"Too Young for Surgery..." so we are meant to suffer?
Saturday, July 14, 2012
I am just beyond frustrated with the "protocol" for "helping" patients with arthritis problems. Those of you out there I'm sure know how it is and limp along our life road in moderate to severe pain waiting for the insurance companies to decide we have suffered enough, thus, allow our docs to fix us --- for good.
I have osteoarthritis handed down to me on my father's side...oh, joy. It has affected me since my thirties. Now I am forty-something and have been in pain for over 2 years with hip degeneration. They are trying to put me through the same "protocol" as they did with my back:
1. Consult - wait 2 months
2. Consult and drugs - wait 3 months
3. Consult. If muscle relaxers and motrin don't help, schedule physical therapy for 8 weeks.
4. Consult and make an appointment for cortisone injection(s) - wait time because they are always booked: almost 2 months, then wait 3 months
5. Consult on whether cortisone worked, and if not, schedule another injection. Same wait time.
6. See above.
7. Consult on necessity of surgery options, choosing the minor surgery option first - which may or may not be successful. Time frame here could be another year.
8. Finally schedule a surgery that will CORRECT the problem and allow the patient to live pain-free. (did I say finally?)
Okay, I have gone through this with my basal joint and then my lower spine. However, the spine pain was so horrible that I was practically ODing on Motrin and I pissed off my injection doc and he shot me straight through to the surgeon. The no-chizz surgeon. Those of you who have had to deal with sciatica --- I feel you. It is a horrendous pain that equals - if not EXCEEDS childbirth pain. It's the only pain I have suffered that has made me throw up and/or feel light-headed from.
Now, the osteo has invaded and chewed up my left hip joint and pelvic bone, literally. I have almost total cartilidge loss around the ball joint, bone spurs along the entire left side of the ball joint and no cartilidge left on the right side. Additionally, the pelvic bone above the socket has 5 quarter to half dollar sized bone cysts.
Everyone I have talked to both semi-professional and professional has told me all of the symptoms I suffer from at present are the result of osteo that has just eaten a hip up and that the bone cysts will continue to get bigger until I ultimately suffer a pelvic fracture.
My problem is that I have a high pain tolerance and don't notice "issues" with my health until they are advanced. So, I really don't appreciate some desk jockey telling me I'm "too young" to have a total hip replacement from where they are hundreds of miles away. It is so frustrating and I gotta say to any of you going through this same dilemma, I have you in my prayers. It's a racket that the insurance companies have going on - in my opinion. Logically, I should be able to have the MRI, get surgery and be fixed and PAIN FREE and allowed to live my life. Don't all of us who pay insurance deserve this? And those of us who cannot afford insurance and are not covered as well? Who can be allowed to judge the pain level of another's life? Granted, if the docs are allowed to fix the problem first thing, the insurance companies don't make as much money, but...ethics?
Sorry for the rant, but I have had a brand new Puma Scooter sitting in my garage waiting for me to be able to hold it up at stops so I can ride it. And I am tired of not being able to exercise more than walking slowly across a pool!!
Oh, to live a pain-free, more active like I used to be life...