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Being your own health advocate...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Pain Management
Hi all! I was wondering if any of you have had any experience at being your own health advocate? For the past 4 years, I have had severe back pain that keeps getting worse and is ruining my quality of life. A couple months ago, I took some advice from some of you on here ;) , and ever since then, my standard of health care has gone up 75%! I never heard of a discogram before, and was suprised this was a test that had not been offered to me, even though I have had every other test known to man. So, I brought it up with my regular dr at my last visit.(She didnt really know what it was) My recent MRI didnt show much except facet arthrosis, but nothing is explaining the severe pain and muscle weakness, so I asked her if I could have a discogram before my surgery referral Nov 3rd. She said she would find out if they do them here and get back to me. Well, I called the hospital personally after not hearing from her for a week, and spoke with a radiologist who says yes they do them. I left my dr a message with all the info the radiologist left me. She called me back the next day and said she wasnt sure if she could refer me because only orthopedic surgeons can do so. So, I called the OS Im going to see in Nov, and he said he cant refer me since Im new patient, but it would be a great idea to get one done. I then call my Dr back and tell her that she shouldnt have any problems scheduling me one because the OS wants one, but cant refer me. She said ok, (she's kinda spacey but very nice) I then gave her the fax number to the radiologist I spoke to and his number, and today I got a call from radiology with my discogram appt scheduling! I) Exhausted now from all the phone calls and talking and convincing, but well worth it. I commend any of you who take care of your own health care! =D> On a side note, I really hope this discogram can back up my case for the cause of my pain, fingers crossed! image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />


  • That is totally awesome. Yes it's so important to be an advocate for our healthcare and I'm so glad to have this site for reference also. Kudos to the mods and fellow members. Doctors are so busy with shortages and think they may overlook such important things. I think Doctors are grateful for patients taking an active role for their health. This is a very important topic you've posted. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm a strong believer in being one's own advocate. After my first surgery I was in terrible shape and had a surgeon who simply swept it under the rug. I finally obtained a copy of my MRI and took it to my neurologist and she took the bull by the horns.

    I firmly believe that if I had not made that move I would have lost a lot more function than I have. Now, let me state that there can be a risk sometimes in being the squeaky wheel (although I haven't experienced it I've read about several members here who have). Some docs simply don't like being told what meds you want or what treatments you need. The most important thing is to have a doc that you trust and can talk openly with- for me it's my neurologist. She's my go-to gal and I know that she'll work hard for me and do what's right for my health care.

    We all need to take an active role in our own care. I agree, this is a great topic!

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  • Yes, I handle my own healthcare exactly as you are describing and what makes it extra hard is that I also do it for my husband and my mom. Including dealing with airheads at health insurance companies and medicare. You must take control of your own healthcare in order to get anything done. Good luck.
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