Hi, I'm new here and am trying to educate myself on the dismissal I received from my PM last month before I go in to get my trigger point injections with them on Monday. Brief hx: I had a spinal fusion ACDF from my C5-C7, although my C4 is still an issue and my fusion did not take. So two-months after the surgery all my symptoms returned, some worse than others. I have been disabled, and unable to work since 2010, I literally worked 70 hrs a wk. Huge adjustment! Anyway, two and a half years ago my PCM puts me in pain management and I go willingly, looking for hope. I bind myself with their Opioid agreement and try trigger point injections and spinal injections to no avail, at least the first year. I have been very pro-active in trying to alleviate my pain knowing that the pain meds only mask the symptoms but at this point are a necessary evil. Over the last two years I'm a guinea pig for different opioids as well as muscle relaxers, lidocaine patches, etc. Finally we find an opioid that works for me but I'm unable to tolerate any muscle relaxers so I stick with lido patches, and later the cream, as the patches are five hundred dollars a month! As I settle in to being able to tolerate my pain better with the meds, I ask the PM doctor for aqua therapy referral, psychology referral as well as a physical therapy referral as I would like to become as strong as possible and now I'm able to stand, sit and drive for longer than 15-30 min every few hours.
Here is where my problem starts I was unaware (as it does not state it on my contract) that I had to throw away ALL medications previously given to me by my PM every time a new one was given. I've been severely jaded by the medical system and having to pay cash for everything medical in the last three years while waiting to be approved/denied for SSA has put me $45,000 in debt. SO I SAVE EVERYTHING! I had a left over prescription of a lighter narcotic med and after calling the pharmacy and checking online, I found that I could safely change to the lighter med after 4-6 hours. It works better for my endometriosis than the stronger one that I take for my neck, back, arm, hand pain. Because it was not something I used often I had this medication for two years and my menstrual cycles now followed by ovarian cysts were getting worse. So the last few months I stopped taking my regular prescription after four pm and only took the lighter prescription when I was woken in fetal position from the pain. I didn't think I was doing anything wrong because I was not taking the two together and had called the pharmacy to make sure it was ok. This came up that the two medicines were in my urine sample and I explained to her what happened and she refused to believe that I had a prescription still given to me from two years ago and dismissed me from the opioid contract but can still see me for the rest. I explained it was just a miscommunication and can't understand why she won't give me a second chance, or how to challenge it? I have always been honest and proactive in trying to keep my pain under control. It's always been me, not the doctors who ask for referrals to do more, be more and when I was confused about something I always confirmed with her. I feel betrayed, belittled, judged and violated. I've always been embarrassed to even have to be on a medication because I didn't want to have the stigma, I even walked out of there thinking this was the best thing that could happen because I hate the way the pharmacy looks at me, or the fact that my vacations and emergencies are controlled by this one stupid medicine. But now I'm back to lying on the couch, unable to drive, no more aqua therapy which I did daily, and most days I can't cook dinner for my family anymore or clean my house in sections like I used to. I hate to admit that it helped so much more than I thought it did. She told me I could go to another PM and gave me names to some others as well as addictive specialists and all that. But I feel like she is giving me false hope because if I don't appeal what she is saying I did, the next PM will just deny me as well, correct? Does anyone know if I can appeal the dismissal and fight because nowhere on my contract did it say I had to throw away the medications that I bought that she prescribed! I've spent thousands of dollars on medications and throwing them away was just not a consideration it's like throwing an open briefcase full of money on the street and running over it. Of course I would have had no choice were she clear with me on the situation. But I didn't even get a warning! Any education on this would be greatly appreciated, I've been without the medication for a while now but feel like I'm spiraling into depression from the pain, can't sleep more than an hour at a time, I can't do much of anything actually. Not sure what's worse the pain or the anxiety of the situation,
Thank you in advance for your time and help if any.********************************************************************************************************* Welcome to Spine-Health
One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.
So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.
Here are some questions that you should answer:
- When did this first start?
. Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
. Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
. Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
. Physical Therapy
. Ultrasound / Tens unit
. Spinal Injections
. Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
. Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
. How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
. Name of Medication
. How long have you been using this?
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.
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I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ
There you will find much information that will
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Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
- Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.
It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have areI’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?
Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.
Specific comments :
Here is where my problem starts I was unaware (as it does not state it on my contract) that I had to throw away ALL medications previously given to me by my PM every time a new one was given
If it was not documented in your contract, then you should have a leg to stand on. I have seen several pain contracts and the ones I read talked about disposing of medications prior to be treated by the new doctor. Thats not that uncommonPersonal Opinion, not medical advice :
--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/25/15 17:34est