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Old 05-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
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Really getting frustrated w/doctor

I need some advice on how to deal with a doctor who kind of just brushes off my complaints of increased pain. I am post-cervical fusion, so the doctor I have been going to is a spinal surgeon. Today I called his office (after much thought about it) and asked to talk to the PA. I explained to her that my pain has increased since my last appointment, and is in a new location. She checked with the doc and told me to continue doing what I am already doing. I was REALLY angry when she said this. Did she not understand why I was calling her in the first place? I don't just call the doctor for fun when everything is working well. Finally she referred me to a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor. She said maybe he can do trigger point injections and then started talking to me about treatment for fibromyalgia. NO ONE has ever talked to me about fibromyalgia before, and as far as I know, I do not have a diagnosis of this. I would think if someone were to give me a daignosis as heavy as this, someone should sit down with me and explain the disease. I am really angry and had to work so hard today at work to not break down in tears. Can anyone offer me kind words or any advice?

 
Old 05-07-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

((((Hugs))))) I can't imagine someone has made this diagnosis and has not explained it but then again the more I read on the boards anything is possible. I would definitely be going back to see my spinal surgeon and obtaining an explanation on it.

 
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:07 PM   #3
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

Toonces1,

I know how you feel. I have a list of doctors I have seen that I have had to stop seeing, for one reason or another. So many of them are arrogant and more interested in making the payment on their Mercedes than in actually listening to me. It's not as if I am an uninformed patient, either. I do my research, make my list of things to discuss, and tell the doctor anything I think could be pertinent to my condition and how he/she should treat it. I'm tired of them throwing the wrong medications at me, when it's so easy to cause one of my other conditions to be negatively impacted. I'm weary of not being taken seriously, of having surgeries I didn't necessarily have to have, of being told to stay on a course of treatment when it clearly either isn't working, or, worse yet, causing other problems.

I wish I could just say, I'm done with the medical profession, but unfortunately, I need them because I am still in bad shape. But I wish I get back the money I have spent, the years wasted, the pain suffered...etc., all due to poor treatment and incorrect diagnoses on the part of the doctors I have encountered.

I hope you have the financial means and/or ability through insurance to find a doctor who really listens to you and with whom you can form a trusting partnership. It is vital to your health!

I am sorry you are feeling badly and will add you to my prayer list. Let us know how you're doing!

Blessings,
TexMom

 
Old 05-07-2008, 08:55 PM   #4
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

Toonces, A PM&R doc is not necessarily a bad thing. The doctor who has been my pain management doc for 8 years is a physiatrist. (That is the technical name for a doc who specializes in Phsys. Med & Rehab) Many surgeons just don't want to deal with managing the pain and ensuing issues from a procedure, after a while, so they send the patient off to pain management.

This doc will probably be able to offer you several options to help with any post-op pain or problems you might have. They are sometimes more open to prescribing meds as well.

So, in my opinion, this is probably a good move. Didn't one doc tell you that you had myofascial pain? Some docs do not know the difference between fibro and myofascial and some patients have both. I've always had the chronic myofascial diagnosis from my doc, but have seen PA's and other docs who just think that it and fibro are interchangeable (which they are not) I wouldn't get too worried about that right now. Sometimes I correct the ones who call mine fibro, but many of them have looked at me and said, "Oh, well yeah, whatever" and just gone ahead with what they were doing.

So, in essence, I think you might just have it better with this doc from PM&R. Take care, cmpgirl

 
Old 05-08-2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

I am sorry You have to deal with all this while in pain.
As a Fibromyologa patient myself I can tell you that stress contributes to muscle and soft tissue to get tighter and to hurt you even more.

Fibromyologa is not something you have to have fear about. This usually diagnosed by symptoms only, some DRs don't even believe in it, some missdiagnose it. No blood work or tests available to prove you have it or even if you have, not much they can do anyway.
Usually stretches, PT, muscle relaxers, sometimes anti-inflammation meds, usually Lurica or Celebrex to just help with pain.

My Rheumotologist (I have RA on a top) says that if I would come to him just for Fibromyologa he would be very happy for me. Another words, Please, don't worry about this. Just try to avoid stress. I can tell for sure (my own experience) nothing works better for FBM than yoga and gym. You will forget your aches and pains - I promisse you. I did this for years before my spinal fusion surgeries and can tell you and everyone else - this is the best medicine for sore muscles and painful tissue...I don't know your surgical history of course...

Best of luck to you!

 
Old 05-08-2008, 08:58 PM   #6
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

Please remember also that a LOT of us, including me, have had this same expierience with surgeons.

You know how they say that when the only tool you own is a hammer. every problem begins to look like a nail? To me that sums up how surgeons think, there is one 'fix' for every problem, IE surgery. To most surgeons, if they can recognize an issue as surgical, and then they operate on it, it is fixed once and for all, therefore if we keep having pain, we are either having a whole new problem, or we are malingering.

It is really annoying to have to deal with this, I had to BEG just for a referral to PT which didnt even help all that much, And I didnt even begin to be treated for chronic pain until I left the surgeon and returned to my internist for care.

I was relieved that my primary didnt seem to find it unusual for me to have continued pain after a cervical fusion, and unlike the surgeon, he even told me he wouldnt consider a fusion patient as having chronic pain until 6 months to a YEAR after the surgery, because it can take that long to heal and for nerve pain to resolve itself.

If I needed more surgery, the very first time I felt the surgeon was dragging his feet as far as treating my pain, I would ask to leave his care and return to regular pain management.

Hope this helps, at least you know you arent alone!
Your Friend, Fabby

 
Old 05-08-2008, 09:12 PM   #7
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

Great post by Fabby........


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabrashamx View Post
To me that sums up how surgeons think, there is one 'fix' for every problem, IE surgery. To most surgeons, if they can recognize an issue as surgical, and then they operate on it, it is fixed once and for all, therefore if we keep having pain, we are either having a whole new problem, or we are malingering.
I agree 100%. Additionally, they tend to group everyone into the same category re: recovery time, typical pain levels, & etc. When you fall outside this "average", they just don't get it.


Quote:
It is really annoying to have to deal with this, I had to BEG just for a referral to PT which didnt even help all that much, And I didnt even begin to be treated for chronic pain until I left the surgeon and returned to my internist for care.
Yes....Sometimes I think surgeons believe patients like the experience of pain meds and just want to continue, which isn't the case.


Quote:
I felt the surgeon was dragging his feet as far as treating my pain, I would ask to leave his care and return to regular pain management.
Additionally, surgeons fail to realize that sometime the surgery just doesn't work....Or even worse, that sometimes surgical procedures aggravate the situation you have.



Ex

 
Old 05-09-2008, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

Thank you. These all seem to echo my experience. I was thinking today, that not once has my surgeon ever asked me what my pain level was, or how my symptoms or pain is interfering with my functioning or my life. He has never asked about the quality of my pain, or if it has changed (it has). He wants to see the films, and make a decision, period. I could tell him that I was growing a third arm out of my head, and I don't think it would even register. Before I had my surgery, everyone said how great of a surgeon he was, but what kind of spinal surgeon doesn't ask a patient what kind of pain they are in or how bad it is? I'm debating not returning to him. I also don't want to get branded as a difficult patient. I think he has probably already put in my chart that he thinks some of my pain is psychogenic. I am a social worker, and if I even thought for a moment that a mental issue was contributing to my pain, I'd be the first one to speak up. Anyway, I am ranting. Thanks for the continued support and advice.

 
Old 05-10-2008, 02:13 AM   #9
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

From my experiences over the year of being a CP Pain patient a spinal surgeon is not the Dr for you to see anymore for your pain and complaints. you now need to get yourself into a pain management Dr so they can treat you with other methods to control your pain.

This is just the way surgeons are. they don't coddle patients and feel bad for you, they just brush you off, so now just move on to someone that CAN help you. after my lumbar surgery my surgeon did not want to help me at all so I went right to a pain doc and he helped me SO much more. he got me into pool therapy, PT, and I had some injections. All of which made me worse so I am now in pain meds for life with Lyrica and paxil. don't torture yourself, please go and see soemone who actually cares about your pain issues.

SS

 
Old 05-10-2008, 06:02 AM   #10
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

Toonces, I really hope you decide to make an appointment with this Phys. Medicine doc. As I said, previously, that is what my PM is and he has an excellent concept of chronic pain (pain in general) and this doc that they want to refer you to may be just what you need. The way I see it, what could it hurt? This surgeon certainly isn't helping.

Hang in there and let us know what you decide. Take care, cmpgirl

 
Old 05-10-2008, 06:06 AM   #11
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

I agree surgeons do not want to mess with chronic pain patients they want to operate.

 
Old 05-10-2008, 02:04 PM   #12
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

I made an appointment with the physical med doctor for Thursday. They sent me this long questionairre that I have to fill out and bring with me, and said I have to bring all of my films (which are a lot). Do you guys know if he will take over all of my meds, or will he just add stuff if necessary to what the surgeon already prescribed. Based on what you guys have talked about, it seems like pm docs want to be in control of all of your prescriptions. Thanks for all of your help. I hope this doctor works out better for me and my quality of life will improve.

 
Old 05-10-2008, 04:21 PM   #13
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Re: Really getting frustrated w/doctor

Toonces, In my experience, they will generally keep you on meds that are working for you, suggest and prescribe different meds, if your current ones are ineffective, and go over any other options or modalities that they think are relevent to your particular needs. They are specifically trained to diagnose and treat pain.

This doc might also order new diagnostic tests if he or she feels that any previous tests you have had, are inconclusive or do not support your current symptoms. Don't be surprised if this doctor actually gives you a new pain diagnosis. It's very common for a physiatrist to keep digging till they get to the very root of a patients pain. Because they are in the business of treating pain, they take the time and the steps to find out exactly what is causing it.

If you take other meds for non pain related issues, like diabetes or high blood pressure, they generally have you continue to see the doc who diagnosed and has treated you for those particular conditions. If it is related to your pain, they will treat it. My first appointment with my doc was 1 hour and 45 minutes. He didn't just examine me. We talked, in depth, about everything that I was experiencing.

I know there are probably physiatrists out there that are jerks, just like all other specialties, but the majority are life savers. I have had occasion, over the years, to have to be seen by 2 of the other docs in his practice, and they were just as great as he is. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Take care, CMP

 
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