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Pain management without health insuarance

snchesebrossnchesebro Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm currently 25 years old, but my back pain started in the summer of 2007 at the age of 22 when I was working as a temp employee (no health benefits there of course) for Georgia Pacific. It took a year to even figure out what was causing my pain even though I'd had tons of x-rays from chiropractors and my gp, neither of which had ever seen or mentioned I had two herniated discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1. I went through several different types of pain management trying epidurals, a series of epidurals, a discectomy, a dicogram, and finally had a spinal fusion at L5/S1 on June 23, 2009. Unfortunately, I was denied a disc replacement because my PARS were cracked. The fusion went well, but the pain and muscle tightness increased, especially in my left leg/hip/buttock/groin area. I feel the most tightness in the left groin area and left buttock. I have done physical therapy and didn't notice any difference, but my worst fear is turning 26 and losing my health insurance. I'm NOT legally disabled, but there are many jobs I cannot do (especially not having finished my college degree yet). Who is going to want to hire me...I can't stand on my feet for more than 15-30 minutes without searing pain! What can I do to so that I can keep seeing my pain management doctor? I can't afford the ridiculous costs of my heavy meds, but I also know it is hell for me not having any type of pain meds. I'm so afraid of buying a private health insurance plan or even whether I can qualify for one. By the time I lose my health insurance, I will have been in post-op for 1 year and 6 months. In my opinion, I will still need some type of maintenance painkiller and between now and Dec. 31, 2010 I don't think they will have fully weaned me off of my current painkillers. What can I do? PLEASE HELP ME!!!


  • I have similiar pain as you, and it does take a combination of pain meds, muscle relaxant, and meds for nerve pain for me. Some of these meds are fairly inexpensive. Another thing that has helped me is an ice gel pad. Gwennie recommended that I be more vigiliant at using it, and it has really helped. I'm using it 3 times daily.

    I suggest you find the right combo of meds that work and aren't expensive, and maybe your GP or a pain mgt doc will work with you to accomplish that goal before you loose your insurance.

    In the treatment section of spine-health are exercises that might help also, if your doctor doesn't mind you doing them. I've been told that strengthening my core and legs are essential in recovery.

    Good luck,

  • Hi & Welcome to the board -

    I'm sorry to hear you're having so many problems, fortunately, you've found a good site for all types of info as well as support. See this link for some suggestions on receiving treatment when you have little/no insurance:


    I hope this is helpful, please keep us posted.

  • I'm so afraid of buying a private health insurance plan or even whether I can qualify for one.
    Why are you so afraid of buying private health insurance?

  • I know you are talking about affording meds and paying for health insurance but how about stepping back a bit.

    18 months after surgery why are you still in so much pain? That should be your first question. Something doesnt sound right. It almost sounds like the surgery didn't go right or you have additional problems. While you still have some time under your current insurance you need to get to a neurologist or spine orthopedist to look again.

    I would not accept a lifetime sentence of pain without knowing an exact cause.
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