Here I Go Again

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Jim M
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 12/13/2010 4:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone! First of all I want to wish all of you a pain-free Christmas holiday!

Well, here I go again!
As I posted earlier, my wife got into an argument with our primary care physician so he dumped our whole family. I searched and I searched and the last Dr. on the list was willing to prescribe me my pain medication.

This Friday will be the third time I have seen her. The first visit I had seem to go well and I was really happy that I could go on living my life virtually pain-free. However, last month during the visit I heard the dreaded words, " You can't be on these forever "! She wrote my prescription but when I got it filled I noticed she cut my breakthrough medication from 10 mg Percocet to 7.5 Percocet three times a day. And did this without telling me. It's quite amazing that taking away 21 mg of oxycodone a day would make such a difference. And by the way she also increased the Tylenol to 500 mg instead of 325 mg.

For two years now I have been on opiates in my quality of life has been fairly good. But ever since my primary care physician dropped me and my family I live in constant worry and despair. I have a feeling that this Dr. is going to take me off of opiates and put me on NSAIDs.

I'm going to see her this Friday. I am pondering whether or not to bring in my wife and more or less tagteam on her. Do any of you think it is a bad idea to bring my wife to my next appointment? After all, everything this Dr. does will affect my wife as well.

I must be honest, I have lost the will to keep on fighting with doctors. I've done everything they told me to do and more. I just can't take living month-to-month wondering will this be the month that I will go through withdrawals and become bedridden with pain. There are no more doctors on my list to see, pain management doctors refuse to see me. And my neurosurgeon report that this Dr. is going to see Friday says surgery is not an option but the neurosurgeon thinks I should be on NSAIDs.

I never thought I would get the point where all of my options to manage my pain have been exhausted. I don't sleep anymore and I have lost all of my will to fight because doctors are so afraid to prescribe opiates. Of course doctors do not use the word opiates. They all use the word Narcotics! I guess by using the term Prescribing Narcotics gives them a reason to keep you in pain.

In closing, my question is Is It a Bad Idea to Take My Wife to My Next Appointment?

God Bless Everyone!


Edit: My medications are 40 mg Oxycontin 3x daily and 10/325 Percocet 3 x Daily for breakthrough. In the words off all Drs. This is a VERY HIGH LEVEL OF NARCOTICS! ( I should be on NSAIDs and have holes eaten in my stomach and liver damage without pain relief! )

Post Edited (Jim M) : 12/13/2010 3:51:04 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 856
   Posted 12/13/2010 5:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jim. I'm sorry that your doctor moved your dose down without telling you. I wish that I had advice, but unfortunately I don't. I think that it would be a good idea to bring your wife. Can you write down your pain levels (if they've been up) since the change? I understand not wanting to keep going back and forth with your doctor. I'm sure that more people will be on here and maybe have some suggestions.



Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 12/13/2010 5:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jim,

I'm afraid that you are in quite a bind. Pain Management is a scary thing anymore. I'm sorry you are on the difficult side of things right now.

I understand you are nervous, but didn't your wife have some sort of altercation with the last Dr? I can't exactly remember, but it seems like he dropped you for something said between the two of them. I also think (and I say that loosely because of my memory) that she said there was never such an incident an you still don't understand exactly what happened. If what I remember is correct.....and that's a big if for me.....the I would never take her again to any Dr. apt with me.

I don't know you or your wife, but I can assure you that Dr's/Lawyers/Judges/Probation/Parole/Counselors read into everything we say and especially what our "supporting" partner says. They also listen very closely and, if you give permission, will speak with your spouse about you in your absence on occasion. I have returned many a man/woman to prison after following information a spouse/parent told me so that they could "help" a loved one.....only to be cursed at in court for doing it. It's a strange world and if taking your wife with you scares you, then don't. This is your Dr, your apt, and your health. You and the Drs should figure out what is best for you. Support when you get home is another thing entirely.

I'm not saying she actually did or didn't do or say anything at the last dr, but I just wouldn't take the chance again (If I were in your shoes). I would have no problem taking my husband, as I know exactly what he would say and how he would speak of me even if I weren't in the room. That being said, he may take me for my RFA, any kind of procedure, or a difficult to get to appointment, but he never goes in with me unless I specifically ask him to after I have talked to the Dr and that is only to hear instructions that I may not remember.

I wish you well in this situation, but I honestly believe you are on your on with this one.
Retired Mom

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3686
   Posted 12/13/2010 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jim
Well I thought that retiredmom pretty well said it all, I think she gave you some really really good advice! Under the circumstances, I am not sure what your wife could say to the Doctor that would make that much of a difference as to what the Doctors final decision would be?????  Just be honest with your Doctor, explain to your Doctor your fears of being in  constant pain again, and that you are afraid that is what is going to happen.  Your fears are valid and that does not make you into a person that is addicted to the medications. It makes you human, everyone is afraid of being in pain! It does not make any difference what the doctor does or uses or prescribes to you as long as it works and keeps you from having pain. Let the Doctor know that!  Let your Doctor know that you are willing to try different treatments, anything that will work and keep away the pain. That will go along way with most doctors! But if you start telling them or demanding a specific treatment or medication, red flags pop up to that doctor and that can make things difficult for you. How has your wife reacted to your doctors in the past when it comes to your pain?  I am not you and I don't know your situation, I can only give you my ideas, it is your body and it is up to you to make the decisions that affect you!  I do wish you well Jim and hope every thing works out well for you!  
Good Luck to YOU!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 12/13/2010 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   

   Goodness Jim,

    I am relieved to hear from you. Last I heard you were in one heck of a bad position trying to find a new doctor. It was hard to read what had happened to you without getting upset. It seemed so much was out of your control!

     I am not sure about anyone else... But my primary care keeps in contact with all my other specialists. Even over little things like anti-biotics. I do not think he has ever prescribed me "pain medication" long term. From the moment I was in pain, the Urgent care doctor contacted my primary care after hours. They decided what medicine to give me together. The very same day of my X rays I went home and had a message on my voice mail asking me to travel to our major city to see a new doctor after hours (I will come to know them as "spine specialists"). My primary care has never had to prescribe me pain medication longer than a week or so.

   Even here on the forum. When I read our dear members posts... when there is mention of a primary care physician prescribing "pain medications" it is always on a short term basis until a better solution or until a referral to a special happens.  Always the lost possible dosage. I think is because long term pain, no matter the cause, is a bit out of their field of expertise.      

     How soon can you get another new referral to a pain management specialist? Even if it is one you do not like, just find someone else within that medical group. Keep at it though. Our primary cares mean well, but they just aren't able to handle CP. All of my medicine I take for pain took MONTHS to get up to the right dose. None of them are PRN. They are all very high levels. Even if a doctor wanted me to stop taking them it would take 3 to 4 months and quite a bit of communication with my other specialists to do so. You are not on a high dose of meds. Trust me on that. You just need to get to to the right doctor.

     I am unsure what to do or suggest in reference to your spouse. You mention "tag team" doctor? They are people too. With responsibilities, families, and special expertise that took 10+ years to acquire and experience to practice medicine. PLease be careful. I would imagine he/she has to be careful in their line of work and will air on the side of caution. I just do not think it is a good idea.
     I sure do hope you can come to a solution. It is a terrible time to have this going on. Especially so close to the holidays. Hang in there!

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 12/13/2010 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Most docs will call anything more than 5mg of oxy or hydrocodone 2-3 times per day "a lot." A few years ago I was on almost 600mg of oxycodone per day, and I never once had any problems with side effects or overdoses or psychological addiction/"junkie behavior" or anything while I wouldn't necessarily recommend becoming that physically dependent on *anything*, don't let these docs fool you into thinking that their value judgements about this stuff are based on anything but their own political, financial and legal liability.

It has essentially NOTHING to do with what's best for you or your family.
Conditions: Reactive Arthritis (AKA Reiter Syndrome), Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Syndrome, Sacroiliitis, Costochondritis, As Yet Unknown MS-Like Relapsing/Remitting Neuropathy, mysteriously variable digestive issues, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15838
   Posted 12/13/2010 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Jeesh Jim, sometimes if it weren't for bad luck you would not have any luck at all it seems. Another new dr is enough to make us crazy with fear at times. All I can add to the mix is back when I worked, I had heavy contact with drs and one of their pet peeves were a patient letting a spouse or friend come in the room and do the talking. I know several asked the person to leave the room or they were told they were not the patient. Recently, one of our members here was seeing her pain mgt dr and the husband started speaking for her and it made the dr a little irritated as he wanted to hear his patient speak not someone else. So, you are going to have to make the decision here on which way to go with this. Think about it along those terms.

Good luck.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Jim M
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 12/13/2010 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
The decision has been made: Wife will stay home!

My will is just so broken.

Any advice on what to say to convince her to just keep me on the same dose and I won't bother her again?? I have all of these scenarios just constantly running through my mind.

Thanks for all the great advice!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9661
   Posted 12/14/2010 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim well wishes to you and I hope things go good for you.
wish I could offer better advice...
healing hugz, well wishes and Prayers...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15838
   Posted 12/14/2010 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim, since this is a PCP rxing and making the dreaded comments, is there a chance she can refer you to a PM dr that would take over your care? Or, as some on here have done, consulted with PM dr and the two drs work together and PM tell PCP what to write the scripts for? Think that might make the PCP feel a little comfortable about writing your scripts if it were on a recommendation from a PM dr? Just a shot in the dark, I did not realize this is a PCP that has been caring for you.

I know you think you have lost all your will and have no energy left to deal with drs but come Friday morning you will gather some more strength to deal with this. I would just try to be as forthright and honest about my situation as I could be. Hang in there.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Jim M
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 12/21/2010 6:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello everyone! I just wanted to give everyone an update on my original post.

Well, I took the advice from the feedback on this post. I went into the doctor's office by myself and was very honest and told her that not knowing from month to month whether or not I was going to get my prescriptions refilled was making me very depressed and anxious. I told her that I was very worried because she had cut my breakthrough medicine down without telling me.

I get a much better vibe from her this time. She refilled my prescription and put me back on my original milligrams of breakthrough medication.
I showed her the neurosurgeon report which stated surgery was not an option. She then told me that she wanted me to see a pain management Dr.

Yesterday I went to the pain management clinic located at the largest hospital in Kansas City Missouri. The pain management Dr. looked at my MRI and told me that there was really nothing he could do for me. He said since the medication is controlling my pain to tell the other Dr. that she is doing a good job!

So next month when I go in for another refill I'm going to tell her that the pain management Dr. told me to tell her that she is doing a good job managing my pain. The pain management Dr. had absolutely no concerns about the dosage I am on. As far as I can tell at this point in my chronic pain struggle there are no more hoops available for me to jump through. Right now it is pretty clear cut. They cannot help me with surgery and the pain management Dr. told me to keep taking the pain medication.

So in closing, I wanted to thank you all for the advice. It certainly didn't help!

I wish everyone a pain-free Merry Christmas And a Happy New Year!

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