Is there any easy way to ask for pain meds??

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ErinAnn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/10/2008 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Recently I have been straining my neck really easily and somewhat frequently. I have an appt coming up with my primary for a physical at the end of the month so i have been trying to hold off until then to discuss pain management. I have been going to physical therapy, well i have had 2 appts so far. My doctors have me on flexeril 10mg which really doesnt do anything for me, but I take it anyways. Now I just strained my neck again and I know the pain will be worse tomorrow and I feel like I have nothing that is going to help relieve it. I know to do the warm heat and that helps very temporarily but I really wish I had something to take even just at night when im hurting bad.

So here is my concern: how can I go about asking for pain meds. I mean I always feel like they think I am just looking to get drugged up or something when I tell them that anti-inflammatorys just dont work at all for me. Then I hate when they ask me what number my pain is at on a scale of 1-10. I hate that question. I know im not dying in pain but does that mean I have to suffer like this?

I was just wondering if anyone can share their experience with this and maybe give me some helpful tips on how to go about asking. i dont know if i should just wait out this pain until i see her or what, but im dreading waking up tomorrow already.
Yours Truly,

Erin Ann


Sherrine
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 8/10/2008 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Erin Ann, how do you keep straining your neck?  Whatever you are doing, you need to stop.  My neck and shoulders always hurt.  Also, I was getting up in the morning with a stiff neck.  I finally discovered it was the way I was bunching up my pillow.  Since I stopped doing that, my neck is better.  You can resolve this probably without pain meds.
 
I wouldn't advise asking for pain medication outright.  That sends up red flags for the doctor.  If you truly need pain medication in order to function, let your doctor know how you are feeling.  Give examples of how difficult certain daily activities are for you.  Let them know how uncomfortable you are.  Then, that puts the ball in their court, so to speak.  But, I'm not sure any doctor would prescribe pain medication, other than ibuprofen or Tylenol, for a sore neck.  I know my doctor wouldn't.
 
Sherrine


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


ErinAnn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/10/2008 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I too have chronic neck and back pain. its the strains that i cant tolerate. the first time i strained my neck stretching too much, and ever since it has been really easy to strain. reaching for something, picking up one of my kids, sleeping wrong. dont get me wrong the neck strain isnt my only pain, but its the worst right now. I was hoping to maybe try a different muscle relaxer or something.

i think your right about not asking outright. I know that wouldnt really be a good idea either which it kinda why im asking for some advice. This is also why im thinking maybe i can just deal with it and get through these couple weeks I have left until the physical and then I can just go over everything and see what she says.

As far as the pillows go I have been trying an idea my PT gave me, she said to roll up a towel and use it at the bottom of my pillow for neck support. I feel a bit more comfortable when I go to sleep but so far am not getting relief from it.
Yours Truly,

Erin Ann


Sera Smiles
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 8/10/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Erin, I am sorry that you are having this problem right now. I understand neck strain, I guess we all do. Try to describe your pain issues to him, give him concrete examples of the pain and how they impact or limit you, then let him be the problem solver. If he asks you what you think would help, give him specifics- there are lots of things out there that 'allegedly' help with muscle/skeletal pain, like ultram, flexeril, robaxin, and others. I think being specific about your needs will take your request farther, because you are asking from a place of physical pain and need for relief, rather than drug-seeking. I can relate to your problem so much! I, too, have lots of pain that is not being managed. I do have ultram and cymbalta, but those are primarily for musculo-skeletal tension rather than pain relief. I am going to ask my doc for something for pain at my next appt, too. Lets work on it together. I think refusing to prescribe something for pain management is cruel and cold hearted.
Peace!
"Its never too late to be who you might have been" George Eliot


Sera Smiles
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 8/10/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Also- do you have anything to take to help you sleep? Do you take the flexeril at night? I have tried unisom [or its generic] and it worked until I developed a tolerance; now I take 7 mg of Melatonin, Ambien has worked very well for me also. Maybe a pain preparation with a sleep remedy may help ease night pain and early morning stiffness.
"Its never too late to be who you might have been" George Eliot


kelly71
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 726
   Posted 8/10/2008 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
ErinAnn,
 
This is a very tricky question and I really don't think it has a clear cut answer.  I am no expert at giving advice, but I can share my story with you.  I was extremely addicted to pain killers almost 12 years ago and I would do anything and everything to get them.  Now that I have legitimate pain, I have had doctors tell me that they couldn't give me anything because of my past addiction.  This happened after I broke my leg last year! eyes   
 
My suggestion is to tell your doctor the truth-that the Flexeril isn't working for you.  Meds affect everyone differently, and everyone has their own "pain scale."  So, if you feel like your pain is an 8, tell your doctor that your pain is an 8.  There is no sense in trying to downplay what you feel.  Also, YOU are the only one who feels YOUR pain.  That's one of the first things I learned here.
 
But, a huge problem is that a lot of doctors just won't listen to their patients.  Doctors are afraid of Rxing controlled drugs these days.  What happened to the Hippocratic Oath?  I suppose that the wonderful insurance companies have gotten their grubby paws on that, too. eyes
 
I agree with Sherrine-don't ask outright for pain meds.  Tell your doctor that your meds aren't working and you need help relieving that pain.  You are already going to PT, so that is evidence that you have been following doctor's orders.
 
Personally, I found a doctor who isn't predjudiced against me, and is working with me to help control my pain.  I'm still never comfortable, but at least now I can "manage."  I guess you could call me a work in progress.
 
Anyway, I have probably totally confused you-because reading what I've written, I've confused myself.  I think my original point was to be honest and tell your doc all you want is his/her help.  Hopefully, you've got an understanding doc who doesn't think that you are a junkie looking to score.  I really do hope you find the answers you're looking for. :-)

FINALLY dxd on 06/13/08
Vicodin, Neurontin, Ibuprofen for pain-which doesn't help, BTW
Zoloft & methadone (NOT for pain) for sanity-which doesn't help, BTW
Klonopin for anxiety (Guess what?  Doesn't help!)
 
"I'll take the Chivas instead"
-Kelly Clarkson


ErinAnn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your responses. they are much appreciated!

I usually do take the flexeril at night because it does make me sleepy sometimes. Usually I take one as soon as my kids go to bed and then another later before I go to bed. I can take it up to three times a day but usually dont. I dont really want to take anything that is going to put me out completely either. My hubs is a heavy sleeper and he wont hear the kids should someone wake up. If I have a hard time sleeping sometimes I will take some tylenol pm and that helps me to fall asleep. Doesnt do anything for the pain but at least it isnt a struggle to get to sleep. It just would be nice if I could get some relief sometimes when I really need it. I wouldnt care if they gave me 4 pills a month, id be better off than I am now. There are days that I have to have my husband stay home to take care of things because Im having such a hard time, and those are the days when I could really use some relief too. It would just be nice to know that I have something to take if the pain gets bad.
Yours Truly,

Erin Ann


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
ErinAnn have you noticed more neck pain since starting PT??? I know the more they try to do to my neck the worse it gets. I'm at a point where I don't want anyone touching my neck. The rolled up towel under the neck sounds like a good idea for sleeping. You don't want to sleep on too high of a pillow that causes your neck to be bent. Try to keep as level as possible.
 
Oh, I forgot your question. I only take tylenol for pain with an occasional tramadol.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee


Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
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ErinAnn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Marlee,

The first day that I went to PT they gave me exercises to do at home. One being shoulder rolls towards the back, the other being a stretch where i bend my arms and bring them back. Im having a hard time just with these. I spaced them out more, rather than doing 10 in a row like they say im doing a few here and there as much as im comfortable with. the muscles im dealing with fatigue easy which makes the pain worse. the pt just wants me to do what I feel comfortable with, and what i am able to do. Since only I know what that is ill be the one to determine it. Each day what I am able to do varies.

The next appt I went to they were going to add more stretches where I lean my head one way and the other but those were causing me sharp pain so they said not to do those yet.

I do feel that the pain is worse but I dont think its from the pt. they are being careful not to push me too hard. I think the pains worse because i keep straining my neck so easily. So each appt that I go into im worse off then when I started. Im not sure how this is going to work out.

I swear I want a neck brace sometimes just so I dont have to hold my own head up! Sleeping is hard because there is just no comfortable position to be in and its really hard to lift my head up off of the pillow to adjust sometimes.
Yours Truly,

Erin Ann


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I bought a fiber pillow and I now puff it up at the end I'm going to sleep on and, when I lay down, it forms to my neck and head.  Since I started doing that, I haven't been waking up with a stiff neck.  I used to fold part of  it in half and lay on the higher part and it was raising my head a little and that's how the neck strain started.  
 
Sherrine 
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


ErinAnn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I think what I am going to do is just try to get through until my physical. Im not even sure if she will deal with my fibro problems, she might just send me back to the rheumy. I plan on bringing an updated symptoms list with me to the appt, and I will really try to explain to her how everything is effecting my daily life. Appts are hard for me because I have a lot of anxiety, but I am determined to not let that stop me from getting the care I need any longer. Hopefully my doctor will be a good one. I have only seen this one once before so im still deciding how I feel about her.

Sherrine,

I'm going to give this towel in the pillow thing a bit more time but I am starting to think about investing in some new pillows when I have the money. I've been using a blanket as a body pillow for too long now. I need the real thing! I also need to find something supportive for my neck that will be comfortable as well, maybe a fiber pillow would help me to? I'll have to do some research into pillows soon.

Thanks again for all of the advice everyone!
Yours Truly,

Erin Ann


Mominmich2
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 8/10/2008 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
You might want to ask your doctor for something like Tramadol/Ultram. Some doctors are more likely to give you this type of pain reliever than a narcotic drug.
 
((Hugs))
Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, Pelvic adhesions, IBS, Asthma, Anxiety, Slipped discs, Irritable bladder, and GERD. 
 
Ambien 10mg, Tramadol 50mg (3 X a day), Motrin 600mg (3 X a day).


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Erin Ann I feel like I need a neck brace sometimes too. What are you doing to strain your neck??? What are they trying to accomplish with the PT???
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin


ErinAnn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/11/2008 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Marlee,

I strained my neck once probably a couple months ago now really bad. This was actually what lead me to be diagnosed oddly enough. I had recently begun fed up with the constant pain and lack of energy. All any one was telling me was that I needed to exercise more, stretch more and eventually things will loosen up and ill get stronger and blah blah blah. I had always stretched because of the pain, i would feel the need to stretch. Well then me and my hubs ended up in an argument about basically things that I cant do anymore. So I started pushing myself harder and then too hard. I overdid it one day stretching and woke up the next with a really bad neck strain. It was horrible and I was miserable so I made an appt with my doctor who basically told me there is nothing more they could do for me other than what I was already doing, besides send me to PT. So they put in an order for the PT. I guess to help me loosen up my neck and then build strength? At that appt I asked her if she would do an MRI on my back and neck or at least some xrays. I basically pleaded with her because for years I have had this pain and no one would do any tests. I know its muscular but I never get any relief. They tell me to stretch more and I do and its so hard to because im so tired all the time. She agreed to do the xrays and also she said she would do some research into my case. The next day she asked me to go in for the RA blood tests. After they got the results of the blood tests I was pos for the RN factor (i think thats what it was) and there was some inflammation they referred me to the rhuemy who figured things out and diagnosed me with FM. He recommended I still go to the PT and tell them about the fibro.

So I think what they are trying to do with the PT is to get back some of the rotation ive lost with the strains and get me to a point where I can do more exercise without hurting myself. At least thats what I gathered from it.

Ever since that strain it has been really easy to strain it again. Just reaching for something has caused me to go backwards in my recovery, so I just dont know what to do with it.

On a happier note, I didnt strain it as bad as I was expecting this time. I was expecting to wake up and not be able to move my head. Im a little more sore than before but I havent lost more mobility. yay!
Yours Truly,

Erin Ann


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 8/11/2008 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Erin Ann, I had a little wreck last Nov that really bothered my neck so I went to a chiro (who knows about fibro) for a couple of months and it only seemed to get worse. I was also having therapy massage every two weeks and that seemed to aggravate it. I finally had doc to do a CAT scan and all it showed was some osteoarthritis so I knew it was all muscular. I went to pain doc and he wanted me to do water PT to strengthen the neck muscles. I had to cancel a couple of apps due to non fibro things. But the more I thought about it the less I wanted them messing with my neck since even a massage aggravates it.
 
I did pick up a book at the library on water therapy excerises for fibro that I haven't had time to read yet. We are leaving Thurs for a little trip and riding in the car really bothers my neck so I found a hot/cold gel neck brace at Medicalproducts.com which I have no vested interest in but have ordered from them before. It was $35.00, you can put it in the microwave or freezer. It was advertized for fibro. The last time I ordered from them I got the product the next day so I'm hoping it will be here by Thurs.
 
I have been surprised at how many movements we make even with our arms in lifting stuff affects the neck muscles. I know the neck and shoulders is a big problem for many with fibro.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin


ErinAnn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/11/2008 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Marlee,

My rheumy and therapist both suggested getting me into the water aerobics. We have a pool in the backyard which is nice when its really hot and uncomfortable, but the water can be very cold so I only go in when its hot out. I think they are planning on discussing some water aerobics classes and maybe some other classes that would be helpful for me once I am finished with my PT. Honestly I am an introvert and I am not really sure I like the idea of taking one of these classes. Id rather do things at home where I am comfortable, but we will see when the time comes what I decide.

That neck brace sounds like it could help. You will have to let me know how good it works. Money has been tight this year for us and i know of a few things I could really use, but I can always add to the wish list :-)

Thanks for all your help!
Yours Truly,

Erin Ann

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