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Dr. Made Me Feel Like I Did Something Wrong

Ms7829MMs7829 Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM in Chronic Pain
Let me start by explainging my situation. Almost 2 years ago I hurt myself at work. I have a very labor intensive job, I work for a municipal Water Department. I have to do alot of things that involve working with my upper body like yesterday we had a water main blow out so from 7 in the morning until 8 last night I was working on fixing that which consisted of digging 8 feet down by hand shoveling knee deep in mud and water, once we got down to the main I had to take a big demolition saw bend in all sorts of awkward positions to cut the main and bolt on a new piece of plastic main with 2 big couplings. Then we had to backfill the entire hole patch and clean up the road and bring everything back to the shop and clean up. The day before I was working on fixing 3 fire hydrants which involved lifing them about head high several times the lightest one weighing about 60 lbs, and doing things like that are the normal routine of my job. Anyway 2 years ago doing a leak I hurt my neck and couldnt move it at all and had to go to the emergency room. I was stupid and because we were already a person down at work as soon as I could move my neck which was about 4 days later I went back to work, without really knowing what was wrong with me and still in alot of pain. Sice I hurt my neck I have been getting pain killers from my PCP so that I can basically live a normal life and continue to go to work everyday. Even then it is very difficult, along with the pain I get extreamly bad tension headaches I can feel shooting from my neck up the back of my head and into my forehead, along with pain from my neck shooting into my shoulder blade and down my arm. In the last 2 years I have grown tolorences from the medication I started with 10/325 Percocet 4 times a day which went up to 20mg oxycodone and now just started 30 mg oxycodone all 4 times a day but my pcp only pescribes me 100 pills a month which is really only a 25 day supply. Lately I could tell he has been getting aggraved because I have been going to see him more often because the pills wernt working as well this was before he upped it to 30 mg. I often hear things from him such as I wish you could see my MRI of my disks they are much worse then yours and I dont need the pills, or your MRI doesnt look that bad I dont know why your in such pain, and if your job is causing you all the pain then quit. I have always been 100% honest with him about everything and the last couple of times I could tell he has been getting more and more aggravated every time I come in. Well about a week ago I went and he tried switching me to oxycontin 40mg twice a day which did not work for me at all so I brought the bottle in today to show him that its not that the pills are gone but its just not working so i wanted to go back to the 30 mg and he flipped out on me. I tried explaing that the reason I have gone in so much is because I am trying to get the medication right so I can live a normal life, and get my pain under control. I am engaged to a wonderful understanding woman and a little under a year ago we bought our first house togeather, and I feel horrible when I come home from work some days and am in bed crying my eyes out because I am in so much pain from overdoing it at work or by working on the house and I feel horrible that I cant always be there for her and it seems like its always about me and my pain and not about her. I tried telling this to my dr and he kept flipping out and started saying that if my job is causeing me this much pain I need to quit and hes had enough so I said well can you refer me to a pain management dr and he said "those dr.s honestly dont want to deal with patients like you that they just need to write scripts for they send them back to the PCP dr.s so they dont have to deal with you" I then tried telling him that I am just trying to get my pain under control until I can find something that works for me ( I have tried PT, had 3 Epidural Injections already none have worked, saw a nerosurgen who was the one that suggested the shots, he talked to me for all of 5 min and didnt seem to care when i asked him if i should be working he didnt even ask what I did for a living and said yes you should be fine to work). My PCP even drug tested me last week when I came to see him which came back with nothing in it other then the oxycodone that he pescribes and it made me feel like he doesnt trust me. After all the he said that he doesnt think I need this medication anymore and hes going to start tapering me off down to nothing within the next 4 months and I am going to do it his way or he will just compleatly cut me off. after that he looked at me and his exact words were "you need to quit being a p*ssy and man up and deal with the pain". I was absoultly shocked and I still cant believe it. All I am trying to do is make it so I can get my pain to a manageable level so that I can continue to work and so I can be there for my soon to be wife and just live a normal life. My dr made me feel like I was a horrible person and that I am doing something wrong. I'm sorry that this is so long I guess I just had alot to get out. Am I wrong? I think I have a good head on my shoulders I bought my first house at 24 (i'm 25 now) I have had a very good job and work very hard for the last going on 5 years, I have a wonderful woman that I am going to spend the rest of my life with. I have always been honest with him and he doesnt believe me. What should I do? I am at a loss, thank you for reading any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


  • Here are the results from the MRI it took me over a year for my PCP to finally refer me for

    TECHNIQUE: Noncontrast cervical spine MR protocol. 3T MR scanner.

    FINDINGS: The Cervical canal is mildly narrowed on a congenital basis. The cervical cord signal is normal. Marrow signal is normal. C1-C2 is unremarkable.

    C2-C3 right degenerative uncovertebral disease with minimal narrowing of the right neural foramen.

    C3-C4 is unremarkable.

    C4-C5 disk degeneration with mild disc bulge. Minimal narrowing of the left neural foramen.

    C5-C6 disc degeneration with minimal disc bulge. No acquired stenosis.

    C6-C7 and C7-T1 are normal.

    IMPRESSION: Disck degeneration with mild disc bulges asymmetric to the left C4-C5 and C5-C6. Mild left C4-C5 neural foraminal narrowing.

    Mild congenital canal narrowing.
  • Well your MRI results don't seem to indicate that you have much if anything wrong. Doesn't mean that there is nothing wrong but that test can't see it. Sounds like you have something else going on that needs to be hunted for.

    In many ways your GP has done you a dis-service in the way he has done things, at least in my view. Most GP's won't write and keep writing scripts like yours has. Sounds like there is something going on between the pain management place and your GP. Usually the PM Dr. takes over the meds and tests and the hunt for what is wrong. You are on a pretty fair sized amount of pain meds but we are all different and what works for you may not work for me.

    If work is causing that much pain you need to make a job change. It can't be good on your back to be doing all the bending, twisting and lifting you are required to do. Can you get yourself in another position with less lifting?

    To me, and keep in mind its not medical advice, you need to be seen by a spine only Dr. to get to the bottom of where your pain is coming from. You are going to have to do something if your GP is cutting you off the meds you are currently taking. Pain is a strange thing and you are about to enter a rough time if the meds are going to be stopped. For some reason your Dr. isn't trusting you any more.

    Go look after a spine Dr. and good luck.
  • Is that a copy of the actual report your doctor gave you, word for word?
    If so, can you go to the facility where you got it done and ask for a copy of your written report and a cd of your actual imaging and take it to a spinal specialist? This is being handled through work comp, right?
    I am who I am!
  • Thanks for the response, I will eventually have the opportunity to go into a different position within my department but have to wait it out for now until the person in that position retires. It may be several years before I will have that opportunity. I know that the job is a major factor in my pain not getting any better that is also what the Dr. who gave me the epidural injections told me but considering I am going to be married soon and am a new homeowner there is no way I could just leave my job not just for me but if I were to leave the job then my fiance would not have healthcare because her job doesnt offer it and she will be covered under my plan once we are married, and her well being is more important to me then anything else.

    I don't really understand much of what the language on the MRI results are saying but what I dont get is that the MRI was taken with my neck straight, I get shooting pain into my shoulder blade and down my arm and into my head up the back of my neck and the headaches I get are horrible but its always after I have been doing things that cause my neck to move around alot or when I have to move in awkward positions. Is there a possibility that the MRI shows what it shows with my neck straight and much much worse once my neck is turned that cant be seen with my head straight forward in the MRI?

    Another thing too is I was just shocked at the things my PCP said to me. I have never given him a reason to not trust me although he did hint that when he left the dr he was previsouly working with about a year ago and opened his own practice people with pain problems came out of the woodworks trying to get pain killers so he had to change alot of the ways he was doing things and it seemed he became more worried about getting in trouble or something then he was about giving his patients the care they needed (I had been seeing him way before he left and opened his own practice and had actually refused pain killers for other things in the past, and was seeing him about my neck before he left to open his own practice but it seems like he forgets all that) It took over a year for him to refer me to get the MRI and since then I have been trying everything I can do make my neck better and I was trying to explain to him that I dont want to be on these pills forever but I have been taking them in the meantime so I can still be functional and be able to work and live my life until I find something that works and he didnt want to hear it.
  • The Neurosurgeon I went to see after the MRI wouldnt take it on a CD so I had to bring him the actual films and that was the actual copy of the report that was included in the films for him they gave me a copy too. It was through workers comp but when I went back to work after the first week and because I didnt get a referal for my MRI right away the workers comp company said that because I went back to work I was fine and I must have hurt my neck some other way so they wernt going to cover any of it. My fiance and mother both work for a lawyer who because of my mother has known me since I was born so I filed a lawsuit. The workers comp company ended up setteling and said they would say that my neck injury was from work, and when I went to go get my MRI they denied it again, so the lawyer basicallly said that in order to get them to pay anything I am going to have to wait basically until I hurt myself and have to go to the emergency room again at work for them to cover anything. Some people suggested that I fake it but i'm just not that type of person obvisouly which is why I tried to get back to work so fast the first time. We have a guy who is about to retire in 3 weeks so we will be a person down again and have way too much work as it is so I feel bad doing that. My fiance gets mad because she says my health should be more important then work which is true but I just get that other side of me from my father I would feel too bad screwing over everyone else I work with like that. So as for right now Blue Cross has accepted to pay and my copays and everything are out of my pocket. As for everything else my insurance requires a referal for any person I see other then my PCP.

  • Has he offered you any other types of pain control besides pills? Injections? A tens unit? Physical Therapy?
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • You already settled with worker's comp for your claim?
    I am who I am!
  • Sorry you are having trouble...

    We certainly aren't Drs. here....but if you just go by your MRI....There really isn't anything severe there...No stenosis....and only mild bulging of discs...

    And don't be fooled by the term Degenerative Disc Disease...

    Pretty much everyone over the age of 25 has this.

    But obviously you are in pain....So that is why the MRI is not an end all be all for diagnosing pain. It's mainly a tool to see if surgery is needed.

    And unfortunately....but your Dr. is right in that you can't ask them to continue to medicate you enough just so you can work the type of work that you do. At some point you have to make a choice about your career and moving to a less strenous type of job.

    As well as it's not about just trying PT or injections a few times and then quitting.

    Chronic pain management is about using every single modality to help keep the pain at about a 5 on the pain scale...

    This includes doing daily/weekly/monthly

    Physical Therapy
    TENS unit

    Hopefully you do not smoke as this can cause further degeneration.

    As well as maintaining a healthy weight is crucial.

    As far as medicine goes....You can't rely soley on the narcotic.

    There are nerve pain medications...
    Muscle relaxers
    And antidepressants.

    Most of us are on all of these.

    This way....every single thing you do will take the pain down a tiny notch...It's all meant to be in combination with one another.

    For example, t's not like trying PT and then stopping because it didn't take away all your pain...

    I would suggest moving forward with finding a Pain Mgmt. Dr. Then they can work with you on making a comprehensive pain program with as many modalities as possible.

    And the drug tests are pretty much going to be mandatory in every state over the next year or two so it's standard. Just like signing a pain mgmt. contract with your Dr. This says that you cannot go to two Drs. at the same time seeking narcotics.

    So...you can still go to appts. to find a new PM...but not accept a new prescription until you terminate your relationship with this Dr.

    Again...sorry you are in pain....And we all know how hard it is when it becomes chronic...Many of us have had to change our entire life around to manage our pain.

    Keep us posted...

  • get an inversion table.....and use it daily..

    take glucosamine complex....get a good one..

    drink lots of water with vitamin c, magnesium citrate and b5....

    drugs will end up causing more damage in the long run....

    my advice is to manage the pain naturally as much as possible....

    read my thread....

    sciatica pain...progress report...

    Live to Pray
  • One of the problems that you have is that your MRI doesn't show enough damage or severe enough deterioration to justify that amount of immediate release oxycodone. Oxycontin is exactly the same medication as what is in the 30 mg oxycodone, except that it is a time release formula ( long acting pain medication versus a short acting or immediate release) version of the medication. Why you would not get the same pain relief from the very same medication just in a long acting version of it is a bit unusual. Which may be one of the reasons that the GP is a bit skeptical and it sounds frustrated.
    The other issue that I see is that once you have injured an area of your body, especially in your neck or back, it is never going to be pain free as it was prior to injuring it. So expecting to be pain free, and able to do all of the things that you were able to do before the injury is unrealistic. You have to learn to work around the area of your body that has the injury, whether that means changing jobs or altering the way that you do things, you have to learn to adapt because you aren't going to be the same person, doing the same things that you were able to do before. It is what it is and you have to make adaptations to accomodate that.
    Physical therapy might help to improve the muscles around the area of the injury, and may make the wear and tear less painful. Strengthening excercises, stretching, and modification to how you go about your work might also help. TENS units, ice, heat, massage, and injections all might help to ease some of the pain, as well as trying some muscle relaxers, in place of the pain medications might make far more of an impact on the pain, than increasing the dosages of the pain meds.
    Trying to find the cause of the headaches by visiting a neurologist to see if they can determine the cause might also be worthwhile investigating, as they may not have anything to do with your previous neck injury.
    As far as tapering the meds goes, it seems that your doctor is determined to do that, so it will be really important for you to explore other ways of managing the pain, besides using oxycodone to help you and getting a referral into a pain management program is going to be essential to helping you find other avenues of managing the pain.
    I feel for you, pain is terrible but you can not rely solely on pain medications to ease the pain so that you can continue doing as you did before the injury, that just isn't realistic.....
    Good luck
  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. There are a few things that stick out here. Your talking about pain that goes away from the original injury which is called radicular meaning it is radiating out. Take a look at a dermatone map and see if the levels on your MRI match up to the pain patterns you are having. A MRi is not the end all or that your pain is not real, that just means they didn't find the pain generator. Unfortunate that your doctor choose to medicate in place of finding the real pain generator. I elect that you begin to find a new doctor, but not one to just medicate you, but rather find what is truly causing you discomfort. You are to young to begin down a path of pain, and have it become chronic. Which actually given the length you have had the issues, it is deemed chronic at this point and time.

    As some have indicated, your doctor is only prescribing a opiad drug, which that is not the only thing that is going to help. For example he should have tried a muscle relaxer, or some other type of medication in combination with the opiad in place of just raising the dose. Ask him what non-opiad choices do you have available that might also help. There are also things like trigger point injections that can help, in combination with massage therapy.

    Once you have tried all the available conservative type treatments it is time to take a trip back to the surgeon. You don't have to use the same surgeon you seen. Try a ortho in place of the neuro that is trained in spines. Not sure how old your images are, but it could be what you had originally injured has gotten worse hence the medications aren't working. But their are additional test and procedures that can be done to find out what is wrong. Your at a age that you shouldn't be in pain daily and should be out living your life. Hopefully someone will get you some resolve and you won't need long term narcotics to get you through a day of life.
  • I'm no doctor but I have gone through those headaches you are having and unfortunately so has my (grown) daughter. Don't know that it is the only disc to cause problems but I've been told that the C2 is one that can cause headaches and your MRI report showed problems at C2-C3. With my daughter, after some physical therapy, and muscle relaxers, she ended up going to a neurologist who did some tests and found out she has occipital nerve inflammation. (This nerve is right above the top of your neck and in the part of the back of your head at the bottom that feels indented). I have been told I have the same thing, but we are working on my back first because that causes me more problems, although it's not like the neck, shoulder, arm and head pain is that much less than my back.......

    But all that to say, my daughter got an occipital nerve block and then an occipital nerve ablation. The ablation is supposed to last a year or more. She has no more neck pain and doesn't get those types of headaches anymore. I'm not saying that will work for you, but you may want to ask about your occipital nerve, especially because you have some problems with you C2-C3.

    I will also tell you that my husband's myleogram from almost 3 years ago is quite different from the one he got a few weeks ago. So things can change, sometimes very quickly.

    And having been on work comp for an injury years ago, and despite going to the doctor work comp made me go to, ended up he was very good and didn't allow the bullying that work comp was trying to use. And he gave me ALL my records once I settled with work comp, and I was about to move then. He told me to take those records to a new doctor as soon as I could and just said, trust me on this. Well me being the snoopy person I am about my records, I skimmed through them and found out why he told me that. Things that the other doctors told me and what my records really said, what tests really showed were 2 different things. So, I guess it can happen.

    One more thing - on the arm pain. My husband has had 2 different neck surgeries. The first time he had gotten so bad he had nerve damage in his left arm and he's left handed - so not good. He had little strength and little use of his arm before they did the surgery. He had physical therapy beginning soon after surgery and regained a lot of the strength in his arm (it's almost equal to his right arm) but he'll never regain full strength in it - but he can use it just fine. I'm saying all that to say - don't let them put you off and just give you meds to cover it up and then end up with permanent nerve damage. It's bad enough when us older people go through that (at that time, my husband was in his 40's and was told his neck looked like that of a 90 year old!), but for someone your age to go through this is even worse and to not get treated adequately isn't right - it's not just about pain, it is also about damage that can be happening to your discs, your nerves, etc.

    Good luck, again!
    I am who I am!
  • Pain is a terrible thing. If you're not doing anything to relieve it other than masking it with pills, and you're aggravating it daily with your activities in your job, it's not going to get any better. I had three ruptured discs, degenerative disk disease, scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis (don't quote me on the spelling of that), and I was on 5 mg oxycodone four times a day almost right up to and then after surgery. I did require a fentanyl patch for a few weeks before surgery and then some lyrica afterwards, but never the load of pain meds you're carrying. One of the reasons your doc may be very concerned (besides the possibility of addiction) is that a large dose of this type of pain medication can cause the patient to just stop breathing. If you were to die in your sleep some evening, your doc would probably be in one big heap of trouble. All those years of school, expense, etc., down the drain because s/he over-prescribed a pain killer for you. Sort of like the Michael Jackson thing.

    Now, this does not mean that I don't think you're in pain. I've been there and I get it. I really think you need to explore some of the options the others have listed here. You need something to get that inflammation out of your neck, and it doesn't come in pill form. You should have a serious gel-type ice pack that is waiting for you each and every night when you get home. You should most likely be seeing a physical therapist to get the kinks out. You do have a disc bulge, which is no doubt causing nerve pain. Nerve pain can really make your muscles seize up. You need to get that worked out, through PT, massage, TENS unit, acupuncture, whatever.

    Let's face it. The drugs aren't cutting it. You may have more damage than you originally did due to your constant physical stress on that part of your neck. I was in physical therapy for two years. I still go sometimes when I get all twisted up. Give your body a chance to heal instead of just masking the pain.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Thank you everyone for you responses. To answer the question in the first reply I never settled with workers comp they settled instead of going to court against me and in that settlement they said they would accept that the injury happened at work and they would take care of everything. Well the MRI I was suppose to have a week later went to them and it came back that they denied it so luckily blue cross paid for it, so as far as workers comp they are basically screwing me and trying to get out of paying which is a really big let down because I always thought that they were suppose to be there to help and its just like any other insurance company they try to get out of paying for anything.

    after the first year and before I had gotten the MRI I had to ask my PCP about using a TENS unit so he set me up with a person who called to tell me that unfortunetly Blue Chip is one of the only insurances that wont cover it and the units he had were about $500 a piece. I had managed to get one that my fiance's father had so I try to use that as much as possible.

    Yes my PCP did try nerve pain medication/antidepressants but when he did he just gave me that instead of the oxycodone that month so it was not in combination so i'm thinking that may be why it didnt work.

    I do try to exercise as much as possible, I dont smoke, I dont drink,I recently started swimming again thinking that would help which it seems to help a little but there are days when I work myself too hard at work or ont he house and I cant even manage to get to the YMCA. I had my first accupuncture about 2 weeks ago and am going for another one next week, and my fiance does try to help and every once in a while will give me a massage but at $80 an hour being the lowest price I can find in my area for a professional its just too expensive to do it as much as I probably need to. I am trying to do as much as I can other then the pills but as you all know i'm sure its not always the easiest to do when the pain gets really bad. I do not expect that I will be compleatly free of pain but I do know that something is not right at age 25 I should not be in as much pain as I am... just sitting here typing right now it feel like someone is repeatedly stabbing a knife into my shoulder blade.

    I will also deffinetly look into going to see a neurologist about the headaches, but as with anything my insurance requires a referal and I need to first find a new PCP because I will not go back to him after the way he takled to me. If he had been in any other type of business and talked to his customers the way he did to me yesterday then he would be out of business, and personally I dont let people talk to me the way he did or call me what he did and I did all I could not to start yelling at him or worse when he said that to me because nobody should be treated that way.

    Thank you all for your responses and suggestions, its nice to know that even though my MRI may not show a whole lot wrong (which I didnt know) that there are people who still believe me and know what it is like to be in the kind of pain I am in. It really sucks to feel like you own Dr doesnt believe your in as much pain as you really are.

  • I agree with what you wrote about the doctor and the danger of not being able to breathe and dying as a result of medication - it's a label on my pain medication and it is only hydrocodone. But what gets me about this man's doctor is that he gave him and continued to give him those meds for so long - so I think the doctor knew he was in a lot of pain, but should have been sending him to the right doctor to get it treated - even if that meant several referrals until the right doctor was found. I ended up with 2 referrals, first one was just horrific but it's my own fault, had read he was good and asked my PCP to refer me. The place that he suggested I had my doubts about but he was spot on in sending me there and there must be 30 or 40 doctors there, they all specialize in different areas. He sent me to a top notch one. With my husband, it took 3 referrals to finally get to the right doc (we have the same doctor). The one who wanted to do his back surgery almost 3 years ago had moved away, and so the doctor that took his place just didn't want to do it, he wanted him to wait a while longer (it had already been a couple of years).

    I know it is hard to wait when you have a referral to a new doctor and it is frustrating to feel like you have to start all over and explain all the details again, but what I'm saying Ms7829 is don't stop until you find a doctor who will actually find out what is wrong and treat it! Nobody at any age deserves to go through this kind of pain, but 25 is so young and most of us here would probably love to feel the way we did at that age. You're supposed to be feeling good and doing whatever you want. You might have to make some changes, but someone should be able to treat you so you can get your life back and live happily.

    Keep us posted on how it goes for you.
    I am who I am!
  • You could have your doc contact worker's comp and find out what type of care they are willing to cover for you? Chances are they would do things like physical therapy, etc. My therapist does something called Graston Technique (may or may not be good for you), but I had terribly knotted shoulders, especially my trapezius muscles. With Graston, they put an ointment on your skin and then rub over the surface with one of an assortment of specially designed tools. Feels like a washboard at first, but it gets those knots out of the muscles and relieves that horrible strung-together-so-tightly-it's-going-to-snap feeling.

    I had a worker's comp injury once - carpal tunnel. The care was so appalling that I swore if I were ever injured on the job again, I'd immediately leave my place of employment and fall down in the middle of the street and claim I'd been hurt outside of work. They are supposed to be there to protect you, but will do everything they can to get out of paying.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I feel for you in dealing with work comp, been there and done that. They don't want to pay for anything they can possibly get out of paying for.You and I could probably tell stories that would make people's hair curl.

    And yes, it does really suck for your own doctor not to believe you have pain. The deal is - some people have bulging discs and don't even know it. Others have a little bulge and it means killer page. I think it depends on what that bulge is touching rather than how big it is. When something is pressing on your nerve, it hurts! Your doctor's comments that you should see his MRI - that alone doesn't prove pain. And if he didn't know you were in pain then he wouldn't have prescribed anything - he's worried and instead of just being honest, he's trying to make you feel bad. You have probably built up a tolerance to meds - that's normal. But all he has to do is some simple tests in his office to 'prove' your pain is real and I bet he has! I know about that shoulder pain and the neck and head pain. I've been told that type of headache is called cervicogenic headache. Google that. It's one of the toughest headaches to have and to get rid of. So people like you and me need to be treated so we don't get them anymore.

    Yes most neuros do require a referral and then there is the insurance to deal with. Make sure you are noting everytime you fill out a new patient form that you were injured on the job.....and I'd check with the lawyer to be sure, but could be BCBS will subrogate against the work comp carrier....
    I am who I am!
  • I agree with the workers comp thing it just sucks. The worst part is since we get 10 hours of sick time added per month plus more once you have been there over 10 years we dont pay into TDI, so if the injury did happen outside work I would have to use sick time which I have used alot of it up already on days when i was in so much pain I couldnt go to work and once that is all gone then that would be it I could possibly be let go or if they understood the situation which they probably would I would then still have to go without pay. So since workers comp wont do a thing for me and I dont have TDI I have no options. Although the Dr. that gave me the epidural injections did say that if workers comp would help he would give me a Dr.s note so that I could take some time off to see if it gets any better without doing that kind of work for a while.
  • How big is the company you work for (sounds like it would be big). I'll have to look it up but I believe if they have 50 or more employees, they have to offer FMLA - and that gives you 12 weeks (I think) that they can't fire you as long as you have the proper documentation of why you are out. You can do that for your own serious health issues or like your spouse, child, etc. I know what you mean - I was in a wreck that was not my fault. So I've used up my sick days - 5 right when I had the wreck, had a bad concussion and the other 3 to have procedures and now I'm into my vacation days which is what I'll have to use for surgery. Eventually the person who was at fault - their insurance co will have to pay me back for days I had to take off, but that will be a while. Really disappointing that I can't use my paid time off for what I want so I hear you!
    I am who I am!
  • I work for a water department for the town I live in, and they do offer FMLA but that is unpaid and with recently buying my first home with my fiance I cant afford to be out of work unpaid. With workers comp I would only receive like 80% pay I think it is but at least with that and my fiances job we could manage but yea the whole situation sucks. The lawyer basically said the only thing I can do is next time I do something at work and cant move my neck the next day I need to document it and go to the emergency room and basically start over with workers comp so they would have to cover everything. I know I really do need to do that because my health is the most important but I feel bad doing that to all the other guys I work with because one guy is retireing in 2 weeks and we are already so busy which is what happend 2 years ago when the injury first happened and thats why I rushed back to work as soon as I could move my neck because I felt bad for everyone else.
  • First off I want to say kuddos! For such a young age, you seem to have a great deal going for you and a maturity that is not often seen in someone so young anymore.

    A few thoughts on yur situation. Personally I do not think quitting your job should be thrown around so flippantly. If it was jeapordizing your life then that's another story. It sounds like you have a good job that you enjoy with the potential to move up. That sounds like a job worth keeping. That is the point of pain management, to keep us LIVING our lives. Yes if I layed in bed all day and didn't do anything I could probably keep my pain at a mid level most of the time but that is not living a full and prductive life.

    I think you have made a great effort into managing your pain using as many of the modalities that are available to you. It was not right of your doc to talk to you like that and I do not blame you at all for being hurt and offended. I do agree with most that you need to try and find out exactly what is going on in your neck to cause your pain. If you can get with a good PM doc who will use multiple modalites once you figure out specifically or at least the best guess to what's going on. I also agree that we have to use multiple ways to manage pain, but meds play an important part. Just because it is a touchy subject right now with all the press on abuse and misuse, doesn't mean that those of us with legitimate issues should have to go without.

    Congrats on your fiance and new home! You have a bright future ahead of you and I wish you all the best in finding the right doc to help. Don't ever give up! You know your body and when something isn't right, somethings isn't right. I was misdiagnosed(doctors error) and my life will never be the same because of it. For years I began to think I was crazy as they kept telling me there was nothing wrong. But I ket searching and finally got to a doc who asked the right questions and did the right tests. So don't give up!
  • Like a lot of people have told both me and the hubs we should just go for disability! We don't want to. Now we don't have physically demanding jobs, but when you love your job, you love it. And it is very sad if you can't continue doing what you love and what you are good at!

    Where is the like button so I can like Chrissysmom's post?
    I am who I am!
  • The person who discovers the true cause and develops a treatment for chronic pain will be rich. I have read a lot on the subject and while they are making headway and isolated it to a region of the brain, there is a long way to go.
    I hope that you can find a PCP who will actually try and help you rather than throw pills at a symptom. My PCP does my pain management and helps with referrals when needed.
    I agree with others that you need a new MRI. The difference in mine from one year to the next took me from not a good surgical candidate to needing a 3 level fusion C4-7 I'm just not ready for the surgery and still working with all the other treatment options, knowing surgery will be done one day.
    Please keep us informed of what happens, we are here to support.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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