Sean, a year and a half ago I sat in one of my doctors office and ask of him to give me ten or fifteen years to finish my work and wrap things up. I was at the all time low, mentally, physically, and spiritually and was devoid of all hope. Since then a team of physicians adjusted my medications and finally over many months gotten me to a level that I can live with.

Then one month ago today my insurance company refused to pay for half of the medications I need to live a fair life. I decided to go off of the declined one, the insurance now wants me to try some other drugs, and my mental status went up a bit and my pain went to the bottom of the barrel. I know what it's like to be awake sitting slumped over in a chair with pain while everyone gets up showers and is on their way to school or work. So I start over that same road to pain relief.

I have had surgery, pt, alt. approaches like acupuncture, tens, ideation, thought therapy, meditation, reading, writing, walking, dieting, reduced lifestyle, increased mobility, you name it and I've been there.

I had a DECA scan and have arthritis in the extremities and bone demineralization but it isn't treatable beyond massive amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D. The bottom line is the pain level. One a scale from 1 to 10 how would you rate your pain level right now. The answer is pain is what you say it is. It can't be measured or defined by the physician. A huge part of your situation is going to be pain management, then physical treatment. When the degeneration affects the function of a system in the body it has to be dealt with or the body as a whole will fail. The treatment plan has to be specific and explained to you in a way that you can see exactly what it does.

Everyone is different and that's where a tailed treatment plan for you will be different than for other people, that's why "pain is what you say it is". Lack of sleep can cause you judgment to be impaired also and it's important to write down the specifics and if possible to have another person who is knowledgeable of the plan.

One last thing, I bought a memory foam mattress after surgery many years ago and it was about twelve hundred dollars and didn't work worth a dam. Live and learn the expensive way. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

Curt