MY STORY OF NAVIGATING THRU THE PAIN MANAGEMENT SYSTEM . . .
Do I have a true life story or what?
Had a spinal cord tumor when I was 34 (I'm now 56). It was removed and I felt great except my left foot and part of my left leg were numb so I had to wear a brace. I also had radiation. My neuro at the time told me I would have problems when I got older, but being fairly young, all I could think about was how good I felt at the time and didn't really want to think too far into the future.
Well, now I'm facing the future and it isn't pretty! About a year ago, I started feeling really crappy. Numbness, burning, tingling in feet, legs, buttocks and groin areas. My left leg is especially weak. I was seeing a pain management doctor at the Medical Center here (Houston), but then he stopped taking my insurance so I finagled my g.p. into filling the scripts for me. Anyway, I panicked when I started feeling like this and saw a pain management doctor here in a suburb of Houston. He was very insistent that I get a spinal cord stimulator; that meds were not good and had long term effects. So I had pretty much decided that was the way to go. Then I had an mri and after I told the neuro about the stimulator he looked skeptical and wanted me to see another neurosurgeon that does spinal cord stimulators and pain pumps. So I saw the other neurosurgeon about three weeks ago and he said he thought the pain pump would be good for me; that there probably wasn't enough space in my spine to put a lead in there. So I got set up to have a pain pump trial on Monday 4/26. But that last neuro also wanted me to see a pain management doctor in his building to see what he said. So I did today. Guess what? He says he would treat it more conservatively and he put me on Baclofen (muscle relaxer), Hydrocodone (pain pill), and Neurontin for nerve damage.
He said that he couldn't believe I wasn't on any type of pain medicine; whereas the doctor that was pushing the spinal cord stimulator was hesitant to give me 30 hydrocodone!!
I'm sleeping in my husband's recliner now because I can't get comfortable in bed. The pain is so bad and I'm so stressed out my hair is falling out. I also had a panic attack when I was sitting in the car which was parked and i started getting nervous and sweaty. Again, not pretty!
So I get three different opinions from three different doctors! For now, i think I'm putting off the pain pump and see how the meds do. Has anyone been on this combination of drugs (any or all) and does it help?
Anyway, sorry for this long winded tale but I just couldn't believe I got three different opinions! I guess it's par for the course in the world of Pain Management.
Okay, I've vented. Thanks for listening.