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Community Support - NSR Discuss How Many Milligrams Are You On? in the Main forums forums; I'm prescribed 90mg. every 3 hours, however I'm getting by on 15mg. every 3 hours now. (Roxicodone) How ...

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Old 10-15-2012, 09:56 AM
Eddie G's Avatar
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Default How Many Milligrams Are You On?

I'm prescribed 90mg. every 3 hours, however I'm getting by on 15mg. every 3 hours now. (Roxicodone)

How many mg.'s of opiates are you on?
__________________
12/16/03 Work Accident
Herniation and DDD at L4-L5
4/1/05 Discectomy
Epidurals and facet injections
5/15/06 Discogram confirmed L4-L5 DDD also an asymptomatic L5-S1 tear
10/24/06 L4-L5 Prodisc surgery with Dr. Goldstein
CAT scans & X-Rays show ossification
Trigger Point Injections, Medial Branch Blocks, Acupuncture, Weekly Deep Tissue Massage
10/27/08 Discogram (positive L5-S1)
11/25/08 L5-S1 fusion with Dr. Goldstein
FAILED BACK SYNDROME
Liberty Mutual WC
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:13 PM
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Default

15MG MS Contin 2xday , 10MG Percocet 1-3 a day depending on pain levels.
__________________
2004 L5-S1 Microdiscectomy
2008 L5-S1 fusion stalif device
2009 new pain no diagnosis
2010 fusion exploration
2011 diagnosed bilateral piriformis syndrome
currently in pain all the time with little relief.
Looking for the Dr who can treat me.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:47 PM
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Thanks! Percoset are bad for your liver long term....

Anyone else taking opiates here?
__________________
12/16/03 Work Accident
Herniation and DDD at L4-L5
4/1/05 Discectomy
Epidurals and facet injections
5/15/06 Discogram confirmed L4-L5 DDD also an asymptomatic L5-S1 tear
10/24/06 L4-L5 Prodisc surgery with Dr. Goldstein
CAT scans & X-Rays show ossification
Trigger Point Injections, Medial Branch Blocks, Acupuncture, Weekly Deep Tissue Massage
10/27/08 Discogram (positive L5-S1)
11/25/08 L5-S1 fusion with Dr. Goldstein
FAILED BACK SYNDROME
Liberty Mutual WC
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:02 AM
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I recently cut back, i was taking 20mg of percocet every 4 hours during the day. Also had dilaudid which was sporadic as to when i used it.

Now i just saw a new pain management doctor today. He gave me MsContin 30mg twice per day and allows one percocet daily. He is worried about the possible liver or kidney damage and is sending me to a lab to have it checked. I had been on the higher dose of percocet for about 4 years. 15 surgeries in 4 years.
I sure hope the mscontin works well.
Judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:46 AM
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Default re mgs

I take 10mg of Methadone/day. Same dose for about 11 years now.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:52 AM
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Thanks Maria. Anyone else on opiates?

I cant take Oxycontin anymore since they changed the formula, the pill is 2x as big, full of polymers. Same reason I cant take generics from all the side effects. It was easier taking an 8 hour pill than a 3 hour Roxi pill too.
__________________
12/16/03 Work Accident
Herniation and DDD at L4-L5
4/1/05 Discectomy
Epidurals and facet injections
5/15/06 Discogram confirmed L4-L5 DDD also an asymptomatic L5-S1 tear
10/24/06 L4-L5 Prodisc surgery with Dr. Goldstein
CAT scans & X-Rays show ossification
Trigger Point Injections, Medial Branch Blocks, Acupuncture, Weekly Deep Tissue Massage
10/27/08 Discogram (positive L5-S1)
11/25/08 L5-S1 fusion with Dr. Goldstein
FAILED BACK SYNDROME
Liberty Mutual WC
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:42 PM
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EddieG,

The most I've ever been prescribed was 80mg/day. That was my first oxy prescription and after taking the first pill I called the doctor's office and told them it was way too much. I've had many clients who take much more than that.

Except for that one scrip (and during the 3 weeks following my L4-S1 ADR in 2002), the most I've ever taken was 60mg/day. I always try to reduce my meds when I can... then if I have to go back up, it's that much more effective.

Because of the experience with a client of mine, I'm currently trying to reduce... maybe to zero. I'm down to 2 x 10 = 20mg/day. Oxy does not last 12 hours for me. The 2 a day dosing is very hard because there is not even coverage. I much prefer to be on 3 a day dosing. I get more benefit from being on 3 x 10 instead of 2 x 20, even though it's less overall, the coverage is smoother.

My next step is to leave the oxycontin and replace with oxycodone or hydrocodone.

Call me if you want to discuss. I have some other issues that may be relevant for you too.

Mark
__________________
1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:22 AM
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Liberty Mutual claims none of their pm doctors will treat me unless I go to a 10 day detox first. They are looking at my chart that says 90mg Roxi every 3 hrs. Im actually on 15mg. every 3 hrs and thats as low as I can go on my own. Im off my Lyrica (since the judge said its widely abused and I'd have to come off that too) I never even bothered to bring up cannabis at that point. (Im mean LYRICA? Really? addicts have stolen my Morphine, Oxy, Roxi, but they always left the Lyrica & Gabapentin. I dont think they're trading Lyrica for sexual favors in the hood! Such misinformation....)

I cant imagine a week of this "recovery room" pain but maybe they have some good restraints & straight jackets for me to wear...

I found cannabis to be helpful during this adjustment/detox time. I have a feeling thats going to be an issue with this new pmd even after I get my card.
__________________
12/16/03 Work Accident
Herniation and DDD at L4-L5
4/1/05 Discectomy
Epidurals and facet injections
5/15/06 Discogram confirmed L4-L5 DDD also an asymptomatic L5-S1 tear
10/24/06 L4-L5 Prodisc surgery with Dr. Goldstein
CAT scans & X-Rays show ossification
Trigger Point Injections, Medial Branch Blocks, Acupuncture, Weekly Deep Tissue Massage
10/27/08 Discogram (positive L5-S1)
11/25/08 L5-S1 fusion with Dr. Goldstein
FAILED BACK SYNDROME
Liberty Mutual WC
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:24 PM
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Posts: 2,405
Default re cannabis

As far as I know my PM's office isn't in favor of one utilizing cannabis for spine pain and his PM is limited to treating spine patients.

Re Lyrica being abused ... really? I'm surprised and don't really get the abuse aspect unless it's being sold on the street for neuropathies for those that cannot obtain it otherwise which would probably not be happening as it's costly enough either way if one has to pay cash.

hmm.... I must really be out of the loop.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:50 PM
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Location: Loundoun County, VA
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Default Opiate Dosage

@Eddie - If your insurance company insists upon you going throught detox - maybe you can ask for Ativan. I used it to help me get off my oxycontin 60mg/day and roxicodone 30/day for breakthrough. I felt too numb mentally from the meds and still had pain. I found a pm that practices more interventional pain management and am able to live with Opana-ER 20mg/day.

Good luck!

Thelma
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:52 PM
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Location: Loundoun County, VA
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Default FDA Scrutinizes Generic Manufacturer

I just read an article in the ny times regarding the generically manufactured extended release medications. The article deals with the generic form of Wellbutrin at the 300 mg dose. The FDA found that the generic medication did not provide the same delivery as the brand medication.

When I was on OxyContin the generic form was pulled off the market for similar reasons. The manufacturers of brand medication have a patent on the extended release formula that outlasts the regular patent for the medication itself. When a patent for an extended release medicine expires, pharmaceutical manufactures use the main ingredient and attempt to develop their own version of the extended release mechanism. Not all of them get it right. While patients notice the difference in the generic medication, their voice may not be heard.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:01 PM
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Default

I am in the UK and on:

30/1000mg of co-codamol (which is codeine and paracetamol) 4 X daily...

I am also taking Oramorph (morphine oral solution) 5ml/10mg for when pain is really bad! Amongst other things like, Baclofen 10mg X 3 daily (for spasticity) and Versatis lidocaine plasters as needed (for nerve damage, mainly hypersensitivity). Anti depressant and anti psychotic for mental illness! Pregabalin/Lyrica 200mg X 3 daily for neuropathic pain.

Lyssie

Last edited by lyssie; 01-01-2013 at 07:08 PM. Reason: keep forgetting a medication haha
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:56 PM
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I finally got my medical marijuana card. By using a high CBD cannabis I was finally able to get off the opiates after 10 years. My Oxycontin script was 160mg plus Roxicodone as a breakthrough. The last few years it was all Roxi (90mg every 3 hrs). (+Valium & Neurontin) It took almost a year of tapering off to 30mg...then 15mg. I tried withdrawing 3x from 15mg and my spine pain was awful after 3 days. The doctors put me on Suboxone which was way worse than Roxi. Suboxone made me high and stayed in my system longer so we stopped that. The past few months I was on 8mg Roxi then 4mg and have been totally off for a month now. It's a lot of cannabis to use to make up for the opiates but the first 2 weeks are the worst. I'm taking vitamins & supplements, getting massage, TENS unit, using massage chair. If I can get off opiates, anyone can. I've had doctors tell me there's "no hope" and I'd be on opiates & anti-depressants the rest of my life. A year ago I almost believed them, now I know better. Get off the opiates and get a medical marijuana card and high CBD cannabis. I still have the same chronic pain, I'm just dealing with it differently.
__________________
12/16/03 Work Accident
Herniation and DDD at L4-L5
4/1/05 Discectomy
Epidurals and facet injections
5/15/06 Discogram confirmed L4-L5 DDD also an asymptomatic L5-S1 tear
10/24/06 L4-L5 Prodisc surgery with Dr. Goldstein
CAT scans & X-Rays show ossification
Trigger Point Injections, Medial Branch Blocks, Acupuncture, Weekly Deep Tissue Massage
10/27/08 Discogram (positive L5-S1)
11/25/08 L5-S1 fusion with Dr. Goldstein
FAILED BACK SYNDROME
Liberty Mutual WC

Last edited by Eddie G; 06-18-2013 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:37 PM
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Location: Sierra Madre, California
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I am so happy for you. Congrats. That was a lot of opiods you were on. I am not ready yet to go the marijuana route, but your news is very encouraging. I work, (one evening a week) for a research endocrinologist . He had just reviewed an article on endocrine problems do to opiod meds and just shook his head and said it effects a lot. I have hypopituitarism , but for like 10 years about 5r ahead of opiods. But just last week got diagnosed with a cortisol deficiency. Now i am back to taking steroids, sure sounds like taking marijuana is better for my body.
What form do you use? Are they pills?
Thanks again
judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:46 PM
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Posts: 2,405
Default re medical marijuana

Judy,
there are various forms that can be utilized now and much more dose specific from what I've heard.. it's much more of a science now supposedly. I was just talking to someone the other day that told me he used a vaporizer and that way one doesn't smoke it and gets a more profound dose with less of the substance. This is a person who works full time and owns his own business and uses it for pain relief as he doesn't want to take opiates/other drugs.

I've been on opioid medication now since 2001 and am concerned as well about long term use. I have not increased my dose however in all the years taking it.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:20 PM
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Posts: 30
Default Weaning.

Mark,

I like reading your posts. They are full of meat and potatoe's : ) I worked in a methadone clinic part time for about 2 years. Plus I deal with pain and I take pain medication (hydrocodone). I avoid taking it on a regular basis if at all possible and I try to control my pain levels with activity control. I try to stay in a swimming pool and just move my body (the parts that still work).

I have talked to hundreds, maybe thousands of people using pain meds. In general I think that people sort of get the impression that weaning narcotics is a linear event. But, it isn't. If taking fairly large amounts of opiates, you might be able to wean fairly briskly in the begining. So, you can decrease dose by regular amounts and you can do it at regular intervals. But, as you get down to about 50% of the maintance dose (as I recall) you sort of had to slow the taper both in dose and time interval. This is were all sorts of things come into play. Very often coping mechanisms deteriorate, people don't handle stress as well, anxiety rears its head and generalized pain increases. Sometimes people would panic at this point and give up and say "I failed." Typically, even if done slowly you will experience varying discomfort that might last a couple weeks and mess with your sleep (badly). And this will repeat itself everytime you decrease your dose. If weaned to aggressively, people described it like having flue like symptoms x10. I have to add that all this gets complicated when you have had multiple surgeries, unknown pain generators and/or known pain generators that have no treatment. Normal no longer exists and it will never exist.

The problem with pills is that they are usually short acting and they don't achieve the steady state in the body and instead creat a peak and trough situation. This is probably the most difficult way to wean if a person has been taking opiods long term. It actually probably leads to people taking higher and higher doses longterm. The theory behind methadone is that it is long acting and creates a better chance of creating a steady state. But, coming off high doses of methadone is no walk in the park either. How ever a person weans (if they have been on this stuff long term), they need to create a steady state and very slowly decrease the dose letting the physiology of the body change and the psychology of the mind adapt. I suspect you know a lot about this and I might just be preaching. But, I saying it for anyone out there that needs the support. I also really believe that the same should be done with psychotropics but you never or rarely see that happen.

I am aware of extended release pill and patches but I don't have personal experience with them. So, not sure how they would be incorporated into a weaning schedual. Also, there are implanted narcotic pumps and spinal stimulators. I don't have any experience with them but I might eventually.

Another area that is worth appreciating is how the body just naturally rewires itself. It is believed that chronic pain sufferers actually develope a larger pain perseption center in the brain. Sort of like a muscle getting stronger from exercise. People get better at perceiving pain. Then there are people that seem to get a mix of fibromyalgia like symptoms mixed into their pain. Arachnoiditis is a possibility of being mixed in there as well (not fully appreciated with chronic pain suffers) and can be related to spinal injections. I personally don't know how to describe my pain to doctors any more. My body aches and burns. Is this my new normal after 4 back surgeries and 52 years of age and mulitple spinal injections? Is the outcome of multiple injuries and surgeries on the delicate and exquisitely designed machine called the human body? I just know that it hurts a lot and I think its going to be that way from here on out.

Peace, Terry

Just remember that your body isn't a 4 speed transmission that you slam shift when you adjust your medications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmglobal View Post
EddieG,

The most I've ever been prescribed was 80mg/day. That was my first oxy prescription and after taking the first pill I called the doctor's office and told them it was way too much. I've had many clients who take much more than that.

Except for that one scrip (and during the 3 weeks following my L4-S1 ADR in 2002), the most I've ever taken was 60mg/day. I always try to reduce my meds when I can... then if I have to go back up, it's that much more effective.

Because of the experience with a client of mine, I'm currently trying to reduce... maybe to zero. I'm down to 2 x 10 = 20mg/day. Oxy does not last 12 hours for me. The 2 a day dosing is very hard because there is not even coverage. I much prefer to be on 3 a day dosing. I get more benefit from being on 3 x 10 instead of 2 x 20, even though it's less overall, the coverage is smoother.

My next step is to leave the oxycontin and replace with oxycodone or hydrocodone.

Call me if you want to discuss. I have some other issues that may be relevant for you too.

Mark
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:02 PM
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Location: Green Bay, WI
Posts: 30
Default My Dose

Hi Guys,
Just came across this as I spend most of my time on the iSpine forum. First, Eddie, Congrats on coming off the opiates, this is great. And I have heard some wonderful things about medical maryjane. I am currently going through hell with the VA because they switched me from 5mg Oxycodone HCL 2 every 6 hours(40 mg a day) to 10/325 Hydrocodone one every 6 hours. The Hydrocodone does NOT work for me and from what I have been reading the dosing is way off. I have to take 2 to almost get relief but I can't do that because that is not what I am prescribed. it also has APAP, which makes me worry about my liver and kidneys.
I tried this for 8 days then called my Dr to switch back and he was gone on Vaca until today(I have an appointment this afternoon) and I had to go the VAMC 2.5 hours away to have the Chief of Staff fill my meds because no one else would fill them while my Dr. was gone.
This med change left me crying in bed for days and I have had to take an incomplete in both of my Grad school courses. I have finally pushed for approval for treatment at a Civilian Pain clinic in the town I live in. I should not have to beg for pain relief but the VA is on tear when it comes to opiates and true chronic pain patients are losing their meds. It is unbelievable what they put us through.
I wish I had the option to try Mary jane for my pain but the VA is federal and if I get caught I will loose all of my benefits. Once again, Congrats!
AJ
__________________
2004 Two SLAP Tear repairs/ 4 anchors, Left Shoulder
2013 Cervical ADR C5/C6
???? Cervical ADR C6/C7
???? Total Shoulder replacement

Last edited by ajspine; 04-07-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:42 PM
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Default Hey Sister,

I am sorry to hear about your struggle. Thank you very much for your service to our country!!! And, welcome home!

I am terribly sorry that you are struggling with the VA. Unfortunately, you are not alone. The VA hospital is an unusual place in many situations. I have run into very compassionate people and I have run into people that simply are cruel and should not be taking care of other people.

Yes, you need a pain specialist. There is a formula that should be used to calculate the dose when moving from oxy to hydro's. Those are entirely different birds. One is a lamborgini or bugati and the other is a 50 year old schwin 10 speed bike.

Yes, it would be great if you had a pain specialist that is good at managing and explaining your options and managing your pain. The VA usually doesn't have them. If you have problems, contact the patient advocate at the hospital. That is sometimes an option. It is also an option to write your State Senator or Congressmen or threaten that you will .

Personally, if you are on that much Oxy, that should be managed by a pain specialist. They might be trying to get you off the Oxy because your dose requires a pain specialist and they are being told to first try to get you to a lower dose before ordering a pain specialist . Obviously, the goal is to keep you on the minimum amount of narcotics. A pain specialist can also recommend other forms of relief that you might benifit from (electric stim, narcotic pain pump, nerve blocks and nerve ablations, nerve ligation, non-narcotic medication (lyrica), etc. The area of treatment is growing fast.

I love your picture..... looks like you have some wonderful friends. Stay close to them. Please know that chronic pain is very debilitating and can greatly effect your ability to take care of yourself now and in the future. It effects you both mentally and physically. I am especially sensitive to this since I am assuming that your injuries are military related. If you are not service connected, get service connected. You should have a Veterans Service Officer or Attourney that can represent you to the VA (you might already have this set up). Please Please keep a diary. You just stated that you had to take an incomplete in two classes. That is a perfect example/evidence of how your injury is effecting your ability to provide for yourself. You sound like you are suffering and struggling.

In the future, you might struggle with employment or providing for yourself. You do not need to be fully disabled to qualify for unemployability. The VA will not tell you this stuff. Unfortunately, they are encouraged not to inform you of your options with regards to your rights for benefits. They will make you do that yourself and it can be a "war" all of its own .

If you have anything done or put into words by a physician and it is military related or secondary or tertiary to a military injury (ie. chronic depression/anxiety related to pain related to shoulder injury; or fatigue/loss of labido/sexual disfunction secondary to depression or medications, etc, etc) try to have your doctor make statements that relate it to the primary injury. They rarely do this. For example, have them say, "Pain is more likely than not related to shoulder injury; or insomnia is more likely than not related to chronic pain and depression."

A severe shoulder injury can easily cause pain, depression/anxiety, lethergy/fatique/brain fog/inability to concentrate, insomnia, immobility, loss of work or inability to maintain gainful employment and sexual disfunction (sorry, I seem to be hung up on that sexual disfunction thingy ). And all of this will either be directly related to or seconarily related to the injury or medical management of the injury.

You are my hero! I just want you protected as much as you protected our country and our freedom!

Terry



Quote:
Originally Posted by ajspine View Post
Hi Guys,
Just came across this as I spend most of my time on the iSpine forum. First, Eddie, Congrats on coming off the opiates, this is great. And I have heard some wonderful things about medical maryjane. I am currently going through hell with the VA because they switched me from 5mg Oxycodone HCL 2 every 6 hours(40 mg a day) to 10/325 Hydrocodone one every 6 hours. The Hydrocodone does NOT work for me and from what I have been reading the dosing is way off. I have to take 2 to almost get relief but I can't do that because that is not what I am prescribed. it also has APAP, which makes me worry about my liver and kidneys.
I tried this for 8 days then called my Dr to switch back and he was gone on Vaca until today(I have an appointment this afternoon) and I had to go the VAMC 2.5 hours away to have the Chief of Staff fill my meds because no one else would fill them while my Dr. was gone.
This med change left me crying in bed for days and I have had to take an incomplete in both of my Grad school courses. I have finally pushed for approval for treatment at a Civilian Pain clinic in the town I live in. I should not have to beg for pain relief but the VA is on tear when it comes to opiates and true chronic pain patients are losing their meds. It is unbelievable what they put us through.
I wish I had the option to try Mary jane for my pain but the VA is federal and if I get caught I will loose all of my benefits. Once again, Congrats!
AJ
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:25 PM
ajspine's Avatar
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Location: Green Bay, WI
Posts: 30
Default 40% SC, Appeal in Process Thanks Ringo!

Hi Terry,
Thank you for your reply and if you are also a Vet, I sincerely thank you for your service also. I have been service connected for my heart and my mental anxiety and agoraphobia(anything to not call it PTSD) for 6 years now. I have been a Vet for 10 years for the first 4 years I was too sick to fight with them and my ex husband was still active duty so I still had access to complete health care coverage. I am in contact with my VSO and meet with them again on Thursday.
I woke up one day 3 years ago this summer and could not move my neck and was so ill from a head ache I landed in the VA ER, they were of no help, just Xrays that showed I had DDD in my neck. Went and cried for another week and finally went to see my PCP, he ordered an Emergency MRI for that day. 3 herniated disks, 2 bone spurs compressing my spinal cord and nerve roots. For the exact diagnosis I would have to dig out my med records which I am later today and sending a copy to Mark.
My Dr. got me in with Neurosurgery within the week and he started me on the Hydrocodone, which worked just fine in combo with Motrin. The Neurosurgeon blew me off(he know longer works there, have no idea why) and i was sent home on pain meds, PT and ice and heat.
Another year went by and the pain grew worse, then I couldn't feel my thumb and my left arm just falls asleep for no reason. Another MRI and thing are much worse and surgery is recommended, ADR at the C5/C6 level. They said we will deal with your Neck(which they only partially did because I need another ADR and have two more herniated discs). The wait for this surgery was almost another year and rescheduled once due to Surgeon availability. During this time my headache was constant, no feeling in my left thumb and waking up 2/3 times a night with arm pain that made me vomit.
Finally, Surgery-7 months ago. Only relief is from the debilitating headaches, they only come on once or twice a week now. Arm pain and now neck pain are bad unless kept under control by meds.
Neurosurgery pushed me back to my PCP for med management and we both agreed to go back to the Hydros, Neuro put me on the Oxycodone 6 months before surgery. Then he went on Vaca, but he is back today, while he was out I had to go to the Chief of Staff(his boss) at the VMAC so he could my previous meds that worked, this med change is what caused my incompletes and aggravated my anxiety to the point I can barely leave my house. He has been my doc for 5 years and I trust him but I do not want him to have fill meds he isnot comfortable with so I requested a referral to a Civilian PM Clinic. I see them for my consultation tomorrow. I am allergic to the additives in most injections they have tried for my shoulder and they sent me for a full allergy work up at the Allergy Clinic to prove that I couldn't take the injections and would need medication management, Aquatic PT and I am hoping for Acupuncture to be approved also.
I thank you so much for your advice and listening to my story. I posted it on the iSpine Board also. I love the support here. Thank you for the compliments on my Pic, but guess what? I am the red head in the middle and the two girls are my 17 and 11 year old daughters. They love me so much and I them. But you are so correct, this pain is ruining my life. My partner and I are going for therapy next week. She is so supportive and my care giver but this tough on all of us. I do not want the rest of my life to be like this. I will post on the iSpine board following all the new PM appointments this week.
AJ
__________________
2004 Two SLAP Tear repairs/ 4 anchors, Left Shoulder
2013 Cervical ADR C5/C6
???? Cervical ADR C6/C7
???? Total Shoulder replacement

Last edited by ajspine; 04-07-2014 at 03:29 PM.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2014, 07:09 AM
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Sister Warrior,

My pain once got so bad I almost killed myself. I use to fantacies about dying because the idea of it actually gave me peace of mind. The system at the VA is moniacal. You may find yourself going there expecting to get help only to find out you have to fight to get help and at a time when you might not have any fight left in you. That is sort of what happened to me.

They only care about your range of motion and radiculopathy (nerve damage as comfirmed by physical exam). They basicly look at your range of motion and grade your disability on that. Complaining about pain is a joke even if you think your head will fall off. Migrains are something that can be rated service connected.

Remember, any condition that resulted during service or any condition that was exacerbated from service can be service connected but that doen't mean they will give you a rating.

Also, your VSO usually has no medical back ground so they don't always know what to apply for. Some VSO orgainizations are better than others. Talk to local Vets and find out who is good.

What are you service connected for??

It wasn't untill I went to the VA asking for help (looking like death) and a social worker asked me what I had been thinking about. I told him how I was obscessing about dying and my plans to leave my family and kill myself. I was put in the psych unit for a couple weeks and I was started on meds. I hated it there at first and planned my escape but by the end, I didn't want to leave. I go to the VA every week for group and love my fellow Vets.

I just needed help with my back problems and kept getting told I was fine right up untill my 3rd back surgery, 2nd fusion. I couldn't take care of my family and had stopped working. I lost my job because I simply couldn't make my body go any more. I kept trying to get help and my mind started to snap. It is a normal process that your body goes through when under extreme stess (mental stress or physical stress). I now have severe anxiety and depression. And of all things, the VA disabled me for that. But, if it wasn't for a fellow Vet at the VA in Seattle, I wouldn't have known to apply for it. I was in bad shape. I am better but I am not the same person I used to be and I no longer have the same view of life. I felt very vulnerable and it brought out my issues of being abused as a child. I am different and I just can't seem to see life the same way any more. Thankfully, I have other Vets that understand me and don't freak out when I tell them how I feel :0 .

In any case. My heart goes out to you. I don't want you to go through what I went through with the VA. It is a totally different place than anyone could imagine. They have a hard time getting consistant good help there and lots of times the people are burned out or don't know what they are doing. I have helped a few others navigate the waters and they seemed to have benifited from it.

I will try to write more tomorrow.

Peace

Last edited by Ringo; 04-08-2014 at 07:21 AM.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2014, 02:47 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 30
Default Back again,

I am not trying to overwhelm you with personal information. Its just that stuff happens and sometimes it happens insidiously without your really knowing it. Denial is a great coping mechanism untill reality breaks through. Anyone can be broken.

The VA hospital system has some serious flaws but there are good people there that care deeply about veterans. Not all the people that signed up to go to war are the cream of the crop (so to speak). Many were people trying to escape home or other bad situations by going into the military. Serving their country was the last great frontier and would provide for better opportunity. That isn't always the case. I don't want to sound like I am the type that walks around stereo typing people.

I just have great respect for those that fought, fight or enforce the freedoms as they are given to us in the consitution. When you sign up for the military, you enter into a marriage of "untill death do we part." That doesn't mean it will happen but they have the right ask you to put your country ahead of your desire for self-preservation.

More advice regarding the VA: Get all your military medical records, keep a reasonably up to date copy of all your VA medical records and civilian medical records. Know what is in them and what they say in them. Know that by law you can contest anything that is written in them (HIPPA laws enable that and provides a procedure for doing that regardless of what the doctor says). So if the doctors notes aren't accurate, make ammendments to them. They very often chart the same stuff over and over and over again with only slight changes. Sometimes they put stuff in there that doesn't belong. If the VA sees something in there they can hang their hat on..... the wrong person can mess with you no matter how much othe evidence there is and you will spend all your time trying to fix it and in the mean time they will deny you benifits, etc. Any everything at the Veterans Administration seems to take years to decide on (no joke). I saw this happen to a Vet once. So, keep your records and know what is in them. Order them and keep a file for yourself. You will be connected with them for the rest of your life.

Your ability to work and provide for your family has been affected. It will effect your ability to enjoy life as you would have (gainfully employed), it will effect your childrens lives (if they miss the chance of getting a college education or greater.

PTSD is a diagnosis of anxiety. The VA is probably trying to walk the line with you, they do that with PTSD. You need to discuss it with a private counselor if possible, a VA counselor only if you know a good one that will act as your advocate 100%. They need to know what it is doing to your life and how it effects your ability to provide for yourself. There is a mental health score that will determine your rating with the VA. If your combined total is above a certain point, you could qualify for unemployability and you would be 100% disabiled in the eyes of the VA. Called unemployability rating. Medications and stress, pain can also contribute to insomnia and sleep apnea.

Sorry to blather on.

Best to you and yours!




Quote:
Originally Posted by ajspine View Post
Hi Terry,
Thank you for your reply and if you are also a Vet, I sincerely thank you for your service also. I have been service connected for my heart and my mental anxiety and agoraphobia(anything to not call it PTSD) for 6 years now. I have been a Vet for 10 years for the first 4 years I was too sick to fight with them and my ex husband was still active duty so I still had access to complete health care coverage. I am in contact with my VSO and meet with them again on Thursday.
I woke up one day 3 years ago this summer and could not move my neck and was so ill from a head ache I landed in the VA ER, they were of no help, just Xrays that showed I had DDD in my neck. Went and cried for another week and finally went to see my PCP, he ordered an Emergency MRI for that day. 3 herniated disks, 2 bone spurs compressing my spinal cord and nerve roots. For the exact diagnosis I would have to dig out my med records which I am later today and sending a copy to Mark.
My Dr. got me in with Neurosurgery within the week and he started me on the Hydrocodone, which worked just fine in combo with Motrin. The Neurosurgeon blew me off(he know longer works there, have no idea why) and i was sent home on pain meds, PT and ice and heat.
Another year went by and the pain grew worse, then I couldn't feel my thumb and my left arm just falls asleep for no reason. Another MRI and thing are much worse and surgery is recommended, ADR at the C5/C6 level. They said we will deal with your Neck(which they only partially did because I need another ADR and have two more herniated discs). The wait for this surgery was almost another year and rescheduled once due to Surgeon availability. During this time my headache was constant, no feeling in my left thumb and waking up 2/3 times a night with arm pain that made me vomit.
Finally, Surgery-7 months ago. Only relief is from the debilitating headaches, they only come on once or twice a week now. Arm pain and now neck pain are bad unless kept under control by meds.
Neurosurgery pushed me back to my PCP for med management and we both agreed to go back to the Hydros, Neuro put me on the Oxycodone 6 months before surgery. Then he went on Vaca, but he is back today, while he was out I had to go to the Chief of Staff(his boss) at the VMAC so he could my previous meds that worked, this med change is what caused my incompletes and aggravated my anxiety to the point I can barely leave my house. He has been my doc for 5 years and I trust him but I do not want him to have fill meds he isnot comfortable with so I requested a referral to a Civilian PM Clinic. I see them for my consultation tomorrow. I am allergic to the additives in most injections they have tried for my shoulder and they sent me for a full allergy work up at the Allergy Clinic to prove that I couldn't take the injections and would need medication management, Aquatic PT and I am hoping for Acupuncture to be approved also.
I thank you so much for your advice and listening to my story. I posted it on the iSpine Board also. I love the support here. Thank you for the compliments on my Pic, but guess what? I am the red head in the middle and the two girls are my 17 and 11 year old daughters. They love me so much and I them. But you are so correct, this pain is ruining my life. My partner and I are going for therapy next week. She is so supportive and my care giver but this tough on all of us. I do not want the rest of my life to be like this. I will post on the iSpine board following all the new PM appointments this week.
AJ

Last edited by Ringo; 04-08-2014 at 02:59 PM.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 05-04-2016, 06:51 AM
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: New York
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I just found that forum and i have lots of questions and surely will get here answers. Thanks for the support.
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