Appointment Tomorrow

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damgalnuna
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 8/24/2010 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
You might remember from my previous posts that I tried my appointment with my pain management doctor moved up from its current 9/7 date, but they had nothing available. My pain level has been much worse for the last several weeks. He had me go in for another selective nerve root block, which didn't help at all. He increased my meds slightly, which helped a little bit. Well, his office called this afternoon. They had a cancellation for tomorrow afternoon, so they offered me the appointment, and I took it of course.

Right now I'm happy that I don't have to wait two more weeks for my appointment, but nervous about how tomorrow's appointment will go. I'm not sure what the best option would be for me right now. I've already tried PT and aquatic therapy, injections, TENS unit, and several medications (currently tramadol [100 mg 3x/day], lyrica [150 mg 3x/day], baclofen [5-10 mg 3x/day as needed], and vicodin [5/500 mg 2x/day as needed]).
Scoliosis fusion w/rods - 1992; herniated disc - 1996; partial removal of rods - 1997; microdiscectomy - 1997; sudden increase in pain - 2008; since 2008 I've tried the following non-pharmaceutical treatments: physical therapy, aquatic therapy, TENS, acupuncture, trigger point injections, selective nerve root blocks; other diagnoses: depression, anxiety, add; current medications: tramadol, lyrica, baclofen, vicodin, welbutrin, ativan, ritalin

mama6
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 8/24/2010 2:21 PM (GMT -7)   
d,
Sorry I kept looking down to try to get the name but unfortuetly my brain is not working with my fingers today..so I had to shorten it. smilewinkgrin I am glad that you were able to get in quicker to see your pm Dr. I personally don't have one, as of yet but I am still in the testing faze. I think though, you should have a list put together of what you and he, along with any other dr.'s have tried. What has worked, what hasn't worked. Then ask for his suggestions so that you get some sort of pain relief. That is the worst part. Just trying to have some point where the pain is not at a constant. Tell him you are just looking for some answers. I wouldn't suggest anything to him, as far as meds go but ask for his opinion to what's the next plan to treat you. I wish you lots of luck and hope they can come up with something to help your pain. Good luck and keep us posted. Heather
Big Hugs, Mama6

DX. with Fibromyalgia, Narcolepsy, Poss. RA or Psoratic Arthritis, Herniated disc 3x in last 7 months
Meds: Nuvigl, Cymbalta, Tramadol

Mother to 5 wonderfull kids. Oldest is 18 and just left the nest for animation school. Youngest just started 2nd grade. So I am crazy, and feeling my age plus some.

damgalnuna
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 8/25/2010 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Mama6. The list is a good idea. I'll see if I can get something put together before my appointment. Specific dates will be hard, but a list of things tried with general dates (e.g. summer 09, spring 10, etc.) should be possible. I really, really hope he does something to help. I'm worried that I will get emotional during my appointment, because I've been so frustrated and helpless lately, but I'm sure that won't help things at all.
Scoliosis fusion w/rods - 1992; herniated disc - 1996; partial removal of rods - 1997; microdiscectomy - 1997; sudden increase in pain - 2008; since 2008 I've tried the following non-pharmaceutical treatments: physical therapy, aquatic therapy, TENS, acupuncture, trigger point injections, selective nerve root blocks; other diagnoses: depression, anxiety, add; current medications: tramadol, lyrica, baclofen, vicodin, welbutrin, ativan, ritalin

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/25/2010 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi damgalnuna,

I hope your appointment today went well & your doc has some new ideas about how to treat your pain. When you get a chance let us know how it went!

hugs,
Skeye

damgalnuna
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 8/25/2010 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Skeye.

My doc increased my vicodin slightly (from 50-60 pills/month), has me switching (slowly) from lyrica to topomax, is scheduling me for a new MRI, and has referred me to a surgeon. The thought of needing surgery again terrifies me. But at the same time, I definitely need some relief.
Scoliosis fusion w/rods - 1992; herniated disc - 1996; partial removal of rods - 1997; microdiscectomy - 1997; sudden increase in pain - 2008; since 2008 I've tried the following non-pharmaceutical treatments: physical therapy, aquatic therapy, TENS, acupuncture, trigger point injections, selective nerve root blocks; other diagnoses: depression, anxiety, add; current medications: tramadol, lyrica, baclofen, vicodin, welbutrin, ativan, ritalin

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Damgalnuna,

Thanks for the update! I'm glad to hear that your doc adjusted your meds. Hopefully the increase & change in meds will make a significant difference for you. I do hope your doc is starting you off slow on topamax though. Some people have trouble tolerating it, especially at first. I was one of those people who couldn't tolerate it. Several years ago, my neurologist put me on it & I had a real hard time with it. I felt like I couldn't think or focus & being in college at the time, those side effects were bad enough to make me have to discontinue taking it after only a short while. But, despite it's side effects, topamax does help many people. Hopefully you'll be one of those people!

As for the referral to a surgeon, you have every right to be terrified about needing surgery again. I think that is a completely natural response. No one likes surgery & although I've never had back surgery myself, I think that back surgery is probably one of the most terrifying of all surgeries. Anyways, try not to think about that too much yet. It may come to that, but it may not. There's no need to worry yourself sick quite yet.

hugs,
Skeye

damgalnuna
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 8/26/2010 5:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, everyone. Yes, my doctor is starting me slow on the topomax. He did warn me that some people don't tolerate it well, but I agreed that it was worth a shot since just about anything is right now. He's starting me at 25 mg at bedtime in place of the bedtime dose of lyrica. After one week at that dose, he wants me to increase to 50 mg at bedtime, then 75 the following week, then 100 mg the following week. I will be checking in with him by that time, and if all those increases go okay, he will have me start replacing my daytime lyrica doses as well. I took my first dose last night. I felt sleepier than usual, but I'm not entirely sure how much of that was because of the medicine and how much of that was due to having a stressful and high pain day, and not having slept well lately. I woke up with a headache and felt a little queasy this morning, which again might be the meds and might not. But either way, it certainly wasn't a bad enough reaction to keep me from taking it again tonight. It frequently takes me a little while to adjust to a new med anyway. Tramadol was *horrible* at first, to the point where I stopped taking it, but since my doctor refused to give me anything else at the time, I tried it again several days later (and took it slower that time). I had a hard time getting the doctors to do anything for my back pain when it flared back up in 2008, even though they knew I had a long history of back pain and back surgeries.

I'm just now looking into the surgeon he referred me to, and I can't say I'm hugely impressed. He seems fine, and the hospital's rating for this type of surgery is not bad, but there is certainly better within the city. But they don't officially partner with the medical practice where I get all my care now. I forsee myself needing to see at least a couple surgeons before committing to having surgery though. If anyone has a surgeon they can recommend in Boston or the surrounding area, I'd really appreciate it.
Scoliosis fusion w/rods - 1992; herniated disc - 1996; partial removal of rods - 1997; microdiscectomy - 1997; sudden increase in pain - 2008; since 2008 I've tried the following non-pharmaceutical treatments: physical therapy, aquatic therapy, TENS, acupuncture, trigger point injections, selective nerve root blocks; other diagnoses: depression, anxiety, add; current medications: tramadol, lyrica, baclofen, vicodin, welbutrin, ativan, ritalin

damgalnuna
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 8/27/2010 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
The new MRI has been scheduled for Sunday, September 5. The appointment with the surgeon will be scheduled after he reviews the MRI report.

I spoke with my doctor again today, because I didn't feel that the medication changes were enough. I became so overwhelmed with the idea of surgery once he mentioned it, that I didn't really think out the rest of it. The increase in Vicodin from 50 to 60 pills per month won't be much help. It would mean that I could take it slightly more frequently, but the current dose hasn't been enough. I have still been missing a lot of work, can't do any housework, and have a lot of trouble taking care of my daughter. My PM doc seemed to understand, and agreed to change me from 5 mg 2x/day to 7.5 mg 3x/day. I feel hopeful that this will help a lot. I know the topomax might help too, but he has me increasing so slowly that I won't be at the target dose for 2-3 months, which is a long time to wait for relief. And who knows what will happen with the surgeon. So please keep your fingers crossed for me that this will be enough to get me functioning again so that my life stops slipping away from me at lightening speed.
Scoliosis fusion w/rods - 1992; herniated disc - 1996; partial removal of rods - 1997; microdiscectomy - 1997; sudden increase in pain - 2008; since 2008 I've tried the following non-pharmaceutical treatments: physical therapy, aquatic therapy, TENS, acupuncture, trigger point injections, selective nerve root blocks; other diagnoses: depression, anxiety, add; current medications: tramadol, lyrica, baclofen, vicodin, welbutrin, ativan, ritalin

mama6
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 8/27/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
damgalnuna,
I'm happy that your Dr. at least did something. I took Lyrica and had a horrid reaction to that. Don't know about the Topomax..have never had that. My new pr. dr just gave me 60 a month of the vicodin and went from Tramadol, which didn't touch a thing. I found out I will have to have back surgery as well. She knows it's bad but not sure how bad. She sent me for an x-ray to appease my insurance company and has ordered the mri for the day after my x-rays come back which should be Monday. She has set up a refferal for a surgeon. Said my lower back is like an S shape, misaligned and shows two prtrusions(and that was without the x-ray) so I will be crossing my fingers for you as well. I hope that you feel somewhat better and the new meds along with the increase helping you out. take care and keep us posted!! Heather
Big Hugs, Mama6

DX. with Fibromyalgia, Narcolepsy, Poss. RA or Psoratic Arthritis, Herniated disc 3x in last 7 months
Meds: Nuvigl, Cymbalta, Tramadol

Mother to 5 wonderfull kids. Oldest is 18 and just left the nest for animation school. Youngest just started 2nd grade. So I am crazy, and feeling my age plus some.
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