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New To Forums, Not New To Va Bs



Howdy, newbie here to the forums, just found this and I hope that it will be cool to hear from other vets in our various struggles.

I am a USMC Infantry vet from the OIF era, serving out of Camp Fallujah with 2/2.

Currently have a laundry list of service connected disabilities, and am trying my damndest to 'get better.' 70% service connected with individual unemployability because I lost my job because I couldn't stand for lengthy periods of time, and cannot work in the family business because of physical limitations.

Current battle is with trying to get some form of pain medication for chronic pain issues that are undiagnosed. The Doctors here seem VERY reluctant to give a prescription for anything, my last ER visit there got me 4... yes 4 Tramadol, which didn't even dent my pain scale. I'm so scared of being labled a drug seeker, when that isn't the case, the case is that I've been seeking treatment for this issue for YEARS now and finally have reached my breaking point with pain.

Also, TMJ is kicking my ass right now, anyone else getting jaw issues while on Seroquel??? I feel like I clench my jaw a TON when I take this medication, and now it hurts to open my mouth along with audible pops, clicks, and grinding sounds. Not fun.

Anyways, greetings everyone. Knowledge is power.

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Maybe its time you either communicate this to your doc, or, if you have and its fallen on deaf ears, you change the doc. You can go to the VAMC and ask someone how you change docs.

At my VAMC there is a comment box near prime care and it you want to change the doc, then put a card in there requesting the change.

I did exactly that. The prime care doc called me and asked me why. I told her, point blank, I did not think she was thorough and I also thought there was trust issues, and I didnt have trust issues with others.

She asked for another chance. I was a bit suprised at this, but, I do think there is a system in place when a doc gets too many Vet change requests, they probably give the doc at least some kind of a "warning".

I gave her another chance and now, when I want something, I get my way. No more BS from the doc. Frankly, I think they threatened to fire her and deport her back to India.

Its a bad mark on the VAMC if Vets dont like a particular Doc. Too many of those complaints the VA has to listen to em, as they know we can go to the media and complain. Sometimes the best place to punch the VA, if nothing else works, is to punch them in the media. That hurts em.

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Welcome Marine.

Are you or have you applied for Social Security due to your service connected disabilities and also not being able too work? If you have, then you must be receiving Medicare , if so you also have the option to see an outside doctor and he might be able to help you receive the medications that you so desperately need for your pain. Hope everything works out for you.

Semper Fi.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Have you asked for a referral to VA pain clinic? I have been getting pain meds from the VA for about 7-8 years. I have sure had my problems with them. I signed a contract with them for the oxy and fentynal I get monthly. I am not worried about being thought of as a "drug seeker" by the VA since I am a pain relief seeker. You must convince the VA that you will get all your pain drugs from them or they won't prescribe them for you. When you get the pain level paperwork you always want to describe your pain without drugs as 7 or higher. Tell them your chronic pain affects every aspect of your life and pain meds help with every aspect of your life.

In Florida where I live I have also had trouble with private pain doctors. Nobody has found a non-narcotic way to deal with serious pain. The Greeks believed opium was a gift from the Gods. Americans believe it is a poison from Satan. The VA says you have a right to have your pain treated. It is in their patient Bill of Rights. Thousands of vets suffer chronic pain.

One problem with opiates is that you build tolerance over time. The VA freaks out and seems to think this is drug seeking behavior when the dose you are on is no longer effective. Also the VA fears that most of us are "drug seekers" and that we will either sell our meds or OD thus getting them in trouble. That is what they really care about with is their own asses. I keep my nose very clean, and if their is a problem it is on them.


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Thanks for the replies everyone.

broncovet, I didn't know about that, thats some good intel. I did recently switch VA Doctors because I realized a different VA facility was closer to me than the one that I started my care at. But to be honest, none of the Primary Care Doctors that I have encountered seem all that interested in helping me out, it's more like, 'well try this new bandaid out, come back in 3 months.' I tried telling her when she prescribed me 'Bengay cream' for my wicked bad back pain, and told her I tried that before, her reply 'this is different it's better' then I looked at the bottle when I picked it up at the pharmacy and it says "Compare to active ingredients in Bengay!!!" Nevertheless, I told her it wouldn't work, she insisted, then my follow up was 3 months later... so good to know I can switch up Docs if need be.

aggie54, yes I did get Social Security, I actually got that benefit early on in my process. The medicare isn't that good though, still spent a lot, I ended up with over $1000 in bills after a couple appointments while using my medicare, included an ER visit, a few MRI and Xrays. Kinda sucks because they take out just over $100 a month for crappy care, and my girlfriend pays like $10 a month for better care through her job.

But thanks again guys, glad to hear from some fellow vets that seem to care more about helping me out than most Doctors did...

Does anyone else feel that they try and blame EVERYTHING on PTSD??? Oh you're in pain because you have PTSD, and you're Depressed because of PTSD, and you can't sleep because of PTSD, and your lack of sex drive... PTSD...I can get on board with most of that, but PTSD causing upper back pain??? Pain that started before I even deployed? Now they're just grasping at straws to not treat me. It's like they really just don't listen.

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Welcome and thank you for you service...You might see if your Doc will prescribe you Diclofenac.I take it once a day and it helps with pain Doesn't kill it but dulls it to a manageble level.Plus it is not an Opiate.I also have Tramadol avaliable but very seldom use it anymore...And as was previously pointed out see if you can go to the pain clinic..

Also see if they will switch you Trazadone for your sleep.They switched me from Mirtazipine to Trazadone a few months ago to try to see if it would bring my Glucose reading down.I don't really think it has done much there but I am sleeping much better and wake up much more rested.And don't worry too much if you are taking other antidepressants as I take the generic forms of Effexor and Prozac plus the Trazadone.All prescribed by my VA shrink and have no reaction to taking all three together other than my Depression is the under the best control it has been in years.

For what it is worth Depression can make your Pain seem more intense anf the Pain adds to the Depression.It is a really vicious circle.But saying that I do not seem to hurt (or notice it) as much now that my Depression is being controlled.So there is a good possibility that you are experiencing some of this.And the VA will try to blame a problem on something else if they can think get away with it...I am extremely fortunate in that I have a decent PC doc and an EXCELLENT Psychiatrist.

Good luck and keep pushing back......................................Grid

Edited by Gridsmasher11 (see edit history)
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John999 - Yes I was referred to the local VA Pain Clinic, where he promptly, and rudely informed me that they do NOT prescribe pain medication. They then proceeded to tell me that pretty much all they would do is these 'Trigger Point Injections' which they briefly explained and gave me a handout sheet, I did agree to an appointment for that, but called and cancelled it shortly thereafter because I have family members who have had bad experiences with such injections... My second qualm with that, is that if they have no idea what is causing the pain, is it really prudent to start jabbing around back there with needles??? I am by no means an expert on this procedure, so if that IS what the idea is, and it DOES help, please let me hear some stories about it... I just really hate needles as whimpy as that is to say.

Gridsmasher (cool name, is it arty or FDC related?) - They haven't prescribed me anything, opiate or narcotic or otherwise in terms of pain relievers... I had 4 tramadol from the ER and that was my only experience with it. As for Trazadone, it sounds familiar but I am not currently on it, just the seroquel, and I can't say that I like it all that much. Right now the depression/PTSD is not being treated with medicine besides the sleep aid qualities of Seroquel... they don't want to add side effects to me, and I kind of told my shrink that it is pointless to treat that right now, when the Pain is really my main issue, and I'm going to be in a bad mood regardless of anti-depressants if I'm in pain..

Thanks again for replies people, good to hear from y'all.

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LivingInPain, the name is Arty related.Its what I used to do.I took out gridsquares..I was an MLRS launcher chief during the Gulf War and my track was C11.Funny I can't remember my wifes birthday from year to year but I can still qoute the serial number of the weapon I used in war.

Have you been diagnosed with PTSD by the VA.If not you really need to get there.Also if you have been diagnosed by them they really should be treating you with some form of antidepressant.The depression and PTSD can get very much worse very quickly.When I was finally able to get a mental health appt. and diagnosed with PTSD/Depression I was very down,always in a rage and was having suicidal identations..So get help for that.....And it looks like that you must have a really bad PC doc.Mine is pretty good.If I go in and tell her that something is not working she has no problem recommending an alternate scrip.When I told her that 800mg motrin did nothing for my constant knee and wrist pain anymore she changed me to Tramadol.I would have preferred Celebrex (works really well for me) but it is not in the VA formulary.She has also offered to get me shots in my knees for the constant pain which I have yet to take her up on......I know you probably don't want to take more meds but you will have to face the facts that with your injuries and health problems you are going to have to take some.I know it is a pain but it will greatly improve your quality of life and making living with these more bareable.

Good luck........................grid

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Your pain clinic is quilty of malpractice. Every pain clinic prescribes opiates because they are the only thing that will treat some kinds of pain. You are being poorly served by your VAMC and I would take it up with medical director's office. My clinic was slow to prescribe opiates but did, in fact, precribe methadone, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl at different time.

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