Posted 3/11/2011 2:16 AM (GMT -6)
Evening my dearest family,
I have a question, and I'm unsure how to approach it. I guess my Pain Management Doctor (the only doctor I really see) has finally found a surgeon who is qualified, and willing, to do my Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant. I did my trial back in Feburary with great success, but because my Doc wants to use the paddles for my implant (they afford better control and coverage then the standard leads) and the process for this requires a Lamectomy, /and/ the fact that in the last year 3 seperate surgeons have ended up with their patients suffering some form of paralysis, most Doctor's are not willing to do this procedure anymore. Also because of where my CRPS affects me I will need to have the leads "sutured" into place in my neck, up by C2.
Now as we all know any time you do surgery on the back it's risky, and especially the neck because of the size of the area. I'm in a debate on whether or not to do the procedure simply because of this risk; I'm not sure I want to saddle my family, especially my 8 year old son, with the responsibility of having to take care of me for the rest of my days. But I have tried to put this outta my mind until I talk to the surgeon and talk about the odds, his successes with this procedure, how many he's done, etc. Yah, I'm a logical numbers kinda person.
So I got the paperwork from surgeon the other day; my appointment isn't until the 24th of March. In this packet of paperwork that I have to fill out (read that my mother will be filling out as that much writing will put my arm outta comission as my pain levels have already been holding at a steady 9 on a pain scale) one of the documents is a Drug Contract.
I have heard good and bad things about drug contracts. I understand it means I can't seek other doctor's for pain meds, not even the ER. It means all refills are handled by this surgeon's office, I have to have the pharmacy I use contact them no less then 5 days in advance. It means I must use the meds as dictated, "or else". Now I can understand, especially with as tight a rein as they've put on narcotics, why doctor's do this, but to date I've /never/ had ANY of my doctor's have this sort of contract. I'm not sure if it means he'll be taking over my pain meds from my Pain Management Doc or not. I've got such a good relationship with my PM doc, and I trust him implicitly. If this is the surgeon I think it is I've met him once before two years ago back before I had a diagnosis. He was way behind schedule, and when he finally got to me he gave me such a look of disdain and made me feel like I was wasting his time. "There's nothing wrong with your x-rays. I'm a bone specialist. Why are you here to see me?" It was said in such a tone, as if I were a small child bugging him and taking up his valuable time. Now I'm not sure it's the same guy, I won't know till I see him.
So my question is this: What do you think of Drug Contracts? Is tying my hands with a guy who's office is an hour away worth it if it's the only way I can possibly get my surgery done? My PM doc has been with me for a year and a half now ... I hope you can understand my reluctance to turn my care over to someone I only want to see for a surgical procedure. I'd like to hear your thoughts if you were in my shoes.
Thank you all for your time.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Percoset.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
No surgeon willing to do my SCSU Implant