Pain is getting worse, drugs are barely helping

Jen - jennifer_vose@hotmail.co.uk

Posted 2007-03-04

I am 18 years old and live in the UK. I started to get pain in my coccyx when I was 13/14 (2002). I went to 2 GPs and was told it was nothing. They didn't even prescribe painkillers. After a few months I phoned the NHS helpline, but all the nurse told me was to sit with a hot water bottle against my back. By this time I had missed quite a lot of school which was worrying my family, but it was too painful to go in.

After about 6 months, my dad told me that I could see a private doctor about it using his medical insurance. I went to see the doctor in March 2003 and by May I had had 2 steroid injections under general anaesthetic. Each of these only lasted for about a week, so I was referred to the pain clinic. The doctor here told me about the "pain armies" in me (I thought he was patronising but my mum thought he was great), and eventually he prescribed a gel and tramadol and told me to get a wedge cushion. The gel didn't help at all but the tramadol did ease the pain a bit. However, the side effects were awful, which wasn't good when my exams were approaching. I went back to the first private doctor and he said that the next step would be for me to have my coccyx removed, but my mum wouldn't allow this because he told us there was a risk of a prolapse.

By this time the tablets' side effects were too much to handle and my wedge went everywhere with me. I changed GP a couple of years ago and she gave me amitryptaline instead of the tramadol, because the side effects aren't as strong. However, these didn't help the pain so I had to continue taking the tramadol.

Eventually the pain got less, so I stopped taking the painkillers so often, but recently it is getting worse and worse, and I have found that the tramadol are barely helping at all - the only way that they help is that I feel so drowzy I can't think about the pain as much!

I really want to do something but I don't know what to do now. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you

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