First off let me say that I wish you all a pain-free Saturday. This is my first post, I am new here, but have come to this site many times in the past few years when I was seeking advice. I found that the experiences of people I read here were very helpful to me. A brief bit about me - I have been suffering for almost 4 years in what has become a very bad, painful chronic condition that has robbed me of so many things. I am still working full time but have slowed down significantly. I have no social life to speak of because my days and nights are spent controlling pain. Everything is centered around pain - getting it to dial back, worrying about when it is coming back, etc. I have been in pain management for 2 years now, but due to lousy insurance through the employer, the doctor has now decided to only just keep me on meds. I currently take 3 meds - one of which is of the 'heavier' variety but it is to the point now that it barely touches the pain, when it used to dial it back for about 5-6 hrs. Doctor seems to barely take any time to even talk/listen to me because he is agitated about my insurance.
I have had a total of 33 'procedures' - meaning 10 Bilateral RFA's and 23 epidural or facet injections. None have helped to any real level. I had my most recent MRI this last Saturday. Currently I have 2 herniated, 2 bulging and stenosis in C-spine; DDD from shoulderblades down (but this I can live with as it only causes my hands and arms to get sore or go numb here and there. This is the least of my problems. In the Lumbar spine, I also have DDD, Central Canal Stenosis L4/L5; Foraminal Stenosis L5/S1, Sacroillitis, Spondylolisthesis, Sciatica, Radiculopathy down the left leg, hip bursitis, and permanent nerve damage. Most recent MRI findings add to this by indicating a 'central disc herniation that migrates below the superior endplate of L5 creating mild effacement", "broad disc herniation and significant foraminal stenosis L5/S1". Both L4/L5 and L5/Si discs are "dessicated" with a "severe" loss of intervertebral disc space at L5/S1". In addition to all of this I now apparently have "Markedly edematous discogenic marrow change at L5/S1" Looking at the films, it looks like nothing is left at L5/S1 and the bones are edematous around it. I am in constant pain and the pain management doctor will not do anything beyond medical help due to insurance not paying enough.
I don't know what my next steps are? Ortho or Neuro? I first went to a neuro before finding this pain management doc, and the neuro was about the rudest, most awful person I ever met who did nothing and chided me for even having come there as "I shouldn't have come to him, he has nothing to do with back problems" (??). I made a call to an unnamed spine treatment only facility that has a commercial out there, but I don't have the best feeling about that.
Can anyone share with me what they did beyond pain management when they needed help badly, but feels they did not know where to turn next? I am always in so much pain and just want my life back! Thank you so much and sorry for such a long post!