Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: chronic pain

Posted by Elizabeth on July 12, 1999, at 15:13:34

In reply to Re: chronic pain, posted by JohnL on July 12, 1999, at 4:18:09

> Hi Elizabeth. I really look forward to your posts. Thanks for being so helpful.

Hi John. Thanks for being so flattering. :-)

> I just wanted to let you know you have company. I have scoliosis too, though rather mild.

Yeah, mine is mild too, that's why they missed it for so long presumably. But I saw the x-ray and sure enough, there it is.

>As a result, one shoulder is slightly lower than the other. My brother has it worse (it is genetic), and a few days a month he finds it so painful he downs a lot of Tylenol.

I think mine just keeps me from being able to establish a symmetrical posture. My back pain tends to be on one side or the other, and sometimes it shifts sides. For the most part, sitting still, not moving, is what exacerbates it. It's often worst first thing in the morning (along with my depression - sheesh). Walking with a shoulder bag or a really heavy backpack can also be a problem, though.

>Mine causes a constant mild pain, and I have to be careful of certain movements that make it worse. My father is an orthopaedic surgeon and says it can be corrected with surgery, but that is rather serious and reserved for crippling cases or acute gross deformity. It is known to worsen with age, but not always. (great news, huh?)

Fantastic, just what I wanted to hear. :-> Surgery does sort of seem like overkill.

> My brother has tried all the pain medications and says Percocet is the only one that works for him. He got it on the street once, but can't find it anymore. So far he hasn't been able to get a doctor to prescribe it because of its addiction potential. I wish doctors would more often consider the risk/benefit profile from a more empathetic angle. Clearly he wants the drug for serious pain, not for a high, and he's tried everything else. Reminds me of prescribing a psychostimulant like methamphetamine for depression. If it works, and all else has failed, then addiction might well be an acceptable risk to give the person a new lease on life.

If he doesn't have a history of addiction, I don't see a problem with it. Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol), and he should watch out for tolerance because, while there's no danger in upping the dose of a narcotic as you become tolerant to it
(other than increased pharmacologic dependence and annoying side effects), Tylenol can do yucky things to your liver if used in too-high doses. How much Percocet is he using, and has he needed to up the dose ever? (Some people using small amounts for chronic pain don't.) If he can find a doctor willing to prescribe narcotics, a better choice might be Oxycontin, which is a slow-release form of oxycodone *without* Tylenol or aspirin or anything like that added.

I know that they prescribe narcotics at the pain clinic where I go (I've talked to other patients in the waiting room), so it is possible to find a doctor who will do it.




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