time to go to hospital?

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modernartgrl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/17/2008 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been a patient at heavily burdened, massive yet helpful clinic for four years due to a job injury to the cervical spine. They know me well at the hospital. It was a pretty severe case and I had a lot of emergency stuff done. Three surgeries on three levels with rods, plates etc. I'm in a chronic pain management program now at a private facility thanks to winning my comp case. Took years to win!

Recently went in to have a lower back pain checked out that has been hurting but all they did was an x-ray to check for fracture. Nothing showed up. I didn't say much to em. I was embarrassed that my health has gotten so bad.

Truth is... My lower back has been hurting since MAY and seems to be getting WORSE. What should I do.? Should I be more aggressive about my symptoms and pain? Should I go back to them again? It has been two weeks since last visit.

It aches so terribly that I can't sleep even though I am on Fentanly and Topomax and take other things like pain killers and muscle relaxers. I sleep on ice. It hurts all across the lowest part of the back but more severe on the right and feels like it affects my right hip to the point my hip will break at times or is torn. My right leg feels like a stump at times. My leg just cramps like I've been sitting on it. The pain is not relieved by sitting or lying, the pain is increased by sitting or walking or lying on it, so I cannot get away from it except to drug up to a point that I worry about the interactions of so many drugs! I have a tens unit and it helps to mask the pain but I am keeping it on constantly.

I worry I might be slowly damaging my right leg and I cannot afford my legs to be weakened. My arms are weak from the damage done to the neck from the previous job injury so I know I could not rely on them to hold me up in the future if my leg were to go.

I worry that if I go back to the hospital, they will make me wait for ten painful hours on my thobbing buttocks only to tell me it is sciatica, and to take two asprin and to call them if and when I lose my bladder or ability to walk. Am I right? I am not a person with a low tolerance to pain. I know that now. I've proven it to the doc on a couple of occasions and I won't bore you with the story here. I just know that if it the pain is getting to me and I can't take it, then it is some really serious pain.

Is this the kind of pain that others are talking about and I am just going to have to learn how to deal with? Until this pain leaves me...

I don't sleep, think of sex anymore, dream of a future where I work again, play again and sit among my friends and laugh again.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/17/2008 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Modern,
I'm so sorry to learn of your worsening symptoms. Yes, I think you should definitely be assertive about more medical diagnostic services, although I don't know if it's better to go to an ER or try to get into the clinic that knows you. Sadly, it's possible that your lower spine is worsening becausing of the surgeries to your neck, but an X-ray isn't going to show all this (I'm guessing you know this). I would want to know why they're not ordering a lumbar MRI - is there a reason? Because maybe there is something that can be done depending on what is causing the symptoms to worsen.

Whether we have to finally live with the pain tends to be a decision made after all possibilities are exhausted. You've been through surgeries so you know about the most drastic of measures. I think someone needs to at least identify the cause(s) of new symptoms to the best that's possible. I'm guessing you've had a neurologist/neurosurgeon and/or orthopod. for your neck; you might try going back to that person for further testing if they also deal with lumbar spines. You PM doc may not pursue these tests, although I would think that he/she should at least refer you back to other specialists.

I can't remember your earlier posts, but also having a therapist to help suppport you through this could be helpful - but that is not saying it's all in your head! It would be someone who you could lean on and maybe could help you make decisions about what to pursue next.

We're here for support whenever you need it.

PaLady

ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 6/17/2008 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Modern. Welcome to the forum.

I think your pain probably is like what some of us are talking about, but that does not mean you just have to learn to live with it. Dealing with your pain should definitely include seeking treatment and palliative care. DO go to the doctor. Have you told your pain management doc about this? He/She may have some recommendations for you about where to go next. It doesn't sound like you would need to go to the emergency room, but certainly you should plan to see someone. Perhaps a neurologist or spine doctor.

Don't let this go. I do have pain that will apparently be with me for the rest of my life, and at times it seems unbearable. Like you, I have a high tolerance for pain, so I believe I tolerate more than doctors realize. I do work continually on acceptance of the condition my back is in, but I do not believe that acceptance of my situation means that I must give up seeking help. I firmly believe that some day I will find a doctor who will treat me to the point that I will be able to regain at least part of the life that I've had to give up. I don't ever expect to be pain free, and I have come to terms with the fact that my physical limitations will probably always have a huge impact on my life, but I have to believe that somehow, some day a doctor will find a way to reduce the pain at least a little bit so that I can start to enjoy my life again. You can't give up on that.

I wish you the best and hope you find a resolution and some relief from your pain.
Ry

singing butterflies
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/18/2008 1:03 AM (GMT -7)   
sad  Hi Modern,  I am new but due to the pain that I have had for so long, I agree with the other replies in the fact that you need to be agressive when trying to get help for your lower back, I have to use a wheelchair to get around and take a lot of meds to.  Mine started with my lower back and now have to have surgery this morning for cervical stenosis, it pays to be persistant, I was having problems for a few years, was told different diagnosis[es] until my current doctor ordered an mri on my neck {hopefully just in time}, so be persistant. By the way depending what the problem is ice can make it feel worse.--- singing butterflies

ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 6/18/2008 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum, Butterfly! Do I read you right that you are having surgery TODAY? If so, you are probably there by the time I am posting this. Best wishes to you for a positive outcome and a speedy recovery.

Ry

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/18/2008 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Singing Butterflies,
I want to second Ryand's welcome and yes, it does look like you're having surgery today and probably won't see this right away. We'll all be wishing the best for you. How thoughtful of you to be responding to someone else's need as you're preparing to go to in for such a major procedure. I was just tossing and turning the night before my surgery!

And I love your name!

Hope we hear from you when you're ready.

PaLady

modernartgrl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/18/2008 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Singing Butterfiles... thanks for reaching out to someone else while you face surgery. Please be sure to let us know how it goes and how your doing as soon as you can get back on the computer!

modernartgrl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/18/2008 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   
After reading posts, and especially after the treatment I received last night in the ER... I realized I there's been a kink in the care and it is more bureaucratic than medical.

Chronic pain is problematic and confusing enough but what has made this more complicated is Worker's Compensation. You see, so far all my spine problems stemmed from a job injury which at first the company refused to take responsibility for so I had to use the welfare hospital. Eventually I won my case and my care was moved to private practice where the third surgery was done by a esteemed surgeon and the chronic pain is managed. They do not and can not respond to any other problem areas, dispense drugs, tests etc unless it is directly related to my case. Fours years later of so much to deal with, it seems like the spine is wearing out. Right now, the company is paying my cervical related bills but we are still fighting for them to pay for the long term disability they owe me. I did win and yet the check does not come. Money is very tight to put it mildly. So with the new problem in the lower spine needing to be imaged, diagnosed, treated etc. how does one go about finding and paying for all this? While I searched for answers I also hoped and prayed that the pain would just magically go away.

It did not. I could not take it anymore. I went to the ER last night. I walked in at seven pm. I was seen at seven am this morning, twelve hours later. The doc spent two minutes tops with me I think. I was treated rather cold, with indifference and maybe one could even describe it as hostile? He asked me point blank why are you here after all the other nurses who had checked me in had asked the same questions and taken down notes. I had replied that after three months of unrelenting pain, I couldn't take it anymore, and was worried about my right leg. I also remarked that it astounded me with all the heavy meds I am on, how could the pain be so unrelenting and that had me worried. He then replied that I was on all the drugs one could possible take and had doctors caring for my chronic pain, so again he asked me why was I there?

I wanted to throw something at him. But I didn't. I calmly explained that my other wonderful doctors hands are tied with invisible ropes, that by law, keep them from performing healing measures on any area of the spine other than the levels specified by the worker's comp case. So, if I need medical care than I will have to pay out of pocket, but because I have no medical coverage other than the one at this hospital than I am at the mercy of this ER for a referral. I also explained that I had already first tried to take care of the problem two weeks ago at their day clinic, where I sat for hours, waiting to get a standard x-ray (which showed nothing) but was told that if it got worse to come back. So I here I am doc, sweating pain bullets but don't know the cause... still. waiting... got referral?

The hospital will not send to a specialty clinic unless your referred. Getting it is next to impossible but I finally got it.

I can see that chronic pain creates little patience in doctors, drains the medical system of finances, and provides little hope to those patients who do not have deep pockets.

modernartgrl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/18/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
PAlady and Ryand thanks for the input and support too!. It was so good to find you here this morning. I didn't realize that anyone had responded til I got back this morning from the ER. Sometimes the world seems a little bizzare when your in pain.

Wish I could have taken all of you guys with down to the ER. lol.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/18/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Modern,
I'm so sorry your visit to the ER was so unhelpful. I'd write more, but I'm having a pretty lousy pain day myself, but I did want you to know I read your post. I hope you try to make some appointments with some other providers, but I "hear" the worker's comp issue. Do you have an attorney that you can ask about whether these new problems might be able to be covered? Worker's comp. will probably resist any claiim that they're related to the cervical spine injury, as they won't want to pay for even more. So my guess is you'd have to find some government insurance to help you with costs for new tests, medical coverage, for the immediate future. If you have an attorney I'd suggest asking him/her how to proceed to make sure you don't mess up any future claims, but I'd try to get some government insurance for the short run.

I know I'm being wordy and rambling here - I'm just tired. Going to go rest for now. Wish you the best.

PaLady

modernartgrl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/18/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I think if my treating doctor's find the new symptoms to be linked to the old neck injury than I might have something to work with. Sorry to hear your not feeling well yourself. Here's a warm hug and a virtual cup of homemade soup!

singing butterflies
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/23/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello to everyone, this is singing butterflies,and it feels good to be back home, the surgery is over and of course the pain can be tremendous at times. This is the first chance that I've had to get to read your posts, I want to say thank you, for your response to my post. I was very nerveous overnight and even on my way to the hospital. The doctor told me that he ended up having to make two incisions instead of just the one. I didn't get to come home until friday evening. I don't ever want to go through that again. I am just now being able to swollow little pieces of food at a time. I would like to say that going to emergency rooms if you don't have any new symptoms is basically a total waste of time. I have been through that and the fact that I didn't have insurance didn't help me either. I don't know how workmanscomp. these days but, I agree with Palady you do need an attorney to help you. I will have to do some research on workers comp., there are funds available to help with medical care and a lot of them are government funds. I have to thank god for finding some to help me. I am going to sign off for now will be back a little later, I haven't adjusted to this collar and the pain yet.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/23/2008 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, singing,
So glad you're back home, but yes, it will hurt for awhile. Remember to take everything very easy and slow and not to overdo it.

My doc had to make two incisions, also, for my lumbar fusion. He told me about it while I was in the recovery room after six hours of surgery. Like, yea, I was really in shape to understand it then!

You might want to start a separate thread for yourself to let everyone know who you are and how you're doing.

Take good care!
PaLady

singing butterflies
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/23/2008 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
HELLO PALADY, THANK YOU, I DON.T KNOW HOW TO START A SEPARATE THREAD AS I AM NEW TO THE CHAT LINES. I CAN HOWEVER TELL YOU LITTLE about MYSELF. I AM A 51 YEAR OLD WHO HAS KNOWN about TREMENDEOUS PAIN AND NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO about IT. MY FAVORITE HERO's ARE THOSE WHO REFUSE TO GIVE UP NO-MATTER THE OBSTICLES THAT STAND IN THE WAY. SOMETIMES THINGS STAND IN THE WAY PREVENTING YOU FROM FINDING SOLUTIONS AND BLINDING YOU TO THE WAY AROUND THE SITUATION. THE LACK OF FINANCES, OF INSURANCE, OF WHAT SEEMS TO NO END TO OTHER BLOCKS. I HAVE BEEN WHERE SOME PEOPLE ARE AT NOW. IN MY SITUATION I HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR DISABILITY FOR SEVERAL YEARS, AND KEEP BEING TURNED DOWN. THE ONLY WAY I HAVE RIGHT NOW TO HELP WITH MY MEDICAL COSTS IS TO KEEP THE APPEALS GOING. I WANT TO START MY OWN BUSINESS AND HELP OTHERS LIKE ME. THE SURGERY THAT I HAD JUST WENT THROUGH WAS NOT AN OPTION, IF I WANTED TO LIVE AND OR NOT BE PARALIZED FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. A LITTLE MORE PAIN IS WORTH IT IF IT IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND AT THE VERY LEAST NOT GET ANY WORSE. MOST OF WHAT I KNOW IS FROM EXPERIENCE AND FROM RESEARCH. --- TO THOSE THAT ARE SUFFERING FROM EXTREME PAIN OR EVEN MILD HERE IS A VIRTUAL HUG, FOR COMFORT---PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP WHAT YOU ARE SEEKING, THERE ARE ALWAYS A WAY AROUND THE SITUATIONS OR A WAY STRAIGHT THROUGH IT, SINGING BUTTERFLIES

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/23/2008 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Singing,
To start a new thread click on where is says "new topic" above the list of topics already started. Also, sometimes using all capital letters can be hard to read, so it's best to use regular size.

Glad to have you with us!

PaLady

nvrthesame98
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 6/24/2008 2:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad your back and the surgery is now over and your on the road to recovery at least! I maybe can be of some assistance to you as I also was a W/C injury and also fought SSD for 3 years with numerous denials,by the way I am 51 as well as of last week. So we have alot in common although my injury was to my knee not my neck I have since developed ankyl.spondy in L234 and S1 with DDD

A note about the all caps as many readers have some sight problems that make it really hard to read as PAlady said but I have some problems that make it harder for me to see it while typing on regular font and my just type it in a larger font and then change it before posting. YOu might try that if that is the problems your having.

If and when your feeling better I will be more then glad to try to help with your W/C questions or SSD and they key to winning here with either of them is just like you said persistant and to the point of obsessive.

I am wishing a wonderful painfree recovery and looking forward to seeing you more of you now that your home and recuperating.
NVR
 
Bilateral knee replacements,spondylosis of L-3,4,5 and S-1, osteoarthritis,premenopausal migraines.
 
Meds: Methadone,xanax,zanaflex,maxide,prempro,K+,indocin,lexapro,neurontin(coming off) lyrica(going onto)
 
 

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