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bunnydisaster posted:
My husband has had 2 back surgeries (L1,L2,L3 ruptured, no discs left. He is 37).
The first was a failed laminectomy that caused even more damage when all of the vertebrae collapsed. The second restored some sensation to his right foot but he is in constant pain. The problem is...we live in Alabama, so he is automatically classified as a "drug seeker" because he doesn't make $100k and has no insurance. He had a great doctor but he moved out of state and we can't afford the gas to go see him. Every other doctor refuses to prescribe him pain meds...unless he can pay the $100 office visit and then the $200 or so prescription. He is considering the methadone clinic but this depresses him as he considers this the refuge of junkies and addicts. Isn't there someone that can help him without bankrupting us?
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peskypain responded:
May I ask what was the second surgery that was done to his back? I would think that it would be a fusion or that this needs to be done if his discs have herniated.

The Dr. that moved out of state did not recommend another Dr. for all his patients? That is strange.

I'm sure you realize that chronic pain mgmt. is much more than just being prescribed an opiate. That is only one small piece of the puzzle...

He needs to find a Dr. who will offer a comprehensive program to help him.

This includes daily exercise, yoga/stretching, aqua therapy, acpuncture, massage, ice, heat, injections, TENS unit, possible SCS unit, counseling, etc.

As well as a muscle relaxer to take as needed.

And most people with spine issues take a nerve pain medication like Lyrica, Cymbalta, or Neurontin.

An antidepressant is another way to help both pain and deal with living with chronic pain.

I would hope that he is a healthy weight and does not smoke as this can actually cause spine issues or make them worse.

If you all are only calling around asking for pain medicine/narcotics...then most Drs. are going to not want to see him. He has to be willing to want to work with them as the goal to have less pain....not just get a prescription.

There are good Drs. everywhere...even in the states that have higher abuse/addiction rates.

What about getting help from the Ortho or Neuro who did his surgeries....can he not help find a pain mgmt. Dr. in the area? I would think they would help you as they are the ones to diagnose him with the problems and be able to show in his medical records that he is not a candidate for any surgery right now.

Does he not have any health insurance right now? If he does...then calling them to ask what are the names of the PM Drs. in the area that take his insurance.

Again...it's really about using every possible modality to help get one's pain down to about a 5 or so...and that is with everything I listed including use of the non narcotics as well.

Good luck...
 
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annette030 responded:
I am so sorry your husband has no health insurance. That really limits his options.

He should consider taking a cheaper drug if it costs him $200 for a RX pain med. I use methadone, because it is cheap and I am retired, but I do not get it from a methadone clinic as they mostly cater to the treatment of addiction. I get it from the pharmacy with a RX from my family doctor. It is fairly commonly used for pain management, so he should not feel bad about it.

It is important not to ask for opioids or "pain meds" from office help, make an appt. for a family doctor, and discuss this all with the doctor at the appt.

I would use your computer search engine to look for "free/low cost health clinics in your town, state". I would assume it will take awhile to find one, how is your husband doing with his medicine supply?

American healthcare stinks for folks without insurance.

Take care, Annette


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