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spinal stenosis

Started by jenny74 on 06/28/2011 12:24am

Ok, here's my story. I'll make it short, but I really need some advice on this situation. About six years ago I started having really bad back pain. I was working and had health insurance and went to the doctors. I was really overweight and was doing pickup and deliveries for a printing company. After several visits to the doctor for my back pain and I also had gastric bypass for the weight loss. The weight loss was very successful, I lost 145lbs. Anyway I was seeing my primary care doctor for my back pain and he was perscribing me vicodin 750mg twice a day. He ran x-rays and referred me to pain management. Pain management wanted to give me some injections in my spine without even knowing what was wrong. I decided on my own to goto an orthopedic doctor. He sent me for a MRI. I told my PCP doctor the vicodin twice a day was not dulling the pain enough through the day, and I felt I may need something stronger. He then began to make me feel as I was abuseing this medication and stopped perscribing them. When the MRI results came back to the orthopedic it showed I have severe spinal stenosis on the right side. This has caused chronic pain and shooting pain down my right leg and a numbing feeling in my feet. After finding out what was wrong I lost my insurance and could not receive medical attention. Also, my PCP doctor noted something in my chart stateing I abuse narcotics. This is not true and I have asked him to remove it and it continues to stay there. Now when I goto the hospital or any medical center they see that and won't treat me. Well they will send me home with 10 to 12 vicodins 500mg that does nothing. So QUESTION?? What does one do when they have chronic spine pain and no insurance and unemployed because I can't work for the pain I have everyday. I also have depression and anxiety due to this problem and have many sleepless nights. Can anyone out there send me some advice and guide me to where I need to go for help. I just want to live a normal life and take care of my family and not have to worry about my pain and misory every second of the day. Its not fair to my kids. PLEASE HELP!!!

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3 Responses


Congrats on the weight loss!! As for your other issues, i can only think to suggest you contact hospitals for assistance with the surgery payments. They can make financial arrangements, with a percentage up front. Most Catholic Hospitals have programs to help with payments. If I remember correctly(my memory is not the best) lol, but all hospitals are given funding and grants to assist people with no insurance. Are you eligible for medicaid?


Hi jenny , this is my first time at this , after reading your post its seems there are alot of people who want to just get on with there life but are held back because of pain and getting the right medical help first time and quickly just does not happen . about three years ago i went to my doctor because of lower back pain , pain down my right leg and pins and needles too , about six months later i had a mri scan and it showed a large herniated disk , another six months passed and i got a date for a discectomy . after the op the pain had gone but its back again now , i had a mri scan a few weeks ago and go for the results on monday , i cant really help you with much advice as we have different health services, but wish you well and good luck , stu.


Hi Jenny,
Based on my own experiences, I'd recommend:
you take your mri report showing the stenosis to your gp, if you haven't already. the reason why the gp sent you to pm was b/c gp's nowadays forward people with severe pain to them, as they don't like to have the responsibility for the higher dose pain meds. so, the pm's are the one's who take that responsibility along with being able to offer you some alternative therapies-like injections.
you may very well have some good luck relieveing your pain with one of their techniques. the pm will most likely also be the dr. that writes your perscriptions for your pain on a continual basis until you have relieved it thru them or some spinal surgery. make sure your pm frequently updates your gp on your situation so the gp will not have any reason to doubt your pain or label you. you may have a special type of nerve pain that may be eased with a different med than you are taking. their are meds to treat pain and meds that focus on not general but specific pain types.
if your gp is still difficult to work with (trust issues) then find a new one, and get them up to date.
if you have documented spinal issues and pain, you must be treated and not ignored or mislabeled by any doctor-it is their duty. so don't worry about that. after you have exhausted what a pm can or cannot do to relieve your stenosis pan/sciatica...then go back to the ortho (and update the gp,again), as he has other treatments that may help, including as a last resort...surgery to 'clean out' what is clogging/pressing on the nerve. you may also try contacting a nearby hospital ombudsman and ask for help with good doctor referrals and if need be, a payment plan. you say you can't work right now b/c of the pain so that puts you into the disabled (short term hopefully) category and that would be something to discuss with the ombudsman as well. it will help your mind and soul if you start keeping a pain journal-it will kinda relieve your mind and will be helpful to refer to in upcoming appointments.

your state you live in may offer some medicaid benefits to you and your family while you are out of work and ill.

with compassion,