I thought maybe it would help to give you a link to some resources that explain how pain clinics work, factors that doctors consider when deciding what treatment(s) is(are) appropriate, what treatments are used for treating pain, and what the benefits/risks of different medicines. They update it regularly & a lot of pain clinics refer to it for updates. One of the nicest things about
it, imho, is that it includes some of the very newest meds that sometimes can be used even in people who struggle with addiction (not saying you do, just that there are options). www.theacpa.org/9/PainManagementTools.aspx
But there is an important quote from it that I wanted to share with you:
"The dilemma with the long term use of opioids is that while there is a role for opioids in chronic, non-cancer pain, it is well known that prolonged use of opioids may result in problems including tolerance, hyperalgesia (increased pain sensitivity), hormonal effects (decreased testosterone levels, decreased libido and sex drive, irregular menses), depression, impaired sleep patterns and suppression of the immune system. The chronic utilization of opioids may also impair functional recovery in an individual’s recovery from surgery or with long-standing musculoskeletal disorders."
A lot of doctors weigh these factors heavily -- perhaps a bit too much, even -- so it is important for you to be aware of that. For me, personally, when I was on a higher dose & more meds, I experiences many of those issues -- though I didn't realize it until I got healthier and was able to cut back dramatically on the meds. I have to wonder whether some of the extreme depression & horrible pain you are feeling might be the result of being on such a high dose of pain meds.
The one thing that my PCP would always tell me, and it was wise of her, was that if I started on extremely high doses of meds in my mid-20's, what would I do when I reached my 40's & completely maxed out on pain meds. You're probably already at the maximum daily dose on the MS & oxy. So forget about
40's, what are you going to do when you hit 30? I'm NOT saying you should live in pain, just that it might be worth trying even more non-pharmacological options.
17 injections seems like a lot of shots if you had absolutely no benefit whatsoever. Maybe that was the case, but most of us get maybe a couple of days with 25-50% reduction in pain. If you had at least 20% less pain for 2-3 days, that is considered successful. If you did get that kind of relief, then there are other options out there for you for longer relief. If you really did get no relief at all, then either the doc wasn't finding the right place or shots aren't the right treatment for you. There are different types of PT (some that are entirely passive -- some are done in a heated pool -- etc.).
So I just want to encourage you not to give up on everything. Things really can get better. I was on 17 meds (either for pain, or for side effects of pain meds, or for side effects of the meds for the side effects of the pain meds). If I had 2 people helping me, I could be dragged from my bed screaming at the top of my lungs until I went hoarse. But my PM worked so hard at figuring out what I needed & getting everything set up for me. He worked closely with a NS to help me avoid low-back surgery. It did take time -- after year 1, I got quite a bit better; after 2 years, I now can walk nearly 1 mile at a time, I go to work every day, I do shopping & laundry and can do light workouts for 15-20 minutes at a time. No, I'm not back to running 7 miles a day and I'm probably never going to be running half marathons again, but my life is not totally ruined either. Things got better & I'm now on very low doses of 2 meds and am cutting back on one of those (the other is Lyrica, so I'll probably be on that forever, but that's ok).
If you do end up in withdrawals, I've had friends who've said Chicago Lakeshore is pretty good -- they do take patients on an emergency basis (most ER's send patients there anyways, so save yourself some time & money & just go straight there), but if you can set up an intake appointment that goes smoother. They are the most humane by far.
And if you can talk with your ex-PM asap about
slowly reducing the meds you're currently on until you run out, that would almost for sure be better than just going from your current dose to nothing at all.
Post Edited (Frances_2008) : 6/21/2010 4:47:00 PM (GMT-6)