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Pain

Problem with Pain Management doctor

Ok the story is i'm 21 yrs. Old and a little over 2 months ago I had a back surgery, where my discs were completely removed and replaced. A few weeks after my doctor told me to go see a pm doctor, so I did. As a person, my pm was a nice enough guy, although I didn't like the way I was treated there. When I say that I mean whenever I would call in for a refill on my pain medication, I would be told I could not receive it unless I made an appointment. As a result I would have to be in there every other week. The last time I saw him was this passing saturday. However, the last time I saw him before saturday I was given a urine test. When I asked why, the nurse specifically told me it was just to make sure I was taking my medicine correctly, so I said ok. Well, on saturday, when he finally comes into the room to see me, he goes "well one of the main reasons you are here is that you tested positive for thc." my jaw dropped to the ground. I will flat out admit that I am an occasional user, although I have actually used it more frequently than normal after my surgery for reasons I will soon discuss. I was never once told I would be drug tested in such a manner, nor was I ever drug tested in the past( I have had 3 other back surgeries in the last 3 years). My main reason for usage of the drug was when I would run out of my pain meds and would not be able to get into see the pm for several days, the marijuana would help ease the pain and also would ease the slight withdrawal symptoms I would feel. So he tells me that he cannot give me anymore refills until I pass a drug test, and said if I knew I would not be clean on that very day, I would have to come in within 7 days and take one or I would be dropped from their practice. This just flat out shocked me. I am not a heavy drug user and if I had known I would be tested for it, I simply would of never used it. The problem is not stopping the drug, the problem is that I know that it takes a month to get this out of your system, and I won't be clean within the time limit I was given. I know I made a mistake in using the drug, but I would figure they would at least cut me some slack and give me the maximum amount of time it takes to leave your system before making me take another test. Especially since my surgeon tells me it will be 1-2 months until I am recovered, I can't be without pain medication. Now this morning I was able to get ahold of my doctor(the one who did the surgery) and he agreed to give me a refill of pain medication. I told him that going to the pm every other week in addition to physical therapy was too expensive, so I said I was going to stop the pm until I finished therapy, and the doc said ok, which is actually partly true, but I wasn't about to tell him I failed a drug test, I didn't want to be seen as a druggy. Apparently, the pm said nothing to him about what happened, and I would think if he did it would be a violation of my privacy right? However, I know eventually my doctor will ask me to go back to pm and there is no point in going back to my current pm doc because I will be dropped by the practice if I fail the drug test or they will not let me come back if I wait until after the time limit they set is over. So I guess my question is, would the best move just be to find another pm doctor? If I did, would my old pm be allowed to tell him about my failed drug test? Or, as I said, would that be a violation of privacy? I am not going to smoke anymore just in case the new pm doctor decides to test me , but I just want to make sure this past incident isn't going to prevent me from getting pain medication refills from other pm doctors. Since I am nowhere near being out of the woods yet from this surgery and will need pain medication in the weeks to come. Any advice would be appreciated.  (Jul 9, 2007 | post #1)

Back Pain

21 yrs. old, have had 3 back surgeries, what next?

ok im not sure what happened, when I posted the other topic it disappeared so I assumed something went wrong and it didn't go through. Now after posting this, the other one appears. So someone can feel free to delete one of them  (Jul 8, 2007 | post #2)

Back Pain

21 yrs. old, have had 3 back surgeries, what next?

My back problems started back in April of 2003. The prior year I had taken up the sport of boxing. After a match in March of 2003, I started having severe back pain. Not only that, I also had extreme pain going down my left leg, which would cause me to limp a lot. By late April of '03 I had been to see a doctor and had done MRI's and some other tests to determine the problem. The doctor found out that I had a herniated disc that was also pinching a nerve, which is what gave me the leg pain. After that I had several Epidurals over the summer of 2003, but they were in-effective. In October of 2003 I ended up having a disc decompression, which also did not work. So I had my first surgery, a discectomy, in January of 2004. The surgery was seemingly a success. Directly after the surgery, I felt relief. Of course I still felt some soreness from time to time, but nothing anywhere near as extreme as before. However, with follow-up MRI's, they discovered that at least 2 other disc's had herniated, but said as long as I wasn't having any significant pain I should not be worried. As time passed, my pain once again gradually increased. It began to effect my school-work, and also prevented me from working. In april of 2006 I had to leave school, and I began going to doctors again. Once again we tried to avoid another surgery and attempted Epidurals, but again they didn't work, so my 2nd surgery was scheduled for October of 2006, and it was another disectomy. The relief from my 2nd surgery lasted much shorter than it did with the first surgery. As I said I had the surgery in October of 2006, and by late November the pain was back and as bad as ever. My doctor still wanted to give it time to see if the pain would disappear, which it did not. So in march of 2007 I had a discogram and they noted which disc's were extremely bad. My third surgery was scheduled for April 27,2007. This time I had a spinal fusion surgery. They completely removed disc's and replaced them. This was my most serious surgery to date. Needless to say, the pain from this surgery was 100 times worse than what I experienced with the prior two, and for all of May and most of June, I felt great relief. I had been told there was an 80% chance this surgery would be effective, so I was positive that this would be the surgery that would allow me to get my life back together. However, this wasn't so. Since my surgery, whenever I would goto see my doctor or nurse for a followup, they would ask about the leg pain, always concerned with that the most. I would always tell them it was fine. The last time I saw my doctor was in mid June, and he told me if all was well, come back in 2 months. Well, about 2 weeks ago, my leg pain started back up, and it has been just as bad as it ever was. I will say that prior to this surgery, I would have leg pain all day everyday, constantly. Now, I do not have it 24/7. However, there are still at least 3 nights a week where I get zero sleep because the pain just gets to be that bad sometimes. My question is, where do I go from here? Is there even anywhere else to go? Is there other types of surgery out there that could help my problem even further? If there is, I don't want to waste anymore time, I want them right away. No more doing epidurals or other things to avoid it. This has prevented me from going to school or even keeping a job. When I see my doctor on the 16th, I am going to ask for an MRI. If they agree there is still a problem, should I just immediately ask for other surgical options? As I said, I don't want to wait anymore.  (Jul 8, 2007 | post #1)

Back Pain

I'm 21 yrs. old, and after 3 back surgeries I'm not sure ...

Since it wouldn't let me fit my last paragraph, I'll put it here: My question is, where do I go from here? Is there even anywhere else to go? Is there other types of surgery out there that could help my problem even further? If there is, I don't want to waste anymore time, I want them right away. No more doing epidurals or other things to avoid it. This has prevented me from going to school or even keeping a job. When I see my doctor on the 16th, I am going to ask for an MRI. If they agree there is still a problem, should I just immediately ask for other surgical options? As I said, I don't want to wait anymore.  (Jul 8, 2007 | post #2)

Back Pain

I'm 21 yrs. old, and after 3 back surgeries I'm not sure ...

My back problems started back in April of 2003. The prior year I had taken up the sport of boxing. After a match in March of 2003, I started having severe back pain. Not only that, I also had extreme pain going down my left leg, which would cause me to limp a lot. By late April of '03 I had been to see a doctor and had done MRI's and some other tests to determine the problem. The doctor found out that I had a herniated disc that was also pinching a nerve, which is what gave me the leg pain. After that I had several Epidurals over the summer of 2003, but they were in-effective. In October of 2003 I ended up having a disc decompression, which also did not work. So I had my first surgery, a discectomy, in January of 2004. The surgery was seemingly a success. Directly after the surgery, I felt relief. Of course I still felt some soreness from time to time, but nothing anywhere near as extreme as before. However, with follow-up MRI's, they discovered that at least 2 other disc's had herniated, but said as long as I wasn't having any significant pain I should not be worried. As time passed, my pain once again gradually increased. It began to effect my school-work, and also prevented me from working. In april of 2006 I had to leave school, and I began going to doctors again. Once again we tried to avoid another surgery and attempted Epidurals, but again they didn't work, so my 2nd surgery was scheduled for October of 2006, and it was another disectomy. The relief from my 2nd surgery lasted much shorter than it did with the first surgery. As I said I had the surgery in October of 2006, and by late November the pain was back and as bad as ever. My doctor still wanted to give it time to see if the pain would disappear, which it did not. So in march of 2007 I had a discogram and they noted which disc's were extremely bad. My third surgery was scheduled for April 27,2007. This time I had a spinal fusion surgery. They completely removed disc's and replaced them. This was my most serious surgery to date. Needless to say, the pain from this surgery was 100 times worse than what I experienced with the prior two, and for all of May and most of June, I felt great relief. I had been told there was an 80% chance this surgery would be effective, so I was positive that this would be the surgery that would allow me to get my life back together. However, this wasn't so. Since my surgery, whenever I would goto see my doctor or nurse for a followup, they would ask about the leg pain, always concerned with that the most. I would always tell them it was fine. The last time I saw my doctor was in mid June, and he told me if all was well, come back in 2 months. Well, about 2 weeks ago, my leg pain started back up, and it has been just as bad as it ever was. I will say that prior to this surgery, I would have leg pain all day everyday, constantly. Now, I do not have it 24/7. However, there are still at least 3 nights a week where I get zero sleep because the pain just gets to be that bad sometimes. So I figure that my latest surgery worked, but not in the way I wanted. It seems to of made sure I don't experience pain all the time, but it hasn't stopped the pain from soaring to incredible heights a few nights a week. So basically, this injury is still going to be having a huge effect on my life. After about a week of the leg pain, I decided I better go in and see my doctor. I was not able to get an appointment until July 16th, so I decided to post this before I see him.  (Jul 8, 2007 | post #1)

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