Patient Story of Annie Skerchek
We are getting ready to retire to Florida and so I started looking for pain management. I’ve been living with chronic pain for 26 yrs now. I live with Arachnoiditis, arthritis, neuropathy, severe lumbar back pain. stenosis, radiculpathy.
Since having a lumbar laminectomy in 1989 my life has never been the same. And now my spine has been reduced to bone on bone, which is crushing the nerves.
In order for me to have quality of life I need pain medication. For me that means Fentanyl patches, Fentanyl lozenge, Norco, and ativan.
I sent out about ten e-mails to different PM doctors in the Sarasota Florida area. And what happened was I only received two messages back. They both said good luck, that at this time they were full and couldn’t help me. But then I received a phone call from The Orthopedic laser surgery center in Altamonte springs Fl.. The surgeon I spoke too said he thought the head surgeon there could help me. He then ask me to go for updated MRI. I went for the MRI thinking I wasn’t going to hear from them again. But this time the head surgeon himself called me. Doctor Scott Katzman said he could fix my back with minimally invasive fusion surgery.
That when he fixes my back I won’t have to worry about the strong meds. He told me he won’t have to touch the Arachnoiditis or the arthritis. And that I should get about eighty percent relief. As you can imagine I was floored but also skeptical. I had been told that I wasn’t a candidate for surgery. Before saying yes my husband and I met with this surgeon who comes to NJ once a month. He said with the new procedures and techniques surgeries have come a long way. He’s confident I will get my life back. I’m having the surgery on March 12th.
Doctor Katzman also told me that pain meds are not easy to get in Florida. That he can write me scripts for pain medication but it’s the pharmacies where I will have trouble filling those scripts. He also said that he would work with me to get different pain meds to help with the Arachnoiditis as well as the arthritis once I am permanently in Florida.
So for now I hope and wait. I have a mom who is at the end of her life with lung Cancer. And she wants me to have this surgery. I’m hoping that she’s here long enough to see me get it. And I hope and pray that nothing goes wrong. If I can get off of some pain meds to move to Florida then that’s what I’ll do. It’s been a life long dream of ours to retire there. But we never thought I would have to worry about the pain meds.
Thank you, Annie Skerchek