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Ask Dr. Gott 10/25
Pain not in reader's head
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I read your column every day and I want to thank you for the good advice you give to us all.
    I have had three back surgeries, which I believe left me with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. They put large screws in my spine and put them in crooked. They then had to take them out because they were pressing on nerves and causing me so much pain I could hardly walk. The doctor said it was all in my head and that some patients just wanted to have surgery. I told him I was not one of them. Needless to say, I looked for another specialist. The doctor that removed the screws assured me that it was not in my head. I do not go to doctors unless I have a good reason.
    I have been in pain for the last 10 years. I am 75 years old. I was taking Vioxx for the pain, and it really helped. I have been given many prescriptions for the pain, but none worked like the Vioxx. Now that they have taken it off the market, I don't know what to take for the pain. It is horrible to live with it. I try to walk as much as I can, but due to the pain, I can only walk a little at a time. Celebrex doesn't work. I have been told I will have to live with it, but sometimes I get so depressed. I don't know how much longer I can take the pain. My muscles are always in spasm.
    I would love to be able to volunteer and help others, but how can I help others when I cannot help myself? I do everything the doctors recommend, but I am at my wits' end, and I am not crazy or a hypochondriac.
    I take vitamins but do not want to get addicted to prescription drugs.
    DEAR READER: You certainly qualify as an unfortunate patient with chronic pain syndrome. If you haven't already, get to a pain clinic. These useful services are specifically designed to help patients in pain. While you are awaiting your office call, try alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and physical therapy.
    Later, the specialist can prescribe an appropriate remedy so your pain can be alleviated. You don't have to suffer.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Managing Chronic Pain." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I was appalled at your answer concerning bowel movements. There are nutritionists who say a person should have as many bowel movements daily as the number of meals they eat.
    DEAR READER: I don't agree with this. One bowel movement every day or two should suffice.
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