Nursing with Chronic Pain

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    I have had moderate to severe chronic pelvic pain ever since the birth of my daughter 3 years ago. I have had two surgeries, 3 rounds of PT and every test under the sun and while they keep finding things and treating me for them, everything they find seems to be incidental to the pain and maybe has made things worse. I have been on narcotic pain medication as needed and most recently, on Tramadol, which has worked very well. I'm in school and will be starting clinicals very soon and even though I don't feel the least bit impaired on this drug, I don't feel that I should be taking tramadol and doing patient care, even though we won't be subjected to a drug test or anything. My doctor is now thinking this might be something like fibromyalgia and prescribed Savella. Has anybody else been on this medication? I don't want to be on anything that may impair my cognitive abilities. I will be weaning off the Tramadol and titrating up on Savella very slowly but want to know what to expect. I am also getting a TENS unit.

    I am worried about how this medication is going to affect me and how being a chronic pain patient is going to affect 1) my ability to handle the job of nursing if I can't be medicated. 2)my ability to get a job. Do I need to disclose that I am on this medication (Savella, Cymbalta or something like Gabapentin was also brought up as a possibility for me) or that I have a pain issue? Do they ever look at your medical records? Frankly, I am in pain no matter what I do, so I might as well be working and having an active life...staying busy actually keeps me fairly distracted from the pain (not wholly but it definitely beats lying around obsessing about how much pain I'm in) but I worry that others may not see it this way. Any input is appreciated. I have put a lot of time, effort and money into my education but the pain is getting worse and worse. I'm wondering if I should call it a day and switch career paths. I would be very sad to do so, though.
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    It would be best to speak with your doctor and your program administration about this issue. Policies vary. I recommend against keeping it a secret though. That sounds like definite terms for dismissal.
  5. 0
    Depends on where you work, most places aren't allowed to discriminate against disabilities. Look it up. Also, like ^ said ask you dr. or find out when you get on the meds to see how they effect you because meds effect everyone differently.
  6. 0
    I am so sorry you are experiencing this but as per the Terms of Service we cannot give any medical advice.....
    Medical Advice:
    ALLNURSES.COM, INC or it's members do not offer medical advice. Any requests for such will be taken down. If you have a medical problem, please seek attention from your health care provider. You are not allowed to ask for medical advice related to a health situation that affects you, a family member, or someone you know
    I suggest you follow up with your PSP and your PCP and follow their advice as they are the only one who knows your medical history and give you the best answer.

    I wish you the best!


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