Interpretation: Break thru pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/14/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I hear this referred to a lot.  My interpretation is that it is severe pain that occurs even though you are on a regimen of wholistic/OTC pain meds/precription meds.  I am wondering if others are interpreting this the same way.  Are some people at a point where treatments create a "no pain" condition and when they do feel some pain that is "breakthrough pain"?   Just curious, and wanting to understand other's posts better.
Have a sparkling day!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 605
   Posted 8/14/2008 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rose,
When I first got into this whole world of pain and seeking pain relief I saw a pain specialist at the University of Washington.  He said he was going to start me on morphine and titrate(slowly raise the med every few days) until I was comfortable all the time around the clock.  But he also was going to write a script for some Norco(double strength vicodin) for breakthrough pain.  I asked him what this meant?  He said that even with the best pain relief regemin that sometimes your pain reaches a level outside the bounds of your reg medicine and you need something for right at that moment that isnt as long lasting to help you through till your next dose of your reg meds.  Unfortunatly for me I never got past this starter dose of the morphine before he dropped me as a patient. 
He seemed wonderful the first visit and mapped out a plan for me to be mostly pain free for the first time in years and then all the sudden on my 2nd visit he went nuts!! skull He said I lived too far from the university for continued care and when Jayson tried to question him( I had brought him along cause I just had this feeling something was going to go wrong)as to the hypocratic oath as in first do no harm and for him to leave me hanging like that would certainly be harmful why he was doing this,the doctor told Jay to get out of the room or he wouldnt even write for the meds he had started me on!!!  And I was out of all meds so had no choice but to kick Jay out of the room.  The doctor wrote me the prescription for the 15mg morphine and the 10 mg vicodin and that's what I have been on ever since.
Accept the morphine was supposed to be my reg med and the vicodin was for the breakthrough pain.  Instead I have for the last 5 years been taking the vicodin for my reg meds and the morphine every 6 hours to help the vicodin last longer and work better.  Its all backwards and I cannot find another pain doctor to see me with my state insurance.
So now the primary doctor that I see is happy to write the meds the pain doc set up but he isn't qualified to change it up to how it was supposed to be and because of this I dont get the proper pain relief I need.  The whole idea is to not have you constantly taking meds and to stay pain free.  With reg meds you take them, feel better then after a few hours your pain comes back and you dose again.  Its this up and down pain rollercoaster.  So if they are giving you breakthrough meds its because there is another stronger med that is meant to give you pain relief round the clock but in the event your pain increases the breakthrough med is to immediatly help you out before your next dose of the long acting med.  Sorry to bring my story into this but to explain it the way it was supposed to be for me I needed to let you know what my doctor had in mind when he first was setting this system up.
Soft Hug's,
Mom of one gramma to 4
Fibromyalgia,IBS,Stroke x2,endometriosis,Diabetes type 2,neuropathic pain,nerve damage due to tailbone removel,nerve damage due to fractured back,deppresion,high blood pressure,severe nausea,atrophy,chronic pain

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17524
   Posted 8/14/2008 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Rose, I take ibuprofen and Tylenol for pain.  My doctor gave me a prescription for Vicodin for breakthrough pain.  I am to use it if the pain increases enough that I can't control it without taking the Vicodin.  It's like a little safety blanket for me.  I know it's there if I need it and it hopefully with help me weather the "flare".  If the ibuprofen and Tylenol just stopped working for me, then we would have to sit down and figure out meds that would help me control the pain. 
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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