help for my husband with chronic pain

Hi,

I have posted here before about my husband who has chronic back pain following an accident at work when he fell onto concrete. He has 2 crushed vertebrae. When we lived down South he was receiving good care and was on Diazepam for spasms, Oromorph, MST morphine and then Fentanyl patches which were managing the pain quite well. Then he came off all medication before we moved. We are now in a different area of the UK with a new GP. The strongest medication they are prescribing is Solpadol which just paracetamol with some codeine which is barely doing anything for the pain. He was referred to the pain management clinic where he saw a Physio and she has said this is the strongest level of medication that can be prescribed. She said these are the new guidelines and they do not prescribe opioids anymore. She offered a further appointment with a consultant and this is next Tuesday.

My query is how to be prepared for this appointment on Tuesday. Is there anything that can be said to get stronger medication. My husband is understandably very depressed as he is barely functioning day to day and he felt suicidal after the appointment with the physio.

Could someone please offer some help or advice.

Thanks very much in advance.

13 Replies

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  • Hello carmel13n . I did listen to you previous posts although didn't reply.

    You said your husband came off all his meds before moving up to South Yorkshire. Was there any reason for that? There were some pretty powerful ones which should alwyas be reduced slowly to avoid withdrawals and certainly never more than one at a time.

    I move abroad last year for a better way of life for my husband so maybe a bit behind with what's going on in the UK but I have heard many strong prescription pin meds are beig withdrawn. A bit ff topic but it has medical and scientific evidence now that after a fairly short period these opiates etc do not ork. I understand NHS guidelines are trying to prevent people starting on these meds only to have to come off at a later date and suffer consequences of the withdrawal and in rare cases the dependency.

    I would suggest write everything down you want to ask. You will be asked, or your husband will, what conditions he has, what meds he has taken in the past and who he has been while taking them. Usually suggest keeping a pain diary for at leas a week but time is against you know to do that.

    Pain clinics are also know as pain management where you are taught how to manage your pain. It is hard. Damned hard but by pacing yourself rather than stopping when you in complete spasms, using alternative therapies like acupuncture, exercise, physio is very beneficial. I am afraid many people rely on pain 'killers' and the is no such things. No amount of pill popping can ever stop chronic pain.

    So go with your list. Ask consultant why he/she can't prescribe something stronger and what would he suggest?

    Then please come back and tell me!

    x

  • Paton is completely correct in everything that was said.

  • I also have a fractured vertebrae so I know the pain your husband is in. I've tried most of the pain medication and found that they only took the edge of the pain so I got rid of most of them and now only take tramadol when needed with two antiinflamatory tabs morning and night. Sleep is a problem for me regarding pain so sometimes I take amitriptyline to help nerve pain. I've had all the pain injections but non of them lasted long and didn't help the leg pain so I don't bother anymore. The only way I can cope with the pain is to listen to my body. If sitting too long gets painful I stand or walk up and down and when that gets too much I sit for a while. It's called pacing yourself but try not to let the pain get too bad before you change position. I go out for dinner with friends and book a corner table and eat standing up if I have to. Also swimming or just exercising in water is so much easier in water than on land because your weightless. Acupuncture is certainly worth a try. If your husband can get into the pain management clinic they can teach him how to manage the pain and to focus on other things like what he can do rather than what he can't. X

  • seems that it's a lottery with your husbands medications at the moment,so you need to explain that your husband's medication was stopped after moving areas but ultimately it shouldn't mean his medications being stopped,so I think explaining to the consultant that the last meeting with the physio has left him even more depressed than ever before,and unless the consultant has other reasons why your husband health could be affected by his previous medications perhaps request that his medication be reinstated,but with opioid medication it's addictive apparently,but I was on fentanyl patches years ago and had no problem withdrawing from them,and unfortunately taking most tablets etc,they all carry warnings etc,so if your husband can accept that the medication he was on previously could cause other health problems,then possibly he will have other health problems down the line,so its just a question of balancing everything for your husband,good luck

  • Hi Carmel,

    Just like Paton said there are no pain killers all medication does is try to dull the pain and not remove it.

    Like your husband I have 3 of my vertebrae broken in an accident back in 1976 and since then have been on so called "pain killers" since then, at the start I only took them when the spasms hit to take the edge off but as the years have passed it has progressed to the point where I have trouble standing still for over a couple of minutes or walking much more than 10 to 20 yards and I cannot manage without taking them, all the pain clinic will try to do is teach him how to manage the bad pain and that can be using a variety of things and they try to get you on the lowest amount of drugs, the longer you are on any drug the less effect it has on you and the more you have to take to get the same effect, the best thing he can do is to do as much exercise as he can manage as this will reduce the amount of pain but it is a long term exercise it will not give any effect in the short term.

    Good luck finding something that works for him.

    Regards Poppy Ann.

  • So sorry to hear your husband is still going through this.. I think those who are saying opiods don't work are wrong. Without my patches I would be stuck in bed 24/7. Why did he stop all medication before the move? Wish there was some advice I could give but if they won't prescribe anything what can you do? Hoping you get something sorted on Tuesday. Xx

  • Sorry to hear about your husband's pain. With regards to the appointment, write everything down from what you want to say to what you want to ask. As a patient your husband needs to tell them how much the pain is affecting him mentally and his quality of life.; work, activities he would normally enjoy and relationships with other people. Tell them what he wants to be doing and how badly his life is now compromised.

    Ask why he can't be prescribed the same pain killers that he had at your last address. Tell them what worked. Drs have a duty of care to do all that they can to relieve pain.

    On a final note, I had a lot of relief from a fractured vertebrae with acupuncture.

    Best wishes

    My blog: soloambition.wordpress.com

  • You think we are wrong in saying opiates don't work Victoriapain?

    Sadly the medical evidence is there, They only work for a very short time..Ask why those who have been on them for a long time request stronger and stronger doses?

    Have you been on the same strength patches since you started?

    x

  • Once I found out what strength patch was able to help, yes. I've been on the same one for almost 4 months. Don't get me wrong it doesn't get rid of all my pain but without them it's a nightmare. Sometimes they fall off whilst sleeping and I know as soon as I wake that the patch has came off without checking. So for me at least. They work x

  • 4 months is short for chronic pain. You will find the need to ask for stronger ones over time. Then when you reach the ceiling dose you will ask for another med.

    Glad it works for you now. We have all been there at the start of our very long journey. Years of research now show totally different routes.

    x

  • Paton hi had Chronic pain more yaers and one thing that works C B D

  • CBD oil does help many people and is available cos the THC have been removed. They are the real beneficial parts of the plant.

    But cannabis is not an opiate. and illegal in the UK

    x

  • Thanks for the replies so far. My husband doesn't like the idea of accupunture. He tries to exercise but is in a lot of pain swimming sounds like a good idea. He did find the fentanyl patch helped before and he is sensible about taking the correct does of pain meds and he knows how to reduce properly to ensure no bad withdrawal effects. He thinks amitriptaline might not work as it is mainly an anti-depressant. I think opiates do work. Not sure about the CBD oil really. Maybe I'll suggest a TENS machine.

    Hopefully the appointment on Tuesday will go well.

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