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opioids for my pinched nerves and disc degeneration

Hi, I'm new here, but read a lot of the posts for a while now, but here goes.
I hope this doesn't get too long, but I need some advice. I'm 59, divorced, raised two great sons by myself after 16 years of marriage. I was a heavy equipment operator and dump truck driver all my life and owned my own trucks also for many years. At the age of 25 I started making kidney stones, had a few operations to remove them, dealt with that for years until they got worse, lots worse . I was passing 5 or 6 a month at times. At age 35, I fell off a roof, busted my diaphram, ribs , wrist etc. almost died, and messed up my neck somewhat in the fall also. On pain meds for about 8 or 9 months, got off them and carried on for about 10 years with work and family usually in pain, just lived with it. Then coming home one day I got rearended at 50mph and shoved into another car ahead of me, double whiplash, they called it. I had terrible pain for over 2 years, my arm was completely numb, physical therapy, acupuncture, nerve meds, nuerontin, head meds, which the docs said there was nothing wrong. HA. Finally a friend introduced me to his neurosurgeon, in a great clinic, they took THEIR OWN MRI's and cat scans, and told me my C-4, C-5 was mangling the nerve and had been permanately damaged because of putting off surgery for too long. Operated, numbness went away, but the pain remains. One year later, driving a dump truck and trailer, trailer steer axle broke, pulled me off a 20 ft. embankment and a bad wreck. Threw me around in the cab, gearshift hit my spine, and once more, more discs screwed up. Anyway, at that time I started the kidney stone making again and finally the doc disabled me. Several years down the road, the discs above and below are pinching 5 nerves the surgeon says and he doesn't give me much hope of relief IF he DOES operate, BUT... I WILL be paralyzed possibly if he doesn't. I am in some pretty heavy pain with the muscle degeneration from the whiplash, and the docs say that every muscle in my neck was torn in the wreck and their is arthritis and also disc degeneration in my entire spine. I have been to so many doctors, had steroidal injections into the disc spaces, lots of them, with about of 1-2 weeks relief, then tried accupunture, nerve stimulators, you name it. Finally my doc put me on methadone with morphine for breakthru pain. It is the only relief I get, I still have bad days , but my quality of life has been much better for the last several years of being on them. I was blessed with IBS also for many, many years, and one GOOD side effect of the narcotics was that the IBS virtually stopped. I have never abused the drugs, asked for more either. Now my doc is retiring, and I go to this pain clinic, they tell me they are taking me almost completely off narcotics, because they say in Oregon, people are abusing them. I have no idea what to do. They cut me in half in one month, I passed a kidney stone a week ago with virtually no medication, went to the hospital, they gave me steroids? Does any one know a good doctor on the west coast who believes in narcotic therapy, or is there any new drugs that will help my kind of pain? Or is there really a new law stating that narcotic therapy is no longer useful? ANY help in these areas I've mentioned would be greatly appreciated, sorry my post was so long, Thanks.
Steven A. Collins


  • There is no law but there is a battle going on in the medical profession and society at large between those that believe in opioid therapy and those that only want to see it used for surgery, cancer and the severest of pains.

    My PM saved my career with opioids and I am willing to testify in congress any time it is needed. Physicians and others in society who are trying to restrict opioids need to get the heck out of the way. Until they have experienced pain day after day with no end in sight they no have business even being in the discussion. I was stuck under treated for three years before I finally told my Doctor "I'm sorry but your treatments are not adequate. I have a duty to myself and my family and I will go to illicit drugs if I can't find help in the medical field. Thank you for efforts but I need to be able to work and this is good bye." I did find such a doctor hopefully you can also.

    I don't want to come across as blaming others, in the end I fault myself for not taking a more active role in my treatment earlier than I did. Once I decided on a course of action I was not going to let society or anyone else stand in the way.

    Best of luck.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    I understand your concerns. My relationship with my pain management doctor is most important to me!

    Often I have wondered what I would do in a situation that you now face.
    It may take time and effort, but I would start to find and interview with other pain management doctors in your area.

    It is too bad that you are already with a spinal clinic and they will not honor the work that has been done by your retiring physician.

    In the meantime, I would continue to tell doctor of continued and or worsening pain and increase on pain scale.
    ...what you live with daily.
    I would continue talking until someone listened.

    My PM doctor has seen me for years, and as I explain new symptoms or worsening symptoms, it's as if he's talking out loud to himself, about what part of my spine is causing that.
    Since he's seen me all along, and considers me stable, I'm sure it's not intentional, but at times I feel he's disinterested...unless there is something he can do, for example, periodic epidurals.

    Something I recently did with my PM doctor, and sent to my primary to keep her in the loop, I drew the front and back of a body and marked with symbols and explanation of type of pain I experience daily..what is newer symptom and symptoms that regularly come and go or flare up.

    At a glance he can see the widespread pain and I feel it's a gentle reminder of update of how I'm doing with continued and worsening pain.

    Doctors are feeling the pressure of reducing narcotic therapy...but we chronic pain sufferers feel it the most.
    Why the drug seekers and abusers are allowed to ruin it for the many in truly unbelievable pain is way beyond me.

    As members we are not allowed to mention doctors or hospitals, clinics, etc....good, bad or indifferent.
    There is a ...Find a doctor......on this site, left of page, which may be a good start for you and your search, if that is what you decide.

    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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