So sorry to hear you are in so much pain. I can't even begin to imagine. I do want to echo others' caution about
not taking it upon yourself to up your meds. Just because you're not getting pain relief doesn't mean they won't still affect your breathing rate. You really are playing with fire and risking your life, not to mention that if your doc decides to do a random U/A you could get kicked out of the clinic, labeled an "addict" and, lose all your pain meds for good.
I think it's a good idea you have about
switching to a different PM doc. My last PM was really limited in what he would write for. He was only comfortable with a few medications & refused to write for anything else regardless of how serious the underlying condition. My current one is a million times better. Have you ever talked to your doc about
whether you could qualify for a Spinal Cord Stimulator? I got one 3 years ago & it has been a god-send. I know they don't work for everybody, but I went from being on 15 different medications and barely functional to being now on pretty low doses of 2 medications. I myself have an ultra low tolerance to just about
any drugs, but I know others who have an SCS with a very high tolerance who were finally able to combine the SCS with a moderate amount of medication & get pretty good relief.
Also, there is a free on-line booklet put out by the American Chronic Pain Association that describes in detail different medications, treatments, surgeries, natural remedies, etc. that can be used to treat chronic pain. It also describes the difference between addiction, abuse & dependence. I think it can be very helpful b/c it is written in plain English and is quite thorough.
Here's the link in case you're interested. It's called the "APCA Consumer Guide to Pain Medication and Treatments":
Also, have you checked into prescript
ion assistance programs? $65 is about
what I pay for full price for Dilaudid so I'm guessing you don't have insurance. For name brand meds, you can go to: http://www.pparx.org. For generics, talk to your local pharmacy. I know many of the major chains offer assistance programs for generic medications - Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade, Jewel-Osco, Target, Wal-Mart ... I'm sure there are more. The amount they save you varies by store, but any savings at all helps, right?
It does take time so just hang in there. Things are bound to get better.