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Angry at the system.

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Depression and Coping
Many of you that know me or have read my posts on other threads know that I suffer from Panic Anxiety Disorder/Major Depression. I have dealt with it for 13 years now #:S . It is frustrating to say the least. Most of the time I am able to keep things on an even keel with just my meds. I know a lot of the "triggers" that set it off and I avoid them whenever possible. ;)
I have had my share of counseling over the years. And I am not ashamed to admit that or the fact that at times I need help from a professional. When I went in for my psych eval for my trial SCS the psychiatrist recommended counseling for me at that time. He said the depression and anxiety issues that I have had in the past are exaserbated by the pain and other things associated with this accident. He also told me I had some anger issues to deal with - also associated with the accident.
For almost 28 months now I have been getting the run around from work comp. PM docs started recommending the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) 2 years ago. After 2 surgeries on my arm, 4 different times of PT, 10 stellate ganglion nerve blocks (which are very painful) and what seems like an endless supply of narcotics - work comp finally agreed to the stimulator. Of course the fact that we had taken them to court to get the second surgery approved may have helped in that decision when the surgery didnt work.
I had my trial for the SCS this past week and it worked wonderfully. I had about a 95% reduction in pain. So it was truly a great success. I have a lot of mixed emotions about the whole thing.......I am overjoyed at the fact that it worked - but at the same time I am so angry that I suffered 2 long years because work comp just didnt want to pay for the trial and permanent implant.
Now I still have a fight on my hands because they do not want to pay for my counseling. After speaking with my surgeon about it and seeing the letters he sent to them regarding the need for counseling - they still out and out lied to me. And they wonder why the psychiatrist says I have anger issues. :?
If it werent for my lawyer and the support of my mom and friends I would be completely at wits end.
Has anyone out there experienced these kinds of problems??? Surely I am not the only one.


  • share your frustration, but mine is with the actual neurosurgeon who gets to decide who is worthy or not. In my case, my original neurosurgeon told me I was an ideal candidate for the SCS. Stupid me went into major denial and didn't get one right away. By the time I had wrapped my head around the news that I wasn't going to get better on my own with permanent nerve damage, we had moved.

    I had a referral in hand that asked the new neurosurgeon to continue moving forward with the SCS. After speaking to me for 5 minutes, this new doc decides my pain isn't the right kind of pain and he is sending me back to pain management. I broke down hysterically right there in his office, his nurse had to come in and calm me down and I later found out - he does this to everyone. Lovely bedside manner he has - NOT.

    So, I was forced back into pain management where I had 2 bilateral nerve root blocks with no relief. I KNEW I had no choice but to jump through his hoops as he is one of few NS in our area who do SCS's. BUT, on the good side, I heard he is excellent, considered the grandfather of SCS, trains docs from all over the world, and he is so persnickety because he has an excellent success rate, based mostly due to how picky he is in choosing candidates.

    So, I spend almost 6 months in pain management and they decide - YEP, she needs the SCS. So I have this horrid trial experience with the pain management anesthesiologist, but I had great pain relief.

    So I go back to the NS and he is his usual anti-social self. I got my permanent on Jan. 5th and it's been amazing.

    And I just want to go back and get in his face and say "Who do you think you are?? Playing God with our pain relief?" Is he going to "adjust" his parameters now that "I" had such amazing results, although I don't fit his perfect profile? Ugh. How many other patients could have been helped by the SCS but were turned down?

    And I hear other pain patients talk about SCS's being almost forced on them and I think - I wish I lived there!! Maybe I wouldn't have had to wait and suffer longer.

    Anyhoo.....focusing on the wonderful pain relief I do have. I know you will be in the countdown. Hope they get you in as soon as possible. I'm SO glad you had such amazing relief!!!! (and glad your mom discovered your tape issue! lol)

  • Although I feel for you and all the hoops you had to jump through, I got a little tickled at your post. You sound so much like me. Before I knew it I was one heck of an acrobat =)) without even training for it. Geesh I could have went to the Olympics and taken a gold medal for what I had to go through. [( .
    It was and is still quite frustrating at times to say the least. I will know for sure sometime this week when they are going to put the permanent implant in but it is looking like it will be towards the end of March - so yes - I am counting down the days. After my little incident with the adhesive - there is no doubt in my mind the Good Lord gave us mom's for a reason :X
    I am so happy that you have found relief from your pain. I love happy endings. When the relief is that sucessful it almost makes the pain worth it ----- ALMOST!!!!!!!
    Hope you are having a great pain free day. :)
  • I had to shut myself down emotionally to cope with the outrages that the sytem in place is supposed to help us with. the system is in place to benefit and help the insurance industry to move patients through expediently.
    Bitterness and deep anger at being manipulated by the whims of so called workmens compensation...Hmmm.
    The only thing besides prayer that worked, was research into my patient rights my w/c rights and some caring people who took the time to "school" me. I stopped trusting the system. too many things still get to me every day,
    there is no end to the frustration.
    but my fighting side came to the fore, its all i have sometimes and the fire keeps me warm in the coldest of days.
    retribution? no justice...yes.
    the more I find out about my states W/C system, the better.
    I have the administrative remidies left open,so as long as I have those the case is open.
    know your rights, they are weapons to use against the system.
    Jacque dont give up or ever give in! you have all the tools neded to fight.
    the darkness is always waiting to step in most unwanted, dont be afraid, us spineys? we stick tagedda!
    demand your rights as a person of infinit worth above all diamonds and rubies, above all the treasures to be found.
    your dignity is of the utmost importance, no one has any right to infringe.
    keep them hands up in the spiney fu position!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • No doubt about it, A true mess. Add Workers comp and you're promised a nightmare and a mess :( I am so afraid right no to say BOO to anyone about anything. I fear if I say the wrong thing to the wrong doctor the whole house of cards will fall down! So I am bound and determined to keep my mouth shut till this is over!

    Jacque, I hope everything works till you see the end of this phase! I can only imagine what WC will try to do to get out of paying for counseling. I have seen my HMO now only authorizes my long term shrink to see me for 6 visits at a time! They used to allow the full 20 visits for me at the first request of the year. I have been diagnosed with treatment resistant chronic depression for some 10 years now. But, they no longer authorize more than those 6 visits at a time. yeah, I feel your pain, mental health has always got the short straw. Kind of like our pain, they can't see it so why should they pay to treat it!

    You will doubtlessly just have to wade in and fight this battle too. Not much chance WC will decide to be nice at this point!

    I do believe WC and PM trains at the same place for customer service :(
  • There is indeed a lot of anger in me but I do well to only take it out on my lawyer and closest friends. Venting is what I call it. It is so frustrating at times. It sometimes seems that everywhere I turn with W/C I'm running into walls. I have often thought of wrapping bubble wrap around my head to cut down on the headaches :))( .

    One thing my dad drilled into my head was "You are a Ritch - you have to be strong" and although it gets hard at times I still live by that. I will never give up and I will never give in - its just not in my nature.

    I have even started composing a written account of my experience with the "system" and I plan to send to as many people I can think of from my local representive all the way up to top. It may not do me a lot of good but it will get my story out there among the law makers. I even plan to try to get my story out via my local newspaper.

    Me give up??? NEVER - and my hands are in a permanent spiney fu position.
  • You are so right in your thinking about W/C and PM are trained in the same place. =))

    W/C has lied to me so many times in recent weeks/months that I dont believe a word they tell me anymore. Since the end of January they have given me 5 different reasons for not starting counseling right away. I talked with my surgeon about it Friday and he showed me the report he sent to W/C. I got a copy of it from him and took it strait to my lawyer. They have until March 6th to do something about it or we again find ourselves heading to court. A person would think they would get it through their thick skulls that I am NOT BACKING DOWN. I have fought them tooth and nail since May of '07. The last time we took them into court we completely bashed their story and got more than we bargained for.........one of the top docs in the country for a surgeon. One has to ask themselves "will they ever learn?" [( somehow I kinda doubt it.

    If you will read my post to ranchhand you will see that I have a few ideas in mind to get the word out on how W/C operates. I think if I can get enough people to see it and respond to it whether based on experience or just sheer outrage maybe - just maybe - we can help change the system. I will not be holding my breath but at the same time I will not sit back and be a silent victim either.

    Some way - some how I will prevail.

    Take good care and stay strong the 11th is drawing near.

  • I'm sorry to here that you've been going through this nightmare for so long. I really don't know how you've handled this for so long. I have only been struggling for 3 months and going nuts! Like you I also suffer from panic attacks and anxiety for about 8 years and have started getting counseling for it. Since this w/c thing started it has gotten really bad I never thought to ask my lawyer about trying to get w/c to pay for it since they are the ones responsible for my anxiety to be so severe right now. Please keep us posted on any progress or advice you learn on your journey that my help those of us going through this same nightmare. I wish you the best of luck.
  • My lawyer has told me that if we got a doctor to say that the accident did indeed exaserbate the panic issue and depression that we more than likely could get W/C to pay for the counseling. We now have that information. Talk to your counselor and ask him/her if they feel that what W/C is doing to you is causeing your anxiety to get worse. If they agree ask them to put it in writing in the form of notes about your counseling them get a copy and take it to your lawyer. I did that just this last Friday. My lawyer faxed it to my case manager along with a note demanding the counseling and they have 1 week to get something going - if they dont then we take them to court - again. And I have a lot of faith that if we have to take it that far we will again win the battle. I have lost my share of battles in this little war - but I have no doubt that I will be victorious in the end. ;)

    Hang in there and try to relax and let your lawyer earn his money. I know all to well that is easier said than done.

    Feel free to PM me anytime you need to talk or vent. I am a great listener and I check the site several times a day.

    Know that you are not alone in your fight.

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