Well, today was the day I have been waiting for and I really need to vent. I've had this appt for over a month, after being treated for pain by my PCP for the past 5 yrs for my back pain and right leg sciatic pain...I won't go into all that again, but as I've posted before, the pain has begun to escalate significantly the past few weeks. I've been taking hydrocodone 10 mg 3x day, flexeril 10mg every 6-8 hrs as needed, and Lyrica 75mg twice daily. My MRI from last month indicates 3 bulging discs, degenerative discs, facet arthritis, osteophytes. After the MRI, my PCP referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. However, I had heard several negative references on that particular ortho dr, so I chose to instead ask my PCP to send a referral to the "spinal specialist" that my brother has been using for years....who just happens to be a pain management physician. I had already filled out all my paperwork, which included signing a pain contract and the paperwork had info about the PM doc prescribing long-acting meds etc. I even had asked earlier if he would take over rx-ing my pain meds and I was told yes, he would, if meds were indicated in my case.
Ok, so my appt was this morning. The dr. was nice, seemed compassionate and he went over my diagnoses about the discs in my back, which wasn't anything I didn't already know. He said he thought I would benefit from the epidural steroid injections and told me his office would contact me in a couple of days to schedule the procedure, after verifying with my insurance etc. He also told me he would NOT be giving me any scripts today, as he preferred that PCPs continue to rx if they are already doing so...if not, then he would do it, but he felt like what I was currently taking was sufficient. I was a bit surprised by that, as I guess I thought he might start me on a long-acting opiate instead of the hydrocodone...which was no longer working, and thus the whole reason I was seeking further help. In fact, when we were discussing my recent increased muscle spasms/cramping, I told him that I didn't think Flexeril was helping and that I thought it was making me have palpitations. He told me to just taper off of it...but he wasn't going to rx another muscle relaxer. Oh...
Sorry to make this so long, but I'm really trying to be as brief as I can. I'm really frustrated. So that was it with the med issue. Nothing. He also said that I most likely have fibromyalgia as well. After the visit, they asked me to give my urine spec, which I fully expected. And that was it. So I will wait on their call and get the injection, which I expected that would be the case. So here comes the biggie:
After I got home, I called my PCP's office to tell the Dr. (who I've had a very good relationship with for about 7 years) about the PM doc taking me off Flexeril and I asked if there was another muscle relaxer I could try, as my lower back and rt leg have been cramping badly. I was told no, that they all basically had the same side effects...BUT then I was questioned as to why I went to a pain management clinic! Even though they sent the referral, my PCP said she wasn't aware and asked why didn't I go to an ortho surgeon as she had requested. She also said that she doesn't normally send her patients to PM and if they did, she would discontinue all pain meds! Well I fully understand that, but I told her the PM wasn't going to rx pain meds. Still, she said she would not be refilling my pain meds, which are due in 1 1/2 weeks for refill. She might consider it with a letter from the PM doc.
Now what??? I am so frustrated and the appointment that I thought would help get my life back to a little bit of normalcy, suddenly turned into a big mess! This just doesn't seem right. Anyone have any feedback? Again, I'm so sorry for how long this post is....I didn't know how to make it any shorter and just really feel like crying.
Plus I'm hurting really bad...Thanks in advance for your feedback and hope you all are having a low pain day.
DDD, 3 bulging lumbar discs, bone spurs, facet joint arthrosis/sclerosis, osteoarthritis