Yet Denied Again, Now What?

Since our minor ICU incident last September, 2013′, we have tried to find something, okay anything that would allow me to have the Medtronic SynchroMed II Drug Pump, 40cc, system removed.  The issue is that we are running into doctors offices telling us that because my injury is under workers compensation (WC) that I have to stay with my original treating pain management doctor.  I’ve even heard the words, “The doctor does not work with that unit or with Fentynal for various reasons.”  Some even out right state they don’t work with this product or medicine for the same reason I’m wanting to get mine removed.  In the original meeting with the doctor these benefits were covered;

BENEFITS

* Significant reduction in pain – 50% or more. 

* Improved ability to work and take part in activities of daily living.

* Lower medication doses – Compared with oral medications, which may result in reduced side effects.

* Less oral pain medications

* Proven safe and effective when used as directed

* Reversible

(http://www.medtronic.com/patients/chronic-pain/device/drug-pumps/benefits-risks/index.htm, 3/28/2014, 8:20 pm)

     The issue I’m having is that of the listed “Possible Risks,” only those in bold text were mentioned.  The other three symptoms I went through during the first about 8-10 years on and off with the first “Risk,” I was continually told I was “catching the flu and that nothing like this could happen in/from the pump.”  But every time they refilled my pump, within a day or two (maximum) I was 100% better.  The second “Risk” happened to me when I received my second or third pump with the earlier one’s battery went out.  With my doctor, a manufacturer’s representative, and all the support staff there the pump was inserted into my abdomen and then filled.  While on a family vacation 4 hours away I started getting the symptoms of the “Drug Over/Under Dose” and had my brother drive down from San Francisco, 2 hours away to drive me up to Sacramento on a Friday night (I kid you not) to catch the last appointment of the day at 4pm.  We arrive and when they cannot get the needle into the fill port which everyone though was just the RN who started only a week earlier, they call the doctor back in who had left early.  He proceeded to try to find the fill port, with no success.  Being it was a Friday evening, I had to wait until Monday to have x-rays taken to try to decide what was happening with the pump.  The was quickly figured out that either one of two things happened, (1) In 32 days from install somehow the pump flipped over and was now upside down, or (2) The pump was put in upside down and no one noticed.

RISKS

* Drug overdose or underdose can result and have serious and even life-threatening adverse effects.

* Possible complications include the catheter or pump moving within the body or wearing through the skin.

* The catheter could leak, tear, kink, or become disconnected.

* The pump could stop because the battery has run out.

* Additionally, inflammatory masses have been reported at the tip of the catheter which may lead to complications, including paralysis.

     So the one they don’t have listed is called a “Dry Pocket Fill.”  The needle is inserted and the remaining medicine is removed via the pumps fill port, upon pulling back on the syringe the tip of the needle is pulled out of the pump and is now sitting directly in ones abdomen so when the new medicine is inserted instead of making it into the pump its injected directly into you.  Fentynal or Morphine Overdose in a Major Way (only two medicines they use).  So you can see why I am open to trying pretty much any western medicine, eastern medicine, Aborigine folk medicine, you name it I will give it a try.  Another reason here is that the owner of the company after releasing one of the two doctors who were involved in my incident just five months later retired and sold the practice to doctor number two who was called into consult right before all the crud hit the fan.  Who do I trust?  Where do I go?  I’ve been in contact with six different pain centers and their all not interested for one reason or another, then one who I explained “I do not want the pump anymore, offer me suggestions, please?”  Looked at one years worth of medical records and sent me a nice “Dear John” letter and also stating,

“We recommend Stanford for comprehensive evaluation.”

     Now can I get WC to approve going to Stanford Medical Center who is very big into the studies on the holistic and body as a whole pain management treatment style.  I have to say their website is simply amazing and if they can do 50% of what it says, I”’ be pain-free before I leave on the second visit.  How would you handle being told you “have to” stay with the original pain management company and that you can’t sue anyone because it is WC or that you are stuck going to the one person you don’t want to have touching you because of what happened in an earlier visit?  Who would you call to lodge a complaint or would you?  If you could, would you pay for Stanford to have the study done and then go from there with that information.  I would really like to hear your thoughts on these issues.  “Pain Without Humor is Just Painful”

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