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Tired of fighting for tramadol - any suggestions?

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:51 pm
by Ilikecats
I was diagnosed about 8 years ago now and have tried pretty much everything on offer on the NHS for relief and the only thing that works at all is opiods like tramadol and morphine. Which is unfortunate because my GP seems determined to stop prescribing them. The last year in particular feels like it has been a constant battle to keep getting my prescription filled. My actual GP is great but she is constantly off, either sick or on maternity leaves, which means it goes to other doctors who see 'opiods' and decide to get involved and stick their oar in.

My annual review is meant to not be until August but I just had a text message from someone who says he is from 'the pain clinic' at the surgery (must be a new thing) and he wants to see me for a 'review' immediately.

I've just finished a long complaint process about a month ago where it was agreed to continue the tramadol until my review date. Before that I used to receive a limited supply of morphine too, for really bad days, this has been stopped completely, leaving me needing to go and sit in A&E on more than one occasion to get it. It was a long wait and utterly miserable and I could tell they were annoyed at my being there and not just being able to have access to it myself at home, too.

To get the morphine in the first place I went first to the pain management consultant at the local hospital, for which I waited several months, then had to make an appointment to see my GP to get the actual prescription (since they can't do that any more at the hospital itself). They first suggested I use patches (which I think is more 'normal' for people with fibro) but I don't want patches as I hate having anything on my skin and also I really actually don't want morphine constantly in my body. I still cling to the occasional semblance of a social life and being able to stop taking the painkillers so I can enjoy a night out. It was agreed that slow-release tablets of the lowest strength were appropriate. I followed the procedure but then this other doctor saw the prescription while mine was off having a baby and over-ruled it and it doesn't seem there is anything I can do as she is 'senior' to my doctor.

Does anyone have any advice? It is so frustrating that it doesn't seem to matter at all what *I* want or what works for me. Isn't a chronic pain condition a 'proper' use for opioids? I have no history of addiction and I would much rather not have to take them at all. I am getting so tired of having to constantly fight, it's really wearing me down. The thought of having NO pain relief is terrifying :/

Re: Tired of fighting for tramadol - any suggestions?

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 11:13 am
by Ilikecats
Thanks Lisa, the ironic thing is that tramadol WASN'T restricted when I started taking it, at some point it's been moved to a schedule D (I think that's what it's called) drug and now it is. Morphine of course has always been restricted.
I was just wondering is there not some kind of complaint overseer you can go to or some other agency that you can utilise to stop this? For me, it's simply harassment, not helpful at all. They have done their due diligence in explaining the side effects etc but there's really no other options for me.
I have literally DESTROYED my digestive tract with NSAIDs like naproxen, which I agreed to take instead for a while as it seemed a good 'swap'. Unfortunately it gave me severe gastritis and other issues so I had to discontinue. The worst thing is that these issues are NOT resolving, now several years on and taking omeprazole every day (NONE of them help) and I STILL have it. It seems ridiculous that less than a year of taking naproxen could basically irreparably damage my stomach lining and they seem less concerned about that than stopping me from taking something that for me, has very little side effects or issues. I realise long-term use of ANY drug is not good, but until they come up with something else to try, that's it for me.
I think that generally the 'opioid epidemic' is a big issue at the moment, I am really hoping that things will quieten down soon and they will leave chronic pain patients alone.
I've also thought about changing GPs but the one I am with is the only one I can walk to and it seems to be a crapshoot that a change would be any better (there isn't a local fibro group for me to ask others where they go).
Good luck to you with your own battle.