Hi: I am so miserable that for the first time in five years the only way I could cope tonight was to find something like this and write something down in the hope it would help. Five years ago I injured my lower back at work but it was no big deal. I started to get better and than suddenly one day I got a severe pain in my thoracic area and I have had severe chronic thoracic pain ever since. I am treated by one of the foremost pain dotors in the US. I have tried everything. I have a pain pump but, while it reduces the pain, that is all it does and when the pain gets really bad it does not even reduce it from a 10. I also take just about all the breakthrough medicine I can take and, once again, my pain is still not always controlled. The amount of medication in my pump is not high enough because I have been unable to tolerate any higher doses of anything or I get really nauseated and dizzy. They have tried everything and have had to reduce the dosage every time! I am way below the clinically effective level.
I also have several other medical problems. In fact I need surgery but have put it off because I am getting increasingly worried about how they are going to control any kind of surgical pain after I go home from the hospital I had a very bad experience. I was operated on for lung cancer which is one of the most painful and invasive surgeries you can have! After the surgery, in intensive care, the original pain drug ordered did not work. The Physician Assistant sent from the pain clinic either did not know what to do or did not want to do something. I have had problems with her before. After six terrible hours the intensive care nurse had had enough and paged the surgeon to come back to the hospital and, of course, he immediately ordered another pain drug. When I tried to tell my pain MD afterwards about what happened and that I seemed to have problems with this woman, he got angry as though I had done something wrong because I did not want her again. My doctor has a temper to start with but this is just one of the drawbacks of a pain clinic where any refusal to do anything is seen as noncooperation! Now I am petrified to schedule another surgery because the pain clinic always uses the same PA for its hospital patients! And I am a well liked, reliable patient.
If you are wondering why I don't change doctors, here is why. One reason is that my doctor is good and known world-wide. But the main reason is that my doctor has just told me that they are finding a high incidence of growths at the site of the pain pump catheter (can't remember the technical term). For that reason, all the doctors here have gotten together and decided that no pain clinic in my area, which is a major metropolitan area, will take a patient with an existing pain pump! I am trapped. I cannot go to any other doctor.
Finally my other life is suffering beyond belief. I am in my 60's and divorced I look good and I look healthy. I would like to have a partner. I have a million interests but I am unable to do almost any of them anymore. I keep trying but I end up in so much pain that I have to quit. I am losing all my friends because I cannot do anything. I can't make new friends because I can't hike, ride a bike, dance, even and this is the worst, sit in any straight-backed chair for very long. I'd like to take some classes but I have tried now three times and had to quit after about the third day because the pain was too bad. My children are not interested in hearing how bad I feel all the time. I am turning into a burden. I am well educated and planned to work a little after retirement but now I can't. I had traveled all over the world and wanted to do that again but I can't. My fondest desire was to live in Mexico but I can't because, and this may surprise you, morphine and many of the class 4 narcotics are virtually impossible to get and there is no chance of them being available in the liquid form needed to fill a pain pump.
so there you have it....