Update on me after my doctors appointment today

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Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 1/22/2013 1:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey all, it's been a long weekend leading up to my doctors appointment today. I had a thing at the lodge on Saturday, was on my feet having to put on my happy face in front of a number of other people while I delivered a lecture and a few other things that lasted the better part of 3 hours. I never realized how something so simple as standing up in front of people and giving a lecture can increase your pain so much for so loooong. I feal as though I'm still recovering from that; now I have my doctors appointment to recover from as well, and I feel worse tonight than I did Saturday night. My back is at a solid 8, it was a 9 when I walked out of the office, it was a pretty brutal visit.
So I went in like normal, my appointment was at 2:20, so naturally, since they always make me wait for at least an hour, I was there at 2:18. Phenominally, they called me back at 2:22, but it was for a UA. Of course that wasn't a big deal, since I was walking toward the bathroom when they called me, then they made me go back out to the lobby and wait another 5 minutes, and called me to the exam room. I had to wait there the hour, I would've prefferred the lobby lol. I finally went out and asked the nurse what was going on, and asked her why I hadn't been taken to Xray yet, so she looked up my chart and said "oh you're right you need an Xray," and sent me to the Xray room. Got their Xrays done, and the doc walked in not 2 minutes after I got back to the exam room.
Basically, he said I'm just barely healed up enough to safely start some light PT. He's going to order 6 weeks at 2Xs per week, and then I have to go back to his office. He said at that point, hopefully, we'll be able to start the more strenuous PT, and go to 16 weeks at 3Xs per week. I reminded him that work comp protocol only allowed for a maximum of 16 weeks at 3Xs per week, he said that I should only have 3 weeks that are't covered under their protocol, and what was left over from before my surgery, and that if they didn't want to pay for that, he would cover it out of his own pocket; that came as quite a shocker to me.
Next he asked if I had recieved approval for the patches that he ordered months ago, no not yet, so he walked out of the room, came back 10 minutes later, and said, "you can pick up your patches on Wednsday from _____ Hospital, I'll drop of the written orders over their on my way home, and it will keep you covered until your next appointment." He also said he is ordering enough to change them every 48 hours, as we had previously discussed.
Well, after getting my meds finally taken care of (I honestly don't know what strings he pulled or what, or if he's having them billed to his practice) he then announced, " so now I get to hurt you again," he said this with a very sadistic smile on his face, and proceeded to tell me that he needed to check my range of motion in my back. This is why I almost needed a wheel chair to get out of his office.
Well, tomorrow I have to call the PT place, and get it worked out for me to start pt at some point. I'm sure I'm going to have to wait for approval on that, but we'll see what happens. Apparently, I should have sessions available from before my surgery, that work comp should have already paid for, that my doctor told me not to use, and save them for after surgery (he says they pay for the whole requested block of PT in advance, that way the therapist knows that s/he's going to get their money ahead of time, I hope he's right on that point), if possible, I'm hoping that I might be able to start PT as early as tomorrow or the next day, but we'll see what happens.
On the PM side of things, there isn't one yet, but the doctor said he's going to call work comp on wednsday and see why they've been dragging their feet. He also said he's going to call my attorney too, and see what he can come up with. He said he'll keep up my meds until a PM can take over, but he said that he thinks that it would help immensely if I can get some shots and stuff to try to help the CRPS symptoms.
Anyways, that's about it for now. I went ahead and met my dad for dinner tonight, but besides that, I'm in so much pain, I don't think I'll be doing much of anything for the next day or two besides sitting around and moaning lol. Hot shower didn't help, and muscle relaxer helped my leg spasms but not the back spasms. OOOOyyyyy shakehead   I hope everyone is having a good week, and less pain than I'm experiencing right now. Take care all, and God bless.
dx: just had L3-4 XLIF and ILIF, gotta see what happens. Disc bulge in T12-L1, ddd through rest of lumbar region. Gastric Bypass 2003, bleeding ulcer in pouch 2005, full small bowel obstruction 2011. Left shoulder has Bursitis, tendonitus, separated bicep muscle (I was told all the muscles look like string cheese lol, or a frayed rope), and arthritis of the Glenoid and humeral head.

Betsey Ross
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 1/22/2013 3:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Matt My goodness your day went down hill. Hurray for such a diligent doctor. I pray that you get shots to help with your symptoms.

How are you feeling today? Standing for 3 hours certainly puts a hitch on your get along. That is pennsylvania dutch saying.

Keep us updated please
Age to a woman is like krypronite to Superman.

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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 1/22/2013 4:09 AM (GMT -7)   
It's always seemed odd to me that a Dr appointment should be so difficult and long that it takes us days to recuperate from it. Some months Im in and out and others turns into an all day affair!

Glad you have healed enough to start some therapy and although the first few sessions may be draining and painful the eventual outcome should be worthwhile.

Hoping you got some restful sleep.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4428
   Posted 1/22/2013 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Matt,

You had a full day.
Hope you get through with your PT and hope your pain goes away.

Hope you feel better. Keep us updated.

Chronic Pain, Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9657
   Posted 1/22/2013 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, your doctor really put it to you, but at least he sounds like he's going to try and help you out. Sure hope he can help you and gets everything pushed thru for you. Hope you got some rest last night and that your doing better today. Many many well wishes, keep us updated.
hope you feel better.
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 1/22/2013 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Last night was bad. Pain was so high, and my stomach was turning circles to boot. Not sure what made my stomach so mad at me, must have been the food from Golden Corral, my grandma took my son and I there for lunch yesterday before my appointment. I've been a zombie all morning, finally started nodding off around 4 this morning, but still kept waking up, it was rather odd. I kept waking up to something that almost seemed like a flash of light, but there was nothing there. Checked around outside once at 5, nobody around. I think my mind was just playing tricks on me from the lack of sleep, and the other factors in play last night.
dx: just had L3-4 XLIF and ILIF, gotta see what happens. Disc bulge in T12-L1, ddd through rest of lumbar region. Gastric Bypass 2003, bleeding ulcer in pouch 2005, full small bowel obstruction 2011. Left shoulder has Bursitis, tendonitus, separated bicep muscle (I was told all the muscles look like string cheese lol, or a frayed rope), and arthritis of the Glenoid and humeral head.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15321
   Posted 1/23/2013 12:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like all in all you had a decent dr appt.The PT will really help you a lot. It may be rough in the beginning but it will get better as more time goes by. It will amaze you at how much strength you have lost in the past 4 months.

Take care....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25341
   Posted 1/23/2013 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
matt, thanks for a great update.
glad to hear your doctor is working so closely with you
I understand the "standing" on your feet part, i.e. making your speech, even as little as 10 minutes of standing is enough to trigger a round of really bad back pain with me, so I know that had to be hard.

sounds like you are making progress, however, glad for you

Age: 60, 56 at PC dx, PSA 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/8 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, 4+3
open RP: 11/8, Catheter in 63 days
Path Rpt: 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% tumor, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Surgery Failed, recurrence within 9 months
Salvage Radiation 10/9-11/9, SRT failed within 9 months, PSA 4/12 = 37.x
Spent total of 1 ½ years on 21 catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10,
7 other PC-related surgeries
Member of Prostate Cancer & Chronic Pain HW Communities since 10/2008
“I live in the weak and the wounded” – Session Nine (Movie)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 1/23/2013 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Matt, darn shame the drs appt hurt so much. Sounds like your dr is doing a fine job. Physio either hurt or helped me I never knew how my body would hande it.
Take care

Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

Barbara Lee
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Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 1/23/2013 11:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Matt, I'm glad to hear that your Dr is keeping a close watch over you.

I'm sorry that things have been so busy and stressful for you right now. You are so so right about standing just for a bit and it's causes terrible pain. When I first wake up my low back pain is at a 4-5, but once I'm up on my feet for the day I'm at a solid 8 by the time I go to bed.

Hoping the PT helps you, and you're able to handle the exercises. Wishing you the best keep us updated.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 1/24/2013 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the update...I'm always amazed at when you get in to see your DR. on holidays or weekends..LOL...All the Drs. around here were closed for the MLK holiday.

I'm glad that you are finally cleared to start some PT as it's over 4 and a half months since your surgery so as mentioned, our bodies can atrophy pretty quickly if we aren't moving some each day. I usually started about a month after my fusions, but I know that your surgeon has said that for some reason your fusion wasn't very secure.

It will be hard at first and pain levels will raise a bit, but hopefully your Dr. will help you with all of that...

Did he ever get the bone stimulator for you? At this point I don't know if it's still helpful but something to ask.

And I'm not sure if I missed a thread/post by you but I remember them finding that mass in your lung that they wanted to biopsy. Have you followed up on this yet? Just like with David's wife and her mass on her kidney...I'm just worried about people when things are not taken care of quickly....So I hope that you will be having that done soon to figure things out on that end.

Sorry for all the questions...you know me by now I try to keep up with everyone and since we are all one big "family" on here I try to even write things down sometimes to ask about later as I worry and care for you (and everyone on here!)

Last question...LOL...What type of patch was the Dr. getting for you? Are you now on the Fentanyl patch for pain or was it a Flector or Lidocaine patch....I use the Flector ones but always have to have some food with mine as it can upset my stomach a bit but it works well.

I hope you are at least feeling a bit better from all the activities this last week and have been able to rest some.

Keep us posted:)

Post Edited (Snowbunny21) : 1/24/2013 8:38:13 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 1/25/2013 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, thank you for the encouragement. The doctors appointment was brutal, he had me bend as far forward, backwards, and to each side as much as I could, as well as checking my reflexes, and having me do a number of movements in my legs to check how well they are working. The bending was very painful.

Snowbunny, the waiting to send me to PT was in part because of the fusion construct, and the other part, because work comp will only approve a certain number of physical therapy sessions for a lumbar fusion, I think the cap is 48 sessions just for a lumbar fusion. The doctor explained to me on monday, had I been on traditional insurance, he would have sent me in to PT a lot earlier, though it would have been very limited therapy sessions, but he said it was best to wait until the fusion was strong enough for me to do a full PT regiment, to get the most out of the little available.

Still working on getting the bone growth stimulator, I think one of the issues; I just learned on Monday that the doctor fired his practice coordinator, there was a number of problems with paperwork, as well as her treatment of patients. She was the one who told me "the doctor doesn't prescribe pain medication to anyone, not even post op patients", apparently, she had her own agenda, which went against the doctor's practices.

I'm working on getting things in place for me to get my lungs checked out, but as I'm sure you're aware, anything "free" takes a while to get set up. I'll post the details on that when I find out more, but right now, I'm waiting on approvals, I had to fill out very lengthy request forms, and was told they can take a while to process.

The patch, 25 mcg p/h fentanyl patch, I finally got them, and put the first one on Wednesday night. So far, the relief isn't as noticeable as the pills, I know these can take a while to build in your system, so I just have my fingers crossed right now that these will work. I'm sitting at a solid 7 right now, but that might be in part because of very poor sleep last night, my pain usually is a little higher on mornings like these. Previously, he had me on Oxy Ir, and my appointment before Christmas, he started giving me norco as well for an added boost as a BT med (I know, usually a BT med is to go with a LA med, but the LA meds just didn't work). Now I have the patch, and he gave me Norco again as a BT med, I had him clarify the script for the BT, he said he hopes it will last till my next appointment, but said since we're just starting on the patch, he'll understand if we have problems. Currently, I'm allowed up to 3 BT doses per day. The odd thing, he went ahead and wrote me the whole script and a post dated script for a refill for the oxy Ir, and told me to go ahead and fill both, just in case we have a problem with the patch, but to call first for instructions, should I have problems, I guess he's covering all the bases, it just struck me as odd that he would want me to have a "just in case" supply, though, he is a surgeon, not a PM, and getting appointments with him on an emergency basis is like pulling teeth.

Well, that's about it for now, I go in on Monday for my first PT appointment, then I have to go straight from there, down to LA for an interview with an organization that might be giving me some housing, school, and day care assistance, I didn't expect to even get an interview, and they called yesterday and asked when I could come down. If they approve me, they'll move me and my son down there, they have furnished apartments, and a full time nursing staff, and they have an onsite physical therapy unit too. It's basically like a nursing home, but you have to be a member to get in, and I've been a member of the organization that runs it, for 8 years.

Take care all, I'll keep you updated when I hear something. Again, thanks for the encouraging words. I've been a little down in the dumps lately, and just haven't really felt like doing much, including posting on here, but I usually read what's going on with everyone. Just gotta keep going, it just seems to keep getting harder to do that though.
dx: just had L3-4 XLIF and ILIF, gotta see what happens. Disc bulge in T12-L1, ddd through rest of lumbar region. Gastric Bypass 2003, bleeding ulcer in pouch 2005, full small bowel obstruction 2011. Left shoulder has Bursitis, tendonitus, separated bicep muscle (I was told all the muscles look like string cheese lol, or a frayed rope), and arthritis of the Glenoid and humeral head.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15321
   Posted 1/29/2013 1:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Matt did you get to start physical therapy? Wow, I am impressed you are getting to attend so many sessions. Here where I live comp insurance pays for 6 weeks of PT 3 times a week and that its. There is no appeal process available to get more visits either.

How did the interview go with the organization you spoke of?

Let us know....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Barbara Lee
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 1/29/2013 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Matt,

Just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you and I'm hoping that your pain level is lower.

You really have been thru so much and I just hope that you are able to get to PT soon. I can imagine how frustrating things are.

Hope your little guy is doing well and as always you're in my prayers.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 1/29/2013 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Matt...hope your next update will be that you have been able to start PT...

I've never heard of someone needing 48 sessions of PT after a lumbar fusion. That would be very strange for even regular insurance to cover that much as it's just not needed.

As mentioned, the norm is about 4-6 weeks, two to three times a week. The rest of the time they usually give you exercise bands and things you can do at home each day.

And that will be amazing if you have this organization that would provide you free of charge all the things you mentioned! I hope you can share with us on here what this is so that others might be able to look into it!

The other amazing thing is that your surgeon is still taking care of your pain med needs at almost 5 months afterwards...I was thinking that they were only going to do a bit after your surgery and that you needed to find a new PM but for this surgeon to be prescribing the Fentanyl patch and two breakthrough meds is highly unusual but lucky for you:)

I've been amazed at how quickly my free clinic has been sending out all the referrals to specialists...I just had a 24 hour Holter Monitor test and have appts. for 3 other specialists at zero charge to me!

So I really hope that you will push them to get that biopsy they wanted since the scans were already done and show that lung mass...It's already been almost 5 months now and that is very concerning!!!!
SB (Snowbunny) and the pup that snores (my yellow lab:))

3, two-level, cervical fusions over the past 11 years. The last one was anterior and posterior with lots of fun titanium!
Still have active herniations along with knee problems and another Morton's neuroma in left foot.
I try to find joy in each day even with chronic pain:)
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