What do I do when the pain meds don't work anymore?

AJG1964 Community Member July 30, 2010
  • Hi, my name is Anthony I am 46 years old.  I have had 6 spinal operations starting in 1985 when I was 21.  I have been dealing with severe pain longer that I haven't.  I am tired of the medical solutions available to me.  I want to live a normal life more than anything.  3 years ago I decided to go back to work after being on disability for 1 1/2 years.  I was loosing my mind sitting at home.  I have had my low back fused at L4 & L5 with Harrington rods as well as a bone graph being taken from my pelvis for that fusion.  I have also had a several lamonectomys before the lumbar fusion and one after the fusion at L3.  In 2003 I had an anterior fusion at C5 & C6 because of a car accident and as a result of that accident I have nerve damage in my right arm.  This doesn't include all the minor procedures done over the last 26 years.  My question is this.....  My pain is getting worse by the minute and I can't imagine another surgery.  The pain meds are no longer working and I don't know what else to do.  I am currently taking Morphine Sulfate Extended Release 60mg twice a day and Morphine Sulfate Instant Release 30mg twice a day.  Before that I was taking Oxycontin and Morphine Sulfate Instant Release.  I have tried every remedy except a spinal cord stimulator and a morphine pump.  I don't want to take drugs to live anymore.  I am tired of living in the shadows.  I have only missed 4 days of work in the last 3 years and I am so grateful for that, but I am afraid I am going to be bed ridden if I can't get a handle on this.  I'm in so much pain and I am so physically and emotionally drained.  I don't think I can do this anymore.  I'm so scared of being back on disability again.  I don't know what to do?

2 Comments
  • Karen Lee Richards
    Health Guide
    Aug. 04, 2010

    Hi Anthony,

    I admire your desire to continue working.  I know you said you don't want to continue to take drugs, but I do have to mention one other option that might be worth considering.  The fentanyl transdermal patch can often provide very effective pain relief that lasts for about three days at a time. 

     

    The intrathecal pain pump and neurostimulator...

    Read More

    Hi Anthony,

    I admire your desire to continue working.  I know you said you don't want to continue to take drugs, but I do have to mention one other option that might be worth considering.  The fentanyl transdermal patch can often provide very effective pain relief that lasts for about three days at a time. 

     

    The intrathecal pain pump and neurostimulator are two other options worth looking at.  I know the fact that they are implanted may seem a bit drastic, but I've talked to quite a few people who have one or the other and say it has given then their lives back.  Of course, they're not appropriate for everyone, but it couldn't hurt to at least discuss them with your doctor. 

     

    We have a very active group on our forum where everyone gathers to discuss anything to do with intrathecal pain pumps.  There is an excellent ongoing thread entitled “Willing to share experience with intrathecal morphine pump implant” that was started and is maintained by Bob Englebardt.  It's a pretty long thread, but rest assured your post will be read and answered.  If you don’t find an answer to your question already there, just click on the last page and post your question.  To get to this discussion on the forum, click on the link above.

    (Note:  If you've never been to the forum before, you'll have to register separately from your registration here on ChronicPainConnection.  You can, however, use the same e-mail address and password if you like to make it easier to remember.)

     

    Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that can be very effective for pain.  (I've even heard of surgeries performed with no anesthetic other than acupuncture.)

     

    And finally, about 15 years ago a researcher called John Kabat-Zinn developed a program called Mindfulness-based Stress Rreduction for pain patients who had recieved little or no relief from pain medications. Its a meditation based program designed to reduce the pain and stress response (which go hand and hand) and enhance ones quality of life. It's goal is to help you manage the pain better and reduce it.  MBSR courses are taught at hospitals and clinics all over the country.  If you're interested you might want to check out his book called “Full Catastrophe Living.”  You can find more about MBSR here:  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

     

    I hope something here is helpful and you're able to get some relief soon. – Karen

    • AJG1964
      Aug. 04, 2010

      Karen,

       

      Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me.

       

      I am going to get the book "Full Catastrophe Living".

       

      I have done Acupuncture and it did not work for me.

       

      I really don't want to do a spinal cord stimulator or a Morphine Pump.

       

      You can't drive if you have a Morphine Pump and I wan't to in crease my mobility not...

      RHMLucky777

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      Karen,

       

      Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me.

       

      I am going to get the book "Full Catastrophe Living".

       

      I have done Acupuncture and it did not work for me.

       

      I really don't want to do a spinal cord stimulator or a Morphine Pump.

       

      You can't drive if you have a Morphine Pump and I wan't to in crease my mobility not reduce it.

       

      Besides I am so tired of drugs.

       

      Thanks again.

       

      Anthony