Tag Archives: Pain management

The New Oxycontin – Is It Non-Addictive?

Hey everyone! WOW! I have not blogged quite a while now. I have had a whole lotta stuff going on. I am getting on great these days, in case anyone was wondering.

I did a bit of an experiment with my pain medication. Everyone who reads this blog knows I take pain medication. You all just do not know the type I take. ONE of my pain medications is Oxycontin. Recently the manufacturer of this medication remade the formula for the pill, so as to prevent people from crushing them up, and doing lord knows what with it. This new formula makes the outside mix in so much with the inside of the pill that it is basically unusable for use other than what the doctor prescribed. The manufacturer is also touting this knew formula as being more, or less non addictive. We all heard this same statement when this drug originally came out, and we know what happened with it. It became “Hillbilly Heroin”.

Being the curious person I am, I decided to test this medication to see if it indeed has qualities making it so it is not hard to come off of. I abruptly quit taking it, and stayed off of it for a number of days. I had absolutely NO withdrawals from this medication. I hurt like hell, but I had no withdrawals. It looks like, at least for me, the manufacturer got it right this time.

If you know anyone taking this medication, please be sure to pass this tidbit on to them.

On to other news, we have some tropical systems gearing up in the Carribean, so I have to get off here and make sure I am ready, just in case.

God Bless, and Stay Safe!

oldsoldier

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Uncategorized, Veterans Issues, Weather

My Visit With My New Doctor & Compliments to Lake City, FL VA Hematology Clinic

I had an appointment at the Veterans Clinic in Lake City, Florida today. I was a bit apprehensive about this appointment because I have a new Primary Care doctor. Those who know me know that this is my 5th Primary Care Doctor in the past two years. I have never had so many doctors, in such a short time. What happened was the doctor assigned me when my old doctor got promoted quit because she did not like all the computer BS the VA makes the doctors do, and they had a hard time replacing her. Of all these doctors, I only saw one, back last year, for a whole 5 minutes. Needless to say, I felt like I was being put on the back burner, all the while my health kept declining from an already diminished state. I was in and out of a local private hospital because the pain of the pancreatitis, which they now say is chronic, was too much for me, and the medications I had would not touch the pain. The last time I was hospitalised, June of last year, on top of all the medications I take routinely, they were having to give me 1.5 mg of Diladud every 2 hours. I was very miserable until it cleared up. I could have taken care of things at home had I had something for the intense pain, other than what I already take for the myriad of problems I have. Moreover, I were in the middle of a dose adjustment when the doctor who was supposed to be my new doctor quit. I did okay, for a while, then I needed another adjustment, yet had no doctor who knew me to call on.

The Primary Care Doctor is very important in the VA system. They are the proverbial Quarterback of the team. When you have a severe health problem you do not want second string replacements, you want a real Doctor who is going to stay, get to know you, and you them, so as to develop that special relationship a severely ill patient needs with their doctor.

I am glad to report my new Primary Care Doctor seems to be a good one. It is going to take time for her to get to know me, and understand fully my problems, but we had a great start today. She did not pull any punches with me, and gave it to me straight. I respect that. Moreover, she discovered some medications I had been taking for a long time that are not exactly good for a man’s prostate, and discontinued them, lest I develop prostate problems. I appreciate that. I go back in 3 months. I will see how it goes, but thus far, all is good.

My blood has been tired for over six years now. I had a significant GI bleed back in 07 that created many problems for me. I want to take this time to tell whoever reads this how nice, compassionate, professional, and efficient the Hematology Clinic at Lake City has been to me. I truly appreciate them. Of note, is a nurse named Amy, and an NP named Ruth. They have bent over backwards to accommodate me, and I am truly grateful. Stacy deserves an honorable mention as she is another one who has helped me. Kudos to these front line troopers. The VA needs more like them, especially Amy, and Ruth.

As I have mentioned, my health has been giving me fits. I now have chronic pancreatitis, and it hurts like hell. Most of the time, about 70 percent of the time, my regular meds work, but the rest of the time I am in sheer agony. I had to go to the ER last month for a pain shot. I also am dealing with the crohns (from Accutane given me for my service connected disability), the effects of 11 abdominal surgeries, 5 surgeries to repair a broken bone in my face (Army injury), sacroilietis, fused disks in my neck, myofacial syndrome, osteoporosis, joint pain (severe in my hips), and neuropathy. I am dealing with more than this, but to list it all would take more space than I wish to use. Suffice it to say, I need your prayers, if you pray. Anyone wishing to send cash, that will help too, although it will not take the pain away. I have been in constant pain now for 25 years, 15 of those being severe up to now. I hope that together my new doctor, and the pain team can come up with a workable, practical, and EFFECTIVE treatment. I am grateful for what I have now, but I know they can do better.

Thanks for stopping by!

mark

ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM? THANK A VETERAN!

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak in United States Tied to Injectable Methylprednisone

HEALTH ALERT

PAIN MANAGEMENT  – METHYLPREDNISONE INJECTIONS

From Maine, to Florida, and points as far West as the Mississippi River, Health Officials have reported an outbreak of Fungal Meningitis. This outbreak of Fungal Meningitis has been traced back to an estimated 70,000 units of injectable Methylprednisone (corticosteroid), manually compounded, and used in pain clinics to treat back pain. Often, the physician administering this type of injection, mixes the steroid with Vitamin B-12.  The Vitamin B-12 is not the problem, the steroid, methylprednisone, a corticosteroid, has somehow been contaminated with a fungus.

If you have had ANY methylprednisone shots, anywhere, in your body, contact your physician immediately. Meningitis is a very bad thing to have, fungal meningitis is just as bad, if not worse,  on other levels. The reason I am writing, if you had one of these shots ANYWHERE IN YOUR BODY,  you should contact your doctor, is to err on the side of caution. Meningitis can be deadly. Additionally, I would go even one step further, and check with a physician, if you had one of these shots administered to you anywhere, in the United States.

This particular type of medication is compounded. Instead of being a product of mass production, these vials of injectable corticosteroid (methylprednisone) is compounded in a specialised compounding pharmacy. The chances of a compounded medication being sent cross-country is very real. The compounding pharmacy will say the chances of shipment, and use outside the warning area is small, but there is still a chance, nonetheless. Compounding pharmacies are not regulated, in the same way as other pharmacies, or medical supply companies. I would go so far as to say these types of pharmacies have been lucky to have not had larger problems prior to this. The FDA does not regulate these compounding pharmacies the same way mass production drug makers are regulated. Hopefully this will be the wake up call necessary to bring more scrutiny to these drug makers. They claim a policy of heightened internal surveillance will be the answer to preventing future problems, but I am not willing to risk my life, or the lives of others, on a self policing policy. Self policing is no more than the fox guarding the hen-house.

If I had one of these injections ANYWHERE in the United States, I would get checked out by my primary care doctor. This is solid, sound advice, so do not let any health care professional make you feel like an idiot for wanting, even demanding, to be checked out. I would rather have them make me out to be an idiot, than to be dead; furthermore, if they make you out to be some sort of idiot, find another doctor AFTER you are checked for Fungal Meningitis.

Take Care of Yourself, & Please Get Checked If You Had An Injection of Methylprednisone (corticosteroid),

mark

P.S. I have a compounded medication infused into my bloodstream at least once a month. In the past, I had to have them once a night. Not all Compounding Pharmacies are bad, but they all should meet certain minimum standards, and not be allowed to self police only. There must be oversight from an outside entity, the FDA.

Cheers,

armyveteran

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Coping With Crohns – Pancreatitis – Bad Treatment At St. Vincents, Jacksonville, Florida

Coping with Crohns; I often ponder these words, thinking about a book, in which I could describe how I cope with Crohns, then I snap back to reality, and remember someone has already written a book using that title. I then consider what those words mean to me, especially when I am having difficulties. Right now, I am having problems with my crohns disease, and the totality, of the toll, it is, and has, taken on my body. A toll which continues to add up.

A few years ago I started having problems with my pancreas. If anyone reading this has ever had pancreatitis you know it is a very painful ordeal. I would venture to say it is as painful as an intestinal blockage, of which I have had my share. The best way to describe the pain is it feels like I swallowed a basketball. My gut is tender on the left side, and I cannot take deep breaths because it hurts too much. I was having flares of it every 2-3 mos, then it went to every 6 mos, then to once a year, and now I have went 15 months without having a severe flare of pancreatitis, until yesterday. 

I am having an attack of pancreatitis right now, and am weighing my options to check into the hospital, or stay home, and suffer. The only thing holding me back, from the hospital, is I was treated like garbage the last time I went into the LOCAL hospital – Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. It is too painful for me to travel the 60 miles to the Veterans Hospital, so I have to go local, if I go at all. The only reason I even go to the hospital, for the pancreatitis, is to have the pain treated. There is nothing they can do for me, at the hospital, I cannot do here at home, except they can give me something stronger, for pain. The type of pancreatitis I have is called “idiopathic” pancreatitis. It is not cancer, or anything else they can nail down. It just up, and flares up, for no reason. I take enzymes to aid my digestion, but these only go so far. Anyway, back to the crappy treatment I received at Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. The second day I was there, during my last hospitalization, I was still having horrible pain. The doctor sent one of his minions into my room, to tell me they found a cyst, on my pancreas. No details as to the nature of it, just that they found it. I had been ringing the nurses station for pain meds, and asked this person (NP) the doc sent in, if my pain meds were to stay the same. She said yes, and immediately left the room, before I could tell her they were not working, so I hit the call button again, and asked the nurses station, for my pain meds. The next thing that happened was the Hospitalists over my case, Dr. Todd Scott, MD, barged into my room ranting, and raving “You are addicted to Dilada!!! If my partner were here, and saw how much pain medication you were on he would discharge you!!”. I got really upset over this unprofessional behaivior. First of all, I never asked for the darn stuff, they picked it, for my pain treatment. Second of all, they were giving it me in my IV, and it did not last no more than 45 mins, and they know this. The Third most important thing for me is I DO NOT take dilada at home, and even my Veterans Administration Doctor said, since I did not take it at home, there is no way I could be addicted to it. I challenged the doctor right then, and there that since his partner felt I did not need to be, in the hospital, to discharge me right then. Well, the chicken shit did not discharge me, and he finally asked me what I thought would work best for my pain. I told him the course of treatment they used the last time. He went with that, and changed my IV pain med to a shot, but only ordered ONE shot. The regimen I was being put on would take 24-36 hrs to start working (pain patch), and that asshole left me to lay, in bed, writhing in pain, when the ONE pain shot he ordered wore off. I asked for something to treat my pain until the patch kicked in, and was not only told no, but the doctor would not even come into my room. Dr. Todd Scott knew the darn patch would not have any effect for a day, or two, but he wanted to show me who the big man was, who was in charge.

I could have understood all of this better, if the hospital was not familiar with my case, and the problem I was having was one of those gray areas. They knew me well, knew for a fact I have been sick for 25 years, and have a high tolerance to pain meds; furthermore, I am allergic, to many types of medications, including an entire class of pain meds, so my options are limited. This is how it is for me, and nothing can be done to change it. Ask any doctor if pancreatitis is painful, and they will give you a definite yes. Dr. Todd Scott, at Saint Vincents Hospital failed to get to know my case. Dr. Todd Scott, at St. Vincents Hospital took advantage of his position, and let a personality difference cause him to allow a patient to suffer needlessly. Dr. Todd Scott, AND Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida failed all the way around, in my treatment. They knowingly, and willingly let me suffer, and this is why I will stay home, and die before I ever go back to Saint  Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida.

Thanks for stopping by. This is one of the ways I cope with crohns, writing about bad doctors, and bad hospitals, so that others can be warned before going there. The reason I have called out the hospital, and doctor is they are currently running commercials on TV about how compassionate their employees are, and how great of a hospital they are. This blog entry is a contrasting point of view, of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida current television commercials.

Take Care,

mark

P.S. Here is the unbelievable part. I can find NO liscense for this doctor in the state of Florida. Moreover, when I got the bill, I saw where he charged my insurance extra for our little exchange. I called my insurance company, and reported it as fraud. He quit billing me. I am going to look deeper into this when I start feeling better.

Cheers,

mark

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Filed under Florida, Health, Jacksonville, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Local, Personal