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still no diagnosis

Hello everyone. Newbie here. Im at a loss of what direction i should be taking and looking for some advice. I'll try to keep it half way short but its really a long list of circumstances that have led to this point.
I have always suffered with some sort of back problems. I had a very successful career up til about 7 months ago. Then at work i hurt my neck which pinched a nerve and was losing control of my right arm. I filed a work comp claim and got an mri. bulging disc. received ESI and after awhile it started working. after a couple months it wore off but thankfully thinks started healing. about the time my neck is healing i start getting low back pain. I see it as normal for me and dont think much of it but it started affecting my work. wasnt able to do much. I went to drs around the area but they all wanted to just give me a shot of pain meds and send me on my way. Well, work just kept going downhill and i lost my job. Lost my insurance. the spinal dr i had been going to got very upset when he found out i had lost my insurance and actually asked me to leave his office and said he would not see me until insured. i asked him to fill out a form describing my condition and he put on the form that i had no problems! I was fully able to work. Unemployment denied me because of it. The pain kept getting worse. i managed to get another job but only lasted 1 and a half days. i couldnt stand for more than 3 to 5 mins. and no matter what position i was in i couldnt slow the pain. i found another job knowing i couldnt do the work but what do you do? the job offered no insurance. the state offices refuse to help because there is no diagnosis so i cant even receive unemployment. the pain is so terrible i cant even describe it. lower back, butt, leg, left foot is numb. so 7 months into it now. i drive 3 1/2 hrs to a medical facility that has a spine center. went to emergency and they gave me 2 shots of pain killers that did absolutely nothing and released me. i asked for some sort of prescription for pain and was denied. They looked at me like i was just some junky looking for a fix! i did however get referred to the spine center section of the hospital. they called me the other day. tomorrow i have to go to a consultation at theyre office. so another 3 1/2 hr drive one way. Im have depleted every resource i had financially. spent every dollar. i have had to borrow gas money from family just to make it to dr appts to just get sent home with no answers. why cant i get a diagnosis so i can try to get some financial help from unemployment or disability of some sort til i can get back to work. Im starting to really think that this will be a long term thing and im worrying about what i will do as far as keeping a roof over my head and not starving. i never thought things could get this bad in such a short amount of time. is there any help out there?>
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Comments

  • I'm sorry to hear this Keith. This is so stressful not to have any income and be in pain.

    Would it be possible to get a lawyer to go back to the Workman's Comp injury? Or hope you can get help with social services. I had a herniated disc and now I have Degenerative discs and can't stand for too long and have to walk, sit or lay down. Heat and ice helps. Are you going to a University hospital to get assistance? Have they done an MRI? I hope you can get some relief soon. I don't know why they would send you home without doing any tests or giving you more injections. Maybe you could rebook and see if they have hospital Physiotherapy. I would go back to the ER if you'r in pain and try to get them to do tests for your leg numbness. Did you see a Neurologist for the leg numbness? I hope you get help soon. 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 am sorry for the pain you are going through as well as the financial strain. Wanted to wish you luck today at your consultation and hope that this is the begining for you to find out more about what is causing your pain. Please keep us posted on how everything goes. We are all here for you :)
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I'm so sorry to hear of all this, Keith! I have no words of wisdom, just comfort and understanding. It's gotten so bad with many doctors thinking that people that are in pain are just seeking a fix, that people that are truly hurting are turned away. I do hope that your appointment today is the beginning of you getting some answers, please keep us posted, thoughts are with you dear!
  • thank u for the kindness. workmans comp closed my case because that was for my neck. but the pain for some reason moved downward. they said it had nothing to do with it. the reason i chose a hospital so far away is because it is supposed to be the best around for this type of thing. but unfortunately we all know that when they find out u dont have insurance anymore they do the minimal amount they have to and discharge u. i actually told the nurse i was half suicidal because of the pain and she still discharged me. i talked to the spine dr this morning that i'm supposed to meet tomorrow. he said the most that they will do in an injection and that will be some time til they can schedule it in. maybe get an mri tomorrow. they also said they will not give me any more than vicadin for pain. this is the part i dont understand. i know there are better pain meds out there. why do they all just want to prescribe vicadin when it doesnt work?
  • Hi Keith, I had a few thoughts and a few questions.

    First if you are able to work but without a job you can apply for unemployment. But you have to be able to work. If you can't work, which sounds like you, then you apply for disability. The conditions for each vary by state but make sure you aren't applying for the wrong one or they may want the money back.

    You didn't say what your injury at work was. And you say you had previous back problems. So why would you think the work injury is related to back problems that didn't come up until later?

    Also you were seeing a spine doc for your back. What had he done as far as tests or treatments? You are entitled to a copy of all of his records and notes. Get them. That will be important. I would get them today so you can take them with you tomorrow. Why start over if there is info available?

    As far as your visit tomorrow and getting pain meds. These days no doctor gives out narcotics until they know the patient. Your long standing problem is proof that you have survived without any meds up until now so the doc will have no reason to rush into giving you anything. He also won't give you anything until he knows what is wrong. You should also find out about the billing for these services since you have no insurance. Don't assume that it will be free. You may find yourself with thousands of dollars of debt and still no closer to an answer.

    I don't mean to seem cruel but I don't want to see you in a worse situation.
  • i had applied for unemployment after i lost my job. i was approved but found another job within a couple days. being me, i would rather work than draw unemployment. but after only a day and a half at the new job i couldnt even walk. i left the job. the state sent a letter denying me any benefits because i had quit that job. so in other words i screwed myself. and yes i know health care isnt free. but what can you do? i would rather be able to walk and be in debt all my life as opposed to the other way around. so far i cant apply for disability of any sort because the drs refuse to give me a diagnosis. maybe this coming we i will get some answers
  • Howdy and Welcome to Spine Health! From reading this thread, I get the impression that the "lack of a diagnosis" is more the root of your problems than even the job? What I mean is, without the diagnosis, it affects job benefits and disability options?

    Kris has a very good point. When you go to the spine center, get a copy of everything - including the exam notes from the doctor. Additionally *I* would if they give you the time, explain what not having a diagnosis is also affecting. It's worth a shot. Times are hard enough as is, but I don't think it is unreasonable to ask them to write you a note concerning what "they" feel is your issues. With that in hand, you might be able to get things starting again. Please keep us posted. *HUGZ* Sorry you are going through all this.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • just got back from spine center. i got an mri so will hear back about monday to see exactly what the problem is. Dr. is saying i need an operation but i dont know how he knows that without the mri results. he says we will find out if the hospital will allow it. Maybe i can get some answers monday
  • Hi Keith...yes unfortunately you did screw yourself over. I know exactly how you feel. You want to work and be a productive member of society.
    The number one thing you have to think about is YOU. Honestly, if you dont have your health, you have NOTHING.
    You dont need a job or career to define who or what YOU are.
    I hope it works out for you Keith. My thoughts are with you.
    Steve
    http://chronicallypained.wordpress.com/
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