I have lived in Fort Oglethorpe Georgia for the last 50 years.
I have a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and a Bachelors degree in Spanish. I worked in Pharma most of professional life as a research chemist. My main focus was drugs and natural products from plants.
I am 61, almost 62 come February.
I have severe osteoarthritis and was hit by a car at age 13. I never knew anything about physical therapy and had to teach myself how to walk again after laying flat on my back for three solid months.
I believe my joint issues to be hereditary as my father suffered many of the same ailments I do.
I have been diagnosed with the following: Severe OA, Spinal stenosis, Intractable low back pain, Post laminectomy syndrome, lumbar spondylosis, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, anxiety as acute reaction to exceptional stress, poisoning by parasympatholytic drug and anxiety problem.
I have had the following surgeries ALIF 360 fusion with instrumentation, total right hip replacement, three level facet nerve ablations (6 nerves at one setting), trigger finger release and gall bladder removal.
I have been through several pain management clinics since they came into existence. One physician was giving me buckets of tramadol which quit working so I quit him. I then went to another Chinese physician that forced me to get my hip replaced which led to me getting by lumbar repaired by a neurosurgeon. He got pinched early in the game when pill mills were all the rage.
From there I moved to a higher class pain clinic where I was give good medicine but at every visit I was harassed to buy into spinal cord stimulation. I would not because I had read the M.A.U.D.E database and knew all the pitfalls. I even spoke to the manufacturer in California and the regional technician. I was not ready to turn my pain management over to someone with a 2 year degree in DC circuits.
I spoke to my patient advocate at my insurance carrier and was told to go out of town and out of network if I had to. I did just that. I saw Dr. Faiz Ahmad lead neurosurgeon at Emory University and St. Joseph’s in Atlanta. There I was told that all the SCS devices he tried to sell me were junk. He said,” I put them in but not those models.” Besides, you are not a candidate. You have scar tissue on nerve roots and they count on scar tissue to hold the lead or paddles in place or they break or migrate. You also have two discs that are extruded. He set me up with Atlanta’s finest pain clinic. My doc was a 68 years old and full of wisdom. We worked for years to get the right dose of fentanyl and rescue meds. I even got a medication the counteract the side effects of fentanyl.
Let me briefly insert her an episode that happened on an annual MRI. The image looked bad and was sent for an EMG which confirmed worsening scar tissue and worsening spinal stenosis. It was also deemed I had foot neuropathy. The ordering physician prescribed me amitriptyline for that and within two weeks I was in the ER with Serotonin Syndrome. The physician had failed to look at my current meds and did not see the deadly consequences of using amitriptyline with fentanyl. I lost all cognitive function and had to poor ice water on my head to keep cool.
Just last week I went to Atlanta for my 3 month FU and urine drug screen. I was the only one in the waiting room. This practice does not use physician extenders so I was surprised when a nurse practitioner walked in.
She said, I am lowering your fentanyl to 37.5 mcg. I said that is fine I wanted to step down a little anyway due to the side effects. I asked what the MME is on that and she said 90. I said you know that is just a guideline and not a law. Her eyes glazed over and her face took on a sinister demeanor. She yelled for a witness. I said “I want a witness too”. Heather my regular nurse said she would come back if I needed help. Again a resounding “NO”. In fact, I am only giving you two months of medication, that will give you plenty of time to find another provider.
“You are dismissing me?”.
“Yes I am. “Where is the doctor” There isn’t one here right now.”
She tore up my Rx for rescue medication. At this point I had almost chewed my tongue off.
I said, “by the way I have some literature I am passing out in the area and would like to go over some of it with you. She asked “What is it”. I said I follow a group called ATIP- Alliance for the treatment of intractable pain. I can leave you copies of the articles for you to read at your leisure.
At this point the witches flying monkeys had arrived, slobber rolled from the corner of their mouths and I knew I was in deep Georgia cow dung. I did not see me taking a baton to the liver that day.
The letter she wrote me is exceedingly nasty. I turned her in to the Georgia Composite Medical Board. I also called the practice manager and told her that I had just been mentally abused by the nurse practitioner.
The NP wrote me a letter that totally assassinated my character. I got another one in the mail today that was toned down substantially.
I have several referrals to check out. Two in Atlanta and one in Tennessee. God I hate to go back to Tennessee.