From a FB Spinal Surgery Support Group I’ve been in the last few months, pr
6 weeks post op L2-L-5 decompression and fusion. Dr stopped my meds suddenly. Still having pain in thigh, lumbar spine, and swelling on my ankle. How could he do that? Has this happened to anyone else? What do I do? The pain is excruciating still. Help.
I went through this same thing before my surgery. Mine was L4/L5 Fusion, little more than 2 weeks ago. My orthopedic and pain management doc only gave me Tylenol 3. Which obviously didn’t work. As if i were a 10 year with a tooth ache. He should not be allowed to practice for that. Period.
He knew and stated in writing many times over 6 months that I was in level 8 pain (I reserve level 9-10 for things like torture) in order to get me injections (which the insurance company refused due to wanting me to have surgery). Yet he still only gave me Tylenol 3. And told me point blank he did that because he was “afraid of the state medical board”.
He was the third pain management doctor to tell me that behind closed doors. My first ortho doc closed the door to his office and said “look, with your disease you need opioids. But I’m only going to give you Tramadol, which will be too weak for your level of pain. But every weekend on the golf course we hear of another doctor who lost their license for giving their patients opioids for pain. I dont want to be one of them. So I’m sorry. Go online if you have to.”
I went public with it. And then had people from all over the world sending me their meds, mainly pain meds and steroids. That started in September. I’ll never forget that first day in September. My pain went down to level 4 just from having real medicine. It was a revelation. Once I experienced what it felt like to have real medicine for a disease with real severe pain of that level, I started ordering pain meds and steroids from online pharmacies in the UK Canada and India. This kept me going in order to get through all those medical appointments until the surgery.
Without those pain meds I would not have been able to walk to get to the doctors or surgeons appointments. Not a chance. As the deformity and deterioration progressed Pre-surgery I was limping on both legs as it was and the pain was increasing. So the Tylenol 3 prescription became an afterthought. That doctor became an afterthought. Because he was, quite literally, useless. Only my two surgeons understood.
I do not believe that we should suffer because the government effed up and took the easy way out trying to solve the opioid epidemic. Unlike the EU, congress just banned pain medicine for everyone — all 350 million of us. Even those of us in dire life threatening pain.
It is NOT our fault that the US government was lazy, ill advised and shortcutted the solution and failed in their duty to serve. It is not our responsibility as patients with real life viable pain to suffer because of bad governance or cowardly doctors.
Your doctor is only doing that because he or she is a self-serving coward frightened of losing his or her license. They either stick up for their patients — as they swear an oath to do. Or they torture them by not providing the right medications. And then gaslight us by acting as if we should be happy with Tylenol and NSAIDs. It’s shameful.
In your case he chose the latter. It’s sad and it’s infuriating to read stories like yours. I’m so sorry for what you are going through.
Whatever you do, don’t feel bad about asking for what you need as a patient. Or as a human. You deserve no less than the best healthcare the system has. Which in our case are opioid pain medicines, muscle relaxers and steroids until you feel better. Demand it. Talk to friends and family. And/or order online.
We all need to speak up about this. The NYT just released a major article about this. We are not alone. People care. And they are starting to listen.
Most importantly we all need to be talking about this more to make more people aware of what’s happening. This is a crisis. Caused by dereliction of duty and cowardice.