I am so glad that I found this Forum. I am at a loss in trying to find out if I am asking too much for pain relief from my Dr's.
I'm 62/F Las Vegas & am so disappointed in the medical care here. Lived in DC/Northern Va all my life until 5 yrs ago & the medical care here is just unbelievable. Had 2, L 4-5 laminectomies in 1980's & have DDD, retired on disability. 4 days after arriving in Vegas, I got double pneumonia, pseudomonas, & a staph infection. I still have the staph which has turned into MRSA, which makes no surgeries possible.
In July I woke up with a crink in my neck & within 2 hrs, the most excruciating pain I have ever had all down my arm & neck with numbness, tingling & burning, like a lightning bolt had hit me. The sciatica kicked in full force along with the arachnoiditis from 1980. It was horrible. It was almost 8 weeks of debilitating pain at a 15 pain level. All of this now runs about a 7, with some escalation if I pretty much do anything with my arms, not the 15 like it was.
Xrays, Mri's, EMG's revealed:
Cervical:Extensive posterior disc protrusions C3-C4-C5 & C5-C6. Posterior annular tear C6-C7 intervertebral disc. Broad-based central & right posterolateral disc extrusion C6-C7. Severe bilateral neural foraminal narrowing C3-C4 & moderate foraminal narrowing C4-C5 & C6-C7 levels, & mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing C5-C6.
Lumbar: Posterior facet joint hypertrophy L1-L2 through L5-S1 bilaterally. Annular tears L2-L3 through L5-S1 intervertebral discs. Posterior disc protrusions L2-L3 L3-L4 & L5-S1 levels. Right posterolateral disc extrusion L4-L5. Mild central spinal canal stenosis L2-L3 L3-L4 & L4-L5 levels.Mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing L3-L4 with mild right-sided neural foraminal narrowing L4-L5.
EMG: Right Ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow.Bilateral C3-4 & C6-7 involvement. Probable sensorimotor neuropathy.
Knees MRI: Left Knee-Chondromalacia of the patella with Grade 4 chondromalacia of the midpatellar apex. Right Knee-Focal & mid patellar chrondromalacia, Grade 3 with underlying subchrondral cystic changes developing.
I'm a MESS! Again with the above I have the Arachnoiditis which is brutal with the pinging & bee like stings from pelvis to feet,especially in the right femoral thigh nerve.
Vegas has a drug problem. Not even my neurosurgeons will prescribe medication! You have to go to these scam pain management clinics where they are loaded with the ambulance chasing lawyers clients who will submit to anything for a bigger $$$ award. There is no communication from the pain to Neuro at all & here is a PA prescribing what they think works for me & not a Neuro! I even asked my back Neuro, that he if anyone should know what pain I am experiencing & meds would help me. His response was he focused on neurosurgerey & not pain management????? He will not prescribe any RX so the minute you would be released from the hospital, you would have to go to pain management & get a RX! Have you ever heard of such? To think you would let someone go so close to my spinal cord, and still have the trust & confidence in him?
Also no medications are available at the Pharmacies. I have been without any medication for over a month & am slowly, wondering why I am trying to get better? Even my Walgreens that I have used for 5 years has no medication. I went to 17 drive thru pharmacies a week ago Sat. with no luck. I feel like a drug addict having to chase down meds. My Neuro knew this & said I might want to go to the Hospital emergency room for meds. I was so upset & just at my breaking point walking to my car & a young man who was working on the computers in the office there followed me to my car & said he knows what I am going through & felt so sorry for me & pulled out his RX for Oxycodone 10mg & offered me the 11 pills he had left. How sad is that that a stranger offers to help & my own Neuro does nothing. I finally was moved up to in Dec. 6x a day 10-325 percocet which barely takes the edge off & now no one in town has them. They had me on Lortabs 4x 10-325 before. I am so broke with all these medical expenses & have sold everything of value I have & even canceled my homeowners insurance to get $27 back a month. These crazy pain management have tried to sell me on Blood platelet spinning which is $9000.00 for my knees & not covered by any insurance. 2 weeks ago they called in an experimental cream from a compounding pharmacy in California that was $5000.00 for 360 grams! My copay with BCBS was $2247.00. And the pharmacy said that the pain Mgt authorized 6 refills! I called BCBS & told them not to approve it as there was no way I could pay for it & once the compounding pharmacy sent it out, I was obligated to pay for it. I am at a loss as how to get pain relief here. Last month they did a urine test that was $3650.18!!! My copay was $290.00. They did 17 inquiries for the test. Now what could they have been looking for? Gold? I have paid 6 copays of $30. in less than 30 days & still no medicine! I am in excruciating pain, can not walk more than 20 ft & really can not care for myself. I'm a insulin dependent diabetic & my sugars are in the high 300's as I am not eating properly-just cups of noodles & crackers, as I can not go to a grocery store. I go to a gas station grocery & the manager shops for me. I have no family or anyone out here to drive me or help me in anyway. I'm driving with my left foot & can't turn my neck. I go nowhere except to the Dr. & have been stopped 2x for eratic driving & have done major damage to the back of my car backing into something. Very disheartening after driving for 46 years with no accidents or tickets. I've always been so independent & resilient, that I just can't get back on track to do for myself. I just need to be able to mask the pain so I can work through it & that is not happening here. No one here cares! They aren't making any money from me just prescribing pills. I have had to see 3 Neuro's, one for the neck, one for lumbar & one for the ulner nerve as no one here does it all. The 3 have told me even if they could do the surgeries, there is no guarantee that the pain would be gone in the neck, back or elbow. It took me hours to type this in a lot of pain, but I just needed to spill all this & hopefully somebody can give me some insight, suggestions or any info. Am I asking for too much? I am so ready to give up & am so afraid & alone.. Thanks for listening. Annie