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Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic


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Old 05-12-2018, 11:42 PM   #1
Eva 14
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Angry Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic

Iíve been dealing with chronic pain for well over a decade, and when I lived in California, I always had good doctors who were willing to treat my pain, and who also seemed to actually care about me as a person.

I was recently forced to move to rural Oregon, and the medical care here is awful. In this region, there is only one choice for pain management, and I just had the most disastrous appointment of my life at that clinic!

My initial appointment at the pain clinic was 6 weeks ago. $400, and the doctor only spent a few minutes with me. There was no treatment plan given. I take Methadone for pain and Dalmane for sleep. The doctor didnít like either of these meds, and I said Iím open to other suggestions.

The doctor gave me nothing for pain. Had I not had extra meds from before, I would have been sent into withdrawal. The doctor even told me that I could have a seizure if I just stopped taking the Dalmane, yet I wasnít given anything to wean me off. They were supposed to send a Dalmane script to my pharmacy electronically, but the whole office is totally disorganized. It is literally IMPOSSIBLE to get through to a person in the office via phone.

At appointment two, I hoped to get some clarification, because I was very confused. Turns out the office messed up yet AGAIN! This time, a female doctor walked in and said to me, ďDo you know why youíre meeting with me?Ē I told her I didnít, and she said that the office had made a mistake. She then asked me if I knew what my treatment plan was? I told her I did not, and she went to go talk to the doctor I had seen originally.

When she walked back into the room, I could tell that her demeanor towards me had changed. I eventually deduced that the original doctor must have told her something negative about me, but for the life of me, I couldnít figure out what it could be.

ďDid I do something wrong?Ē I asked, genuinely confused and hurt. ďNoĒ, she replied, which apparently was a lie. She appeared to be relaying whatever message the original doctor had just given her.

ďThe first thing is, you didnít even bring in the bottles,Ē she told me. She then said, ďFor all we know, you werenít even prescribed Methadone.Ē I couldnít believe that anyone would accuse me of lying about my meds! I had my former pain doctor write them a letter of referral, and I presume that letter listed my medications. Also, in California we have an online database where doctors can check whatever meds have been prescribed. I thought maybe they can also check that in Oregon.

As for why I didnít bring in my pill bottles on the first visit? Hereís why: It took weeks to get an appointment at this clinic and to get the referral, yet never ONCE did they ask me to bring in my pill bottles. If that was so important, that should have been among the first things they told me.

On the day of my first appointment, exactly ONE HOUR prior to my appointment, I got a message on my phone from a nurse asking me to bring in my pill bottles. Well, I was already ON THE BUS to the doctorís office! It was too late.

When I got to the office, the doctor did ask me if Iíd brought my pill bottles with me, and I explained that Iíd only gotten the message at the last minute, when I was already on the bus. The doctor said NOTHING about me needing to bring in the pill bottles at any later date. IF that was so important, he should have asked me to bring in the bottles the very next day!

Back to the female doctor, chastising me. She told me that the second thing I did was fill my original prescription for 30 mg. Dalmane, instead of for the 15 mg. Dalmane that they apparently wanted me on. Well, they NEVER even gave me a prescription for it!

About one month after my first visit, the doctorís office called me and asked for the name of my pharmacy. (I had already given them this info, and I couldnít believe it had taken them a MONTH.) They said theyíd send a script for Dalmane to my pharmacy. A couple days later, I called my pharmacy and asked if my prescription was ready. The pharmacy said ďyesĒ, and I picked up what they gave me. It wasnít till I got home that I noticed that the pharmacy had refilled my script from my former pain doctor. I figured that the pain clinic had never sent anything over.

By the way, at my first visit, there was NO pain contract or discussion of any rules, but I went ahead and asked the doctor, anyway. The doctor actually ENCOURAGED me to find a primary care doctor and encouraged me to get my sleeping pills from a PCP. I asked if this was okay? I wanted to be 100% sure. He said it was fine. Well, I did NOT even get anything from a new doctor; the pharmacy had simply refilled the Dalmane from my old doctor (unbeknownst to me.)

I remained calm with the female doctor, but I definitely needed to explain myself. I hadnít done anything wrong! She said to me, ďIt sounds like there were a couple of misunderstandings.Ē Iíll say! And their own mistakes and misunderstandings are being held against ME? What on earth did I do that was so terrible as to merit being DISMISSED from their clinic?

So, I was treated like trash. They didnít give a damn about my pain. To add insult to injury, I was charged $200 for nothing! $200 to be told I was being dismissed! I told her I really wished that someone would have informed me of this BEFORE I expended the time and money to come in for another appointment.

The female doctor basically lied to me by telling me that I should find a primary care doctor and that THEY would prescribe my opiates for me. Now, I have already heard that the local hospital FORBIDS PCPís from prescribing opiates, and she HAS to know that. She also recommended a quack doctor who operates a phony pain clinic (his reviews are horrible! Total rip-off.) She also said that unlike California, Oregon has an opioid epidemic, which may be true.

This is the ONLY pain clinic/pain doctor in the entire area! What am I supposed to do NOW? I still donít even understand why I was treated so badly on my second visit. On the first visit, the doctor acted like he was going to treat me. He didnít tell me a thing about meds, but he did tell me he was going to refer me to a neurologist and a sleep clinic. (Iíve done both of those before, but I was willing to try them again. Now, no referrals. Nothing.)

I really feel like I want to cry. I never wanted to move to Oregon, and I feared that the medical care here would be lacking. Little did I know it would be a nightmare like this! I have always been a model pain patient who never broke any rules. Now, Iím being treated like garbage.

Is there any point in trying to get my records from this place? You canít even get through on the phone, and Iíll just bet the people at the office have likely been instructed not to talk to me. I donít know when Iíve ever been treated so badly by the medical profession. I really canít afford to fly to California to see my old doctor, but I also canít live in this degree of pain.

Thanks for any advice at all.

 
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:03 AM   #2
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Re: Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic

Eva,
I understand you are frustrated but you should slow down a bit and try to see things objectively.
From your post, you are a new patient to this practice, coming to them on some rather hefty medications, and it doesnt sound like other than the letter from your previous doctor, you provided them any info such as pharmacy records, dosages when you first went to their office.
Yes, they should have told you to bring your bottles when you scheduled the appointment IF they knew when scheduling you were a current patient transferring your care to this office. If they didn't know that when the appt was made, getting angry at them for calling you an hour before the visit is a bit unreasonable. They have no idea how you are getting to the appt, so calling you an hour before shouldn't be viewed as a huge deal .
The first doctor did ask for the bottles and since the new office is in another state, there is no reason to assume they can access Californias database. You could have gotten a print out of your prescription history before you moved to bring to your new state.
At the 2nd appt, even though you say you weren't told to bring the bottles, you should have automatically after the phone call requesting them for the first visit.
Did you read the letter from your previous doctor? He may or may not have told the new doctor what you are prescribed or the dosages. Many doctors provide a patient history, diagnostic info, social history, previous medical conditions but not prescription history in those letters.
I didn't see where you got dismissed but maybe you didn't share that.
If I were you, I would slow down a bit, and confirm these things before you make another appt and ensure you have all the info they need prior to the appt.

Last edited by backhurtz; 05-14-2018 at 06:09 AM.

 
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:53 PM   #3
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Re: Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic

I am so sorry you are dealing with this stuff in a new town where you didn't want to go in the first place! I had that experience 10 years ago in June. My husband was transferred and I was given 3 months to sell, pack and move the house, get kids settled in schools, find a PCP, dentist, orthodontist,set up new services, cancel old services, etc...as you know it can be crazy.
One thing I did do though that SAVED em so many headaches was take a copy of my pharmacy/medical records from my pain docs just like I would shot records for my kids. I even had my MRIs on CD for my new doc. I asked about referrals to a new pain doc before leaving the much larger town we lived in, but I got ZERO information so I was on my own.
My point is, we are responsible for advocating for our own healthcare. Since opioid abuse is such a hot topic, I would think it imperative that we all do as much homework as we can if something threatens our ability to get treatment.
Did the new docs have your records from the previous clinic? You would have had to have signed a form for them to request them. Now I actually write down what I need to know before I call a docs office to make a new appointment so I don't get flustered or distracted by the office staff and forget to ask things like do they need anything to get my records or do I need to bring anything else with me such as pill bottles or exrays/mris.
Unfortunately, from their viewpoint as a busy clinic, they might have thought you were purposely giving them the least information possible because they don't KNOW you, and they probably see plenty of people trying to scam opioids. With the potential for trouble for the clinic, I think we have all found they are having to go over and above to keep everything on the up & up. No more gray areas. Sadly not nearly enough individual treatment - we tend to get lumped together.
THe other red flag would be the pharmacy refilling your old scriptand you not letting the office know. that and it was double the dosage amount they prescribed. That happened to me recently. They had changed my Zanaflex from three 2 mg pills to one 6 mg pill - added up to the same amount - but pharmacy filled the 2mg. I immediately called my pain doc's office to let them know and ask what they wanted me to do. THey had me keep that one and not get the 6 mg one. I am sure they probably double checked me, but what saved me this time adn when I was prescribed opioids for surgery - was me getting hold of the doc and having them work with me instead of letting them find out on their own.
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Last edited by momzworkin; 05-14-2018 at 01:56 PM.

 
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:20 PM   #4
Eva 14
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Question Re: Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic

Thanks for the replies. I did get dismissed from the pain clinic. I just never have experienced anything like that before.

All my life, Iíve lived in California. The few times Iíd had to see a new pain doc, they were always able to look up my prescription history on the online database. I really had no idea that the different states arenít linked. I thought that info could easily be looked up.

I know that my previous pain doc sent over some records. I didnít see what he sent.

I honestly had no idea why they even asked me to bring in my pill bottles. The doctor had said something about a ďpill countĒ, and I assumed that was the reason. I had no idea that they were asking me to bring in my pill bottles just to verify that I was on the meds I said I was. Why couldnít they just call my pharmacy in California? With my permission, if they need it?

Okay, so Iím not familiar with the procedure for transferring medical care to another state. I never thought Iíd live anywhere but California. I did research pain doctors on my own, but I had no idea that I was supposed to ask for a print-out from my pharmacy. I thought that the records that my doctor sent over would suffice.

So now Iíve been dismissed from the pain clinic, and itís the only pain clinic around here. What on Earth am I supposed to do now? I asked my doctor to send over my records. I thought I had done everything I was supposed to do. Moving to a new place for the first time in my life was a really traumatic experience, especially since I never wanted to go here.

Thanks for any advice.

 
Old 05-18-2018, 06:20 AM   #5
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Re: Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic

With the privacy laws doctors can no longer just call another office or pharmacy without a signed consent form in place. Some states are linked although many are not, and each doctor would need to be licensed and enrolled in the state to access that information in the database.
As far as the bottles go, many if not the majority, ask to have a patient bring them in to a new doctor, even if they did not prescribe them. It's not just PM doctors, but many drs ask patients to bring them in to make sure they have the right meds, dosages, etc in your file..
I would write your old pharmacy and request a complete report on your prescriptions filled so you have it. Request your records from your previous doctor and any CTS, MRI imaging reports, test results so when you find a new dr, you can provide a complete record.
The other issue is that refill of the sleep med being filled. We, as the patient need to double check at the pharmacy the right meds, dosages, and doctors names are on the bottles before we leave. I would cancel any remaining refills of that sleeping med so it is not accidentally filled again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva 14 View Post
Thanks for the replies. I did get dismissed from the pain clinic. I just never have experienced anything like that before.

All my life, Iíve lived in California. The few times Iíd had to see a new pain doc, they were always able to look up my prescription history on the online database. I really had no idea that the different states arenít linked. I thought that info could easily be looked up.

I know that my previous pain doc sent over some records. I didnít see what he sent.

I honestly had no idea why they even asked me to bring in my pill bottles. The doctor had said something about a ďpill countĒ, and I assumed that was the reason. I had no idea that they were asking me to bring in my pill bottles just to verify that I was on the meds I said I was. Why couldnít they just call my pharmacy in California? With my permission, if they need it?

Okay, so Iím not familiar with the procedure for transferring medical care to another state. I never thought Iíd live anywhere but California. I did research pain doctors on my own, but I had no idea that I was supposed to ask for a print-out from my pharmacy. I thought that the records that my doctor sent over would suffice.

So now Iíve been dismissed from the pain clinic, and itís the only pain clinic around here. What on Earth am I supposed to do now? I asked my doctor to send over my records. I thought I had done everything I was supposed to do. Moving to a new place for the first time in my life was a really traumatic experience, especially since I never wanted to go here.

Thanks for any advice.

Last edited by backhurtz; 05-18-2018 at 06:27 AM.

 
Old 06-27-2018, 08:06 PM   #6
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Re: Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic

I would request a pharmacy record, physician records and test results and when compiled, send a copy to the Oregon pain clinic accompanied by a letter succinctly explaining the misunderstanding and asking the to reconsider their dismissal. It couldn’t hurt.
Good luck!

Last edited by Administrator; 06-28-2018 at 10:10 PM.

 
Old 06-28-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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Re: Horrible Experience at New Pain Clinic

Eva,
Just thought I would check to see if you were able to either get the situation with the pain clinic straightened out, or find another doctor?
Because you were in the same state before, doctors or pharmacists could access California's database, that's why you didn't run into the prescription look up problem before now.
Anyway, I hope things got straightened out.

Last edited by Administrator; 06-28-2018 at 10:10 PM.

 
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