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Thread: Article: What it's like to be a doctor treating chronic pain today

  1. Ah, these posts hits home. My heart goes out to those who live with chronic pain. It can be the most frustrating ordeal while dealing with docs who don’t listen, really listen to their patients and what ails them.
    I’ve been through this roller coaster since ‘98 when the pain in my spine started. I can’t tell you how many specialists and general practitioners, and neurologists I’ve been to.
    I’ve had 3 surgeries, 2 were spine fusions; 1 in the neck, 1 lower spine, and 1 laminectomy/ discectomy to relieve the nerve pain from a disc that broke off. Free body I think they call it. The surgeon freaked out, said I could be paralyzed any moment from it sittin next to my spinal cord. Was in the O.R. early the next morning for my 1st of 3 surgeries.
    Wake up in post-op, which was supposed to be 1.5 hours later, but instead took 8 hours to remove bone growth and scar tissue that was everywhere and doesn’t show up on MRI’s. Said I had the back of a 75 year old. Anyway, zero we’re successful. And all 3 by different surgeons.
    So, after all that, I still live with daily debilitating pain in my spine from my neck to low back, nerve pain down my legs, haven’t felt my left foot for over 3 years since my last spine fusion. Pain in my arms, weakness, sometimes literally have to use a cane to walk in the morning. I’m only 45!
    I have a great career but have to meet with clients almost daily, and fake my way through the meetings and then go collapse at home in agony. I sometimes think the only way I’ll be pain free is when my time comes. (NOT SUICIDAL!) But those who live with chronic pain may relate with those feelings.
    I’m not the father my boys deserve. Or the husband my wife deserves. (I married an RN who sees chronic patients who come through the ER so she is extremely understanding and caring).
    I used to have boundless energy, and carefree attitude and a zest for life. That all changed when the spine pain started.
    Finally found a pain management doc who does listen to me. Doesn’t treat me like a junkie. But I can tell they’re working towards cutting me off from the meds in the near future. And I want to get off too. (I take meds for 3 weeks, then 1 week off so I don’t get addicted). I have minor withdrawals for a couple of days, but nothing I can’t deal with. Pain is hell for that week though.
    Also just got a letter from my insurance that starting 12/1/20 they will only allow about 1/2 less than what I’m prescribed currently.
    So I decided about a month ago to go to a doc that I used to see 10 years back. Young kid, actually we’re about the same age lol. Seemed like a kid back then, fresh out of residency. He specialized in sports injury and spine issues. He sent me to get some labs done a couple weeks ago.. and holy crap, my labs showed elevated markers for arthritic inflammation in my spine. He thinks I may finally get diagnosed with ankylosing spondilytis. Which he’s always suspected.
    Finally!! This doc is a godsend. He actually has the same diagnosis, but had the markers early on and got on Humira and said it was a life saver. He’s almost back to normal and rarely has pain.
    I’ve shown all the symptoms for over a decade, but my labs back then didn’t show irregular markers.
    So now I have an appointment in the near future with a specialist (can’t remember the exact field they’re in) and hopefully, if they diagnose me I can get off the pain meds and on Enbril or Humira and my insurance will cover it.
    To take those meds without the diagnosis from the doc, it would be over $3,000 p/ month. The hell with that.
    Another topic, but it should be a criminal offense for these pharmaceutical companies to have new meds that will help people but they have their patent for 10+ years and charge ungodly prices for those patients who would benefit from them but don’t get the referral from their doc. Total BS!
    Anyway, apologies for the long post. Just came by this thread randomly and can relate, and my heart goes out to all of you who have suffered for years, decades even!
    Keep trying. Don’t stay with a doc who doesn’t listen to you about your symptoms. I know it’s a PIA, but move on to the next. Eventually you will find the right one who cares and listens to their patients needs. I hope you find the relief you need. And thank God for PR. At least some of you can find your relief here. All my best to all of you.
    Be safe and take care.
    Last edited by Doc Rogue; 4 Days Ago at 03:27 AM.
    Likes jakemoe, Blackbird123 liked this post

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