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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 9/5/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I finally got to see a rheumatologist after a month of waiting.  I am very depressed because he diagnosed my with fibro. which I fully expected, but gave me absolutely nothing for the pain.  I have been in severe pain for over 4 months now.  I haven't been able to work, and am not getting paid while I am off work.  I have been taking Lyrica for a little over 4 weeks now (my primary care physician prescribed it) and have really bad back, shoulder, and neck pain.  All the rheumy gave me was elavil, 25mg. to be taken before bedtime.  I asked for something for pain so I can get back to my job and he said he does not like to prescribe narcotics.  A friend of mine goes to him and he prescribed vicodin for her, of course she has had back surgery in the past so I suppose he feels there is clinical evidence to support him giving her vicodin.  He is a very respected rheumatologist and the only one even close to where I live.  He is an hour away.  Is this normal to not be given any thing for pain relief?  I have been holding out all hope that he would help me with pain management, but will not. He feels that the Lyrica is sufficient.  He was a very nice doctor and took an hour with me during my exam, but I am in so much pain. And I am not a whimp.  Can you others out there tell me if you were given drugs for pain relief?  I'm so sad. sad cry cry

bulging discs in neck & thoracic region, low back pain, arthritis in lumbar region, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety,
meds: enjuvia, pristiq, actos, amaryl, lyrica, hyzaar, vicodin
"Two paths diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by...And that has made all the difference."  Robert Frost

Post Edited (Waterbaby) : 9/5/2008 9:56:48 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/5/2008 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry that your rheumy is so unwilling to work with you on pain meds. Mine had me try a muscle relaxant called skelaxin. It didn't do a thing for the pain, it just made me sleepy, dizzy, and wobbly. He was willing to try a bunch of different meds with me but I declined because I've had such a bad history with prescription drugs and really don't believe that most of them are safe. I'm just not willing to take anything that will make me sleepy because I wouldn't be able to drive or function and I know that even taking such meds at night, it will still effect me throughout the day. I'm also not willing to try anything that could possibly make me gain weight. I've gained enough and if I gain anymore weight, I'll need new clothing which I can't afford. My rheumy said that pretty much ruled out most medications and that I should contact him if I ever changed my mind.

Kind of ironic that you want drugs and your doctor doesn't want to give them to you, and mine is more than willing but I don't want them. Currently I take ginger root extract when I'm in severe pain and I find it works well without any side effects other than possibly some heartburn which can be avoided if you take it with food. There are lots of people on here who take malic acid and say it works great for the pain and fatigue. I've only been on it a week though so I can't report any progress. You should check out the malic acid threads on this forum

I'm sorry that this response isn't all that helpful, but maybe you can try one of the natural remedies if you are unable to get the drugs you want.

Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 9/5/2008 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Waterbaby!

I'm so very sorry your rheumy isn't compassionate. He's afraid of litigation and/or addiction. What many doctors don't know are the facts and studies on addiction of chronic pain patients. It's less than one percent...yep, 1/2% of people who take narcotic drugs for chronic pain get addicted. There are very good medication that are safe and effective yet so often we're pushed aside.

I'm very fortunate that my pcp is not one of those who is afraid to practice good and compassionate medicine. You might consider talking to your primary about pain meds...again, if you already have. Also, start a pain journal right now...ok, tomorrow is fine...lol I'll put a link below to the one I use. It's free to print and fill in daily. Then take it to your doc so he can truly see what your life is like day to day, hour to hour. Hang in there...somewhere there's a doc who will help you.


Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 9/5/2008 11:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for your sympathetic responses. I know I am being a baby, but I really need to be able to go back to work. As it stands right now, there's no way I can do that being in this much pain. I am walking a mile a night, which is very painful, and I am doing aquacise (which feels wonderful while I'm in the water and for about 2 hours afterwards.) I thought when the rheumy saw how hard I have been exercising despite the pain he realize I am trying to get better and help me out with a prescription for pain relief. My primary care doctor is totally against any kind of narcotics, so I am out of luck there. I just needed to vent I guess. Also, was wondering what kinds of things others were using for pain. Thanks everyone for your replies.
bulging discs in neck & thoracic region, low back pain, arthritis in lumbar region, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety,
meds: enjuvia, pristiq, actos, amaryl, lyrica, hyzaar, vicodin
"Two paths diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by...And that has made all the difference."  Robert Frost

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 368
   Posted 9/6/2008 1:43 AM (GMT -7)   
sad   mad I am so mad at your rheumy but take heart the first one I saw said the same.  Now I see a pain specialist who specialises in arthretic pain and he put me onto a patch which I change once a week, the pain eased right up and I finally am in control again but I had hit rock bottome before I saw the specialist  and had given up hope.  Go see someone else, see if you can arrange for a couple through diff docs so if one falls through you dont have to wait another 6 weeks.  I know how hard it is, having to see the docs ect when no-one believes you but you just have to go into robot mode.  The meds are there, whats more docs can prescribe without authorisation on many.  At very least I hope you are on muscle relaxants and sleep pills , I cant remember if you mentioned your meds.  Keep at it, I had given up also, but now I can function again. sad    sue2z
Fibromyalgia, ulcerative colonitus, arthritus, bi-polar
norspan patch, valium, prothiedon, lyrica

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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 9/6/2008 7:01 AM (GMT -7)   
First, see if your regular doc will get you into a pain specialist or pain management clinic. That will give you some positive ways to cope with the pain other than meds or perhaps help you find the correct one for you.
I use ibuprophen, 800mg. WITH FOOD for most bad evenings but I'm also on Celebrex in the morning for my arthritis. If I run out of Celebrex my fibro escalates along with the arthritis pain and they amplify each other till I'm a mess. You already have vicoden for your break thru pain and some doctors aren't comfortable prescribing more. My only emergency break thru pain med is darvocet and basically, I just keep going. Wish I could be more helpful...

You might want to check with the peeps on the chronic pain forum and see if they have any ideas.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 9/6/2008 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Waterbaby, the elavil may help your pain. It takes a few weeks to work which I know is a problem for you. I'm on 100 mg and have been for 10yrs. In the spring I decided it wasn't working so I cut back on it and after a few weeks ended up in a flare from hades. Went back up to 100 mg and haven't had that kind of pain since. I actually have a lot less pain than many do. I have more pain from osteoarthritis in my hands than fibro. I can't take the celebrex Jeannie was talking about. Tried it and ended up in ER in three days with gastritis.
Elavil and tramadol is rxd quite often for fibro. I can't get a doc to rx narcotics cause of all the bad reactions I have had to them. I take the elavil/amitriptyline, 4000 mg of tylenol, tramadol, rarely, use lidoderm patches on my hands and use TENS unit when it gets really bad, and moist heat in any form.
I know exercise is good for us but are you over doing it??? We all have to find the happy medium for our bodies.
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 9/6/2008 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Often, the first visit to a new docc won't net any pain meds. This is b/c they can't just prescribe to everyone who comes in looking for meds. Will you see this doc again/ If so, second visit you might be able to explain you've done some research, this forum, to start with and many are getting relief with the patch, tramadol, and a few other things. That's what I'm going to do, and if he doesn't see the light I'm pulling out my file from my car accident in 2002, which is where the fibro took up residence, and insist on seeing a pain specialist. Losing 25% of my life due to the new catchphrase coming out of med schools these days "evidence-based practice", is not going to continue. I don't see oxygen, carbon-monoxide, or angels, but I know they're there.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 9/6/2008 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tyrio3, this was my first visit to the rheumy, but he told me I didn't need to come back for 3 months.  Meanwhile life goes on with or without me.  I need to get back to work, but cannot with all this pain going on.  These are not just little aches and pains as I think the doctor thinks they are.  This is major back, shoulder, and neck pain that has virtually stopped me in my tracks.  I have been in bed off and on for 4 months now.  I am exercising with great difficulty.  I just don't know what to do at this point.  The depression of not working and eventually not being able to pay my bills is devastating.  Thanks for your reply to my post.  Good luck.  Hope

bulging discs in neck & thoracic region, low back pain, arthritis in lumbar region, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety,
meds: enjuvia, pristiq, actos, amaryl, lyrica, hyzaar, vicodin
"Two paths diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by...And that has made all the difference."  Robert Frost

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17523
   Posted 9/6/2008 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Waterbaby, I take 600 mg. of ibuprofen (with food) every six hours around the clock.  If I'm in a bad flare, I take 1,000 mg. Tylenol in between the doses of ibuprofen.  I have been doing this for 21 years and have managed, so far to stay off narcotics.  I do have Vicodin in my medicine cabinet for breakthrough pain but have not used it.  It's just my safety blanket.
I also take the malic acid/magnesium supplements and that has helped me a lot with pain and fatigue. 
If you can get by without narcotic pain relievers, then do it.  I am never pain free but I feel comfortable driving my car and living an independent life.  Hope this helps.
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 9/6/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Waterbaby,

I've posted this in other threads and someone has made mention of ginger root. I have found great relief with a similar botanical, curcumin. It's an extract of turmeric root. Turmeric is one of the spices used in curry.
I take 3x 500mg capsules a day. It's done more for me than all the prescription meds I've been on in the last 5 years. It's given me a lot of my life back. Best of all, no known side effects. It only costs about $20 to try it for a month. Any health food store should carry it.

I won't tax everyone's eyes with everything I have discovered about curcumin and the other people it has helped but if you, or anyone else, would like all the info please feel free to contact me directly. I have done
a *lot* of research on this stuff.


Best regards,
Fibro, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol
Citalopram, clonazepam, amitriptyline, crestor
Curcumin, Q10, Vit B12

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 906
   Posted 9/6/2008 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Watebaby, has your dr. rxed other pain meds. There are a lot of pain meds that are not narcotics. I know, I've taken about 50. Most were NSAIDS. None of them worked very well,but I have also taken 3 narcotic pain meds that did nothing. Lots of time Fibro pain doesn't respond to pain meds. I take a little naproxen for my arthritis pain and nothing for the fibro pain because nothing works. Yeah, it sucks. Diane
Fibromyalgia since 1984, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Auto-immune eczema, GERD, osteoarthritis, IBS, RLS, sleep apnea

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 9/7/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Waterbaby said...
this was my first visit to the rheumy, but he told me I didn't need to come back for 3 months. 

Did he give you a reason on why he doesn't want to see you for such a long time? When I first started seeing my Rhumy I saw him everyother week until we found a mix of med that worked for me. I still have appts with him every 3 months & sooner if I am in a flare or the meds aren't working.
Ask your dr for something like Tramadol or something else that is non-narcodic. Maybe he will at least give you that.

Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, Pelvic adhesions, IBS, Asthma, Anxiety, Slipped discs, Irritable bladder, and GERD. 
Ambien 10mg, Tramadol 100mg (3-4 X a day), Motrin 600mg (3 X a day).

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