Drug addiction vs surgery

My name is Kate Genovese. I recently had back and foot surgery. The back surgery I got over quickly and followed doctors instructions, but with the foot surgery it was another beast.
The doctors did not give me enough pain medication. I struggled through pain for four months.
I took two months off from work but went back to work as a visiting nurse which didn’t help with the discomfort; climbing, bending, general moving around hurt my foot.
I asked my manager if I could work in the office as it was too much working out in the field. No, she said, nothing was available and I couldn’t afford not to work and not getting a paycheck.
I called my surgeon to ask for more pain medicine but he she flatly refused, I shouldn’t be in that much pain, she said…ouch, those words hurt and so didn’t by aching, pulsating foot! It was a constant throb.
I suffered for two more months.
Finally I gave in and asked if any of my friends had any left over narcotics from their previous surgeries and received a few extra which helped at night-but the discomfort did not go away and I continued with drug seeking. What kind of person had I become!
I asked my sons friends to help me get narcotics, preferably Percocet from a dealer-I felt horrible emotionally but relieved that I had extra pills that alleviated the constant pain and pulsating of my toe.
I couldn’t keep up buying street drugs so I called my doctor. She x-rayed my foot and nothing was wrong. I told her what I did and to please give me more drugs or something stronger.
The doctor explained she couldn’t, there were rules she had to follow and I had the highest limit of narcotics. I cried, I didn’t want to ask my son’s friend again. She told me to see a psychiatrist, I may have an addiction problem.
What was wrong with this picture? I told her that I had been working as a nurse for over 30 years, mostly surgical patients and everyone’s pain is different. She didn’t care and scooted me out of the office.
I wasn’t the enemy; the doctor was not the enemy. She was following the rules of Opioid administration. But she could have been kinder and treat me with more respect.
No person in this world should be in such discomfort for such a long period of time.
The pain finally dissipated five months after the surgery and my foot is in great shape but my mind wasn’t. Guilt poured in as I remembered paying for street drugs and drinking with the Percocet’s to take the pain away after work. I could have killed myself!
Now it is three years later and I need my other foot operated on but I am procrastinating as I have a job as an RN that I want to keep; and I do not want to suffer with the pain related to surgery.
I am on the fence about being medicated. Do I have an addiction or do I just really need the pain medication as prescribed and up the level of Percocet’s that go along with the pain? Will my new surgeon understand?
Tough decision. “Ask your doctor to assess the pain after the surgery and weekly” a nurse practitioner friend of mine stated -“your right, no one should suffer like that!”
I had five pins removed from my toes and one plate left in the big toe. How could I or someone else not suffer?
A 63 yr old woman should not have to go through this.
Next time, and there will be a next time with my rheumatoid arthritis for more surgeries; and I will demand the pain medication that I need. I am not a seeker of drugs, I just want the appropriate medication that will alleviate some of the pain. Even people with addictions may need surgery and they should be handled properly and with dignity and respect; in this day and age, no one should have had my experience.

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