Please help, I'm completely lost and in pain
I really need some input on where to turn for help with my pain, along with how to get that help.
Has anyone else had any difficulty getting help from their rheumitologist for their pain.
First, allow me to explain what has been going on. I was diagnosed with Rhupus by my rheumitologist with my main complaint being extreme joint pain, mainly with my hands. They are extremely swollen, all the way to my forearm, and in constant pain. Most of the time I'm able to suck it up and live with the pain, but the past week the pain and swelling has gotten unbearable. I'm waking up a minimum of 20 times a night from the pain. Monday, I was unable to sleep at all and had to resort to taking 2 hydrocodone (prescribed by my PCP a few months back) every 4 hours. The pain was still there and I was unable to get rest during the day. Finally around 2am Tuesday morning I had to take an ambien along with 2 tylenol PMs to knock myself out because I was physically and emotionally exhausted.
Tuesday afternoon, I called my rheumy and recieved their voice mail, so I left a detailed message that I needed Dr. "X" or his nurse to call me back and explained that I was in pain and needed help with what to do. Wednesday afternoon, I still hadn't heard from my Dr. or his nurse so I called again, was told that he was in clinic, but they would take a message for me and make sure that he got it. I gave her a detailed message and explained everything that was going on, along with all the meds I had to take just to get some type of relief or sleep. Here we are Thursday and I still haven't heard from him or a nurse, so I called my primary doctor. Her nurse called me back within 10 minutes. I explained to her what was going on with me, and that I had waited in contacting them because I thought for this symptom it would be best to go to my rheumitologist. She agreed, but said since I'm obviously getting nowhere with them, they would fit me into the schedule for Monday so I might be able to get some assistance from my primary doc. I have tried everything I can think of to get some relief, hot compresses/cold compresses, soaking my hands in the hot tub, massages, wrapping them tightly in warm ace wraps, taking hydrocodone....
When the rheumitologist diagnosed me, he started me on:
20mg Celexa for chronic pain
20mg Elavil for sleep
7.5mg methotrexate once a week
Obviously the celexa isn't helping with the pain, nor is the elavil for sleep. I'm desperate for any advice, please. I feel so lost right now, I don't want to seem pushy with my doctors but I really need help. It's not like this is a new symptom, this doctor has known about the pain and swelling from my first appointment with him Am I out of line, or wrong to expect a return phone call from my doctor for this? What would you suggest I do to get the help with my pain, from my doctors?
"When life gives you lemons... search for the vodka"