Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Help-heals are killing me

Posted by Joyce S. on 1/14/02 at 04:46 (069941)

I have done every conservative method known for 15 months to get rid of my heal pain. How does one get the ESWT therapy when no insurances are covering it. I have Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO and they said no. What do people think about plantar faschiotomy's? I am soooooo discouraged.

Re: Help-heals are killing me

Jen R on 1/14/02 at 09:50 (069955)

Joyce,

I feel your pain. I was/am in the same boat as you and have gone down every path to eliminate the pain. Wish I could give you better news...but I also have Blue Cross/Blue Shield and as you were told, they will not cover ESWT right now. I elected to have ESWT anyway and paid for it out of my pocket. I had two treatments and did not have the success that many patients get with ESWT. After two treatments, I elected to have surgery last May. It's been 8 months and my pain is worse now than ever.
As you know, your options are not good. If you can afford to pay for the ESWT I would always recommend it before surgery. If you can't afford it, you might just want to be patient...there are strides being made with ESWT and FDA approvals and it may be just a matter of a few months before insurance companies start covering ESWT. BUT...you know how slow these things go...when you are in pain...patience is not easily come by. But remember...once you have surgery...you can't go back. I'm learning that the hard way.
If you want to know if you are a ESWT candidate, I'm sure Dr. Zuckerman would be more than happy to discuss your situation with you. I think his email is (email removed).
Jen R

Re: Just how bad are they killing you?

BrianG on 1/14/02 at 17:56 (069988)

Hi Joyce,

I believe you do have another choice, but it is a very personal decision to make. With the help of a compasionate doctor, you can take daily pain meds for the next year or two. By that time, I'm hoping that ESWT will be quite common, and most people will be able to afford it, one way or another. After the treatment the doctor can then slowley wean your off the pain meds without too much discomfert. Take a look at this site for some related information, if your interesed: http://www.pain.com Good luck

BCG

Re: Just how bad are they killing you?

Jen R on 1/14/02 at 18:19 (069990)

Brian,

Hi. After emailing back and forth with you, I was wondering what you had decided to do about your feet. I assume from your post that you are taking meds to bide some time until ESWT becomes covered by insurance. I have to say...I have done every other conservative treatment...except for the meds. I have been given Vioxx but I know that Vioxx (like most drugs) are not good for you taken over long periods of time. Did you go to a pain management clinic...or is a regular physician treating you with these meds? At this point...I could really use some drugs myself!!!
Glad to hear that things are going better for you.
Jen R

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/14/02 at 23:31 (070006)

Hi Jen,

Yes, I am practicing what I preach. Lord be willing I will take my daily pain meds until ESWT becomes avilable to me, in my part of the country. I know it's hard to believe, but what I take is actually not that bad for me, as it is a pure opiate (with a binder). It is not mixed with any asprin, or acitaminifen, which can be bad for your liver and stomach. There are some side effects, like constipatition, but I've been able to take care of that.

The only other draw back is that I have to take them on a schedule. I can go for about a year without an increase, and I never, ever crave the meds, as there is absolutely no high. It's an odd thing about opiates, but if your in true chronic pain, the meds will work, but you won't get a high. I really recommend it for people who cannot stand the pain and have no other recourse. The meds are not intended to relieve all my pain, only to allow me to get through the day without the agony I used to be in. I personally know of people who committed suicide, because they were denied the pain meds, for one reason, or another.

BCG

PS Yes, I did have to go to a chronic pain class for 12 weeks before my doctor started me on the meds. My primary physcian is the prescriber. It's not something they will usally do, without following the proper guidelines. It protects both the doctor, and myself. We do what we feel we have to!

Re: Relief is available

Jen R on 1/15/02 at 12:42 (070040)

Brian,

Hi. Thanks for the info. This doesn't really have to do with ESWT so I probably shouldn't post this here...but...my doctor thinks I am in too much pain (and too soon after surgery) to start taking pain management drugs. He feels I need to continue efforts to fix and rehab the problem. Unlike you, I've already had 2 ESWT treatments before deciding to have surgery. Anyway...I'm gonna keep it in mind.
Jen R

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/15/02 at 22:03 (070114)

Hi Jen,

So your doctor says your in too much pain to take some pain meds. Hmmmmm, something's not right here! Do your self a favor and ask your doctor if he has any patients on pain meds. I've head stories about doctors like this before. It may be time to start looking aroud, if he is just going to string you along, with no intention of ever giving you anything.

You have the right to ask him what is his plan for your recovery? What meds will he use, if necessary, and at what point? An informed consumer, is the best consumer! Good luck Jen, you have the right to pain control.

BCG

PS Meanwhile continue to do as he asks, as long as it's resonable. Write to me any time you might have a question on the subjet. You know I'll do my best to find the answer.

Re: Relief is available

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/15/02 at 23:55 (070139)

Brian is right no human should suffer with pain I very impress with the 12 weeks of pain medication education that Brian went to .

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/16/02 at 08:55 (070164)

Hi Dr Z,

It still amazes me that so many patients will refuse to take pain meds, along with the doctors who will not prescribe. Society is slowly changing in this area, I'm just tring to help it along a little faster. I am convinced that without the pain meds, I would be in agony, and in bed. I would never 'promote' them as a first line of treatment, in fact it's quite the opposite. Starting daily pain med therapy is not to be taken lightly, as you know. If your life is reduced to someone who is in constant agony, like I was, then it should be a definate consideration.

Thanks
BCG

Re: Relief is available

Jen R on 1/16/02 at 09:43 (070174)

Brian,

Just so you know...I am not refusing to take pain meds...I just haven't found a doctor willing to prescribe them to me. I will say, though, that I am not a big fan of pills in general and any time I have taken either Motrin or Vioxx for my pain...it has done nothing. Oxycontin, on the other hand, was a lifesaver after my surgery...but we all know the risks and problems people are having with Oxycontin.
I would LOVE to be rid of this pain and if I have to find a doctor who will refer me to a pain managment clinic, I will do that.
Thanks again.
Jen R

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/16/02 at 11:13 (070188)

Hi Jen,

No, I wasn't talking about you personally, although I know you could use some help. Try not to let the Oxycontin bad press influence you at all. Plus, there are quite a few different pain meds, which will give you the same relief, without the 'percieved' stigma. Check your area for anesthesiologists, they are trained in pain management, and sometime will take on chronic pain patients.

Good luck
BCG

Re: Help-heals are killing me

Jen R on 1/14/02 at 09:50 (069955)

Joyce,

I feel your pain. I was/am in the same boat as you and have gone down every path to eliminate the pain. Wish I could give you better news...but I also have Blue Cross/Blue Shield and as you were told, they will not cover ESWT right now. I elected to have ESWT anyway and paid for it out of my pocket. I had two treatments and did not have the success that many patients get with ESWT. After two treatments, I elected to have surgery last May. It's been 8 months and my pain is worse now than ever.
As you know, your options are not good. If you can afford to pay for the ESWT I would always recommend it before surgery. If you can't afford it, you might just want to be patient...there are strides being made with ESWT and FDA approvals and it may be just a matter of a few months before insurance companies start covering ESWT. BUT...you know how slow these things go...when you are in pain...patience is not easily come by. But remember...once you have surgery...you can't go back. I'm learning that the hard way.
If you want to know if you are a ESWT candidate, I'm sure Dr. Zuckerman would be more than happy to discuss your situation with you. I think his email is (email removed).
Jen R

Re: Just how bad are they killing you?

BrianG on 1/14/02 at 17:56 (069988)

Hi Joyce,

I believe you do have another choice, but it is a very personal decision to make. With the help of a compasionate doctor, you can take daily pain meds for the next year or two. By that time, I'm hoping that ESWT will be quite common, and most people will be able to afford it, one way or another. After the treatment the doctor can then slowley wean your off the pain meds without too much discomfert. Take a look at this site for some related information, if your interesed: http://www.pain.com Good luck

BCG

Re: Just how bad are they killing you?

Jen R on 1/14/02 at 18:19 (069990)

Brian,

Hi. After emailing back and forth with you, I was wondering what you had decided to do about your feet. I assume from your post that you are taking meds to bide some time until ESWT becomes covered by insurance. I have to say...I have done every other conservative treatment...except for the meds. I have been given Vioxx but I know that Vioxx (like most drugs) are not good for you taken over long periods of time. Did you go to a pain management clinic...or is a regular physician treating you with these meds? At this point...I could really use some drugs myself!!!
Glad to hear that things are going better for you.
Jen R

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/14/02 at 23:31 (070006)

Hi Jen,

Yes, I am practicing what I preach. Lord be willing I will take my daily pain meds until ESWT becomes avilable to me, in my part of the country. I know it's hard to believe, but what I take is actually not that bad for me, as it is a pure opiate (with a binder). It is not mixed with any asprin, or acitaminifen, which can be bad for your liver and stomach. There are some side effects, like constipatition, but I've been able to take care of that.

The only other draw back is that I have to take them on a schedule. I can go for about a year without an increase, and I never, ever crave the meds, as there is absolutely no high. It's an odd thing about opiates, but if your in true chronic pain, the meds will work, but you won't get a high. I really recommend it for people who cannot stand the pain and have no other recourse. The meds are not intended to relieve all my pain, only to allow me to get through the day without the agony I used to be in. I personally know of people who committed suicide, because they were denied the pain meds, for one reason, or another.

BCG

PS Yes, I did have to go to a chronic pain class for 12 weeks before my doctor started me on the meds. My primary physcian is the prescriber. It's not something they will usally do, without following the proper guidelines. It protects both the doctor, and myself. We do what we feel we have to!

Re: Relief is available

Jen R on 1/15/02 at 12:42 (070040)

Brian,

Hi. Thanks for the info. This doesn't really have to do with ESWT so I probably shouldn't post this here...but...my doctor thinks I am in too much pain (and too soon after surgery) to start taking pain management drugs. He feels I need to continue efforts to fix and rehab the problem. Unlike you, I've already had 2 ESWT treatments before deciding to have surgery. Anyway...I'm gonna keep it in mind.
Jen R

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/15/02 at 22:03 (070114)

Hi Jen,

So your doctor says your in too much pain to take some pain meds. Hmmmmm, something's not right here! Do your self a favor and ask your doctor if he has any patients on pain meds. I've head stories about doctors like this before. It may be time to start looking aroud, if he is just going to string you along, with no intention of ever giving you anything.

You have the right to ask him what is his plan for your recovery? What meds will he use, if necessary, and at what point? An informed consumer, is the best consumer! Good luck Jen, you have the right to pain control.

BCG

PS Meanwhile continue to do as he asks, as long as it's resonable. Write to me any time you might have a question on the subjet. You know I'll do my best to find the answer.

Re: Relief is available

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/15/02 at 23:55 (070139)

Brian is right no human should suffer with pain I very impress with the 12 weeks of pain medication education that Brian went to .

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/16/02 at 08:55 (070164)

Hi Dr Z,

It still amazes me that so many patients will refuse to take pain meds, along with the doctors who will not prescribe. Society is slowly changing in this area, I'm just tring to help it along a little faster. I am convinced that without the pain meds, I would be in agony, and in bed. I would never 'promote' them as a first line of treatment, in fact it's quite the opposite. Starting daily pain med therapy is not to be taken lightly, as you know. If your life is reduced to someone who is in constant agony, like I was, then it should be a definate consideration.

Thanks
BCG

Re: Relief is available

Jen R on 1/16/02 at 09:43 (070174)

Brian,

Just so you know...I am not refusing to take pain meds...I just haven't found a doctor willing to prescribe them to me. I will say, though, that I am not a big fan of pills in general and any time I have taken either Motrin or Vioxx for my pain...it has done nothing. Oxycontin, on the other hand, was a lifesaver after my surgery...but we all know the risks and problems people are having with Oxycontin.
I would LOVE to be rid of this pain and if I have to find a doctor who will refer me to a pain managment clinic, I will do that.
Thanks again.
Jen R

Re: Relief is available

BrianG on 1/16/02 at 11:13 (070188)

Hi Jen,

No, I wasn't talking about you personally, although I know you could use some help. Try not to let the Oxycontin bad press influence you at all. Plus, there are quite a few different pain meds, which will give you the same relief, without the 'percieved' stigma. Check your area for anesthesiologists, they are trained in pain management, and sometime will take on chronic pain patients.

Good luck
BCG