Pain management- reasonable goals?
Chronic pain is something completely new to me, but I’m experiencing it all the time. I’m very open to all new methods and treatments which could reduce the pain. Despite my ministrations, I’m still suffering. The pain is caused by two herniations at L4 and L5. I think I’ve tried everything. Here is the list of the treatments and meds I got: heat, cold, acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, TENS, bed rest, walking, physical therapy, a steroid epidural, Tylenol, Ibuprofen (both in high doses), naproxen, asprin, Donnes, Icy-Hot, Arnicare gel, dietary changes, weight loss, soma, flexeril, amytriptyline, Prozac, Torridol, Tylenol with Codeine, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, and Dilauded. And I would try some more if there was a chance to decrease the pain. I have regular appointments with my doctor but she seems to be very busy. I’m afraid that all she does is directing me to other docs. She doesn’t even want to hear me out and prescribe some appropriate meds.
Unfortunately, it seems that only narcotic pain relievers such as Norco can stop the pain. It’s sad cause my doc said that after one month of taking it I will be addicted. I take 10mgs every 4-6 hours. Of course I don’t have any addiction history. I would do anything to be able to take the drugs for a longer period of time so I could come back to my normal life. I’m 25 and I’m a student. Right now I can’t do the simplest daily things due to my discogenic, non neuropathic pain. I can’t even get to classes or find a job. With my problems all these simple tasks are nearly impossible.
My surgeon is reluctant to do the surgery. He told me that I’m so young and he has never performed multiple fusions on such a young patient. He said that after a year if I will be still suffering from the chronic pain he will be more willing to consider the surgery in my case. The doc who did me epidural claims that my tears and herniation are not pressurizing the nerves so there is no proof the typical treatment will work on me.
What is more, this is strange to me that only my primary care physician seemed so concerned about the addiction problems with Norco. Other doctors weren’t so worried about it. They even asked me whether I would like to try some higher dosage of the med. That would be great for me, especially because these drugs are the only things which make me get up from bet in the morning. Without them I wouldn’t be able to do anything, the pain would be so strong and unbearable. I don’t want to judge my PCP but I’m curious who is right about the whole thing.
After such a long introduction I’m finally getting to the point of my post. I would like to know what should I expect after the treatment. Is there any way I can influence the PCPs so that they would be more willing to prescribe me appropriate drugs? What are the ways of treatment in my case? Well, I really need to get better or at least to take the pain relievers that help. I can’t sit home no longer, I have to find a job and attend to classes. The pain appears even after a half an hour of sitting. After drugs it’s more bearable but still, finding a job is problematic.
I’m not sure whether the PCPs do all they can to reduce my pain. Shouldn’t they offer me some kind of treatment? I’m going to visit a pain management clinic next month. I’m really hoping they will help me. I think they know much more about chronic pain and methods of reducing it that the primary care doctors. At least I hope so. Does anyone know whether they can advise me any reasonable treatment? Either surgical or non drug treatment? Maybe some of you know some other way to get rid of the pain. If you do, please write me. Thanks.