Over the years, I have built up quite the tolerance to most muscle relaxants and OTC pain medications. My internist specializes in chronic pain. However, he is not big into pharmaceuticals (to most, this may seem like an oxymoron, of sorts). When I first started seeing him, he gave me mail-refillable (3 months at a time) prescriptions on most of my drugs, but month-by-month on one of them (Soma). Over the last six months, he has changed over all my prescriptions to month-by-month. Last week, his office called and told me that they had filled my request for Soma, but that the doctor would like me to come in for an office visit.
If I were purely drug-seeking, this turn of events would bother me. However, I have known for quite some time that the drugs really aren't helping me that much. For the most part, they take the edge off an intolerable situation, but are nearly ineffectual in relieving my pain. I really would LOVE a new answer. Perhaps some treatment has evolved over the last two years that we haven't tried yet?
I really want the doctor to give me a new treatment. If he tells me to go to physical therapy again, I'm going to introduce him to some of my ruder vocabulary. I have done P.T., off and on, for the last five years. I exercise to some degree nearly every day. I doubt that surgery is really the answer for me, at this point. I do not have a disc problem, and my spinal stenosis is minor in comparison to most people who end up under the knife. I do have some stability issues, but surgery probably would not address the bulk of my issues. Also, NSAIDs really do not provide much relief for me at this point (and bring their own complications that my lower digestive system does not deal well with ... there just isn't enough fiber in the universe to compensate.)
Do I do things that I shouldn't do? YES! (Example: Over the last year and a half, I have resorted to drinking alcohol to get to sleep six nights out of seven.... which has put about twenty pounds back on my ever-widening butt. Plus, I KNOW that it's not good for my overall health.)
This weekend has been particularly painful because my left knee has decided to flare up in a big way. I have sciatica down my right leg right now. My left knee is so painful that I am walking with a slow painful limp. My lower back is inflamed nearly to its full-on peak. My upper right shoulder blade is starting to spasm. My hips (the frontal protrusions of my pelvic bones) are a bit tender as well. So, basically, if it can go wrong ... it's going wrong.
I've looked into a number of diagnoses myself. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Fibromyalgia. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lyme disease. Nothing is spot on. Besides, my chronic back problems are directly traceable to an injury sustained just over fifteen years ago. Most of these diseases have no injury-based relationship.
So, I'm guessing that my wide-spread system chronic pain is psychosomatic. Right? [ Though part of me sees a strong potential with Fibromyalgia since I have IBS and insomnia, big time, in addition to having over half the tender points that usually categorize the disease. Sadly, the medical profession says you need to have eleven tender points to be diagnosed, and I miss that by one. OTOH, being diagnoses with Fibromyalgia doesn't REALLY get one anywhere since there is no cure and the treatments are usually marignally effective for most sufferers.]
I have an appointment with my M.D. on Thursday afternoon. I fully expect to walk out of the appointment with either fewer prescriptions or new, useless, prescriptions. (Or, in handcuffs after punching the man out for suggesting some of the same pointless crap that I have been through already.)
Sorry gang, I truly hate to bitch and moan. I'll share with you the lyrics to my current favorite retro tune by the Rolling Stones
"Lifes just much too hard today,
I hear evry mother say
The pusuit of happiness just seems a bore
And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter of a mothers little helper
They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day
Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old"