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No insurance, no Medicaid, no job- don't know where to turn...

chilipeppercchilipepper Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:47 AM in Chronic Pain
I've been suffering with upper back pain every day since December of '09. I remember waking up one morning with pain in the upper right side of my back. The night before I had done a lot of shoveling, but I don't recall hurting myself. I had never had any upper back pain before this day, but it has been with me ever since. Along with pain I have tingling, sharp pains, feeling like something is crawling on my skin, and sometimes numbness. Every day after I get up on my feet my back cramps up to the point where I can hardly stand. It has gotten to the point that I have a hard time doing very small things like the dishes and folding clothes because my muscles spasm and it hurts to stand in one spot for too long. In fact, if I keep moving I feel much better than if I'm standing or sitting still.

I've been to the doctor and was given some anti inflammitory drugs and some pain meds but nothing helped. A few months later I went to the ER because I was desperate and felt like my doctor wasn't helping me. My ER visit resulted in my recieving a steroid shot, but that provided me with no relief whatsoever.

I don't know where to turn now. I have no insurance, I was denied Medicaid, and I lost my job because I called in so much I was fired. Since my back pain started my life has fallen apart and I've become depressed and even suicidal. Sometimes I sleep for 16 or more hours at a time and don't eat all day. I've lost over 50 pounds since this started. All I want it to find out what is causing this pain and try to treat it. I need a plan. Right now I have nothing. I've read books on stretching exercises and I don't get any relif from those either. The on thing that does provide me with relief is massage, but the muscles spasm up after just a few mintues. I have no money to see anyone and I don't know where to turn. I've tried all kinds of pain meds and nothing has made a difference. I've pretty much lost everything and am about to end up living in a spare room at my mothers house.


  • Welcome to Spine Health. I am so sorry to read your post. To be in so much pain and not be able to even see the doctor is so sad >:D<

    I am not sure where you live but there are some places that have teaching hospitals. If you can find one of those that would be a good place to start.

    There is a member on here who if I remember right had good success with the teaching hospital.

    I wish I had better advice. I am sure some other members will chime in.

    Hang in there,

  • Chilipepper,

    Welcome to Spine Health! There is a search box at the top of the web page that might be of help with some of your questions and research. :)

    As Julie said, teaching hospitals are sometimes helpful. Another option is seeing if there are any medical trials going on that your symptoms would fit in. They are free once accepted, and you get full treatment. For a search, maybe try "clinical trials in Georgia" or something to that wording. I hope you can find a way to get seen. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Chilipepper, welcome glad you found us and have reached out and connected with us here at Spine-Health.

    You will certainly find you are not alone with the major concerns and disability that the spine conditions and diseases can cause.

    Sorry to hear of the challenge you are having with the level of pain and the changes that have occurred in your life.

    Please come back and know that when things seem to be the darkest and where there seems to be no way, things do change and there is always a light in that tunnel!

    It may seem impossible to you, but there are ways to get through a difficult journey, and you took a good first step and you have others who have experienced the uncertainty and the impossible...

    keep the faith, don't give in to the idea of giving up....you deserve to receive the support and treatment on all levels, mind, body, spirit.

    Keeping you in my heart-thoughts and prayers that you begin to see that light in the tunnel and the next steps turn into a pathway of healing and recovery for you!

  • you were denied for medicare?? If you have no source of income, then I would think that your case would warrant a 2nd look! Have you thought about appealing your case?
  • how could you be denied medicaid especially if you have no income. If you were out so much why did you not get on disability? If you have back problems, you can file for medical disability and get medicaid. I have to work with 10 years of back pain, wife on unemployment, but i was never fired for missing too much work. I am still weird about you not getting disability. You are out with back pain. did you see a dr before you got fired? if you did not I am not sure what is going on. back pain == dr=note from dr that says you can't work=disability=money and medicaid. where am i going wrong here? something sounds weird here. most people on this site, not me, but most are on disability or trying to get it for back problems. i hate to sound like a jerk but i have had 4 back surgeries, 2 fusions, laminectomey, and taking out hardware and i am in severe pain all the time, but i still work. i see pain dr and othro and have a regular dr. i did not go on disabiity because not enough money. i will still work even if i need a wheel chair. i know pain is subjective, but i take my meds, get up, take a shower, work for 8 hours an go home and still can be with my family. i have never had pain so bad that i could not function, except with a kidney stone. see about disability
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    I also live in a state that unless you have children under the age of 18 you will get nothing from medicaid.
    Sad but true. Have you tried the free clinics in your area? They will have the resources to get you the help you need. Call the department of health and they can give you all the free clinics in your area. Dont give up, I also was one that lost my job due to too may doctors appointments. Yes I had Drs. notes but I live in a no fault state which means they can fire you with no reason. Please do not give up there is help out there somewhere you will just have to look. Good luck
  • I agree with JulieA try teaching hospitals and free clinics. If you are suffering from spasms, pain meds did nothing for those for me either. It took and still takes a muscle relaxer to calm mine down. I've tried several times to stop mine and regret it every time I try.

    Did you get turned down for aid or disability before or after you lost your job? I'd suggest depending on where you are at you may want to try again.
  • did you have STD at your job? or LTD? Most jobs, not all, but in my state you have to pay a little out of each paycheck to get STD and then the employer pays for LTD. What about FMLA? Did you try filling thise forms out? That could have given you intermitent time off when you needed it.

    I also, can't imagine why you were turned down from medicaid, but down't know what state you are in.

    Also, when I could no longer work...(b/c there are alot of us on this sight that have disabling pain and there is nothing wrong with it...you can't hellp it)...my family went thru a super tough spot and i didn't have insurance for a while. We did get food assistance, so I probably could have gotten medicaid, but thru my doctors advice and help, we filled out paperwork and he wrote the Rx and I got all my meds for free for almost a year...many pharm companies have programs like this for those who can't afford meds.

    I hope it works out for you. I don't think it's bad to go back home until you get on your feet again.

    And yes you can apply for Social Security benefits, but it usually takes a couple years to get.

    There should be some things availble to you with no income...clinics and med programs and such.

    Best of luck to you
  • I would suggest going back to the ER. Tell them in detail about the spasms, etc., and what is going on. I would think they would set you up with someone in the hospital to see. Also, most hospitals have funding set aside for patients with no "tango". I know at our two local hospitals, there are a lot of illegals that go there for basic healthcare and are never turned away, nor do any of them have to pay for services. I also know a gal at work that had some stomach issues and after insurance owed around 8,000. She called the hospital and they did want to see her tax return for the year, but after seeing how little she made (also off a lot due to illness) they just wrote it all off. DO check into these kinds of options. They are there if you ask!!!
  • Is that the kind of support you heard when you were having bigtime issues with your work? Come on buddy, have a little compassion. We dont' know the entire circumstance and these things DO happen! Especially with government in charge - trust me, I see good people get nailed to the cross everyday! She may need to revisit medicaid, but you know sometimes things happen beyond our control. Lighten up a little bud.. Many of us work even tho we have pain, but we cannot judge someone else. I am glad you can go home and enjoy the family, I cannot most of the time. Everyone is different and everyone has different levels and tolerances of pain. Just sayin' :) Marion
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