and if I took enough Norco to balance that out I would run out 2 weeks early and break my narcotics contract and be discharged). So now he has me at 4 10mg Norcos a day - with NO long acting meds to keep my pain level at a more even keel.
I've told him that I've been in pain management for 7 years - here is what has worked wonderfully with my altered digestive system and let have somewhat of a life and he wants to do the bare minimum dose and frequency. I have asked about the pain pump and he said he doesn't do those and I didn't want that because the catheter tube could malfunction and I would go into withdrawal or have other problems and would I be interested in the stim implant that he does? He has my records from my other pain doc in Florida that shows my history and what has worked and that I've tried the stim implant, yet never goes through my chart to verify what I've said. Grrrrrrr!!
What can I do? What options do I have? I'm so frustrated and can't think straight because of how much pain I'm in and the runaround hell I've been through with pain management in this state!!!
My primary care doctor said because of my narcotics contract he cannot refer me to another pain doctor.
I'm afraid if I tell the current pain doctor I would like to see someone else that I will be discharged before I am able to get an appointment with a new doc (it could take 3 months or more to get into someone new!)
I want to be evaluated for the pain pump, because of my gastric bypass issues (then the long acting drugs would not have to be going through my digestive tract and half of it get wasted becasue it wasn't absorbed) but this doctor is trying to push his stimulator deal on me instead.
Does anyone have any advice or experience (or encouragement?) they can share?
Thank you so much!