Hi everyone. Today is my first day on this site. I am scared to death because I was injured in an... airborne accident in 2007 and have been through 3 cortizone shots and 3 nerve blocks before my pain doctor released me. I went to my regular doctor and she put me on Vicodan for a few months. It helped a little but I was still waking up at night with pain and exhausted. She switched me to 10/325 oxycodone/acetaminaphen as well as zanaflex and I have been doing very well ever since. Last week I went in to get my meds refilled and she said she had read a magazine article that said vets with PTSD are at high risk for addiction. The WHO has now classified dependence, tolerance and addiction as all the same thing. I just got to where I am living life well. The Oxycodone does not make me drowsy or nauseous like the Vicodin did. My doc has referred me to a pain specialist. My appointment is tomorrow and I'm scared to death they won't help me. My boyfriend is a medical student and both his parents are doctors and they said I won't get my medicine because it's a schedule II narcotic and the DEA is arresting doctors for drug trafficking! PLUS there is a new study that came out this month about vets being given too many opioids. I have MRIs and legitimate issues but I just moved in with my parents in a new state/town because my dad is dying from cancer. They own a dog breeding business I am now responsible for. It is a lot of physical work and I am TERRIFIED. I hope I can hold it together for the first impression. Anyone have any suggestions on how to behave so they will continue my therapy as is without accusing me of being a "drug-addled, homeless baby-killer"?
27 Mar 2012
First off, ditch the worries, they're adding nothing positive to your life or to your situation. You seem to have valid documentation, this should give you confidence as many abusers do not have legit documentation. Also, please know that these days, recognition and honor for our veterans is higher than it was in 72 when I returned. Check out the Wounded Warrior site, DAV, and many others.
With pain and pain Doctors, a calm patient with valid proof of pathology is much more apt to get the help they need than a nervous patient with a poor self-image.
Forget the media paranoia. Yes there are a lot of crooked Doctors and abusers and because of this those of us who really need help are not getting help. But despite all that there are still some real Doctors out there.
And please shut down the negativity you're getting from your family. You need support, not doubt, doom and gloom.
You know who you are! Don't let anyone cause you to doubt yourself, go to your appointment with a calm, confident heart. Present your paperwork, be honest about your pain and most of all DON'T ASK FOR ANY SPECIFIC MEDS! That will shut things down.
Take a deep breath and step into your future with a fresh outlook based on truth, not fear and negative self-judgment. AND GOOD LUCK!! Let me know how it goes.
27 Mar 2012
Great answer from balbanese! I agree that you certainly dont want to go in and demand a medication by name but if the Dr asks what you have been using you can be honest and tell him that oxycodone/acetaminophen 10/325mg and Zanaflex have been given and were working well and allow you to do the activities you need to do in your daily life. Be open minded if he suggests something else. Where I live, the pain docs here prefer to get you on something long acting for chronic pain which has worked well for me. I also have short acting drugs for breakthrough. He makes a great point that you need to go in there confident. You do have legit reasons to be treated for pain. There are a lot of scared general and family practitioners who dont want to deal with the DEA but pain specialists are used to it, it is their specialty after all. Take all of your documentation and MRI reports with you and I think you should be fine!
27 Mar 2012
Hello ScaredVet and welcome to the site. I have sympathy for anyone having to deal with pain as I am no stranger to pain myself. You are in the right place to get valid info about anything and everything going on in your life. Many people like you here and lots of experience in pain issues. Thank you for your part in serving our country.
27 Mar 2012
Welcome ScaredVetInPain, and I also, thank you for your service. All comments made are correct, and you will be fine. I just wanted to let you know that I live very close to the base at Ft. Benning, GA. In my pain management clinic, almost every visit there are other active and retired military patients there seeking the same help you are. I wish you the help you deserve. So very sorry to hear about your father, so I'll add this: You cannot care for someone else properly and effectively if you don't take care of you first! Good luck 2 u.
27 Mar 2012
So sorry to hear about your pain situation. I understand what you are saying as I have a very good friend from Viet Nam who is in chronic pain, and although they are treating him, they are under treating him for fear of addiction. One thing different though. He has arthritis all through his body, and he is Cherokee. Native American's have a history of alcoholism (frankly I would too considering history), but I think that plays into why the docs at the Vet. Hospital won't give him much. Also, he has no MRI's as you do. BRING YOUR PROOF, and let the docs know that your quality of life is greatly improved because of your pain med regimen . Let them know the that without the meds. you would be couch potato, and can't help your parents. Just be honest.
Good luck, heads up, and please let us know how you fare..
28 Mar 2012
Sounds like U R going to a young civilian. If U have too much trouble ask for a second opinion. You might want to point out that you are a human-not a study. It's usually easier at a VA hospital. Is their a regional center for you to go to? You could do that and get you meds by carrier. We live close to a VA-and they have FEDX deliver his pain killers to the front door. He's a 100% disabled. I understand your fears. I live in a state that is rated the worst for this problem-but nobody is going to jail.
31 Mar 2012
Hey I know you may not think much of me seeing as how I am 15 years old. But I was prescribed oxy-codone or (roxys) for quite a while ... Im talking about enulf time for me to take 270 of them... And my doc dident prescribe them to me because I'm an addict or he's a bad doctor it was his first time prescribing them to a minor. I honestly needed them nothing else was working for me.. I was at the point of taking 9-11 a day at one point.. and then I realized a drug is only a temporary fix to a life long problem .. I mean I told my doc that I was taking that many and I said "don't prescribe me anything like this, because I will have to abuse it just to get bye as a normal kid" and you know you never know your addicted to something until you quit.. and it is the hardest thing I have ever done! And it sucked I mean I could of gone and gotten more from another doc all I would need to do is show them my MRI. And they would be like here take these.
Or end up like one of my friends who is honestly a good person but couldn't fight off the addiction he was prescribed oxy-codone to because he was hit with a car and I mean now I'm helping him with it and he is 18. And he's not stupid he scored a 30/36 on his act and. he is just naturally a kind person. But my point is even if they do give you your prescription back its better to Handel it yourself rather than use pills I mean they help but only for so long! And oxys are basically synthetic herion to.. and it will destroy your body and depression only makes it worse. I mean my grandma who I've lived with longer than my parents she had leukemia and we were at the john hopgins hosbital in Baltimore Maryland and we live in Florida! and my mom was with her and the doc called and told me and my brother she was gonna die due to internal bleeding in her brain and around her stomic.. and well that is the most perstegiouse hosbital in the world saying that so I knew it was over but you know something... she survived not did she only survive but now she is on the way to getting better and returning to normal! And you know her doctors still study her and they don't know how she made it and she has litterally had thousands of doctors examin her. I mean that's what has gotten me through everything. And sparked my interest In the medical field! It was simply a merical and I had never grown up with god in my life and now this weekend me and my friend are starting to go to church! And you know something I may not be happy per say I mean I truthfully have sleep 1hr in 4 days because I'm in so much pain but you know its just something you have to do or it will eventually kill you and cause you nothing but trouble I mean I'm not afraid to admit it I was addicted but there is a difference between an drug addict and an addiction that most people dont get.. well I mean no one my age anyways.. but you just gotta look towards the positive and keep your head up I mean I also have pds (post dramatic stress) extremely bad! And it makes anxious sooo easy.. and I'm about to have surgery again and be immobilized for 14weeks basically but I mean what can I do about it I have no idea but I'm not gonna let something like a drug that I will get a physical dependency. Run my life for ever! And do you know who raised me like this ? And helped me? No one!!! and I lost every thing I ever believed in all sports and scholarships everything... but do you. Know why I'm telling you this? Its not just to tell you... I mean look. I'm 15 and im dealing with the same. Stuff and its hard I'm not gonna lie! But it can be done!! I mean I don't like this in my life but its life and it has to be done! I have faith in you.. but then again I'm just. A 15 year old boy
1 Apr 2012
I know you're scared, and that the meds worked out well for you, but don't discount all the pain specialists may be able to do for you. I see a pain doc who had a Fellowship at Johns Hopkins and he does rhizotemy's - which have been fantasic with pain relief. I've been going to him for 8 years now and have yet to hear of another provider in my area that does them. Point is - you just never know what they might be able to offer. I've been on the opiates for pain relief for some 14 years now, and wish I had never been given them - it is SO hard to handle the pain without them. I think if I had learned more of the mind-body work perhaps I could have gone without them. There are a lot of studies showing opioids cause more pain over time. You may be saved from a lot of pain and heartache over time - you just never know. Ask to learn biofeedback, chiropractic, accupucture, progressive relaxation, physical therapy, massage, meditation, yoga - the list goes on.
Docs in the US just aren't prescribing the pain meds anymore - look to ways to manage your pain without them. Your body will be a lot healthier too - I am 51 and have definite liver problems - most likely from 14 years on the opiates. Best wishes to you - ElizaJane
17 Apr 2012
Dear ScaredVetinPain: My heart goes out to you. I got worse 20 years ago by invasive protocols at pain clinics in the late '80's and '90's after 4 failed back surgeries, metal removed, and 2nd rear-ender MVA. I have failed back syndrome, spine is collapsing on nerve roots,my dura is torn. I have fluid sac right of spine.Neurosurgeon said: AVOID further surgeries,injections, trauma.
They make RSD and Arachnoiditis worse, permanently.Told to take ORAL meds that worked, used sparingly, can only recline. Primary is 12 years into illness, shocked to find PA doctors now insisting on anesthesiologists making bucks for things made me worse when young, or Psych. At 63, cannot find new primary since DEA has spooked everyone I've seen. Will try to leave PA at 65 for California. Am alone, no family support, drivers.Doctors knowingly ignoring facts and proper opiod use. ALL studies on opiods,i.e. Mayo,show NON addiction in over 98% of true intractable pain. NOT psychological, neuroscience proves. Cowardice of primaries with DEA. Pain patients blamed, abandoned when Clinics make worse. Pandora in PA.
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