Chapter 12-5: New Clinic - Surgery

On March 15th, 2005 we walked into Kaseman Pain Clinic. Our initial impression was that the clinic was better organized than Lovelace. After eight visits at Lovelace they were still entering his health insurance information into the computer. At Kaseman, the initial visit lasted an hour, the longest time a pain specialist had spent with Bob so far.  Looking over his MRI, the doctor made it clear that Bob’s neck was in bad shape. As the summer wore on with little pain relief, Bob was stumbling more often; dropping cups, plates even paper, and in July began to lose control of his bowels. He was rushed into surgery at the end of August.

Drystone Wall, Lake District, Great Britain

After surgery Bob woke up in excruciating pain and it was a struggle to get a nurse to listen and do anything.

“So I just laid there in agony. At least Maureen was there & I could talk with her 2 help distract from the pain. Plus there was a TV with the coverage of New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina had torn it up & there were many many people who had lost everything & worse, who had died. This helped put things in perspective 4 me as there was so much suffering there.”

It’s been well documented that post-operative patients whose pain is well controlled do better, reduces the onset of chronic pain syndromes, leave the hospital sooner and return to normal function quicker. Unfortunately this was not Bob's experience.