Heidi - I don't know where my head was. HELLO? (Talking to self).
You know a lot of what we've been going through with Gary. His neurologist was always unwilling to write a scrip for anything too heavy (narcotic-wise), and when he would write a scrip for a narcotic, it was for an amount that just wasn't worth bothering with (for Gary's situation). Because he ran out of non-narcotic options after a little over a year, he finally recommended that Gary see a pain management doc.
So.... ask your orthopeadic surgeon for a referral to a Pain Management doctor. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY DEAL WITH ALL THE TIME. People in chronic pain. They don't happily hand out crazy narcotic scrips for anything - but they don't have the same concerns about the DEA issues or the stigma that other Docs many have, because their entire practice is about dealing with quality of life - and that's what this is about. The usually make you take a pee test to make sure you're not getting scrips from other docs (aren't abusing meds) - and to make sure you're taking the drugs (not selling them). But they work with you to find the right pain killer for the amount of pain, and are used to working with dealing with the trade-off between the "buzz" from narcotics and the pain relief from narcotics and your need to still work and function, sleep and communicate.
Regular doctors and surgeons aren't necessarily comfortable in dealing with meds for the pain, because they're used to correcting the situation. That's why you ask for the referral to a pain management doctor - it communicates how bad it is for you, and it gets you to someone who is used to dealing with someone in chronic pain.