To start, my name is Bradley. As someone who has spent a lot of time reading, I've been reclusive in opening up with too many people in regards to my chronic pain flare ups. As most suggest, turn to the Internet! Join discussions, get proactive. Well, this evening, I am compelled to do so.
This site is very informative, and I've taken suggestions for months from here to my own doctor visits to discuss my diagnoses or treatments. But lately, I've taken some steps back mentally/physically and it's causing me to want to reach out to others in similar positions. Thank you all for your past help and I hope I can provide my experiences in other topics when they apply. My profile is updated with my overall health history. But I've been in chronic pain for a couple of years, specifically in my back but unlike many with an injury or trauma, it varies in place as well as pain levels. I've been "formally" diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. And I hate the word.
I once was a 23 year old guy in the middle of a promising career (salary, 401k, benefits), newlywed with a toddler that I could spend all day in a bounce house with. That is when the back "spasm" pain began to grow on me - and I mean in frustration, and now I'm 26 years old, lost my career. Lost my health coverage. Lost my LTD case, couldn't find an attorney to take my case with the exception of SSD, in which I'm in the midst of trying to obtain, disability seems to be the only economical option for my family to get me back on a treatment plan. One that doesn't leave me to fend for myself, and figure out what step to take next. I think my goal is to get properly treated on a solid plan with a doctor or one of the many specialist I see with $ from loans for out of pocket expenses.
This is quite an introduction, but it spares a few questions and lets you know why I joined today. With also the advice from my therapist to , "get proactive, and take charge in your healthcare!"- the latter is harder than being proactive. But I'll begin my story and pick up if any comments, questions, or suggestions are made. Of course, just a hello back is nice too. "I feel your pain" has some compassion, and humor. :-)
My wife and I had just bought our first home last year (may lose it next year), had a new baby on the way. My back hurt, but I'm 26, just got a promotion to a senior position at the local bank I worked for, gearing for management and developing my own department. It was really what anyone my age would envy, a great "middle american" life with a promising future, unlimited potential. But, I couldn't take it anymore...after years of complaining, and finally some medications that quit working, my PCP referred to a specialist at a pain management center.
They ultimately ruined my career and financial stability through various misdiagnoses and for a lack of better words, mistreatment of my pain problem by overmedicating and doing procedures for non-existent problems. You can't work if you can't walk. You can't be dependent as a manager if you are in the bathroom 30%-50% of your day. That doesn't hold up for long. It was recommended by my superior to take health leave. After a huge hit for 3 MRI's - lumbar, cervical and neck. I was told by a new doctor at the clinic that I had a pinched nerve, MRI showed that I had none when I decided to get a copy of the results - lots of mistakes by them. You know the irony, a google search of the "specialist" I saw now shows the following Monday (my appointment was a Thursday). he lost his license due to many issues I suffered due to his extremely erroneous initial (in person) diagnosis of MS, extreme worry about my liver and scared the heck out of me with words I didn't even understand. I was taking 4-5 Narco 10mg tablets a day at the time, valium and remeron before bed. That day, I left with instructions to take 2 "new" pills a day, until I got used to taken them on schedule. The total was 7 new medications,and a total of 9. No idea when going to the pharmacy that it would cost over 300.00 with insurance to get "brand name" Opana ER, IR, Lryica, Arthrotec, Remeron 2x the past dose, some kind of back numbing patches (brand name only also checked)...it was insane.It didn't stop there, Rayos (a steroid) and a few others. Why I didn't question this I'm unsure of, but the doctor only said the names of the medications, what they would help with and when to take them. But I thought, this guy knows what he's doing, he's starting what I need, a treatment plan to get back into shape and back to work before my FMLA period ended.
Well, 12 months later without insurance. I stand alone with several doctors in the loop, none I can see. Medication is mediocre for the pain I'm in and life has spiraled down. My family is here to support me. But as the man of the house with the ego I once had, "Fibro" is diminishing the quality of life. I feel a lot of guilt, but that I why I am reaching out. Maybe this isn't a support group, but the ideology behind this site has helped me gain perspective and it provides me support. But now I feel the need to share, and hope to have productive conversations with the community on this forum.
I do apologize for my long introduction. So many of us have stories, I read a lot. But I've never told my story to someone except a doctor or immediate family member, like my wife, that actually understands. So thank you if you read this far. Some other history is in my profile, and I'm open to discussion if you choose too. Thanks so much!