... cancer in 2006 and since then I have had 3 surgeries to remove my thyroid and cancer tumors on the right side of my neck. I have had radiation treatments and thank god I am now cancer free! Although I am so thankful to be a cancer survivor I cant help but to feel sorry for myself because all the biopsies and surgeries have left me with chronic pain that shoots from my shoulder up to my neck, head, and face. I have extensive nerve damage, and muscle spasms. I have been taking Vicodin 750 mg 2 to 3 times a day or as needed for a year now. My family doctor did not feel comfortable prescribing the vicodin anymore and tried to give me tylenol with codine but I had alot of stomach issues and it did not help with the pain and only added to it after dealing with constipation problems. I explained to my doctor that vicodin didn't make me constipated and that I didn't have any side effects with it at all. He referred me to a pain management clinic after deciding he couldnt help with my pain issue any longer. I have seen a pain specialist 3 times now and they prescribed Lyrica 50mg 2 times a day which does not help with the pain at all and gets my anxiety level pretty high! The last time I went to an appt I was crying because I was tired and in pain and they didnt want to give me vicodin but instead asked me if I was having suicidal thoughts!!! I said no and explained that I was in pain but they still insisted that I start taking cymbalta 30mg once a day for depression and also for pain. They told me that I shouldnt expect to be totally pain free that I was destined to live only 80% pain free??? I told them that I understood but I needed to be functional for my 2 young children and my husband!!! I dont know what to do? How do I get them to hear me? I feel like they think I'm a junkie. I hurt so bad if I dont take pain meds and I can not function on lyrica all day long. I dont know whats worse, to have cancer or be in pain. My life made a 360 degree change and I cant get it back in order again. I feel like the only thing keeping me from being back to normal is this constant pain. Does anybody have any advice or suggestions on what to do?
Hello and welcome. If you have existing medical records proving nerve damage plus are willing to undergo new tests and treatments, that will be more helpful for you when you see a new dr. Right now, drs are being scrutinized for how many opiates they rx per patient and/or how high a percent of their patients are on opiate. So, they are trying some alternative meds that do work for many patients. This is why they gave you the Lyrica and the other med. And as treatments/options progress, you may get rx'ed rx painkillers, but be willing to undergo tests and take suggestions for other treatments, this makes you look like the legitimate patient who needs them. I can understand that you may need help now, that is when you should see a new dr, and bring any test results and records you can get, as that may speed up the help the dr will give you. Patti
Hello eaca79. I don't have pain as in the sense of physical and so cannot identify but I can relate to how it might be, and simply put, I wish I could remove some and of course can't. So, welcome to the site, there are many members here who will beable to give you sound advice and help you through your rough times. Its a wonderfull place. very best wishes go out to you and hopefully you'll get to feeling better soon.
Hi eaca, Welcome to the group! I cannot believe that your doctor just abruptly took you off Vicodin after taking it for a year. I am almost sure you went through some withdrawal symptoms just stopping. I am a long time Vicodin addict. Narco 10/325 are the best. I am sure you have pain, but you have to be very careful. I got started on my narcotic journey after a motorcycle accident. I had leg pain for a while, I kept telling them I still had pain long after the bad pain was gone. I loved those drugs. I have heard story after story here on this Wonderful site of people becoming addicted to pain meds. I am NOT SAYING if you really need them, by all means take them. I would never want to see anyone go through what I went through with these drugs. I just felt I needed to say that knowing the psychological action of these drugs. I wish you all the best! Dave
Hello eaca & welcome to the site. Its very helpful, for me to vent, get info, & hopefully help others, God willing, with some of my own experience. You've been through an awful lot, poor gal! I know how frustrating it can be to find Drs, who believe what you are going thru, particularly when it comes to nerve pain... the worst kind & not as easily measurable. But, the codeine always made me very nauseous. Like other here have said, you must be willing to go thru the steps, try other meds, even knowing they likely won't work on that kind of pain. More importantly, I would want to get to the bottom of the pain, if I could, to see what other options are out there to help you with it, in addition to the pain meds, which you will hopefully get, after going thru the motions. Its a trial & error game, sometimes. And often, I can't say I really blame the Drs. They've seen thousands of addicts, trying every ploy in the book to manipulate a Rx.
Sometimes, they just can't decipher cuz many aren't honest with them. Then, the honest ones suffer. Obviously, you have serious issues with the nerve pain. Have you seen a Neurologist to figure out which nerves have been compromised & then maybe you'll finally get some answers & reinforcements from the right specialists? Its a process. Good luck! We're here & struggling with similar problems, as well. So, stick with the winners, as they say, the ones who are not willing to give up until they find answers! God Bless... Jillian !
Hi eaca! Welcome to Drugs.com! :)
I don't really know where to start. It seems almost overwhelming, doesn't it? The previous posters gave you many good answers. Be certain to refer to their helpful suggestions.
I'm suggesting, eaca, for you to keep a daily journal of your pain & other notes for when you visit the pain specialist. This documentation will be a hardcopy backing up your comments to the doctor. He might be impressed with your willingness to try the meds he suggests. Now, I live in Ontario & we generally visit our family physician for prescriptions & referrals to specialists. I've found with my own doctor that I get better results when I just refer to my notes & speak in a calm, unaffected voice as I rhyme off my issues just as if it were only a grocery list. I try to hold my emotions in check & try to focus on what he says to me. And, eaca, I'm definitely not saying that it'll be easy or always tear-free; I'm only suggesting this as something to try. I've been ill for over 3 years, who the heck even knows why or what, so it's a little harder because of its amorphous nature. You should be able to be specific whereas I can't. So, point to your neck, & say something like "Here, and here and here, I have shooting pain that's a 10. And, I have a migraine-like headache every morning. And, etc." Whatever your specific factors are, just keep pointing them out. If the doctor doesn't acknowledge it at this visit, do it again at the next. Eventually, he'll hear you. What I've been noticing with many doctors that I've seen is that they seem to want to focus on one thing, sort of like the most major complaint, I guess. Whenever I tell a doctor too much information, he's likely not even registering that piece of my health issues puzzle. Prior to your visit with the pain doctor, look over your diary & pick out 3 major items to you & prioritize them. Then, you're able to focus on these 3 issues more fully & DON'T LEAVE that office without the doctor addressing them. If his answer isn't satisfactory, tell him. "I tried that med before & it only upset my
stomach & constipated me." Short, sweet, succinct, to the point. So, now, the ball's back in his court. If he doesn't suggest a different medication, then tell him: "I'd prefer to try something other than... ". If you've done some research, say "I've heard good things about... ". Get the picture? It's almost like a game or acting. You're acting rationally & unemotionally & they're acting as if they're really listening & going to help you. And, somewhere between those 2 fields, you'll get a compromise. And that's a start. Later on, as your relationship continues & grows with your doctor, then he'll realize the things that you've told us. So, now trust is established & it'll be easier for both of you. If you don't like your pain management doctor, don't waste time, get someone different. YOU have to be your own health advocate. This is where your strength & desire will hold you in good stead, eaca. This is definitely not a time to be timid. Sad to say, you have to stand firmly & bully them back when they try to bully you. Call them on specifics: "Oh, so you've experienced this ... too?" Of course, they're usually going to reply in the negative so that will give you the upper hand in this "game" of doctor & patient. Go by what you feel in your heart & what your head is telling you; your gut instincts. If it doesn't feel right, it's probably not right for you. Question it, don't agree to it without having more facts or information.
I take Cymbalta for chronic pain. Perhaps you might want to get the Cymbalta increased to 60 mg per day which may be of more benefit to you. There are many pain drugs available & along with everything else, it's trial & error. What works for one person may not work for another. Cymbalta & Lyrica are commonly prescribed in the United States as well as
Many people take Lyrica & Cymbalta. I noticed you said that you can't function on Lyrica all day long. What do you mean by this, eaca?
I'd also like to suggest for you to join some support groups such as pain, Cymbalta, cancer and/or Lyrica. You'll see what other posters have experienced & it'll help you with research & information.
Become your own health advocate. Try to focus on the positives in your life & with your health. You are a strong survivor! YOU CAN DO THIS!
I'm so sorry for your pain, eaca! May this journey be short & positive.
from Wendy :)
Eaca -- yours is an old post and not sure if you will get this and hope you found a remedy .… I am a 37 year thyroid-ectomy cancer patient who had a total thyroidectomy in 1976. My Thyroid Cancer was a result of cobalt radiation for Hodgkin's Lymphoma when I was a Child which is no longer used today. Do you know the cause of yours ? To me 750 Vicodin sounds excessive, and perhaps unhealthy. Would that be including the Acetaminophen ? You are aware of Liver Damage results in time-- including the opioid, and not just the acetaminophen. I was 17 years old when I had my Thyroid removed. The worst of my recovery in retrospect was an already existing Attention Deficit Disorder, which I believe leads to Anxiety, which can also lead to Depression and too believe will lead to Pain as a cry for help.
I believe you may continue to experience the pain you initially experienced if the underlying conditions are not met. Of course this was not up for discussion in 1976, and sounds like it still may not be today ! Not having a Thyroid and no matter the dose of thyroid medication taken will leave you borderline hyperthyroid--- Not to bore you with year to date details in getting to the point in 2002 I found Wellbutrin… which has worked wonders over the years. I was told that Cymbalta can be an affective analgesic along with Wellbutrin, I tried it per my doctors in their efforts to reduce my Wellbutrin dosage for fear of Seizures. In combination to my existing borderline Hyperthyroidism I tried Cymbalta per their request and felt I did not need nor like the affect. I have not had any Seizures but doesn't mean others will not. Your Thyroid medication plays a major role in this too… I have been on 0.125 MG (125MCG) Levothyroxine and 300MG bupropion XL and as high as 450 for 12 years -- For pain I take 200 to 400 Ibuprofen (my pain is found to be inflammatory and I take only when needed). I too have had a very weak neck. With the Thyroid-ectomey they removed what they call the neck jacket, muscle and lymph nodes. I believe I have a nerve that bothers me too… after computing for hours… I have often wondered if they can go in and remove the nerve that is painful. It just leave the area affected numb… that would feel better. How ever my recent diagnosis of Bone and Liver Mets from Breast Cancer I had 12 years ago will change things up soon.
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