Posted 1/13/2008 10:33 PM (GMT -6)
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers... that means a lot to me. I'll have to flesh out the details at a later date but the basics are as follows:
My doctor schedules me a close to 30 day intervals as possible but it never seems to work out and if i get a different doctor, oh my....i have to go through the whole drug dealer/drug addict routine! I've learned to start hoarding my medicine about a week or two early just so I'll have some when the month is up and it takes more than a day to arrive at a refill. As you know I still experience withdrawal symptoms... just not as bad as total cold turkey and the medicine I do take doesn't help much because I'm behind the pain curve so to speak. Then once I get a refill it takes about a week to get on top of the pain again. All in all the first week with meds and the last week without results in only the middle of the month where the program of medicine actually yeilds the intended benefit. My doc seems to understand but he keeps telling me he is under a lot of scrutany from his associates that any reason I give them to drop me they will! He says that is industry wide????? Everyone around here makes it sound like those that have abused the medicine and or system have all but ruined it for those of us that really need pain medicines. Doctors' practices are doing their best to drop patients that are dealing with chronic pain due to the liability surrounding the meds. I live just outside of DC in West Virginia and I think the local has a lot to do with it....although I'm originally from, Charlottsville Viginia I spent the past 30 plus years in Arizona. Now that I've moved back here I can tell that there are many stereotypes about WV that actually spill over into reality. I imagine that in the blue collar geographical areas of the state there exists a welfare mentality along with rampant drug abuse. I live in an area that is a polar opposite. Harpers Ferry WV (my current home) is where VA, MD and WV all come together at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenendoa rivers....the majority of us working folks are profesionals that commute to DC but enjoy the rural lifestyle this are affords us. Could it be that all of the people trying to con doctors out of "hillbilly heroin" make it impossible for me to receive quality care? For example, I called my doctor and left a voice mail that the new medicine he perscribed was far too harsh for me and I couldn't function at work so could I revert to my less potent meds? He wanted me to try 80 mg of Oxycotin versus the 60 of Oxycodone I had been taking per day. He told me later after I had another "incident" with a different doctor, that he had to intervene and fight for me to stay on as a patient because my phone call was considered "drug seeking behavior"!!!!!!! That's rich.... a patient that has been taking the same dose of pain medicine for years asking not to have their dose increased is considered an abuser! I have built up a tolerance but I've been conditioned like one of Pavlov's dogs not to even consider asking about increasing the Hydrocodone/Oxycodone....I'm convinced they'd drop me in a flash. As I've said many times before... i can live with any amount of pain just so long as the meds allow me to get on my feet and be there for my family...that's what the 60 mg per day does. I'd like to have a sufficient dose to bring relief from the pain but as hard as it's been geting any kind of help since leaving AZ I'm afraid to ask. As for it being an insurance problem.... no problem. Since my surgeries I was let go by my employer and lost my health insurance after 18 moths of COBRA coverage. Since my spine problems are considered preexisting to any attempt on my part to get coverage, everything is out of pocket. I was doing pretty good after the first surgery... not so good after the second but then both were rendered ineffective after being rearended on the way home from work by an uninsured motorist.....I'm out several hundred thousand after all of that.... hellicopter air lift, fractured c-spine, hospitals, tests, docs, meds, etc...although I've had no work done on myself to improve my back, I've paid huge money and have the priviledge of being treated like a low-life.....can you tell the stigma is the worst part of this for me? I've fought very hard all my life to try to live as a normal, healthy person and it hasn't be easy or without a tremendous amount of suffering. To be treated by people that hopefully will never experience pain like mine as if i'm lazy and just out for a "high" makes me furious. I challlenge anyone that is healthy to spend one minute in my shoes without screaming in pain and rushing to the ER.....Although it may sound like it, I'm not looking for sympathy or pity from the medical profession. I just think they should extend me the same respect I afford them. I feel I've earned it by not resigning to my maladies and relying on others to do for me. Especially since the medical profession pretty much tells me there is nothing they can do to correct my situation so all they can do is help me with managing the pain. well if that's my only option why the constant run around? Why not make a note in the file for all to see including doctor's filling in for you, why not monitor my pain levels and results given various doses and meds, why not time the appointments and written perscriptions to eliminate voids, why not treat this as an ongoing issue as you've classified it so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel every month? I always felt i was a victim of a medical profession and an insurance industry that didn't want to do the hard work to find out what was causing me such misery but after 45 years lucked out and finally had a doctor figure it out just to be discouraged again becuase they say nothing can be done and they treat my pain management as it is a hassel for them. Like i said...I wish I could transfer just one second of one of my "episodes" with my spinal chord onto all that should be helping me and i think I'd never ever have a problem again....at least not because they didn't think I couldn't possibly be in that much pain.
I'm sorry to abuse your kind support by wearing you down with my self pitty tonight....just nice to vent I suppose. i've spent decades trying to conceal how i feel so writing to you and the others is theraputic. I'll get my head up soon. I also apologize for the poorly crafted post... sure wish this had spell check
Thanks for the sounding board,
several spinal maladies including stenosis throughout, C-spine fusions with instrumentation 2000, L-spine fusions with instrumentation 09-11-2001, anky, spondy...you name it! Was told "it was all in my head" for 45 years until impengement became so bad it affected functions such as heart beat, vision, breathing, etc. Wish their misdiagnosis were correct!