Wednesday, April 11, 2012

frustrated, offended, and pissed off

I confess....this is going to be more doctor-related ranting.

I wrote last week about the earlier encounters with the pain management doc.  I went back to him today for a follow-up to talk about how the first round of diagnostic injections went.  I was nervous going in to the appointment.   He'd actually TOLD ME to see my GP if I needed a prescription for pain medicine aside from the one he'd recommended that made me sick.  I'd done so and knew he wouldn't be pleased with that decision.  He wasn't...and the appointment was bad from moment one...

He asked how I did after the injection.  I told him I had some degree of relief for about half an hour but then the pain came back  He told me that this response didn't make sense.  I understand that it wasn't an EXPECTED result, but he outright said my results were WRONG.  I don't see how my honest reporting of the post-procedure pain levels can be WRONG.  I also reported that I'd had a nasty migraine during the day on Wednesday.  I told him I didn't know if it was related but noted that the migraine-tied vomitting certainly didn't help matters.  Again, I'd have understood if he just said it was unrelated but he said the migraine was unreasonable and also an incorrect response.  If only I knew it was wrong to have a migraine, I'd have not had one...

He was NOT happy with the choice to start a pain medicine.  He said he'd gotten me in for the procedure faster because he didn't want me to go that route (but when MM asked about interim pain relief he TOLD me to see my GP).  He went on at length about how pain medicine can have negative outcomes long-term.  I told him I didn't WANT to use it long-term but that I needed help while we worked on the injections and getting a long-term FIX.  He ignored that explanation entirely and pretty much said it was unreasonable to need relief for any amount of time.  I do understand he doesn't think pain meds are the answer, but I need some sort of answer and hope.  I told him I could deal with the pain if I could see an end point but didn't have that yet.

He then said that he thinks I really just need to learn to cope with the pain.  I understand that there's a mental element to facing pain.  But I don't think it is unreasonable to want to FIX it when the pain has me bed-ridden.  I could learn to cope with a level 3 (out of 10) pain, maybe even 5, but I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for help when the pain is regularly around an 8.  He said that war veterans have to learn to cope if they come home with a disability and that I needed to do the same.  I told him I had gone to the pain psychologist and did have a second appointment scheduled.  This wasn't good enough.  I am apparently unreasonable in expecting any amount of reduction in pain.

He also suggested I'm a wimp.  He said he DOES believe I have pain but that I cried too much during the diagnostic injections.  I told him I'd been very nervous.  He didn't think that was a reasonable response.  How dare I be nervous about shots in my spine!  The shots was a short duration but they were rough.  I don't think it is surprising the shots were painful when merely getting out of bed was hard.  I feel like it is ironic to be called a wimp when I've often had to be pulled back from trying to do too much and had to be convinced to rest.  He said that he didn't think I'd be tough enough to go through one particular procedure since it is tough and they can't put you under for it.  The aide suggested that he should consider giving me something to calm my nerves if we go that route...the doc said he could but he still didn't believe I was strong enough to go through it.

I asked where we go from here...which seemed to be an annoying question.  He said we could re-try the same diagnostic test we'd done last week but then said it had clearly failed.  I mentioned that he'd considered a different injection and asked about doing that one.  He said he was willing to try it but then went back to saying I need to just learn to deal with it.  Nonetheless, he told the nurse to schedule these different injections which will be on May 14th.  It is the only hope that was offered and other back patients and Dr Dad) have suggested that the joint he's going to try may be the culprit.

I don't know how well I'm writing today.  I spent weeks looking towards the pain management appointment as a beacon of hope.  I made it very clear that I wanted a long-term "cure" and not a band-aid.  If all I wanted was a prescription, I wouldn't have gone through with the injections after the GP gave me medicine.  I wouldn't be asking about other longer-term fixes or be willing to go through another round of shots.  I have long accepted that pain is a part of my life, but I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with pain at the level it has been lately.  Being bed-ridden is "new" and I don't think I'm wrong that I don't want to just accept it.

1 comment:

Annabelle said...

What a useless jerk. Do you have access to other pain management doctors under your insurance? For the long-term, you really need someone who listens to you. I found that none of the neurologists who told me my symptoms didn't make sense did me a lick of good in the long run. I'd make an appointment now if you can and let this guy do what he can while you're waiting.