Asking for pain meds for fibro?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Andrea4, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Andrea4

    Andrea4 New Member

    I've had fibro for a couple of years and I've never had pain pills. I've had the 15 shots in the neck...the lidocaine or whatever and it never helped for long, so I stopped. I've been having so much pain lately. The lastest bout with the chest pain and back, neck, shoulder pain is just awful. I see my rheum tomorrow and i am thinking of asking for something for pain.

    i am not a medication person. neither is my doc. he has been after me to do PT, biofeedback, massage therapy and supplements. I can't afford them and he knows it. He know's i've filed for disability and that i am at the reconsideration stage waiting.

    I can afford a generic $10 script for a pain pill. How do I ask him for it? I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but this stuff really hurts. I know he's going to get on me about doing the PT and stuff instead and I always feel shame when he does that. He gets mad about ins co's being so difficult and i know he's not really mad at me, but in the moment, it feels shaming.

    and, what do they give people for pain for fibro? i havent a clue and i need to print out excerpts from the ins drug online handbook so he can see if what he chooses is covered or not. is there a particular class a doctor prescribes for this? thanks!


    Motrin 800's which is what she gave me when I was in her office crying one day and telling her anout how much pain I was in. So recently I have been seeing her Physician assistant and I like her better than my Doctor! She gave me Tramadol which is the generic for Ultram a pain med that is not as strong as the others, it worked for a few months and now it doesnt work very well anymore.

    I always feel like the Doctors look at you like your some kind of drug addict.

    Good luck, I hope that helps.
  3. My newest doctor told me that people with FMS should not take pain medicine, narcotics anyways. She put me on an anti-inflammatory. Whoo hoo. Good luck with the pain meds! Wish I had some!

    Peace and painfree to all,

  4. Andrea4

    Andrea4 New Member

  5. Bren2135

    Bren2135 New Member

    Hi Andrea,

    I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time. I looked at your profile, and can't imagine suffering through all that with no help. Please tell yourself that you are not to blame for the pain, and it's okay to you to be an active participant in your health care, without feeling guilt or shame. You don't have to be dramatic, just be matter-of-fact: Tell your doctor you want to find a way to control the pain, not let it control you.

    I too, limit my pain medication, so much so that my doctor actually encourages me to take SOMEthing on occasion -- he says there's only so much a person can handle physically and emotionally, before the pain snowballs into an even bigger problem. The man is a saint. :)

    People respond differently to the same medication, and you may have to try a few to discover what works for you. For me, a daily anti-inflammatory(feldene) keeps my sed rate down, and I also take Excedrin once a day. It's the only thing that keeps the daily pain at a tolerable level, without the brain fog. (HOWEVER, aspirin and anti-inflammatories can cause serious GI complications, so make sure you talk to your doctor. I'm now on a high dose of Nexium, which protects my stomach.) I also have vicodin and flexeril available for intolerable pain, which is more rare, since the daily pain is managed.

    Above all, don't give up -- if one thing doesn't work, try another.

    Best wishes and hugs,
  6. makezmuzic

    makezmuzic New Member

    Hi Andrea, I'm so sorry to hear of the difficulty you are having not only with pain, but with deciding weather or not to ask for pain meds.

    I finally broke down and told my MD I wanted pain medication. And I mean "Broke Down". I got real and let him know exactly what my life was like. What it was like for me to live with chronic pain. I cried, I just let it all out.

    It was the best thing I could have done. I am now on a pain regiment, being seen by a "Pain Management Team" and ALL my friend say the same thing - "WELCOME BACK"!!!!! I had no idea that the pain had changed me so much. I had become a TOTALLY different person. Both my friends and I are so glad to have the old Lynn Back.

    My life has completely changed. PLEASE, don't just "Suck it up" and take the pain, you don't have to, it does not make you "less than" to have to ask for help with your pain.

    Part of being in the program was my going to educational classes about pain. On the issue of becoming "addicted" to pain meds - its not like that. When you are in pain, pain meds do not really get you high, they just do their job, take the edge off your pain. Do you think you will stop having fibro? No, you may go in and out of severe episodes, but the posability that you will be in soe kind of pain will always be a part of your life.

    Please take care, sorry about the long post.
  7. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    I went years with this and serious back problems and I took Tylenol, and then Vioxx AND HAD A SERIOUS GASTRIC BLEED WITH VIOXX WHILE THEY WERE CLAIMING IT DIDN'T DO THAT.

    then I stuck with tylenol or nothing, or an Ultram when I couldn't bear it, massage, PT, etc.

    Finally, had to go pain med doc, for injections in neck, lumbar, thoracic, pelvis, SI, etc. which helped some but not enough.

    Finally, went to another doc who told me I was not doing myself any good by having inadequate pain control, and gave me vicodin. I started taking a half or whole one at night, and I could breath when I woke up and felt better.

    I think I am going to take her advice and start taking them more often.
  8. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I have really been afraid to take narcotics. I have a brother that has had a problem with addiction for years. I just never wanted to be in that level of need and controoled by a pain pill.

    I have not functioned as a whole person for so many years and after I was in the hospital and they gave me percocet I realized I really could have a full day with no pain. Is it wrong to want that ? I don't think it is wrong to want to be able to have a normal life ,to do things like housework ,washing cloths ,running to the store ect.

    When I came home and was able to take pain meds, I also was able to do things in my home In a reasonable amount of time. I could go up and down steps.I could do several loads of wash in a day instead of doing one and letting it sit another day til I could pull it out with less pain in my arms.

    I think it even helped to lessen my depression because I was for the first time in years able to do everyday normal stuff.I just had never thought about it giving me the freedom to live again like a normal person.

    My pain meds were given to me for another problem but they helped my FM pain . When the other problem was gone and I was not given a refill, after a few days I realized that YES it is time to get my life back. Instead of sitting and mentally trying to deal with the pain and day after day not being able to function I came to the conclusion I really do think it is time to ask for the narcotics.

    I was refused ,but I ask the doctor that was seeing me for the other problem fm was not his speciality. I realize I need to go to my rheumatologist and start the process .I still am afraid of addiction but I am more afraid of not having a normal life.
    after living 7 years of severe pain I feel really dumb to have not ask sooner. I tried all the other non narcotic things like Motrin ,ect.Nothing ever helped til I found the percocet by accident.
    I want my life back ,like many of you.

  9. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    what the problem is with taking opiate painkillers when you are in so much pain. This is precicely what they are for! Get a new doc. You need some real painkiller. And if you do your research, you'll find that the opiates are much better on your liver than ultracette, ultram, and tylenol containing drugs.

    Docs are just afraid for their lisences so they tell you you do not need opiates or that they will make you addicted.

    You deserve the quality of life opiates are likely to give you. Don't be timid about it. Go online and search the pain sites, they'll tell you the real story. Then you can go to your doc with a good education and demand relief!
    Best of luck,
  10. jens2angels

    jens2angels New Member

    one jerk I saw told me to take Tylenol. Um yeah, ok, cause THAT'S gonna work! Some are too quick to hand over the scripts. One just told, there is nothing we can do, what do you want for pain? Which is fine in all, but this was before i got my diagnosis for FMS and was like, well could you at least try and figure out what's wrong with me! Then the elavil he gave me was in such a strong dose I couldn't function for an entire day after taking one. After I finally got insurance through work I went to a doc that didn't treat me like i was crazy and actually sent me for a bunch of tests to knock of any possible other causes for everything I've been going through and gave me a referral to a rhuematologist. He asks me what I can tolerate and understands I can't take things that make me really out of it and worked with me on what I should take. Also told me if I ever needed anything not to hesitate to call and he'd get me right now. Now THAT'S how a doctor should treat his patients!
  11. kellyamos

    kellyamos New Member

    Andrea, I am so sorry to hear of the severe pain you are having. I was in the same boat as you up until last year. I was dx with RA in 1999 and then FM in August, 2005. My rheumy started me on 5 mg of percocet. But when the FM started last year, I needed a higher dose as my pain was off the charts. He would not increase the dose and I was in such misery.

    I do know Rheumy's normally will not pescribe the higher doses of narcotics we need to function in life. I made an appointment with a pain specialist last September and boy oh boy has it made a difference in my life. He is very compassionate and understanding of the struggles we go through each day. Usually pain specialists are anesthesiologists that specialize in pain management.

    My pain doc is not afraid to prescribe high doses of narcotics to keep us comfortable.

    So now, I see the Rheumy for my arthritis meds and the pain specialist for my percocet and oxycontin. This is working out great for me. I HIGHLY recommend you see a pain specialist. They are the only docs I have found that can help us.

    Oh, and the cost for a months supply is only $7.00 for my copay. It is a lot cheaper to get the generic percocet which is called "oxycodone" which is what I take.

    I wish you the best in becoming pain free by seeing a pain specialist.

  12. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    .. be prepared for your Rheumatologist to flat out say NO. That's what mine did. For years he just said 'no, pain meds aren't what you need'. Easy for someone to say when they are not the one debilitated by pain.

    You could ask for Ultracet, which is the only thing my rheumatologist was willing to try me on, because it is a non-narcotic pain reliever. HOWEVER, it IS expensive. Because there is no generic.

    If you doctor does flat out say no.. my advice.. seek out another doctor. Pain management doctors have been MUCH more open to actually MANAGING my pain, instead of trying to sweep it under the rug. Vicodin or 'hydrocodone' is fairly inexpensive and can be a helpful pain reliever.

    And honestly.. i WISH i could, but i cannot live without my pain meds. Fibro is just too painful to cope with, and you cannot have any kind of life while you are in that much pain. So trust yourself. You know yourself better then any doctor. If you feel you need pain meds at this time, then find a doctor who will work with you to give you a better quality of life.
  13. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    My take on the whole narcotic hype is that this country (not sure about the rest of the world), is way to paranoid about narcotics and other controlled substances. Both patients and doctors (especially), go a little over board.

    I understand that there are drug addicts out there that 'doctor shop' and buy meds illegally, but why should we suffer?

    If this country was not so paranoid, then people with chronic pain like us, would be lining up for narcotics and it wouldnt be a problem to get them. Basically we are being punished because of the drug addicts.

    We do not experience the high off of them like people who just take them for recreational use. They serve an important purpose for us. They give us our lives back and take some of the unrelenting pain away. The way we (meaning pain sufferers) react to narcotics is different than the way a drug addict would.

    Narcotics allow me to lead a semi-normal lifestyle and to work a full-time job. I wouldnt have it anyother way.

    Please just look your doc in the face and tell him that the pain is controlling your life and nothing is working for it. You sound like you are at the end of your rope. And if your current doc will not prescribe them, than ask him to refer you to someone that can treat your pain accordingly. May I suggest a pain specialist. You can go to a pain clinic, where all they deal with is chronic pain. Most know what they are doing.

    It took me 7 years to find a doc that is willing to treat my pain suffecient enough. Keep looking and dont give up. Fight for your quality of life. Believe me, it is worth it.

    Good luck to you and take care of yourself.

  14. Andrea4

    Andrea4 New Member

    i saw the doctor. he could tell at once i was in pain. he gave me 16 shots of depomedrol....6 of which were in my chest. he also have me a medrol dose pack. the shots wore off after 1 1/2 hrs and the deep pain in my chest wasn't helped by the shots. He told me to see my GI doc and have the upper endoscopy asap.

    I plan on calling him Monday. I feel worse after the shots now that they've worn off. I need something for this pain that isnt GI related. I cant even let my kids hug me i hurt so bad. :( I'm calling the GI doc on Monday as well. This is so fun....not.
  15. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear Andrea4:

    It is always difficult for us to ask for help, pain meds, etc. If you have been going to your doctor for some time he/she might be okay with prescribing pain meds. From my experience, rheumatologists do not really want to get into that practice. Do you see an ortho for your neck? If so, you might have more luck with him/her. Also, you might try to ask him/her for tramadol, which is the generic for ultram. It works very well for some, and it is not a narcotic.

    Do you take alot of motrin? This can cause problems with your liver. If you take a lot of tylenol, that can cause problems in your kidneys. You have to really balance all the meds that you take so that none of your organs are badly affected.

    Where in the NW suburbs of Chicago are you located? I ask because I am seriously considering moving there from Southern California next summer, when my daughter finishes 2nd grade. I have relatives in North Barrington, Cary and Island Lake. I have lived in the midwest before...and really liked the life. I went to school at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

    Good luck to you, and hope that your rheumatologist can help you with your pain.

  16. jennywho

    jennywho New Member

    I'm so sorry you're suffering like this, Andrea. The first thing I'd recommend is looking for a new doctor. I dumped my last doc because he treated me the same way when it came to pain meds - it's no help when your DOCTOR believes the stigmatizing assumptions people make about those of us who live with FM!!

    I do take narcotics - and while I REALLY want to get off of them, I refuse to just "suck it up." If I can get a doc to actually DO something about my symptoms, then we're talking. You can tell your doc, if you don't want to give me pain meds, then send me to someone who will - OR, find a way to decrease my symptoms!

    I take Ultram for the less severe pain, which works well (but like anything, you do develop a tolerance) and vicoprofen for worse pain - a combo of hydrocodone and ibuprofen. It works a lot better for me than vicodin, and it has the anti-inflammatory - AND, it doesn't constipate me. It hasn't really caught on as a drug, but it works well for me.

    And I continue to search for a doctor who will REALLY help me....
  17. Andrea4

    Andrea4 New Member

    I am in the Arlington Hts/Palatine area....not too far from Barrington.

    The shots wore off after 1 1/2hrs, i never called the rheumatologist about pain meds because now, my stomach has taken the forefront. i left a message for my GI doc today...she's out...she should call me tomorrow. My stomach hurts constantly, I'm burping, I have a hoarse voice and I tight throat. I also read that acid can reflux into the lungs and cause asthma symptoms.

    I read up on GERD and ulcers in my nutritional healing book and my symptoms fit. I've been avoiding caffeine (i do drink 1 cup of decaf green tea a day though) and eating no spicy foods, backed off on dairy as well.

    I do take a daily aspirin because i have thick blood, but its a coated one. and i read that Medrol (which the rheum prescribed as a follow up to the depro shots) isnt any good for ulcers or GERD so perhaps this Medrol is aggrivating it making the Protonix/Zantac combo ineffective.

    I only have a couple more days of Medrol, so hopefully after that maybe this will improve. I think an upper endoscopy is going to be required, but i hope's a 400 copay for it and I dont have the $$.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/12/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/12/2006]
  18. Hello
    I believe your Doctor Is trying to help you in the long run. Pain medication does not change the underlying condition of Fibromyalgia. Where Physical Therapy, and Massage Therapy will make a physical change. I am a Registered Nurse full time and a Massage Therapist part time. I have had great success with Fibro clients reducing their pain and dependence on pain medication. There are many types of massage, but I believe the determining factor is the therapists intent. I have had clients who have been unable to walk up or down stairs, do laundry, or many things everyone else takes for granted. One 90 minute session can change a life. Once a month 60 minutes can help keep the pain at a tollerable level. More often would be better but you have to look at your finances. Talk to friends ask for references and recomendations.
    Good Luck
  19. jessica0123

    jessica0123 New Member

    I agree and 2nd that motion! :) When you do go to a pain specialist you will and/or should experience them to be understanding and looking for the best pain meds for you. OtherDr. do not understand pain. I can not imagine not having pain meds.

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