I have had 4 cervical spine surgeries in the past 2 years. My left shoulder continues to hurt like a tooth ache. I find myself being depressed and tired all the time. Is it time to realize this is going to be this way the rest of my life?
Four surgeries in a span of 24 months is a lot of trauma and stress to the body as a whole. After just one major orthopedic surgery procedure it can sometimes take as much as 18 to 24 months to get over it. You do not say how long it has been since the last procedure, so you could still be in the healing stage.
You may need to be seen by a pain management specialist, to see if you need some type of adjuvant therapy or medication. There is so much that can be done, don't give up yet. Also, if you are significantly depressed, that should be treated. Depression is a serious medical disorder. It is well known that depression makes pain much worse. So, make sure that it is addressed just like any other medical problem.
Thank you for your reply. My last surgery was emergency surgery Jan. 3rd because I was leaking spinal fluid. I am seeing a pain management specialist but he is limited what he can prescribe because of my heart meds. ( liver concerns ) I would be happy with a 5 mg of Vicodin but will not prescribe narcotics. I need something during this healing process. I have doubled my Celexa for my depression but I am still driving the family crazy.
Opioids have been used for millenia and have a very safe profile. When used properly, under the supervision of a physician, they are one of the best medicines for the treatment of chronic pain. The chances of addiction (which is different from physical dependency) is actually very small.
But, with the DEA/FDA's ridiculous ideas on their use, doctors are afraid to prescribe them. Doctors risk losing their licenses if they stray from what the DEA/FDA feel is "appropriate". With the "war of drugs", patients who have pain, are denied a chance of getting a medicine that would make their life so much better.
I'm sorry to say, that if the doctor won't even give you some 5mg hydrocodone (which does come without the acetaminophen), you may want to look for a physician who is a little more realistic in his/her prescribing ideals. There are a lot of pain management regimens for the treatment of pain after spine surgery. These include the use of several different types of medications, with or without the use of opioids. But, if other regimens do not keep a patient comfortable (not necessarily pain free, but comfortable) and productive, and opioids do provide this, then they should be used. They are not the work of the devil. They are excellent medicines and should be part of every doctors "black bag".
Hope you find someone who will treat your pain appropriately, whatever that entails. Good luck.