Crohn's and the ER

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Texan with Crohn's
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 12/10/2007 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello. I am a 40 y/o female diagnosed with crohn's this year, after two ER visits and a hospitalization where they did a colonoscopy, CT scans, barium contrast scans (which they then found I have diverticlum throughout my small bowel. My GI doctor is anti-pain medication and tells me that I need to go into the ER if the pain is bad. I disagree with this. With all the frivolous lawsuits we pay too much for hospital care nowadays.

Yesterday I was doubled over in pain and extremely nauseous. I took the few hydrocodone and phegren (sp) that I had and gutted it out. I am still in great pain and nauseated, but I refuse to go into the ER again when all they will do is hook me up to IV fluids, give me medicine for pain and nausea at a very high price and run unnecessary tests.

Does anyone know the best way to get relief without being charge your first born? I really wish that I could go into the ER, visit with a doctor, have him write up prescriptions that can be filled at a pharmacy then go home and lay up at this house free of charge.

Please lend your thoughts. Any/all information is welcome. I am new to this forum. I need to visit with others like me. The isolation that this illness is causing is raising my stress level. And all the information I find online just frightens the tar out of me.


Current Meds: Pentasa 2 x 3 times a day, an ecoli antibiotic and another antibiotic . sad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 12/10/2007 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all - you are NOT alone. There are lots of us here who are going through or have gone through the things you are. I'm so dumb I didn't realize until a few years ago that I could actually ask for pain meds. Then I went into a remission of sorts. So, I don't have any info to share in that area. Hopefully some others will come along and be able to give their input. I know that there are quite a few docs who don't like to give pain meds.

Will your doc prescribe you anti-nausea meds? At least that would be a start.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 456
   Posted 12/10/2007 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   

If doctors want to be anti pain med, that's fine.  Then they need to be sure we're on enough of the right medication to control the Crohn's and hopefully stop the pain.  "I don't believe in pain meds so you're just going to have to suffer" is unacceptable.  I was diagnosed this year as well, and I'm already on my second GI.  Not because I couldn't get treatment for pain, but because the first guy just wasn't aggressive enough in his treatment, and didn't want to take the time to listen to me and answer my questions.  If you're not happy with the treatment you're receiving, don't hesitate to get a second opinion.  Based on your list of meds, it doesn't look like he's doing a whole lot to try to control your disease, either.

Where in Texas are you?  I'm in Houston.

Welcome to Healing Well.  I hope you start feeling better soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 12/10/2007 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I know what you mean. I just went to the ER the other day, they did EXACTLY what you said, gave me fluids, did unnecessary chest and stomach xrays, gave me something for nausea, and Flagyl and another anti-biotic. I do have to admit at that time, I really needed the fluids. They wanted me to stay 24 hours but I was afraid of what else they were going to do to me, also the fact I have to pay 20% of whatever they decide to do! They were saying "we need to see if you have had a change by doing a colonoscopy" I said HELLO I just had one 6 days ago, they were like we need to look for a change since then. UGGGH I know how you feel! But, my GI doctor usually will give me whatever med I ask for. I think it is unfair for them to deny you pain meds. We can't take NSAIDs, which knocks out a HUGE amount of pain meds, leaves us with Tylenol, woopie doo. I'd like to see that doctor having Crohn's and survive on Tylenol. I would look for a new doctor. I am in South Texas, btw.
Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15
Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocortisone Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcourt, Colazol, Proctocort, Anamantle...
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis with rectal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade
2007:Increased Remicade dosage-660mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia
Current meds: Remicade 660mgs every 6 wks, Lomotil, Tramadol, Darvocet, Clorazepate, new meds I am about to start: Prograf, Cymbalta, Lyrica

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1665
   Posted 12/11/2007 12:13 AM (GMT -6)   
try your PCP for pain meds. that seems to work better for lots of folks.
48 y/o woman.  Diagnosed 4/06 after colonscopy, SBFT, CT-scan all showed crohns. 3 months later, after pred and remicade, all tests showed no crohns. In December had adhesions cut through a laparoscopy. Now just taking Glycolax, metamucil and vicidin as needed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 12/11/2007 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
A lot of GI's are against pain meds. They want to treat the cause, not the symptom. But meanwhile it can take months for the meds to take effect. You can try your PCP, I didn't have much luck with mine. Or what a lot of us do is go to a pain clinic. You should be able to get a referral to one. The doctors there are much more in tune with what works for what type of pain. They don't try to treat the cause, their ONLY job is to make you comfortable. They will work with you to find the right type of pain med to treat you so that you can then work with the right GI to find the right treatment for your CD. You shouold not have to suffer in pain until your disease can be brought under control!

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/11/2007 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I go to my family doctor for my pain meds. I agree with the above, many GI's just don't treat our pain. No one should have to suffer.

I go to the ER when I know I am really dehydrated or the pain is more than I can handle and my meds are not working. Sometimes we have no choice but to go to the ER.

Good luck and hope you get some relief soon.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 12/11/2007 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Just wanted to say welcome to HW and I am glad you are fere with us your right it is hard to handle this all by ourselves. Are you on on special diet for your diverticulum ? Hope you get to feeling better soon. lol gail

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3932
   Posted 12/11/2007 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Find a good pain specialist/clinic in your area. They do nothing BUT treat pain, & usually are very knowledgable about Crohn's. You can ask your General doc for a referal or find one on your own. In your situation, this is an essential.

Welcome to HealingWell!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 12/11/2007 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
If your GI refuses to give you pain meds, and your treatments aren't working, it's time to change doctors. Like Bektold said, if you have pain, which is a symptom of the disease, the doctor needs to treat the disease more aggressively, but until the treatment starts working you should have pain meds available to you.

I would find another GI or, there's no shame in changing doctors if you don't agree with the one you have.
Crohn's Disease   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1129
   Posted 12/11/2007 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I'd be looking for a new doctor. Treating Crohn's means treating the underlying disease and getting it under control, but also treating your symptoms and we all know that one of the number one symptoms is pain. I mean if you had D, wouldn't he/she be willing to help you treat that symptom with medication...... If your doctor is unwilling to acknowledge your symptoms and treat them accordingly, then you need a more experienced doctor! Good luck to you and I hope you find some relief soon!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 12/11/2007 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome! I agree with what many other members have told you...see a pain specialist who can give you some pain meds. I wish I had done that 3 years ago when I started getting sick but I didn't, I lived on Tylenol cuz I was afraid to ask my GI for pain meds. When I finally did ask him about 4 months ago he didn't have a problem at all giving me a low dose of hydrocodone, but he wasn't inclined to continue so I am now also seeing a pain management doc, he's pretty great too, very understanding.
I absolutely REFUSE to go to the ER again unless I'm knocking on death's door. I went twice, both times the abdominal pain/vomiting, etc, was more than I could bare, I couldn't even walk straight-was all hunched over from stomach pain. When the ER doc found out I had Crohn's disease he said "you want me to cure Crohn's disease...there is no cure, what do you want me to do?". I got hysterical at that point and it got ugly, I ended up walking out. All the Dr. was going to do for me was run blood tests...can you believe it?! That was about a year ago, I will never go back again.
Good luck to you!
Marci, 38 years old, Rockledge, FL
Dx with Crohn's disease March 2006, currently on bi-weekly Humira, daily 6mg Entocort, daily 2-3x 5mg hydrocodone (for pain), and daily 75mg Effexor, plus 3x per day heavy iron supplements for anemia

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 12/11/2007 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I hate to hear all these horror stories about the ER. I've been very lucky, I've always been taken in quickly, given IV fluids, given pain meds, usually a CT scan to check for obstruction, then they usually admit me for a few days. I've never had anyone give me the slightest attitude.

It doesn't matter that they can't "cure" me. Fluids and pain meds are needed sometimes, and I see no reason not to get them as needed whether it's a pain Rx from your doctor or a trip to the ER when you can't take it anymore and you've been loosing fluids through vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Crohn's Disease   

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 12/11/2007 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree with the others. My PCP will prescribe hydro if I need it but mainly for joint pain. I don't have too much gut pain. By the way I'm from the DFW metroplex. GO COWBOYS!!!
Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 12/11/2007 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
It is a sad world we live in when we (the people with chronic illness that has no cure and the symptoms are just masked anyway) can't get pain med. First of all, we spend most of our lives in drs. office, hosp. etc. if we could just keep pain med. on hand we could save a lot of time, and $. I wish that someway this issue would go to our legislatures and b/c a law that anyone with chronic illness and No cures is allowed permanent prescriptions of pain meds. After all, we get lifetime prescriptions of the other such as, imuran, pred, etc.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 531
   Posted 12/11/2007 10:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Judy, and there are always worse docs than other. I have worked in ER's for many years. I found the attitudes got worse with the more visits you have to get pain meds. I have only seen a scant percentage of crohn's pts on the "professional pt" lists, and they mostly didn't have a doc. But is does happen that you can become drug dependant and that's why it is so important to have a good pcp/gi./pain management doc. Control before the worst happens.
Diagnosed at age 19 with CD.
3 small bowel resections, 1 for perforation, 2 for strictures 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 12/12/2007 8:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I think back now to how stupid I was back in the mid-late 70s when my Crohn's was at its worst. It never, ever occurred to me to ask my doctor for pain meds. I just suffered thru it like a dang fool and when it got too bad (right around time for my menstrual period) I'd end up in ER.

Never once did they drag their feet about giving me a shot of Demerol and Phenergan. They hit me w/them and hit me w/them pretty quick too.

On the other hand, they never tried to admit me either, except once, the LAST time, when I ended up spending 6 weeks on IVs and an NG tube before releasing myself and flying to Mayo Clinic where I had resection surgery the very next day.

But then I was almost always blown up like a balloon and doubled over in pain, usually crying. I still find it hard to believe how FAST we can blow up so HUGE and go from a skin and bones cadaver to looking like we're 11 months pregnant w/twins!!! At least I always did. Somewhere here I have two pictures taken by my friends at a dog show. One when I first arrived in the morning and the second taken just before we left the show site that evening. Unbelieveable the tummy that built up during that long day!! I looked like twins, one pregnant the other anorexic.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/12/2007 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey C2 I just recently saw some pictures of myself taken right before my last resection and can't believe how big just my stomach was. I looked like I was about 5 mos pregnant. Thank God I don't look like that now, but it brought back bad memories thats for sure.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

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