ember, Pain Awareness Month, we asked to you “share your story,” in the hopes of helping others know that there is hope for a different outcome. One that does not involve the fear of how much pain you will wake up with, if you will be able to play with your child or grandchild. We hope that these three amazing stories will help those who suffer in pain and often feel like there is no hope, the light and knowledge, that there is hope for relief.
It’s not a complicated story… A few years ago I would lie on my left side in the bed to watch TV before going to sleep and my left hip started to hurt. I figured I had just lain on my left side too long, so I would turn over and keep watching TV and I didn’t think about it much. As time went on, my left hip wouldn’t allow me to lie down on my left side at all. I noticed, my lower back would ache A LOT. It was hard to walk and I couldn’t stand in place at all. I would have to sit down or, at the minimum, keep moving to keep the pain manageable.
I went to an orthopedic doctor after a fall and my foot had sustained a chip fracture. I had foot surgery to remove the bone chips, yet, the orthopedic doctor didn’t seem to care that I was having major hip and lower back pain. He did an x-ray and said I had arthritis and I would just have to live with it. He would give me cortisone shots to help with the pain, but otherwise didn’t seem to care. After some time, I was going in for shots more frequently because they just weren’t lasting. I had finally had it with the doctor so I made an appointment with another orthopedic doctor and he took the time to speak with me and said that the pain level wasn’t consistent with arthritis. He did an exam and some x-rays and said yes I had arthritis but not enough to cause this level of pain. He then was able to diagnose me with bursitis and that’s why I couldn’t lay down on my left side at all. So I was very angry with my previous doctor for telling me to deal with it, when I didn’t have to.
I went to my general doctor because my back was getting worse and no one would say anything except that I had arthritis and that all I could do was deal with it. He did an MRI but said nothing major was going on, and again, I would have to deal with it.
I then moved from Kansas City to Louisiana. The doctor I saw there didn’t go beyond the initial diagnosis from Kansas City. So the pain was medicated and that was all. After a while, he did recommend I go to a pain specialist because of the pain meds. I went to the doctor and he said I had a stuck SI joint and recommended I do physical therapy, I did a couple of weeks of PT before moving to Cumming, Georgia.
I set up appointments with a general doctor, again delivered the diagnosis I was given in Kansas City. She took the appointments at face value and prescribed all of my existing medications. My new Georgia doctor went out on maternity shortly after I started seeing her. Her back up doctors prescribed my pain meds for 1 month and then wanted to see me before continuing the script. I came in and advised the doctor of the diagnosis and he didn’t believe me. I then took a urine test to prove to him what meds I’ve been taking. Honestly the doctor was very condescending and made me cry because I didn’t feel I should’ve been shamed for needing pain meds when I had a diagnosis and I only asked for pain meds once a month. The only good thing that came from that appointment was he referred me to Atlanta Spine Specialists. I called and made an appointment honestly expecting that get the same “deal with it” speech. Dr. Skaily renewed my pain meds, scheduled an MRI and asked if had a previous MRI for comparison. I did actually have one from my GP in Kansas City about 2 years previous. When Dr. Skaliy saw the radiologist write up from the previous MRI he was disgusted because they didn’t review the MRI closely. They made vague statements causing my doctor to give me the “deal with it” speech. Needless to say the new MRI showed my entire lumbar spine was bulging, I also have a cyst in the nerve bundle at the base of my spine causing inflammation, which in turn was causing pain. I finally had a diagnosis of Chronic Lumbar Radiculopathy. We did a trial on the neural stimulator and it relieved my pain. I was in tears for an entire week of just total relief that something had finally relieved my pain. Dr. Skaliy and his staff worked liked crazy for several months fighting my insurance to get the stimulator implanted. Needless to say I’m not 100% pain free, but I’m for the most part at 99.9% pain free. I appreciate that Dr. Skaliy listened to me and didn’t say “deal with it”.
We are also pleased to announce the following patients will receive prizes as well for sharing their stories. James Cotton Dear Dr Skaliy: A number of years ago I was suffering with a long lasting pain in my lower buttock area. The only thing that seemed to help were painkillers, like Meloxicam. I had 2 epidurals and they did little good. I came into Dr. Skaliy and he performed an evaluation. Dr. Skaliy did 2 Facet Blocks and a Radio Frequency Ablation for me. My back was a little sore the next day after the RFA, but the pain was gone. The relief lasted about one year. I went back in for another FB/RFA series and the next day after the RFA, I was pain free. That procedure was 4 years ago in May of 2016. Since that time, I have been pain free. I would whole-heartedly recommend Dr. Skaliy and his wonderful treatments. Jerry Foster I was sent by my Neurologist to Atlanta Spine Specialists for my neuropathy. As I was going through the process of deciding whether I wanted to have a spinal cord stimulator, I ruptured a disc and was in severe pain. When I went to see my Orthopedic Surgeon, we determined surgery was my only option because the rupture was almost 10 millimeters and I could hardly get out of bed or walk. Because of Covid-19 the surgery couldn’t be scheduled for 4 weeks. The Doctor and staff got me in for an injection within 2 days and my pain was improved by 50%. Then a few days later, I received a second injection and my pain was relieved by 80%. This was life changing to me. I was able to live through the days before surgery.
Dr. Skaliy, Atlanta Spine Specialists
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is my hope that this will provide the knowledge to others that there is life beyond pain and enable me to help them achieve a pain free life.