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Do the Doctors really understand??????

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:36 AM in Chronic Pain
Hey everyone.. Would very much appreciate anyone's input.. I am a disabled Vet from the Navy. I never went over seas, But did occur my injuries in the time of war. Let me start off by sayin I'm the type of person that is very blunt and I will NOT let anyone get one over on me. I am very respectful but have had a wrong attitude towards how I feel I am being treated here at the New Orleans VA Hospital. I have been going here for bout 2 years. I have Chronic back pain in my lower back. I had a MRI taken last year and 1 month ago. My 1st MRI I was told by the Neurologist that my last disc is gone.. He showed me it and explain that it's suppose to be white. Unfortunately my last disc doesn't have a white spec in it. Now if you have ever dealt with the VA than you might be able to relate with frustration.. I just recently changed Doctors, Due to my last Doctor pressin me about surgery. Im a 30 single father. I have my 17 month old daughter 5 days out of the week. I don't work for now and I goto school on-line. I spend every sec with my daughter and LOVE it. I have not yet been rated for this injury for disability yet. And Not sure how long down the road it will be till I do. I am so scared ifI do do this surgery I will not be able to do the things I do now with my lil girl. I wud rather deal with pain than have limitations on bending.

I have chronic pain everyday. Its like a deep feeling like the bones are rubbin against each other. Back spasms and the pain down the leg also. At some times it's very very painful where I can't sleep.

So here's are some question... Do doctors really understand how my pain keeps me up all night for days giving me a minimal of 2 hrs a sleep a night?? ( And yes I do explain this to my doctor). Do they understand the pain I have to deal with and the stress and depression that follows?? Do they really realize that the back rehab or pain management class interfere with a persons life do to no after hours sessions for people that work Would you really depend on someone that has 3 physical therapy appts a weeks? Not to dependable huh?? Everyone deals with there pain differently. I can't afford to take time off work and try to take care of a child. I am on a fixed income. And Yes I acknowledge I am in a better situation than most. I can have the Gov pay for my medical. But still... I usually go grab a BIG straw and just suck it up! I give alot of respect to women cause I am trying to raise my daughter most of the time by myslf and now can relate how tough it is. I'll put more info down as people ask.. And I'm sorry if somethings in here make no sense to you.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    My personal opinion is that some doctors do understand and some don't. I've known people who've had to go to five or more doctors just to find one that believes in what the patient is saying and tries hard to find solutions to their problems.

    What kind of surgery is your doctor suggesting? When you say the last disc, are you referring to your L/5-S/1? What does your new doctor say should be the next course of action?

    And also, I want to say thank you for your service.

  • pretty much have to try PT, epidural steriod shots, and other treatments before they'll do surgery. I've had black discs for years, but finally had one tear in two, which caused enough pain and I'd already tried everything else, that I had fusion surgery. I have been a single mom with two kids, but am remarried now. My husband doesn't do housework or cooking or care for the kids, but my mom came over each time I had surgery for 2-3 days and "replaced" me. Maybe you can work out something with the PT folks to help with your daughter while you do the exercises? Maybe your family can help out? Some childcares will work with you to let your daughter stay for just a day at a time, without paying for weeks at a time. Some churches have childcare too.

    Good luck with your decisions and hope you get some relief soon. Recovery can be better than you think. The first week is always the hardest, then you just have to follow the doctor's orders.
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  • Hi Broke joke,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Thank you for your service to this country. As far as having the surgery or not everyone has a different outcome with surgery. So it would be very hard to say how you would do with surgery. Depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. What types of meds do the doctors have you on at the current time? I noticed you said you are on a fixed income but are having a problem taking time off work to go to rehab and physical therapy. For myself, since I was no longer to work or get out of bed there just wasn't much of a option as to wether I could go to physical therapy. I commend you on trying to raise your daughter by yourself. Did you ask the doctors by not having surgery what the long term consequences maybe? Is your pain prominent in your back or is traveling down your legs? What type of surgery are they recommending? Just keep in mind that surgeons can only do so much and the remainder is up to the patients. After surgery and some recovery there is lots of hard work to be done. For most including myself stretching is a daily part of life now post surgery.

    Anyway just wanted to come by and welcome you to spine-health. Looking forward to reading more of your post.
  • My opinion is some drs understand, some don't. Some listen, some don't. Some want to help, others may give up. Some are truly concerned for their patients, some have no clue what to do. If you're not satisfied with a dr, find another. I don't know what I'd do if my drs didn't listen about my pain,believe the pain I'm in or just didn't help at all.
    Thank you for your service. My dads a disabled vet also, and his disability had nothing to do with war... He was a radioman in the Navy and lost his hearing from that. But it doesn't make his job anyless than others. He still served his country and is proud to be a veteran! I'm proud of all who serve or served,you are all heroes to me!

  • Well sense I am a Vet and Am being treated at the VA Hospital. They have a jacked up system that only allows use to change a doctor every year... I don't see where are patient rights are in that.. But I have no power over that. My last doctor pressed me about surgery and made me feel very uncomfortable. My reasoning on not doing surgery is 1 No guarantee and Me being at my age and taking care of my daughter I just can't do it right now. Of course they choose not to accept that but I stand on my thoughts.

    I am not to clear on what surgery they are talking about. I was told about a sponge or a block of some sort being placed in there and yes It is L5/S1 bout for some reason S2 pops in my head.. Not sure if S2 has any relation to L5 but... My new doctor hmmmm I got a funny Aurora when I first meet her. She thinks Im just there for the narcotics.....Which I have to admit they help and I'm not the type to abuse them. I do have my daughter alot and she comes first and I am not going to dope myself up to where I can't pay attention to her you know.... And I very much am thankful for ur compliment!
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  • I don't have family down here. There all up in Michigan. And Believe me I love to exercise. I have had been told by some doctors here when they did this needle test in mty back assuming for nerves that I have some of hte biggest back muscles in my lower back. I PT alot but have had to sloww down cause I don't have pain meds right now and I know I will suffer the next day if I choose to PT right now. As for the steroids shot I have been receiving them for over a year. But back in April I finally told the Anesthesia pain doctors that there just not working. I mean I did give it a try cause you can only get them every 3 months than I was given them every 2 months. I have a appt for a rehab Med provider and I know that I will be given a appt for Back rehab or some other type of rehab for my back.... But at this time I have to wait to get a notice for what the appts are for.. Prolly by next Wednesday I can find out.

    As for hte childcare I don't work and I don't have much money and I don't think it makes sense to have someone watch my child when I am not working. That is my time with her and doesnt make sense.. Thats my feeings
  • I was on loratab or Vicodin to me there both the same. But 7.5/500 120 a month which to me wasn't enough. At 4X a day wasn't enough.. And I was on Valiums 5 mg 2 a day I think.. and for some reason my last doctor had me believing they were for Spasms... But on the bottle they are for Anxiety..Maybe she saw the depression or stress in my eyes from the pain and my concerns on my daily activities. Of course I am aware of effects of these drugs as I will not get all loaded when I have my daughter..

    Now currently I am on Gabapthentin 300 mg 3 X a day for my Nerves assuming for the pinched nerve, which was diagnosed 2 weeks ago from a EGI test( I think That was what the test was) Also I am on Tizandine HCL 4mg 1 every 12 hrs for back spasms and this is my 4 day of taken these meds and I feel after a week than I can see if there working. The pain meds... Is funny because my PCP said she is not there to prescribe me narcotics..???????? I was thinkin in my head than wtf am I here for..??? But now I found out I have to take 3 urine test first until she will give me any.. Which is ok but I have been on Vicodin/Loratabs for over a year from this Va Hospital. Not sure why reading someones medical chart for there past is just a challenge for this doctor... you would think if I have been prescribe them just a month ago than I should now. But this is what us Vets have to deal with for our medical problems alot of circles and back bending with alot of suffering to satisfy these doctors. I guarantee I will be put back on me pain meds but 1st have to follow her stupid decision. Not sure what the difference of giving me now sense I am adapted to using them, than waiting a month or 2 for some weird reason for this doctor. Justsucks I have to deal with pain right now.
  • Like I stated to someone else that posted a reply here.The Va Hospital has this jacked up rule where we can't change a doctor until we have had our previous one for a year? Believe me I am just stoked on that. Wondering who is actually running this project you know... .We really dont have any patient rights you know. I mean any doctor here or out on the streets can look at my MRI's and see that yes this person has pain.. He dosen't have a lower disc!!! Makes sense to say that I will endure chronic pain because of my diagnosis's At times I almost loose it from these people but I know nothing will come out of it if I filp out ha! But I do let them know how jacked up they are!
  • I think it's jacked too, of all places to deal with crap, I think the VA needs to get with the program... You guys deserve better treatment and you'd thunk that the government would provide better treatment giving all you do or have done for this country. It makes no sense for our vets to be treated with less than the best!
  • no they carnt possibly understand how e feel because they carnt feel our pain and the effect it has on us .like you i only get an few hours sleep a night 3 max and i am in horrible pain too .so just keep pounding the pain killers down and try to get yourself in a comfy position ..i am sorry that my post is not very good but i am not very well myself and not firing on all cylinders! take care
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