I came to this site because every time I looked up an issue, the answer always seemed to come from here.
I originally hurt my back, in 2011, while working at a gas station. The place changed the rules, that we could not dump our big industrial mop bucket outside. Instead, you had to take it to a laundry sink that was high off the floor, and as the night shift folks often worked alone, you had no help to lift it.
One night, when emptying the bucket, it started to slip from my grasp, and as it fell I twisted to catch it. I felt a large "POP!" in my lower back.... and my life was changed from that moment on.
My back pain would come and go at first, getting better, and then coming back on suddenly. This went on through 2011-most of 2012... but by the fall of '12 it was becoming more on than off. My doctor sent me to get an MRI and that is where they found a fully herniated L5/S1 disc. The kicker is, at the time of my diagnosis, I was only 29 years old.
I then began the maze of doctors. My regular family physician referred me to a neurosurgeon, I looked forward to the appointment, knowing that now a real plan to treat this was going to be put in place. I got to my appointment on time, they took me back, I waited in the treatment room for about an hour, when the nurse walked in and said "your insurance won't cover this visit... do you have $200.00? otherwise the doctor cannot see you today." I was crushed and in shock.... they should have told me this days, even weeks ago. I had been on a waiting list for over a month.... yet no one could have looked this up. I have extremely limited finances, so her asking for 200 may as well been asking for 2000... I told her I didn't have that much money, she then asked me to leave, I burst into tears and went home defeated.
My regular doctor was as puzzled and mad as I was... and quickly referred me to a new neurosurgeon, and got me rushed in to see him. This doctor was wonderful, he saw me, examined me... and set a course of treatment. He sent me to a Pain management/Spine specialist To carry out his treatment plan. I was to do ESI injections, and get on a course of medication to help my pain.
The first injection series was like a miracle... combined with the pain meds, I was myself again... I could clean, and bathe, and do laundry, and housework without having to sit down... or go crawl in the bed without pain. I had been out of work since march of 2013, and I thought... wow I can finally go back to work! Four weeks later. the shots wore off, and I went back in for another round... these were done differently (the first were TFESI, these were just ESI) I went back in over and over again trying the injections, but they helped nothing like that first round.
In the midst of this, it was discovered I had cervical cancer starting to grow, and so I had a hysterectomy this past march of 2014. My medication switched from being in the care of my PM doctor, to my Gynecologist, She thought I was being abysmally under medicated, and so upped my doses (went from two hydrocodone 5/325 a day... to 1-2 hydrocodone 5/325 every 4-6hours) I was still going to PM doctor for injections during this time though. I had a UA done during one of my injection appointments... and I still kick myself, my sample was not marked in any way, and they made me set it down next to another unmarked sample. It would come back to haunt me...
So my Gyno released me after healing well from my surgery, and I went to a follow up with my Neurosurgeon. At this point I have severe left leg radiculopathy, Below the knee I am so numb that I can't hardly wiggle my toes, above the knee is constant electrical fire. My doctor decided he wanted a Discogram to set up a surgical plan. No one told me what a Discogram was... my neuro just said it was a test. So I looked it up, and shivered at what it really was.
The day of the discogram (which was to be performed by my PM doctor) I was due to refill my medication. So before they took me back I asked doc about refilling my medicine. I then had the nurse come back in and tell me the exact following "The doctor won't refill your medicine because your last urine test showed you were positive for THC" I stopped her there, I know my rights on my contract (I have a right to retest before any action can be taken against me), and I know I didn't do any weed, or even know anyone who did it.. I said "That test is wrong, I haven't done anything, retest me, right here right now!" She replied "Well we would have to send it out, and that takes time... but since your other doctor is most likely going to do surgery, you would be going under him for your medication anyway" I then said "Even if my other doctor were to schedule me for surgery, that could be weeks from now. He does not do medications until during or after surgery..." she said "well we won't refill them... (she then smiled ear to ear as she walked out the door)...be back in a minute to take you in for your procedure!" They did that barbaric discogram on me... inflaming my pain to epic proportions, knowing I had nothing to make it stop.
I called my Neurosurgeon's office out of desperation, and the head nurse there told me it was patient abandonment. That it was against the law, and that I should go to the nearest ER. I did as she said, went to the ER, and the ER doctor told me the same, that it was patient abandonment... he also performed a blood drug test... which, surprise surprise! was clean as white linen. I see my Neurosurgeon tomorrow for test results, and my neurosurgeon also rushed me into a new PM doctor... I am glad at least one doctor is sticking up for me. And so here I am in limbo, waiting on the next steps in my back pain journey.