Hey all. So, I’m currently on vacation in Europe. While the trip has been great and all so far, I’m going through my medication WAYYY faster than I should be. This isn’t the first time either. (Thank goodness I got my refill a day before my trip, or else I might have run out DURING my trip.)
A year ago, I switched doctors. I wanted to reduce the amount of medication I was on for my FMS and try out some alternative therapies. My doctor at the time refused to help me wean off. I was taking - per day - 50mg Percocet, 6mg Xanax, 200mg Celebrex, 4mg Zanaflex, 50mcg Duragesic/72 hrs, and some other random medications “as needed”.
Ever since I started seeing this new doctor in July 2014, I started weaning down and I am now taking - per day - 15mg Percocet and 3mg Xanax. I take 200mg Celebrex as needed for inflammation, usually when it rains (as it often does in NJ).
My current doctor has reduced my medication wayyy too fast and too much and isn’t offering any alternative therapies to help deal with the pain - not even trigger point injections. I was still doing fairly well when he reduced me - per day - to 20mg Percocet, 3mg Xanax, and 12mcg Duragesic/72 hrs, up until Jan/Feb 2015. I’ve told my doctor I’m suffering with my current lowered dosage of 15mg Percocet and 3mg Xanax, but he just wants to keep reducing my medication further - never mind my suffering. When I tell him I’m having a hard time, he says of course it’ll be hard but I need to do it and if I can’t, I should think about switching to Suboxone - a route I’m not ready to take. He doesn’t seem to take into account that before I started seeing him a year ago, I was on these medications for 8+ years, plus some other additional strong medications too.
Since March, I have run out of my meds two weeks early every single month, and he doesn’t seem to care. (February 2015 is when I stopped the Duragesic and when my doctor drastically dropped my Percocet dosage.) For those two weeks when I run out early, I go through horrible withdrawal. My blood pressure and pulse rate go up (and he knows that). The pain and fatigue is unbearable. My ears ring nonstop, until I feel like going insane. My joints hurt - especially my knees and ankles. My ankles, lower back, and glutes feel like they are on fire. My head feels like it is going to explode. My brain fog becomes worse. I can’t even focus on mindless tasks, like doing laundry or loading the dishwasher. I get extremely depressed during that time due to a lack of pain relief.
While I am grateful to my current doctor for being willing to wean me off, I need a more caring doctor who will be in tune with my (body’s) needs. I need a doctor who understands that sometimes it’s not the proper time to cut down on the dose of a medication, or that sometimes it may be necessary to raise the dose back up if we’re weaning down too fast - especially depending on the season and what is currently going on in my life. The cold and the rain especially make my pain worse. I was also actually working again recently when I was getting effective pain relief, but that is now near impossible. This is another reason I really need a doctor who will help me find the right combination of therapies that will help me lead the best life possible rather than just someone who wants to see me get off all pain/controlled medications with no other form of pain relief.
I need a doctor who will integrate alternative therapies - PT, diet, chiropractic, accupuncture, trigger point, biofeedback, etc…I don’t know. Something more than just medication.
I’ve found pain management doctors who use a whole system of integrative medicine, minus any type of medication - pain meds or not. I’ve also found doctors who only treat using medication. I can’t find someone who does both.
I live in Central NJ. If anybody knows of a doctor who uses an integrative approach using medication AND alternative therapies, I’d really appreciate a recommendation. I’m willing to travel up to 1.5-2 hours if that’s what it takes. I have a PPO and my insurance is pretty good. They cover most non-elective visits and procedures, including alternative medicine, no referrals needed.
I WANT TO START LIVING AGAIN!!!
Thanks in advance to anyone out there who can help me with a recommendation for a new doctor!