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I need advice - please read - any suggestions would be appreciated

nursedina001nnursedina001 Posts: 235
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey all. Thanks in advance for reading this. I need advice.

My surgeon is giving me basically no aftercare and I don't know what to do.

As many of you know, after the surgery, I spent about 2 weeks vomiting profusely and not being able to keep anything down, even water. I called her office everyday crying and never got a response back. If I really bothered the nurses they would have her call me in prescriptions for different anti-nausea meds, but basically I took care of myself.

I took myself off of both my anti-biotics (I thought they were causing the vomiting, ) an dI called the office and told her, ----no response

I finally pulled off my fentanyl patch and my scopolamine patch myself (after vomiting so bad, that I was so dehydrated, that a home health nurse was going to send me to the ER since my skin was tenting, I could not make spit, and my urine was dark orange when I did pee)-----I called the office and told them ------guess what? no response

I put myself back on the percocet for pain and made my own dosages since I got no response from the doc.

My appt was supposed to be 3 weeks post op - on the 9th but they called and rescheduled - and THEN asked me what I was taking for meds.

Now I have increased pain and a growing lump above my incision - left message for doc yesterday - no response.

Called today again - no one in office - left message,

My doc does not have an answering service, jsut a voice mail that says if it's an emergency go tot ER, and if not leave a message and they will call you back on the next business day.

I am a little worried about this lump, I don;t know what to do???

Any advice??

Thanks in advance -


  • Wow, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around how a doctor can be so apathetic and unattentive (is that a word?).

    I think I'd personally show up at the doctor's office and demand some attention. This is simply ridiculous. You simply have to have aftercare and pain management and you absolutely have to have that lump looked at.

    Please keep us updated. This doctor should be reported (although, I don't know where...).

    Take care Dina. >:D<
  • I just called the doc crying and the secretary told me that my doctor never returns phone calls and always tells the secretary's what to say to patients.

    I told her that I was tired of being polite, I have a growing f'in lump on my back and I wanted a call back from the doctor, not the secretary, not the nurse, I WANT TO speak with the doctor.

    I told her THIS IS MY SPINE, and the doc promised me she would available to me 24/7 and not I have yet to speak to her,

    She got paid a lot of money for doing this surgery and I am a human being and this is MY SPINE, and I DEMAND a call back.

    We will see. I am sooo mad right now.
  • I am not too sure on your medical system but surely if your presnt via the ER it will reflect badly on the surgeon.

    Either way, don't wait and let any problems get too bad before they are checked.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  • I am so sorry your going through that.
    My dr also does not take personal or medical calls due to the practice being so big. BUT BUT BUT a NP always calls back within a hour or by the end of the day no matter what the question is about.
    If a call is made after 4pm it will be returned the following business day.

    I would also go to the E.R. I mean I totally don't know if it will get you anywhere but first you shouldn't of had all that vomiting as you know, the color of urine would scared the b jeebies out of me.
    As for the lump that could just be from scar tissue growing etc. BUT BUT again you just never know.... At least they will do a xray or CT scan at the hospital.

    Let us know how you make out, in the end you will know the right decision to make!! ;)

    Terri O:)
  • Dina, where on earth do you live? I can't imagine a doctor being such a horrible creature. Is he in a group practice? If so you could try complaining to one of the partners. Does he have any authority he reports to that you could call and lodge a complaint? I can't help but think that his lack of concern borders on malpractice.

    In the meantime, first you have to take care of YOU. Do anything you can. Go to the ER. Get someone to diagnose that lump. As Terri said, it might be scar tissue but then again, it might not be.

    Let us know how it goes.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    When you are getting NO WHERE with your doctor and you are in pain and suffering, you should go to the Emergency Room.
    I would not start to change any medications that were given to you. Keep everything in tact. GO to the ER and let them decide what needs to be done.

    When you have no luck with your Doctor in situations like this, go to the ER but dont change your medications until you are in the ER
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Dina,
    How awful for you. I would be so scared and pissed at the same time. NOBODY should recieve care like that...or should i say an absence of care.
    Please keep us updated on your progress and please go to the nearest ER...asap.
    Prayers your way,
  • Well, yelling at the secretary worked. I DEMANDED to see my doctor and they called me back with an appointment.

    Of course when I go there swelling was decreased a bunch but still there, She was not particularly worried about the swelling but still wants me to come into her office when it happens again. ( I asked her if I call will her nurses LET me make an appointment? - she said yes...we'll see..)

    She examined me and was worried about the unresolved foot drop and pain so she has scheduled an MRI and an Xray and advised me regarding pain medication etc...

    Thank you everyone for your advice, next time if she does not see me or acknowledge me, I will go to the ER.

  • Unfortunately, my doc is in an office al by herself and also takes oncall for many of the traumas in the local hospital. She has no PA, No NP, and she has been very busy,

    I talked ot the nurse, voiced my complaints, got no where, but voiced some concerns to the doctor also who told me when I feel I need to talk to her, don;t call, come in. So, if I feel like it is important form now on, I will just make an emergency appointment to come in and will not deal with her nurses.

    At least I got to see her today and got some answers,

    Thanks :)

  • that you got in to see your doc!!!! You have been through so much. Now that you know "the ropes" and have your doc's attention, take FULL advantage of that and don't mess around when you have these terrible symptoms.

    So glad that you asserted yourself. So many of us, me included, are more timid than we should be when we have problems. I know that I, for one, tend to second guess my symptoms and overthink things. I tend to be the kind of person who was raised to be very polite at all times (this is especially true of older, southern girls)and not complain. Unfortunately, I do great with everybody but my husband. Poor Dale gets the full brunt of it all!!! Good thing we have 20 good years behind us. I don't know how he puts up with it. Oh well.

    Please keep us updated. Your experiences help us all learn how to navigate through the doctor maze.
  • I feel sorry for you going through this Dina, that is horrible.

    However, a word of advice.

    Never stop taking the prescribed antibiotics till the regimen is completed. This is one way of causing antibiotic resistant bacteria by not allowing it to do its job, allowing some bacteria to live. Ontop of that you need the full dose of it to be effective.

    Perhaps seek a new doctor, while most surgeons would never take a patient of another surgeon, keep looking, there are a few good ones left I'm sure. Or go to your general MD.
  • AS a nurse I'm pretty aware of the antibiotic stuff and the danger of going off any medication without physician approval, but when your physician refuses to see you, you have to take things into your own hands sometimes.

    I called everyday for about 10 days and she never called me back. The nurse or secretary would call me back and say "uh-huh" uh-huh" but never offered any advice..nothing. I was so dehydrated that I thought i was going to die.

    At least now I have her attention, and I have a direction to follow (just go into the office) if I am having a problem.

    I have thought over and over again about getting another surgeon and you are right, most will not see someone else's patient,

    If the MRI next week does not show good news, she said she might need to go back in (more surgery)..God I hope not, She was a great surgeon clinically but her aftercare was terrible and she states that I am allergic to fentanyl, so I don;t even know how my pain will be controlled.

    I do have a herniated disc in my meck and I plan to use a different surgeon. Even though I trust this surgeon to do the work, I am not happy at all with the aftercare, and I am seeking alternate treatment options.

    Hopefully I can find another doctor to work on my neck when the time is right,

    thank youa ll for your support

  • Have you tried lyrica? Theres also methadone if it came down to it, MS Contin. Heavy stuff and not continuous releas but worth a shot.

    Are you under the care of a pain management MD?
  • I seriously hope you don't let this doctor do any cervical surgery on you. If my doctor had treated me that way I don't know what I would have done except magically appear in her office firmly planted in her waiting room until she saw me. My doctor and I haven't always seen eye to eye on my aftercare but he understands me and gets that I just want to get better. And the LISTENS to me. Please do go straight to the ER next time. You're a nurse and you know what dehydration can do to every aspect of your body. Dehydration can be treated in the ER and so can nausea. (I learned that the hard way.) I know that particular pain is a little harder for them after you've had surgery but they could have done something. Dina enough of this doctor after this I say "Move on!" I hate to hear that you're in this condition needlessly.
  • Nope, she sent me to pain management doc for steroid injections, but no relief. I didn't have pain management cause pre-surgery, unlike most people here, I didn;t have a lot of pain. She said the nerve was so damaged, that was the reason for the lack of pain,

    Now, i'm feeling pain from surgery but it is ok controlled. I take the percocet and demerol alternating and hopefully this wil get me through whatever is going wrong with my back now.

    She wants me to take the Zanaflex before bed. I don;t think it worked real well last time, but I will try. She said if that doesn;t work, she will give me valium,

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