... After year and years of low back pain, I finally had it checked by my doctor. After tests were completed, I was referred to a "Minimally invasive spine surgeon." What is that? I was diagnosed with a torn, leaking, black colored disc. @ L-4 L-5. This M.I.S.S referred me to a pain management clinic. Went through the entire gambit of every shot, procedure, PT you could think of. I'll never forget the name, "Radio frequency Thermo coagulation." Spinal blocks were the worst. But once your numb, after 3 or 4 shots of "novacain-like" medicine, it's the pressure of the needles going in that was the freakiest part. This was 15 years ago. I continued to work, took my meds, went through more injections etc. Then finally, I was able to get on a PPO insurance plan. No more middle man. Or in my case 3 middle men to get to any relief. I made an appointment directly with a genuine Spine Surgeon! Not a M.I.S.S. I had to keep working so he kept me pain free until he said one day, we can't put off surgery any longer. Meanwhile I got a notice from the insurance company they are jacking my premium up to $1,100.00 per month! I had no choice but to drop it. I was going to switch back to the HMO but the period between when I was dropped and when I would pick up the HMO (2 weeks) I was in an accident (my first one ever) and shattered my mid spine. L-1 looked like a fireworks display on the screen. L-2 was just in 4 or 5 pieces. Sent me to the nearest hospital. Had to transfer me to another hospital where the spine surgeon was. All the time I am screaming for them to contact my spine surgeon. I was totally ignored. This "surgeon" was so intimidated by my fractures, he fitted me with a brace and sent me home after 6 days of horse shit pain control. Every day I would beg them to contact my surgeon. Nothing. My husband ended up calling him and he returned my husbands call on a Saturday morning. Go figure! A week end call from a doctor. After being released, the earliest I could see MY surgeon was 2 weeks. Not bad considering it's usually 6 weeks to get an appointment. When I finally hobbled with a walker into the exam room, he knew I had no insurance, he looked at my C_Scan and said, "I can't believe they sent you home like this! I called Dr. Payne (oh the irony) and he never called me back. Even the nurses wouldn't give me information. You were in room 311, right?" I was floored. I never cried so hard in my life. He had me admitted immediately to his hospital for emergency surgery. I need additional surgery after my vertabreas heal to remove parts of the hardware that are pushing through my back due to major muscle loss. I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know for a fact that chronic pain causes depression. This surgeon is still taking care of me knowing he isn't getting paid. He said I would never work again and just got my letter today denying my application for SSI. Sorry for rambling... I had to get this off my chest. "Real" people are tired of hearing about it. I feel better already just getting this down in a visual format. So I know I'm not going crazy