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What should I do?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Pain Medications
Hi everyone,
I'm new here. I realized after reading some posts here that I have asked my pain specialist (actually, the PS does pain blocks, so I see the PA) a really dumb thing on several occasions, which can cause a red flag (I didn't know until reading this here): I have told him my pain medicine is not working. I am now on 20 mg of Oxycontin and 10 mgs (4 daily) of Percocet.

I am a 35-year-old female. I have bulging discs in my lower back, disc degeneration, osteroarthritis, and scoliosis as well as referred pain from my back (which took years to figure out that it was my back and not my stomach or pelvis that was having problems). I have been living in pain for at least 3 years.

Anyway, now I know why he and the rest of the office staff treat me like I'm a drug seeker. All I want is some relief. I told him on one time a while back that my Vicodin wasn't working and that I ran out early because I had to take extra to get any relief. He then changed me to Percocet, later added Roxicodone, and then Kadian. The Roxicodone worked well, but he only prescribed 20 for bt pain. I finally told him that the Kadian didn't help and that it only made me feel spacey. So, he changed it to Oxycontin.

When I asked him at my last appt. if he could lower my dose of Oxy to one and increase my dose of Percocets a day by two---which would be the same dose of Oxy all together---he just implied that I was probably getting a "kick out of it." I just said, "Okay, well, you know best" or something like that.

So, I am embarrassed and ashamed to tell him that I keep running out of Percocet early, because the Oxycontin does not do anything for my pain, but the Percocet does. I have an appt on Wednesday, and I only have half a Percocet left. Should I just keep quiet about my medicine unless he asks? Any advice would be appreciated.

I have been trying to make my Percocets last, but I have been have been having trouble doing so. I am in legitimate pain, and maybe I have been expecting my pain medicine to do more than it should. Now, I fear that I have a bad rep at the doctor's office and I don't know how to rectify the situation, and I don't know how to get adequate pain relief. I feel like the PA who is in charge of prescribing my pain medicine does not treat me fairly or like me, for that matter. I don't think he realizes how much pain I am in no matter how many times I try to tell him. I know it looks bad to go to another pain specialist, so I am stuck with him. I feel very depressed about this situation. Could anyone please give me some advice? Has anyone else been in this situation or something similar?

Thanks in advance!



  • I have been in this situation not long ago, I don't know if my post is still around but it is labeled "changing pain meds - short on swap" or something to that context.

    I find it much better to take your pain medicine as prescribed and let the doctor know that at the prescribed dosages that he/she has been giving you are doing little for your pain.

    Pain doctors get treated like Colombian drug lords these days because of the medicine they prescribe and are under very tight restrictions, and thusly you are too.

    I contemplated telling my pain doctor that I was short on my pain meds but it just didn't seem to be worth it.

    Do you have any pain meds to get to your next fill date or are you in risk of withdrawal?

    You can always call them (at least I can) and let them know whats up and he/she may be willing to do something more without waiting for another appointment, but you usually have to take in the old meds you already bought and trade them for a new script.

    Anyway, there is the right combination of meds out there that will help you but its really kind of a hit or miss thing with pain meds.

    Hope you get some relief!!

    take care
  • Thanks Bobby. I only have half a Percocet left when I should have 4 for each day until this coming Wednesday, so I will be short. I have my Oxy left though, but it doesn't do much. I am scared to tell them I've run short when I have an appointment on Wednesday, so I'm just going to suffer until then. I am not sure whether to tell him. My feeling is not to, because I'm afraid he will release me as a patient. I would rather have some pain relief than none. He is polite but not very understanding. He does not listen. I wish I could talk to the actual pain specialist about it, but he works on the other side of the office, and he only does the pain block procedures. So, my PA has all the control. I don't feel comfortable talking to him about it. I just feel pretty down about this situation. I wish he would lower my Oxy and increase my Percocet, but I don't see that happening. Sigh . . .
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  • Switching PM doctors is not a horrible thing to do. I had to switch twice before I found one that would really listen to me and be understanding when I told them that the prescribed medicine really is just not enough.

    If I were you (or myself 5 months ago) I would ask around (if you know anyone in a pain situation as yourself) and see if anyone knows any good pain doctors or if you don't then go back to your GP and tell them that the doctor that you are seeing is not satisfying or meeting your needs and that you would like to see another doctor. After all, its your money, pain, time, and life so you are welcome to take your business else where.

    Don't feel stuck with a doctor because that is the first you have see. The first Neurosurgeon I met with was a complete jerk. Couldn't have cared less about what I had to say, so I simply dropped him and went to another.

    But if you do this then don't tell your current doctor that you are short on meds because that will be the last thing that he/she writes down in your file and the first thing that the new doc will see...

    Glad you have something so that you don't withdraw though, I know that pain gets much worse in withdrawal than it normally is.

    Think about what I have offered up.... I'll be back online in the morning, you can PM if you want,

    take care
  • my doctor treats me the same way everytime he rewrites my script for vicodin he gives me vicodin and tylenol i enter change them only take the vicodin when the pain is 10+ on the pain scale i dont know what to tell you
  • I think I have just been expecting my pain meds to totally alleviate my pain, which is why I was taking more when the pain was really bad. I will just have to learn to suffer I guess. Being in pain sucks!
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  • i feel lucky i have found a great pain dr, and is very talented in this field. and from my experience i have found that being totally honest and building a relationship of trust with him works the best, a relationship like this doesnt happen overnight it took time communication and patience. it doest alwas happen as fast as you may like either. you made a statement that percocet works for you and oxy didnt, you know oxycontin and percocet are the same active ingredient exept percs have acetaminiphen, maybe you could try taking a tylenol with your oxycontin, tylenol is supposed tp help the oxycodone work better, sometimes caffiene has the same effect. check with your dr 1st and always take your meds as prescribes. you dont want excess tylenol either specially if you have liver issues, so listen to your doc.

    1 thing that i found troubling about your post is that you dont take your meds as prescribed and if you dr knew it would troyble him as well. part of building the tryusting relationship i was refering too, is showing that you are responsible and trustworthy enough to take your meds as prescribed. part of my med contract is that the office can call the patients in at any time randomly and without prior notice for a "pil count" to make sure patients are not selling thier meds and taking them as prescribed.
    remember your treatment depends on your dr being the dr and you not.
  • It's nice that you have a good doctor. However, I feel that your post was a bit judgmental. Perhaps, it was just my interpretation, and if, so I'm sorry.

    If you read what I said, I only recently realized that I was expecting my pain medicine to do more than it can. In addition, I have tried to explain the pain and my medicine not helping to my PA many times, which now after reading the posts here I realize was a big mistake, and he doesn't listen or take me seriously. It's a shame that when a person is going to a pain specialist that they can't get adequate pain relief and feel like they have to walk on egg shells or not be able to be honest with their doctor for fear of being labeled as a drug seeker.

    Please try not to judge unless you've walked a mile in my shoes. I am only 35, and I have noticed that because I am relatively young, I have had gotten these kinds of judgments from my doctors in the past. Yes, I admit that I shouldn't have taken my medicine as prescribed, and yes, I have made some mistakes in the past. Everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. My problem now is learning to deal with the pain and the prescribed dose when my pain is at an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale.

    My gastroenterologist sent me for many expensive tests and left me with a diagnosis of gastroenteritis back in 2005. So, I finally got tired of seeing him and when I had a bout of "gastroenteritis," I went to a walk-in Urgent Care type clinic and told him that I thought I had gastroenteritis because that's what my gastro doctor diagnosed me with. He then told me he thought I had diverticulitis because of the way I was holding my left side. He sent me to the ER to confirm it, and I actually had diverticulitis.

    The PA (I only got to see the actual gastroenterologist twice) at the gastro's office treated me like I was making this all up. So, maybe you can understand my frustration with doctors and PAs not listening to me. I had to have a major surgery to have part of my colon removed later in 2005 because of the diverticulitis and me being so sick I could not keep any food or medicine down after several bouts of diverticulitis, and that is just one instance of the things I have had to go through in the past 6 years.

    I am going to take my medicine as prescribed, and I am not going to say anything about my medicine not working, because there's not point. I have no confidence in my PA listening or helping me to feel better. I am tired of being in pain, and I all I would like is some respite from it all. It's very wearing, and it has completely affected my quality of life. Sorry if I sound a bit rude, I am not trying to, but I was a bit hurt and offended by your words.
  • I was told for over 9 months that I was just making up my pain and that nothing was going on and all I wanted from the doctors was pills to sell/abuse. My family doctor actually labelled me "drug seeking" and secretly told my parents (I am 20) that I needed to go to rehab and never have opiates again.

    You should take my advice of getting a new doctor, like I said, its your money time and pain that that you are dealing with so you shouldn't have to deal with someone that you don't like.
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