Chronic Pain Recommendations

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/17/2012 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi There and Thanks in Advance for Your Help-
I have a close friend since childhood who underwent surgery about 3 years ago. It was a complicated surgery where they replaced his esophagus, moved stomach into new position, etc. As a result, he has had chronic pain since, which appears to be getting worse as time goes on (he is 61 years old). He was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma and is undergoing treatment for that, although the doctors are telling him the pain is most likely due to the initial surgery.

On the pain side he has tried most everything (acupuncture, drugs, meditation, trigger point shots, etc) and is thinking he needs to "go to the next level." So, here's my questions:

1) Pain Pump - He wants to know the approximate total cost of the pump + surgery. He doesn't have insurance and will have to pay for this out of pocket. How much does this procedure initially cost and is $700 - $1,000 per month about right for ongoing medication?

2) Pain Doctors in Southern California that someone has used and can recommend? He lives in Ventura County but can travel if required.

3) Specific Pain Doctor - Has anyone used Dr. Dale Kiker in Camarillo? He was recommended to my friend but it is hard to find any real quantitative data.

Thanks so much,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 1/17/2012 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
So sorry about your friend, but a question back to you, is he on disability, if not why not, he could be on Medicare and at least 80% of his insurance problems would be over.  Also, I think the age to qualify for Social Security, which will include medicare is 65, I am not sure, I had heard it was going to 67, but that may be aways away.
Also, he is definetly qualified for AARP, he might check with them and see what insurance they can offer him now.  I am along way from California, so cant help you with the doctor thing, but you can check on him in other ways, check his rating with the AMA.  It might help.
Good luck,
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

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/17/2012 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your reply.  My friend was just approved for disability, but the Medicare insurance piece lags the disability and isn't effective until March 2012.  It doesn't sound like that long, but he has so much pain that it is an eternity.
Relative to other insurance, I think you have a good idea.  He had checked in the past and found that certain insurance must be granted him, although the cost was something like $800 per month.  But that would be a good start to get things moving, following by Medicare in 2012.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 1/18/2012 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning Mike
I wanted to welcome you aboard. That's great that you are helping your friend out. So sorry to hear that he is suffering so much. Sounds like that must have been a pretty tough surgery to go through and now to be diagnosed with lymphoma must have been quite a shock to him. I know several members have pumps here and i am sure they will be along to help you out. Does he have a pain specialist? and what meds has he tried so far?

I hope you will keep posting with us and keep us up to date on how your friend is doing. Is he able to come and post with us.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16799
   Posted 1/18/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mike and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I have a pump and can tell you first hand without insurance there is no way I could even afford my monthly refills. I am on SSD and have regular Medicare and then another insurance that pays a dab towards my refill. Currently, I spend $100 a month on my refills. Without insurance the cost can be anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500 for a refill. depends on the pharmacy the dr uses. Before a person gets pump implanted they must do a trial and also have a psychological evaluation. If the trial is a success then the pump is implanted. To get a pump you are talking around $100,000.00 they are not cheap. If your friends Medicare is going to be in effect in 2 more months he is much better off waiting and uses his Medicare to get what care he needs.

Perhaps you can get your friend to come here and visit with us.Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum
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