How to get Pain Meds for Pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Highlights, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Highlights

    Highlights New Member

    Just wondering if anyone has any tips on getting pain medication for occasional severe pain.

    I was rear ended while stopped at a red light a couple months ago. The other driver had no breaks so she hit me full force.

    I did not have any broken bones but alot of soft tissue injury and pain. Yesterday I saw my Rheumatologist who has been treating me for moderately severe OA of neck & fibro pain related to neck arthritis. He has been treating me since 2002 for this.

    I started to cry as I was in so much pain and I explained that Ultram was not helping. He said "Well I don't use anything BUT Ultram, so I won't prescribe anything stronger." To which I replied that I would NOT use it daily, just when the pain gets unbearable. He replied "Actually, narcotics really don't help with fibro/musculoskeletal pain". So, I said "Alright then."

    Was it inappropriate of me to ask for something stronger than Ultram to use only sparingly? Or, was he correct in telling me narcotics would not be indicated or helpful? Being hit from behind has really turned UP the VOLUME on pain in the neck and upper back muscles. Cervical MRI was negative for disc herniation. But I do have pre-existing, moderately severe cervical osteoarthritis,bone spurs, etc.

    I rarely ever take any pain medication as it over stimulates me. I have never misused any medication I was prescribed. He does give me Soma, Ambien and Celebrex but I can't take the Celebrex due to GI upset.

    I live in South Florida and I think all the docs here are terrified to write for anything for pain other than Ultram.

    Frustrated and annoyed.....
    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2008]
  2. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    I am on MScontin and MSIR for my pain due to my fibro, MPS, end-stage osteoarthritis in both knees, ddd, bulding discs. Yes the pain meds to help to ease the pain. But they don't take it away totally. It helpps me to get thru the day.
    I would find another md if all I could get was ultram as it does nothing to help to ease any pain at all. I was told that to have it work you have to take it before the pain gets more than annoying. I also get panic attacks when on Ultram . IT is worthless to me. But that is just me. I know that it has worked well for lots of people.

    I wish I had the majic words to help you find a doctor that would treat you so that your pain could be eased.
    Try to find some one who will treat you for your pain as well your fibro and other problems.

  3. Highlights

    Highlights New Member

    Thanks Marie. I was just kind of stunned as he knows I'm not someone that would ever misuse any medication.

    I also have bulging and degenerative cervical discs too!

    I live in an area where medical care is very mediocre(sp).
    Just don't even know who to go to. My sister in North Florida is having Facet Joint injections this morning under light anesthesia for DDD and facet joint pain.....ouch.
    And a Pain Specialist is performing it.

    I'm not ready to have a doctor stick needles into my neck for injections. I'm in pain yes but I don't want any needles in my neck. I was told that if I went to a "Pain Specialist" that doing injections and nerve blocks would be all they are interested in.

    What has the medical community come to? Florida anyway?

    Thanks for responding. Sounds like you've been fortunate to find a doctor that appreciates true pain.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2008]
  4. KarrinneSleepyhead

    KarrinneSleepyhead New Member

    Highlights, you said,
    "My sister in North Florida is having Facet Joint injections this morning under light anesthesia for DDD and facet joint pain.....ouch.
    And a Pain Specialist is performing it."

    I have to tell you that I had this done twice, and on the third time, my doc burned (with lasers) the nerves off at the root. I of course still have arthritis in my neck, and it aches on occasion (and I have Clinoril for that that I take twice daily), but the severe pain that was all day long, day in and day out is gone!!!! I would do it again in a heartbeat!!!!! The severe pain was caused by the vertebrae rubbing against each other and in turn trapping the nerves between them.

    And I have to say I think your MD was blowing smoke when he said narcotics do not help musculoskeletal pain. I am a nurse, and I am certain that this statement is grossly incorrect. Most people who have an operation have muscles cut, correct? Or people who have broken bones repaired, what do they get? Narcotic pain meds. Your doc needs a lesson in pain control and/or honesty IMHO.
  5. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Hello, Highlights!

    I have had increasing CFS and FMS for six years now. In the last year, my pain has increased so much that my doctor prescribed hydrocodone, and oxycodone for breakthrough pain. He has also referred me to a pain specialist.

    Narcotics DO help with fibro/musculoskeletal pain!!! They don't take it completely away, but they help so much! I suffer so much more without them.

    Here is an excerpt from a previous post about my pain meds:

    I don't get total relief, but it sure does help for a little while. When I take a pain med, it usually takes 45min to 1hr to take affect, and the relief is best in the first 2 - 3 hours and starts to taper off. After about 4 hours, I'm in much pain again. But instead of taking another pain med immediately (the directions say I can take a dose every four hours), I try to wait another hour. I'm hoping that will help my body stay more sensitive to the pain meds; I'm trying to keep from building up tolerance so they stay more effective. I don't know if that is helping, but it seems logical to me...

    The pain meds haven't given me my life back, but they bring much needed relief at times. I don't know what I'd do without them! I am still not able to function normally, but the pain meds help me to cope. Let me put it this way: without the pain meds, I'd be curled up in bed 24/7; with the pain meds, I can sit in the living room and be with my family for part of the day and at least be present.
    I agree with Rosemarie, sleepwalking, and KarrinneSleepyHead - try to find a doctor who will treat your pain. There may be significant relief available for you!

    You're in my prayers,

  6. HurtsToMove

    HurtsToMove New Member

    "Or, was he correct in telling me narcotics would not be indicated or helpful? "

    No, he's incorrect. Narcotics ARE indicated for pain--unfortunately alot of doctors are just plain paranoid about prescribing them.

    Just reading posts on this site proves that they help ALOT of people get a better quality of life.

    If you do a search here on ProHealth for IP pain you can find some articles to take to your doctor to educate him. Also "Doxygirl" posted some good info about pain control, so try a search under her name too.

    I'd ask your doctor why he continues to prescribe medicatioon that doesn't work. Then I'd dump him (after finding someone else to treat you, of course).
    [This Message was Edited on 04/03/2008]
  7. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    You definately were NOT out of line asking for something stronger for your pain....the reason they manufacture pain medications is for people like YOU and I that are in pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    On the contrary your Dr is the one who IS out of line here......from what you have posted this is what I hear him saying to you.....

    " that's a shame that you are in so much pain with it because Iam not about to put my neck out on the line and give you anything stronger that just might help you"!

    I live in California and so Iam not familiar with the Florida situation but I can tell you this....having severe chronic pain is dangerous and can be fatal if not treated and or controlled!!!!!!!!!

    I placed a post on this board a while back....I have bumped it up for sooooooooooo many people on this board to read clearly explains why when we have excruciating pain it is "IMPERATIVE" to keep it under control!

    I personally go to a pain specialist....because my vicodin was NOT controlling my pain and I needed someone who was capable of being confident in being able to prescribe me narcotic medications to help me control it better!

    The problem with "MOST" Dr's is that they are more worried about "THEMSELVES" and have little to NO disregard to the patients that are suffering1

    I have said this so many times to people here that are in pain and need help.....and I will tell you :)

    PLEASE fire this dr!!!!!!!!!

    DO NOT waste one more precious moment of your life upset about him and the fact that he refuses to help your pain issues ok?

    GO TO SOMEONE ELSE THAT CARES ABOUT YOU..and your pain.....someone that has enough education and confidence to prescribe you the pain medication you NEED!

    I get so frustrated when I keep seeing over and over again ....posts on this board about dr's that will NOT help them with pain medications!!!!

    There is absolutely NO reason to waste your time, efforts and money on someone who "bottom line" does not care about you PERIOD!

    I will bump that post up for you sweetie...PLEASE read it..."yes" it is long but it is very important may even want to print it out and take it to your new dr....

    the title of the post is "EVERYONE PLEASE READ THIS PAIN INFO" and it is by me "Doxygirl" :)

    My heart goes out to you and I hope that you listen to what we all are telling you ...because you do NOY have to put up with this nonsense!!!!1

    Before I go I also wanted to tell you the difference between a dr that knows what he is doing and one ( like yours ) that does NOT is this...

    I have severe IP ( which you will learn about in my post if you read it) I also have herniated disks in my back and neck...I have peripheral neuropathy..and my list goes on bottom line Iam in severe pain every minute of my life....

    and this is what a pain specialist prescribes for me and IT DOES HELP IMMENSLY I take oxycodone 10 mg every 8 to 12 hours AND norco 10/325 every 4 to 6 hours and if I go into a pain flare I have a script for actiq which is one of the strongest pain medications made!!!!!

    But I would not be here today if I could not get some relief from this pain .....I THANK MY LUCKY STARS EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR A DR WHO CARES AND IS CONFIDENT ENOUGH TO HELP ME!!!!!

    If you ever have any questions please just let me know...

    Iam soooo sorry this dr treated you this way there is no excuse for it


    ps Iam bumping that post for you right now!
  8. Highlights

    Highlights New Member

    Hey there....

    My sister in North Florida (Jacksonville) called me yesterday afternoon and said her neck pain was gone after the Facet joint injections. She was thrilled. She said it was the first day in 1-2 years she did not need pain meds or muscle relaxants. She said it only tookd 20 minutes, and did not even hurt. The Pain Specialist didn't even need to give her any sedation. He gently numbed her neck which she said did not hurt. Then he did his injections which she swears only hurt in 2 places but nothing severe. Then he offered her a prescription for Percodan to have on hand should she need it.

    Now that's good medical care.....:)

    She was raving about the pain relief yesterday. I told her that if my situation turns out to be Facet joints that need injecting, I will drive the 240 miles up to Jacksonville to have the same doctor perform it.

    Where I live, Medical Care is a JOKE! Small town. Even my hubby who is a medical doctor agrees the level of care is is "lack-luster".

    So glad that you also had a good outcome with the injections and laser treatments on you neck. There probably isn't anything that will provide 100% relief of constant neck pain, but even moderate relief is a blessing! Sounds like you have a good doctor. May I ask what he specializes in?

    I agree with you. My Rheumy is either ignorant regarding pain management OR he doesn't want to risk his license by writing for a 'controlled' substance. I guess I'm going to have to go to a big city where people practice "REAL Medicine".

    Thanks so much for your input.
  9. Highlights

    Highlights New Member

    Hi SW,

    I have to agree with you. I need to locate a new doctor.
    It's just difficult because my town is so damn small, there are not others to choose from.

    I will need to drive an hour or more to a larger city and start shopping for a doctor there. I don't know how you find a decent doctor when they are in another city. Driving is not an issue, I don't mind driving at all. I just don't know how you locate a decent doctor there.

    The thought of just picking someone out of the yellow pages is a little scary, ya know? I don't know anyone who lives in the city.

    May I ask what type of Specialist you finally found that was willing to properly prescribe for your pain? Rheumatologist, Pain Specialist, other?

    I found a pysiatrist (sp)out of town and made an appointment. The earliest he had was the end of April. I took it. But get this.....he doesn't accept insurance. It's $400 up front, cash or check only and then $150 for follow up visits. And there are NOT any others to choose from.

    Thanks so much for replying.

  10. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Its made me angry that I cannot for the life of me get anything more than Ultram!!
    (They do not help)!!

    and whats crazy,... is they'll prescribe tons of people ultrams saying thay are'nt addictive??? when you search info on the drug tramadol/ultram,... I've read several times that they are addicting.
    You can't just stop taking them if you've been taking them awhile. not without withdrawel symptoms.

    Personally I'm tired hearing of narcotics and addiction. I simply want relief and it so happens that none of the milder meds help my pain. so give me the strong stuff.!! I want to function again!
    I'm certainly not looking for a buzz.

    more frustrated and annoyed,
    :) Tandy
  11. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Your husband is a doctor?
    Is there a law that prevents your husband from helping you?
    Does he have any associates that he works with that could help you until you find someone?
    [This Message was Edited on 04/03/2008]
  12. Highlights

    Highlights New Member

    Hi Debbie,

    Thank you for your reply. Again, do you mind me asking what type of doctor i.e., Pain Specialist, Neurologist, Rheumatologist, GP is prescribing correctly for your pain? Do you see more than one doctor for your FM CFS?

    The more I think about this pain medication issue, I think because I live in South Florida the legal climate is so high here, that most doctors are terrified of either losing their license (DEA keeps tabs on everything they write) OR being sued. Medical malpractice is big business where I live. Which in turn, and understandably makes the doctors here highly reluctant to prescribe anything.

    I think if I had cancer (God forbid), neuropathy, or broken bones, they would be willing to write for pain meds. However, I think because I have severe osteoarthritis of the neck and now 'whiplash' (soft tissue injury to neck and upper torso) from the car accident, doctors here do not feel this kind of pain/injury warrants narcotic pain medication. I don't agree with this thinking but maybe that's what is going on? The accident really kicked the FM pain up!

    I'm not lying or exaggerating my recent increase in pain since the accident but I feel like any doctor I see will think I am. My husband told me last night no doctor wants to 'get involved' or validate my pain increase because I was in an auto accident. The doctors don't want to have to spend their time giving a deposition, or validating my pain as a result of soft tissue damage. He said it's wrong but it is reality.

    That's all that I can figure out because I am so neurotic about taking meds. Like you, I worry about them losing their effectiveness, etc. So, I only take them when I'm in agony. Many days I take nothing and just live with constant 24 hour pain! Use the heating pad, soak in hot water, microwave heat packs for my neck, etc. I get NOTHING accomplished around the house.

    You mentioned that your CFS and FM have been increasing for 6 years now. I never had any muscle pain until 2001. Seven years ago it started. Have you seen the pain specialist yet that you were referred to? If yes, did he suggest anything new or different to help you or did you feel he was a waste of time?

    As I mentioned above, I live in a small town and will have to try and find a decent doctor in a big city where they practice real medicine! There isn't anyone else here to see.

    I appreciate you advice and support. If you don't mind, please let me know what type (specialist) you're seeing and if you feel they help.


  13. Highlights

    Highlights New Member


    Yeah, my hubby is a doctor, a gastroenterologist and yes there are laws that prevent him from helping me.

    By FLORIDA law he is not allowed to even write a prescription for an anti-biotic for any family member, no less anything for pain. He would go to jail.

    New York laws are different. Our son is in college in New York and we took him to an Allergist up there freshmen year. The Allergist asked my husband "Why don't you just prescribe these meds for your son?" My husband explained by Florida law he could not do that. The new york doctor was shocked, said he had never heard of such a thing.

    As I said, for doctors here I am in a very tiny, small town. There isn't anything to choose from. So, I will have to find someone in a neighboring big city.

    I did find a Psyiatrist (sp) in another city south of me and they gave me an appointment for end of April. $400 cash up front (they don't accept insurance, but will file for my reimbursement) and $150 for all follow up visits; cash or check only, no credit card.

    THat's Medical Care in south Florida.......
  14. Highlights

    Highlights New Member


    Love your "name"....perfect for FM!!

    I will search on ProHealth for IP pain and Doxygirl info about pain control. Thanks for the resource. I was not aware of it. Yesterday, I did search through 9 pages of Doxygirl's Post for Best Doctors people have found in this country.

    The only one in listed in Florida as good, I called. He's out on permanent medical leave and retiring. He was about 70 miles South of me and I was willing to drive there. But as fate would have it, he's gone now.

    I will keep searching though. May I ask what type/speciality of doctor prescribes real pain medication for you? Just trying to figure out who to look for.

    Thanks so much!
    [This Message was Edited on 04/03/2008]
  15. Highlights

    Highlights New Member

    Good Morning Tandy,

    You must live in "Florida" :)........kidding of course but where I live unless you've got some major, life threating pain situation, no one here is going to give you anything but "Ultram".

    You are so right about the docs giving out tons of Ultram and it being addicting. You would think Ultram is like drinking a glass of water when it comes to them prescribing it.

    I was furious with my rheumatologist this week. I asked him this way "Would it be possible to give me a non-refillable, small prescription for either Vicodin or Percodan to only take when the pain cannot be resolved by other means?" You would have thought I had asked him for Demerol or Morhpine or cocaine.

    I felt embarrased, guilty and kind of ashamed when he retored "Well, I don't prescribe anything stronger than Ultram for pain. If you need anything stronger, you need to see someone else" I said "I would NOT take it unless other measures failed first. I would not take it daily". He said "no". I felt like I had done something wrong or like some kind of drug seeking addict and nothing could be farther from the truth!

    So disgusted with the Local medical community at the moment. I know there are good doctors out there (in other states, ha-ha) just none here. I just don't understand the doctor's thinking on this. And I do want to find a new doctor. I feel I'm wasting valuable time, money, effort, energy and getting nowhere towards improvement.

    Sorry for the rant but glad you and others do understand. This is not something you can discuss with your 'friends' because none of mine understand. None of mine have any PAIN or if they do, they just pop an Advil and poof, pain all gone.

    SHOOT ME PLEASE!!! kidding, kidding
  16. Highlights

    Highlights New Member

    Good Morning Doxygirl,

    God Bless You for your kindness,information on pain and support!

    I just live in a really crappy, small town where medical care is in stoneage (not too bitter). I found a pysiatrist out of town. Don't know if he's worth salt but I'm going to try him. $400 cash/check up front, no credit cards, no insurance accepted and $150 for follow up visits.
    However, they graciously will file my insurance for my own reimbursement! So generous of them isn't it?

    I think I need to MOVE to California. Florida and South Florida in particular are really tough on doctors writing for controlled substances. Everyone is afraid of having their license revoked. Medical litigation is big business here.

    You're right, my doctor is not going to go out on a limb to treat my pain and made no bones about it. You are dead on when you say they are more worried about themselves than the patient, so true!! Maybe the new guy, out of town will be better and he might be the same. Afterall, he is a Florida doctor.....and I'm a native of Florida.

    Like I said, unless you have cancer, surgery or something major acute, I don't think anyone here will prescribe anything but Ultram for pain. I guess severe osteoarthritis of neck, cervical soft tissue damage, severe Degenerative disc disease, FM, constant muscle spasms don't rate high enough for pain control.

    I do plan to DUMP this rheumatologist. He only works 4 hours a day and was in a bad car accident. He had his neck fused and is also in constant pain and I do feel for him. He has been nice to me and tried different meds (not pain meds obviously). If I can find someone who will work with me and help me, I will never see this guy again! Because I am wasting precious time, energy, money, everything for what????

    Thank you so much for bumping the post up for me. I will print it out, read it and keep it with me when I see the new doctor (who by the way is also Board Certified in Pain Management as well). Maybe I'll luck out. Just have to wait a month to see him.

    You are so blessed to have located a doctor that understands your pain and has no FEAR of treating you for it. Bless him/her every day.

    I am so encouraged and inspired by your support and all of the members who have responded.

    I can't talk to my friends about this because they don't have constant pain and really don't understand. I fear they will think I'm "psychosomatic". If they have pain, they just take tylenol or advil and feel great. When I have shared, they just look at me and said "Well, I don't know. I don't have pain, so I can't relate. Maybe you should be exercising". So, I just don't discuss this with anyone. But on the message board the information and support is wonderful. This is truly a blessing for which I am grateful.

    Thank you Doxygirl and have a wonderful day. I'll keep trying to get the proper help.

  17. HurtsToMove

    HurtsToMove New Member

    I go to a rheumatologist that I absolutely LOVE. We have a great rapport and genuinely like each other as people. It's important to "click" with someone who will be overseeing your care for a long time. I got really lucky since he was a referral from my primary and I never had to "doctor shop" for proper treatment.

    A physiatrist is a good selection for you. If that doesn't work out I'd look into a pain specialist, but call the office first and ask what kinds of treatments they provide--some places only do injections, for example.

    Try this link for info on pain and help in finding a doctor:

    I wish you luck, please let us know how it goes!
  18. luvdogs

    luvdogs New Member

    Doctors are really afraid of give narcotic pain meds. because of the whole addiction issue. But you need to have some quality of life! You need to find a doctor who understands Fibro and CFS. Most doctors who really understand these diseases aren't afraid to help by giving some stronger pain meds. Go to another doctor who's more understanding. My psychiatrist has Lupus and RA, and her doctor gave her something like hydrocodone or oxycodone for pain.
  19. Sunrise2780

    Sunrise2780 New Member

    I live in SE Florida also - Broward County, Sunrise - abt 40 min from you.

    I recently had to find a new dr also & went crazy looking, but I found 2 drs.

  20. KarrinneSleepyhead

    KarrinneSleepyhead New Member

    a pain doctor, specializing in "neuroendocrine" disorders. He says a lot of pain is neurological (nerves) and/or disorders in the endocrine system (thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, etc.). He said at the first visit that he did NOT hand out pain meds but would want to FIND the cause of the pain and "fix" it as much as possible. And he did do that!!!!
    He is the one who found my autoimmune thyroid disease,and that my adrenal glands were exhausted, as well as I had less progesterone than a man does with an overabundance of estrogen (which made me feel like major PMS every day -- do you think I was a B-witch to be around????).
    He did prescribe meds and/or supplements for all of my endocrine disorders, and did the laser treatments for my neck.
    I am not 100% comfortable but I sure do feel better than before!!!!!
    I do have Clinoril, which is specially for spinal cord arthritis that I take twice a day. (I have still got pain meds from my 4 surgeries in early 2007 which are not yet outdated that I am hoarding up in case of emergency, although I think my PCP would give me pain meds if I needed them -- although of course she would want to see me and I really wouldn't feel like driving 45 minutes to see her either.)