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When being "Tuff" is not enough...
This forum has opened my mind as well as my hopes.
I was recently injured in an automotive accident and suffered a major herniation at C6/7 along with damage to my left knee, sprains etc.. My knee since surgery is getting better and better. What is not improving is my neck, it's actually gotten much worse since the accident. The pain in my neck, shoulder and down my arms is unending and excruciating and is affecting my life in very negative ways. For the first time in my life I am giving up because I have realized I cannot tolerate it any longer. Factor in that I may have a lesion on my T2 cord, that my low back (w/accompanying severe sciatica etc.) is in even worse shape than my cervical and thoracic spine and my prognosis is looking pretty grim.
Here is my catch 22 and where I need some advice. I have no health insurance, the auto accident funds available to me are not sufficient to cover cervical spinal surgery. My Neurologist is done with me in a couple of weeks, he say's he can do no more and I NEED a Neurosurgeon. The problem is no Neurosurgeon will see me unless I pay 100% out of pocket.I am self employed and have not been able to work at all so where do I get the money for that? The combination of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar protrusions etc. have left me largely incapacitated so I wouldn't expect anyone to hire me when I cannot sit, stand, walk, lift, concentrate etc. for any length of time. I am officially a liability and a huge risk for any insurer.
FYI: For almost 20 years since my L5 laminectomy, with my back getting progressively worse, I suffered through everything 99% of the time without narcotic pain medications. A couple trips to the ER and a couple hand-outs from friends withstanding I have always been narcotic drug free. I actually prided myself on that but I'm starting to think I may have suffered in vain.
Anyway, my Ortho gave me some Loritab (7.5's) after knee surgery. He will not re-fill and I am now out, I am officially done with him as my knee has had surgery and it is recovering. My Neurologist gave me Percocet (5's) a total of 60 and a promise he would not re-fill them because he is NOT a PM doctor. The Neurosurgeon he referred me to will not accept my auto insurance claim because I do not have private health insurance. The Neurologist refuses to refer me to someone who would because he doesn't get involved with "that". The pills I was prescribed had very little effect in helping with the nerve pain/sciatica etc.. They do help with some of the burning pain but it's nothing close to making a real difference. The only sleep I get is from Ambian 10's and even with their assistance I cannot get comfortable and only get a few hours of sleep a night, I have about 10 of those left then I go back to being an insomniac.
I love my wife, I love my kids, I actually love my life all things considered. What I don't love is feeling useless and a liability. I'm not trying to sound like a whiner because I know many people have it worse than I but I have reached a point where the pain truly is unbearable, trouble is I don't know what to do about it. The icing on the cake is when I have asked for something stronger the physicians act as though I am drug seeking. I hide the pain pretty well and look good on the outside, I think that works against me. I don't think I could "fake" pretending to be in more pain when I already am in severe pain anyway....if that makes any sense?
Please, any advice on medications, how to see a PM doctor or what I should do next would be MUCH appreciated, I'm lost and suffering.
Thanks for listening...sorry it was so long winded.