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trs1960 posted:
Here's my opinion of MRI's. they're like a family photo of mom, dad, uncle Bob and Aunt Mary. They show you almost perfectly their physical presence, yet nothing of their personality traits, illness etc. an MRI is a great tool, but it only answers a few questions.

People get hung up on a few words in the diagnostic interpretation. Keep in mind MRIs are expensive and it doesn't bode we'll for radiologists to send back reports that just say "normal"

So while valuable they are not the final diagnosis that allows irreversible decisions to be made by glancing at a few paragraphs.

T
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davedsel responded:
Tim, that is an excellent and accurate illustration of MRI's. As I've posted to people here asking for an interpretation of MRI or CT scan reports, what looks like a minor spinal problem can cause one person incredible pain but not bother another. Conversely, serious spinal problems such as herniated discs do not always have symptoms.

True the MRI does not reveal the true character or nature of the spinal problems. Very good insights.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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aprilrose9 responded:
Tim, Of course your words of "irreversable decision" is what sticks out to me. MRIs are not the gold card standard of dx.

Why do you think I have been so P.O. the last week? I want people to think long and hard before they make decisions, but I feel like my words are unheard or misunderstood. My first attorney was a drunk and my first two surgeries were done by someone who was money hungry.

My only experience is in acute care. I have had two staff, at two different spine surgeons offices "whisper" the doc wished he had never done surgery on me. Wish I knew doc office speak. What were they hinting at? Only thing is, my attorney suggested against any litigation, but (he was the drunk).

I never knew such serious "errors" occured in the confines of swanky attorney offices and shiny spine surgeons offices. Of course people are aware of nosocomial infections, lethal medication errors (10X the amount of K and their heart stopped) and even equipment failure (one patient arrested and the bag used from central supply had the valve reversed and the patient was suffocated instead of given O2), but even I was sucked in by quick words and fast decisions.

I can't be the only one who has ended up FAR WORSE after surgery than before, but I never hear from people or they are angry when I caution them. It took 10 years post-op for my mega serious problems to show up. Maybe, I am at the wrong site for this type of discussion.

The crux is we are ALL vulnerable as patients. Remember the movie starring William Hurt? The physician who sustained a gunshot wound to the head and found out what it was REALLY like to be a patient. It should be required annual veiwing for all physicians. As patients we are in very vulnerable situations. All my patients were on ventilators, central lines, monitors an several IV drip medications used to titrate to specific ranges of their vital signs. We want to believe the people caring for us know (and care) what they are doing. Lay people want to think they are in good hands and I wanted to believe since I was "one of them", I would be treated well.

When I had multiple post-op complications after the anterior fusion, I was given IV lasix. If I hadn't produced a specific urine output by six hours, I was to be given a second dose. I informed the RN (a floor nurse) that I need to be given the second dose, she looks at her watch and tells me she wants to give it more time. Lasix is one of the most common p.o. and IV drugs and has a clue which is supposed to be known to all, la(SIX), meaning the drug works within SIX HOURS. All I could think, was darn, I HAVE A STUPID NURSE! I was hoping and praying I wouldn't throw a post-op pulmonary embolism while she was there, because I would be dead!

Can't even follow my usual advice to people and find enjoyment in what you can manage to do where your pain level is at the moment. Can't afford any new DVD's, TV is boring and have been stuck in the house for a month. Every time I try to go outside, my pain level goes up and I have another sleepless night. I haven't even felt decent enough to cook the last month, so am eating crap. Ick!
 
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davedsel replied to aprilrose9's response:
Aprilrose,

The more you share the more I am understanding your deep despair. I have been there, and even though I try my hardest to keep that positive attitude I still go there on occasion. Pain is a real pain and affects every aspect of being and extends to those that are close to us.

The best two things I can think to say is I fully understand and I will continue to pray for you.

I pray everyone is having a blessed and marvelous Monday.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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aprilrose9 replied to davedsel's response:
Dear Dave, O.K., now you got me. In tears! You are such a sweetheart and I know the needed prayers are comming my way. I can take 2-3 weeks of bad pain, but I when I am at a month without relief, it breaks me. I have tried everything I can think of and the pain won't calm down and the sleep will not come.

I remember asking the other nurses and the physicians in my unit, if they noticed a 2 week point with our patients reaching a breaking point. I am not talking about ICU psychosis, but seeing patients who could be stuck with large bore IV's when they were first admitted and not flinch, become crying, squirming patients who could not stand to have their skin touched after 2 weeks in critical care. No one else noticed it, but I saw the pattern.

The other issue I do not see is the incredible expense back injuries play in this country. This is part of what I am trying to point out. I know the heavy personal price, but there is a cost to this country in lost wages, tax dollars, productivity, insurance cost ect. Your information at the top of the page send people in the right direction.

It just seems with the high price the country pays with back injuries, there would be an effort to stop some of the fraudulant practices, insist no back surgery is done without at least 2 consultations and there should be more assistance given to injured workers. I was left to hang out to dry. The hospital is self insured (saves them money). I have 6.5 years post high school education. Three years nursing school and 3.5 years of university. I should be someone paying more tax dollars and a contributing member of society. What a waste! The hospital could have offered to pay for one more year of college so I could get another job and in the long run we both would have gotten off cheap. Instead they fought me every step of the way and it cost both of us a higher price.

When is someone going to listen to us?
 
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trs1960 replied to aprilrose9's response:
"01CChronic pain takes a greater toll on the United States economy in health insurance claims than any other chronic condition, including heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

- Pain is the leading cause of lost productivity and costs employers over $80 billion a year."01D

Excerpt From: Lewandowski, Michael. "01CThe Chronic Pain Care Workbook."01D Michael Lewandowski. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/chronic-pain-care-workbook/id538

Hopefully the formatting didn't screw this up too bad. I believe these stats are about a decade old and have gotten worse since then.

At 12 years out and way past the legal statute of limitations I now see my world collapsing around me. Everything I own is at risk and my dreams of sending my kids through college all but impossible. I understand your anger and frustration. Having to try and sue a doctor requires you turn other doctors against them and most doctors don't want to be labeled as the enemy.

As I've said, we scream at the top of our lungs, but the naive trust the good doctors. They need to be fixed and those paragraphs of disclaimers pointing the potential problems with surgeries are just there because of the lawyers.

You are so right, when the 1% happens to be you, it's 100%.

I don't know what to do either and live with decisions made with the best of intentions thinking things would surely get better after I recovered, but they didn't.

Like I said before, my initial injury was a trauma and I can't really blame my doctor for that. I do think he should have been more up front with me about my likely hood of living a successful pain free live we're zero and while lucky to be alive, I was to date one of his most severe and complex I juries he had operated on. He should have made sure I had a lawyer to protect me.

My finances are now worse than my health and we all know my health is unraveling like a ball of yarn in the paws of a kitten.

And soon I will take 30% pay cut and wait a month for my long term insurance to catch up.

Pain and stress feed off of each other with anger being the natural outcome.

We are professionals that worked hard to be successful and now we are failures. Worse we are failures with intractable pain that has society looking at us like greedy money grabbers and drug addicts.

Yet we try to make the most of it... But when the most of nothing is all that's left how do you go on?

God bless you and all my prayers go out to you.

It's almost 3:00 AM here as I type this. Another sleepiness night stressed over keeping my family afloat.

Tim
 
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trs1960 responded:
There's also this http://updates.pain-topics.org/2010/04/severe-chronic-pain-is-killer-study.html Which we all know. I have come to the depressed feeling that chronic pain is worse than cancer. With cancer you either day or go into remission, but at least it's a win lose battle. Chronic pain is the battle with no victory insight.
 
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trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
Either die or go into remission
 
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aprilrose9 replied to trs1960's response:
Dear Tim, I understood what you meant and you read through my typos, poor grammar and rotten sentence structure all the time.

Having Dave and you promising to keep me in your prayers has made me feel so much better. The power of prayer is limitless. Don't want to offend others who believe differently, but I frequently wonder how they make it through severe chronic pain without the same/or similar beliefs. He gives me the strength to keep going when I hit a long period of severe pain, sleep deprivation and no strength.

Of course, I got myself into this spot. First by joining a dopey profession. How many professions have more women than men, but require a few brain cells and crazy physical hard labor. I read something recently about nursing being a low class profession. It is true and I cannot be insulted. The post went on to discuss the number of R.N.s who came from the lower middle class (me after my parents divorce) and how women from the upper middle class attend university and go into much more glamorous fields. I didn't have anything in common with the wives of my husbands friends and they had zero interest in hearing about my job. They left for work in beautiful clothes for their interior design position or to be a clothing buyer. I came home from work exhausted and smelling from kneeling in patients vomit while I did CPR on them.

I didn't realize how damaged and swayed by my background I was in making a career choice. Too much childhood responsibility. The money stunk when I was working. You work nights, then days, holidays and weekends. There is little vacation time. You had to work full time for five years to get more than five straight days off. There is little room for advancement. You make money based on the amount of time you are with the hospital and not how well you do your job. It is a quasi profession. You are little more than a factory worker without the union protection.

In critical care there is nobody to replace you. If you crawled in bed at 11pm, the phone would ring at 1:30am asking you to get in to "help out" and they would let you go home at 4:00pm. I have slept on dirty conference room floors, worked with a high fever, worked without sleep for 30 hours and never made more than 12.00USD. People never realize you work 1.5 hours each day without pay, but are docked (again, quasi professional) if you were 5 minutes late due to a snowstorm.

I knew for years the physical demands of the job was dangerous, but you can only get out with a plan. I think hospitals understaff and just expect a few people like me who are collateral damage. So what? It costs them a few bucks.

The job is more than following the orders written by the physician. People think it is easy. My boyfriend was in medical school the whole time I was in nursing school and we studied the same things. He told me they just studied in slightly more detail. You take the anatomy, physiology, signs and symptoms of diseases, drug actions and side effects/contraindications, patients history, physical and diagnosis (which there is multiple) and need to put the whole picture together. You take the info, have the patient on a vent, central lines and all the IV drips and you are constantly (minute by minute) titrating meds looking at BP, MAP, SVR, CO,O2 sat, heart rate/rhythm ect. You watch for very subtle changes and patterns, because a patient doesn't just arrest.

I lost my 30s,40s, and now my 50s due to this injury. It is now killing me. Being bedridden did a huge number on my mental health and my physical health. I know I am depressed and if I wasn't poor and immoble I would get help. Can't even afford someone on a sliding scale. Will just have to get through this hurdle like all the rest.

After hours, finally got to sleep last night. Land line rung at 2am! Woke up to three dog urine puddles. Hot and humid and can't afford A/C. So now house smells like a smelly toilet!

Wish something good would happen-10 yr. long slide.
 
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trs1960 replied to aprilrose9's response:
Hang in there. I have no solutions as we share many problems. I have more physicality and ability. Albeit painful, I am lucky that I can do a lot, as long as I only do a little at a time. I can tinker an hour than come relax and recline as I check with my iPad and maybe read a few chapters of a book or research what I'm tinkering on.

We have to do something to keep from shutting off. Movement is life.

I told my PM a year ago that after a decade of chronic pain and one surgery and procedure after another it doesn't matter if we improve my meds. Nothing he can do will help pay the bills and they are burying me.

Gob bless an hope for a better day.

Tim
 
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davedsel replied to aprilrose9's response:
"The power of prayer is limitless. Don't want to offend others who believe differently, but I frequently wonder how they make it through severe chronic pain without the same/or similar beliefs"

Amen and Amen! That is where my 'positive attitude' comes from. OK, I'm just going to say it: "The Lord is my strength. My shield and my buckler. In Him do I trust". One of the Pslams.

I pray everyone is having a blessed and terrific Tuesday.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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aprilrose9 replied to trs1960's response:
Dear Tim,

You and Dave have been my lifeline. I am done with the complaining and need to find some inner strength.

Dave seems unfailingly positive and your dreams and goals are for your girls. The two of you sounds like wonderful men and solid spouses. I wish I had made a different chioce. My husband constantly threatens to leave me and is absent for much of the time. While I knew he was social when I met him, I did not expect to be married to a penniless frat boy nearing sixty. While the money is not the main issue, making poor decisions without consulting or caring about the impact on a spouse is not my definition of marriage.

I tend to be quiet when I am in pain and am able to care for myself, but he takes this as a chance to be gone most days and evenings. It is a lonely life.
 
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trs1960 replied to aprilrose9's response:
I often say a broken heart is harder to deal with than a broken back. My wife is used up with "my" problems. She spends money to fill the hole she believes to be caused by the loss of my health, but it's not. I'm so envious (and happy for) of Dave. I may have some tough decisions ahead that may leave unmarked, but I cannot watch my wife take out all of her anger on me and my daughters. I promised God I would care for her "better or worse". I never realized one possible deal breaker would be mistreatment of our children. I'm not talking about physical abuse, but she's changed so much and cares more about being treated extra mommy nice to the point of calling her girls anything in the book. They are young women now sixteen and eighteen and maybe they are rude to her sometimes...a fraction of how rude she is to them.

Do as I say not as I do does not work. Dave has it right in that only love and faith will prevail. If you go around looking for a fight you will surely find one.

My own daughters asked why do I let her treat me poorly? I thought I owed her for caring for me when I got hurt.

I tell them I promised God I would always care for her and them...if she makes me choose though???

A rock and a hard place as my dad used to say.

T
 
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trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
I don't mean to sound negative to my wife, but she hates the world and I'm trying to claw my way through each day and survive. I have tried everything possible to make her happy and my girls have told me that I have just enabled her to always be the center of attention. I love her dearly, but I am at a loss as what is best for my girls. Both are honor roll 4.0 students and have bright futures, but not if their own parents drag them down. I will sacrifice anything for them!
 
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trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
I'm sorry for being negative, but it's been a bad week. My back feels better as the caudal epidural really helped.

My wife is a good person and she has done so much for us all. I've always just thought we'd always be on the same side. Ending up with her fighting with me and the kids has me very troubled. I would love to make her happy and have the girls show her they love her teenagers and middle age moms is a bumpy road

Why can't love be accepted by those that need it most?.

T


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