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why is it so hard to get help?

From: mistw74 - on 08/07/2010 3:59am

I started having very troublesome back pain about 7 years ago. After a year or so I was given an MRI that showed a couple of disk that were bulging and a couple that were already herniated. At that time I had no insurance. On my first visit to the spinal center here, they recomended fusion. When they found out that I had no insurance they said that physical therapy would be more appropriate. After a while of physical therapy, inversion, and spinal injections the pain just got worse. I now have medicade and a new appointment with the spinal surgeons. I hope they are willing to do something no matter what. No one in this town will write prescriptions for any pain medicaition which has left my husband having to buy it off the street for now. How do the people on the street, who don't seem to need the medicine, get it prescribed to them when I can't get any and my back pictures look like a war zone?

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on 08/07/2010 9:20am

Hi Mistw
this is just what I've seen over my years going to pain management. If in your life you have ever been positive to illegal drug use that includes marijuana. Doctors will not give you the pain meds that you need. There was a man that was in worse shape than me of course positive with illegal drug use. All he could get is hydrocodone. Again this is just what I've seen at my pain management doctor's office. Once you need opiates they treat all of us as druggies. They know with back pain we can't live without them. You are right there are a lot of people on the street that get pain meds that absolutely don't need Them. I know a man that pays for a $35,000 truck monthly on selling his pain meds. He sells his pain meds to kids, I know but I can't prove it. Hope this helps. Sam

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on 08/12/2010 1:07pm

I have noco prescription and it doesn't help actually nothing help.I have been going to see a chiropractic fnor decompression therapy and that hasn't help Does any body have answer.I have
spinal stenosis.

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on 08/12/2010 6:24pm

Hi, I really don't know if I'll be much help but i'll try. First of all buying drugs off the street can get you in lots of truoble with the police and even the DEA, I know its a catch 22 and i fully understand you situation. I have been suffering with neck and back pain since 1994 and been told i have spinal stenosis,degenertive arthritis,bulging and herinated disc,and have spent more time trying to get help for this and your right its down right hard.. There is help out ther so don't give up looking if you can't work apply for social security and get medicare and medicaid,this could be an option for you. The only real medication that works for me since i won't do the surgery thing is oxycontin. Unfortuneately i got addicted and i can no longer get it,so be careful what pain meds you get. If you can ask for methadone thats what im on now and its controlling my pain somewhat,if i could get my neck spasms to stop i would be a happy guy,sometimes they (spasms) are so bad they knock me on the ground. I forgot you do have medicare make sure you choose your doctor and keep bugging them till you at least reach a comfort level you can live with. Good Luck.

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on 08/13/2010 4:03pm

Back in the late 1980's, when I was a sweet young thing, I broke my back in an equestrian accident. Brought to the ER, they xrayed me, told me what was broken, then contacted my insurance who denied me, and I was wheeled out of the ER w/o treatment. Laying on my back phoning every doc I could find, I finally got some advice from a Canadian practitioner. My upper back fractures healed, however I was left with what has been called a rotating sacrum. I paid out of pocket for PT and was taught how to address that.

Scroll forward to May 2009. I needed a wee bit of assistance to address my rotating sacrum, so went to the local chiropractor. From one of his procedures he gave me a very traumatic tortion/impact injury to my lumbar/sacrum which complettely disabled me. The xrays are horrendous. I have been trying to get this fixed for over a year and have been denied treatment, pain management, or even a referral to ANYONE who could even assess the damage!

The things I have found that keep some of us from getting treatment are either lack of insurance, or the right type of insurance, or being "accused" of having osteoporosis w/o actually having osteoporosis. ARG

FWIW, I use ibuprofen and a TENS unit to help take the edge off the pain.

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on 08/13/2010 10:31pm

I feel a lot of sympathy for most people on this site, I feel none for ANYONE who buys street drugs, no matter the circumstances.

Funny thing is that when people break one law and try to justify it, they find ways to justify breaking others.

Just FYI if you happen to catch a case Federally, read up on mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines, you can get busted in a simple sting and be looking at minimum 10 years in Federal prison for buying some Norcos on the street.

There are always other ways, more doctors, internet doctors, etc. I live in a small town and can drive an hour in any of the 4 directions to a major city where there are lots of Dr's.

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on 09/05/2010 11:42pm

In 1987 I was in a car accident and ejected. I had fractured back and lots of other fractures. I had neck problems and kept telling them, "my neck, my neck". No one listened. I was given vicoden for the time I was under the doctors care for the fractures. when they healed, I was told, "you have to live with it". In 1988 I had an MRI of my neck. It showed nothing. I was depressed and suicidal. I kept going to doctors and occasionally would get 12 percocet or 10 vicodin, but mostly "you have to live with it". In 1993, I went to another doctor --a neurosurgeon, and said "I had an MRI in 1988". This is Houston Tx, mind you and I was going the whole time to the Texas medical Center, a famous place with MD anderson cancer center, Methodist hospital, Baylor and Univ of TX med and dental schools etc. I wasn't seeing some country bumpkin. The neurosurgeon said "any mri in 1988 is useless", and I said, "I had it at Hermann hospital". So, I had another, and 2 days later I was in surgery for 2 massive disk herniations squeezing my spinal cord very hard.

I woke up and felt so much better. Fast forward to 1999. I saw a neurologist. we had moved to a new city and he said, no problem, and put me on pain meds. Life had changed. I stayed on oxycontin for 8 years, and then he wouldn't write for it anymore, only methadone. Too many people getting in trouble selling it, or OD'ing, or abusing it.

So, things have gone full circle. Purdue just came out with tamper proof oxycontin, and I suspect the others, opana, ms contin, etc will follow suit. I think you will find that 1- IF YOU HAVE LEGITMATE RECENT RECORDS, you can get meds. 2- IF YOU ARE IN PAIN WITH RECORDS, you can get meds. Just because you have bulging disks, or a herniated disk, doesnt mean you are in pain. Study after study has been done, where they MRI"ed people off the street and a large percentage had a bulging disk or herniated disk and didn't know it. So you have to be in pain.

My point is this. Get your records together. It may take work. YOu may have to see a few doctors to get scans done, exams, etc, then you can get a referall to pain mgt dr and get what you need. Do not play games and try to use two drs' or sell them. You will get caught and lose your dr's for good. It will be 10x harder to find another if you do something like that and get dismissed.

Good luck. DOnt give up, get your records together and demand help.

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on 09/05/2010 11:45pm

Traction might help but to fix spinal stenosis you need surgery. You ahve to remove the pressure off the cord. Meds wont do it, a chiropractor definitely cannot do it, so you are going to probably need surgery if it is severe. The sooner the better as your cord can get scarred and never heal.

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on 09/05/2010 11:48pm

if you know anyone selling narcotics to kids, you need to report it to silent witness. Even if you are not sure. Their lives are getting ruined because this guy wants to buy a new truck. How do you think their parents feel? what if it was your children and someone knew and did nothing? Every day someone overdoses and dies--usually a teenager. You do what your consciense says, but I know what I would do.

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on 09/06/2010 4:55am

I have been close to where mistw was. Not everybody can get the medical care that they need. If you don't have insurance, they won't look at you twice, unless it's an emergency.
I was on medicaid not too long ago, my PCP retired & I was forced to get a new Dr. He treated me like a criminal because my former PCP had been presribing me Lortab 5mg for my back. My aunt who has Blue Cross, blue shield went to the same Dr & he treated her like a queen.
I had a similar experience with a neurosurgeon, he postponed my appointment 3 times in a row ,a month apart (once after I had already driven 3 hours to see him). While another acquantance with the same ailments, but better insurance saw him right away.
i had considered purchasing marijuana, because I was in agony, couldn't sleep & cried constantly. The only thing that stopped me was the thought of getting caught & how my teenage daughter's life would be ruined.
Don't judge people, just because they don't have the same advantages. As far as the guy selling drugs to kids, he should be put away for life.
I honestly don't think anything is going to get any better with the new healthcare plan. Don't think it will stop Drs from screening their patients according to their insurance providers.

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on 09/06/2010 3:02pm

you need to file a complaint with medicaid and or medicare. I have medicare. Yes they pay less than blue cross. However, if a doctor ELECTS to take it, (and they can elect not too--which means they can see no medicare patients) they have to treat you as an equal. If they dont, complain. Tell them they are jacking your appointments around and delaying treatment in the hopes you go away. Dont say "he is rude", you use documented facts. "I had an appt on this day, this day and this day". All were cancelled on short notice with no good reason. Others were seen on that day because I went to the clinic-----or whatever. Use facts, use documentation, and file a complaint. That is how you deal with them. You can also complain to the state board. If they treat you like a scumbag because you have medicare/medicaid, then complain complain complain. I personally get great treatment. They also know that I wont tolerate anything less than. Good luck.

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on 09/06/2010 5:16pm

Hi Mtsaz,
Yep, I've already filed a complaint with medicaid. It's horrible how people get jerked around when they are deperately seeking help.

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on 09/06/2010 6:00pm

GOOD--now go to the state board, go to the state association, complain to the hospitals the doctor has admitting and practice privlidges at. complain complain complain. Sooner or later, you wll get their attention. Once you do, things will change. If they say, "why did you do all this without talking to me, we could have worked out these issues",. you say, "exactly---you avoided me, you cancelled my appointments, you made it so hard for me hoping I would go away, I had no choice". Now that we are talking, lets talk.

Do not back down, do not give up. They are not god ---what is the difference between god and a surgeon? God knows he isnt a surgeon. Many have this attitude. They make (surgeons--especially neuro/ortho-in a busy practice)---350 to over a million a year. You come in on medicaid and ssi or social security making 15k and struggling, they get this "you are a scumbag" mentality. Not all, some.

Remember, if you DEMAND RESPECT, RESPECT WILL BE GIVEN. Do not allow yourself to be abused----cancelled, sent away, made to wait in the exam room for hours, etc. Demand respect. Give it, demand it back. I think that is great you complained. I would now go to the board, the medical association, its like the "(COUNTY YOU LIVE IN/STATE YOU LIVE IN) medical association". Complain to them. Then also complain to the state licensing board. Dates facts, why you are complaining--has to be because the doctor treated you below the standard of care in the community. Not "he is rude". Its "he avoids me, and has cancelled three appointments in a row, making them for months out". I am sick and need help now. I feel this has to do with me being on medicaid". That might get their attention. If it wont, they will tell you right away, so you try again. DONT GIVE UP.

GOOD JOB!

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on 09/06/2010 6:36pm

I think this is wonderful advice for all of us. I've seen this kind of treatment many times in the short time I've been coming here. I don't think all cases are discrimination, some can be personality conflicts, lack of patient cooperation, etc this was not the case with me, as I never had the opportunity to lay eyes on the man. Unfortunately, many are. It's business, if they have a person whose insurance is going to pay them 30,000 for a procedure & another whose insurance is only going to pay 5,000, it doesn't take a genuis to know who is going to get the preferred treatment.
My cousin works in a nursing home & sadly, she tells me that the patients on medicaid (or medicare, i tend to get them mixed up LOL) are turned only twice a day, while those that are self pay get turned 4 times a day.
I went away & found another surgeon, mostly because I didn't want anybody with an obvious lack of compassion taking a knife to my back. But, I didn't go away quietly & bury my head. I'm still raisin he@@. If nobody raises a ruckus, he will continue to treat people that way, simply because he can.
The best advice I have for others is document, document, document.

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on 09/06/2010 7:22pm

Most cities have a magazine--like LA magazine, Austin, phoenix, whatever, and it usually has a month where it lists "best doctors". Look for it. Those doctors are nominated and voted on by their peers, (other doctors). They are not necessarily the best, but its a good place to start, much better than the phone book. I needed a bunion fixed and there are about 2000 podiatrists here. How in the world do I find one? So, in the magazine it listed 2-3. I went to one, she was outstanding. Absolutely outstanding. The other thing you notice is that the same doctors tend to be in there year after year after year. There are some that come and go, and some that are in once and never again. But like I said, you see a core of them that are in there year after year after year. Those are truly the beest. They are the professors at the med school and so forth.

Here is the one for New york (manhattan and surrounding--bronx/queens/brooklyn/long island/ harlem etc) http://nymag.com/bestdoctors/

Look for the one in your city if you are looking for a new doctor or need a 2nd opinion. Also, if you live in a small town, look in the closest big city and some have clnics in the smaller areas, unless its economically not feasible.

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on 06/27/2011 2:59pm

I was told by a Doc that worked out of a hospital, that usually if u go to the Pain Management Dept that is in a large hospital you have a better chance of getting the meds u need. The reason being the Pain Docs have insurance with the hospital, plus they have the hospital backing them. I had a fusion C-1 to C6 at Johns Hopkins & ended up going to their Pain Dept. There are a lot of Pain Docs, but u need to find one that does narcotic management because the majority don't. I was seeing one for 8 years and he got sued for some minor things and now can only work in a hospital under supervision.

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on 07/21/2011 7:27pm

The other thing with Dr's, is they are human. They should be treated with respect and treated the way you wish to be treated.

How do you have a c1, c2, c3=c6 fusion? I thought they didn't do c1/2? can you move your head? Do you have to wear a halo o brace or some kind? Thats amazing.

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on 07/21/2011 7:28pm

The question is for Doreebryant about the c1/2/3/4/5/6 fusion. Thanks

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on 09/03/2011 1:04pm

mtsaz100
My first surgery I broke my neck@ C1-2 and had a fusion. This was from a rear end car accident approx. 12 years ago. Last year I was in another rear end accident and had no feeling on left side of body. C4-6 were fractured and compressing my spinal cord. The first time@ C1-2 d id not fuse so had to be revisited. I was in a Miami J brace for 2 years. This last surgery the Dr. ("Neurosurgon") had to take out all hardware@ C1-2 and basically did C1-6. He wanted to try to straighten my entire neck and did a great job. I have very little motion but at least i'm not paralyzed any more. I still wear the J brace when needed. Thanks for asking.

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on 09/03/2011 1:02pm

mtsaz100
My first surgery I broke my neck@ C1-2 and had a fusion. This was from a rear end car accident approx. 12 years ago. Last year I was in another rear end accident and had no feeling on left side of body. C4-6 were fractured and compressing my spinal cord. The first time@ C1-2 did not fuse so had to be revisited. I was in a Miami J brace for 2 years. This last surgery the Dr. ("Neurosurgeon") had to take out all hardware@ C1-2 and basically did C1-6. He wanted to try to straighten my entire neck and did a great job. I have very little motion but at least i'm not paralyzed any more. I still wear the J brace when needed. Thanks for asking.

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on 09/04/2011 8:27am

I totally agree w u. I have no insurence, and applied for State Care. However I my Primary Dr, is at a "free clinic", but also has a Practice. The Clinic is only open one day a week! Its like pulling teeth just to try and get a referal.. He cant treat me, so why is it so hard for him to send me to someone who can! It drives me crazy that I cant just take my MRI, and records and just make an appointment w a Doctor who can help me. My mother works in a Dr. office and has good insurence, and needs NO REFERALS to see a spealist. Once her Primary says shes needs to see one she just calls and sets up the appointment?? It feels like im being discramted aganist bc I dont PAY for it?? Like really why is that the system is set up this way? I mean if u have MRI, And test to support the fact that u need to see this Dr. why is it diffrent? Its NOT FAIR and its NOT RIGHT. And I feel the same way about how can somone can medicine and sell it but really be in pain? I dont know everybody situation, but when I get medicine it never crosses my mind to sell it, bc I NEED IT!! Dont mean to sound so judgemental but I honestly thinkk they do it bc they have a more serious ADDICTION,,and they get there medicine to sell it to have money to buy "street drug". Bc there are so many other ways to make money!! They are the ass``les that make it hard for u and I bc they have abused the system, but who allowed them to do it? THE DRS. did, but now bc of their mistakes and also the mistakes of people who have decided to take "street drugs". I know its not right and Im not making an excuse bc it is breaking the law, but at the same time I do understand Chronic Pain, and if its ur only option untill u get the medical attention u need, so be it.. Good Luck, and I hope in the end u get what u need, so that ur life can be bearable, and legal so u dont have another problem.. Best Wishes Huney...

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on 09/04/2011 11:19pm

ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY, PERTAING TO EVEVRYONES COMPLAINTS ABOUT INSURANCE .AND YES I TO HAVE IT HARD TO OBTAIN NARCS (CAISE WE NEED THEM) and yes we get treated like narc abuseres. IM in the healthcare field n ill agree, but in there deffence ths is how healthcare works,,DOC dont get paid from ins . so todays docs dont work for free so they dont perform service to those without ins. its a shame,they can get govt. susidesided for those w/out ins. buts thats govt. 2. Docs do get audited once a month by medical inspection and gov t,too reviews their narc sripts and what they precsibed,most time , (cause of the abusers) they have to denie druges to patient cause it can cause them their license,so WE SUFFER,but thats how it works folks and we suffer.So not all docs r compationet enough ,( but their out there.) that will help maintain supply,and they do.Keep tryin, to find one. :)

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