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Relevance of Quality of Life

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Pain Management
I'm a 46 year-old male (44 when I suffered a series of heart attacks, open-heart surgery, and another heart attack); I've had unsuccessful FDA trial surgey on L4/L5 and a neck fusion with screws and plates that has deteriorated.

Everything was fine when I lived in Montana: my pain management care, though not always perfect, allowed me to work as a state's attorney and live a relatively active life. I now live on the Big Island in Hawaii, and the pain management care I'm receiving from the local HMO is so deficient that I'm no longer functional and my quality of life is zip. Now, drastic surgery is being suggested and I don't have the "shelf life" to waste a year recovering from risky surgery (assuming I survive).

Exactly how long is someone to lie around in constant pain, just waiting for the inevitable because their HMO won't provide the proper care? For the record, doctors seem to flee this island, in part because of pressure from the DEA, so it's not just as easy as finding another doctor.

I don't get it, people with sprained ankles have OxyContin, and I just have to lie here waiting to die.


  • I am so sorry to hear of your frustrations with your HMO. I can understand why you feel the way you do. It is too bad that you can't get the quality of care that you did in Montana while you are in Hawaii.

    I'm also sorry to hear of your heart problems. I am sure this complicates things for you.

    You sound very angry and frustrated. Pain can cause many emotions. I too get very angry at my body and myself because of the pain and inability to do the things I once did.

    I wish I had an answer for you. I can offer support, advice, an ear to listen to your frustrations. Please hang in there and feel free to PM anytime.
  • I hate to hear stories such as yours. They are so common place and I have no answers! It seems so strange that at times the sprained ankle gets the Oxy and those of us looking for a means to deal with serious pain are treated like junkies. Very frustrating. I feel for you. I have been fighting a similar battle for a while now. No real PM docs around here. A PCP who is deathly afraid of PM and on and on I go.
    Is there no way to make an end run on the HMO? I fought to get a referral to a second opinion and once I finaly got it and the new PM doc said I should consider a SCS the local PM doc said, "Oh, that's a good idea. I can do that".
    Now why he would only suggest more injections on his own I do not know. Still it seems sometimes you need to try an outside intervention. Do you have any trips to one of the other islands? Are the any other HMO supported places nearby? Someone, anyone the HMO docs consider a peer may do the trick.
    Again, I am so sorry to hear your story. We should not have to do the things they force us to do to get adequate treatment!
    Take care.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

    Welcome To Spine-Health

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact (PM) any one of the Moderators here Priestess , Bruce , Paulgla, DiLauro

    The Spine-Health Web site offers so much more than these Member Forums.
    Check the various tabs at the top of the Spine-Health page and you will find so much that is offered here.

    Please remember that all information you receive from members on this forum is NOT
    formal medical advise. You should always consult with your doctors.

    To get back to the Forums, you can always click on Forum Home

    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    To answer one of your questions, how long do you hang around living in Chronic Pain? For some of us thats a very long time, personally, I have been dealing with Chronic pain for over 30 years now. During that timeframe, I had seven spinal surgeries, countless conservative treatments and about every pain medication that my doctors prescribed
    The statement about someone with a sprained ankle getting Oxycontin really makes me think how do those doctors and insurance companies actually justify that?

    Do you have any special problems that would make you state that any surger for you would be drastic?
    The L4/L5 surgery is probably the most common procedure.
    Cervical surgeries I believe have the highest percentage of people that are pain free afterwards

    Unless you doctor is putting together some action plans, such as

    Physical and Aqua Therapy
    Spinal Injections
    Passive Traction

    If you are in that level of pain and you feel your Quality of Life is not where it should, then you either have to do some or all of the above and then see if surgery is the answer
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i lived on the island of Kauai for almost 4 years and chose to leave because i could not get adequate pain medication.. :''( struggling with doctors constantly was more than i could take at the end.. ~X( even with my old doctor's records, scans and more tests, the pain medication just was not there. perhaps it is time to move!!!!! :W good luck as you seek pain relief!! Jenny :)
  • than done but Jenny has a point. I don't know if a job or whatever brought you there but if you can't work w/out the meds but can while taking them & have better quality of life then maybe it is an option? Can you find an HMO in network in CA or something? I mean I have no idea how far you are from the rest of the States but just another idea.

    Most insurances cover beyond the area where we live. If another PM somewhere else works with you he might be able to persuade the HMO to approve the thepapy that has been proven to be effective for you. Surely those idiots don't want to pay for surgery? Insurances drive me nutso!!! Anyway you are so young to have had open heart surgery WOW!!! That's a reconditioning process too as you know, good for you!
    Take care of yourself!!!
  • I hope you can get a 2nd opinion for any surgery they offered you. It's no way of life laying around in pain you need to take action. Get your cane and lumber support belt and visit other Doctors to get some pain medication. You shouldn't have to suffer and do a surgery you're not ready for. If it's essential for you to do the surgery as nerves are being compromised you really should reconsider. But get a 2nd opinion. Heat pad really helps and even TENs machine.Good luck and keep us posted. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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