Starting with New Pain Management Doc

Posted by Gail, Alumni Mentor @baxtersmom, Mar 26 5:01pm

I have degenerative disc disease and scoliosis as a result. Pain is constant and has been for more than 10 years. I started seeing a pain management doctor who has discouraged having spinal fusion for many years. After seeing him for more than 10 years and never being offered anything stronger than hydrocodone, now he has decided he does not want to treat people with chronic pain. He is calling himself a functional and regenerative medicine practice now and only wants to treat people with injuries that respond to injections of various sorts. I have had his injections many times and gotten nothing from them. He says that the paperwork involved in prescribing hydrocodone and drugs like this is just too cumbersome and expensive to deal with for a small practice like his.

So just prior to Thanksgiving, I had an appointment in which he sprung this on me. He began talking about spinal fusion surgery as an option for me despite the fact that he had discouraged it all these years. I pointed this out to him and let him know that I was quite upset by all of this. I told him that finding a new doctor to prescribe my medications would be difficult during the pandemic because I would think my first appointment would have to be in person with a new doctor. I am 66 and at that time the vaccine was not available to me yet. He said he would think that by April or so we would be vaccinated and I would be able to find a new doctor. As it turns out I get my second vaccine on April 1 and two weeks after that will be fully immunized at least against some of the covid strains. At that point I will feel comfortable going about my business with a mask and taking other precautions. I have a list of doctors to select from but am wondering how to request what I need from the new pain doctor. Has anyone had such an experience and had to introduce oneself to a new doctor and request that they take over your medications without sounding like a drug addict? I thought there was a level of trust with my previous doc after all this time and felt a certain loyalty to him but that did not work in the other direction. I know a couple of other people who see him who are in the same situation but they do not experience near the level of pain that I do nor have they been seeing him anywhere near as long as I have..

I am not getting anywhere near the level of relief I need in order to have anything resembling a normal life. With my current doctor I am currently given belbuca (900mcg twice a day) and enough hydrocodone to take up to 3 per day for breakthrough pain. I am afraid to tell the new doc that this is not working for me lest I end up just giving him/her an excuse to take away my hydrocodone. The truth is that I used to take about twice as much hydrocodone as I do now, but I lowered the amount on my own when belbuca became available. My disc degeneration has progressed considerably in the past couple of years and I feel I need to be on something much stronger but am just wondering how to approach this with a new doctor. I really do need some guidance. Has anyone dealt with this dilemma successfully?

Considering the meds you’re on and getting no relief I would think you need to try other modalities of treatment not mentioned. I have similar symptoms as your but mine are due to 2 severe falls in my life and subsequent debilitating back issues (scoliosis, spondylitis, spinal bone Spurs, stenosis, shutting pain in legs, numbness, etc. I started walking, lost weight, started meditating, went to PT to develop an home exercise program, began using CBD and eventually added THC which enabled me to reduce my PRN oxycodone from 6 to 4 a day. My Buprenorphine 20mcg patch along with all my other self healing activity has helped me stay more fit and in less pain. I’m too old to consider having my back redone from a 1992 fusion so I manage this way. Good luck with improving your pain control.

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@jenatsky You sound like me I have all those problems plus 2back fractures and herniated disc That's why I don't let it just be medicine I know what tools to pull out that helps me Ice heat,hot bath,Light exercise going to P T soon for lower back

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