I am so glad to have found a place to vent my frustration. I have had chronic low back pain for over 4 years now which has recently worsened in the last few months. The pain used to be tolerable and was confined to my low back. Recently it has spread to my tailbone, groin, and down both legs to my feet. The majority of the pain is in my low back and tailbone.
I have been on Vicodin off and on for the last 4 years and have been on it constantly since April. It helps but is not enough.
My doctor has referred me to a neurologist who put me on Medrol Dosepack, Lidoderm patches, and Elavil (for sleep). She also ordered an MRI (for Monday), a nerve conduction study (?), and physical therapy.
The patches have done nothing!!! They make my skin numb and do little else but irritate the hell out of me for their lack of effectiveness! The Elavil makes my head swim and I have no idea why she gave me Medrol.
I went back to see her today to let her know that the patches don't work and the Vicodin is no longer effective.
Guess what she said. She said "You have to be patient. What do you want from me. You should avoid narcotics. Didn't you hear what happened to Rush Limbaugh?"
I couldn't believe it. I came to this lady for help. I am tired of being in constant pain. It is effecting my ability to work and my relationships with my wife and kids.
She wasn't completely heartless though. She said she would give me a stronger narcotic but let me know (with a shake of her finger) that I would need to discontinue them ASAP.
I am currently on Vicodin 5mg 6 times a day. Guess what she gave me....
Vicodin 7.5 twice a day.
Now I'm not a math genius but how is 15mg a day more than 30mg a day?
She also gave me an rx for Cymbalta.
I took both rx's and walked out without comment. I plan on taking them to my PCP and asking for his help. Maybe he could put them in his shredder and write me something else. She made me feel like some addict asking for a hit. I just want some help with my chronic pain. I think the only good thing that will come of this is that I will finally get an MRI.
Sorry about the book but I am SOOOO frustrated!!!!
I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties in getting help and being taken seriously. Many doctors are terrified that they will get on their state's list as high narcotics writers and get eaten by the DEA. I also have severe nerve pain (1 surgery so far for a herniated disc) that radiates all the way down my leg and also in the groin to the knee. I believe the medrol is cortizone? If so, she probably was trying to calm down the inflammation. Other things I have gotten some relief from is cortizone injections in my spine, antidepressants- Cymbalta [I have heard and read that antidepressants (although I can't take them long term) can boost the effectiveness of pain meds.-lots to read on the internet on why it works-not just to make you ]. My doctor (bless him) is the head of some national society of pain management, so he loves to educate me. What happened with the pain meds was, in my opinion, unkind-of course you can add. Nerve conduction studies can tell if a nerve pathway is damaged-not talking to the brain correctly. I also do accupuncture-so-so relief, theraputic deep tissue massage-helps!- I have a hard back brace which I can wear a few hrs a day when I can't hold myself up. I am going to try physical therapy (Again). I am being fitted for a TENS unit tomorrow (sends electcical impulses to give the pain "white noise" to mask it somewhat. My back surgeon said if in 6 more weeks, nothing helps, he will have a trial for an implantable electrical device (a surgery). Some people can also have an implantable morphine pump (less med, but delivered where it's needed). I think I'm farther down the road than you are as far as intervention-I have been dealing with unreal, and constant pain since 2001. I got hit by an uninsured motorist. My insurance paid for a while, and after a lot of dealings, I got dropped by my carrier. I don't have the $ to pursue it. Anyway, if your doctor does not explain well, maybe you can "interview" a new neurologist that treats you more humanely. Some hospitals have "mission" statements from their doctors, and if you call the hospital and ask for this to be read to you, you may find a better fit. I keep hoping I'll improve, but this has cost me my job, my marriage, and some days my sanity. I am blessed with my main doctor who believes in me, and my parents who have taken me in after decades of living a full adult life. I still have (a few) things to try. Bless, and good luck. It takes a lot for people in pain to put up with being treated poorly. wannagtbetter