Its Susie here. I noticed in one of the posts you said you have had your physch eval for the pain pump. When is your dr planning on doing the trial? I do hope its soon. Tom, I must say I have high hopes for you with the pump. From what you have described with your pain you sure seem to fit the bill. I know there has been alot of negative talk on the forum but there is also success stories as well and I am a success story. I do hate to see people slam something they have no idea about, its much better to always get info from a person that has actual hands on knowledge. I know where I was at before the pump and I know where I am at now. In many ways the pump has given me life back. I do still have some pain, but it is a tolerable type of pain that I can certainly deal with after what I have been thru and what it was like before.
I have looked back at my EOB from BCBS and it looks like the pain clinic bills around $1,500 for a refill. Of course, they are in network with my insurance company and they have a set amount that they pay the provider. The pain clinic does not bill me for any difference owed. I know Medicare pays for pumps and refills too. They too have an amount they will pay and then the patient pays 20% of what Medicare allows for the total charges. Its not as expensive as what one might think. I firmly believe drs offices and the hospitals jack up their costs, so they can show the write off as a loss at the end of the year. It legally gives them a way for a write off for tax purposes.
I think I told you before I have a mixture of four different medications in my pump. Dilaudid is my pain med in my pump. In the beginning its all trial & error until they get the proper doseage titrated up and the correct pain medication that works best for you. I have a truly wacky system that does not tolerate medications well at all, and its not limited to pain meds either. I was tried on oral Morphine and it did not help me and the side effects were awful. For some reason my pain dr forgot all of this and put a morphine drug in the pump to start with, which was taken out 2 weeks later. Now, when I have been hospitalized and given morphine in an IV it works very well for pain, but I do hallucinate somewhat,lol. My daughter came in the my hospital room one evening to find me laying the bed drawing circles in air. She wanted to know what I was doing and I told her I was drawing happy faces. Then I proceeded to tell her to look out my window at the big party in the parking lot and to look at the helicopters flying around,lol. Yes, it works on me alright in a funny way. All I knew at that time I was not in pain.
My pump was implanted June of 05. Since then, Medtronic has come out with better pumps and ones that have options to them. Now, a patient can actually give themselves like a pain shot, which are called a bolus. There is also one a dr can program and say everyday at 8:00pm you are in excruciating pain on a daily basis, the pump can be programmed to give a bolus every day at 8:00pm to that person for however many days. Its truly amazing what they can do. I can be given a bolus manully by my dr and he can set it to be released at whatever time. He always programs it to be released in one hour and that gives me time to drive home before it hits and let me tell you, the bolus works. You don't feel anything but relief,lol. No high or low, nothing like that. It is not like getting a pain shot that can make you feel groggy or anything like that. Who knows what they will have available whenever I have to have my pump replaced. My nurse was telling me about one of their patients, this man had a pump that lasted 11 yrs and finally the battery wore out. His lasted way beyond what they give for an average. I think I told you before my pump is from the lot that has been recalled for potential gear problems, but knock on wood I have had no problem with mine and have no intention of replacing it. Its one of those things that has to be reported when one fails, but it does not mean all of them will fail.
Sorry for the long post my friend, but I had you on my mind and wanted to post something to you. I do hope it all works out well for you. Cyber hugs coming your way. Susie
Post Edited (straydog) : 8/14/2008 12:11:07 PM (GMT-6)