First, I'm thrilled that your Rheumy has gotten on the ball! Sometimes we really need to get in there when we're at our worst. I'm afraid that after seeing so manypatients day after day, they become a little immune to our complaints until they can really SEE it for themselves. I hope that having all these tests done will get you on the road to real relief soon.
There are so many different things that can be tried to give you some pain relief. However, I think you're dealing with the wrong Doc for that. Sure, a Rheumy can prescribe adequate methods of pain relief, but for someone as sensitive to meds as you are, they are not the best choice. HAving your Rheumy treat your pain is almost the same as having an eye doctor treat your arthritis. Sure, he could do it, but not necessarily with the optimal treatment.
Get yourself a referral to a real Pain Managment Specialist. These are anesthesiologists who are specially trained to treat only the pain. When my pain got too bad to handle, I made an appt at the Pain Center affiliated with my hospital and that was the best decision I ever made. My Rheumy would only treat me with Ultracet, which for me caused serious insomnia and didn't help much with the pain. Although my PCP did give me Vicodin, I was concerned about
the amount of tylenol I was consuming on a daily basis. The Pain Center was a God-send.
Not only do they treat me with the appropriate level of oral pain meds, but I've had cortisone injections into several joints to help with the inflammation. I've also done some epidural injection to relieve the spinal pain, trigger point injections to relieve muscle spasms, radio frequency treatments to stop the nerve pathways from transmitting pain signals, steroid injeciotns into tendons and even Botox to relieve some particularly bad muscle spasms. In addition, I've had some real medical massage and something called MAtrix therapy which is a combination of massage and something like a longer term TENS therapy. I honestly can't say enough about
how helpful the Docs and PAs at my Pain Center have been. I now have better pain relief than ever!
So please, look into what your options are for a Pain Doc. I can't possibly explain how wonderful it is to have a Doc whose only concerned is that I feel good. Granted, I realize that I'll never be pain free and some of my meds do have some minor side effects like forgetfulness, but that's the price I have to pay since I already have permanent joint damage. At least I can get to the store and do some of the activities of daily life now. Before i had pain relief, I spent most of my days in bed.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
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