Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Discharged from Therapy

spunky21sspunky21 Posts: 161
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Chronic Pain
Perhaps someone else has been through this so maybe I can get some help. I recently moved to another state and found a great neuologist. I was injured at work causing head, neck, lower back, shoulder and knee injuries. I had a cervical fusion March 08 which has now failed. I also had a complete rotator cuff tear repaired March 03 which is retorn after injury. I have been off work now since Nov 07 and luckily am receiving ssdi and ltd. Thank God! My legs are so weak and in so much pain walking is almost impossible. Ok I should get to the point, sorry for rambling. The dr I found in my new state is great and prescribed physical, occupational and speech therapy. (suffered paralysed rt vocal cord during cervical fusion) He also prescribed a nurse. All the above come to my house twice a week for therapy. Although in so much pain after their sessions I felt good that someone finally was doing something to help me perhaps have a quality of life. This lasted for 6 weeks and all but the speech therpist has discharged me. My family had such high expectations knowing when they saw me again I would be much improved. I woke up every day with a positive attitude that I could do this. I told myself "no pain, no gain." Well insurance companies do not contnue to cover therapy if there is no marked improvement. I can totally understand this but somehow feel like a total failure. After seeing the neurologist last week he ordered a motorized wheelchair as getting around my house is very difficult. Spend most of my time in recliner. He also did the test where he ran a very big safety pin up and down my legs and I felt nothing at all. When my husband and I got home he noticed the large scrapes and blood on my legs from the test. I had a bit of a meltdown I guess and just cried my eyes out for almost the first time since the injury. My husband is also disabled with a severe heart problem and I try so not to vent to him as I feel as though I am adding stress that he doesn't need.
I am sure many of you have gone through the therapy route and been discharged also. Did you ever go through the feelings of failure. Like you just can't seem to progress and you are letting not only yourself but everyone in your family down? I know acceptance is a key factor with our spinal cord issues and I don't think I am there yet. Maybe someone can share their stories with me.
Sorry for the long post.
Wishing everyone a day with less pain!


  • Hi Spunky,

    I'm sorry to hear you were discharged from the speech therapy, and just wanted to say that I hear you. One positive thing I see in your post, though, is that it sounds like your neurologist is working really hard to help you, so hopefully he will continue to help you figure this out.

    I can also relate to your post. I was discharged from PT for lack of progress at one point, and I felt very similarly to how you feel. It can definitely bring up feelings of abandonment and self blame. I know I was constantly asking "what is wrong with me that I can't get this right and get better?" Ultimately, though, it ended up being a good thing. It was around that time that I was discharged by my orthopedist and sent to pain management, and my PM doc really put it in perspective. He said chronic pain patients tend to have all kinds of therapies thrown at them, and sometimes you reach a point where stepping back from the treatments ends up helping more than the treatments themselves. He told me it's really common to burn out mentally on things like PT and just taking a break and really putting a stop to the thought that "if I just work hard enough at PT/OT/Speech Therapy I'll get better" can be beneficial.

    For me, it was kind of a shock when I stopped the PT that I didn't physically fall apart because my doctors before had made the PT sound *so* critical for my back. I really thought that stopping it would make me worse, but really it didn't make much difference because it wasn't helping. It also made me feel a bit more in control because I wasn't feeling so dependent on the PT which really helped me as far as learning to self manage which is a critical skill for anyone dealing with chronic illness.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is as devastating as it feels to have a treatment terminated for lack of progress there can also be some good there. Also, the work you did has not been wasted because you can continue on your own with the exercises you did with your speech therapist, and maybe in time you can give the speech therapy another try. You sound like a person who has put in the work to get better, so the discharge is not a personal reflection on you. It simply means you have a chronic condition that for whatever reason did not respond to speech therapy. I know for me it helps to kind of separate myself from the chronic pain in terms of dealing with the emotions around pain- ie, the discharge is a reflection of your pain condition, not you as a person. Hang in there...It's a tough road, and this is just a temporary bump in the road.
  • Hey Spunky,

    I can absolutely relate to the boot from Pt. I recently got booted for both my lack of improvement and they felt i wasn't safe. Here is something you might look into sense your are in a different state check out some aqua therapy and see if they have some transportation to offer of up. As was stated earlier don't stop the therapy exercise program they have given you. Sense you are under medicare I am sure at this point and time they definitely need to see some improvement in your progress and that you are working on getting better. I know it is one hard pill to swallow but it happens all the time. The speech therapy, I can relate did about 4 weeks worth of it to no avail. I want you to keep in mind there are other treatments that can be tried such as botox to help you regain some of the cords. Just don't give up and keep working with the the voice therapy. All the exercises they gave you the lip trills and sounds keep doing them everyday. You can't give up on it. One thing I found to do those exercises it worked best for me to make the room as comfortable as possible with no stress. So phones off lite some candles, run some music in the back drop make it as comfortable as possible. I would do the exercises to coincide with the music kind of making a game for my self having fun at it. I know it is hard but that is some of the things I have tried to over come it.

    The one thing I can tell you is we are always here for you anytime. So please stay with your home program and possibly in the near future they will start some of that up again. I noticed you said you are work comp, is there a reason work comp is not paying for all of this and it is going under medicare? Anyway just take this as it is time to do a home program all the things they been doing with you and in time I am sure they will restart it again, but you need to have some improvement.
  • If you think about it it does make sense to stop doing something that isn't working. If we keep doing the same thing that isn't working then we will never try new things that might work. I was told to stop PT by my surgeon and neuro because it wasn't helping.

    It sounds more like you need to find new ways to lift your spirits. You said having the therapists come in made you feel good. Well that proves that you can control your state of mind. So now you just need to focus on other positives. Physical healing is very dependent on your mental state of mind. Each day look for the good things and you and those around you will feel better.

    You should never give up on looking for new treatments but you also need to get your head in a place that can accept today and enjoy each moment.
  • Hey, therapy can only do so much. Sometimes, it just isn't a job for PT. And even if insurance WOULD continue to pay, why would you keep going? It's not doing you any good. You might as well just walk around the block.

    PT is a great thing, but sometimes our problems are just not fixable by PT, no matter how hard you work. Hugs, and hope you're feeling better soon.
  • Sorry to hear that. What about aqua therapy? A PT could help you do exercises in the water in you wheelchair even at a heated pool. Don't know if that's an option for you. When I have PT or aqua therapy with my PT I ask for a printed copy of exercises that they did with me and do it on my own. If you can walk with a walker or cane try to get mobile. Did the OT or PT give you any splints for your knees? I hope you can get stronger with exercise on your own. Take care. 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
  • I'm profoundly sorry that your fusion failed and you have such numbness in your legs. Anyone would be upset. You've obviously been through your share of hurdles with both your husband and yourself. It's honorable that you wish to protect your husband. It made my day hearing it.

    If PT failed, does that mean you'll be having another surgery soon? Aqua therapy does sound like a good option. I'm thankful for the people who are here and much smarter than me.

  • I do so appreciate everyone's encouraging words. I may have posted wrong but my speech therapist is continuing with me which I am very happy about. It is the physical therapy and oc therapy that discharge me and I do honestly understand why. I think I just tried so hard and many family member's thought PT was going to cure me if I gave it my all. So I guess I was having a down day and felt like a failure. I did try aqua therapy and it was discontinued also as my legs were weakening and collapsing so the dr. stopped it. I was also going to have a cervical fusion around that time. I think we all place such high expectations on ourselves and when there is no improvement it is a let down. I do not blame the PT's at all. They gave me some great tools to work with and I will continue to work at it. My neurologist did say to step back awhile. The pain was so intense. So I will do what I can but not to cause continuous pain and spasms. My speech therapist is always encouraging and also helps me with deep breathing exercises. I guess when we are so tensed up with pain we tend to not breathe correctly or at least I do. Also since my vocal cord is paralyzed it takes more air and sometimes I get so out of breath I get scared and have had panic attacks. I am finding the breathing exercises to be very relaxing. I still have alot more tests to go through, updating the old tests such as MRI's, EMG's etc. I feel as though I have had so many of those just as most of you have. I have a much improved attitude today and will take each day as it comes. Thanks again for all your kind words it really helps to have understanding from people who know what you are going through.
  • Was asked why injuries are not Workmans Comp. Whole other story but CEO did not fill out correct paperwork at the time. It is now tied up in the court system which is taking forever. Luckily I was approved for SSDI and LTD. They are saying this as a prior condition and dr.'s aren't committing to causation. All legal stuff. I was at this company for 30 yrs and was so loyal. I am trying to get past the way they have treated me since the injuries and am making progress in that area.
    Thanks again
  • It sounds like you are going through all the issues and emotions at once. It is so hard when we put our hopes in a treatment whether its PT or surgery or injections and then it doesnt work. And our families are equally disappointed and maybe even more so because they feel helpless. This is especially true in men who tend to express their helplessness in anger.

    Employers and job loss is a huge issue for many of us. We feel hurt when our bosses toss us to the side when we are no longer useful. When companies close ranks leaving us at the curb. And when co-workers disappear like rats leaving a ship. And then there is the emotional loss of what made us feel worthwhile.

    Sometimes it is a great idea to stop everything, take a short break and form a new battle plan. Getting some fresh eyes to look at the situation instead of the same doctors who have failed in the past. I have a theory that we need to change every 3 years. In work, home, hobbies, groups - just about everything. After about 3 years the skeletons are in the closet and we get stale. Just a slight change or a major change will let us start fresh and let someone else come in and clean up those old messes.

    You sound like you are having a better day today. Remember to allow yourself to have down days but don't let the down days outweigh the good ones. :)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,849
    There are generally two ways you get 'discharged' from any Therapy:

    1 - Your Insurance provider only allows you "X" amount of therapy sessions.

    2 - There is no further progress in your condition. Therapists have to write up eval's on each of your sessions. If there comes a time when they feel you are plateaued and not moving ahead, they will generally discharge you. That is NOT the decision done by the therapist but instead but Insurance regulations.

    There's not much anyone can do about Number 1, but
    Number 2 can be looked at more. Sometimes, its just
    challenging your therapist as to why they believe you are not progressing. I've had to do that a couple of times, I've won and I've lost on some of those battles.

    Ask yourself this:

    How do I feel right now?, What do you think more
    therapy sessions will do for you?

    If you answer that you believe they can help you much more, than fight for yourself and discuss this with your therapist.
    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
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.