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Pain Management/Medication Withdrawal

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Hello,

I'm writing in because my mother is currently in the hospital and we are getting no answers from any doctors.

My mom was in a car accident about 14 years ago. It sparked a whole list of problems starting out with her neck. She had to have her first surgery at that time to fuse together some of the plates in her neck. Since then, she's had about 4 more surgeries on her back and neck. The accident led to problems the doctors have diagnosed as TMJ, fibromyaligia, osteoporosis, degenerative disk disease, sleep apnea and many more. She is always in pain and is on a lot of medications. A few years ago, a doctor recommended a spinal stimulator. She was having numbness in her legs and arms, sharp pains and just had a hard time functioning in her daily life. They put in the stimulator and it worked wonders! She was able to drive again, go to the gym everyday to work on the eliptical machine; she was finally gaining her life back. This past November, the pain was increasing again. The doctor adjusted her stimulator many times and in December, the machine completely gave up. Her pain was getting worse and worse. All the doctor did was increase her pain medication and then it was decided upon that they would take out the stimulator, do a few scans to check everything and then put a new, better stimulator in. She had the removal surgery in March. After that surgery everything started to change. She was always sleeping, couldn't sit at a table, no more driving, going to the gym and her daily functioning was detererorating fast. The doctor did some scans and found that she had spinal stenosis. He said they would do surgery to help the issue then in 2-3 weeks after, they would put the new stimulator in. She had this surgery in April. After that surgery, she got even worse. She could barely hold a conversation with anyone, slurring her words, repeating herself constantly, was falling 2-3 times a day, hands and legs are trembling constantly so she can't hold even a cup of coffee. Sometimes she has these episodes which my family thought were seizures, she would rock back and forth, her limbs would spasm and have a blank stare on her face. The doctor refused that it was anything related to the surgery they did and passed her on to another doctor saying they wouldn't be able to put the new stimulator in for at least 4 months, now changing their original story. As of now, she's gotten the worst she's ever been. Monday night she wasn't able to feed herself (couldn't use her arms), was falling a lot (she'd be standing there and it was like her body just gave out on her), repeating herself, falling asleep and incoherrent. We've now taken her to the hospital and every doctor says it is something different. They've resulted to keeping her for "further tests" and that is all we can get out of them.

Two of the medications she has been on for about 10 years (morphine and baclofen) were stopped abruptly on Wednesday. At first she said she was having weird hallucinations at night. Now, all she's doing in hallucinating. She knows where she is, what year it is and why she's in the hospital but her hallucinations are getting worse and she's been having violent outbursts. My mom is the least aggressive person I've ever known and she's been cursing at our family, the nurses and physically fighting with the doctors at times. The doctors are insisting that she stay off the baclofen and morphine completely and that these symptoms must be a nuerological problem. Everything I've researched points to this being withdrawal symptoms from baclofen. I'm worried that her hallucinations and behavior will get progressively worse. I'm just looking for advice or resources that can help my family and I get her the correct care she needs.

Thank you so much for your time.

Answer
Ashley is your mom in the hospital at this time?  I want to explain that we had a family emergency and had to drive to Savannah GA and just got back.  So sorry, but it happened around midnight tues. You have given me a lot of info and I want to help you if I can. I know you realize your mother's case is a complicated one. I need one more day to give it the attention it deserves. I hope this is ok by you. I do hope you are consulting other experts as well. I will hopefully be able to guide you in the right direction. Thanks for your patience.  

Pain Management

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Patricia M

Expertise

I welcome questions from people who may want a "nurse's perspective" on the subject of chronic pain and pain management. I am a nurse, NOT a physician (MD).I can answer questions on medications, alternative approaches, and the various organs and body systems. There are many avenues to explore with chronic pain. I am against seeing patients suffer simply because healthcare professionals might suspect they are "drug seekers". There are methods of identifying true pain, and this makes patients feel as if they are taken seriously, which they should be.

Experience

Over 25 years working experience in Internal Medicine, Adult Cardiology, Post-Surgery care, Cancer, psychiatry and some experience as a lay-counselor in addictive medicine (dependence to alcohol and/or drugs, both legal and illegal drugs).

Organizations
I am an Expert with AllExperts in several areas: Pharmacy, Internal Medicine, Medical Errors. Feel free to check my Q&A history as well as my ratings, which are very high.

Education/Credentials
Diploma from hospital-based nursing school. Additional courses in pharmacology. I keep current in continuing education. Am currently working as lay-counselor which can lead to my certification as Substance Abuse Counselor.

Awards and Honors
Dean's List while in college.

Past/Present Clients
Internal medicine patients, cardiology patients recovering from heart disease and/or open-heart surgery, cancer, as well as recently working as a lay-counselor to individuals dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. NOTE: Just because I attempt to help patients with addictive diseases, I have over 25 years in Internal Medicine, have nursed patients with great deal of pain, and I am compassionate. I never label anyone as a "drug seeker". I have seen that done for years, and am against it. All patients should be evaluated for pain in a fair and comprehensive manner. Am an Expert with AllExperts in three other medical categories; feel free to check my ratings, which are high.

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