Why don't CP medications work on postop pain?

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Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 2/7/2011 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
My fiance brought up a good point. I have my routine CP medications to handle my regular pain. Why don't they work on acute or postop pain?
It began with the acute, stabbing pains caused by the regrown ovary and cyst, and that was unrelieved by the fentanyl patch. Doctors believed something was wrong if I had that type of pain through fentanyl patches because it had worked so well for me on the CP. But even though we asked, why did it not work? Why does it not work on my incisional pain? Why do I have to add more medication to relieve this surgical pain?  Is it simply the body's way of telling me that something really is wrong and not to ignore it?
Today I wished I had never even thought of having surgery with CP. The stabbing pains are gone, but I am so tired, listless even, and unable to do the simplest of tasks. I know I just had surgery on Thursday and I need to give my body a break, but I can't stand being still all day. The constant naps are beginning to get to me. I am not used to caring for my needs first. It goes against all I have done as a mom.
I am praying that you all have good day.  Its so good to see Tina back and have support and friends who have experienced what can be such scary things before, to guide and help us through those moments. Thank you!

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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 2/7/2011 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mindy,

Thanks for the welcome back :)

I understand what you are saying re: CP and surgical pain, etc. I just had my c-section... and even though I was on medication for my CP, it by no way covered the surgical pain. My brain is fuzzy this morning - but I'd assume it's because our bodies are somewhat used to the dose we take to cover the chronic pain... and anything "additional" (more acute) - needs "extra". That's what it seems for me.

Even though I'm back on bigger doses of meds that cover somewhat my back pain and so forth - I still get migraines and other random stuff that I need additional meds for, etc. I have two different meds I use for breakthrough pain (Dilaudid and Actiq), depending on the severity of my pain.

I'm sorry - I've been out of the loop.... what did you just have surgery for? Anyway, I hope you are taking it easy - since you just had surgery Thursday! I TOTALLY get what you are saying - it's so hard as a mom to take care of our own needs, especially when there's so much to be done. But, from experience, if you don't do it now - you'll pay for it in the long run... so try to rest and let others help out until you are feeling better.

I'll share w/ you what's getting me through most days, these days.... I do what I can and try to be just content with that. Some days, I'm too tired/in pain to do much more than just the very basics of things... and you know what? It's ok :) I'm learning life goes on and things are always going to be there. Trust me, this is HUGE for me; I'm neurotic and not used to thinking this way....!

Hugs, Mindy! REST and take care of yourself. Let us know how you are doing. --Tina
Main Health Issues: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibro; Chronic Pain (back issues, migraines, carpal tunnel, among other things); Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism and Hypoadrenalism; Mixed Sleep Apnea (on BiPap); Depression/Anxiety; Vitamin D Deficiency.

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Date Joined Dec 2007
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   Posted 2/8/2011 2:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Chronic pain medications don't work for acute pain because they are two very different types of pain. And the medications that we take are meant to cover the chronic pain or a good portion of it. Then adding a new injury or surgery to the constant level of baseline pain means that it is not going to handle /manage that additional pain.
Chronic pain also is transmitted via different nerve fibers in the spinal cord and brain, and acute pain is a temporary, increase hitting different pain receptors.
So you need additional short acting medications to treat the additional pain, which will disappear in a few days.

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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:59 AM (GMT -6)   
You know its funny that this topic came up at this time. The other day I had a real bad headache. Probably due to the fact that I sleep in my chair and my neck gets bent into wierd positions. So I knew that my neck was out of line and took a couple of advil to combat the extra pain. Hubby said "I am surprised you feel anything. With all the medications you are on you shouldn't be feeling anything."

But what he forgets is that the medications are specifically for the CP...not for any other pain. Don't get me wrong....I like what the current meds cover on my pain and that's saying a lot when your in pain 24/7 at a 7-9 all the time. When I went in last year to have my knee looked at, the ortho put me on tylenol 3 after surgery. But I refused to take it as I had brought my meds with me and doc allowed me to take my own medications.

Anyway, I cannot think of anything else to say, so I wish each of you a low pain day.

I live to "Tame My Pain!" 

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 2/8/2011 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the explanations! It makes sense now!

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 2/8/2011 7:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to respond to Tina! I had surgery last Thursday for a regrown ovarian remnant with a cyst on it. It was fused to my bowel again, but the surgeon got as much as he could, and it is time for hormone therapy to keep it from reforming longer than 1 year. Keeping my fingers crossed and the prayers going!

Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 2/8/2011 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   



Dear Mindy,

    It is good to hear from you. I am glad to hear your surgery is done. I do hope that this time is the last time. At the very least, keeping problems at bay for an extended period of time. There isn't much I can say that has already been said. There is different types of pain, different types of pain medication is needed. I do hope you are able to get some rest. Hang in there and stay strong!


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

Chronic Pain Moderator

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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 2/8/2011 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I use different meds for fibromyalgia and post-op pain. It took a long time to find that tramadol works well enough on fibro muscle pain since I have had a number of surgeries while trying out various meds for fibro. I use Vicodin for post-surgical pain. Those are the only pain meds I can take without taking Zofran for severe nausea.

Tramadol helps with my spinal arthritis, radiculopathy pain and sciatica, but I'd like to have something better. It seems not to help as much with skin, organ and bone or tendon pain, but it's better than NSAIDs or nothing.

I don't dare take Zofran along with tramadol or I start getting clonic muscle spasms - twitches. I had to switch over to Vicodin during breast cancer radiation treatment because I needed Zofran to control rad nausea.

I have to beware of taking Vicodin along with tramadol, because it can trigger serotonin syndrome too. Tramadol causes higher serotonin levels all on its own, which explains why I feel a better mood when it kicks in. The twitches are a warning that serotonin syndrome is starting. If I ignore that, I start getting a problem with controling temperature, can turn beet red and sweating.
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