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The value of being honest w/PM



  • This entire recovery process has been terrible due to these restrictions. As I said, after surgery I was given a 5 day supply of norco. I'm not supposed to take anything else with the exception of Tylenol which does not work for me. I suffered through weeks 2-4 and started feeling better. Then at my 1 month post op, I was instructed to wean off the collar at least 5 or 6 hours a day. This made all of my muscles contract and tighten and it is as painful as right after surgery. The day after my post op, I called my neurosurgeons office and told them I was experiencing pain and asked for another 5 day supply to get me through this transitional week. I was told no, that I'd have to call my primary. I called my primary and they said since I'm only a month post op, I'm under their care and it's their responsibility to provide the meds. Ugh! Not to mention at my follow up, my surgeon, who was there, didn't even bother coming in to see me. He sent his young PA whom I've never met to examine me. Now this women whom I've never met before decides whether I have to suffer or not?? Plus, she didn't order therapy, which after talking to others, I now believe may have been a mistake. So here I am, 2 months post op, still wear my collar and can't turn my neck in any direction without pain. I'm actually doing worse than I was one week post op.
  • From what I've read these tests can expand to other drug categories. I'm personally concerned about the way my body is responding to nerve pain meds. First the Lyrica, now the increase in Neurontin doesn't seem to be going well. Maybe I have a bug, but after taking the Neurontin I seem to feel worse. I have an appointment with a PM Dr tomorrow. Honesty and my eagerness to try whatever is recommended is the way to go. Unfortunately I'm now becoming leery of trying new medications. :(
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
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  • To try and answer all of your questions; no, I haven't taken pain medication prior to this surgery, I've always been a fairly healthy person and ibuprofen has always been sufficient to relieve my pain. I wear the collar because as I was instructed to wear it 24/7 for the first month, my muscles were already substantially weakened. I continue to wear it more than I should because not wearing it too much caused me to be in severe discomfort, which sorry to tell you, Tylenol does Not help. So it's either keep wearing it at times or use ibuprofen...which is worse? Another of your questions, I didn't talk about pain management prior to my surgery because I didn't know it would be an issue. I'm 31 years old and have never needed pain medication. The point of me posting my comment was to express my disapproval of the restrictions being put on patients from the state are making it more difficult for people, such as myself, who need them and have never abused them. My surgeon, as I mentioned, didn't bother coming in the room for my follow up and I didnt ask for more pain meds until the next day, after I started weaning off the collar, and I was told by the PA I never met before that day, that I couldn't have a 5 day supply. My next appt is not until June and I'm sure I won't see my surgeon then either. As far as the collar, some surgeons actually recommend wearing them for up to 8 weeks and if it alleviates my pain better than Tylenol than that's what I'll do.
  • anelsen15 said:
    Yea it would be red flag for me to as a dr. Luckily a few really believed while I didn't fit their specialty their were some signs and my descriptions that led them to believe something wasn't right and sent me to teaching hospitals far away. Something that rings in my head today was a head neuro of huge hospital replied after I told him how embarrassed and ashamed i was crying that " you should never feel ashamed because we as drs can't find the problem yet, that's on us , for you these problems are real "
    i really like what your doc said about the problem being real, and they just haven't figured it out yet. i know when i started seeing my second surgeon, he told me i had a connective tissue disorder. only explanation for why i had multiple herniated discs with no injury to explain them. (now mind you i've been complaining of vague symptoms for a long time prior to my fusion surgeries... chronic insomnia, fatigue, etc.) well, 2 more years went by before i finally found a doc who agreed with him. most of the time, i would tell a doc what my surgeon had said, and i'd get these blank looks. and it didn't help for those 2 years, my blood work all came back normal. Makes you start questioning whether you are losing your mind or not. How can the docs not find something when you feel as lousy as that? finally tried a new rheumatologist, my original one seemed to think i was nuts.... and i explained what was going on to him, and for the 1st time i had a doc agree with my surgeon. And he did the bloodwork, that finally corroborated the original diagnosis. I've been seeing the current rheumatologist for a little over a year now, and bloodwork has been rechecked and still comes back pointing to the connective tissue disorder. its too easy for a doc to look at past bloodwork, etc, and say there is nothing wrong. i know in my case after 2 years of looking for a reason for all my problems, i finally felt vindicated. i wasn't crazy...
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • terror8396 said:
    it is easy to blame the doctors hospitals, pharmacies, the government, but the real fault like shakespeare say the real fault lies with ourselves. that meaning that all of the abusers and drug seekers are at fault. because of this, doctors are under scrutiny from the government and then because of this they have to come down hard on us with tests and a reluctance to prescribe narcotics and also the media showing all of these shows stating the dangers of oxycontin including the statement that if one keeps taking these meds, you will die. you always hear if he did not go into rehab he would have died or ended up in prison. so next time someone complains that their doctor will not give them narcotics after the patient complains that such and such a drug does not work or i am allergic to it and i can only have oxycontin because nothing else works. it seems that people lately are quick to blame their doctors about not treating severe pain, just remember who makes the doctors hesitant to give out narcotics, it is the patients. doctors, pharmacies, hospitals are really fed up with the scrutiny. i hear my doctor and my pharmacist complain all of the time. they want to help and give out meds that work. they really do. these drugs are there for a reason, to treat chronic pain and they can;t do their jobs effectively with the government looking at them all the time. will it get better? i do not know, only if people quit trying to get narcotics when they don't need them. remember it has been said a million times by the moderators, narcotics are not the be all or end all with chronic pain. there are all other ways to treat it besides narcotics.
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