chronic low back pain

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Mr.BadBackman
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 11/16/2007 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all!
I am so glad to have found a place to vent my frustration.  I have had chronic low back pain for over 4 years now which has recently worsened in the last few months.  The pain used to be tolerable and was confined to my low back.  Recently it has spread to my tailbone, groin, and down both legs to my feet.  The majority of the pain is in my low back and tailbone.
I have been on Vicodin off and on for the last 4 years and have been on it constantly since April.  It helps but is not enough.
My doctor has referred me to a neurologist who put me on Medrol Dosepack, Lidoderm patches, and Elavil (for sleep).  She also ordered an MRI (for Monday), a nerve conduction study (?), and physical therapy.
The patches have done nothing!!!  They make my skin numb and do little else but irritate the hell out of me for their lack of effectiveness!  The Elavil makes my head swim and I have no idea why she gave me Medrol.
I went back to see her today to let her know that the patches don't work and the Vicodin is no longer effective.
Guess what she said.  She said "You have to be patient.  What do you want from me.  You should avoid narcotics.  Didn't you hear what happened to Rush Limbaugh?"
I couldn't believe it.  I came to this lady for help.  I am tired of being in constant pain.  It is effecting my ability to work and my relationships with my wife and kids.
She wasn't completely heartless though.  She said she would give me a stronger narcotic but let me know (with a shake of her finger) that I would need to discontinue them ASAP.
I am currently on Vicodin 5mg 6 times a day.  Guess what she gave me....
Vicodin 7.5 twice a day.
Now I'm not a math genius but how is 15mg a day more than 30mg a day?
She also gave me an rx for Cymbalta.
I took both rx's and walked out without comment.  I plan on taking them to my PCP and asking for his help.  Maybe he could put them in his shredder and write me something else.  She made me feel like some addict asking for a hit.  I just want some help with my chronic pain.  I think the only good thing that will come of this is that I will finally get an MRI.
Sorry about the book but I am SOOOO frustrated!!!!

PiaSava
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 265
   Posted 11/17/2007 4:57 AM (GMT -7)   
You say nothing about what kind of pain you have, but I figured I would let you know about Ankylosing spondylitis in any case...

You can read about it here: http://www.spondylitis.org/about/main.aspx?YYZ=NAV02

PiaSava
Chrons - Aug 06
Hypothyriodism - November 06 
Hypertension - March 07
PCOS - July 07


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 11/17/2007 5:54 AM (GMT -7)   
HI there
Welcome
Cymbalta is supposed to also help with chronic pain .....

I am sorry that you have been treated this way
I know I am treated with respect and caring from my doc and he knows I have the pain and will not let me live like that....in pain........

I wish you all the best for Monday..........
DO keep us posted and know this is a caring community with great ppl

LYN
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Mr.BadBackman
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 11/17/2007 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the replies.

The best way I can describe my back pain is a very strong ache with a burning sensation from my low back to the tip of my tail bone.   I also get sharp shooting pains down both legs and into the groin area with some numbness and tingling of my right foot.  The back pain I have had for about 4 years, and it has gotten worse over the last 6 months.  The pain in my legs and groin is relatively new; I've had it for about 3-4 months now.

Sorry about the angriness in the original message.  Sometimes the doctor's make me feel that I am making things up just to get drugs.  I am hoping this MRI will shed some light on my pain and prove to these doctor's that I deserve better treatment.

Regarding the Cymbalta; I negelcted to mention that I was previously on this, and other anti-depressants, without help.  They also make me feel "disconnected" or just plain wierd. 

I have read alot about Neurontin and Lyrica on everyones posts.  It sounds like these might help me out.  What do you think?

Also I'm wondering what options I have for pain relievers.  What do you think about Ultram?  Any others that work well and last longer than 2 hours? because that is all the Vicodin is good for.

I appreciate you taking the time to help me out.  I will definitely post the results of the MRI and let you know what, if anything, is found.  I'm sort of afraid that they will find nothing and I'll be back to square one. mad


Mr.BadBackman
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 11/17/2007 4:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info Gramps.  I forgot to mention that the neurologist has also scheduled me for an EMG and NCS LE's (nerve conduction study lower extremities?) on 12/12/07.  I hope I won't need them; they don't sound fun.

TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 11/17/2007 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Mr.Bad

boy do I feel you! lol I ruptured my L4-L5-S1 in Oct 2000 and have suffered back pain since. I had about a year and a half after they were fused where my pain was minimal however, the pain slowly started coming back. which is where I am at now. I saw a pain doctor who specialized in shots - that didn't work. The latest thing my primary care doctor is trying is amitriptylne(sp?) which she said should help with my insomnia if nothing else, and might help with the nerve pain down my legs. We are slowly raising the dosage of that. Also just yesterday she put me on the medrol dose pack as well... I know I had medicore relief a few years ago after being giving two steroid shots and the dose pack along with MS Contin - but those days are over as that doctor got mad when I told him I didn't feel comfortable taking so many pain medications - I asked what else could be done - he said all he could do was refill my meds - THEN the next visit told me he wanted me off the pain meds and wanted me to start a ... I can't think of name... program to get me off narcotic pain meds... i fired him and found a new doctor.

anyways I can totally relate to your pain... I have the low back pain, the pain shooting down into my legs and feet, there are days I can't sit, I can't stand, I can't lay down, everything hurts. I hope you find relief. I'm getting my hopes up again about a new pain doctor I'm supposed to start seeing on Dec 12th :)
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


wannagtbetter
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/29/2007 11:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Mr.BadBackman said...
Hello all!
I am so glad to have found a place to vent my frustration.  I have had chronic low back pain for over 4 years now which has recently worsened in the last few months.  The pain used to be tolerable and was confined to my low back.  Recently it has spread to my tailbone, groin, and down both legs to my feet.  The majority of the pain is in my low back and tailbone.
I have been on Vicodin off and on for the last 4 years and have been on it constantly since April.  It helps but is not enough.
My doctor has referred me to a neurologist who put me on Medrol Dosepack, Lidoderm patches, and Elavil (for sleep).  She also ordered an MRI (for Monday), a nerve conduction study (?), and physical therapy.
The patches have done nothing!!!  They make my skin numb and do little else but irritate the hell out of me for their lack of effectiveness!  The Elavil makes my head swim and I have no idea why she gave me Medrol.
I went back to see her today to let her know that the patches don't work and the Vicodin is no longer effective.
Guess what she said.  She said "You have to be patient.  What do you want from me.  You should avoid narcotics.  Didn't you hear what happened to Rush Limbaugh?"
I couldn't believe it.  I came to this lady for help.  I am tired of being in constant pain.  It is effecting my ability to work and my relationships with my wife and kids.
She wasn't completely heartless though.  She said she would give me a stronger narcotic but let me know (with a shake of her finger) that I would need to discontinue them ASAP.
I am currently on Vicodin 5mg 6 times a day.  Guess what she gave me....
Vicodin 7.5 twice a day.
Now I'm not a math genius but how is 15mg a day more than 30mg a day?
She also gave me an rx for Cymbalta.
I took both rx's and walked out without comment.  I plan on taking them to my PCP and asking for his help.  Maybe he could put them in his shredder and write me something else.  She made me feel like some addict asking for a hit.  I just want some help with my chronic pain.  I think the only good thing that will come of this is that I will finally get an MRI.
Sorry about the book but I am SOOOO frustrated!!!!
 
I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties in getting help and being taken seriously.  Many doctors are terrified that they will get on their state's list as high narcotics writers and get eaten by the DEA.   I also have severe nerve pain (1 surgery so far for a herniated disc) that radiates all the way down my leg and also in the groin to the knee.  I believe the medrol is cortizone?  If so, she probably was trying to calm down the inflammation.  Other things I have gotten some relief from is cortizone injections in my spine, antidepressants- Cymbalta [I have heard and read that antidepressants (although I can't take them long term) can boost the effectiveness of pain meds.-lots to read on the internet on why it works-not just to make you  tongue  ].  My doctor (bless him) is the head of some national society of pain management, so he loves to educate me.  What happened with the pain meds was, in my opinion, unkind-of course you can add.  Nerve conduction studies can tell if a nerve pathway is damaged-not talking to the brain correctly.  I also do accupuncture-so-so relief, theraputic deep tissue massage-helps!- I have a hard back brace which I can wear a few hrs a day when I can't hold myself up.  I am going to try physical therapy (Again).  I am being fitted for a TENS unit tomorrow (sends electcical impulses to give the pain "white noise" to mask it somewhat.  My back surgeon said if in 6 more weeks, nothing helps, he will have a trial for an implantable electrical device (a surgery).  Some people can also have an implantable morphine pump (less med, but delivered where it's needed). I think I'm farther down the road than you are as far as intervention-I have been dealing with unreal, and constant pain since 2001.  I got hit by an uninsured motorist.  My insurance paid for a while, and after a lot of dealings, I got dropped by my carrier.  I don't have the $ to pursue it.  Anyway, if your doctor does not explain well, maybe you can "interview" a new neurologist that treats you more humanely.  Some hospitals have "mission" statements from their doctors, and if you call the hospital and ask for this to be read to you, you may find a better fit.  I keep hoping I'll improve, but this has cost me my job, my marriage, and some days my sanity.  I am blessed with my main doctor who believes in me, and my parents who have taken  me in after decades of living a full adult life.  I still have (a few) things to try.  Bless, and good luck.  It takes a lot for people in pain to put up with being treated poorly. wannagtbetter 

volfan
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 11/30/2007 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Badback! If yours is a WC case you have the option to panel for a new doc. However, if you do you are stuck with he new one. Sounds like you need to find a new one to me but take your time and do your homework before deciding. You can research potential docs on-line. I am on gabapentin (neurontin) and cymbalta. The neurontin does help with the neuropathic pain and the cymbalta is supposed to as well. I was developing a real problem with anger and anxiousness so the cymbalta has definitely helped with that. Remember it takes time for those meds to get into your system and start working so you may want to give them a chance they are helping me. Don't sweat the nerve study it's not all that bad. I will probably have another one in the near future. I have nerve damage at different levels resulting from back surgery the worst is to the femoral nerve. My left leg buckles while walking (I walk with a quad cane)and my doc mentioned repeating the study to see if the damage has worsened. I also took elavil at bed time to help me sleep. Now taking Lunesta and Seroquel (I'm a horrible speller) for sleep which is a good combination but pain still wakes me up frequently. I also take soma for back spasms which helps a little. I just had surgery for the neurostimulator implant which I hope and Pray will work but I am still on strong pain meds. Not on morphine any longer but still on some strong stuff. some of the stuff youve mentioned such as Vicodin was like taking a baby aspirin. Be careful, getting of this stuff like morphine is terrible to say the least!! I've rambled long enough time for exercise but like wannagetbetter finding a good pain clinic is a wonderful experience. I love my docs but there is a nurse that I refer to as Nurse Helga. She should be a prison guard or a drill instructor. Find a good clinic and take advantage of all the programs. Good luck and God Bless!
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