You have really gotten me thinking. Since October 26, 2010 I have had 4 abdominal surgeries. 1 lap and 3 open. The most recent was February 15 for reversal of an iliostomy (rest of story is very long and can tell you another time, if interested). My pain has been terrible but pretty much from the beginning. If feels like it from the nerves. It is like the skins burns and even when my shirt skims across the skin, it really hurts = burning pain.
Also, like you said, when I change positions - trying to get out of bed from lying down/sitting up (I have an electric bed - so I have the head propped up as high as possible - I could never get up from a totally lying down position.) Just sitting up, standing up from a chair or the toilet. The worst is getting dressed - having to lift my left leg even 2 inches off the ground to put on my underwear or pants is excrutiating and then to put on my socks and sneakers is another traggic moment. I have been on Dilaudid (Hydromorphone ) since the surgery. IT was in the box when I woke and the IV. When they disconnected the box, they switched me to the pills but in high doses and slowly decreased the doses but I couldn't decrease them much and I was taking them every 3 hours, on a good day, I lasted 4 hours. When I went home at 1 week, they sent me home with a prescription of the pain medication and said use as needed but said the max. that I could take and that was alot. Unfortunately, I have needed most of it and told me to follow up with my pain management doctors. I already had a pain management doctor for spinal problems and other stuff prior but that is the least of my problems now.
I usually go to pain management once per month just to get my pain medication - duragesic patch and percocet as needed. I wish I could go back to that. So, now that I am on so much more, I have to go every 2 weeks so he can monitor me. The pain management doctor doesn't like the fact that I am on so much. When I was there last week, he wanted me to cut my dose in half and to take it less often (all at once) and I flat out said no. There was no way I could do that. I was having a hard time as the current level. It turns out I went back to the surgeon 2 days later to get the staples out and found out they suspected a wound infection. She had to open it up to let it drain and heal from the inside out. A nurse comes every day to pack the area but the pain for the next few days got excrutiating and not only couldn't I cut my pain medication, I had to increase it. Thankfully, most of the pain is gone except for the burning pain that you talk about. I really do think it is nerve related. I am going to ask my pain management doctor for something like Neurontin - it is a medication I took for sciatica that blocked nerve pain. I know it worked because when I had shingles, I had know pain. We shall see what he says.
I wish you the best.