Please welcome HephaistionRNBSN ~help with a question

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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 10/6/2007 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
HephaistionRNBSN...I moved your post here so more people might find it and help you with some recommendations. Welcome to our family...I admire your integrity. Have you been to a teaching/university hospital? They take difficult cases not only for pain control but maybe surgery to stop the problem.

I am new here, actually I think I used to visit here and post in the past under a different userid, but I am back. I am a 36y/o Male RN,BSN who has had Chronic pain for 14yrs now. Was rear-ended the summer before my last semester in nursing school. I have DDD, 3 Herniated Discs L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1. I have had everything except surgery. I was one the first 1000 to have the IDET, which worked for about 1 yr. I started taking 6 vicoden ES a day to all the way to 120mg Oxycontin 3xday , 12 Norco a day, Soma 3xday , 1000 Nuerontin 4xday, Vioxx (Which was helped tremendously). I have had a total of 3 pain docs over the 14 years. The first treated me and weaned me from Norco after IDET. I ended up moving to Austin from East Tex at that time. about 6 months later I ended back at Finding New Pain Doc, this was early 2000, when they were prescribing Oxycontin/Norco like candy, It was that Pain Management doc's PA's and Nurse Practicioners that built me up from no meds to the above High doses of meds over 4 yrs. It did treat my pain, I worked as a normal human, I was able to spend quality time with my wife, I still hurt, even with those meds, but I dealt, them meds helped. I hated the Side-Effect maily W/D symptoms every 4hrs. The W/D's got so bad that I flushed my Oxy/Norco about 3yrs after being on them. I spent 5 days in hell, mainly weak, and constant Diarhhea along with hot cold flashes, but I had Hot/Cold flashes every 4hrs with them meds, so I was used to it. After 8 Days I went and fessed up to my doctor and they started me back on the meds at 2/3rd the Oxy/Norc as before. about 1yr after that I finally broke down and decided to go ahead and have surgery. The problem was that the Surgeon, supposudly one of the best in Texas would not touch me because of the amount of meds I was on, He said that he would not be able to control my pain post surgery. So I continued the meds. about 1yr later, I got layed off d/t cutbacks, (BTW I was not working in Nursing, I retired my license d/t ethical reasons, it would not be ethical to stay on meds and work as Nurse) I worked in Technology feild. So we move up near dallas about 2 yrs ago and go back to Pain Management Doc that gave me my Epidurals 12yrs earlier after car accident. This PM Doc would not prescribe Soma, Norco, or Oxycontin. The only use Methadone and other non-narcotic meds...Soma is considered semi-narcotic to them d/t side effects, eventhough it is not a Narcotic. So I am now off the OXY/Norco/Soma. My current meds are 30mg Methadone 2/day , 800mg Nuerontin 3xday, Skelaxin 3xday, Celebrex 200mg 1/day. I am in pretty much constant pain, I have been through 6 jobs in 2 yrs d/t pain and my wife is so frustrated she could scream because I am pretty much housebound d/t pain except for work. There is a positive with Methadone and that is No Hot/Cold Flashes and that is a huge positive. However, I feel crumby all the time, I feel worn down, no energy and yes male hormones fall down to nothing almost. I basically went into male menopause, at least that is what I call it, but my Testosterone was a low normal when on Oxy/Norco. But I am now taking a shot once a week and my Testoterone is rising. I tried Testerone Gel that absorbed almost immedialty when applied but I hated it, and I don't mind needles. So I opted to take the shot once a week. It is not like an insulin/diabetic shot, it is a 1 1/2inch needle in hip, but again it is once a week compared to a daily gel rub. Anyway, One of the reason's I am posting is that I am looking for a New Doc in Dallas,Tx that might be able to give me my life back again. I have found a couple that say the prescribe Oxycontin, Norco and Soma to patients, but I was hoping someone here might be in the area and point me in the right direction. I am tired of not being able to keep a job because of my pain, and letting my wife down because I can't go out with her on the weekends. I am very scared though of getting back on those meds and off the Methadone. Then methadone has always helped some, but not enough, maybe I need higher dose, however my doc won't up it either, my doc is very strict. I am a big man though 6'4" and 310lbs. My main prob is that I am having to supplement my other meds with Tylenol and Ibuprofen 3xday as well, but luckily my Kidneys and Liver and in the green still. They wont stay that way much longer on the amount of OTC meds I have to take in addition to my pain meds, Anti-depressants, Bloodpressure & Allergy meds.
I am a NURSE and I know better, but I have been in almost constant pain since I was 22 and and I am 36 now. The Career I went to school for and Have outstanding loans for I can not even do because of my pain. So If anyone knows a good PM MD in DALLAS please reply.
As Far as METHADONE it has it good points and probably is a godsend for many, but for me it is not working, and I have given it 2 long hard years putting off changing docs, because I did not want it to appear I was Doc Shopping. Also another good point of Methadone is you do not get the RUSH/HIGH from it as other opiates cause, however after going cold turkey off of Norco/OXycontin 2 times, and am very fearful of DETOXing Methadone because I hear it is far worse, and the Oxy/Hydrocodone were bad enough. I hope I gave some insight between Methadone and other Opiates. As another Wise Poster to the forum said it is a very personal decision. The Hot/Cold flashes went away about 4-6 months into the Methadone.
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Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.

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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/8/2007 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Houston is about 301 miles from Dallas, wish I could help but, I'm just south of Houston and going to a pain clinic in Dickinson, TX. That would just be too long of a drive for you. If I remember, I'll try to ask my physical therapist if he'd know of a place in Dallas that would be good. I was going to ask today and forgot so very sorry, my bad. I do send my best of wishes to you and soft hugz........
* Asthma
* Allergies
* Osteoarthritis
* Spinal Stenosis
* Mild DDD
* Enlarged
Pituitary Gland
* Fibromyalgia

Patient: "I always see spots with my eyes"
Doctor: "Didn't the new glasses help?"
Patient "Yes, now I see the spots clearer"

Stella Marie
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 10/8/2007 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry to hear of all of your trials. Unfortunately, I am in a different area of the country and am not familiar with doctors in your area. I would highly suggest a good pain management program at a major teaching hospital. They may be able to offer you some different suggestions. Have you investigated the idea of an intrathecial pain pump. Because the medication is delivered directly into your spinal column doses are about 1/100th of normal oral doses. Pumps also offer a wide variety of medications that are not available in oral form. Many aneathesia's are available for pumps and do an outstanding job at controlling pain.

Stella Marie

Dx:  Rare progressive neurodegenerative disease called Multiple System Atrophy (brain rot, autonomic system failure, neuropathic pain and a whole lot more).  Added improvements:  Intrathecal pump and a spinal cord stimulator and a new brand new power wheelchair with shiney horn,.

 Medications: Sinemet, Requip, Klonopin, Baclofen, Provigil, Lyrica, Fentanyl patches, Lidoderm patches, Dilaudid, Fentora and Zofran

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16792
   Posted 10/9/2007 5:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello, and welcome to Healing Well. I live in Fort Worth and I don't mind trying to help you if I can. But first let me explain something, all of my specialist are in a small town named Weatherford, which is 30 miles west of me. Why, do I go there? I was in need of a gastro for crohns disease and had emergency surgery for it while on vacation out of the country. I tried numerous ones in FW who said they could not help me because I cannot take Prednisone. I knew someone could surely help me and was ref to my gastro by a nurse. Since then he has made all of my ref for specialists to include an orthopedic surgeon, Pain Mgt Specialist and Pulmonary dr. I will take my small town drs any day of the week over the big city guys and competency is of no question. These guys actually sit down and talk to you.
You have UT Southwestern Med School in Dallas. They do have some very good drs there. I do not know what the time frame is concerning an appt. Be careful of dr facilities that call themselves Spine Specialists, the ones that are in a single office type setting. I will be glad to look some up on line. I could also call my pain dr and see if they know of someone good in Dallas.
I have an intrathecal pain pump like Stella. Its the only way to go in my opinion if you are a long term pain patient that is running out of options with medications, which is what happened with me. I do not tolerate medications well with my wacky body. There are no highs, no lows, no W/D to go thru waiting to take the next pill or watching the clock waiting till its time again. No taking more than you should, I can go on & on about the positives of the pump.
Getting off Methadone is going to be very difficult and this is something you should not attempt on your own. I recently read an artcile that said the reason Methadone is so hard to get off of is it gets into your bone marrow and that is why it stays in the system for so long. Thats scarey to me. You would definetly need a hospital stay to get off of it. I am with Gramps, you are a nurse you know better than to take the OTC stuff. Whats the point of taking it when it does not help? Save your liver. Thats another point on the pump, you receive much, much less medication with the pump as what you take in 24 hrs orally. Oh, my poor liver was so happy about that.
Let me know if I can help in any way. Susie

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