Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, December 01, 2010 JustinaL, Community Member, asks

Q: Can anyone tell me why pain medicines dont work on me?

     Hi.  My name is Justina and when I am in pain, I am out of luck.  Very few pain medicines actually take effect on me.  If I get a migraine (and I do) the only way to avoid the eye stabbing agony is to "catch" it  quick with excedrine, no other medicine works on my migraines.  Now, I am having severe pain in my ear, neck, shoulder and down my arm.  A frustrating visit to my doctor's office (my doctor who knows pain meds dont work, is on maternity leave) had the doctor recommending ibuprofin.  I calmly explained that I dont have any ibuprofin as it simply doesn't work on pain and she suggested that I buy some or try accupuncture.  She then wrote a prescrpiption for 600 mg of ibuprofin and 10 mg of flexeril.  None of them wor ked (I knew they weren't going to.)  In a bizarre but related twist to this, I have awakened in the middle of two operations.  Yes, it does happen, I am told it is quite rare but it happens.  Is there anything at all that I can do, besides tell my doctor that medicines don't work to get relief?  I am crying and rocking in pain.  I cannot turn my head, I cannot look down, my neck is on fire and nothing works. 

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Answers (4)
V, Health Guide
12/ 3/10 7:18am

Wow!  I am so sorry to hear how much pain you are experiencing.  I don't know why pain meds don't work on you. I am not a doctor, or any type of healthcare professional.  All I know is that you need some help, and you need it now. Would your doctor send you to a pain specialist, or can you make an appointment yourself with a pain specialist?  They should understand what is going on and be able to offer you some options that might help. Again, I am so sorry to hear you are in this much pain. I can feel it when I read your words.  Please try to get in to see a pain specialist.  A person can only take so much suffering. Please let us know how it goes.  Peace, V

JustinaL, Community Member
12/ 3/10 7:54pm

A pain specialist is a great idea!  I am embarrassed to have not thought of it before.   I am having my fiance look into it.  I wish I knew why my body doesnt respond to pain meds but my Mom said that my Dad was the same way. 

Krystal Selvidge, Community Member
12/ 2/10 12:32pm

I dont know what it is called but I have heard that for those with chronic untreatable pain that they can burn or cut the pain signals from getting to your brain maybe this is an option,


as in the meds not working. I have a high tolerance to pain medications and wonder if perhaps the same thing is going on with you. If you recieved an injected pain medication do they help. I was thinking perhaps it has something to do with your stomach and the way your body absorbs the medication, Maybe looking into these can bring you some relief.


Good Luck,

JustinaL, Community Member
12/ 3/10 7:49pm

Thank you so much.  I will ask my doctor when she gets back from maternity leave.   I did have some success with injected pain meds but they caused this really odd flush to travel through my system.  I would rather have the pain, honestly.   I do not want to spend my life in pain with no relief.  I am thinking whatever this is, it's genetic.  My mom told my that my dad is the same way.  (Good thing I dont have any children.)

Reruho, Community Member
12/ 4/10 8:27am


You are talking about a sympathectomy. It is a procedure where the nerve is cut or destroyed my some other method (i.e. chemical, radio frequency ablation, laser).


Chronic untreatable pain is called intractable pain.


Joanne Zielke, Community Member
12/ 3/10 7:21am

Trust me, Don't take ibuprofen!!!!! The surgeon who did disc surgery 3 years ago placed me on 800 mg. of ibuprofen 3 time a day and it has permanently damaged my kidneys

JustinaL, Community Member
12/ 3/10 8:04pm

Thank you, Joanne!  In truth, I wasn't going to because  it doesn't work at all on me.  I once tried to take a motrin 800 for, shall we say, lady pain but it didn't even touch it.  I didn't bother to fill the prescription because I knew it wouldn't work.  Someone suggested that I get it filled, then take one BEFORE I go to the doctor and say, "I took 600 mg of motrin and it didn't work.  Now what?"  I am getting really sick of doctors not believing me when I tell them pain meds dont work on me. I am going to visit my doctor with all my mostly filled pain meds and say, "None of these worked on me.  What can I do for pain?"  It sounds like I just want drugs, the truth is, I don't want opiates.  I can't possibly work on opiates.  I am a nanny for Goodness' sake!  I just want pain meds that work so that I can get relief AFTER work. 

Joanne, Community Member
12/ 4/10 4:53am

I can absolutely feel what you are going through! I have had four back surgeries in the past 3 years. The first was to repair a ruptured disc. One week later another to fix the sciatic nerve that he damaged during the first surgery. Another year of pain followed by another surgery....this time for a spinal fusion and repair of two discs.  This time the nerves were damaged so badly that I have spasms so bad going down my leg and into my foot that my toe was broken.... from the pain that I told the Dr. "was bad enough to curl my toes". And it did finally break the toe! I have been on oxycontin and percoset and morphine with not a whole lot of relief, just dulls it for a while. Two months ago the pain Dr. said my only hope was to try a neuro stimulator imbedded in my spine with a battery implanted in my hip and a remote control. The test was beyond horrible, like being hit with a cattle prod over and over until they got the wire placed. I tried it for 5 days with a lot of relief so they put a permanent one in two weeks ago. Excrutiating pain from the back incision that they did not warn me about and either the implant is not programmed right or it is place in the wrong spot. The damage to my foot is even worse after this last's a feeling like walking on huge rocks but the foot feels dead too. I know that doesn't make sense but it is SO painful! I was hoping to get off all the meds but unless this can be fixed I don't what else I can do. I've placed my faith in Dr.s' who have managed to each and everyone one, make it worse. I can't stand or walk for more than 10 minutes without the pain starting and getting progressively worse. It is so hard to keep a home running and do Holiday things besides causing so many arguments with my husband because my nerves are just raw from all of this. The least little thing seems to set off a fight where we barely speak. I can see why hope can be lost...Sorry to go on for so long but be careful who you listen to in the health care field and research, research, research anything you decide to do either with medicine or treatments!!!!!!!!

JustinaL, Community Member
12/ 4/10 9:10am

OH my goodness, I am scared witless!  I am also very, very angry at that god awful doctor!  Going to web md says any neck pain go to the ER, so what did she even do, no orders for MRI's or X rays or anything, just "take ibuprofen.  If you dont have any, go buy some."  I have been in constant pain since tuesday (I know, not long, but it feels like forever.)  Taking the meds did nothing at all.  I used a heated neck pillow and that gave me more relief than the pain meds did.  It still feels like someone is trying to cut my head off with a knife, only now, the knife has no serrated edges.  I will probably end up in the ER where hopefully, the doctors will find out what is wrong.

singing1633, Community Member
10/21/13 1:22am

I'm actually the same exact way! When I had an infection on my face and down my neck that put me in the hospital for nine day the only medicine that worked was Dylodid, THAT'S STRONGER THEN MORPHINE. I had to get the side of my cheek cut open to flush out the infection and there was no way for them to numb it, but the only thing that worked was Dylodid to keep the pain away for a few hours. My mother is the same exact way, but none of my siblings are.


My boyfriend suggested that maybe there are cells in my body that aren't working correctly or that won't accept that when I take pain medicine that my body actually needs it, so it almost blocks it. If that makes sense! If you figure something out, LET ME KNOW!

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By JustinaL, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/21/13, First Published: 12/01/10