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Chrisofsmeg
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/14/2009 2:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hola all,

I've been a member here for a while now, but I've never really had the courage to post anything about myself. So here goes.

about two and a half years ago, I was a professional fencer (the sport) - I was in the British Olympic Squad for a grant total of two weeks before all this crap happened lol. I played other recreational sports, one of which was hockey. During a hockey match, someone on the other team, after I had passed the ball, wrapped his stick around my knee as I was sprinting, and pulled as hard as he possibly could. I heard a ripping sound, and I fell into the goal (Oh the irony). From that moment I knew my fencing career was over.

I had an ACL tear, and my cartilage had been torn to shreds. I was sent for physio three times, and prescribed anti-inflammatories, which it turns out I am rather sensitive to, so I can only take them with meds for nausea and vomiting and to protect my stomach et cetera. Eventually they decided that, as my symptoms were worsening and other parts of my body became involved, surgery was necessary. They repaired the ligament as best they could, and performed a total meniscusectomy (sp?). I then had next to no cartilage in my knee.

I was eventually prescribed Vicodin (The British Equivalent at least), and I've been on it for two years now. Then I tore the ligament again, which necessitated another surgery. How it tore again is completely inexplicable - it shouldn't have. Ironically I tore it again in physio. The surgeon repaired it again, but the pain is constantly there, all the time. The meds do help, they take the edge off, but it never really goes away.

The next round of tests showed nerve damage throughout my lower back and both legs. I have a third surgery scheduled on my leg in December, there may be another tear, and they want to do something to the nerves (He's in the process of sending me a letter explaining the surgery).

My back needs further testing, but the doctor seems pessimistic. I also have a rotator cuff tear in my shoulder that may need surgery, joy of joys.

Mostly due to this, partly due to other circumstances, I developed depression. It snowballed from there, and I now have moderate agoraphobia, Generalised Anxiety disorder, Panic Disorder, Deprerssion and OCD.

I'm currently on Vicodin, Trazodone, Domperidone, Diazepam, Temazepam, Gabapentin, Capsaicin cream & Lidocaine patches.

I'm fairly certain that I'd be on less medication if my pain was adequately controlled. It upsets me because there is a large different between TREATING pain and managing/controlling pain. The latter being something that I believe doctors should focus on more. My doctor has told me to prepare myself that I may well be in pain, my knees, back and shoulder mainly, for the rest of my life, which is rather upsetting at the mere age of 18.

So yeah, that's about it. Hope you enjoy reading it lol. Sorry it was so long, there's a lot to explain!

Thanks for reading,

Chrisofsmeg.

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 9/14/2009 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Chris,
you've been through a lot, and I was shocked that your doctor would says to you that you'll be in pain for the rest of your life,
and it had me wondering if this was a surgeon or a pain management doctor? Maybe look into gettting a pain pump, just a
suggestion, of which your doctor should've mentioned...There are others here that will be by with better ideas, this is a good website with
lots of nice people that have been through a lot...don't apologize for a long posts, everyone needs time to vent...
lots and lots of soft hugz and well wishes to you and sure do wish we could've meet under better circumstances...
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Chrisofsmeg)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
hugz.....
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13455
   Posted 9/14/2009 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Chris,

Welcome to Healing Well. I am very glad that you found us, but we always hate to see another person come along afflicted with this dreadful disease. What is even worse is it to be someone as young as you are starting your life off with multiple surgeries that can very well leave you with chronic pain. But, do not despair at what this dr is telling you about a life of CP. This was obviously not a pain mgt dr telling you this, I am assuming it ws a surgeon. Just from what you have written in your post the very best thing I can suggest you do is have your PCP ref you to the best pain mgt dr they can find for you. Be sure they find one that does both medications and procedures. There are some pain mgt drs that do nothing but procedures and they do not prescribe medications. Depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. Many times the medications used for depression will help with the pain to a certain extent. I can tell you first hand you will find that many drs like surgeons do not like to rx pain meds to someone as young as you, the first words out of their mouths is "well I don't want you getting addicted"., therefore I will let you suffer, wrong answer. There is a big difference between addiction and tolerance issues. Addiction is someone looking for the a high, not someone trying to tame pain. Now you see why I suggested a pain mgt dr. Pain mgt drs are more knowledgable of how pain meds work, what combination may work better together and that sort of thing.

 

Please keep posting and let us know how you are coming along.


Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Chrisofsmeg
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/14/2009 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both for your replies.

Unfortunately, all the doctors I am seeing, that is, my GP (Who is the father of my best friend - he is always open and honest with me. He went on a pain management course especially for me.), my surgeon and both the pain management doctors that I have seen have all concurred in the opinion that I will be in long term chronic pain, possibly for the rest of my life.

Yeah, I know the whole crap "You're too young for opioids" "They can cause addiction" etc. I worked in a pharmacy for two years, I know a fair bit, there is a great difference between addiction and dependance, but the doctors seem to put the priority of their license over the pain management/anxiety management, for the most part. My GP has done the best he can, I have great faith in him - we make compromises and try new things sometimes.

My pain management doctors is the guy who prescribed the capsaicin cream (a lot stronger than the OTC cream) and the lidocaine patches. He has also titrated my gabapentin to 1800mg/day. I only saw him two weeks, but if there was really going to be a difference it would have appeared by now. Don't get me wrong - they take away the pain in the skin, which is a little benefit, but the majority of my pain is inside the knee, not in the skin, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn't make much difference.

I also wish that they would have a proper look at everything else that hurts, but they're all a pain in the ass to get hold of, and they have full schedules all the time, so it takes forever to get to see them, and then they generally don't have time to look at everything properly.

I would like to be put on a long acting opioid. Something like Oxycontin, MS Contin or Fentanyl. They would take away the pain without getting me high, and I am completely fine with that. I just want a life without pain.

Thank you so much for listening to me :) *hugs* to both of you.



Christopher

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13455
   Posted 9/14/2009 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Chris many times we have to advocate for our own care with these drs. That was
 nice of the GP taking a course in PM, but that by no means makes him an expert. Those guys needs years under their belt in order to get the the full realm of PM. Yes, as a patient you do have rights, you have a right to to have your pain controlled well enouh to have some sort of a life. The fact that you are 18 is an obstacle but  it shouldn't be. If you cannot get anywhere with the PCP and the PM guy you only saw for two weeks, then you may have to look else where for medical care. Many people on this forum have had to see several drs before finding the right one. Thats not something new. I know you may be an awkward situation being a friend of this guy's son but don't compromise your health over that.
 
You mentioned back problems. Have you had an MRI or anthing like that for your back? If not push for it.
Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Chrisofsmeg
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/14/2009 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
My bad with the typo there. I only saw him two weeks AGO - so I have been on the patches, cream and increased gabapentin for two weeks now. He will see me soon. But he said he will only see me if I make an effort to cut down on my psychiatric medication. Otherwise he wont treat me. I appreciate I'm on a lot of meds but that's not partcularly doctorly and I don't like being held to ransom.

My GP will always find the best doctor that he possibly can that is a specialist in the relevant matter, and they all write to him and get him to do my prescribing. We're trying to find a doctor that will treat me a little better, but in the meanwhile, I'll just have to settle for this guy.

I am technically, on my GP's advice, still seeing the original PM dr, who did some X-rays of my lower back and spine. He promised to get back to me with a report in two weeks. It's been two months. I have an appt with him in October. I will try my best to push for an MRI on my back and my shoulder, or something similar, which was actually going to be my next move - when I see my surgeon, also in October. My GP wanted to get several opinions. The first guy said if things hadn't improved by the time I saw him next he would seriously consider alternatives, stronger medications, palliative surgeries/procedures etc.

So I'm hoping that things will improve in the not-too-distant future. But for the meanwhile, College beckons. The irony here is, I'm studying all the subjects that I need to get myself into med school so I can become a doctor!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13455
   Posted 9/15/2009 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Chris,

What meds is this PM dr wanting you off of exactly? In what way does he feel they would interfere with his treatment? He sounds pretty much like a cad. No, you don't have to held at ransom by him, its your choice as a patient to seek another dr, surely there is more than one your PCP can come up with? I am curious as to why the xrays reports were not furnished to your PCP. He should be able to get a copy of the reports. Plain film exrays will not show much except broken bones, a fracture and things of that nature. The MRI is much more definitive than a plain film. How did they diagnose your torn rotator cuff? Who recommended surgery on it without an MRI? Sorry for so many questions.

I have been there with the knee problems, have had 4 surgeries on the left knee for a torn meniscus to the last being for a partial tear of the ACL. Then 10 days post op, I severely twisted that freshly scoped  knee and spent a year weaing a Don Joy brace. What a pain it was too. Spent one week in the hospital for pain control after twisting the knee. My ortho & I watched the thing swell to the size of a grapefruit in a short while. A week later it was even bigger and by that time my entire leg was involved. Fearing a blood clot had set in, he put me in the hospital to rule that out and to also try to get the pain under control. I also torn the meniscus in the right knee and had surgery three weeks before the ACL repair. Due to a  medication I was on for my crohns disease it interferred with my healing drastically and it took over a year for the knees to completely heal. I was not,prepared for any of this long term stuff involving my knees simply because all my prior surgeries had been relatively easy. Now, I need both knees replaced and I am just biding my time. I did have the Supartz injections done and it helped me somewhat, at least now they do not snap, crackle and pop when going up a flight of stairs.

I am sure you know when there are multiple areas involved the drs only want to deal with one issue at a time. That just seems to make thing be drawn out a little longer. So, you are going to go to medical school, bravo for you. What field are you wanting to go onto, may I ask? Please keep posting as many more will jump on here from time to time.


Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Chrisofsmeg
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/15/2009 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
The PM doctor wants me off of temazepam, diazepam, trazodone and gabapentin (and opioids in the long term), the irony being that he prescribed the increased dose of gabapentin. Basically he's terrified of the prescription pad and, as I said, prefers to put his license above the health/quality of life of his pataients. I'm looking for a new one, I'll probably return to see my old PM doctor, as he was generally relatively helpful. It's a bit of a wait and see thing at the moment. There are some others in the area, but they are a long way away and I don't drive at the moment. I'm hoping to learn in the near future, which might make things a bit better in terms of choice.

I sent a letter to the other PM doctor about the X-ray reports yesterday, because I'm getting very cross about it all. We shall see if a reminder yields any results. They did find some muscle spasms in my lower back, and that was the reason for the X-ray apparently. But I have made enquiries about an MRI. I may pay to go private, although I'm not sure I can afford it at the moment.

I have seen a physio about my shoulder, shortly after my GP saw me. They said from the movements I could and couldn't manage, and the locations of the pain, it was almost certainly a rotator cuff and as I don't seem to have responded to physio, surgery is probably the next best thing. Both of them have written letters to my surgeon and asked him to have a look and schedule an MRI. I see him in October, so that should yield some results too. Fingers crossed.

I'll only be off to medical school if I have the right grades in two years time, which I probably will (Not to sound arrogant). I'm not entirely sure what field. I'd quite like to go into surgery, if so, either Cardiothorasics or General. Either that or Emergency Medicine or of course Diagnostics (I watch House far too much!).

Thanks for your replies.

Christopher x

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13455
   Posted 9/15/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Chris, I may have a better understanding now of the so called PM dr lol. He must be one of those that does procedures only, they do exist, there is basically two types of PM drs, one that does procedures only and then on that will do procedures and rx medications. You are on generic Neurotin which is for a nerve type pain, why would he have a problem with that, is he nuts??? You really need to get totally away from this jerk, his ego is way too big to be treating people. Chris, your PCP can schedule you for MRI's it does not have to be a specialist to order them. In fact, most specialist prefer the patient to have an MRI prior to being seen. It cuts down on time and the dr can tell you something on the 1st visit rather than waiting to schedule one and wating for the report and ect.. Why not discuss this with your PCP and above all do not pay out of pocket for one if you have insurance. They are terribly expensive.

One thing I learned many, many years ago about CP is, if a person is injured somehow, many times if that person does not receive proper care immediately, it can go on and develop into CP. I have seen this very thing happen many times.

I have a pain pump as you know, my PM dr writes more scripts for narcotics than any dr in the state of Tx and she has more pump patients than any dr in this state,lol. She is a retired neurosurgeon who decided to go into pain mgt a decade ago, mainly so she could still help people.  The first time the DEA paid her a visit, the little guy got in her face and shook his finger at her and said "so, you are the naughty girl that is writing all of those prescriptions for narcotics?" She said she just looked at him and grinned and said "yes I am". They went in and did their audit, which is going thru her records. My dr also has massive amounts of medication in her office because she does her mixing for the pumps, instead of using an outside pharmacy. She said one of the people got to talking to her and gave her some valuable tips that she incoprorated in her office. At the end of the audiot, the little man, gave her a thumbs up and told her to keep up the good work. She was not intmidated one bit by the DEA.   She says in our statee the DEA pretty much leaves the PM drs alone, its the PCP's they go after and get because of sloppy record keeping. She pretty much picks and chooses who she will take on as a patient. Before an appt is even made with her she requires the person to furnish her with a copy of all of their medical records for one year. She will review the medical records and determine whether she can help the person or not. She told me that alot of the PCP's do a very poor job in documenting and maintaining their medical records and thats why the DEA gets after them so bad. She says she see's this first hand on a daily basis. But, she only takes pump patients.  Once you have a pump its very difficult to get another PM dr to take you on. I thik alot of it is liability issues.

I do hope you can get some help with your situation, Perhaps nudging your PCP to help out here a little more and getting him to order the MRI's would be a step in the right direction. I am not sure where you live, what the protocol is in your medical community.  But, one thing is for sure, you need to kick that current PM dr to the curb just as hard as you can-he is sure not helping you.


Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Chrisofsmeg
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/15/2009 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
It might work a little differently here - I'm in the UK, England specifically. As far as I'm aware, and this is the way it has worked with me before, I get referred to someone by my GP, and then they order the tests/procedures/whatever.

My age factors largely into what is and isn't prescribed, I think. Don't get me wrong, I want to get off all these meds, I freaking hate it lol. But currently, they're keeping me relatively sane and JUST able to function. I think you're largely right about the new PM doc, because he told me to keep taking Naproxen, despite the fact that NSAIDs make me very ill. I have stopped the treatment because I favour a little inflammation over a probable stomach ulcer, which would just complicate things. But his opinion could have killed me, so yeah, bye bye. I'll keep seeing him until he's done the palliative surgery he has planned, I figure it can't do anymore harm, as I spoke to my GP about the procedure and he thinks it's a relatively good idea. After that, well, we shall see. I'll keep in mind the other doctors for prescribing, however, I don't want this guy prescribing for me, that's for certain.

He wanted me to have a look at a pain management program too, he said he'll refer me but there is a long waiting list, has anyone had any expierence with something like this? Apparently it involves physio, a PM doc (him), a psychotherapist for therapy, CBT etc, and group sessions with others with CP (Although most will probably be a great deal older than me, so I'm told). I'd be extremely grateful for any more opinions/suggestions.

I'm seeing my GP next week, so I'll have a proper chat with him about everything that you've suggested then.

Thank you very much :)

Christopher.

P.S. Does anyone know an effective way of hurrying along the process of getting to see specialists etc? It might just be because I'm in the UK and the NHS means we get free medical care, that there is a huge waiting list for things, I don't know, but I'd like to be able to give things a push in the right direction.

Allys
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 9/16/2009 11:52 PM (GMT -7)   
What a great forum moderator on this site.  I suffer with severe renal pain/colic continuously firstly due to hypermobile kidneys & then to strictures in the ureters.  I just wanted to mention that for bone/ muscle pain mcTimmoney Chiropractors (different from ordinary chirpopractors) may be able to help.  I know people who have suffered ie back or leg or foot or neck pain for years & after a few treatments it's like having a new body!  Maybe worth a go?
 
Alys
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