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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Degenerative disk disease


 Randym61 - Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:03 am

I have had degenerative disk disease since being diagnosed in 1992. I have had one surgery in 2003 (April). I have also had just about every other treatment known and my condition keeps getting worse. I also have severe lower leg and foot pain in both legs that gets very bad just 10 to 15 minutes after standing up and then takes many hours to go away. I have been to every kind of specialist that would have anything at all to do with those body parts and it remains undiagnosed. This makes me think it's linked somehow to my back problems. I am currently 46 years old and have been on Social Security Disability since Feb. 2006, full, complete, and permanent, I think is how they put in on the paperwork I received from the Judge. I have been treated continuously for the last seven years strait for pain management (oxycontin 80mg x2, and Vicodin 5/500 for breakthrough) although from different doctors due to a few moves. Florida to kentucky, back to Florida, then to Ohio. I never had any serious problems until now. All of my doctors have always told me under no circomstances will you ever let yourself run out of medication or try to stop without constant medical supervision because it can be very dangerous. Now the doctor I was seeing here in Ohio quit the practice and left the office. I went to my schedualed appointment Friday and was told the will no longer fill my perscriptions. I told them I can't stop taking it because of the severe pain and also I'm scared to death what will happen to me from stopping just all at once after all my other doctors told how dangerous that would be. I've tried to get in to another doctors office but they don't seem to care what's going on and they say I'll have to wait anywhere from two months to nine months to get in to see a doctor. What should I do? How can I get in to see a doctor in this situation with no cooperation from the previous office? Also, they gave me absolutely no reason for this. I have been drug tested and passed, have absolutely no history of abuse or any other wrongdoing. Isn't there some kind of ethical or moral obligation to continue treatment until a new doctor or pain management clinic can be found? Please help me, I'm terrified.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:33 am

User avatar Hello,
There is no obligation for a doctor or clinic to treat you, regardless of your past history. It is your responsibility to find care. I know this sounds harsh but you will need to take charge here and find a new doctor. Your treatment may be different than what you received in the past because each doctor treats according to his/her own knowledge and experience base so there are no guarantees you will get exactly what you ask for.

I don't know why your doctor told you it would be dangerous for you to stop taking pain medications, except for the pain return itself, unless he/she is concerned you are addicted to prescription pain relievers and could have withdrawal symptoms.

You may research alternative medicine such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy, or chronic pain clinics to find something that will work that is not narcotic-based. Constant use of narcotics does lead to long-term problems so if you can find another way to live with your condition, it would be good for many reasons.

If you believe your only success was with a doctor in another state and you insist on that treatment, you may have to return to the place you were to get it. There are few things any harder to live with than chronic back pain. I wish you the best in your quest for help.

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