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Email note from Lelena Peacock on protecting her mother from dangerous injections

As promised, a summary of details regarding my mother and her epidural injections from June 2017-September 2017.
My 73 year old mother, who suffers from moderate dementia in addition to her chronic pain issues averaged about two
injections monthly after the pain management doctor that took care of us mysteriously left the clinic we attend. I would guess
she had 8 to 10 invasive procedures including diagnsotic lidocaine injections, epidural cortisone injections, & at least one radio
frequency ablation during this 4 month period. The injections proved devastating for her.

She takes 120 Morphine Milligram Equivalents per day, specifically 20mg of oxycontin twice per day, and 10 mg percocet 4
times a day for breakthrough. She writhes without her pain medicine. I have seen her in tears before. Her diagnoses include a
severe spinal stenosis (MAIN pain issue!) in the lumbar region, rheumatoid arthritis, various joint replacements (including a
knee, shoulder, and a healed broken hip that still bothers her).

These injections are a requirement to attend her follow up appointments to receive her opioid medications. The receptionist
told me that the doctor required the injections to be done BEFORE the next follow up appointment, or the follow up
appointment would be CANCELED. I expressed great concern, because my mother would being in agony after these procedures,
and she would need assistance sitting up in bed to eat breakfast for at least two weeks after each injection. It took her a FULL
MONTH to recover, and only somewhat! She is NOT BETTER for having them, but FAR WORSE in my humble opinion.

I started to research these injections and was horrified to find out they were not FDA approved. I learned that they can cause
terrible problems, such as adhesive arachnoiditis. I sought out doctors on Twitter, who were exceedingly helpful (Dr. Terri
Lewis, Dr. Margaret Aranda, Dr. Stefan Kertesz). I truly feel I failed my mother. I still worry they will start requiring more
injections for her treatment in the future.

I am VERY suspicious that she has developed adhesive arachnoiditis. Previous to this summer and fall, my mother only had 4 or
5 injections PER YEAR. She has had epidural injections for well over a decade as a pain intervention modality, mostly for her
spinal stenosis or sacrociliac joint.

The other issue that disturbed me during the time of these nonstop epidurals was the pain clinic ^accidentally^ having
appointments with my mother without my presence. Since she has dementia, and I am her proxy, they CANNOT seperate us
during her follow up appointments! I finally had to slightly raise my voice at the receptionists and nurses to stop this madness. I
said that we were going to have problems if they continued to schedule appointments with my mother without my presence
because of her memory issues. In hindsight, it appears as if they wanted to get her alone so she would agree to procedure after
procedure. In my opinion, any medicare recipient like my mother are very much at risk for excess, torturous, invasive spinal
injections for fear that they will lose the only pain management with opioids they receive. It's extortion. OH, and these
procedures average about $1600 to $3000 or more, depending on the specific type.