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March Check in

Welcome everyone to the month of March.

I hope soon the cold weather will be over.  I live in Carolina and the temps have been up and down.  We have had days in the seventies and then back in the thirties.  I hate the cold as it just makes me ache even more. 

I spent all last week with my ribs hurting.  After exhaustive testing the dr came back to me with the diagnosis of marked degenerative  changes in my spine.  The pain I am mistaking for rib pain is actually the muscles knotted up because of increased arthritis.  While I am happy I have no broken ribs or cancer present in my bones the diagnosis has left me with little chance for improvement.  Honestly it feels just like my ribs are bruised.  My primary care dr advised I increase my pain meds.  I am sure my pain management dr will just open the pharmacy for me--NOT!!

The muscles in my back tighten up so I have had to increase my muscle relaxers.  This makes me tired and I am already tired enough from the pain and pain meds.  To me its like one more thing added to what I already have to deal with.  I am getting to the point where I don't even want to go out anymore. 

The end of this month I get my cancer treatment started.  I am going with the seed therapy.  The dr has to order the seeds, about eighty of them then surgically implant them.  I just cant wait for that!!! 

Please know I pray for us all here on the forum.  I was listening to a message the other day and the pastor said all the pain we suffer does have a use in God's plan.  He must have an incredible plan for me. 

God bless us all

dale

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Comments

  • Dale,  Good to hear you got a diagnosis on your rib pain.  I love it when you go to your primary for something painful and they tell you to use the pain meds you have.  Especially years ago when I was not yet taking them on a daily basis.  I tried to tell them that if I took too many meds for the acute pain, I would not have enough for the chronic pain.  They never seem to get that.

    This is going to be a busy month for me.  I have to get yearly blood work done, a colonoscopy, a Mamogram, and a surgical consult.  I am trying to convince myself it’s no problem but I have anxiety about the colonoscopy because it’s my first.  I did the Cologuard and it said my particular DNA has a higher risk than some others so I have to get the colonoscopy.

    That’s all I can think of for now.  I’ll add more if something else comes up.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    Cindy


  • dmoddmo Posts: 580
    edited 03/02/2020 - 6:03 PM

    Hi Cindy,

    Honestly if you get a good dr a colonoscopy is painless and quick.  Get the wrong dr and its a painful nightmare.  I have had both. 

    I have also in the past been told by primary care to take your meds for acute pain.  I went to the ER for kidney stones.  It took me two weeks to pass four stones.  They refused to give me more meds.  No matter the pain was off the charts---I had to deal with just my normal meds.  I know primary care drs don't want to deal with pain meds.  It is getting where they don't want to deal with anxiety meds either. 

    I have no idea why but for some reason I am extremely anxious today.  I need to get back on my amitriptyline.  I get feeling better and go off the med partially because I am tired of taking so many meds.  The other day at my dr appointment the nurse went over my meds with me.  I had two full pages of meds.  How crazy is that????   When the dr came in its like I have to explain why I need so many meds.  I looked at her and said hmm, let me see.  I have cancer, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, adjacent segment disease and canal stenosis.  Those are just the big things.  Headaches because of cervical issues, back pain because of lumbar issues.   Anxiety because of health issues.  Do I need to go on??? 

    Truly does sound like you have a busy month Cindy.   Good luck with it all.

    God bless

    dale



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  • Dale,  I'll say you have alot going on!  I would expect you need every med you take.

    Thank you for reassuring me regarding the colonoscopy.  I am trying not to let the anxiety get the best of me.  I would think that this doctor at the clinic should be good  since that is all he does.  The NP told me that the prep is the worst part.

    Please let me know when you are going in for your cancer treatment so I can keep you in prayer.

    I suspect you are right Dale.  God has big plans for you.  Bigger than we as humans can comprehend.

    Cindy

  • Hi all, thanks for sharing your lives. It helps to keep things in perspective and to know we aren't going through all this alone. Cindy, I agree with Dale about the colonoscopy. I've only ever had one bad experience (except for the prep) and it's generally quick and painless. I did the Cologuard this year so hope that's enough. 

    Dale, I can't imagine them not giving extra pain meds with all you have going on. I'm so blessed to have a Primary who wants to handle my pain meds and is so reasonable about anything I ask her. 

    I'm still struggling emotionally and in every way but I know each day is full of His mercy. My lastest issue is rather baffling. My ankle is extremely painful and makes it hard to walk. My whole leg is so painful. Went to the podiatrist, he took an X-Ray, everything fine as far as bone structure. He gave me a cortisone shots and a brace. Unfortunately the brace helps my ankle but flares up my neuropathy in my foot. I bought a compression sock which helps but my foot is not happy. It's just frustrating as you know to make some progress in one area and then another area starts fall apart, lol. I'm blessed in a lot of ways so I'll focus on that, or do my best to. Take care and my prayers are with you.


    Joanne 

     

  • I always thought drs would be universal in their desire to help with pain relief.  Then along came the opiate crisis and all that went out the window.  The political position is all chronic pain patients are abusers.  I know I fit the description of a street drug addict/pusher.  A sixty two year old male marred by surgeries and going to a hundred drs appointments each week.  It certainly will be difficult for the police to catch me given my broken spine and conditions.  I believe I saw my picture at the post office on the FBI's 10 most wanted criminals list. 

    This past week has been difficult but I have just lived with the pain.  I take what I have and don't ask for more meds.  My prayers make their way towards heaven and I trust in Him. 

    Joanne I am sorry your ankle is hurting.  It seems things like this just come about from time to time.  I try to walk each day as it takes the stiffness out of my neck and back.  I also have been having knee pain from walking.  I love to walk and not to be able to just makes me so sad.  I feel as if the end of my life is getting ever closer.  Not that I will die tomorrow but that I am becoming severely limited in what I can do. 

    "Fear not for I am with you always, even to the end of the age" 

    God bless

    dale

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  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 299

    Cindy, I've had a lot of colonoscopies because I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer almost 20 years ago. For me, the worst part of any colonoscopy was always the preparation. The preparation is so very much easier today than it was 20 years ago but still a pain in the back side....no pun intended! :) For every colonoscopy I have no recollection of the procedure once I was on the table in the procedure room until I awoke in recovery. Best of luck! Jerome

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 299

    Dale, I just reread your last post and I agree about the opioid crisis and I appreciate your sense of humor. Here in Florida it seems our politicians are going overboard in getting involved in the doctor-patient relationship. For example, chemotherapy damaged my thyroid, and I've been prescribed and using testosterone replacement medicine since 2007. As long as my lab results were okay, I had to see my endocrinologist once every 6 months for a checkup and prescription refill. Florida now has a law or a rule that testosterone replacement medicine can only be prescribed for 3 months so now I have to see my endocrinologist 4 times a year rather than twice a year. Like most of us, just what I need, more doctor appointments...just because. I keep hoping the pendulum will soon swing the other way but it does not look encouraging. Have a good day! Jerome

  • Joanne2 and Jerome, Thank you for your encouraging words on the colonoscopy.  It really made me feel better.

    Joanne2,  you are very lucky that your primary is willing to script your meds.  The only other person i know who does that is my husband's MD and that is because they have been friends for years. He did have hubby sign an opioid agreement and reminds him to take as few as possible.  Hubby tells me when he is almost out and I call his pharmacy.  He gets 45 per month and I refill them for him once every 60-90 days.  He had mitral valve replacement with a mechanical valve 5 years ago and his sternum still hurts sometimes.  It's not uncommon.  It's called post sternotomy pain syndrome. He also has arthritis in his arm(broke three times),his feet, and his ankles.  We took him to a ortho and they ordered him orthotics which do help some but otherwise nothing can be done.  Doctor said he just drew the short straw when it comes to his feet and ankles.  He is 6'4" but only wears a size 9 shoe.  Plus his feet are narrow.  Just not substantial enough for his tall frame.

    Dale,  Sad but true.  Doctors just aren't willing to write what they should for meds anymore , but then the DEA has them scared!  There are many good PM doctors that have lost their license just trying to do the best for their patients.  It's terrible that as pain patients we are automatically looked at like a criminal.  As if we are doing the wrong thing before they even really know us.  Can't tell you how many times I have seen a doctor for the first time and what comes out of their mouth first is , "You need to get off these meds.". After I explain my last 25 years or so, they seem more understanding.  After I list off all the drugs I have tried for preventative and treatment they will often tell me they don't know what I should do.

    I feel like God has a plan for my life too.  Funny it looks nothing like the one I had in mind, but I also trust that he loves me and is using me in ways I don't see yet.  Someday we will know all.

    Thanks guys for all the reassurance!

    Cindy

  • I also have a busy March. I had cataract surgery on Monday. I need to see an arthritis dr for evaluation of pain. Mammogram,coming up at the end of the month. Ugh. It’s also my birthday on the 5. I wish everyone good test results,treatments and surgies that heal. In my prayers,Dale, for your cancer. Nancyann

  • Thank you Nancyann,

    I know you have a lot going on and pain is probably at the top of the list.  My prayers are with you for your eye surgery.  I think its great we all pray for one another.  Not just for less pain or a great outcome for procedures but because we all really care about one another.  Certainly we all know our mandate is to love one another.  We fulfill this requirement by sharing our sorrows and occasionally we laugh together.

    My pain management dr is now offering extra services such as laser treatments as well as trigger point injections.  The sad thing is BCBS does not allow these types of treatments.  It is all out of pocket.  My dr has told me she does not make enough money with just office visits and writing scripts.  I seems hard to believe as she is a specialist  My dr claims she now has to have us come into the office every single month.  That certainly doubles the revenue for office visits. 

    God bless us all

    dale

  • Hi everyone,

    This morning I went and got a Toradol injection at my pain management dr.  The shot was very painful.  I have had Toradol given by iv but never had it injected into my shoulder.  It is supposed to relieve inflammation and I am hoping it works. 

    I opted to get the shot in my left arm and am so glad I did as it is very sore now.  I am right handed.  Funny thing no one at the office told me how painful this would be. 

    I hope everyone is doing well today.  It is rainy and cold here today.  A miserable day and I am glad I no longer work.

    God bless us all

    dale

  • Nancyann, I will be praying for you on Monday.  My mom just had that surgery.  What time do you go in?  

    I also have a mammogram scheduled.  It never bothered me til the one I had last year.  It really hurt and I had a hard time keeping still.  The tech looked and said that the exact pressure was used the previous year and it didn't hurt.

    I have that fibrocystic breast disease so I guessed it might be due to that.  Just not looking forward to it.


    Dale, Sorry your shot was so painful.  Did it and up working?  I hope so!  It's cold and windy here too.  A dreary day.  Think I will make some hot chocolate.

    Cindy

  • So far the shot has done nothing.  It is supposed to help with inflammation.  I walked a bit this afternoon, inside my house.  I try to walk from one end to the other for about twenty minutes.  My hip joints are hurting and my normal neck and upper back pain are unchanged.  I don't know but was hoping I would use less pain meds with the shot.  Not only that but my meds are due for refill in two days and I am struggling to make it till then. 

    What I mess I am.

    God bless us all

    dale

  • This evening is terrible.  My meds are taking forever to start working.  Every time I try to wait to take a pain pill I always pay for it.  Chronic pain is just that.  Always and forever.  Never relenting.  

    I have come to the conclusion that all injections are just a waste of time.  I never get any decent relief.  I know others have but not me.  I have wasted more time and money on them. 

    I hate chronic pain for us all. 

    God bless

    dale

  • Cindy and Dale, the cataract surgery went well. The worst was the backpain going into surgery. I hadn’t slept well and my back was in spasms. I could barely answer the nurse’s questions. I really needed my pain meds and to be home with an ice pack. They gave me a nice combo of fentanyl and an anxiety med in the iv and I was fine and awake. I am going to make my mammogram appt soon. I also have fibrocystic breast tissue and dense breasts which can make it harder to read. I try to put up with the pain because I know the more they squish you, the better the picture. Waiting for results is the worst part. I pray yours goes well Cindy. Thank you both for your prayers. Nancyann 

  • Great news about the surgery Nancyann.  Glad they gave you the meds to help your back.  I always load up on meds before going out to be as comfortable as possible.  I know sometimes you cant such as before a procedure.

    We will be praying for you also for the mammogram. 

    I am up early this morning.  I checked and my pharmacy does not open till 10 am.  I have no short acting pain meds so I am eagerly awaiting my refill.  I am really hoping no issues this time. 

    God bless

    dale

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169

    nancyann

    Good luck on your mammogram. 

    I have an appointment tomorrow with my PM doctor to decide if we are going to up the dose of bupivacaine with the morphine in my pump or try something different. And, what we are going to do about the SI nerve that is so painful. I know I will never be pain free but it would be nice if we could get the pain to a tolerable level.

    Dale
    Instead of injections, my doctor gives me Prednisone or a Medrol pack for the inflammation. For me, these work a lot better than the shots.

    You are all in my prayers, take care
    Sandra

  • Sandra,

    I am beginning to think maybe inflammation is not the big event causing me pain.  When I take the pred dose pack and just Friday I had the Toradol shot I got very limited relief.  I wish it were not true but opiates give me the best pain relief.  Heaven knows I have tried everything multiple drs have given me. 

    As for the meds for your pain pump I can recommend dilauded.  It is by far the best pain reliever I have ever tried.  I have morphine and it does ok but the dilauded gives me much greater pain relief.  I would trade my morphine for extra dilauded pills if my dr would allow this.  I guess its for the best though to take two different meds so my tolerance is not so great.

    God bless you all

    dale

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,169

    Dale

    I met with my PM doctor today. I have to say, I am so thankful to be one of the lucky ones' that has a doctor that works with you. We are leaving things as is for now except a Medrol pack for the nerve. If we can get that calmed down, then see how the back pain is. If the pain is still this bad on my next refill we will go with dilaudid.

    Take care and God bless
    Sandra

  • Sandra,

    I know this is going to be controversial however I hope to not ruffle to many feathers.

    I try to read as much as possible about spine conditions, pain management and pain medications.  I visit a website that has two kinds of people as members.  The two kinds of people are those who take pain meds for recreation and those who take pain meds for pain management.  Both kinds of people offer advice for the most effective way to use their meds. 

    The interesting thing is Dilauded is described as a pain med which is great for pain but terrible for getting high.  Morphine is next on the list and also described as terrible for getting high yet good for pain control. 

    It really is interesting how different groups of people use the same meds but for different reasons.  I personally am glad my meds do not give a euphoric high.  Those using the drugs for a high are constantly warning others how addictive prescription meds truly are.  While I use my meds to escape pain others use their meds to escape the hardship of life.  

    I have no idea how those using meds for a high obtain their meds on a continual basis.  Some people buy them off the street.  I have even read about people who are given meds after a family member in hospice has passed away. 

    While its not for me to judge others I wish those who habitually use prescription meds to get high would walk in our shoes for a few months.  I think their perspective might actually change. 

    God bless us all.

    dale

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 299

    Dale, I don't know why you would ruffle feathers because you express frustration with how pain medicine patients are treated! IMO, it is a tiny percentage of people that abuse prescribed pain meds, or illegally obtained pain meds, causing the majority of us to suffer because of that abuse. I don't want anyone to suffer needlessly but I often wish there was a way to have our politicians and medical professionals live with our pain for a few days. Perhaps then they would understand what we deal with every day. Hey, I can dream right!

    Jerome

  • Jerome, 

    We chronic pain patients use our meds to try to live as pain free a life as possible.   Others who use their meds to achieve a euphoric high may never realize the anguish they cause the chronic pain patient.   

    This statement along with my many archaic beliefs may very well cause others anguish and despair.  It is not my wish to offend anyone yet it does seem the truth often has this effect on others.   

    I often find myself wanting others who have a hidden agenda within the opiate crisis to feel the pain we chronic pain patients must live with on a daily basis.  It is my express wish for each person to choose their method of treatment and not be denied opiate meds.  There are many choices for pain reduction.  Those who choose an opiate free route have my blessing.  Obversely those who choose opiates should not be denied a medication which may increase their quality of life.

    God bless us all

    dale 

  • Good morning All,

    It would appear we are at a cross roads here in the US.  I was watching the news and it appears our president wants to open the economy by Easter.  Just a bit over two weeks from now.  He wants to lift the restrictions of the quarantine.  It would appear that big business is pressuring our elected officials into placing the dollar value above the health of the nation.

    Now this is not just me.  Look at what the health officials are saying vs what our government is saying.  Two different things.  I wish it were not so but if this happens then we will be a country consumed by this virus.  Look at New York now.  People are leaving and are settling elsewhere spreading the virus along with them. 

    Please people listen to our health officials.  We must flatten the curve on this outbreak now before its too late.

    God bless

    dale

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