Total Pain Meltdown

I've been suffering with chronic back pain for years and just been given cocodamol on repeat prescription without any real investigations (since I had an MRI that showed a worn disc about 20 years ago). I've recently had a severe mental health crisis that meant not leaving the house unaccompanied (I live alone), not cooking and not doing much housework. The inactivity has exacerbated my back and hip pain and also given me muscle spasms. I've also gained a fair amount of weight from my head meds which doesn't help.

My new GP, who is excellent, gave me a BuTrans 10mg patch for the pain and my psychiatrist doubled my Pregabalin which gave me a bit of confidence to get out of the house alone. So on Friday I thought I'd treat myself to a massage. As I still have a problem with public transport I decided to walk the mile there, which was very hilly But the massage was bliss. Unfortunately, two days later and I'm in agony. Not getting any relief from my pain patch and shuffling like an old woman. My friend had to come and take me to my go again this afternoon and I was in tears owing to the pain and just generally feeling useless. My GP was great, he's doubled the strength of my BuTrans patch, given me some Oxysomethingorother and is sending me for X-rays on my hips, knees, pelvis and ankles. I've had one of the oxythingies and feel better already!

Basically I wanted to big up the NHS and my lovely friend for being so supportive. Best wishes to you all in your daily struggles, I'm with you in spirit 😃

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16 Replies

  • Hi,

    That's a lovely success story and I do hope you continue to improve. It sounds as if you're going in the right direction, doesn't it.

    I also use Butrans patches. I'm on 40mcg a week. I also take other painkillers too.

    I agree with you in praising the NHS because I've just had a hip replacement and the care I got was wonderful.

    Keep improving!

    Anna x

  • Thank you for your reply Anna. There's not enough praising of the NHS but I also understand that people can become frustrated when they don't feel as though they are getting anywhere. My old GP was closed down suddenly by the CQC so I was forced to find a new GP and luckily my friend recommended my new one as he had got her through a mental health crisis and MH is his specialty. I understand that my pain is probably exacerbated by my MH problems but at least he isn't fobbing me off as it all 'being in my mind'.

    It just goes to show that if you feel you aren't getting anywhere with your current GP, it can be well worth changing.

    I had a fall 2 years ago and broke my right ankle and badly sprained my left and had to use crutches for ages as it took 7 months for bone to start forming on the fracture. This could explain some of the pain in my ankles, knees and hips too but it's so reassuring to know that he believes my pain is real enough to me to do the investigation.

    I'm so pleased you got good care and I hope you too keep improving.

    Mrs D

  • I did not know you could take 40 on Butrans Patch. I wear a Butrans patch but only 5 . I am in USA and thought I read studies had not shown going higher would give more relief. I will re-check my research because even after patch and 4 hydrocodone a day cannot get totally pain free. Also take Cymbalta.

  • I've just been upped from 10 to 20 and given some oxycodone for breakthrough pain. The first couple of days I didn't notice a difference and had to take the oxycodone. Today though, I can feel a difference overall and just had to take one oxy for my knees as I had X-rays on them yesterday and they had me contorting!

  • I'm so pleased that you are finally getting some relief from the pain and as importantly some investigations as to what is causing it.

    I too feel the NHS is all too frequently bashed. My GP recently referred me to a Neurosurgeon who operated on my neck some years ago as I have new symptoms of numbness in my arm and fingers She booked me a consultation through the NHS Choose and book scheme and I waited just 9'days to see him last Thursday. He booked an MRI for today and I go back to,see him on Friday - all NHS. Cant fault that really.

    I do hope you get your xrays quickly and you continue to progress.

    Do let us know how you're doing

    Best wishes



  • Wow Shirley, that's amazingly quick! They clearly thought your symptoms serious enough to warrant quick action. I'm so pleased for you and hope that they get to the bottom of your symptoms so you can get some speedy relief.

    During this recent MH (and my worsening chronic pain) crisis, I've had exemplary care and referrals on to an Occupational Therapist who is coming to my home next week to see if any adaptations can be made to aid my mobility in the home.

    The only gripe I have is how long waiting lists are for talking therapies but that's down to the woeful underfunding of MH services. But the Occupational Therapist is going to look into some trauma counselling for me so that may speed up the process.

    I'm getting my X-rays done tomorrow as we have a walk-in service for that here in my town. I appreciate how lucky I am to have all these services available to me.

    When I had my fall last year and sprained one ankle and broke the other, I was seen to, xrayed and treated all within 2 hours on a Sunday morning! I call that superb service!

    Thanks again for your kindness and I hope you get some relief soon too.

    Take care

    Mrs D

  • Hi Mrs D,

    I share your concern about dreadful talking therapies delays as I am a counsellor. If you PM me your area Id be happy to research any services you could access more quickly.

    Best wishes


  • Thank you so much Shirley, that's really kind of you. I'm on the waiting list for therapy with the Survivors Network and I think (and my psychiatrist also) that they are probably the best organisation to deal with my issues.

    But thanks again, kindness goes a long way these days as it can be in short supply!

    If I don't get anywhere with the OT or I can't wait for the SN, I'll let you know.

    Take good care and kind regards

    Mrs D.

  • hello oh good to hear you are getting diff help, that works, i am 50 years of a spinal fushion car crashes, many surgeries, etc., and am falling apart, and yes i got ok for a x ray which apparently does not show much, tho idid ask for mri or s thing similar, and codeine which stops my stomach from working and physio, here we go again and again, good you seem to have some help and improvement, and no i barely go out and have put on weight with the pills and inactivity, love and light

  • Thank you for your reply Middlesex. It's awful being housebound isn't it? And the weight really does pile on with inactivity. Can you get some help with exercises you can do at home? I'm hoping to start swimming soon but I hate the way I look in a swimsuit- I broke down when I tried it on as I've really put a lot of weight on but I have to get past that.

    I've just been offered a week in a convalescent home via my Union which I hope I can take up. I just need to get the courage to use a train to get down there!

    Kind regards

    Mrs D

  • Hi Mrs D

    You can book assisted travel with the train company. That way you will be given help with your luggage and assistance to your seat reserved or not. Then at the end of your journey there will be another Porter/ rail person to carry your luggage to the taxi rank or to another train. Sometimes they bring a Buggy type of transport. Can depend sometimes what kind of help you have requested on the travel assist phone call. I have used this service many times and have only once been let down after a Southwest train terminated early due to emerg work on the track. I did write a letter of complaint so hopefully it won't happen again to anyone else. Virgin, east coast. First great western have all been excellent with travel assist. If you need any more details, let me know

  • Thanks Rosepetal, I did this yesterday after breaking down on the phone to the Trainline who were really unhelpful. The lady I spoke with at South West Trains was so lovely and has booked me assistance for all connections there and back. I emailed their HO to say how kind she was so I hope they take note and give her some praise.

  • That's a relief for you. And peace of mind too.

    Incidentally , I only use the train line for finding out some of the times for train journeys, but never buy tickets from them . Always from the train companies themselves as they usually work out cheaper. Works even better with a railcard.

    Safe journey and have a good break holiday.

  • Poor you. It does make you feel as if you're going mad, doesn't it? I try to keep going and ignore the pain, but sometimes you just need to have a little weep. I say that all I want is one, pain free minute. But I know that if I got that, then I'd want another one, or five! Aargh!

  • Hello positive and helpful people around us, Life can not be any better

    Keep fighting


  • True Bob, kind and thoughtful words from people go a long, long way,

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