Re: My pain is finally manageable.
I am so sorry Timboo that the doctors are the way they are there. I really hope you can find some relief from pain. I know how it is to live with pain over many years. I have had some form of back pain since I was 13 years old. Not many people really know how it feels. This contributed to me becoming an alcoholic. I drank heavily for over 25 years.
I have also had trouble with specialists and surgeons in the past but thankfully I have a good team now, after seeing about 6 surgeons, 4 specialists and a number of doctors. My present GP has been very supportive and as long as my specialist has me stabilised on particular medications he rings for authority and I get a months supply of patches etc without too much drama. The specialist I see works from a normal medical centre and I can usually get in within a few days if I need to see him. He is also very supportive and is always willing to listen to my suggestions. As with most patients here I have experienced many injections and different treatments.
If you are having problems with your doctors please keep looking for one who will believe you and help. I have walked out of a couple in the past and moved on. I have also spent many hours in emergency rooms sometimes having to lay on the floor. Not pleasant at all.
My surgeon is expensive but as I mentioned my brother has supported me financially and I am paying for private insurance who paid the other $18,000 for my surgery. I still owe my brother about $5,000. I am also on a government disability pension which gives very cheep pharmaceuticals and other medical support as in scans and dental. We are very lucky here in Australia that our economy is doing so well that they can support the low income and chronic patients. This is a good place to live.
I would really like to do more with my life but as I have learned and been told by those here that it takes time to recover from chronic pain and that once a spiny always a spiny. I have lots to learn but also have some to give. I hope I can be some help to others here. I do still suffer pain when I have to sit and when I go out but I certainly can do more now than I used to. I know I still have to change my life style as I do have another damaged disc at L4-5 but if I am careful I hope I don't have to go through years of increased pain or spine surgery again. I hope one day to find a new field of work I can do in future.
25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.