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Chronic pain

Have I been failed?

4 replies

BisonGrassVodka · 03/07/2022 17:52

I've had chronic pain following a fall at work in early 2008, my doctors prescribed me Co-codamol but this didn't touch the pain. I had an MRI scan on my back which showed nothing, but a specialist said I'd snapped 6 tendons in my back and an operation was not possible nor would one be considered. I was sent to a pain clinic following this, here I was prescribed Gabapentin, these helped with the pain, but the hangover feeling the following morning was horrendous. Next I was offered Pregabalin, these were more or less the same as the Gabapentin, so I asked if there was anything else, the last option was Tramadol, I was told they are a much cleaner drug than the previous two and I should suffer less from the side effects, I have to admit, I was over the moon with the results, no hangover and a better effect on pain relief.
As time went on, I was sent for regular scans and x-rays to keep an eye for more issues, after two years, the doctors decided I was suffering from more pain, but in the joints, it was decided that I had osteo-arthritis and prescribed Naproxen. I asked if taking these with Tramadol was OK and I was told they were.
Roll forward to mid March this year, it was 6pm and I wasn't feeling very good, next thing I know, I'm in an ambulance and on my way to hospital on blues and two's, I felt right out of it and "away with the fairies", like I was extremely drunk. I had no idea what was happening and remembered nothing until the early hours, the doctor treating me had me placed in a resucitation room with a nurse watching me at all times. At one stage my BP was 212/159, I was shaking and sweating, being sick and thinking my time had come, delirious wasn't the word, I was making no sense, being sick and even asked the nurse to marry me and I kept trying to get out of bed.
I was placed on a drip and monitored constantly, around 6am the doctor treating me came in, he told me the medication I was taking along with the pain medication was making me very ill and throwing my serotonin levels high one minute and very low the next, causing me all sorts of problems.
I had no idea about what was going on until lunchtime, when I was in a condition to make any sense and able to understand what I was being told. The doctor told me the Tramadol and Naproxen were not working correctly in conjunction with the Amytriptyline so to really screw me up, the combination of the three were not acting as 1+1+1 =3, but multiplying many fold and having the effect of 47 tablets. I was told there is written evidence that these medications should not be combined.
I was immediately told to stop taking the tablets mentioned and the doctor would write a very scathing letter to my practice, questioning my treatment. So I now have no pain relief apart from paracetamol, so still suffering greatly.
Roll forward to a month ago and had was sent for an MRI scan and got the results last Friday which were amazing and totally scandalous, I was told I do not have snapped tendons in my back, nor do I have osteo-arthritis, the scan showed I have age related deterioration and Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis, which means the bones in my back are growing spurs due to calcium build up and is also calcifying the tendons/ligaments. I asked the specialist if the medication I was taking for over 14 years benefitted me, he would make any comments, but told me that there was much better drugs available at the time and now I could have been prescribed to help with the pain.
I've now been referred to a level 3 pain management team and am awaiting an appointment.
All of the above over the last 14 years has caused me a huge amount of stress, me relationship with my partner fell apart, I can no longer work, my sleep is no more than 3 hours per night, I've had 2 seizures and feel ill all the time, it makes me wonder if I have been let down with my local practice?

OP posts:
CuriouMum · 11/07/2022 07:03

Hi, this is shocking. "Let down" is not a word, it is malpractice. It is unbelievable that they would pile up medication on you like that and for a wrong illness too.
I know that pain could have been managed by acupuncture without the risk of causing any such issues, and possibly even help with the back problem itself.

IdiotCreatures · 11/07/2022 07:22

I think the pharmacist who dispensed the medication for you should have picked up the possible interactions.
It doesn't surprise me that you were misdiagnosed.

Oblomov22 · 11/07/2022 07:32

I'm so sorry. What a bodge. Not surprised though.
1)I need to think very carefully about what you want to happen now and then maybe write a letter to ask for that to be actioned. It is pain relief? Further investigations into what the core problem is. What?

2)you could also write a letter to your practice manager at your GP surgery and ask for an appointment. For an overall review.

3)"but a specialist said I'd snapped 6 tendons in my back". Do you have evidence of this? A letter? Wierd that the latest MRI shows nothing.

4)"there was much better drugs available at the time and now. " You feel that this is negligence, but I find no one will take responsibility for it!

I hear you! I know many who have been treated badly. But I fear not much comes of it, unless you are very very specific about what you want to achieve.

CuriouMum · 11/07/2022 14:11

I wouldn't blame the pharmacist necessarily, the doctors should have checked what medication the patient is taking already, and also to diagnose the problem treated in the first place before almost killing someone with medication.
My kid, aged 7 at the time, was once prescribed a very strong migrene painkiller for what was a somewhat recurring but occasional and mild tummy pain. The pharmacist has actually questioned the prescription but the drug was released to us anyway. What I actually wanted from the GP was a referral for USG and other tests to diagnose what the cause of the pain may be and to exclude anything more serious. But no, they will just shower you with painkillers (potentially the cheapest ones they can get) without even bothering to check the what is the problem they are meant to treat, even for such a young patient! We didn't give it to our child as she didn't need any pain management but a diagnosis. I think I have saved the NHS from a huge malpractice claim by not blindly following an obviously incompetent, negligent and simply stupid prescription. But how many people will just blindly trust this dysfunctional system?

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