The Dreaded Dispute: Pain Management

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Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/2/2016 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello All--

I am new to this website but very experienced when it comes to chronic illness, especially Cystic Fibrosis. I am trying to be proactive with my health & join groups for support etc. I have recently joined one in-person group in my hometown for people with chronic illness who wish to incorporate Mindfulness into their daily lives & also follow some CF blogs & have now joined a couple of forums like this one, which seems great!

Listen, I could tell you about myself all day but I won't put you through all of that. I will offer pertinent information to my topic of discussion but I'll spare you all of my gory details ;)

So, I am a 33 year-old female who was diagnosed with CF at birth, after becoming very ill. I have Double DeltaF508 mutation. I have all the glorious side illnesses that can accompany CF such as CF-related diabetes, CF arthritis, multiple sinus surgeries (20 to be exact), breathing issues, have tune-ups a lot etc. My current issue I am struggling with is the dreaded topic that doctors do NOT want to address, in my experience, and that is pain management. What I would love for you to share with me is if you experience chronic pain like me, who controls/manages that aspect of your health?? I'm in a pickle because I currently have one doctor prescribing my pain medication, which is Oxycodone & Methadone for pain control. This doctor is not an expert in pain management by any means and she started prescribing it for me with the intention of me getting off of it and tapering down but now, as years have passed, my pain has other plans in store & has become way more chronic than just acute.

This doctor wants to meet with me this week so we have an appointment set up & I just have a feeling she is going to say this is getting to be too much for her to handle & that I need to see an actual doctor trained in this area. I go to a big University so you'd think that would be common, right? Well, not so easy. I had used our Pain Management Clinic in the past for low back pain & they gave me a couple epidurals & then said there was nothing else they could do for me & in addition, did not have anything to offer for my head/sinus pain that I suffer from daily as I have very infected sinuses. And this pain clinic does NOT believe in the use of narcotics in controlling pain.

And my CF doctor believes I have pain and doesn't doubt that but he also tends to say he is not a pain management specialist and is not comfortable being in charge of that aspect even though the pain in part, is due to my CF. My CF dr. is pretty much unofficially my primary care doctor so I don't have one of those I can turn to. So now what?? I do feel like it's feasible to try & take as few pain medications as possible so that in the future, they still work for me as I will most likely get more & more sick & will always need some form of pain medication.

I also believe in using other methods to help control my pain like mindfulness meditation, breathing, rest, ice packs etc. but those only take me so far. When I'm at work for a few hours each week, I can't be taking constant breaks due to the pain & that's when my pain medicine is so beneficial. Or when I need to do treatments but do not have the energy or wellness, pain meds. allow me to get through that.

So my question is: now what??? Who is in charge of your pain management, if needed?? What do you all think is reasonable? I would appreciate any and all information/suggestions you may have on this topic as I think it's becoming increasingly difficult and worrisome on the providers side as there's so many addicts out there. I'm very aware of that but I also recognize that I can only suffer so much before it becomes unhelpful NOT to take something for it. Oh and just in case you're wondering, I do not live in a state where Medical Marijuana has been legalized.

Thanks so much for reading & responding! I look forward to hearing your thoughts & experiences.


Hi Molly, I have made some paragraphs in your post to make it easier to read. Some of our members have tracking problems when reading. Thanks.

Post Edited By Moderator (straydog) : 10/2/2016 6:13:37 PM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16578
   Posted 10/2/2016 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Molly & welcome to Healing Well. Sounds like you have a lot of health issues going on but you seem to be maintaining at the same time, good for you.

I read in a lot of the various forums here at Healing Well & your post caught my eye & I wanted to respond to you.

There are actually two types of pain mgt drs, one does procedures & injections only & will not rx pain medications. The other does the same but will rx pain medications if the dr feels they are necessary.

I am from the chronic pain forum & the members over there all see pain mgt drs for their care. A good pain mgt dr can do so much more for a chronic pain. After all treating pain is their specialty.

I am not sure how much you have kept up with the all of the changes & guidelines concerning opioids & the drs prescribing them, but treating pain had become extremely restrictive. These changes took place several years ago. The drs must follow the guidelines & recommendations set out by the DEA, CDC. Now that they are involved its a completely different environment. We have a prescription monitoring system in place & they know what dr is rxing what, how much & who to. They are targeting drs because they claim drs have overprescribed to patients. Insurance companies now limit quantities per month.

You mentioned your dr wanting to talk to you next week. There is a chance that she is going to discuss possibly weaning you off of Methadone. Methadone is cheap & it can be a good pain reliever for some people. But, it works completely different than regular narcotics & works on different receptors as well. You mentioned being on it for several years, I do hope that you see a cardiologist yearly to be checked. Methadone can cause heart problems, with a long list of other potential problems such as hearing loss. Most drs do not know how to properly rx it to a patient or wean them off of it. I do not understand a dr putting you on it when there are so many other pain medications on the market that work well for people. Your dr could have been flagged because the higher ups are wanting to take it off of the market for chronic pain.

Your best bet is to ask to be referred to a pain mgt dr for your pain situation. Check online with a place like for pain mgt drs in your area. Call them & see if they take your insurance & ask if the dr rx's pain meds because you know some do not. You will not sound like you are dr shopping.

Its very much worth checking into. Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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