I guess I lucked out, as I had to have my pump refilled, and by pure luck, there was a rep. from Medtronic's at his office. That is when I nailed my doctor, by asking him why he told me my new pump is not capable of setting me up, so it can give me a bolus amount, up to four times a day of morphine, for breakthrough pain. He talked with the Medtronic's rep. and he confirmed that it was indeed possible. So not I have to lie this on the VA, and have to get them to agree to allow for this to be done, as it is not cheap. Yet am sure they will agree to pay for it. So I caught my doctor in a plain lie, and he could not back out of it, with a Medtronic's rep. in his office. Always did say, there are more than one way to skin a cat.View Thread
No problem, my first pump only had a battery life of two years, then once that one ran out; I had to have it replaced. My doctor replaced the pump, but the location that he first chooses was a bad location was on my back flank, and I sleep on my back. This caused the new pump not to heal, so I finally told my doctor (this was the good doctor that I had), to please re-position my pump to my front, and sleeping with the thing in my back, was like sleeping with a hockey pump lying under you. So he changed it like I asked to my front, and boy did he bitch, at my catheter had become attached to my insides; and he had to free it all up, so he could move it to my front. It took him about seven hours to do. That pump lasted for six years, as they have a new battery that last longer now. Six years later, the computer said my batteries were about to go out, so it was time to have a new one implanted in me, There are some pumps out there, but not made by Medtronic's that have a much longer life to them, but they have a lot of restrictions to them. One of them is absolutely no S.C.U.B.A. diving. With my Medtronic's pump, I can still dive, but only shallow water dives, which is better than not diving at all. So the average life span of a Medtronic's pump is about 6-7 years, depending upon how often it has to dose you. FYI- Prior to getting a pump, they will test you out with a temporary type pump, with an IV in you. That way you can see if it helps very much. As for me, it was a wise decision, as with a pump, the medication does not go through your liver or stomach, where about 60% of your oral medication gets lost. With the pump, it goes straight from the pump to your pain control central (i.e. your spinal region). It does a great job in controlling your pain, but there are those times when pain will just break through your normal threshold, and you need something extra. Being provided with breakthrough pain medication for my entire time, then to have this guy pull the plug on it was a low blow; and I refuse to allow him to increase the flow rate, because that will have me sitting up on cloud nine, a feeling I hate. Prior to my pump, I was taking eight 80mgs. of Oxycottin, three times daily. That is the same as taking 384 Percodan's a day. So you can see why I switched. Not to mention I have stage four (end stage) cirrhosis of the liver, so I would most likely be dead, had I stayed on oral medication, I contacted hepatitis-C while I was in the navy, back in the 1070's, and back then, there was no such thing as a disposable syringe; they reused the syringes and needles over and over. To sterilize them, they put them in an incubator, but unknown to them, heat does not kill the hepatitis-C virus. Good Luck, LeeView Thread
What gets me, is after I had my forth pump implanted last year, I asked my doctor if the pump I now have is capable of giving me an extra bolus amount of medication, just for breakthrough pain, and he told me no. Yet when I was on the phone last week with Medtronic's, the woman looked up which pump was implanted in me, and told me that, yes, I do have the type of pump that can give me an extra dosage of medication, for the times I am really hurting. Who cares what the cost is, as the VA is paying for all my office visits, as it is service connected (I contacted hepatitis-C while in the navy, back in the 10970's, before they used disposable syringes, yet now it has progressed to stage four (end stage) cirrhosis of the liver. My hepatologist, who is one of the top five in the US, as he was the one who treated Naomi Judd, and Pamela Anderson, stated that end stage cirrhosis can cause severe arthralgia and arthritis in almost all my joints, and that I suffer form it on a daily basis. Yet my pain doctor just does not pay attention. This doctor will not even write you a note, so you could use is for back up ammo, when fighting with the VA, and it is not just me, he does not write notes for any of his other people he treats, as I guess he makes better money writing books about chronic back pain, as he has wrote two of the so far. If you ask me, he is the one who is starting to become the big pain. I am going to just tell the VA to find me a new doctor to take over my pump; yet do not send me to the one and only doctor that doctor was so arrogant, that my alarm was going off, which meant the my pump was about to run out of morphine. This doctor refused to turn my alarm of told me I would be better off getting myself drug tested, and then go to a methadone clinic. It was a good thing that my wife was with me, otherwise, I might have hauled off, and cold cocked that dam doctor for even suggesting something like that.View Thread
Hi, I also am a 100% service connected disabled veteran. I have had an implanted Medtronic's morphine pump in me for the past twelve years, and was not until two years ago, that I forced the VA to pick up the bill for seeing a private pain management doctor. Yet he did a 180 on me, I saw a doctor at the new pain clinic the VA has, and his advice for me was to get a new doctor; not that easy to do, as I think they put you on a black list or something. Yet, when it comes time for my pump to be re-filled, my old doctor's (I wish) nurse will call me and tell me that I must come in to have my pump re-filled, as they knew I have not found a new doctor yet. All these years, I have always had breakthrough pain meds, but now my doctor refuses to give me any, as he just wants to increase the flow rate of my pump. Soon he will have me in left field, not knowing what in the heck is going on, and I hate that feeling, As for you, I have always found the pen to me mightier then the sword, and I would start to write my congressmen and Senators, they can work magic sometimes. Good Luck.View Thread
Hi, thank you for your response. My doctor did change my medication to Dilaudid, but the side effects were miserable, so after about two months, he put me back on morphine, yet he refuses to provide breakthrough pain medication to me; choosing to increasing the flow rate of my pump instead. I have asked him on several occasions, why he will not provide me with breakthrough medication, and the only thing he says is "We have been through this before, and I am not going to talk about it again". The only thing that I admitted to, was to his nurse, because while on the Dilaudid, I lost any type of appetite I had, and was unable to sleep. I had just got out of the hospital, due to the VA having me on the wrong medications for my diabetes, which kept building up in my body, until my blood sugar finally did crash. So I told my doctor's nurse that I tried taking a puff or two of marijuana. Yet when my doctor had me drug tested, it came out negative. Trying to find a new pain management doctor is almost impossible. It seems like he has black listed me, as his office will always call me, knowing that I have yet found a doctor, and making an appointment for me to have my pump to be re-filled. I called Medtronic's, and asked them for a list of doctors who are able to manage a morphine pump where I live (St. Louis, MO.) and the list was very short, and almost all the doctors that I have called, I am told they are not excepting new patients. So it looks like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. More so, after Medtronic's told me my new pump is capable of hooking up some type of thing that would allow myself to give me an extra bolus amount of medication, from my pump, up to four times a day, yet my doctor never said a word about it.View Thread
Thank you for your reply; I received a phone call from my old pain doctor, and he advised me to get rid of the doctor. I also had to go see a pain doctor that the VA just opened a pain clinic; they are the ones who pay for me to be fee based out, and that doctor also told me to get rid of him. I finally found a new doctor who is willing to take over. The first thing I will ask her is if she will give me breakthrough pain meds, and to please turn down my morphine pump. I used to go for forty days before I needed a re-fill, now I am at twenty-two days. I would like to live what is rest of my life, not looking down from cloud nine, or being out in left field. Breakthrough pain is pain the crosses your normal threshold of what my pump can not take care of. But tell that to my liver, when is starts poking at me like a knife. I contacted hepatitis-C while in the navy, back in the 1970's, yet now it has progressed to stage four (end stage) cirrhosis of the liver. Had I know it was going to do that, I may have had a drink every now and then, but I have not touched the stuff since I was told I had hepatitis-C. My liver doctor is ranked in the top five in the US. He is the same doctor who treated Naomi Judd & Pamela Anderson.View Thread
I got cut off, sorry. but my fingers would not move at all,so he would inject cortisone in the finger joint, and it was amazing how well that worked.I have also tried some different types of exercise in a pool, yet non of them worked. The doctor who has been treating me, would only provide pain medication, and re-filling my pump, he would refuse to do anything else. If you asked this doctor to write a note for me, in y fighting with the VA, he refuses, yet he has time to write two books. I have to see him one more time for a refill, before I see my My old pain doctor called me at home, as I asked him if he would. When I told him how he wanted to treat my breakthrough pain, he told me to get rid of him. It was a sad day that they closed down the pain clinic at BJC-St. Peter's, so he just went back to work as an anesthesiologist at the hospital.My diabetes has not been doing very well, until I found a private endocronologist, as the VA had me on Medmorphine & Glyburide, the stuff loaded up in my system and when I went to drive to a doctor's appointment, I passed out, and went into full renal failure. Onec, my pain doctor said that he would not give me breakthrough medication, due to my liver disease, but my doctor, Dr. Bacon, said he had no problem with me taking breakthrough medication; Any other question, just ask, thanks for reading my post. Lee BolinView Thread
None, I have tried acupuncture,nerve blocks,and had one man from China, who did a massage on my feet,that hurt so good, but he has since moved. I visited the VA's new pain management clinic that has just opened up; yet the only thing he told me was to find another doctor; easyer said then done. BJC Hoapital will not alow you to see another doctor that works for BJC. Then try to find a doctor who is willing to take over manageing my pump is very hard to do. My firsst pain doctor did just about everything for me, he would inject my wrists with cortizone, when they became unbareable, I would also get something called trigger fingerView Thread
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.