my wife and Chronic Pain and how she's been treated

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  1. profile image53
    Thomas Hainesposted 14 years ago

    I wrote this letter to a doctor after she dropped my wife due to pain medication.
                 Dear Doctor,this letter is being sent to you on behalf of my wife and myself.There is a difference between pain and suffering.Pain is the direct result of a cause.Suffering is the entire experience of pain and everything that accompanies it.Type and intensity is but one of several factors that regulates the extent of the ordeal called suffering.As if chronic pain itself isn't enough,it developes into other conditions.Let us refer to this as complete chronic pain condition.It's the accumulation of other things that develope from harboring chronic pain for an extended period of time.New afflictions now combine to escalate the original affliction.I had to touch base on several controversial issues to accuratly convey what compromises that world of chronic pain and the wake that follows it.The unavoidable truth is that issues of life (those that seem soabundant today),contribute greatly to the world of chronic pain.If human life is not cherrished and dignifyed,How can we expect treatment of chronic pain to be even marginally adiquate?We have become a society whose action are defining us to have an irreverance for human life in general.Never before have we brought to the decision making table as many various issues that will ultimatly direct the outcome of humanity.While people are starving and war rages on,the more fortunate are confronted with the delema of wich HGTV to buy.People are conditioned by driving forces like government,media,news papers and other methods that sell something to them.Their perscrition of chronic pain is that it is merley a single or two dimentional problem and not a multifaceted dilema that really exists.When you delve deeply into the dark world of chronic pain as I have you will discover,many of the things that cause chronic pain and the condition that follows it,is socialy rooted.Look closely and you will see the consequences of many of the debated issues of life in action.You will see, that many of the things that compromise the cause also make up the governing forces for the treatment.The first stop for chronic pain sufferers is somewhere in the realm of what science has to offer. this is logical because this is where medical practioners reside.The big problem begins when reality kicks in.Many discover that medicine can't cure or even sometimes treat allot of cases.After medicine fails in anyway,the search for that magic pill begins,and many sufferers will fall prey to numerous schemes and deceptions along the way.Pain is a giant commodity and many top portions of sufferers,while the remainder which represents the majority,are left to linger in their own pain and suffering.Buisnesses want to tap into potential profits from it.Proof of that is all over the internet,television,radio,magazines,billboards etc.Chronic pain sufferers are a target and I admit that some of them magic bullet cures fired at them can be quite appealing.Lies can be convincing especialy when you get them from you're doctor.The result is that most chronic pain sufferers that in anyway slighted by medicine or proposed scams fall into one or more stages along the path to acceptance of complete chronic pain condition.While in any of those stages,such as denial and depression for example they are usually oblivious to alternative help medical science effectively treats.My wife has complied with every procedure known to medical science,not to mention the very painfull nerve blocks ect,ect,ect.$100,000 + $ latter she's in worse condition than she started.As dirty as the word may be (OPIATS are what she needs.My point is Opiats have been so abused by so many others that the ones whom need them the most can't get them yet every dope pedler on the street have no problem getting them yet my wife must suffer or I might have to jeperdize my life,face 20 in federal prison to try and get her that needed relief.What would you do?How far would you go for a loved one?

  2. prettydarkhorse profile image55
    prettydarkhorseposted 14 years ago

    is the subject connected to death for sufferers instead of them suffering more,

    we are born selfish, I mean material things are the main motivation for most of us,,,unless we try to be satisfied with basic wants, we will become more insatiable

    I hope your wife will feel better soon..keep on believing

  3. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 14 years ago

    I do not see your point. What's your suggestions? That our world is not perfect? Or the system is corrupted or what? May be your wife should get up and change something in her life drastically or not. Diet, activities, even going to different place to live might help. Pain is always a warning sign. Our body says: do something or else. Pills do not always help, but sometimes there is just a simple solution but you have to find it YOURSELF. Not easy but attainable if you REALLY TRY.
    And are you expecting your doctor to read hubpages or what?

  4. h.a.borcich profile image60
    h.a.borcichposted 14 years ago

    Hi Thomas,

      I can relate to what your wife is going through and agree the Drs inflict as much distress as the constant chronic pain itself.
      It would seem she has been to pain Drs if she has had nerve blocks. May I ask if you could either post or email me an outline of how her pain started and what she has sought for treatment. Maybe all that I have been through can help in some way.
      My pain is chronic too and I have been dealing with it for over 2 years now. I have had numerous surgeries removing organs, making organs do other functions, and removing malignant organs. This has created nerve damage and adhesions which are no fun. I also have bone tumors and arthritis causing bone pain - the anemia does also. Residual effects of chemotherapy has caused significant nerve damage in my hands, feet and spine. Chemo also took most of my hearing which makes me irritable. Just in the last major surgery they removed 35 lymphnodes and that creates lymphadema which causes swelling and more pain. Those are the big ones keeping my pain levels around a 5 or better. Rain and cold bump it up to 8 or 9 real fast.
      I have taken advice of oncologists, general practitioners and orthopedic drs both locally and been to Mayo's in Minnesota for a few years. I was put on palliative care in 12/07, and referred to pain drs then.
      Physical therapy is of little help. I resisted opiates until I could hardly move anymore. Within a year they had me taking 80 mgs of oxicontin, and 10mg lortabs every few hours. My array of drs started accusing me of being a junkie which torqued the crap out of me as I had not wanted the meds in the first place.
      Last summer I gave up the meds and most of the drs. I use a cane, hide from the cold, enjoy my smirnoffs and live with pain levels between 5-7 on average. I prefer having my mind clear as I can, and I know I may not always be able to do that. I have drawn my lines in the sand with what I am and am not willing to do in my fight.
      Depending on what causes your wifes pain and what she has tried, I may know of something or someone to help her. I also advocate for people trying to get treatments, etc I really hope she can feel better soon. If nothing else, I can be a friend and understand. Holly

  5. SandyMcCollum profile image63
    SandyMcCollumposted 14 years ago

    H.A. and Thomas,
    I have been through much of what you describe and I SO sympathize with you. Doctor's sometimes do aggravate the condition further with their accusations of being addicted to drugs they started us on. I know how that feels, along with the chronic pain. I too am a cancer survivor (4 times so far), I no longer work and live on oxycontin and meloxicam, and I would love nothing more than for this pain to be gone. I dream of the days when I had to take NO pills. I sometimes struggle with depression because of it all and the length of time I've been suffering. I just pray my hands and eyes don't go out on  me, or I wouldn't even be able to write. I just want you to know I understand, I'm not looking for sympathy.

    I'll pray for both of you. I don't want to 'hear' anything about that, please, I have lived on prayer for some time now and it often is all I have to turn to.

    Good luck and here's some healing thought waves for H.A. and for Thomas' wife: (((((((((((((((((


  6. profile image53
    Thomas Hainesposted 14 years ago

    Wow,Thanks so much on you're reply, My wife has been 18surgeries and counting.Its been a total nightmare.She's been through 4 shoulder operations ,4 reconstructed hand surgeries,needs two hips,has an accumulation other problems the list is so long I can't seem to deal with it anylonger.I feel for you deeply and it at least at one point in you're life the doctor at least knew how to prescribe to a chronic pain person as fare as opiates are concerned ,but you are so right how they look at you ,treat you as well as the pharmacist.My wife has been on pain meds on and off for 5 years  and my wife also has a liver deseas in wich she got from a carpule  tunnel surgery in witch she shouldn't have any acedamedifine.I complained to the doctors about that witch only made it worse.all I know is my wife has been in chronic pain since she was in her early 30's now she's 56 years old and all she needs is about 5 more mg. of oxycodon and she would be fine.In the last 5 years theve had her on 10 mg.and then 5mg. every 4 to 5 hours.I just don't know what to do. Even the pharmacist tells us thats a very low dose.Its like pulling teeth to get these doctors to understand that her pain levels are of the chart.I haven't had a decent night of sleepo in years and my poor wife is up every 20 minutes or so.Thank you for listening.You sound like you've been through the ringer to. Plese write back. Sincerly Thomas

  7. h.a.borcich profile image60
    h.a.borcichposted 14 years ago

    Hi Thomas & Sandy,

      Please note that I am not looking for sympathy either, we all have something to deal with.
      I will have to write more later tonight (I have a housefull but no stove fires so far!), but I do ti chi and believe in energy stuff and "alternative" medicines and things which have helped some. I will share what I have learned and really hope it helps you both. Know that I care and hope to be able to help.
      Happy Thanksgiving! Holly

  8. BEAUTYBABE profile image67
    BEAUTYBABEposted 14 years ago

    Dear Thomas,
    Before I start, I would like to first of all say congratulations to you for telling your story about, what is obviously a very painful subject for you to talk about concerning your wife's situation. It was so brave of you to do this and I personally want to commend you  for do this Thomas.
    I am truly sorry to hear what you wife is going through. I can empathise entirely with all her suffering especially when it comes to using narcotics. I would like to say also before I start that I am not looking for sympathy either.
    I know only too well how much damage narcotics can do to your reputation and how it makes you feel about yourself especially.
    I have been in and out of hospitals nearly all my life.
    I have had over 40 operations on my abdominal region alone for various bowel obstructions as a result of Ulcerative Colitis. I have had two ilesotomies performed, the latter being a permanent one. I have had several ops. on my right knee, several bladder surgeries, and recently had a right shoulder reconstruction, which was very difficult, because of my ileostomy. I have been on narcotic drugs for so long, I feel like an addict at times myself. I have had to be reminded that I am on these drugs because I need them for pain, and not that my body does. Let me explain what I mean. If you take a narcotic for pain, then you are not addicted, no matter how much you take because you are taking it for the pain. However, when you take it to get some sort of a buzz or a "euphoric feeling", this then could mean that you are addicted to narcotics, which is dangerous then. When this happens, it means that it is your body craving this lovely feeling, and not so much your body needing the medication for pain. This is why so many Doctors are reluctant to put patients on this type of drug because they are worried that this will happen. That the person becomes feeling so good that they can't tell whether they are taking it for the pain, or just the body craving it. Narcotics should not be held in reserve for "when I really need it" if the pain is bad at the time, you need the drug at that time. Addiction and Dependence are essentially non-existent problems in cancer patients taking narcotics, and unmanageable dose requirements are rare. I believe that if a person says they are in pain that no one else can feel that pain so they are not in a position to judge you.You should be able to say this freely without hesitation and worrying what someone will think of you because you want this particular drug.

    I can remember several instances asking for injections when I had severe pain and being given the third degree and asked "is it really bad enough for an injection", why would you be asking if it wasn't bad enough. I got to the stage where they made me feel so guilty for asking, I felt like I was an addict and rather than humiliate myself each time  asked, I decided instead to tough it out on occasions. This wasn't the wisest of decisions because when I did that it would take even long to settle down when I did finally get an injection.

    In 2006 I was diagnosed with a terminal illness after many years of a lot of different problems with various systems of my body.
    I have a very rare neurodegenerative disease which affects all the systems of the body, including the brain. I have been told that I have, at the age of 53, the neck of an 80 yr. old woman because I have severe degenerative disc disease in my neck.
    I was to have had surgery in March this years, however, prior to going to theate, I suffered a TIA, or mini stroke. My surgeon was the one to find me unresponsive and had he not seen me like this I would have suffered a massive stroke on the operating table. I now have a neck that could go bad at any time and paralyse me. I  have to wear narcotic patches on my body, because I can't have any foreign objects inside as my body reacts to them and I have ended up with septicaemia on many occasions because of this. I wear four of these patches and change them every three days. I am on a Disability Pension and therefore this gets quite expensive when you have to pay for these and your other medications every two weeks.

    I feel like a junkie all the time, no matter what anyone else says because I have these patches on me. I wish I could leave them off altogether but I know I can't otherwise I will be in extreme severe pain and suffer withdrawal, which isn't nice either. You don't say in your letter Thomas, whether of not your wife is under a Pain Specialist. If she isn't may I recommend that you try and find one for her, because they are the specialists in this field.  I think this sounds like something she would certainly benefit from. I will keep you and your family in my prayers Thomas and watch to see how things turn out for you all.Stay safe and keep up your faith, God Bless you all at this troubling time BB

  9. h.a.borcich profile image60
    h.a.borcichposted 14 years ago

      Thanksgiving dinner went well - no fires smile

      Not sure if this will be helpful, but pick & choose what you want. Please make sure with your trusted dr before radical changes with nutrients and herbal stuff.

      "Energy Medicine" by Donna Eden. There is a kit with cards to help you test your energys and very clear and effective ways to clear your energy paths. I do this and am always amazed how it helps. Results happen quickly for some parts of pain and energy clearing. She has been in this a few decades and really is good - has books, etc.

      I have used the help of a naturopath. She tested my blood and prescribed herbs to add to an essiac tea, made radical changes in my diet. She started me on chlorophyl and plant enzymes(and then some) when I was diagnosed with metastatic spread to my left hip. That lesion has disappeared after 2 months following what was prescribed for me. If you seek out a naturopath be sure to check them out - some are quacks. And ask a trusted dr about what you intend to try. After all the chemo damage then slamming nutritional medicine - I almost shut down my failing kidneys. But the cancer lesion in my hip would have killed me over a year ago.

      I think stress is a huge factor for health and pain issues. Do what you need to to get stress way down. The body has so much response to stress ...I really must make a hub for that for there is too much to write for me to put it here. But look up stress on google and follow the reputable sites. It may take me a week, but I am going to get a hub up on this.

      There are a few other things that made a difference for me, but the above have helped the most. I do sitting Tai Chi, use Theives oil daily, and my spirituality has helped me balance my physical life alot.

       ((((Thomas & Sandy))) healing vibes to you too, Holly

  10. profile image0
    cosetteposted 14 years ago

    i'm sorry about your wofe Thomas. i hope you find her the help she needs. when she gets better hopefully you can find some recourse re: the doctors who either haven't helped her or have made her worse. sad

  11. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 14 years ago

    Good fortune to all of you who've posted.  About my own wife, I'll simply mention that she's definitely a chronic severe pain sufferer with an entire panoply of ailments.  We've tried a number of alternative approaches, none of which have helped in the slightest--only opiates, along with her impressive ability to use her mind to make 10mg do the work of a much higher dose, have been effective for the past 11 years.

    However, when we moved from Colorado to Arizona in April of 2009, no doctor we could find (in a couple of months of searching and initial consultations) would touch her case.  Just yesterday, she managed to schedule an appointment with a new M.D., but how that will go face-to-face is yet to be seen.  A key point is this:

    A few days back, when it was me trying to set an appointment for her (and failing), I confirmed with medical personnel that governmental pressure on the doctors has them running scared all over the state--NONE of them (that my contacts knew about, anyway) are willing to take on NEW patients who are in need of long term pain care.  In the case of her clinic (the office girl to whom I was talking), this change in policy was made JUST THIS YEAR.

  12. profile image52
    jodsdsposted 13 years ago

    Person who are suffering from severe chronic pain can undergo acupuncture treatment, but it will give much more pain than the relief, during the treatment. I suffered a lot during the treatment for my back pain. Finally I found Thoughts Become Reality, where they gave me a hypnotherapy treatment. Now I am completely relieved. Thanks to them

  13. MikeNV profile image69
    MikeNVposted 13 years ago

    You can not understand chronic pain until you are living it.

    Doctors will never understand what their patients go through.  And not all Doctors are compassionate.

    But they are under a large amount of legal pressure to protect their own as&&s.

    So all you can do is move on and try to find another one.

    I read an article about a woman who suffered from a teen to well in her 60's.  She then found a Neurologist that actually diagnosed her problem. There was an actual surgical fix to the problem.  She had the surgery and the pain was gone!

    Can you imagine that?  Nearly an entire life in pain then suddenly gone.  And imagine all the physicians who kept telling her she would just have to live with it!

    Some will suffer some will not.  Unfortunately all you can do is keep trying to find the right solution.

  14. ddsurfsca profile image73
    ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

    My husband has constant pain due to a bad experience in the navy that left him with soft bones, and his back looks like he has had several fusions done, but he is just losing the bone density and his disks are crumbling.  He cannot get to the bathroom some mornings due to pain.
       I have broken my neck twice, and due to a problematic pregnancy that left me with lower back problems, I also have chronic pain but not as bad as his.
       He has gone through nerve block procedures, and I cannot even go into all the different tortures he has gone through trying to solve his pain problems.
       His doctor had him on Norco for about 5 yrs, but the up and down every 4 hours wasn't the answer.  He was either getting out of pain or gettin back into pain.
       doctors these days are very hesitant to prescribe opiats, which is what he needs, but I do not understand how a doctor can leave a man to just lay in bed and suffer and cry, and give him no options to any kind of quality of life.
       Finally we found a doctor who listened and talked to us as long as we needed, and he listened to us too.  We found a medication which seems to have given him his life back to some degree.  He did not like oxycoton which is the first thing offered.  We suggested to the doctor Methadone, and it has been wonderful, mostly becase there is no groggyness or sleepy effect, plus it lasts 10 to 12 hours.  He supplements this with Morphine sulphate Instant Release so that he can take one of those in the morning so he can get up, then takes the methadone which lasts the rest of the day.  We both take it now and it has given us our lives back, at least to some degree.
       Doctors have forgotten that they have taken an oath to heal and cure pain, and first do no harm.  I would suggest doctor shopping until you find one that hears you, and understands.  Noone should live like our spouses have to so don't let the doctors make you live with pain, it isn't nesessary, and I doubt that they would treat themselves in the same manner.

  15. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 13 years ago

    I agree that doctor shoppig is all too often the only realistic option.  My wife has had chronic pain since 1998, the sources being multiple--sports injuries, fibromyalgia, loss of collagen (she's bone-on-bone, head to toe), bullet wounds (she was shot twice, the two hollowpoint rounds leaving shrapnel to this day in both feet and both ankles), and others.  She's been precribed pain medication for many years which does not eliminate the pain by means, but does take the edge off to the point that she can function.

    When we moved to Arizona from Colorado last April, she could not find a doctor who would take her.  After several traumatic refusals including one from a doctor who'd treated her in 2006, plus a number of prospecting letters shotgunned out to quite a few more M.D.s, we gave up.  She went without meds all summer, and I credit the severe heat with getting her through it.  Much of the time she was virtually comatose, barely half-conscious in our old camp trailer with the barely useful air conditioner.

    In December, after nearly 8 months without a family physician and after having been entirely out of medication refills for several months, she finally called a doctor whose name had been rattling around in her head for weeks.  Weirdly enough, that worked, and she once again has prescription medication for her pain. 

    But the path she had to walk to get there was neither easy nor short. 

    We wish you better luck.

  16. profile image0
    A Texanposted 13 years ago

    I've had an eventful life, shot,stabbed,run over twice and had a Heart Attack. I have broken so many bones that sometimes I make creaking noises when I walk, pain has been a constant companion for more than 25 years. But, I do not take anything stronger than a Tylenol for the pain and I don't take that too often. I just live with it and keep trudging along.

    My wife is 10 years younger than I am and doesn't understand why I am not chasing our 3 year old everywhere, Jesus, 3 years old. I guess the good thing about that is I wont have to pay for her wedding, I'll be long dead...

  17. Lynda Gary profile image60
    Lynda Garyposted 13 years ago

    Like your wife -- and so many others, some of whom have posted on this thread -- I am a chronic pain patient, and I have a laundry list of diagnoses, treatments, surgeries, etc.

    Just today, I wrote and posted this hub: … ood-Health  I hope that you and your wife will take a few minutes to read it  (and anyone else hear suffering from medical issues).

    In spite of a progressively worsening disease, I have been able to significantly DECREASE my medication -- including the narcotics.  I take morphine and Dilaudid, but I no longer use Fentanyl, and I take at least HALF as much of the narcotics as I used to. 

    I'm on my way to recovery -- so much so that I've applied for a renewal of my law license, something I gave up over a decade ago due to "permanent disability."  My story is told in that hub (link above).

  18. killrats profile image59
    killratsposted 13 years ago

    Hi There,

    You may want to try a product called NONI Juice.
    It sounds mad, it is a fruit juice but it has done me the world of good. I had very bad back pain and the Doctors wanted to open my back up to see what was wrong.
    After using the product for just a few days the pain was gone and has never come bach. That was some 6 years ago.
    Try it you have nothing to loose.

  19. earnestshub profile image82
    earnestshubposted 13 years ago

    Americas war on drugs has destroyed the life of people all over the world!
    Opiates do work well, as do many other drugs that doctors are terrified of prescribing.
    It is a disgrace that human suffering is ignored so that now illegal drugs can be sold on the black market to keep a bunch of crooks rich. These are the dumbest laws on our planet.

    1. Lynda Gary profile image60
      Lynda Garyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, earnest.  Like medical marijuana.  It works.  It has no / very few side effects, unlike the popular pharmaceuticals, etc.  It works INSTANTLY, literally within seconds, unlike the pharmaceuticals.  And, unlike the pharmaceuticals, it is NOT a method by which big companies will make billions of dollars (though it CAN raise tax revenue and benefit society that way).

  20. The Anomie profile image61
    The Anomieposted 13 years ago

    I was in a doctors office a few months ago when the nurse asked me to rate my pain on a numerical scale with kindergarten smiley face illustrations. i told her that numbers could not describe it like words, but she refused to listen and just insisted that i give her a number.  So I replied

    "Physical pain due to my condition: about a 6 right now, discomfort that comes from living like this all the time: about an 8. Pain that comes from losing the normal happy life I once knew,...well thats a 10. And the pain that comes as a result of people thinking they can understand this with a 1 to 10 number scale...11."

    best of wishes for you and yours, its nice as it is terrible to know we're not suffering alone.

    1. Faybe Bay profile image67
      Faybe Bayposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent breakdown I can relate. They don't know what pain is. stupid smiley face chart is for kids.

  21. ddsurfsca profile image73
    ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

    I do not understand what the deal is, the medical community does not seem to understand what it is like to be in so much pain all the time that you cannot get to the bathroom in the morning, or cannot do the easiest of chores around the house unless I break them down into five minute increments.
    The doctors want to give me meds that are for inflammation or arthritis, and these meds make the pain so bad I just cry, for these meds just make ma feel like everything is just pinching down like in a clamp.
    The old time doctors used to find it satisfying to get people out of pain, if only for a while.  The younger docs make me feel like I am doing something wrong for wanting to be out of pain.  It does not make sense. Once just because I was so sick of it, a doc was doing some tests to see where my numbness was and what I could or couldn't feel, and he asked me to squeeze his fingers.  I squeezed them alright, and it did my heart good to make him feel a tiny bit of what I was going through if only for a second


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