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Put off Part 2



  • Cheri. I didn't take your comment wrong. (I don't think). You've always impressed me as someone who really wants to help. I had already gotten my insurance approval. My guess and its only a guess 'cause I surely am no mind reader is that he was ticked off because I was late. He then, excontemporaneously (wow--thats a long word) I mean in his ticked offed-ness decided he would "punish" me by having me take another test. When I called the neuroscience dept after leaving that appt I was told that taking the MMPI had nothing to do with my getting the stimulator. I think this guy just felt backed into a corner and had to concoct something to justify his request but you're right Cheri, I am going to be the model of MOUTH SHUT until that stimulator is in my butt. I plan to bring my darling husband with me on every visit. I've been joking with my primary (a habit that will stop immediately until that stim is in my butt) that I'm like Elaine on Seinfeld when she was banned by the AMA---remember that one? She looked at her chart? She had a rash? My first test of the mouth shut policy is now. My primary said he'd give me my pain meds for one month so I wouldn't have to go to the new PM doc asking for drugs. Well, my husband went and picked up the script after work and then went to the pharmacy and filled it and its the 4 mg dilaudid instead of the 8mg. The pharmacist told my husband "maybe they are trying to wean her off". I don't think its the doc. I think its the "leave a message system". I don't have enough 8s to last me until Monday but I don't want to go to my Wed. PM appts with 4mg. Dilaudid and tell the guy I really take 8 mg. so I'm going to have to practice not being frustrated when I call the clinic tomorrow. That frustration can really come across.
  • I had two appointments scheduled Wednesday. The second one turned into a mess. I kept getting calls (at my house when I'm at work--pet peeve)telling me my appointment is being cancelled because they hadn't received an order from my PCP but my PCP twice sent the order. That's okay because I used all the fouls ups as my reason for not going, saying I didn't know if my appointment had been cancelled or not. Actually, my earlier appointment went really, really well. The doc actually lives in my little town. We spent a bunch of time talking about my crazy anethestheologist neighbor and the stock market. It was really nice to have a doc that was friendly and NICE. He said he would have his collegue do my stimulator because its a little sticky to include the feet. He said its typical to develop foot pain after L5/S1 fusion surgery when scar tissue forms adhesions around the L5 nerve root. He said its unfortunate surgeons don't actually tell you that you can come out of surgery worse than you go in. I told him I thought the surgery was the biggest mistake of my life, but like an investment, I made the best decsision I could at the time given the information that I had. So he has a partner that has done THOUSANDS of stimulators. This doc has only done hundreds so he will send me to the other guy. In the meantime, he wants to give me an injection. I'm going to let him, even though I've never had any benefit at all from an injection and, in fact have felt worse for a few days a couple of times. But, its part of keeping my mouth shut, This group does not have any info about the recent fiasco at the medical college. So, ordinarily I would say "no" to an epidural, I'm just going to let him do it. They use the Medtronic devise exclusively. I got to pick up and feel the little piece that goes in my hip/butt. I'm keeping my eye on the prize. Susan.
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  • I also have a new physical therapist who says my sacrum is tilted to the left instead of the right (or the right instead of the left). He thinks he might be able to reduce some of my nerve pain by working on my sacrum. AND. I'm all moved in to my new office in the suburbs (instead of downtown) cutting my drive time in half. I still have all my files in boxes and I miss my old assistant alot but generally things are looking up for me. There's a big beautiful snow storm. I stopped after work at the grocery store and you'd think it was the day before Christmas. Everyone was gathering provisions for the storm. Now the snow is coming down in big fat fluffy flakes. Its beautiful. I've given up on the notion of sending out Christmas cards. They'll be Happy New Year Cards instead.
  • My PM doc, who is wonderful, suggested to me either the SCS or pain pump. Of course, I jumped through the hoops because after hearing all of the success stories, I felt this was indeed my next step.

    Get to the psych's office. Nice enough guy. Did the initial review. Did the MMPI portion with all those questions. I rushed through it because I did not want to drag it out. I can't sit for long periods, either. I didn't want to have to keep taking break after break (which would have dragged it out even more). I am a quick reader (but not Evelyn Woodhead School of Quick Reading-quick ;) ).

    So, about 6 weeks go by and am at my monthly PM appointment. The Nurse Practitioner asked if anyone had discussed the report from the psych with me. APPARENTLY, this psych felt I was not a good SCS candidate due to my depression.

    Can I tell you my demeanor changed like Sybil. I told my NP I am sick and tired of being labled as depressed when I am mostly FRUSTRATED. The NP said he and my PM Dr. were both surprised with the report because they had felt I was a good candidate for the SCS. After ranting a bit longer I told the NP "I guess - what - he needs more patients? He wants to start treating me or something?" and the NP said "well, actually, he does want to see you - Just a couple sessions with him". So, now I'm too depressed for the SCS trial, but he can fix me in a session or 2.

    OY. I tell you. I was disappointed. BUT, then I got to thinking, what if he is right? What if I am NOT a good candidate? Do I really want to go through with this and be disappointed? I don't know if I could handle any more disappointment at this point in my shift here on earth...

    Sorry for going off track there. What I really wanted to say Susan, is that I had the mocrodiskectomy or laminectomy (can't remember which right now) and now I have scar tissue wrapped around the L5/S1 nerve. But, the problems I have experienced from this is NOTHING compared to where I was before my surgery. I am glad I had it. I would do it again even knowing what I know now. For ME it has been a successful surgery. I just traded one evil for another lesser (but still) evil.

    Good luck to you Susan. Keep us posted, okay?


  • Comment ca va? (I'm dazzling you with my 2 years of college French. Believe me, the actual French, were even less impressed and made no bones about telling me so.) Back to the matter at hand. I am greatly offended on your behalf. I don't know you well, but I have been reading your posts and
    you do not seem mentally disturbed to me. I think you may have hit the nail smack on the head that the psychologist just wants an extra couple of pay checks. Sometimes I think, "Hey", it doesn't hurt me any, I'll just go along with it but other times I have to wonder about the honesty of the group and if that's who I want to have taking care of me. That MMPI is not objectively graded so if you have a squirrely psychologist (as I semed to have) you have to worry bout how he or she might rate you on that test. One should expect to find higher depression scores among a population of chronic pain sufferers. Depression should not exclude you from getting a SCS. It should be all the more reason (within limits, of course.) When my pain is realy, really bad, like a high 7 or 8 and its been there for seven days and seven nights, I AM DEPRESSED. If the pain goes away the next day (by going away I mean drops back down to a manageable 3, my depression goes away. I have in front of me my psych eval, the report (the only one I took and I passed) I am going to quote from the end of the report: " the nine exclusionary criteria for a neurosurgical intervetion were also reviewed today. There is no evidence of alcohol abuse, misuse, drug use or addictionl There is no evidence of somatization disorder in that these symptoms were situation specific and site specific consistent with underlying identifiable medical pathophysliogic condition. There is no evidence of ongoing depression although she acknowledges that she was clinically depressed at one time but has since resolved with treatment. Ms. K---- has very adequate family support and freely converses about a positive relationship with her husband, Dennis and producing a photo of him and their four (sic) dogs.There is no evidence of secondary gain and no evidence of nonphysiologic/nonorganic symptomatology. In summary, Ms. K------does have complaints about some of her previous providers. Based on objective evidence of the record, she does not meet any exclusionary criteria and therefore could be considered a reasonably good candidate for a positive outcome.... ( I always wanted to write in a sic which means as written because I do not have 4 dogs. In the photo, there were three but I only have 2 currently) So I guess the depression thing is there. I didn't even realize it. Being ever so recently a member of the "keep your mouth shut school of patient philosophy", I would put on a happy face and go charm the pants off of Dr. Psycho and get your stimulator under the theory that taking away your pain would take away your depression. I did find our that i had a very low vitamen D level and after taking megadoses of the vitamen lost the depressed feeling and gained tons of energy. Its very common. It might be more common in chroic pain people because we don't get out in the sun' Its a simple test, Jeau bert, you could present the results to Dr. Psycho. I felt better immediately--within days. it was amazing.
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