intimidated by pain meds/ pain clinic

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merrygirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 6/19/2009 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I have just started to treat my serious pain by seeing a pain doctor at a  pain clinic. The pain clinic was very intimidating. The first one I went to at the local hospital they asked what I was doing there and that I was too young to be in pain (30). so I left that pain clinic in tears.
 
the next pain clinic had me see 6 doctors, a therapist, checked my urine at every visit, called my docs, and pharmacy. I have spent 8 hours going through their red tape and finally have an a ppointment next week to get meds rxd.
 
I find it very intimidating.
I finally met the doctor who rx's the meds, and she was very nice. I am relieved by that. She told me that she would likely rx a extended release med and a med for breakthrough pain. IT sounds liek she could be talking about oxycontin. It all is scaring me.
 
I need my pain to be under control, but I also do not want to become an addict or even dependant..i think i havent pursed proper pain management because i am afraid to take meds. My brother is an addict and i dont want to be like that.
 
I was just wondering if you all have to do all this stuff to get to a pain clinic, and any words of wisdom, I am afraid.
 
thanks,
melissa
Chronic Lyme Disease
Fibromyalgia
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Sleep Apnea
Hypothyroidism
 
 


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 6/19/2009 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
merrygirl

Whew what a complex post. Ok here goes. Its always scary going to a pain clinic. My first visit 4 months ago stressed me but in the end it was smooth sailing. I didn't have to go through 6 doctors but I do have to take drug tests once a month.

I know everyone will chime in and say addiction and dependace are so different. Addiction is where you abuse you prescribed meds and would sell your child to get more. Being dependant does come along with chronic pain management. You can be dependant even if you take your meds as prescribed never take extra but there is a difference an abuser will take them all. I myself would rather be dependant than deal with the pain everyday. If ever I am able to come off the pain meds my doctor will take me off slowly so hopefully no physical withdrawls will occur. (which will never happen illness is progressive)

So take a deep breath and understand its out of your control regarding your pain. Medication at this point it the only hope of decreasing the pain and possibly continuing a functionable life.

Best wishes
Laurie
39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD
Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea
Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all


anice
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 6/19/2009 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Melissa,I am sorry you are having so much trouble getting in w/ a pain management doctor. For the girl up front to ask what you were doing there and stated you are too young to be in pain is absurd.First of all it isn't any of her concern! And to imply that... well she honestly needs to be reported. She was indeed way out of line. She doesn't belong in the medical field at all, it sounds like she needs a job that she doesn't have to deal with people at all. She was wrong. I am sorry that happened. And something else: you are a patient. Doctors need patients to have a good business. And doctors are a dime a dozen. Practices are built up alot by word of mouth and being a good doctor. What I am saying is they need patients. And if their staff is running off patients and being unprofessional and rude, I think the doctor or atleast the office manager needs to know, even though you went somewhere else.

I am glad that you have an appt. That is good. Please try not to be intimidated by the doctors and certainly not their staff. Alot of people have white coat syndrome-and anxiety levels go way up when they go to the doctor. Have a notebook used just for medical appointments. Write any questions or concerns you have ahead of time. I know that I will often forget some things if I don't write it down. It is good to do this. Relax as best as you can. You are going to the doctor to help you become able to deal better with pain you have. You are not a drug addict of abuser. Even if you have family members who do have problems with drugs or alcohol, that doesn't mean that you will.You are not going to be on "drugs". You will be put on medication prescribed to you by a doctor to treat a certain medical condition. It is so much different. If you have concerns, voice them with your doctor. It may be that you will be started out slowly and work up to higher doses or different meds altogether. It depends on the doctor and what his policy is.

Please don't be afraid. I read the bottom of your thread and read what conditions you have. You are in pain-plain and simple. I am glad that you did get in with pain management. I hope that you get relief. Be honest with the doctor. If you have any questions, ask them.If they want to put you on a med. that you are not comfortable with, ask if there is an alternative med you could try first instead of that one. I think you will be fine. It is a very common thing to be afraid of. But you will be okay. Get as much information about each of your conditions, knowledge is everything. Ask questions. Become active in your treatment.

Melissa, you stated your brother is an addict. I am sure that has caused your family alot of heartache. You are not your brother. You are your own person. You have conditions that need to be treated. You are in pain. There are many meds that can/will provide relief for you. You are different from your brother. You are your own person. Please relax. Breath. And come here as often as you need. You are not alone. Keep us posted on how things are going for you.

It sounds like the clinic you are in is pretty strict with there requirements. There are always random urine drug screens. All I had to do was fill out pages of info, sign some agreements and that was about it. Some places are worse than others. You did get through all their blue tape.You have an appt. Sounds like the worst is over. Good luck to you.
Anice

Mystic_Duck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 6/19/2009 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
melissa,
First of all i know how intimidating this whole process can be; and i also want to say that first pain clinic you went to is completely wrong, and is very discriminating... i hav been in chronic pain since i was 16, so believe me, ive dealt with the age issue, and that everyone seems to think that especially if your a teenager you cant be anything but a druggie....

Anyway, i think you have found a really good pain clinic, it really sounds like it.... iknow all the urine tests and seeing this person and that person can be very tiring, but really, that happens with almost all pain clinics; and u have been through the worst of it! now that you have had your consulting appts and done urine tests, they know u r not a druggie, not looking to get high, have a legit reason, and are not doctor shopping... and all this is now documented, so u will be able to use this to ur advantage in the future if you ever run into any problems,which i pray you wont...

It also sounds like you found a very good doctor, and honestly the plan you and she discussed sounds exactly like what i started with and what a lot of cp people are on... and it is a good plan, it gives you a baseline control but also you have something for when the pain acts up throughout the day. Yes, it might be oxycontin for the extended, and i was on that for prob a year or so and also oxycodone normally works best with oxycontin for breakthrough pain, which i was also on...she probably will start with a lower dose for 2 reasons, 1- cuz no one wants to be on more pain meds than they have to, and 2- it is generally a good idea to start at a lower dose and gently taper up to a higher dose if needed. If your concerned that the starting dose wont be enough to contol your pain, just talk to her about it, and ask her what you do and where you guys go from there; most likely she'll have u call in a week or two to see if the meds are working or to what extent they are working. The most important thing is to be honest with ur doc, i know it sounds cheesy but really it will get you the best treatment possible and she will appreciate ur honesty!

As for the addiction and dependance thing, i would also just discuss that with ur pain doc, and i would tell her u are concerned about becomeing dependant on the pain meds; she will appreciate ur concern, my pain doc really did... and also no one can really tell you if or when u will or can become dependant on them, because everyone reacts differently to each med... but if you are on opioid pain meds for an extended period of time, most likely you will have some dependancey, but this should not scare you, because if you need or want to get off these meds, as long as you taper them, which your doc will help you do, you will be fine, and experiance very few withdrawl symptoms if any. As for addiction, i worry about that too, but honestly people who take pain meds because they have actual pain, are the people who are least likly to become addicts, and that includes yourself! also, im even more convinced that you wont have any addiction problems for a number of reasons : you have real pain, you are concerned about becoming addicted, and uve seen firsthand what addiction can do to a person thru ur brother (which im also sorry about) and because of all this you wont take a pill if your not in pain, and i dont kno what pain meds uve tried before, but if uve ever got lik a head rush or anything because of them- i cannot stand that, and thats considered the "high" and people in pain do not want to be on these meds, but it is what helps and often the only thing that does; addicts do not need the pills, do not have pain every day of their lives, and will not stop taking the pills no matter how bad things in their life gets. People in pain, which includes you are not like that; these meds will help control ur pain, which will help u get back to as normal a life as possible, and when you think about that, the benefits far outweigh the risks!

I think ive gone on long enough, sorry if its too long.... but i wanted to let you know that ur not alone and that u hav none of the risks for addiction! Im sorry uve had to go thru all this stuff, but honestly ur on the way to getting relief and ur thru the red tape so now things will be getting better, and u will be getting some real "treatment," some real management, and that other people do share ur feelings of intimidation and fear, but it is okay, and whenever u hav doubts or worries, u can always post here, everybody uderstands life with cp, and understands the hassels of cp, and everyone here is very compasionate and give some great advice! Hope this helps somewhat and again sorry that u have had such a hassel with all the hoops to jump through, but your on ur way, and ur almost there, and u are doing the exactly right thing by going to a pain clinic and a pain specialist! Hope u get some real relief soon and have much less pain!
Katherine
 
"In God's hands, in God's time."
 
"The scourge of life, and death's extreme disgrace, the smoke of hell, that monster called Pain."


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/19/2009 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Melissa,
Sadly, the hoops you've had to jump through are pretty standard for many of us. The good news is that at the end of the hoops, you appear to have found a good pm doctor. That doesn't always happen, so consider yourself lucky there! And you may be subject to periodic or regular urine screens, and probably had to sign a contract. You want to make sure to follow that, although it sounds as if you will.

If you are going to be on opiods or other medications which cause dependence - simply by virtue of the way they act in the body - you will eventually become physically dependent. Like Laurie said, that's not the same thing as being an addict. You are wise to consider this aspect, though, as there can be some genetics involved in the development of addiction and that's something you have no control over. So you could discuss this with your doctor, and as long as you are following your doctor's instructions, that's how you manage it. If you start wanting to take more, for example, that's a sign you want to call you doctor and take some action. But no one knows for sure if genetics will automatically mean you become an addict, just like having heart disease in your family doesn't mean you'll die of a heart attack. It's just one factor.

Aside from that, you have to make the decision about how much pain robs you of the quality of your life, and whether there are any other options for pain control. Many of us use a variety of things - everything from physical therapy, ice/heat, stimulator units, massage, acupuncture, relaxation exercises, and more to manage pain. Medications are one part, yet an important part for most of us. So you need to look at what you've tried, and what's worked, and if there are other things to try. Also, even though we're often afraid of narcotics (and we should have a healthy respect for them) most are actually easier on the body for long term pain management than even a lot of OTC medications like NSAIDS.

Read and learn and talk with your doctor so you can make the best informed decision together with her. And always remember there are new treatments always in research stages!

Hope this helps a bit.

PaLady

fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/19/2009 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Melissa, Welcome to the CP forum. I know you posted days ago introducing yourself and from my experience, you have found a great place to find help, comfort and encouragement. Like others I have lived with pain for a length of time, 11 years. I have seen more doctors, tried more meds and spent more sleepless nights than I ever thought was possible. First off, it is obvious that you did not choose to be in pain. If there was another answer, you would have and already have addressed it. To have to rely on pain meds for a functioning level of life, then you are not an addict. Will you become one? I think if you were going to be an addict you would not be asking that question. I run a program for addicts and addiction is so different. I deal with addicts every day of my life and I myself was an addict. I am on pain meds but it is not the same as when I was in my addiction. 

Taking pain meds is not what we want to do. People like us want to continue our lives in a way that pain does not control every part of our life. The problem for most of us, the pain level will not diminish so we need how to learn to live with it. It was not our choice but it is our life. I would suggest that you find a secure place to store your meds when you start them. I am not sure how much access your brother would have to them or others as well. It is a very wise thing to make sure they are seciure to protect you and others. Take a deep breath and realize that life will go on and you will continue to enjoy your life. We are always here to help one another.


merrygirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 6/19/2009 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks for everyones detailed and compassionate responses. I am kind of overwhelmed right now with appointments, doctors and medical decisions. I have recently come to a crossroads in my illness, where I finally admitted to myself that I may not get better, or at least for for a long while. I really appreciate the support I have been given here. I am sure I will ask for more questions and need more support. thanks a lot

melissa
Chronic Lyme Disease
Fibromyalgia
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Sleep Apnea
Hypothyroidism
 
 


fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 6/19/2009 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Melissa, I just wanted to add that none of us like accepting the change that CP brought to our lives. Normal is something that chnages for us and that takes time to adjust to. The other thing that we have to live with us is how others, even our family view us. It is no difference than having diabetes and having to take insulin but many people look at us as addicts and that stigma can be difficult to handle. That is where it is good to have people like those on this site, we have been there and have walked through it. Don't allow yourself to feel alone.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 6/19/2009 10:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Merry,
   I just wanted to say that I hope you are able to fulfill all the requirements your new PM doctor has for you. Try to not be dicouraged. I didnt understand why my spine specialist made do alot of the same things at first... But here I am year and half later, he gave me, my life back. With tools to help re-define "me". Best of luck
*huggs*
dani
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood

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