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Is it time for the spinal implant for post mastectomy pain syndrome?

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

I only have Medicare right now. I don't qualify for medicaid because I get around $860 a months on disability. I can get medicaid if I have rack up $1482 in medical bills.

I have been getting lidocaine IV infusions every 6-9 weeks for the past year. Last year I got a new pain doctor due to restructuring at the pain clinic. He informed me that the Lidocaine will eventually lose it's effectiveness. And now with bilateral LE, I have to get foot IV's and I have other health conditions that make blot clots very dangerous.

I noticed that the last IV I got didn't last as long and my pain was back to what it was last summer for a few weeks. The pain dr. once again strongly suggested I get the spinal implant.

The three day trial would be a wire inserted into the spine while awake and the would activate it to make sure the tingles are hitting the right nerves to mask the pain. For three days it would be like it was after my BMX-no lifting more than a milk jug, no raising the arms above the head, no sudden movements, no driving blah blah blah. IF in those three days the tingling doesn't drive me nuts (I guess the pain counselor in summer 2011 approved me psychologically for this...I had no idea because I don't remember discussing this with the pain counselor), then I would have a permanent one inserted. The trial wire could move around I guess. The nurse told me that the scarring would keep the permanent one in place.I would be able to turn it off and on by remote control for when I need it.

Medicare will pay for my lidocaine, but NOT the $440 to administer it! I called the clinics for financial help,but since I have medicare, they are not as forthcoming to help me with costs. The finanical crisis the US is in is drying up funds. They said that since I have insurance, they are not as willing to help me as opposed to those that have no insurance.

The nurse and doctor said that Medicare is usually pretty good at paying for the spinal pain implant.

This is a harder decision for me to make than when I made it for my BMX with node dissection. The doctor drew a picture of my breast and all the cancer and precancer in it and I knew right then I wanted a BMX. It was such an easy decision for me. This surgery, not so much...

lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

Only you know the right answer for you, so I am sending you hope to find peace with whatever decision you make. Most importantly, may you find relief from the pain that you are in! xoxoxo Lynn

DebbyM's picture
Posts: 3293
Joined: Oct 2009

I hope that if you find you can afford this and hopefully can get some financial help, that it might be the answer for you.

Hugs, Debby

camul's picture
Posts: 2541
Joined: Dec 2010

will they allow you to make small payments? I know with all of my treatments and no additional assistance, my hospital and mo, have allowed me to make minimal payments for all of my co-pays which has made the my continuing treatments possible.

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