I have had cronic, severe lower back pain (L5 degenerated) for 3 years now. I am on a treatment plan that includes chiro, medical massage (my favorite!), magnetic pulse therapy, and pain meds (oxycontin, 30mg 2X per day and percs for breakthrough), plus a variety of other things I do daily to try to feel better. I have just been able to obtain insurance so I look forward to the end of the 6 month waiting period so I can look into surgery options, anything to get rid of the pain.
I have had the same doctor for the 3 years, located here in Denver. She is a pain management specialist but doesn't really offer much in the way of alternative therapies and basically scoffs at my attempts to self-treat (my latest adventure - pain "patches" which actually seem to lessen the pain).
Anyway, there have been several times when she is less than helpful and out of sorts, and was just rude to me. I walked out of her office feeling dejected but not really hurt, so I just put up with it. During my last appointment she was pretty abusive, not just rude but ugly. I'm not sure why, I've been with her for 3 years, I have self paid, followed the rules and so forth. She seemed really sick of me and told me I was "high maintenance" and used some other insults. I've never had that type of experience in my life, it is very unnerving.
I would like to know if anyone else has gone through this, or if anyone has any advice (or a referral for a good Dr. in Denver area). I have an MRI that shows proof of the source of my pain.
Wow Julie- I'm sorry to hear that your PM is treating you so badly. YES- we pain management patients can be "high maintenance", BUT not by our choice. Treating chronic intractable pain isn't as simple as prescribing an antibiotic for an infection you know? Chronic pain is something that takes time to diagnose, understand and find a the correct treatment plan that will help the patient have some kind of normal lifestyle.
Seems to me that your PM would be happy that you want to explore as many avenues as possible to help treat your pain issues other than just wanting narcotic pain meds. You are trying to help yourself and she should be thankful.
Some doctors have a "God" complex, therefore feel that the patient has absolutely NO ideas that are worthy of considering. These doctors think what they say is the golden rule and no one should dare question them. Other doctors, like my wonderful PM doctor actually appreciate a patient who will take the time to educate themselves. He feels that education is knowlege, and when a patient educates themselves on their chronic condition, it will help them be able to bring something worthy to the table.
I have had problems with doctors in the past treating me badly and is stinks. I went so far as to ask one doctor, "Excuse me, but have I don't something to make you feel that you can treat me like this? If so, tell me so we can work it out and get past this because I don't deserve to be treated this way- I'm coming to you for help." He apologized and the appointment went smoothly after that, but I did stop seeing him.
Since you are a CP'er, it's even more compounded because it's so hard to find a good and responsible PM doctor who isn't affraid to prescribe narcotic meds when needed. I would say try and work it out with your current PM, and if you are unable to do so, and she continues to belittle you, then by all means, start looking for another PM doctor. She has no right to treat you badly, call you names and make you feel less that worthy of appropriate treatment. It's unprofessional & unethical in my opinion.
I know this may not have helped much, but I did want to offer you a bit of support and understanding. Keep checking back, and also keep us posted, ok?
Thanks Ozzybug, I really appreciate your time. One more question, when I get ready to look for another back specialist, pain managment doctor, what categories should I look under? I do need someone who is trained in prescribing pain meds and it seems some aren't willing to do that (for example my regular doc who gave me the referral in the first place). Thanks again!
Well, since your primary referred you to this PM doctor, then maybe you can sit down with him and discuss your concerns about how your current PM is treating you. Ask if there are any other PM doctors in your area that aren't against prescribing meds when needed, and will not belittle you. If he can't give you another referral, then I'd recommend checking your area for other PM doctors. You can call their offices, let them know that you are currently with a PM doctor, give a very brief explanation of why you are seeking another PM group and let them know that medications & other treatments/modalities that are a part of your current treatment plan. Most of the time, they will tell you right up front if they don't prescribe meds. Ask if they are accepting new patients, and if so, do they need a referral from your primary care doctor.
If they need a referral (most do) then get one from your primary care & make an appointment. Don't let your current PM know you are seeking another doctor though because she may drop you, leaving you in serious pain & withdraws. Have an appointment with the new PM, take the time to let them know you are currently under the care of a PM (make sure you take a pharmacy print out with all your current meds), however, you feel less than comfortable with her because she is belittling you, and not treating you properly and being rude. Oh- also take the meds you are currently taking with you to the appointment.
If you like the new doctor, let him/her know you would like to continue seeing them and would like for them to request a transfer of your medical records from your current PM. They will have you sign the release forms and all.
Doing it this way will let your current PM know that you will no longer be seeing her, and you won't have to tell her in person, thus causing yourself more humiliation because of her inability to be compassionate.
If a new PM doctor decides to treat you, they will more than likely take the meds you are taking now, destroy them and start prescribing to you with a clean slate. Some PM doctors will have the patient finish the meds they are already on, then at the next appointment, or when it comes time for a refill, they start writing the scrips. (That's usually only when they are planning on treating you with the meds you are already on).
When I switched PM doctors, my PM took the meds I brought in from my previous PM doctor & destroyed them. He then wrote scrips for me, and made it known that my other meds were turned in & destroyed. He noted that I was a new patient with him and that he had taken over my care, and any & all other refills left on the meds I turned in are now invalid. This way, the pharmacy filled the new meds and my insurance paid for them
Keep checking back. Others will start to chime in with more information
PS- Lots of PM doctors actually have web sites. That is another way to research them and see what kind of treatment plans they offer.
you also have to consider the fact that a lot of cp pastients have to high of expectations. my dr told me yes there are alot of avenues to explore but to keep in mind that i should only expect minimal relief; and given that i dont much complain. the dr knows i am in pain evan with the pain meds other thaerapies. it's a fact of life of someone dealing with chronic pain. when i go to my appts i tell him how i've been the past month which is usually the same i have good and bad days and alot of pain(lol) in between that! Evan though i suffer i try to maintain some sort of positivity and i tell the dr i appreciate his help-he knows and more importantly i know that there is nothing out there to make me pain free; he does his best and indiviualizes me as a person and my pain. I always feel better when i leave his office because i knw he is on my side and understands what my life is like. Can you imagine how many ungrateful and demanding alot of paitients can be to our doctors- yeah i know there are alot of jerks for doctors out there, but sitting in the waiting room, boy i have had an earful from some what probably are real PIA when the get in there with the dr; i,m sure alot of you know what i mean. I always make a point to tell my doctor "thank you, i appreciate all you do for me".
My PM is one of those doctors that you would walk through fire for. His PA usually schedules me for as close to his last appointment on Fridays as he has. The reason? We get along so well. I usually have him laughing at some outlandish thing that I have done or tried. And because I bake alot, I usually bring some of the excess in to him. His PA says that he is always in a better mood by the time I leave. And with someof the clients they have, that is a blessing! I always thank him even if he says that he can't fix whatever we've run up against. We often argue like two 12 year olds and he gets a real joy out of being right! I sometimes think that I am treating him as much as he is treating me! What a great relationship to have. He also answers e-mails promptly! I am forever grateful that I found him..... I only hope you find the same.
What I wanted to add is another place to get names of PM docs is from your pharmacist. Trust me, they know who is the popular PM docs in the area..
Last edited by ibake&pray; 05-11-2010 at 01:23 PM.
I "fired" by GP for acting like that. He is absolutely against any alternative or complimentary medicine, openly ridicules it, and does NOT listen to me when I try to explain what's going on. He seems to think he can diagnose me and write me an Rx in 30 seconds and on to the next patient.
I suffer from severe lower back pain and I recently tried acupuncture for it. It is helping a LOT. I still do my stretches and my core strengthening exercises, but after 4 months of really bad pain it didn't start to ease until I started getting acupuncture. Other alternative therapies for back pain include Yoga and massage, which I'm also going to try.
My GP would scoff at such things, but my new doc is a Naturopath and she encourages it. And she LISTENS. Sometimes I wonder if doctors really understand how badly we just need to know they are listening and paying attention? It makes a huge difference in my confidence level.
If you have any friends or co workers or people you come in contact with that also deal with chronic pain you can talk to them about who they see. I found my current doctor through someone in my building. She tried to get me to switch for 1 1/2 years but due to a variety of things, I kept putting it off. I wish I hadn't because he has been a blessing! My insurance doesn't require a referral so I was able to make my appointment with them then have my records requested by filling out paperwork through the new place and contacting the old place after the fact. It was uncomfortable but necessary because they weren't meeting my needs. You can also search online by googling pain management followed by your location and it will bring up a list of doctors then take each one individually and google them with reviews next to it so you can get an idea of what reviews other patients have on them, sanctions the doctors might have against them, lawsuits pending or past. There is a lot of information to find out there and for free you just have to dig deep and change the search terms frequently getting your brain going quickly to keep up with your searches. Good luck on your journey!
The doctor being rude to you is 100 percent unacceptable! What is she thinking. Chronic pain means we will be back, over and over and over again. She knows this. She chose her field. If she does not like her job which includes dealing with a variety of personalities, she needs to get a new profession. From a chronic pain person here, let me add that the last thing we need when we are in pain is a crappy personality from our doctor.
I hope you can find someone else soon. I am sorry you had to be treated in that fashion!!!!! Remember, they have bosses too!!
I was told by a PM doc that my case was too complicated! He proceeded to bill my ins for a 3 min. consultation. $350.00. I told my ins. and they rejected payment & told me I was not responsible for payment. Some of these pain management docs are unscrupulous. I live in SW Fla, but in Miami there tend to be supposed pill-mills. I have a morphine-pump due to chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy, lesions in spine etal. My pump has 3 meds in it, morphine, bivocaine, and clonodine(musclerelaxant). Keep looking for a doc you can work with-it's important that I established an honest, open rapor with them. For instance, I found Alpha Lipoic Acid 900 mg. helps burning pain, I can get it for 7.00 at my health food store. Alot of trial & error , but, ultimately, I am in charge of my recovery. Keep me posted. Val
I hope you found a better doc. Some pain docs get cranky due to a lack of job satisfaction. Imagine working in an industry where no client is ever satisfied. We pain folks often expect our PM docs to make everything like it was before we got hurt, and thats not reasonable, as you are no doubt learning. Some docs, "people of science" get incredibly offended by alternative therapies. Yet others went into medicine just for the money of because their family forced them into it and they make terrible care providers because they are so unhappy with their work and have no compassion for their patients. Then again, they are people too and get cranky. And sometimes people just don't get along. Who knows, maybe she just found out her spouse was cheating on her. Who knows. Just find another doc and continue working in finding alternative therapies that help. These are where the real relief comes from and may allow you to get off opiates at some point in the future. Even if they only do a little, six of them added up can do a ton.
not only that I never experienced something like this, I wouldn't dare let anyone treat me like this. No reason for you to go through this; so many Drs looking to build their book of patients, if your Dr is not interested in you anymore, go on girl and find another good PM Dr.
First of all, good PM usually very sincere and understanding. He doesn't give up on you just b/c medication don't work. I have a lot of damages and health issues, my spine of full of titanium, developed Arachnoiditis after spinal fusions, but my PM goes with me through all this mess, trying so hard to help, trying so hard to get for me my individual "cocktail" of meds which will work.
He gets happy like a child when I report to him that I feel better and gets upset when meds stop working... not even once in 5 years I heard from him such things like you did.
Maybe it's time for you to do your homework and look for a good PM (preferable with degree in Anesthesiology, very important) and go from there.