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Thread: Spinal Stenosis and long-term pain medications

  1. Sorry for lack of follow up to everyone's replies. Two ER and one urgent care visits in less than a week takes it out of you. First exposure to morphine. Not that impressed. The good thing was the urgent care doc was also a pain management specialist. So now I am on Gabapentin and a medrol pack which certainly helped!

    Spine doc this Monday is referring me to his pain management doc for an epidural. But that will be one to two weeks away and as the medrol runs out I get worried I will have another attack like after the first ER visit when the prednisone tapered off. Pain and fear, a horrible combination.

    Bonus is learning that some ER docs are just about useless. Next time I will drag butt to that urgent care. It may be run down but they seem to care and are willing to do something (even if they cannot prescribe narcotics).
    Like Allycat, beezabulb, UFC123 liked this post

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    Spinal Stenosis and long-term pain medications
  3. #22
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    beezabulb will become famous soon enough

    AMEN- ER DOCS BLOW!!!!

    Good luck on shots. They are hit or miss for most folks and I hope they are a hit for you.

    Morphine, it's a good PK but not if you are looking to get a buzz with it. I think it has less buzz but actual real PK effects. Dilaudid helps but it's short. Oxy is just addictive as it becomes weak quickly as your tolerance shoots thru the roof.

    I sugest NO fusion if at all avoidable. I don't know anyone that has not needed more surgeries later and it's often not that helpful. There are a TON of studies on it so if that gets presented to you- PLEASE research it. I am not saying it can't help. I am simply saying it's a roll of the dice and it's also very dependent on the nature of your issue. If it's just a crunched nerve perhaps. You should have had that fun filled needle test that's kind of nasty.

    That's to be sure you aren't killing off a nerve. If you are then you may need emergency surgery.

    Stick to the needles and such and I WISH YOU A TON OF LUCK. Nobody likes pain and medical problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigrig View Post
    Sorry for lack of follow up to everyone's replies. Two ER and one urgent care visits in less than a week takes it out of you. First exposure to morphine. Not that impressed. The good thing was the urgent care doc was also a pain management specialist. So now I am on Gabapentin and a medrol pack which certainly helped!

    Spine doc this Monday is referring me to his pain management doc for an epidural. But that will be one to two weeks away and as the medrol runs out I get worried I will have another attack like after the first ER visit when the prednisone tapered off. Pain and fear, a horrible combination.

    Bonus is learning that some ER docs are just about useless. Next time I will drag butt to that urgent care. It may be run down but they seem to care and are willing to do something (even if they cannot prescribe narcotics).
    Helpful Bigrig, UFC123 Rated helpful
    IPeople who sleep like a baby, don't have one...

  4. Actually I was not impressed by the morphine because of my usual atypical painkiller response. Which is usually no mental and little physical effect. The injected anti-inflammatory drugs were what helped. Agreed about the cutting as that can wait to last-ditch means. Funny you mention needles as I just started seeing an acupuncturist. Will it help? Who knows but it certainly cannot hurt and at this point I will try anything. Insult to injury is being back to college this week and EVERY SINGLE CLASS is in the center of campus, as far away from the (overallocated) parking as possible.

  5. #24
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    beezabulb will become famous soon enough

    I think acupuncture is a great idea. It does work for a lot of folks. Possibly try a float tank for some help here and there if you are okay with water and dark. Sort of a meditation medium.

    Sounds like you are doing everything right. Walking is good my friend. As much as it may seem not. If you did get "cut", I am told docs will say to walk till the cows come home from most of the feedback I've heard. I've gotten goofed up in the Sierras and it's taken me time. I know too many of my friends that have fallen and have some real issues.

    Good luck!


    Quote Originally Posted by Bigrig View Post
    Actually I was not impressed by the morphine because of my usual atypical painkiller response. Which is usually no mental and little physical effect. The injected anti-inflammatory drugs were what helped. Agreed about the cutting as that can wait to last-ditch means. Funny you mention needles as I just started seeing an acupuncturist. Will it help? Who knows but it certainly cannot hurt and at this point I will try anything. Insult to injury is being back to college this week and EVERY SINGLE CLASS is in the center of campus, as far away from the (overallocated) parking as possible.
    Helpful Bigrig Rated helpful
    Like YBnorml2 liked this post
    IPeople who sleep like a baby, don't have one...

  6. Well hopefully things will continue to improve. In that hope I just signed up for a 4 Saturday intro to Tai Chi class in February. By then I may be able to stand for more than 5 minutes at a time!
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  7. #26
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    valhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nice

    Hi @Bigrig I can tell you for me trams actually can help. I went 15+ years avoiding surgery. One because I was young. And 2 because I've also read nothing but horror stories. Well I'm one. I had my multilevel fusion in July with the XLIF approach because it's the least invasive. Well my surgeon didn't put in the hardware that way he has us come back another day to get it through my back. That was the worst part. I'm still only 37 and yes I'm sure I'll have more surgeries in the future. He said my anatomy sucks. When my eyes bugged out he changed it to I have bad anatomy like an 80 year old. Stenosis, herniated discs, facet joints pretty much closed. The discs he did take out we're solid and he had to chisel them out. I'm 6 months out and still on pretty heavy meds but I'll take 2 trams for breakthrough even though she gives me much stronger meds and it seems to work just as well. I wish you all the best. I know it's miserable.
    Like Bigrig, YBnorml2 liked this post

  8. At the moment the Gabapentin and Medrol have things in (mostly) check. As long as I do not have to walk far anyway. Of course the 21 pill Medrol pack just ran out and my doctor has yet to respond to my request for additional corticosteroids. So we will see if I spend another weekend at the Urgent Care! Although I understand their reluctance to prescribe such medication given how dangerous the long-term use can be.
    Like YBnorml2 liked this post

  9. @Bigrig I'm glad to hear that you're adding other options and it sounds like you are making progress.. @beezlebub has a good suggestion with the accupuncture. I have multiple fusions and used accupuncture and chiropractic to buy time. I still use accupuncture and a commercial grade inversion table.
    @valhead, I use tr@ms occasionally myself and, although I can't say they're better than other pks, they will have to do for now, and are certainly better than nothing.
    I've also lost a lot of weight and have been trying to walk more. It is likely the first thing you will be told to do after the fusion.
    I have a long list of things I do or use to help myself, and I'll be happy to share.
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  10. Quote Originally Posted by YBnorml2 View Post
    I'm glad to hear that you're adding other options and it sounds like you are making progress..
    Hopefully I will hear back from the Pain Management DR soon regarding the epidural. They have to deal with my insurance company first. Thankfully they are pretty responsive and not too restrictive on procedures. Yep, I have nmore than a few pounds I need to lose. If I can get pain-free I will be back at the local rec center for more than just the Tai Chi!
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  11. #30
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    jaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to alljaders is a name known to all

    Quote Originally Posted by jakemoe View Post
    [QUOTE What a strange and twisted world we live in where we have to worry about how we present ourselves to our doctors because they are running scared from the feds and lawyers.
    It's surreal isn't it? Most of us become actors once the doctor is present.[/QUOTE]

    Sad is what it is, really. Doctors want patients to be truthful, but that's really impossible, given how much power they have over our well-being. It blows my mind how a few years ago it kept being reported that folks were not getting good pain relief. Personally I think the ONLY thing that really changed in this whole arena is that heroin became much more acceptable to young people and the deaths from that are constantly linked to trying PKs. This idea that, if you're on PK's for a length of time you will definitely get addicted, is bogus to me. I know so many folks who use PK's exactly when needed and have done that for years. The folks that DO get psychologically addicted seem to have that problem take hold really from the beginning of taking an opiate. Just MHO, as usual... I feel so frustrated with the lack of wisdom surrounding these problems!
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    The cause of all suffering is attachment...

  12. #31
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    valhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nicevalhead is just really nice

    Thanks @YBnorml2 I finally got cleared for PT. Walking, standing or laying for 30 mins is about all over been able to do the last 6 months. Sitting is the worst. I still have numbness from about the middle of my ribcage down on my left side but the right side where he went through my psaos muscle is actually getting better. It's funny when they hook me up to the tens machine at pt or I do it at home, they always ask is that high enough? I have to remind them I can barely feel and if it's going to leave burn marks they need to pick a level lol even with all of my complications my pm Dr gave me an end in sight of 12-18 months total so that helps. I just hope this is the fix the surgeon swore it would be.
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  13. #32
    @jaders,Totally agree with you.Been in pain management for 10 years.What a big change in ten years.It is almost impossible for you to get the meds that actually work for you anymore with this idea that once your on PK's you will automatically become a heroin addict.Bull sh-t.Like you said take them as prescribed don't abuse them and you will be fine.I am living proof.Never been addicted to my meds nor had the urge to advance to heroin.It is the doctors and big pharma that make it impossible for you to get what you need,the doctors won't prescribe and big pharma has PK's priced so high that people can get heroin without the doctors permission and it is way cheaper than their PK's.Many deserving people in pain have to play to these doctors just to get the paper and then you have to have hundreds of dollars to afford the meds,unless you have good insurance which costs a fortune.It is all about the money,they don't give a shit whether you wind up on heroin,the more hoops they make you jump thru the more money they make.
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  14. OMG @UFC123, you are singing my song. Not everyone with chronic pain is an addict, nor do we want to be saddled with another burden. I've been prescribed pks well over 20 years. They're a tool, not a toy, for me.
    I absolutely abhor the way some (most) doctors treat pain patients. Our medical care has become a joke. Insurance becomes less useful and more expensive every year, if you can get it at all. We can all forget about having our medical issues treated in a compassionate manner. Adequate pain management, sadly, is a thing of the past.
    I am self treating now, for the most part. I just deal with my Ortho issues, avoiding another surgery, but I do have a couple of physicians, necessary because of my specific issues (oncologist and a gastro, who's also my primary), but I don't expect anything but testing and monitoring my status, leukemia meds, treatment for Crohn's flares and such. None provide PM, as I would define it. Tr@ms or Motrin, antiinflammatories, steroids are the best they will do. Inadequate, is the nicest word I can think of.
    So, here we all are, trying to learn enough about medicine and our medical issues to treat ourselves appropriately, or at least know when they aren't. Reminds me of the movie Dallas Buyers Club.
    I'm an angry vet, disappointed in the way things are going and trying to make it better.
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  15. Spinal Stenosis and long-term pain medications
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