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  • The defiant patient

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    Old 04-19-2007, 10:12 PM   #1
    ~Ro
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    Talking The defiant patient

    I'm 12.5 weeks post op of an ACDF with donor bone on C5 - C7, (two level) and am getting quite ansy about being free from the hard Aspen Collar. I believe it was SKZ who had the same operation around the same time as me but has healed without a collar. Oh, how I envy you. Because I believe you have healed as well as you have posted, I have relieved myself of my collar on occasion. Surgeon wants me in 24/7 except showers... baaah! My next appointment with him is Tuesday; I had a CT scan day before yesterday and am hoping he will tell me that I have healed beautifully and will FINALLY send me for physical therapy, (I hope). This guy is such an idiot, (wanted to prescribe percacet every 2 hours for my pain) before I got wise & went to a pain specialist who has me on muscle relaxers, time released oxycodone & a lower dosage of oxycodone for pain as needed. I don't believe I would have healed as well as I have, had I followed his orders. So, "follow your doctor's orders" can be dangerous if you blindly trust these people.

    I feel really good, (even though I'm still taking pain medication & all) because I have motion in my neck. I can move my neck from one end of the shoulder to the other. If my surgeon had his druthers, I'd be stiff as a board up until 13 weeks post op and a percacet junkie ta-boot!

    This surgeon never gave me a list of things to do or not to do. What little he told me, was verbal and not very clear. I am thankful for this board because I have been able to measure my signs of healing along with you all. My shoulder (& shoulder blade) pain is pretty constant and I wonder how long it will last. My new micorwavable, scented heat pads have gotten quite the workout, as I can move about the house with them on my shoulders & get more done. I don't really trust asking the surgeon about this but will concentrate on getting physical therapy from him on my next appointment.

    I want to drive my car & take more responsibilities for the household. Well, I don't really want to do the latter but if I don't, my family may really forget that I am alive, as they have gotten along fine without me while I had been healing on the other side of the house. I moved back to the family side of the house this past weekend and I have been much more active than the past 12 weeks, a bit too much to my liking but I'm beginning to feel human again.

    My thyroid hormone level had been way off since before the surgery that never was disclosed to any doctor until after the surgery & my inquiry as to where the results were (incompetent blood lab). My pain specialist, (also a psychiatrist ... isn't that convenient?) said that my pain medication messes with my thyroid hormone, which completely depressed me to tears. He adjusted my antidepressant with a drug that I'm not sure he's aware but also claims to mess with thyroid hormone levels but despite this, I do feel like I'm getting close to a happy hormone level. I've had normal thyroid hormones exactly twice, (for a month or so each time) in the past 21 months since I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. When my thryoid is out of whack, it's like PMS x 100; my whole family, including animals and hubby all fear me. :-( So, I strive for a healthy thyroid. I really hate thyroid disease more than anything, I feel like I want to claw my way out of my body but there is no way out. I feel sorry for those around me and have apologized many times for my insanity. My surgeon is now completely afraid of me, to which pleases me because apparently, he bullies every doctor, nurse, hospital worker and patient he runs into. When he told me that my thyroid problems were not his problem, I scared him into caring about it. The thyroid is related to everything and is in the best interest of a surgeon to be abreast of patients with thyroid disease. **** ... to be nice.

    Anyway, if I weren't such a defiant patient, I wouldn't be feeling as good as I am. I am on the mend despite my poor after care from my surgeon and believe I will be driving very soon and on my motorcycle before summer! My advice to those who may have a surgeon similar to mine, run, don't walk to the nearest pain specialist after your surgery!

    Thanks for listening,
    ~Ro

    Last edited by ~Ro; 04-19-2007 at 11:20 PM. Reason: edited SKZ name :-)

     
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    Old 04-20-2007, 06:27 AM   #2
    poopoopadoop
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    Re: The defiant patient

    I agree, Ro. When I was in the hospital, only hours after my 1 level acdf (c5-6), they wanted to take out my PCA morphine pump and give me PERCOCET. I said that I knew it would not cover the horrible pain. They didn't believe me. Well, as I screamed and cried in pain for 6 hours, finally, they sent in a pain management specialist. That doctor was amazing. She said of course they should have seen how much I was using the PCA and never should have dropped to percocet. She instead prescribed long acting morphine and short-acting morphine and I was discharged on both. If that surgeon had his way, I'd have been discharged on percocet which never works too well for me. She was like an ANGEL to me. I also urge anyone to go see a pain management doctor - these surgeons, NS, and orthopeds are notoriously not good at pain management and reluctant to do it.

    Good luck everyone,
    Lisa
    ps - I also do not have to wear a collar for which I am eternally grateful. I do wear a soft collar at times, but not much.

     
    Old 04-20-2007, 06:35 AM   #3
    SKZ
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    Re: The defiant patient

    Ro,
    Your surgeon is ridiculous sounding. I am at 14 weeks post op with the same surgery. I have been driving TOTALLY comforably at 6 weeks. That is also when I started therapy. I do not understand why he hasnt started you on it. It sounds very late to me. Why am I at the tail end of mine and yours hasnt even started? Personally (and this is just MY opinion, totally), I dont see why anyone would have to wear a collar that long. That hardware, from what I have heard alot, is very very stable. Of course I have been judicious, but not that much. No wonder you are still in so much pain. The thing that has helped my pain is the exercise, stretching, and strengthening. I hope he doesnt refer you to a moronic PT. I have been enough of those. I now have a really good one, except she totally overdid my weights on Wed. and now I am sore as hell (which really pisses me off, actually). Your surgeon sounds very very conservative. Most people dont get CT scans after the surgery, that I am aware of. I get Xrays, everytime I go....4 views. (so far I have had 3 post-ops.... 10 days, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks). I am not sure why he would need to see a CAT scan. Maybe other people on here would know. Just goes to show you, they are all different. And they all really **** me off, too

     
    Old 04-20-2007, 07:31 AM   #4
    monarog
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    Re: The defiant patient

    Hi Ro,

    I am SO SORRY you've had such a crappy follow up with your surgeon, ugh! I am only about one month post op...but, no collar. I do have a plate and screws therefore he said the collar was not necessary. I'm assuming you have no instrumentation???

    I was cleared to drive as soon as I was off the heavier pain RX, which was about 5 days after surgery. Now...I'm not sure my recovery is going so great or I am just impatient, as I have so many terrible neuro symptoms - hoping as time goes on I'll start feeling better.

    Anyway...it's crazy the range of approaches these surgeons have....understanding that individual patients' differ...but...SKZ to be completing PT and you've not even begun when your surgeries were at the same time? I just felt so bad for you when I read your post I had to respond. Please let us know how things go. Mona

     
    Old 04-20-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
    ~Ro
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    Re: The defiant patient

    We definitely have to make our voices heard in the hospital. After they cut my morphine drip, I was taking only percacet but it wasn't cutting the pain. I called my patient advocate with my insurance company and she said they have to give me something in between the percacet doses to which I took a shot in the butt of something that did the trick. I always have been my own health advocate but it was very helpful in such a drugged reality to get my rights reminded to me so I could light the fires that needed to be lit. I also had to have my nurse fight for coffee for me, oh what a nightmare those 3 days were.

    I was discharged with no written orders by my "surgical team" who told me to take what I was on before the surgery along with the percacet. Idiots didn't even know one of the drugs I was taking would cause blood clots, not conducive of healing after surgery. I took this for 3 days before my surgeon finally called me back after I begged his receptionist to have him return my calls. My only solice is that I have put the fear of ME into him!

    ~Ro

    Last edited by HBMod07; 04-25-2007 at 12:09 PM. Reason: When directly responding to a message please do not quote it

     
    Old 04-20-2007, 10:01 PM   #6
    ~Ro
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    Re: The defiant patient

    I think the guy likes to show how much power he has over people; he would have had me far worse than I am and totally dependent on the collar. After reading your post, I got really ****** and haven't put my collar on once today. I've decided I'm not putting it on again until I'm in the parking lot outside his office on Tuesday. I have to heal to get my life back & this idiotic jerk is holding me back. He had been having me get both CT scans & Xrays until the other day when I didn't get the expected Xray. I have no idea he does what he does and have asked several times when I start PT but his answer is always after the collar comes off ... well my collar is off, honey. ;-) I promised hubby that I wouldn't let the NS know I haven't been wearing it all this time. If, by chance, I do get a "faulty" PT, he/she too will be fired from Ro's medical team.

    I really hope I don't overdo it trying to force myself ahead of the game but I do have 3 plates & 6 huge screws holding it all together in there and since I have a thousand things to do now that Spring has Sprung, I'm done being out of commission.

    I didn't realise you were driving at 6 weeks, now I am so jealous; I want my life back!

    Thanks for listening to me whine,
    ~Ro

    Last edited by HBMod07; 04-25-2007 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Please only quote the portion of the message you are responding to and not the entire message

     
    Old 04-20-2007, 10:16 PM   #7
    ~Ro
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    Re: The defiant patient

    Thanks Mona. I'm trying to stay away from depression but it's rather difficult given the situation. I do have plates & 6 huge screws in my neck, plenty of strength holding it all together. This guy is just way too cautious and wants to cripple me so I can be dependent on him, why else do what he's done?

    I hope this is the last of my neuro problems that need to be surgically dealt with. I can't imagine going off the heavier pain meds ... just can't fathom it right now even though I have been cutting down my pain meds. I've been over a day with no collar on because I really am sick of it. I will wear it only for car rides, if then, and when I go in to see the NS on Tuesday.

    Please excuse my being quiet about all this but when I was diagnosed with depression a few weeks ago, I just couldn't face even my faceless friends in cyberspace until I got a little more level headed. I'm coming out of my shell because I feel that I have become more level headed recently, but I have about three or four people here that will beg to differ.

    Thanks for the support,
    ~Ro

    Last edited by HBMod07; 04-25-2007 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Please only quote the portion of the message you are responding to and not the entire message

     
    Old 04-21-2007, 03:44 AM   #8
    nomoredenial
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    Re: The defiant patient

    I also agree if we werent defint and followed like sheep then healing would be impossible under some types of care I admire your keeping on top of and being in control of your care. tis your body you have to live with it after they are done and they dont have that vested interest in your body as much as you do.
    I was fed a lot that I know consider faulty misleading info on my diagnosis. and it took me self educating to understand the nature of my true injury. the SI joint. not the herniated disk. cause vs. result of cause.
    anyway being impowered in your own care is important to proper recovery
    good for you.

     
    Old 04-21-2007, 10:37 AM   #9
    SKZ
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    Re: The defiant patient

    nomoredenial:
    I have SI JOint dysfunction, too!!! I fell on the ice in Dec. of 2000 ( real hard). I am not convinced that this fall didnt cause my neck problems too. I started going to an osteopath getting manipulations for it. I really think its helping. (and doing certain stretches)

    RO:
    God help the person that doesnt educate themselves about anything that pertains to them medically. When I went to my 3 month post-op, the Physician Asst. (the surgeon had to go out of town...yea right.....the Thurs. before Easter), put me on 5 mg. of Valium everynight for the next 6 weeks for spasms. I am taking Lunesta, which is a sleep medication. It is totally noted in my chart. I took both of these for a week and then my osteopath freaked out and said I should not be taking it together. My pharmacist didnt say anything either. I thought stuff like this is supposed to be red flagged by the pharmacist, as far as pill combining. I decided the hell with the Valium and just will use it when I get real bad, as needed. You cant trust them. I have seen my husband get jacked around too. I have caught many weird things that he never would have known about. I hate sitting at the computer doing so much research. It doesnt help the spasms. But what can a person do. They have to be their own advocate and educate themselves.

    Last edited by SKZ; 04-21-2007 at 10:39 AM. Reason: bad grammar

     
    Old 04-21-2007, 05:16 PM   #10
    nomoredenial
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    Re: The defiant patient

    there is a major national phamacy that cross checks in its database for drug interactions walgreens

    I think the insurance paper work is harder to keep on top of very confusing thank god my wife is a genius with plan documents and coverage. she knows that there is a time limit for submital too saves lots of money from others mistakes or keeping on top of the poper coding submission

     
    Old 04-22-2007, 09:06 AM   #11
    SKZ
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    Re: The defiant patient

    nomoredenial:
    Walgreens WAS the pharmacy that filled both prescriptions (Lunesta and Valium)....
    I even called the pharmacist and he acted like a real nitwit, when I asked him (after taking this stuff for a week). "um, hold on, let me look it up". Then I got a vague answer afterwards.

     
    Old 04-22-2007, 02:17 PM   #12
    poopoopadoop
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    Re: The defiant patient

    You know, there are people who take both a benzo (valium) and a sleeping pill. It is not unheard of. People with severe anxiety disorders sometimes need both. So, Walgreens or any other pharmacy would not flag it because it is legitimately used at times.
    HTH,
    Lisa

     
    Old 04-22-2007, 11:44 PM   #13
    nomoredenial
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    Re: The defiant patient

    wow!

    I would like to find a site that listed medications by what it does. that would be helpfull. I should look through the govt sites that I used in my research for my back maybe I already have one.

    Last edited by HBMod07; 04-25-2007 at 12:11 PM. Reason: posted commercial website

     
    Old 04-22-2007, 11:51 PM   #14
    nomoredenial
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    Re: The defiant patient

    ok I found one a quick scan through favorites and medlineplus.gov

    if only I could remember everything I learn.....

    I dont think theres a site that can help with that

     
    Old 04-28-2007, 02:55 AM   #15
    captnanny
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    Re: The defiant patient

    boy RO, all I can say is DITTO
    It took me two years to find the right team for me. Even though I have a ns, orthopeadist, pain specialist and psychiatrist. They all talk, one person prescribes my pain meds, psychiatrist does my antidepressant and walgreens has told me on numerous occasions of new studies that contraindicate some of the medicine. My docs immediately stop it.
    This of course took me two years. It started with the right orthopaedist. I then went to three others who said he was right on target. He sent me to the pain management because he did not feel comfortable adding, double dipping or having my psychiatrist prescribe the pain meds. THANK GOD for him.
    My mom gave me problems because he was the first one to diagnose me properly. She wants to think I'm faking all this stuff because I see a psychiatrist. Anyway I'm two weeks post op, first x-ray was yesterday and everyone already received the report. I'm still in a hard collar, until three - six weeks and that's only because he is a " conservative freak" at least that's what he said. I'll be able to start driving more. I can now drive to appointments only and physical therapy should be starting then too.
    I suggest even after your surgery, get a second opinion. Ask your pain specialist for someone they recommend. It really helps a lot to have a whole team working for you and together.

     
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