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Never been so insulted *RANT*

TiffanyTerrorTTiffanyTerror Posts: 44
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Please pardon my ranting ~X(

I saw a spine specialist today...for the first time in 3 years.

I have a previous diagnosis of Stenosis, DDD and a disc bulge at L5-S1.

First of all, when I got thtere I was informed that I was not seeing the doctor I was referred too, because he was not in the office that day /:)

So anyways, I am roomed and I give the nurse the disc with my previous 2 MRIs on it from 02 and 05. She says that I need to go down the hall for an xray since my films are so old. So I go even though all of us with nerve problems and stenosis know what little good xrays actually do. But hey..I go with it.

The doctor comes in (mind you he does not have any of my new patient info/forms because i still had them in the room on the clipboard) he asks me what I was told I have..and I tell him. He asks me what was offered to be the last time I saw someone 3 years ago...and I tell him I was offered a fusion or replacement or just to live with it. He says "well yeah I would agree with that guy, your options really havent changed much". He flips through my MRI films for about 45 seconds, tells me the xray shows that things havent progressed (how he can tell that from a film that only shows bone I dont know) and that I need to lose weight.
Okay..im about 40lbs overweight....when I started having problems 7 years ago at 14 I was a size zero.

I tried tellling him that yes I do walk but its very hard and very painful. He shrugged it off and told me that weight gain comes with the condition. He never examined me...didnt ask me about my pain, what causes it, makes it better etc etc. Not once. I asked him about my options at my age (22) whether or not he thought i was setting myself up for future damage by having/not having surgery now. He said that was up to me, he could not answer it. ~X( and just kept saying i need to lose weight and improve my posture. :W

I point blank asked him at one point whether or not he thought I should get another MRI or if he thought my xray was sufficient. He said the xray was fine I didnt need an MRI. I then told him that a pain management doctor I used to work for wanted to see a new MRI so he could counsel me privately...as soon as I said the doctors name he did a 180. "OH! well if he wants to see one, I will get you one."
I was irate. Had I not mentioned this guys name I would have gotten nothing.

He then had me stand up and point to where my pain was so he could say "Yeah thats about right, thats where the disc is" NEVER touched me other than to check my knee reflexes.

I am sooooooo pissed off over this. I have never been so insulted. Just kept telling me to lose weight, strengthen my trunk and improve my posture.......???? Are you serious??

Sorry for the long rant I am just livid over this. X(

At the very least I got the referral for the MRI and will see what my old employer has to see but overall I was horribly dissapointed AND insulted. I feel like he saw a young kid in his office and just thought I was fat and lazy aand didnt want to do anything.

I mean honestly....my last MRI showed central canal stenosis with impingement of the thecal sac...how can you tell me that an xray is sufficient????


UGH.


Anyone else have such a bad experience? Advice??

Thanks guys...I know its long. :S

OH...and I called the office back to ask whether he was still under felloship or not..and when I first asked I was put on hold and the girl came back and told me that all the doctors were fellowship trained. Right. But what I asked was whether he was under fellowship right now..so she puts me on hold again to ask the office manager and she comes back with "we dont think that he is". .....................how do you NOT know that!?!?

UGH!
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Comments

  • Hello-I wanted you to know that I read your *RANT* and I understand.I was a size 3/4 before all of this and I'm a 16 now.I'm not lazy-well maybe I am a bit(lol)-but mostly it is the pain that lead me this way.

    I would like to add more,but have about a million things here to do,and did not want to skip without replying to your post.

    BTW-My OS acted a BIT like that...he kind of brushed me off last visit,but he didn't mention my weight.

  • Thats sucks and is a sad testimony to our medical system.I am sorry you had to go through that.My experiences while not at that level have been far from desirable and finding out that a specialist never even read my MRI or gave me my DX is was a radiologist at the MRI center and the gatekeeper/RN at my hospital.I think your best best bet is consult another doctor, yes its more money, but this one sounds like he not in your best interest.

  • I agree his performance was underwhelming. My PA who works with my neurosurgeon is way better. I always get a thorough exam, even if it's follow up. That's so wrong when you have to throw a name at someone to get proper treatment. What's with the losing weight issue; I heard lots of people here being told to. I was a little overweight in my thirties when I had my microdiscectomy. Never did weight come in as problematic. Of course I know that it is certainly beneficial. But you have to be realistic- someone in severe pain isn't exactly going to get a gym membership. At PT they help you with the proper ways of doing things and correct your posture when you sit and stand.
    Xrays can detect DDD, vertebral fractures, and other things, not as good as an MRI. You didn't get a lot of confidence at your appt, but at least you walked out with an MRI, and that's a good start. Hopefully the other doctor will be more impressive than the last.
  • Right. BTW, I'm 22, this incident occurred this year, about seven months ago.

    Both my mother and my father accompany me on this, my first ever visit to a neurosurgeon. I've been roughly mute for two weeks since my pain management doctor recommended I see a neurosurgeon, talking only in short bursts about my spine, staring at walls all day, panicked in the extreme. I have convinced myself my life is over, I will not overcome this thing, and I am acutely aware of the physics of everything. SO ACUTE. The world doesn't realize how physics describes everything - I must bear the burden, the burden of truth, about the chemical make-up we all consist of, and how we all are degrading, day by day, the attrition wearing us out until the organism can no longer function. Some of us wear quicker than others. I am part of that some.

    We wait in the exam room after the nurse tests my blood-pressure (not sure why), the surgeon will be in shortly to look at my films. After fifteen minutes he swings the door wide, his gut entering ponderously before him. He glances cursorily at me but does not make eye contact. He greets my parents and shakes their hands, introducing himself. I lift slightly with the right arm, half-accepting a handshake that is never offered. I relax my arm. He sits down and faces my parents, turning his entire body away from me by about 70 degrees.

    I hold out my films (MRI) and I'm told with a shake of the head and glance down the nose that they are unnecessary, the scan was done in this hospital and apparently sits on the computer in the corner. My voice is higher than usual as I inform him I was told to bring my films - I am feeling somewhat hostile. He clears his throat and begins to describe what he thinks should be done, or, that is, not done. He is still pointed at my parents, speaking only to them. He wraps up by finally asking about my symptoms. I rattle them off while he looks into the lights, avoiding my eyes which have narrowed considerably since he entered the room. He suggests I have MS given my scan and the amount of neuralgia in my legs. I am baffled. He says to schedule an EMG/NVR, and suggests I can probably schedule it on-site in a month or two if I'm lucky.

    My face is ruddy - I am livid. Having done my homework, I ask him about minimally invasive techniques to free my trapped nerve to increase my quality of life. His head bobs like the closing of an overtight porch screen door. NO he says, he will not perform that procedure. He is unclear if this is because of my scan or because he is not versed in the procedure. He has yet to physically address me with his body, and at this point, I want him to take me seriously. I ask him, in measured tones, to describe his reasons against such a surgery in depth using my MRI. He huffs, looks up at the light, and an uneasy silence falls between the four of us. We wait. I look at his eyes - they aren't moving. I begin to think he's catatonic. After twenty seconds, he moves his left arm. The rest of his corpulent corpus is then triggered and he lumbers towards the computer terminal where my MRI awaits.

    He asks my parents to gather in and see why he won't operate. I stand behind the three, peering at my own spine, mentally making appointments with other surgeons. He explains to my parents what I already know but in a visual way I cannot equal - he can scroll through my slides saggitally and axially. I return to the exam table and wait for the explanation to finish. Ten minutes later we left. As I walked out of the office I called immediately and scheduled my EMG for the soonest possible date, 9 days later. In the twenty minutes it took to drive home I phoned four friends whose parents were doctors and received the names and phone numbers of three neurosurgeons. Two of them called me personally within the next two days. I made an appointment with one of them, and I never returned to that first neurosurgeon.
  • I just thought it might help to see that you're not alone. Appointments with neurosurgeons can suck, and their competency level is dubious at times.

    Sorry to see you had a bad experience.
  • I'm sorry you had a bad experience with that Dr. and yes the good news is that you got your MRI. I'm a 1X size but before getting ill I was XL which I wasn't big a size 14. I also had a pain management Dr. like that and the 2nd time I got my epidural again he says I hope I find it with so much tissue there. Well excuse me but if he used to be an Anesthetist putting in epidurals for pregnant women I'm sure he would be able to find my epidural space!!! I now found a 2nd Anesthetist who is very nice and will be doing facet joint injections as well as an epidural next week. We don't need to be insulted by Drs. They can mention it once that we need to lose weight after that is an insult. I hope you find a good Dr. Tiffany. and thanks I needed to get that out. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I had a similar experience, except I was told I was too THIN, too tall, had a long neck and my breasts were too large and should consider a breast reduction. :/
    Anyway, I would RUN, not walk with your new MRI to a new NS.
    I got a referral to a different NS and was amazed at the difference! He was kind, professional and courteous. He was horrified when I told him what the previous NS had said and done/not done. He scheduled surgery right away and I am feeling amazingly better.
    Don't take one Jerk's opinion as gospel. You have lived with your body for 22 years, he spent 15 minutes with you.
    Best of luck to you! >:D<
  • Is your avatar a true picture of you? If so, you must have big feet, because you look great in that picture! I too had a similar experience, and like everyone else, went to another doctor who never brought up the issue of weight. I have since lost the 40+ pounds (but that was only because I was too ill to get out of bed prior to my microdisckectomy) and had no appetite. I had lost 15-20# before the surgery; after surgery, I started back walking and lost the other 20+ pounds. I hope you can find someone to treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve.

    Anthony - I am trying to think of what to say about your experience... But can't think of a thing except to say it's horrible you were not treated with respect. I guess because your parents were there. But still. He should have addressed you, and THEN them. WHere are you now in terms of your treatment? Hope you've had a great deal of success!

    Take care everyone!
    Jeaux
  • I also just had a horrible experience with a neuro. I am now on a search for another specialist. Hugs to you >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I am sorry to hear this. How so annoying.
    A few things spring into my mind, in no particular order so bear with me.

    1. You age. Perhaps the doc is running away from you as you are young. This is not an excuse but perhaps more of an indication of their lack of confidence?

    2. So you may be a little overweight. Honestly won't help but then you are in a catch 22 situation now. If you can show some insight (next time so you can zapp that excuse right out the water before they cop out on throwing it at you...like you are seen to be trying to modify your diet etc.

    3. Lots of docs seem to forget themselves. I am older than you, look young and am small. As soon as i took my partner, i felt i was taken more seriously. Maybe i was/not - who knows. But 2 pairs of ears are better than one pair and the other person will defo help you make sure you say everything you need to.

    4. Lots of doctors "fog" over when you say "backache" - funny enough, if i had been taken seriously 10 years ago, I may not be in sucha bad place now. Don't take no for an answer...make sure you agree and understand your diagnosis, plans, treatment options etc, it is your body after all.

    Take care.
  • I too have been told that I need to lose weight. I realize I am overweight since I have gained over 60# within a year due to meds and inactivity due to back pain. I am trying to lose weight but it's hard when you can't do too much. I watch what I eat and don't eat much because I really don't have much of an appetite lately due to pain, stress and meds. Even my grandma keeps telling me I should lose weight and I would feel all better. I had back problems when I wasn't overweight. I do realize it would be beneficial in more ways than one to lose weight and I am trying. Like said above, it's not like we can go out and join a gym in our condition.
  • Boy, did your post and the responses strike a nerve with me. I've been having pain from LSS for about 5 years now and no doctor has done a darn thing. I only got the diagnosis 2 days ago, 6 months after I had the MRI, but that's another story. I firmly believe that, in my case, the doctors look at me and see a middle aged, overweight, depressed woman and a certain stereotype comes into play: lazy hypochondriac.

    It almost makes me cry to think of all the times I have told several doctors that my back and leg pain severely limits my everyday life...I feel that no one has taken me seriously. Five or six years ago, I had lost 50 pounds, walked 2 miles several times a week, worked for hours in my yard, etc. Now I have gained back the 50 pounds plus 30 more, developed diabetes and high blood pressure, had a heart attack. Forget walking 2 miles...by the time I walk around the grocery store, I'm in terrible pain, my legs are completely numb, and I'm leaning on the grocery cart. I can't even get the dishes washed before I have to sit down. And not one doctor has done a thing, I even had to ask for the MRI myself.

    My son also suffers from chronic pain on top of his cerebral palsy, but because of his lifestyle and appearance, he, too, has met so much prejudice from doctors, who brush him off. I think it is a common problem, one which should be publicized.
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