Hi, my name is Heather. I'm legally blind and somewhat hearing impaired. I've got a number of chronic conditions including disc degeneration, permanent nerve injury in my back and both legs and osteoarthritis.
I'm creating this because I need help covering one of my medications, Lidoderm patches. It had been covered for over 5 years, but the policy changed this year. I'm still appealing, but have had no luck so far.
My primary care doctor still wants this medication because it's the only thing that has worked and makes an immense difference in my quality of life and ability to function and take care of myself. I have trouble sitting up, standing or walking for more than a brief time without it. I become mostly housebound and am rarely able to do basic activities like the dishes or laundry. Without the medication, my body tries to compensate but instead creates new problems some of which can be chronic and further disabling such as the problems with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendons swelling of this year.. Without the medication, I can't exercise much or do physical therapy which exacerbates the problem.
I have had multiple failure with other medications, my doctor says there isn't anything left to try. i've had some surgery and physical therapy. I've been through the pain management program. I've been using some of those techniques since I was a kid when I developed arthritis, like meditation and progressive muscle relaxation. Acupuncture helps a bit but not enough to offset the trouble getting there and back. With the medication helping increase function, acupuncture is then somewhat beneficial.
Without the medication, I'm unable to leave the house to deal with other medical problems, which increases overall suffering. Going in for migraines or hearing problems or anything else isn't particularly viable.
Even with the patches, the problem is not completely solved, it does however become tolerable. And it does allow me to leave the house periodically for doctor's appointments and sometimes even for fun. I'm able to do physical therapy and some exercise and chores. And it does reduce the emotional burden of the pain and disability substantially.
The medication isn't a narcotic and doesn't create a tolerance, so I can maintain the same dosage. It's applied locally and so doesn't cause interaction with the large number of other drugs I take for conditions like colitis, menopause, depression, migraines, asthma, etc. I do take narcotics as well, but as my doctor says, I'm at the point where "narcotics can have serious side effects, like sudden death". I can take fewer narcotics and have significantly greater pain relief and increased functioning with the medication as I did when it was covered.
I greatly appreciate any help you can offer. Some is better than none, and I can use smaller amounts to purchase smaller amounts of patches! Usually deals on the patches are available through other sources and I check those monthly to make sure I can get the most bang for the buck, so all help is amazing.
On a more fun note I like to listen to basketball games and drink tea – favorite right now is sage leaf. I’d like to play the piano again – was starting again playing mostly jazz – Latin and standards, and classical – love Kabalevesky and Mozart and Chopin, etc. Even if I get 5 min done at a time, totally worth it.