My Name is Genie and this is My Story

A little over 9 years ago I fell at work and injured my lower back, my right knee, and bothankles.  Ever since that time, I've have had to deal with 11 surgeries, of which 9 were related  to my accident.

My first surgery was supposed to have been a reconstruction of the peroneal tendon's of the right ankle, but for some reason the doctor that was doing the surgery decided it was 50/50 as to whether the surgery should be done at that time so he opted for orthoscopic surgery, cleaning out the joint and shaving bone fragments.  One doctor told me he no longer wanted me to visit his office. Worker's comp. sent me to one of their doctors that told me it was obvious that he should have done the reconstruction of the ankle as he wanted. I had my second surgery which was a complete reconstruction of the ligament's
and tendon's of the right ankle, but unfortunately this did not take my pain away and I was told the reason my back and knee hurt was because I had developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

I was then sent for numerous lumbar blocks to try to calm the pain. When that didn't work I was sent to a Thorasic Surgeon that performed a right Lumbar Sympathectomy. It helped stop my leg turning purple from the the knee down and it became warm to the touch again but still did nothing for the pain. I was again told I needed mental help and the pain was all in my head. I can't begin to tell you what this did to me,... I was devastated, if it hadn't been for my husband I don't know what I would have done.  This doctor sent me for an evaluation to an Ortho in Washington, D.C. and later found out he a very close friend of his and of course he agreed with the other doctor that I needed mental help. I was starting to believe them, and thought maybe I am crazy, but thank God my Husband made me go to another doctor in Wheaton Maryland. This man literally saved my life and not by anything he did physically but by the way he treated me.  He assured me that this was not all in my head, that I wasn't crazy and he could prove it. This wonderful man sent me to a Thermographic Imaging Center where they determined I was suffering from Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome and an incomplete sympathectomy.

The Reflex Dystrophy was returning and had possibly never gone away.  A series of trigger point injection's were given which did give some relief but due to the drive, (about 60 miles one way) it didn't take long for the pain to return.  After that time Worker's comp. took it upon themselves to decide I didn't need anymore trigger point injection's and from then on it has been one big fight after another to get any form of treatment. I had a heel spur removed from the back of my right ankle that formed due to the way my gait had changed since the accident. The spur was cutting into the Achilles tendon.

I was sent to numerous Independent Medical Exams (IME) by worker's comp. and as anyone that has dealt with them knows, the doctors could never find anything wrong with me, even though I was suffering with RSD and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. All this time my back and knee are still paining me greatly, but everyone they sent me to said it was because of my ankle. I was sent for an IME to a doctor in Annapolis Maryland that
told Worker's comp. that there was something seriously wrong with my knee and they better allow immediate treatment before I could no longer walk. I was scheduled for an MRI which showed a huge tare in the meniscus cartilage in the right knee so I underwent orthoscopic surgery again. This time it was performed on the knee but it could not be repaired in that manner because the tare was so extensive, so my knee was cut open for repair.

I was having a great deal of ankle pain and it was popping out of place so I had to undergo another surgery. Another reconstruction of the right was done. After that time my life was filled with falls and injuries because my leg was so weak from all the surgeries. I fell down the step's one day when my knee gave out on me which resulted in a ruptured disk that led to yet another surgery..... a cervical discectomy and cervical fusion. That one just about did me in. I think the Fibromyalgia has been in full flair since that accident in January 1996.

My last surgery was in May 1997. After I was standing on the sidewalk talking to my neighbor, I just fell to the ground. We both heard a loud pop and I knew instantly that I had broken my ankle. I just didn't break it... I shattered it. A metal plate and 7 screw's were inserted for support.  It has been almost two years since I have been allowed any type of physical therapy. I have been treated like a drug addict and malingerer and accused of being a drug addict by the local pharmacist.

At this present time I am being treated by a Neurologist, who is prescribing MS Contin for the pain. How long this will last remains to be seen. The doctor also recently found that when I fell down the step's and injured my neck that I also reinjured my back. I now have 2 bulging disk's along with severe degenerative disk disease. My life has basically been ruined since that fall.

My husband and I nearly lost everything we owned. I was forced into retirement by my employer which caused me to take over $15,000.00 a year pay cut that lead us into bankruptcy. I will not let them bring us down, as we have now climbed out of the financial hole. The only thing I could wish for now is the pain to cease, but it will never be.... so it seems. This is my story, very long, I know. Many, I presume, can and do relate to similar circumstances. Thank you all for being there and reading my personal story. It is a pleasure to be associated with the Chronic Pain Relief Coalition and it's dedicated members.