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    What is pain management.
    HighnLoLita posted:
    I'm going to try to make this long story short. I have degenerative disk desease and a spine center is testing me for fibromyalgia, I also have bipolar disorder and a history of suicide attempts in which I am recieving treatment and have been stable. I have seen my MD, 2 orthopedic dr's and a Spine Center (pain management) and six weeks of physical therapy that did not do anything for my pain. My MD is the only dr who has prescribed me medicine but, she says I need to find a pain management dr to take over any medication issues. I have been refered to four pain management dr's and none of which will help me in my treatment. I am in allot of pain, even when I take the medication. The first question is, What is pain management because, I thought it was for managing pain for patients with difficult cases such as mine? Then why wont they treat me? I have 5 bulging disk, 3 in the neck, 2 in lower back, siatica pain, arthritis, bone spurs and narrowing of the spine. To me it sounds like enough to cause all the pain I'm having so, why are they testing me for fibromyalgia?? I am only 42 y/o and this has been going on for more than six months, why are the dr's not discussing surgery for at least one of my issues? My Mom had back surgery twice and she says that ppl who have back problems have like this "secret club" and they support one another. Well with my bipolar issue I feel like I am an outcast. Can anyone here refer me to bipolar/back pain support group? Thanks in advance for any/all advice or direction. Lita
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi Lita and welcome to WebMD,

    While I don't know of a specific community to direct you to which deals with both, we have many members here, on Back Pain and on Fibromyalgia who deal with Bipolar and/or other issues.

    There's no reason you can't have Fibromyalgia and all the other issues you describe. Perhaps at least some of the pain you're in cannot be explained by the arthritis, bone spurs, etc. The more they can find out, the better they'll be able to help you.

    I hope you will keep talking here. I'm sure others will be sharing their thoughts as well.
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
    An_223874 responded:
    hi there,

    from my own experience...the referral you got from your gp to pain managment (pm) is normal. during the pm consultation appointment--the pm dr.will go over your lab results, and examination and talk to you about your pain problems and put together a plan for you, including meds if need be.-they have the best knowledge and experience in dealing with pain-whether it's in your big toe or pinky finger or left eyelash.

    spine pain can mimic or be caused by a whole host of other issues such as:fibro,piriformis syndrome (common in women), and then good ole arthritis, etc., etc. etc. it is normal for them to be looking at many causes of your particular problem in order to get the diagnosis right, and a treatment plan set up. (there are also meds that treat/cross over more than one diagnosis.)

    after you have been diagnosed, then there is a treatment plan that may eventually lead to a spine surgeon referral if that is indeed the situation.however, surgery is not recommended for all, nor does it help all. try your best to manage your situation with conservative measures, and work with your team.So, ask questions, research etc. but go with what the dr. recommends/suggests for your condition..

    believe that they really do have your best interests in mind and the medical experience and studies,etc. to recommend it. remember, they take an oath to do no harm :)

    everyone has their own particular medical history that needs to be taken into account in dealing with any dr. for any condition. so, you are not being singled out, either.

    chin up and go forth,
    Magsjeanea responded:
    I am so sorry that you are having the problems that are causing you so much pain.
    In my experience, doctors who prescribe powerful medication are extremely cautious about giving a patient who has a history of suicide attempts alot of pain medication. They are so worried that you will use their prescription to try another suicide attempt and they think that they may be sued because they know your history. It's terrible, I know, and I am so sorry that you can't get the proper medication.
    I know that you think back surgery might be your answer but there are more failed back surgery than anyone might want to admit.
    I hope you find the answers that you are seeking.
    Take good care,
    Love Goes There, Mag's Jeaneau
    Kelly_30 responded:
    Hi Lita,

    Mags took the words right out of my mouth. Unfortunately, the multiple suicide attempts do pose great concern to the doctors. How long ago was your last suicide attempt? Reason I ask is because doctors are forgiving as time go on. They want to make sure you will be stable on the powerful pain medications they prescribe. Opiates tend to depress mood, which could trigger another suicide attempt. Doctors can reduce the likelihood of this occuring by increasing the patient's anti-depressant. But, because you are bipolar, anti-depressants can aggravate bipolar symptoms. It is a tricky balance.

    My last suicide attempt was in 2004. My PCP knows about this as I had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I barely survived. I was prescribed a weak opioid called Tramadol in 2006. I was also in therapy at the time. I am now on Morphine and Percocet for pain. I have no doubts that I will never try to commit suicide again. After that suicide attempt, I had a little boy that made me make the decision to never depart this Earth by my own will. I love him more than anything. He is my life and I live for him. My PCP knows this as well.

    My best advice is to continue treatment for your bipolar disorder in addition to exploring treatment for your pain. Don't neglect taking care of your mental condition. If you can enroll in therapy or a support group, do so. Show the doctors that you are trying to make an effort in treating your bipolar disorder. It will show them that you are taking care of your condition and working to improve your overall health. This will build trust with your doctors and open doors to better pain management.

    I also have DDD. Specifically, lumbar degenerative intervertebral disc disease causing lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica). I receive steroid injections every 3 months and they really help with the sciatica. Most of the time they don't help with lower back pain or can make it worse so I still take meds to deal with that pain but after an injection, I am able to reduce my pain meds because I feel less pain. They have recently be taunting me with surgery and I am choosing to manage my pain without surgery at this time. Please consider all of the pros and cons of surgery. Surgery can make your pain worse if your pain is widespread or if complications result from the procedure. Epidural injections may provide you with some relief. I would ask your doctor if he thinks the injections would provide you with some relief from pain.

    Hang in there. Peservere and you will reach your goals that lead you to living a better life. Please keep us updated and welcome to the community.

    Living one day at a time.
    HighnLoLita replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Hi Caprice! Yes, I am having a nerve test first thing next week that is suppossed to help them figure out if I also have fibromyalgia. I had the same test many years ago because, I had allot of pain in my arm which turned out to be carpal tunnel. I forgot to mention that but, yea it is bothering me again on top of everything and an ear infection lol. Thanks for the encouragement! Lita
    HighnLoLita replied to An_223874's response:
    Yes, I understand about a pm needing to be on my "team" but, the problem is the pm centers or dr's are not taking me. I have consulted with at least 4 already and nobody wants to take my case. They wont give me a clear answer as to why not but, I am bipolar with a history of suicide so, I guess they don't want to be liable?????

    I am having a nerve test on Monday to determine fibromyalgia :)

    Yea, I heard some horror stories about surgery and will definately research more. The reason I even mention surgery is that even with the vicodin 3x daily and muscle relaxers, I'm still in so much pain that I wish they would do ANYTHING. Including injections which my orthopedic's parter who does them says he will not due to my bipolar disorder. He says that the medicine in the shots have something in them that could make me manic..

    I am trying to believe that but, I feel like each dr is passing me along to the next as fast as they can 'cause they don't want to be liable should I go crazzy or something.

    Thanks for your opinion and encouragement Gidget! Lita
    HighnLoLita replied to Magsjeanea's response:
    Hi Mags! Yea "sued" is the operative word here. They really don't seem to be so much worried about me :( . I do SO understand though. I have my family and they were so worried that I was gonna die this last attempt and now they are worried that if I don't get relief, I might do it again. I did overdose on my prescription psych meds and not narcotics. And the psych still gives me the medication I need, to stay stable. I could just as well overdose again on them if say, I wanted to but, I don't. None of this matters to them anyway. I am wondering if surgery is an option for me to take away some of the pain so, I wont have to be on so much medication. If they are worried about narcotics/bipolar combo then maybe some procedure can help me reduce pain ie less narcotics but, if it does become an option, I will definately weight the pros and cons. Thank you so much and take care as well, Lita
    HighnLoLita replied to Kelly_30's response:
    Kelly so nice to sort of meet you :) lol. Thanks so much for sharing some of your story, it sounds like we have some things in common. My last attempt was 2 years and 8 months ago. I have a daughter whom I have lived for when she was younger too. I love my daughter very much eventhough she has been very difficult as she got older. I was prego 8 times and was blessed with her. I wanted more children and that was enogh to put me over the edge a couple of times. So what happened this last time was, my daughter grew up and had a baby boy. He is the love of my life, my sidekick, my blood just as my daughter is and was. They lived with me for the first 9 months of my grandson's life. Then she moved into an apt and she was going to school. I was very proud of her. Two months later she moves hince the 6month lease and quit school. Then she moved around 30x within 2 years. She moved and took my Grandson all the way accross the country to an unsafe house hold, I thought they'd never come back. The woman there didn't even have rights to her own children. I called Social Services and they did a home check and drug tested my daughter and found drugs in her system. SS only told her to get a bed for my grandson and they let them stay there??? I tried to hang in there but, my depression got the best of me. That's what happened and to me, it was justifyable but, to the dr's it's an issue to be brought to the attention of my psychiatrist :).... After all was said and done they did come back. Last year, I was awarded custody of my grandson and this year my daughter had another baby boy. Thats a whole other story....My daugher is doing better now. She is in an apartment and a variety of programs that are helping her get herself together.

    I can so relate to "I bearly survived". the other attemps were minor attention seekers compared to the last one. I was in a coma for two weeks and in the hospital for a month. I had to do dyalisis (sp?) and sugar testing for two months after I returned home and had alot of meds that I could have killed myself with. I am truely convinced that our death is not in our own hands. I am happy I did not die and I (like you) live for my child and grandchildren but, unfortunately I can't say I will not do it again. Thats because, that morning, I wasn't myself. I do not have multiple personalities but, I did not have control of my actions, it was like I had no choice. I am happy to be alive and I have allot going for myself. I do have a psychiatrist and a therapist in which I diligently participate in and always share this info with the dr's.

    I do tell the dr's that I am interested in injections but, they say the medications in them might make me manic so they wont do them at this time :(

    Thank you so much for your input and support. I really needed to hear your story, it gave me alot of hope :)
    HighnLoLita replied to HighnLoLita's response:
    ooops, I misused the word hince. lol but, I think you get the point. :)
    HighnLoLita replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Oh yea, Caprice, I really love your signature!!!
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to HighnLoLita's response:
    Thank you, Lita. It's helped me with my own life's challenges. :-)
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
    Kelly_30 replied to HighnLoLita's response:
    Hi Lita,

    It is great to meet you too! We do have a lot in common! :)

    That is some ordeal you had to go through!!! I would probably feel the same way you did. I am so happy you made it through the coma and are here today to tell the story.

    I am so overjoyed to hear your family is back home! Family is such an important part to everyone's life. My son is still a little tyke (5 years old) but I know one day he will be an adult just like your daughter, and it is going to be hard loosening the strings. You did what you could do for your daughter during that time. That planted a seed that brought her and your grandson home.

    That is so exciting to have another baby boy. It is such great news to hear when the worst turns around to be the best when people like your daughter decide a change is needed in their lives. There are so many sad endings in this world. And your daughter beat those odds. You should be so proud of her and proud to be her mother!

    Given the circumstances that led to the suicide attempt and the changes that occurred afterwards with your daughter moving closer to you and getting her life together and the joy that you have now in life, there shouldn't be any concerns with the physicians treating your pain more aggressively. Your suicide attempt was over 2 years ago and wasn't a random event. You had good reasons for attempting it and I could feel the sadness and the pain you must have felt during that time just by reading your story.

    I don't believe that steroid injections would aggravate your bipolar disorder. But, I don't know that for sure but it sounds absurd!

    Do you live in a state that allows medical marijuana? You don't have to smoke it. There are tons of edibles (e.g., brownies, cookies, salsa, chocolate, etc.) or you can vaporize it. Many have sworn that it is very effective for pain. Cancer patients have fought stronger battles with cancer because of medical marijuana.

    If you don't, continue the fight. Change physicians until you find one that is willing to help you. Pain is widely undertreated in America due to fears of addiction or prosecution by the DEA. But there are doctors out there that will provide therapeutic doses of pain medicine, they are far and few inbetween, but they are out there.

    Keep us updated on your search. Sending you (((hugs)))!

    Kelly :)
    Living one day at a time.
    Anon_1421 replied to HighnLoLita's response:
    Hi, sorry for all you are going through. I have to get the injections, I'm not bipolar but after I get them they make me feel manic and strange, so I don't think the docs are lying to you about that. I hope you find relief soon!
    TDXSP08 replied to Anon_1421's response:
    Lita I am Bipolar Have been for some 20 years and if you read my story you will see i have a "nightmare" list of medical challenges but that has not stopped me from finding and getting treatment for my Pain Issues. And any Mental health issues you have if they and you are stable should and will not stand i your way! a good Pain Management Clinic will have you see there own Psychiatrist for an exam before you see the Pain Doc.


    Keep Up The Fight,don't give in ,up,or out
    i have no small step for man, but i have 6 tires for mankind,Watch your Toes!

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