How the Opioid Crisis is Impacting Pain Patients – my thoughts

Originally Published:  03/30/18 at 12:46 pm


I was starting to think the Doctors didn’t believe my pain, but I have been reading alot of people’s posts on a Chronic Pain message board and it seems every person with significant pain is having a similar experience to me.   This breaks my heart, because I know what it is like to feel doctors think your pain is imagined, or in your head, and especially if you do not look sick!   Heaven forbid I put on a little lipstick to leave the house.  I must be fine.  I also had on lipstick in the ICU after the accident, my mom taught me that lipstick makes everything better 😊

makes everything better (2010 in ICU) 💓

I realize doctors have to make sure to “cover their butt” also, and cannot go around handing out medication to everyone, but when you bring in the $70,000 of tests you have had done so far this year, I feel like most people wouldn’t spend their time doing this for fun!!   There needs to be some kind of happy medium, because before when I did not need them, every doctor was trying to force me on Opiates, and now that I can barely function without them, it is like pulling teeth to find a competent doctor to prescribe them that I have not already told to take a hike.

Yesterday, 03/28/18 I went in for an Epidural Steroid Injection with the new Pain Management doctor I have been seeing, and boy was it fun!!  (that is sarcastic if you could not tell, if you don’t know me well I am very sarcastic 🙂 ).

This has not been a good week, I have been in a tremendous amount of pain and though I have been avoiding taking strong pain medicine, I am absolutely useless without it currently.   The last few weeks I have been taking Tramadol, which is every doctor’s go to currently, unless you put up a fight.  It is a much less dangerous alternative to things like Norco and Vicodin for anyone unfamiliar with them, but also with about a quarter of the pain relief.  The pain doc told me to take a Tramadol with two extra strength Tylenol, and it has been helping bring my pain down from a 9 to an 8 out of 10, not much help.

When I went for my injection yesterday I had a chance to talk to him for a few minutes before the procedure and I told him how miserable I was and how it’s getting hard to do anything with my left arm.  His first suggestion was more Tramadol, which I get some bad side effects from anyways, but taking more just makes me nauseous.   The next suggestion was Tylenol 3 (Tylenol with Codeine). Really dude?  This barely helps my aches, let alone my severe pain, this is not my first rodeo.   By now I am getting frustrated, I can tell he is not going to actually help, and my voice is starting to break. Doctors have the ability to make me more upset than anyone or anything on the planet and I HATE THAT.

I tell him I know with what is going on with the Opioid Crisis doctors are reluctant to prescribe narcotics, and I am not trying to be pushy but I cannot function, and that I do not understand if I am telling him what I know what helps (Norco 10mg, my vascular doctor was prescribing these when this first got bad a few weeks ago).   He wrote the prescription for Tylenol 3 for 90 pills and left the room.   I’m glad he left, because that’s when the waterworks started.

It’s pretty sad that my Husband had to step in and went and spoke with the Nurse.   She said mostly the Doctor doesn’t listen and just does what he wants, where did we find him?!?!   I noticed her in the corner rolling her eyes at everything the doctor was saying to me, and I knew I would like her immediately!  She basically explained he kind of sucks, I have never heard a nurse speak about a doctor like this, but this is what working for a pain management specialist during an Opioid Crisis does to someone!

The doctor never came back to speak with me, but when they took me into the operating room and had me partially sedated he said he would give me the prescription, and wrote it for half of what I said worked for me previously. The nurse had gone and spoken with him on my behalf…. That’s right, because he didn’t want to deal with me anymore, he sedated me then told me.  WHAT!?   I feel better today, even with his recommended half dose, so I will take it as a win, but not without a fight of course!

Doctors are scared right now, which I understand.  This has gotten completely out of control, and people I know have died because of these drugs.   This is why I do not want to take them, but sometimes they are necessary.   The pain doctor I had up until Nov. 2017 had no problem writing a prescription for pain medicine, but that was his only option which is why I stopped seeing him.  He wanted me to rely on these forever, along with muscle relaxers, preventatives, sleeping medicine and anything else that I’m sure keeps his income flowing.   I want to feel better and never see a pain management doctor ever again.   This is a problem, when the patient and the doctor do not agree on what they are working towards, it will never work.

So I am going to keep working toward my goal of feeling better, with my end goal the same, and hope that these doctors can support and help me along the way.  My second Epidural is next week, so hopefully that one will be a better experience!  I am not sure if this new pain management doctor will work out, but I feel like I am making progress and getting better at speaking up and not just doing what the doctor thinks (most of them are just guessing anyways!)

Hopefully I will have a good update next week, the EMG has been moved again to Thursday.   I showed up yesterday to the office in Lake Barrington to be told the Doctor got sick on his way in to work.    The fun continues…… 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂


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