I see nobody commented. I am wondering if I posted in the wrong forum, or if things really are this hopeless!
I'm not sure what kind of responses you are looking for? We can't advise you whether or not to try to reopen the case, since my understanding is that once you sign off on the settlement that that is it.......Unless your doctors specifically link your depression or stomach conditions on your neck and I am not sure how they can do that in the stomach situation, that may be why they are refusing to pay for the meds.
Have you contacted another attorney or better yet, your old one to see what he thinks about reopening the case?
Your welcome and thank you both for the comments. I did it to help, so I hope that it does.
Usually, you visit with a pain management doctor for the consult for a spinal cord stimulator, and the actual surgery for the permanent device, depending on the type of surgery for the leads ( thin wires or paddle leads) determines which surgeon- I would choose a neurosurgeon, especially since you are talking about the neck area and there is a small amount of room in the cervical area to work with....
We do have a scs forum under the treatment tabs on the left hand side of your screen,.,.,.,.,.there is tons of information on the units, trials, outcomes and many members who have gone through both the trial and the permanent implants. I'm sure that they would be glad to offer their input....
Sandi-what a lot of work you put into this and its SO valuable! I'm glad its required reading for newcomers like myself. Even though I've been dealing with back issues for the past 7 years I never knew any of this!
So a big thank you to you....
I'm glad that you found it helpful. Many people, me included had no idea in the beginning of what would happen, when or why it did the way it did, so after many years of dealing with my own back problems, decided it was time to put it down on paper so to speak so that others who are new to spine issues had something like a road map to understand why things are done the way they are......and hopefully to give them some light at the end of the tunnel.
I read the information on the process that someone may go though with back problems and getting medical care. I though the information was great but I just wanted to let you know how things happened for me. When I had my fusion in 1992 getting long term pain medication was hardly ever given out unless you had cancer. What I went though back then was if you hurt that much so that you need opiate medications for more then a month then you should get surgery. Needless to say I had the surgery (S1-L4) fusion and that failed. Things started to change around 1998 and doctors realize that pain was being under treated in many cases. They also realized that using opiates for chronic pain could give long term pain control and be fairly safe if used as prescribed. The other concept that started to develop was that surgery should not be a requirement to get long term pain relief from opiates especially if there is no loss of control with urine and bowels and the chance of success is low or will not make much of a difference with pain control. For about a 10 year basis I could get my medications by going to any doctor. Un-fortunately so could everyone else whether they had a medical need or not. My concern is with those who are at the start of this process in that those in pain may feel so desperate because of it they will say yes to the surgery because doctors are afraid to give medications that may work for them. After my fusion I spent a lot of time hurting because the doctors I went to said 3 pills of whatever should be enough. I finally found a doctor who slowly increased my meds to the point where pain was not a huge factor. Today I take MS-Contin 100mg 3/day. I have been on this same amount of medications since 2001. Basically for me I wish surgery was the very last choice instead of the medication. Of course no two people are a like.
I couldn't even think about being in your shoes.
Most people at 60mg 2x day are walking zombies.
I would not allow the amount you are taking daily for myself. There are always ways beside pain medication, its not easy but I know it is possible for anyone.
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Moderator I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences.
300g of oxy a day by a doctor, that is hard to believe. no doctor in their right mind would prescribe that amount of oxy. i take a lot 40 mmg 4 times a day which is 160. you take twice my amount. something seems fishy here. this sounds like self medication to me.
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
Welcome to Spine Health. I'm sorry that you meet the requirements to join the "spiney" club but glad that you found us.
A couple of things that I have a different point of view on, is that surgery does not need to be done to get pain medications , that is just a statement that doesn't necessarily have much basis in fact.......surgery is only offered to those patients who the surgeon believes can be helped by the surgery. Surgery is NOT done for pain relief, in fact, every surgeon that I have ever met when dealing with spine issues has told me flat out that surgery done for the purpose of pain relief is doomed to failure, since spine surgery is only done in two situations, compression of the spinal nerves which could lead to permanent damage if left untreated , and/or to correct a mechanical problem that is surgically correctable. Far more patients are told they are not eligible for surgery than those that are.
As far as pain medications and their availability go, yes, pain medications for long term chronic pain were available in the 90's, even the early 90's when you saw the right doctor for the condition. I developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy ( now called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) in my right shoulder, arm, hand and fingers, and lost the use of the entire limb , and was treated by many different medications, including opiates at the time.
As far as surgery goes and being the last option, it is, one of the last ones, unless there is something that warrants the surgeon feeling that surgery is your best treatment option.......The big issue is that patients should research their conditions, know about the treatment options, be able to discuss them and their findings from any testing done with their doctors, and then , together , determine what options are in that patient's particular best interests. For some of us, the whole idea of avoiding surgery by using pain medications can have detrimental effects by masking the symptoms and pain levels while increasing the amount of medications taken, and can result in serious permanent damage.
I am in the mind set if surgery can relieve the pain, repair the problem or relieve the compression of a nerve, then surgery is the way to go........if the surgery is not successful, then explore the other options...no amount of opiate pain medications is going to relieve nerve compression or canal stenosis , or fix mechanical pain if the mechanical problem is not fixed. It is a temporary bandaid, which may have disastrous results if you postpone surgery for too long.