PaLady: A special hello to you, and thank you for asking about me. How are you doing?
The last time I posted about myself, I think I had just found a new PM doctor that to manage my intrathecal pump, and he had switched me from Dilaudid to Sufentanil and he added Clonidine to the mix as well. He started me off on a very low dose compared to the amount of Dilaudid I was on, and I went through awful withdrawals for about 3 weeks.
My doctor has given me two increases so far. I wish so much that I could say that I notice a significant change, but I can't yet. I am hopeful that we are on the right track - I keep telling myself that we are just not "there" yet. So, for now, my pain level remains at a 8/9 consistently. I'm trying really hard to remain optimistic, but it is not easy. I have an appt. with him next week to discuss what to do next.
He wants me to get a device that goes along with the intrathecal pump called a PTM (Personal Therapy Manager), which I had been begging the PM that was managing my pump for for over two years. It would allow me to give myself bolus's of medication as needed throughout the day, but come to find out, it needed to be ordered at the same that the doctor ordered the actual intrathecal pump that is implanted in my stomach. If I order it now, it costs over $1,000 which I would have to pay up front, and then I would have to submit it to my insurance. I called my insurance company to see what I would get back, and there is a $375 deductible and then my insurance company only pays 50% of what they feel is reasonable and customary. If I wait until the battery dies on the pump I have now (about a year), and the doctor orders it when he orders the new pump they will implant, it is covered 100%. It's so not fair, I didn't even know this option existed until 3 years after my pump was put in.
My oldest son, who is away at college, offered to pay for it and I could pay him back over time, and as much as I so very much appreciate his offer, I can't bring myself to borrow it from him. He has been working full time and going to school full time for the last 3 years, and despite his exhausting schedule, he has made Dean's List consistently. I am so incredibly proud of him.
He's working towards a liberal arts degree in Health Science. He knows he wants to work in the health field, but he has not decided exactly what avenue yet. He's taking a class this semester that explores the different possibilities he will have open to him with his degree. They actually meet at the local hospital and speak to the people that are working at these jobs, which is wonderful, but every week, he changes his mind on what he wants to do, lol.
Best Wishes and Hugs to All,