I'm new! Surgery, advice and everything in between!

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CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/28/2009 2:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone -

I'm new here and just wanted to stop in and introduce myself. I'm so glad to have found this site! I can tell already it's going to be a great place for support.

I planned to write out all the issues in detail (the C5-C6 details) I'm dealing with, however, it's really late already here and I'm having problems typing. My right middle finger is numb and stiff all in one, so it's becoming hard to type - and while you can't tell it, I've been fixing my errors constantly!! I'll just tell you all in my terminology. I know that I've got issues in C5 through C7 and then I've got several spots in my low L through S1.

Anyway!I'm a 33 yr old SAHM, living in the Charlotte, NC area. I've got several issues I'm dealing with right now that sadly brings me to this forum. I have severe spinal stenosis in my neck, spurs, bulges, radiculopathy, neuropathy, etc. I also have several bulges in my low back and a pretty big herniated disc down there as well that's pushing on the nerve causing alot of extremity pain. Today's been a very bad day for me for pain - my right leg has felt like it's been shocked repeatedly and set on fire.

I am having surgery on Jan 11th to have the herniated disc fixed - the doctor is going to just do a discectomy and remove the part that's herniated. As far as I know he won't be fusing anything or putting anything in there. However, I do feel that something has gotten worse in there since my MRI in October. Especially since the pain has increased tremendously and my overall function has decreased to barely able to function at all. It sucks.

Walking is even becoming hard to do, sitting is unreal, etc.

Along with all of this - I had gastric bypass in March 2008 and I've lost 210 lbs. I truly feel this has hurt me in alot of ways. I have no fat left on my bones so there's absolutely no cushion to support me.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a while ago and just started Lyrica not long ago.

I've had carpal tunnel surgery in both hands, but the problems/pain are coming back.

The surgery in 2 weeks will be my 8th in 3 years. Not looking forward to it, but hoping it will help.

Right now I am on pain management and take Oxycodone IR 15mg 5-6x a day. And it is not doing anything at all for the pain I'm dealing with. Take into consideration that I've got compromised pipework inside so my absorption is definitely different and medicine wears off fast for me.

I am seeing my pain doctor on Thurs this week and I tell you I can not wait to see him. I do not know where to go from here with the medicine. I need something that will help with the pain effectively, not make me so tired I can't function and is inexpensive. I do not want a time-release drug because of the absorption issues - I want to be sure I have medicine I can take for the pain and get relief, even if a little, rather than have to wait 12 hours for the next pill.

My doctor has brought up several drug options to me in the past - morphine, methadone, fentyl (sp??), etc but I'm lost as to what truly would be next best.

Can anyone recommend from experience what might be a good direction to go? I can not take any kind of NSAIDS - trust me I wish I could take some ibuprofen so bad!!! It worked great for me. I just can't take much more of this pain. I'm looking forward to surgery and hoping it will help cure the problems I'm dealing with in my low back. I am going to also tell the doc that I want to schedule my neck surgery as soon as I can after. The pain in my neck has reached epic proportions that are just not tolerable.

I do not want to be on pain medicine forever. I want to have another child one day! I know the road ahead of me is long and bumpy, but I'm going to stay positive and hope for the best.

I look forward to checking out this site more.. and hopefully getting to know some of you!

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 12/28/2009 3:03 AM (GMT -7)   
and welcome to our little home on the web!
You have a lot going on. You said that your symptoms are returning in the wrists. It may be that you have some ulnar nerve compression going on  if you spend any time leaning on your elbows. The ulnar nerve sits in a little groove ( where your "funny bone" is- it really isn't the bone, but the ulnar nerve). Sometimes if you do a lot of leaning on your elbows, you can compress the nerve and it causes very similar symptoms to carpal tunnel. You also have cervical problems so it may be the numbness is a by product/symptom of the nerve compression going on there. Check out a dermatome of the upper body and you will find that each nerve in the spine effects a different area of the body.   If you look at the diagrams , it will show you where each nerve effects what part of the body. http://www.backpain-guide.com/Chapter_Fig_folders/Ch06_Path_Folder/Ch06_Images/06-4%20Radiculopathy.jpgHello
As far as pain meds go, I tend to shy away from making recommendations about what pain meds someone should try for a couple of reasons, I am not a doctor and I feel that the best person to discuss your pain medication options with is your doctor. He knows your medical history, allergies, reactions, etc and we don't.....if you have other medical conditions, some meds  may not be good for you to try, and lastly, because every pain medication out there reacts differently for each  one of us. Some have gotten terrific relief with oxycodone and others, it hasn't done a thing. You are in a unique situation because of the gastric bypass, and the malabsorption issues that come with that type of surgery, so we really shouldn't make any recommendations because of that factor alone.
I can tell you about the different meds though- fentanyl is a patch worn on the body for typically three days. It does provide consistent pain relief because there is no pill taking involved with it. It is NOT for someone who has not been on opiate pain medications for some time though, and there are dangers involved with it's use. You must avoid hot showers or baths with the patch on. Too much heat means that the medication which is delivered through your skin (transdermally) can be too fast if your body heat rises too much, which can lead to an overdose.  If you have an allergy to adhesives, it is probably not the medication for you since it uses an adhesive to stick to your skin. Most of the manufacturers have now gone to a newly designed patch in which the adhesive actually holds the fentanyl, instead of the alcohol/gel base it used to have. 
Methadone is a long acting pain medication- in fact, it was first used as a pain medication before any relationship to treating drug addiction came along. It is usually dosed between 1 and 3 times a day. Many people get extraordinary pain relief from it, but there are side effects that some find unpleasant to deal with. It does make you drowsy. It has a long half life, which means that it stays at a higher level in your body for a longer period of time than the other opiate pain meds out there.  If it is not titrated very carefully, one can overdose on it. You can not take an extra because you are having more pain that day. Doing that can kill you.
Morphine based medications are good pain relievers as well- they come under several brand names- some are long acting, some short acting which means dosing every 4-6 hours, whatever schedule your doctor provides. Morphine causes sleepiness and nausea in some people but those may go away after being on them for some time.
Anyway, I hope this helps you at least go into your appointment with some ideas about the different types of pain meds out there and the options that you have to choose from, after discussing them with your doctor.
I'm sorry that you are having such pain, you are young to be going through this, but then again, we all are .....
Nice to have you join us,
Sandi


PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.
Avascular necrosis of left wrist- maybe hips too

Post Edited (mrsm123) : 12/28/2009 9:58:30 AM (GMT-7)


Stella Marie
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 12/28/2009 4:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcomel to the Chronic Pain Forum here at Healing Well.  I am sorry you had to find us while you are having are having so many issues with your back and neck and with chronic pain. I know you have alot of trust in your doctor, however I like many have learned the hard way - always get a second opinion whether it is about surgery or long term pain management.  I have had some of the top doctors in the country manage my pain and I thought their course of therapy was the correct one for me, only to find out later there were other options both surgical and /or pharmacuetical that might have done a better job controling my pain.  No reputable doctor will ever be offended when a patient seeks out a second opinion.  You started that you were going on your 9th surgery, so you want o make very sure whatever surgergical plan you decide on is the right one - as it can never be undone.  Longterm pain is unbearable, and sometimes we are willing to do almost anything hoping that are pain will be relieved.
 
I have a degenerative neurological problem that causes intense pain and spasms.  I have had 2 implants, a spinal cord stimulator and an intrathercal pain pump, as well as different conflicting long term pharmceutical management options.  I received my treatment from one of the top medical teaching institutions.  I was started on the Fentanyl patch for my pain and Dilaudid as my breakthough medication.  When the Fentanyl did not work, they kep upping the dose from 25 mcgs to 50 to 75 mcgs. Then they add Actiq for BT pain.  Actiq is a strong quick release version of Fentanyl.  Several things happened - and I ended up changing Pain Management doctors.  He switched me for the horrifically high doses of Fentanyl to a low dose of morphine.  I had never been on Morphine before.  The low dose of morphine controlled 90% of my pain.  I had never experienced such good pain control with such a small amount of medication.  The best thing that ever happened to me to was that I was forced to seek a second opinion.  That second opinion gave me a chance at a semi-normal almost pain free life. 
 
Good luck is your search for pain control.  Just make sure you know all of your surgical, as well as pharmaceutical options.
 
Well again, we are glad you found us.  Please keep us posted.


Stella Marie

Moderator for Chronic Pain and Epilepsy

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, myoclonus, central apnea, collagenous colitis, joint and body pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair.

 

 

Post Edited (Stella Marie) : 12/28/2009 9:41:24 AM (GMT-7)


Stella Marie
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 12/28/2009 5:04 AM (GMT -7)   
mrsm123 - Just and FYI, I could not get you link to work.

Stella Marie

Moderator for Chronic Pain and Epilepsy

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, myoclonus, central apnea, collagenous colitis, joint and body pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair.

 

 


bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 12/28/2009 5:10 AM (GMT -7)   
What is sahm? I think the s is for single and the m is for male but not sure about the others. Guess I'm not to computer savvy about these things.

Anyway, welcome to the hw forum! Sorry to hear of all your problems but congratulations on loosing all that weight. It will be a big help to get you feeling better and will help alot with your recovery time after your surgery.

I had lumbar & cervical fusion done, both in 2006. I know that before my lumbar fusion the pain in my lower back got so bad that I could not walk in a upright position anymore either. You are having a diskectomy but this should help to alleviate the pain radiating down the leg once the nerves that are being affected are released. My radiating pain was from the femoral nerve which runs aroung the back into the hip then around to the pelvic area and down the front of the leg. If the pain is going through the buttock and down the back of the leg it's the sciatic nerve being pinched. Either way a pinched nerve can cause alot of problems.

Now the pinched nerves in the cervical area were causing tingling down my left arm, numbness in my fingers and my shoulder to ache like holy he**!

Believe it or not the surgeries took care of the radiating pain I was having. So hopefully you will have the same success with yours. I wouldn't be doing too much with the wrist until you find out if your problems are cervical spine related cause it very well could be.

You are having your lumbar surgery at a good time. I had both of mine in the same calendar year and I met my max out of pocket expenses with my lumbar surgery so the cervical one was pretty much free. I did stay in the hospital for 4 days though with the lumbar fusion so the price tag was very, very high for it. $64,000 just for the hospital stay.

As far as the meds go this sounds like something you will need to work out with your physicians. You have alot going on and you & your doctor will have to work this out together. None of us have just been given a pill and everything was better. Pain relief is trial and error. It takes time to find the right combination of treatments for each individual. So work with your doctor until you find that right mix, it takes time though so don't give up hope.

Good Luck with your surgery and keep us posted on how your doing!!!
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Jadensmommy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 12/28/2009 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   
SAHM=stay at home mom? I am a stay at home mom as well! I'm 35 years old and a mom of a 2 year old boy. I don't really have any advice since I am at the very beginning of my pain management. I haven't even seen the PM doctor yet. I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know that you can email me anytime if you just need to talk! LOL Being a SAHM with chronic pain really sucks, and I know we all need support!

Welcome to the family!
Fibromyalgia Dx November 20, 2009

Pain issues: Pain in neck and upper/lower back, chest/ribcage pain, Degenerative joint disease in both knees, migraine headaches, very painful menstrual cramping, pelvic pain.

Meds: Neurontin 300mg.

First PM appt on February 5th!


Tammy <3


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13478
   Posted 12/28/2009 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Cnt, I too would like to welcome to you Healing Well. I am so glad you found us but so sorry that you are having so many problems going on. At least by finding us you have some place to come and talk about what is going on with you and how you feel. It takes one to know one, lol. We know all too well here what CP can do to a person. I do hate seeing young folks come along suffering as yourself. It just seems so wrong. This is a time in your life when you should be having a great time with that little one and going and blowing, not being riddled with pain.
 
I see some of the others have come on board and gave you a some input. You really do have a mixed bag of issues hitting all at one time. Wow, what a weight loss, congrats on that. That was a tough surgery I am sure. A couple of my neighbors had this done and one of two has done very well. The other one did not follow orders and advice from her dr when she came home and ended up doing all of that pretty much for nothing, such a waste too.
 
I do hope when you have surgery on your low back that it will take care of the leg pain. That leg pain is one of the very worst. Like you say, there is no position that you can get in that is comfortable. It is a pain like no other too. And then, you will be having youe neck taken care of. Will they be fusing your neck or what? Many of our peeps here have had surgery and did not do well from it, thats why they are on this forum. If they had done well they would not be here. So, with that being said please keep this in mind. It does not mean your surgeries will not be successful. There are many surgeries done that people have had a very good outcome. A lot of things are taken into consideration, the dr, his techniques, permanent damage before surgery, how the patient does their part on post op care. There are so many things involved when a person has any kind of surgery. 
 
You appear to have a very good attitude towards having surgery and that in itself plays a very big  role in the recovery too. Word of caution, many drs tell their patients after a discectomy they will be fit as a fiddle six weeks post op. Rarely does that happen, more like 3 months at the very earliest and more of a 6 month time line of actally feeling better. I am talking really feeling better. The body goes thru so much trauma as you know with any surgery. You have had enough of them to know how your body heals and at what rate. One of our peeps here found out the hard way no way can a person be healed in 6 weeks.
 
The medication issue is a tough one. We all metabolize medications so differently. Not only that, what may work for you may not work for me and so on. Methadone can be a very effective pain reliever for people. But it is a drug that is for long term use only. It is not a drug for short term use. One of the other people here gave you some good info on Methadone.  It is a drug that is very difficult to come off of if you have been on it awhile. Knowing it can be excellent in relieving pain I still feel it should only be given as a last resort when everything else fails. There is just too much out there available to try. Just about everyone here will agree that most of the extend release never last a full twelve hours. Thats why so many need an additional medication for break thru pain.
 
I hope you will hang out with us here at the forum and keep posting.
 

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 & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. 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 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 12/28/2009 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Stella. I edited it and hopefully it will work now, if not here is another link to another dermatome map. http://www.patient.co.uk/diagram/Dermatomes-arm.htm
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.
Avascular necrosis of left wrist- maybe hips too


Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 12/28/2009 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi CntThnkofSN...

Welcome to the board... I'm also a 36 year old, SAHM (stay at home mom) to six kids... How many kids do you have? How old are they? Mine are all boys...ages 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 and almost 6. I was healthy until my last pregnancy... and then have been a mess ever since!

I'm sorry for all the stuff you have going on, and are going through. I know how tough it can be... I really do! This is a really good place for support, though, so I'm glad that you are here.

Re: your high tolerance issues/absorption issues... I, too, have a really high tolerance towards oral meds, for a variety of reasons. I'm on half the dosages that I used to be on... and I'm still on some pretty high doses.

Anyway... I wouldn't necessarily overlook long-acting medication. Especially w/ the issues you have - this may be the best thing for you. That doesn't mean you can't have break through medication to use....so that if you have extra pain or absorption issues... you will have something quick acting that will work.

I would talk to your PM doc on Thursday about the possibility of trying a long acting medication (such as morphine, oxycontin, etc)... and having a breakthrough medication on top of that. The frustrating thing is that half of pain management is just trial and error to see what works.

Re: not wanting to be on pain meds forever.... I think the majority of us feel this way, too. But I can especially take to heart what you are saying, since you do want to have another baby. But, just because you find something to help with your pain now...doesn't mean you can't get off of it at a later date.

Well, just wanted to welcome you... and hope to get to know you better. Again, I'm sorry for all you are going through! I hope you have a really successful visit w/ your PM doc this week.

Take care... Tina
Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; I also have Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; etc etc

Meds: MS Contin; Dilaudid; Actiq; Soma ; Neurontin; Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan/Zofran/Reglan; Effexor; Synthroid; Prednisone; and on the list goes...

Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial; awaiting my decision for implantation


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 12/28/2009 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the CP forum! Just a very quick note here, before I take a nap.....you might look into a liquid form of the meds that you are taking. Im sure they make it, because one of my friends here is on it. She has had most of her colon removed. I hope this helps, and make sure to ask your Dr about it on your next visit.

privey
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 12/28/2009 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to HW Chronic Pain forum. I empathize with you and your pain issues it is difficult to function when you hurt all the time and hope your surgery will take care of some of your pain issues.

I have absorbtion problems, because I also had the open RNY gastric by-pass in Jan 2002. There have been times when I've had to take so many pills that I'd fill up my pouch and then I couldn't eat. Recently I had to have surgery because of Ulcertive Colitis and I have a permanent ileostomy and that is what give me the absorbstion problems. You have to have the full digestive process to process XR and CR med and since my colon and the majority of my stomache is gone I take Oxy elixir and that seems to help me a great deal. The pain never goes away but it is dulled by the medication. When I was in the hospital most of the summer I also had the Fentenyl patches---now I don't' think they did me much good but everyone thought they should. Take care cause I care. Good luck!!!

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/28/2009 11:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for writing me back! I'm still having a great deal of problems with my fingers functioning so this is going to be as short as I possibly can make it.. LOL

mrsm - thank you for the diagram! Wow!! I didn't know those nerves ran like that. That makes so much sense. This is my right middle finger that's doing this. Maybe it's related to my neck - definitely sounds like it could be. Will be sure to mention it to the doctor. I am so grateful to my doctor. He is AMAZING!!!! I feel like I'm his only patient and he talks to me like he's just learned all this stuff and wants to educate me. I always leave there in awe of him.

straydog - as far as my neck goes - they said they will put a cadaver piece in there and some screws. I assume that means some kind of fusing as well. That doctor visit took place back in April so it's hard for me to remember what all we talked about. I'll be asking him again when I see him.

Mom to 6 - I have a 3 yr old daughter. :) She's alot of work, but wow! 6 boys!!!

Privey - wow! Another RNYer! Thats great that you posted. I'd love to talk to you more about PM and how it's been going for you. I think some doctors don't understand that it's not the same for me with absorption now as it was before. My doc feels like it should work the same, but I don't feel it does. Sure I get some relief from meds, but they tend to wear off after 2-3 hours. Is the Oxy Elixir, Oxycodone?

I'm not sure if my doctor will increase my meds to 30mg of Oxycodone or not.. at this point I'd rather stick with a drug I'm used to. I'm scared to go to Methadone. And my doctor isn't big on breakthrough meds.. but then again, I don't know for sure. My brother was seeing my doctor for a while and he was on 80mg Oxycontin 3x a day. Well he would not give him BT meds.. but my brother was abusing the meds big time. He ran out 9 days early. The doc actually was cool about it and understood & helped him out, but told him not again. Well my brother has a mental problem on top of all of this - an untreated one. And I'm not just saying he's crazy because he's my brother and he acts strange from time to time - he really is crazy. I think he showed some crazy side to the doctor and he realized he was turning into an addict. Well... my brother went mental one day on all of us and canceled his contract with the doctor. All because he couldn't be seen til Weds to get meds. By canceling his contract he was able to go in on Monday and get a full script for a month. By law, you know pharmacies are not allowed to fill Rx before their time - well he shops around and literally pays cash for the meds when he has insurance.. All to get the drugs. By doing this, he ended up having to find a new doctor. This doctor cut his dose in half on him right away and threw him into withdrawals big time.. however, he still apparently kept taking the high dose of the meds and ran out again. He frequents the ERs for meds - they know him by now. He needs serious help! And I tell you - I don't think I'll ever be like him. But I can't help but be scared that I could one day. I at least will know I have options for help. My brother is mentally not capable of understanding that. And there is absolutely no talking to him. He screams and yells at you. You can totally tell when he's running out of medicine. He picks a fight, screams & yells. My mom lives with him - this last time, he kicked her out. On my birthday! I got a call that she was kicked out & needed a place to live. He shakes & cries and just totally loses it.

I've cut ties with my brother as I do not want to be associated with him. He got too extreme and his addiction made itself known. He stole half a bottle of medicine from me 2 months ago and left me high and dry basically to suffer through withdrawals and ultimately having to call my doctor to give me a short script. I am truly grateful that my doctor is so understanding. I am debating on telling the doctor about my brothers issues when I see him - if I tell him he stole from me, he'll want me to file a police report... and honestly - it's ALOT of drama to tell people - it would cause so many problems. I do not want to deal with him. I'm done with him. He's made everyones life a living hell. I know everyone will tell me that I should do it and I should have the police involved etc, but seriously - it's an extreme situation that can not be helped. And I've tried so many times. His wife doesn't care and it's probably more that she doesn't want to deal with him or be yelled at by him. He's not willing to get help. I also want to be sure my doctor understands that there is no relationship between my brother and I and that I am nothing like him at all. I truly have pain and need help. If I didn't, I wouldn't be going in for surgery and be ready to schedule the next. These are major surgeries!! I truly want to come off of these meds ASAP. I do not want to fight an addiction. Yes, I go through withdrawals if I do not have medicine in my system for a period of time.. but it's understandable why it happens. I can't control that. That is one thing I wish I could get my husband to understand. I can't turn this on and off. And when I don't have medicine, I feel terrible!! He seems to think you can give me a sugar pill and the symptoms I go through wouldn't be existent. I've been on pain medicine for several years now and PM for nearly a year.

Anyway! I'm looking forward to this surgery. The last couple days has been pure hell for me. Not being able to walk normal, having my leg feel like it's been shocked continually and on fire - no fun! My husband does understand that part of this - he had back surgery 15 yrs ago for the same thing. But he's healthy and never has pain - this guy has only taken maybe 5 aspirin in the 11 yrs we've been together. I've not been able to use my hand like I'd normally do so when using the computer and I've got stuff I need to take care of. I do some side work at home online and it requires I type. Not too easy to do.

Tonight I'm ready to go to bed, but I know I'll end up being up pretty late.. and sadly if I stay up late, I'll need to take my medicine once more. I don't want to do that - I'm going to be out of my medicine on Weds because they didn't schedule me right. Oh well. I'll manage. :) Always do!!

Well like I said, I'm glad to be here. Once I get my detailed info typed up, I'll post it in my signature. My doctor dictates all his notes and gives a printout so it says exactly what's wrong on it. I'll type that up when I get it.

I look forward to looking around more on here. I'd like to do it now, but I really think I'm going to take the opportunity to go to bed while I can.. and while I'm sleepy!! :)

Thank you all again!!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13478
   Posted 12/28/2009 11:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Only thing I would caution you on is if you signed a Contract with your PM dr and depending on the terms & conditions of the Contract, by not turning your brother in for stealing your meds could be grounds for your PM dr to dismiss you from his care. Not only that but how did you explain running out of meds early and needing more meds? I know its a tough thing to do but its not worth getting yourself messed up with as far as your PM dr goes, When a patient is dismissed from care it can be difficult getting another dr to take you on.
 

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 & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. 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 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 12/29/2009 1:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Looks like Straydog is really driving the point home for you here! :) Really, I think she is having a few computer problems! However, listen to her as there is a lot of truth in what she is saying. It is very hard to find a PM these days, so be extra careful to follow the rules like she says. I hate to say this, but unless your brother is ready to come to terms with his problems, what ever that may be, I would steer clear of him. He will have to hit bottom, before he can start getting some help. I have witnessed first hand, this type of behavior. Generally, those who try to help, especially family members, wind up losing everything, and still have a problem on their hands in the end. He needs professional help, and the trick is getting him there. I wish I had some better advice for you, but I just don't. You are pretty smart in that you recognize your surroundings, and the problems that you are facing. Good luck to you, and please keep us posted on your progress. I also admire your effort in telling all that you can about yourself. It helps us understand where you are coming from, and shows an honest effort on your part to be up front with your concerns and situation. You will not find a better bunch of people to share with than this forum. Take care my friend.

Michael

Amaristo
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/29/2009 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm going to echo what has been said already. I just find it's easier to go with the truth in all cases with my doctor. They've seen it all, don't be embarrassed or ashamed to tell them anything. But don't let the actions of your brother come back to bite you on the butt because you didn't tell your doctor.

I completely understand wanting to stay with a drug you know, rather than switch. I'm the same way and I've so far resisted changes in my pain medication. But it might come to the point where I have to change.

And lol, I know all about being up late and then having to take an extra med because I can't sleep when I should be. It's awful isn't it. I find myself cruising these forums at 3am while my wife snores behind me (she's not TOO loud heh) I'm such an insomniac.

Good luck with your pain management and surgery. I hope it all goes well.

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/29/2009 10:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I totally understand about my brother and my contract. It's just that my brother can make a persons life a living hell. And I know it will all come back to me and in the end it will only hurt me. I suffered through some mild withdrawals and took old medicine that I had from the different meds I was on before that was leftover during my changes. My doctor was understanding because he knew that the medicine I've been on the last few months, was not working enough. I asked him for a weeks worth. He agreed to it just simply because he knew I was having too much pain. I see him Thurs and we're going to discuss this. I'm going to ask him to switch me from Oxycodone 15 to 30. I hope he will. I've had a few days here and there where I needed to take an extra 15mg pill a short time later and it helped so much more than just the 1. The doctor has been aware that the medicine has not been helping enough for me, we just haven't made changes because alot of time we're rushed when there and because I can't afford certain drugs and because I can't afford to see him that often. I've been on a 2 month rotation with him because of that. He's been very understanding of my situation so I think he will listen to me and hopefully understand.

I really don't want to try a new medicine right now, especially right before surgery. I'd rather stick to the same drug at a higher dose for several reasons. I know how it works for me and that it can work if I just had an accurate amount in my system. I don't want to have side effects from a new drug, or feel anxious over a new drug. I've heard a few things about drugs like Methadone and it scares me. I'd really rather just stay with the same medicine.. and since I'm having surgery it would be best not to make too many changes. I don't need my body doing anything funny on me. I already deal with enough from the gastric bypass LOL

We'll see!

I agree completely about my brother needing help. I've told him he needs to go to rehab to get himself back on track. He needs someone to control his meds. We've all had bad days and taken a lil more medicine because we couldn't handle the pain. He's taking them to get high. The massive amount of medicine he's taken could have killed him. He literally was taking 320mg of Oxycontin in a day when only prescribed 240. I've found out through my Mom that he's been dropped to 40mg 3x a day along with Percocet for BT. Hopefully this will help him. But I don't feel it will. I am not speaking to him anymore.. and I have no intention of ever doing so again. I won't go into the drama between him and I, but there's alot more than just this that has made things this way. I do not want my family involved with his. Quite simply he is scum. But part of the reason I hesitate to tell the doctor is because he is capable of sweet talking so many people and he would turn it all around on me. He would try to destroy me and my family in a heartbeat. He has no heart. I have to worry because right now my Mom is living with him.. and she has nowhere to go otherwise. We are all financially at the bottom of the barrel. Well he's better off than the rest of us. But I have no ability to take my Mom or help my Mom. He would put her out on the lawn instantly. Trust me, I've contacted a few people to ask what can be done. And I've got a few things I'm considering. It's always on my mind.

I just want to get through my surgery and live my life and not have to worry about him. I want to forget he even exists.

So Thurs I'm hoping to talk about my pain, my medicine, my surgery & what's next with my neck.. what he thinks I should do with it. Maybe try and get another injection in it through insurance. I've had a rough few days here lately and today was a decent one. But I overdid myself. I've been trying to get my apt cleaned up some since my family is coming to help me after surgery. Plus I want to have it in order so that I won't have to want to do anything! ;) I'm a very picky person and like to do things for myself. Its hard for me to accept that I can't do it. So I guess if there's nothing to do, I won't worry as much LOL

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13478
   Posted 12/30/2009 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Cnt, its good that you have an understanding dr. So many don't these days because of misuse of medication. You are very lucky that your dr has never got his hackles up for taking a little more than prescribed, I know too many that has been kicked to the curb for doing that regardless of the circumstances. Too many say thats how it all gets started taking more than whats rx'd. I wouldly certain not do a thing to rock the boat with a dr like yours. There just are not too many of those left. More and more of the drs are becoming too paranoid because of drug misuse.
 
There is a huge difference between tolerance issues and using drugs to get high. Any time a person takes a medication long term you are bound to get tolerance issues. I have done it with blood pressure medicine, just gets to where it stops working after being on it an extended period of time. Its a shame about your brother but its folks like him that make it hard for people like me and everyone else on this forum to get decent care from PM drs. They have ruined it for us and we are the legitimate ones that truly need help.
 
I would cut a large path around him as well especially with a drug problem, he could bring your world crashing down around you. That too bad.
 
Hopefully when you see your dr he will agree that changing meds out is not the way to go and increase yours instead. Its so hard finding something to help long term it seems like. I never had an extended releasse to ever last as long as they said they would either. That is a big complaint by alot of folks. Take care and stay warm.
 

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 & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. 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 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


privey
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 12/30/2009 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes I am a RNYer I've gone from 399.9 to 109.6 as of yesterday. I lost weight over the holidays but I also have an ileostomy that keeps me fairly empty. I'm a shadow of what I used to be. One thing I cannot stress enough to all of you younger kiddos that have had the surgery is DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR PROTEIN!!! You need that to heal so if you are having surgery make sure you drop most of your carbs and eat your meats, eggs, cottage cheese, cheese and anything else with protein in it. I drink Boost also and it has a bunch of protein in it. My daughter is 38 and she has had the open RNY too and she she really focuses on proteins.

I know we don't absorb like others and since the majority of my colon is gone I have a double whammy going on. I use the Oxy elixor usually twice a day in the morning and at bedtime and take Extra Strength Tylenol in between. I have pain the majority of the time even when I take the elixor. If I have a busy day I will take it in the afternoon also but only sometimes. The reason I went to the elixor is because when I was in the hospital the oxy pills were floating around in my ileostomy pouch.....I showed my doc when he made rounds and he said it was just the casing, I had a pencil in my hand and poked it and it was solid so my body had not absorbed any of the pain med I was flushing them down the toilet. The same happened with my Effexor XR all the little balls in the capsule were in the pouch. People without the full digestive process do not absorb XR or CR medications. I never had that trouble until I had my ostomy this summer and I had gastric bypass in 2002. Is the reason you can't take NSAIDS because of the bypass? If so in time you should be able to tolerate them. I didn't take anything for a long time but I do now like Aleve and Tylenol. I also take something for my stomach everyday too Protonix but don't take anything until the doc said it was okay so be sure he/she is good with it. I have a friend that had the RNY and she took ASA and Motrin for her knee and got an ulcer in her pouch and that what worse than the pain in her knee. I would be happy to visit with you anytime. We learn from each other and would probably benefit from your knowledge as well. Take care and welcome to HW...

privey
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 12/30/2009 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I see your surgery is fairly new March 2008 and I didn't take NSAIDS that close either. I don't think the surgery ruined you but it took its toll on our bodies. My knees, neck, lumbar were all damaged from carrying all this weight around. When you lose as much weight as we have we become different in many ways. I will always, in my mind anyway, be a fatgirl. When I go shopping I always start in the plus sizes and have a hard time buying a size 6-8-or 10. When I was heavy my walking gait was different so I could walk and now I don't have that problem but still compensate for the weight. These things are fixable so don't get discouraged or down on yourself, we'll get you through them.

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 12/30/2009 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
 
CntThnkOfSN
As soon as I read that you take Oxy IR 15 mg. 6Xdaily I knew we had something in common....Not only that, but I had Spinal Fusion at L4-S1 due to Spinal Stenosis....it didn't help me at all, but only because I already had permanent nerve damage that they didn't know about until they opened me up...That was my second surgery....the first was a Lamenectomy due to ruptured discs....
 
I also take Oxy IR 30 mg 4Xdaily along with Methadone 120 mg. a day....I think you really need to ask your Dr. about taking a pain med for long term pain relief.  The Oxy Ir's are ok, but they don't last long enough.
 
I know that you feel overwhelmed with all this, but you will get through it...This site is great.
 
Me.

I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 35 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   

 


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 12/30/2009 2:10 PM (GMT -7)   
CntThnkOfSN

Welcome to the CP forum it does sound like you have your share of problems, but we are all here to listen and give you what support we can! You mentioned that you were having surgery the 11th of January is this surgery on C5-6 in your neck? or surgery on the herniated disk you mentioned in your lower back? Anyway I just wanted to mention that the end of September I had an ACDF done on C5-6 Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion. They took out the disk and removed the bone spurs and put in cadaver bone for the graft an then put a plate with screws to hold it all together! I was in the hospital 3 days, and the reason I had the surgery is I was having severe, lower arm and hand pain in my left arm, as soon as I had the surgery the arm pain was gone! I had a C6-7 Desckectomy and fusion done in 1985 but back then the anterior approach to that surgery was a rather new thing and I was in the hospital for 8 days on that one! Anyway this time the surgery went really well, everyone was amazed that I was posting while I was still in the hospital! I also have some disk in my mid and lower back that are bad, but I haven't had any of those fixed yet. I just wanted to Welcome you to Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum, and let you know that you are not alone with your pain, nor your medical conditions, and since most if not all of us share in some of the things you have, we can do better than just sympathize with you we also have empathy as we really do understand what you are going through! I am glad you have found us, I do hope that you will stay around and become a member of our family!


I wish you well!

White Beard

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 1/1/2010 1:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone again -

I tried to post last night but it would not go through for some reason... ?!?! So right now instead of writing a huge reply first, only to find out it's not going to work.. I'll test it first.. :)

CntThnkOfSN
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 1/1/2010 2:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Yay! It works!

I am beyond tired right now... I was going to write everything out, but I can't keep my eyes open honestly. I promise I'll come back tomorrow to let ya's know everything. There's alot of good news to share.. and even some stuff came up about my brother.

I hope everyone had a wondering New Years Eve!!

Oh and I'll put the details of my injuries in tomorrow since I just got the full list problems typed out - he dictates his notes during every visit so you get a copy so you don't forget what was discussed. He's really cool like that!!

Ok bedtime.. I can't keep my eyes open!! I'm gonna sleep on the couch tonight.. back hurting so bad from standing far too long today that the couch is the best option! Ouch!!

hvayou
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/9/2010 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi All,
I just found this website and it seems great, just wanted to introduce myself!  I am at a loss with my pain!  I had a discetomy almost a year ago at L4/L5 and I thought I was better for a whole few days! I'm afraid I'm back at square 1shakehead
I thought the surgery would be my answer, but I'm in as much pain now as ever.  I have most of my pain in lower left side and all down left leg to my toes!  I think I need my meds adjusted but don't ever ask as to seem like a drug seekereyes  because I am not feeling much relief!
I am taking hydrocodone 10/325 4x a day, Kadian 20mg 2x a day and Motrin 800 as needed.  I just don't think this is enough! any suggestions??? TIA
Degenerative disc disease, herniated L4/L5, endometriosis, migraines

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13478
   Posted 2/9/2010 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hvayou, I encourage you to start your own new thread and introduce yourself to the forum so others members will see your post and welcome you. By putting it on someone else's thread you may not get noticed. Welcome aboard. You go to the top of the page and where is says I believe new post or subject, just type in your name and say you are a new member. Then you can drop down and type something up about yourself.
 

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 & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. 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 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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