I have a neuro-muscular disease.I have tried to deal with chronic pain on my own and it is too much for me to handle.I have no insurance.I did go to a pain clinic but it cost $400 just to visit.Then it was another $300 for the meds.I cant afford it so I gave up.Not being able to do the things I want to do because of this pain is beyond frustrating.I live in Minnesota.Anybody have any advice on how to approach this?Thanks in advance
Welcome to MedHelp's Pain Management Forum. Dealing with the challenges of Chronic Pain (CP) with insurance is difficult, dealing with it without insurance is next to impossible. My heart goes out to you.
Although you reside in a neighboring state I do not know the laws of MN. Have you been to your state social service office? Some states offer state funded insurance based on an individual's income ...... and it can sometimes be free or very inexpensive. That would be my first route.
Are your PCPs prohibited from prescribing opiates on a long term basis? In my state it is our PCP that prescribe for and follow their CP patients. I am told it's due to the rural condition that exist in WI. You do not have PMP that prescribe more then a trial period for CP patients or as a suggestion for our PCP.
There are opiates that are reasonably priced, much less then $300.00 per month. Whichever physician you end up with should be aware of your limited income and prescribe accordingly.
However it is a fact that ppl with no insurance are charged a much higher price for medications. This is due to the fact that the insurance companies "bargain" with the pharmacies for lower costs. Unbelievable right??? It sure didn't make sense to me but it is a fact. The same holds true for many clinics. The insurance companies "bargain" with them for reduced rates and those with no insurance have no bargaining power thus pay higher rates.
So please check with your local state to determine if you can obtain any insurance coverage as well as your PCP to see if he/she will prescribe pain management medications. I wish you the best and hope you will keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
I sincerely wish I had better answers for you. I'll look forward to your updates.
I realize that dealing with Chronic Pain is serious business and am not discounting the need for medications that help with pain, but I have found that when I don't listen to my body (pain gets worse when I try to keep going rather than relax and rest) even the pain medications won't work. If I keep the pain from getting worse by resting, doing something relaxing, and applying heat for 10 minutes followed by cold for 20 minutes - repeating as needed - on specific pain areas, I can distract myself with something that will keep my mind off of the pain. Focusing on the pain only makes it worse. I play Solitaire games (not timed ones, as they are too stressful), watch TV, listen to a friend talking (I often don't feel up to carrying on my side of the conversation), read a book, etc.. This works for chronic pain; stabbing pains that hit all of a sudden yank my focus back to the pain.
Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, etc. can help too. In other words try not to let the pain control you; you control it. Learn to pat yourself on the back for doing what appears to others to be "nothing." It takes a lot of concentration to keep your mind off of pain and this difficult work may be your new reality. Resting and Relaxing is your new job - one without monetary compensation but one you must do in order to be able to do any of the other things you need to do. Find what interests you enough to distract you and give it the dedication you always gave your career.
Hope this is helpful!
You offer some great suggestions. I use many of them or similar ones as part of my Pain Management Regime.
The total picture on management is never just medications.... they can only do so much and we always want to stay on the lowest dosages as possible. Therefore the great suggestions you offered or again something similar should be a part of every one's regime. From what I've heard from our members I think most of us with CP utilize more then just medications in our pain management.
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