need some one elses thoughts

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/10/2011 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
New here.Have a really messed up spine,on 50 mcg fentanyl patch worked up from 25 over 5 years.Pain is again unbearable,pretty much a house hermit,can't handle it. Doc upped the meds to 75 mcg...does nothing.Now does that mean that I am tolerant to the pain med or that it has just gotten worse.I did fall 6 times last year and broke my arm, I guess the falls didn't help.Have stenosis in most of spine,degenerative disk in l4 l5 and s1.
Waiting for a nerve block,but in the mean time any one have any suggestions on what gives relief.
1965 scoliosis(front to back) 1985 benign intracranial hypertension 1994 emerge hysterectomy 2000 fainting blackouts 2001 flat line 2001 on-demand pacemaker
2004 broke right arm. 2005 Epilepsy in heart control center
2006 degenerative disc L4,L5.Arthritis both hips compression fractures wedging T7 T8 T9 2007 spinal stenosis compression fractures T8 T9 2009 spinal stenosis compression fractures T7 thru S1. 2010 left arm break

Post Edited (arla) : 7/11/2011 12:29:50 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/11/2011 1:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the board.... I'm sorry you are suffering so much.  I hate to hear this. 
Do you see a pain management doctor?  What other medications have you tried? 
I wish I had more to say that would be of help.  But not knowing what you've tried... what kind of doc you are seeing.... all that sort of thing - it's hard to say.
Re: the fentanyl patch.... you are on a "moderate" dose at 75mcg.  Do you see any change from the 50mcg?  Do you use anything for breakthrough pain?  It's just too hard to say if you've built up a tolerance to the med.... or if the pain is worse.... or both.  Some docs don't believe in the whole tolerance thing; but I absolutely do. 
Many of us here have chronic, debilitating pain issues.  Most of us here treat our pain w/ a variety of approaches - from narcotics, muscle relaxers, etc (meds); injections; nerve blocks; physical therapy; surgery; pain pumps; etc. 
When do you have your nerve block?  Have you ever had this before?  I really hope it helps you.
Any other info that you'd like to provide - we might be able to help you more.  I broke my arm 2 months ago, too.... on top of everything else I have!  I was dealing w/ 7 month old twins - it was a nightmare.  Something stupid - just carrying a load of laundry; tripped; and put my arm out to "brace" my fall.  Anyway, I feel for you!
Take care.... and, again, welcome to the board.... and I hope you find something to help your pain.  --Tina
Pain Issues: DDD; fibromyalgia; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; tendonitis
Multiple Health Issues: Disabled due to POTS (heart condition); dysautonomia (dysfunction of the nervous system); hypothyroidism; adrenal insufficiency; chronic hypertension; chronic fatigue; sleep apnea; anemia; Vitamin D deficiency; etc etc
Meds: Too many to list....
Personal: Mom to 6 boys and twins girls

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 7/11/2011 3:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Arla.

Tina has given you some great advice already. I'm not sure I can add much to what she's already told you, but just wanted to welcome you

CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bone spurs, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

Post Edited (CRPSpatient) : 7/11/2011 4:45:41 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/11/2011 4:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I am rather curious as to why you have been falling so much. Are your doctors aware of this? If they do not know I strongly suggest you talk to them about it.

As far as the lack of effect of your current pain med it could be either tolerance or worsening of the condition or both.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 7/11/2011 7:58 AM (GMT -6)   


       Morning arla!

            I want to get my "Welcome" in too! wink

       Tina,  and the others covered everything else nicely. The only thing I would like to add, is an invite to read the "Chronic Pain 101' located at the top of our forum home page. I'm positive you will find many suitable article's there. In the same post there is a printable "Pain "Journal"...and it might be wise to fill this out daily and present it to you're PCD and or PM. There is also a nice pain scale listed there, so that you can get a grasp on how much and how bad you're pain is.

     One thing we all have learned here, is that the general public rarely understands what "Chronic Pain' is, and that it is quite all right to be treated with medication for your condition. The members fully understand this, and will share,... that this is the best source for support on the web, and in our daily lives for that matter.

     It is a common problem for family members to question a persons need for medication around the clock as well. We encourage you to stay engaged with the members here, and ask anything you want... (Chronic Pain Related)...and share any experience that you may wish to offer the members here.

        Good luck to you, and again!...we "Welcome you!"

       SE wink

Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together"

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/11/2011 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
After reading the great responses I have gotten I guess the best thing to do is state what I have tried.Began Fentanyl patch in 2005 at 25 mcg,gradually increased to todays dose to 75 mcg.Went from 50 to 75 last week.Meds on patch 75 mcg. tylenol 3 for breakthrough, offered Morphine for breakthrough ,but declined..Cymbalta 30 mg tried 60 mg,but couldn't handle the nausea. Tried Lyrica,Zombie effect.Flexaril, Celebrex 200 mg.Anticonvulsants Lamictal 400 mg , Dilantin 300 mg.
Nerve block in 2007, done in day surgery,under flouroscopy because of bad episode with attempts to have a spinal.tap. We have Universal health care , but more things are being eliminated or very cut back.I have gone for a block in my area,the doctor gave me no confidence in his abilities.and going from day surgery to a strip mall really turns me off.Cannot afford physio,but has been strongly suggested. Used heated exercise pool.. Many vitamins,Aloe Vera juice.Main exercise was walking especially with my dog,but am not able to do that.
Another question,its pretty personal. but I am sure we all have this problem any great remedy for bathroom problems...I use Bisacodyl, use for 3 days before anything happens. Then after a day am running for Immodium.
You know everyone looks at the physical pain, but what about the psychological?
Trying to beat the pain,telling myself " you are a suck , get up ,you can get past it.Maybe its denial. The guilt of not being able to take my pup out,and living in an apartment,so his only means of getting out is me,how do we deal with denial , guilt, as well as feeling overwhelmed when wondering what the future has in store. Do you feel trapped?I am not depressed because I do want to what I used to., but I can't.Antidepressants are pushed , but they cause seizures in those that are prone to them.
I am feeling like a complainer , but now all my info is out there,maybe it will make it easier to help you all with giving advice. Thank you in advance for your time and willingness to help out.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/11/2011 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Arla...

Thanks for sharing more.  I only have a moment on here now... but I'll write more later. 
My quick thoughts, though, are:

Re: your meds - give the 75mcg a few more days to see how it does.  It takes a bit for your body to move up to the new strength (I've been up to 150mcgs of Fentanyl w/ oral fentanyl as a breakthrough).  Tylenol #3 is a really mild breakthrough med - any reason you don't want to use the morphine IR? 
Was the bigger dose of Cymbalta helping?  Because there are anti-nausea meds you can use if it was helping.
Re: bathroom issues - others here have great ideas.  Believe or not - and I think I've been at some of the highest narcotic loads here on the board - I've not had this issue.  Not sure why - but no complaints!! tongue
Re: the mental component - I just wrote a book on another thread that you may want to read.  I have depression and anxiety.  I do take Effexor for depression. 
All I can say is that I DO understand guilt (I have 8 I can work myself in a DEEP hole in about 5 minutes).... worry.... denial... all of it.  But, again, you have pain issues that you don't have control over - other than do go to the doctors, try your best to cope and so forth.  All you can do is your best.  I don't mean to "over simplify" it... because I struggle, too.  But, really, I waste so much time in "negative" land.  (and, again, I'm just speaking about ME).
Last comment - don't worry about complaining :)  We like to call it "venting" here on the board.  We all do it - and that's why we are all here... to help support and encourage one another through the hard times (and good times, too!).
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