Any ideas for chronic pain sufferers in Texas?

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Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 11/30/2011 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I deal with chronic pain in my whole upper body, sciatica, depression, and I've been on various pain meds, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and other crap (haha) for 2+ years.  I never imagined I could possibly take meds for that long but here I am.  I have had chronic pain for 10 years but didn't see a Dr for 8 of them due to lack of health insurance.  Once I finally did I ended up needing a C5/C6 spinal fusion after trying physical therapy for a year.  The surgery didn't take, my spine did not fuse, so I had the same surgery again a year later.  Now it's been more than a year and I'm still in constant pain and deal with lots of side effects from medication.  I was always healthy and active and now I'm 36 and feel like an old man.  My problem is that I've tried everything from acupuncture to injections of various kinds, RFA treatment, herbal supplements, lots of phys therapy (and doing my exercises at home), deep tissue massage, and other stuff but still deal with serious pain where I can't work without taking meds.  I'm at my wits end.  I live in Texas where we have horrible social services.  I hear that in other states there are pain management places where they work closely with you trying to find anything to help.  But pain management in Texas is just a group that gives you drugs, recommends Dr's or therapists, gives injections or other procedures but absolutely nothing else.  They will never recommend anything that's herbal or alternative, and some of those things have helped me more than the drugs n injections.  I really wish I knew about a resource here in Texas that could treat me like a human, like an individual, and recommend things based on effectiveness rather than what's most profitable.  Is there anyone that has any advice about resources for chronic pain patients in Texas (I'm in Austin)?

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/30/2011 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm just South of Houston, and the first doctor I went to in Houston was a quack..
It took me awhile to find some good help, I do have a good Pain Management Psychologists
But coming here to Houston would be such a long drive from Austin...Some types
of Message therapies can help maybe look into that, we do have a local Fibromyalgia
support group North Houston, look up local fibro groups in Houston Google search
and you should be able to find it, we do talk about different pain management options,
such as tai chi, accupuncture, had a meeting on aqua therapy (I had to skip that due to phobia of water)
Also look into psychologists and once you get a good one maybe he/she could offer up
help...Keep hope there are other things out there even in Texas... Tart Cherry juice
can help, vitamins D and B-12 can help if your low on those, might want to get a bloodwork check.
Many well wishes to you...Keep hope, Austin is so pretty, I like Austin, Better than Houston...
but my hubby has a job here...and Texas has some cold weather coming...Starting on Sunday
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/1/2011 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.  Tart Cherry juice sounds really good!  Never heard of it but i'll try it.  I have not heard of pain management psychologists so I'll have to check into that.  I've also wondered about Fibromyalgia cause I know I have many of those symptoms, just didn't know if that applied to me.  Either way going to a group like that would be very helpful.  I'm going to have to do that.  I actually went down to Houston this past weekend for the 1st time in years for a reunion.  I was surprised how cold it got there.  Thanks again for the reply, you have some good karma coming your way!

NiNi53
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 12/2/2011 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Siddler, and welcome to the HW family, its a great family that nobody really wanted to ever be in but are very glad its here for us.
 
I dont know anything about doctors in Texas, but have you tryed Cymbalta, I realize that may not be an option for you if you dont have insurance as I am told it is expensive, but various cp patients have added this to there regimen and have had great results with it, I am thinking about adding it to my list of meds.
 
So again, welcome, and good luck, I am realizing more and more, that many people who suffer with cp have awful side effects to the meds they are taking, I am so sorry you are having that problem, but you are not alone, I am fortunate, I dont have many side effects, so I consider myself blessed.
 
Kathy/nini
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/2/2011 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the post!  I have actually tried Cymbalta and it did seem to help.  I got off it though cause it cost me $45/month with my insurance.  I'm really glad you mentioned that though cause a while back I'd discussed getting back on it with my new psych, but still felt like it was too expensive (I pay $10 on my other meds).  Part of that decision was based on my previous psych saying there were other anti-depressants that helped with pain too that were available generically but then he changed his tune on the next visit and didn't want to go with those pain relieving ones.  That's part of why I got a new psych!  
 
What it comes down to is if it's going to help with my pain I should make the sacrifice financially.  It's hard though cause I only take home around $1400/month and as you know a lot of that goes to co-pays, other meds, and all those other medically related expenses that we're all familiar with.  I have a pain mgmt appt next week and hopefully I can get back on it.  I'm really thankful for your help and thankful for this site.  Wish I'd gotten on here long ago!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16384
   Posted 12/4/2011 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Siddler and I too want to welcome you to Healing Well's CP forum. I am am a fellow Texan and I am somewhat surprised you are having diffucilty finding a decent PM dr in the Austin area. I do have a question, are you treating in clinics where there is more than one dr or are you with someone that is practicing solo? The reason I ask is I have never had good care in the clinic setting. I have always had much better care from someone practicing solo. I am not intrested in the setting of behind door number 1, is the physical therapist, behind door number 2 is the psychologist, behind door number 3 is the PM dr.

As far as finding an MD that is going to offer up herbs and supplements, I know of no dr going to do that other than chiropracrtors or someone that practices homeopathic medicine. Considering you have an operated neck 2 tims around if it were me, I would not let a chiropractor touch my neck. Many times they can cause more problems than you started with. If your fusion did not take and is not solid I would stay away from them for sure.

Are you on a muscle relaxer of any kind? I have used Zanaflex and got some good results. I am currently on Baclofen 10mg and have found it to be very helpful. I can have one every 4 hours not to exceed 60 mg a day. This has really been helpful getting the muscle spasms down. I can't help but believe that you have quite a bit of this going on.

Its really difficult finding good medical drs no matter where a person lives these days. So many of the drs are afraid to write a script for anything. Sometimes makes a person wonder why they are a dr if they are not going to hel;p a person. Many of us have had to kick more than one dr to the curb until we found one that really wanted to help and was interested in helping.

Please take care & let us know how you are doing.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/6/2011 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you straydog.  My pain management doc is the only one in the clinic but I rarely see him, I end up seeing an assistant 90% of the time.  And I don't even see the same asst every time, I've been passed between 10 people or so in the 2 years I've been going there.  I said the thing about the bad health care in Texas cause I had a friend in Mass that told me they have great pain management places there where they really work with you, spend time with you, discuss ideas, etc.  My pain mgmt appt's are as short as 5 mins and no longer than 10 mins.  I've spent a lot of time looking online for ideas, treatments, etc and I've brought a few things to them, like pro-lo injections, and they said they can do them, but it makes me wonder why I have to figure all this stuff out and not the person who gets paid hundreds of dollars for each 10 min visit.  It's insane and unethical.  Do you think I could do better in terms of getting a better pain mgmt doc?  Thanks!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16384
   Posted 12/6/2011 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Siddler there are some other medications that are given for nerve related pain besides Cymbalta, there is Lyrica, Neurotin which is available in a generic and the old Amitriptilene which is the generic for Elavil which is an antidepressant. I understand what you are saying about the cost of the Cymbalta, however, if it really helped your pain then you are looking at quality life issues, feeling better and being more productive. CP takes so much away from people so anything that can help put some of that back is worth its weight in gold.

Something you may want to consider is going online and looking up your insurance to see what CP drs are available in your area and just call and find out if they are taking new patients and what it takes to get an appt with one of them. Another thought would be call your local hospitals and ask for the referral line and see who they have to refer to for CP. Sometimes hospitals have some of the best ones they can refer to. Its worth a few phone calls. One thing most of us have learned, if we are not happy with our care then we have to get busy and start looking and not leave it up to our drs for this. If a referral is needed to see one which most likely will be the case, then you have the info all in one neat package for your PCP to make the referral. There really are some good drs out there you just have to look for them.

Sounds like your drs has more patients than he can possibly handle with that many PA's onboard to see his patients. I would not be comfortable with that scene at all. No wonder you are not happy, time to move on. One thing about it, PM is a very lucrative business for many drs, notice I said business, not practice. It can be all about the dollar with many, sounds like you have one of those. It really does not sound like you can get much worse than what you have, so something has to be better. The choice is yours. Take care.

The prolotherapy you mentioned, word to the wise, most insurance companies will not pay for it and it is very expensive. It is considered a questionable form of treatment, this is one reason insurance will not pay for it.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/8/2011 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for taking the time to let me know about this stuff. I'll definitely get going on finding another PM doc and making the calls about a CP dr will be a priority too. Appreciate your help very much!

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 12/8/2011 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning Siddler,
I wanted to give you a big welcome to our Chronic Pain Forum. I am glad you found us but sorry that you are suffering with so much pain. You will find the members here so supportive and very caring and many have much info to offer regarding different pain situations. I hope you will continue posting with us and enjoy our little family.

Hope you get to having some better days soon.

suzane

Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/8/2011 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Suzane, I'm surprised and relieved how much help I've been offered here.  It's truly amazing and motivating and gives me some hope that things can get better.  I'll definitely keep posted with what's going on with me and hopefully someday I can be giving some advice back to others. 

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 12/8/2011 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I had one session of prolotherapy, it's done in the doctor's office, but it is painful.
it did help my knee, but it made my lower back worse, due to a reaction I had.
It is not covered by insurance and most likely they won't even send it in to insurance,
cost for me cause I had two joint area's done was $400.00 due on the date of service...
I would do it again for my knee, but never ever for my lower back...and you'll need
at least 3 to 6 sessions at around 200 to 300 per session, it can add up...
and do seek out better care from another pm doctor...5 to 10 minutes in an office
visit is never enough time...geezee...not a good doctor's office...
Many well wishes to you...and keep us posted...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

Siddler
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/14/2011 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the post!  I did ask my doc about pro-lo and he said the same thing I've been hearing here that it's expensive and not covered by insurance.  I never responded at all to any of the injections or RFA treatments, not even a little bit of relief, so i'd fear that pro-lo would be more of the same.  I'm definitely gonna find a new PM doc.  I have Blue Cross insurance and they have put me in a program for people with chronic pain so I'm gonna contact the person assigned to help me n see if they can recommend a good dr.  Thanks again!

Lulicious
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/15/2011 6:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Siddler......I didn't see it mentioned by anyone else, but you could contact the manufacturer's of Cymbalta and see if you qualify to receive the medication for free. Check with the manu's of all your meds, it usually depends upon your income and you answer a few questions, if you qualify they send a supply to your doc's office and he will distrube them to you as needed. Also have you tried to apply for state insurance help? also goes by income. Just a thought. Sorry your in so much pain, but good luck.
Cheryl
DX: spinal fracture L5/S1, fusion 1/96, Spondylolethsis, DDD, nerve damage to both legs and bladder, 4/2007 anterior & posterior fusion L1-S1, 4 Bladder surgeries w/cystocele and rectocele. Partial Hysterectomy 2002 (pre-cancer), Ovaries removed 4/2009, Multipe injections, depression, PTSD, medical induced menopause Meds: MS Contin 60mg a.m, 45mg p.m, oxycodone 30mg tid
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