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Does anyone else feel like your doctor just doesnt listen?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,623
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:32 AM in Pain Medications
I have had a bad back since I was 5. My grandmother flipped her Mustang end over end, with me strapped in with a seat belt. I felt early symptoms when I was 8 or 9 years old, with my neck cracking and a terrible pain when it happened, but it sort of went away during my teens and was ok up until about 10 years ago(when I was 27), when my neck seized up and was stuck to one side with the worst pain in my life. Since then, I two of them bones in my neck(I believe C2 & C5) have been degenerating and are now at about the moderate level.

The problem is, because of my area(and the people in it), doctors are very hesitant to dish out pain medication and even muscle relaxers. Doctors act as if everyone is a pill seeker and nothing ever gets accomplished. I went to a pain management doctor who gave me a Cortisone shot and that shot screwed up the other side of my neck. Now, instead of having pain on one side, I have it on both. It prevents me from sleeping most nights, as I have to constantly sleep on my back to get a restful sleep. Causing me to take Zanaflex and an Antihistamine to fall asleep and stay asleep restfully. Of course, then I wake up and feel like I havent slept because of the after effects of the medication.

All of the doctors around here(Ocean City, MD) have so many patients, that they just dont have time to really treat a patient properly. I explained to the pain management doctor, that if they would just operate and fix the problem, I wouldnt need meds. The problem is, they wont do that until I am(What seems like) basically paralyzed. So I am stuck in a situation where they wont operate and asking for medication makes me feel like a criminal.

Anyone else run into this in their journey?
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Comments

  • I would say that if you haven't had at least a second opinion done by a neurosurgeon or and ortho spine specialist, then get one.

    It's a shame that you are running into such a hassle with your PM doc, but he should be able to give you a referral and if nothing else go to your GP and get a referral to get a second opinion.

    Don't know anything about your neck of the woods, but many of us travel great distances to be treated by the right docs. Not saying you should have to do that, but saying if it comes down to that, then it may be something to consider.

    Welcome to Spine Health,

    "C"
  • Thanks. Well, the problem is, the pain management people all know each other here. It seems as if you run into a brick wall no matter where you go. My wife is a Nurse Practitioner(Basically one step under a doctor) and knows almost every doctor here and it is just a tight knit community of doctors who just dont have the time to treat people properly.

    The problem is, I own my own business and work 7 days a week, so it is very difficult to get out of town to see anyone... as much as I would love to. I just feel as if I hit a brick wall and noone wants to help me. Like I said above, the PM doc gave me Cortisone shot and screwed up the other side of my neck. I really dont want to go back to him.

    I feel as if I am running in circles. As many others on this board, I know what works for me. If it was up to me, I'd have surgery to correct the problem. Unfortunately, I cannot get that, so Zanaflex and Percocet seem to be my best friends in all of this. The problem is... Noone will prescribe it for me. Acting as if I am a perpetual drug user. I hate taking pills and noone will recommend surgery.

    It seems if I go outside of my area, I am considered an even larger pill seeking risk. I just dont get it. :)

    In the past 12 months, I have been prescribed Zanaflex once, in which I only used 1 of my 3 refills and Percocet once in November.

  • problem with a pain consultant over here in the UK {unable to mention name and hospital} but this person treated me like a junkie from the first second that he met me and my wife {we are both well presented people intelligent and articulate} he took an instant dislike to me and told me that i did not have any pain and all i wanted was to get high!! after a heated debate i told him where to go and when to see my doctor ..since that episode the person at the hospital is no longer working there and i have had another major operation and get pain killer with no problem as my own doctor now deals with me pain killers
    STRAKER
  • Going into any doctor's office and requesting prescriptions for a particular medication or combination of medications up front is going to get you automatically looked at twice.
    Many PM offices have policies that they will not prescribed medications without referrals from a surgeon/GP, or waiting until they get your records from another doctor's office first, or until they have MRI/CT scan films and reports from any other testing done before they will consider prescribing medications.
    Your best bet is to go to those first visits, fully prepared to do what they suggest, although if the first injection at the previous doctor's office made the problems worse, then tell him/her that. Only discuss medications when asked what you have taken previously, and how it has or has not worked for you.
    Ask him/ her what they would recommend to ease the pain. See what they tell you. And be prepared to be patient and work with the doctor. It does take time to get the proper medications, dosages and to establish a relationship of trust and respect between you and the new PM.
    Unless you need a referral from your GP, you can make an appointment for a consultation with an ortho or neuro spinal surgeon to see what they have to say. there is no reason to have to wait, if you truly feel that surgery may be a better option than using pain medications.
    Sandi
  • Thanks for the info Sandi. The thing is, my GP knows of the problem, has all of my prior xrays, etc... The PM doc seems more concerned about my wife than he does my neck. Talking with him does very little as he only believes in the injections. He also does drug rehabilitation which doesnt help my situation as I guess he looks at everyone as a pill seeker.

    I guess I am just going to go back to my original GP. He, at the very least, listened to me and discussed options. If I have to go with meds, I want something that is extended release as I hate taking pills and dont want to take more than 1 a day.

    It is just a huge issue that someone who has the medical history to back up their claims(especially X-rays, etc.) has to jump through hoops in order to get something accomplished.
  • We've all been there, I was turned down for help of any kind surgery or otherwise multiple times. Had they not turned me down, my problem wouldn't have gotten this bad.
  • We've all been there, I was turned down for help of any kind surgery or otherwise multiple times. Had they not turned me down, my problem wouldn't have gotten this bad.
  • in your 1st post you mentioned the dr dishing out the meds, lol...??? idk. i never met a dr who "dishes out the meds.???
    your treatment is depemdant on letting your dr be the dr, and you the patient, im sure your dr knows whats best for YOU!
    i hope you get the help you need.
  • tenesseejed said:
    in your 1st post you mentioned the dr dishing out the meds, lol...??? idk. i never met a dr who "dishes out the meds.???
    your treatment is depemdant on letting your dr be the dr, and you the patient, im sure your dr knows whats best for YOU!
    i hope you get the help you need.

    You took what I said in the wrong way. I truly meant prescribe, not just rolling them out to whomever comes in. :) lol
  • It sure is a shame that this is going on because of certain people who abuse the system. And it make things harder on us with chronic pain.

    I thinks it's a good idea of yours to go see your old GP; enlist him as your advocate because he knows you best. Maybe he will be willing to manage your chronic pain- this is common due to some pain specialists not prescribing narcotics anymore.

    I am so grateful to get the help that I need from my pain specialist and surgeon. They know me very well and the trust and respect have been reciprocal. I hope things work out between you and any doctor you wind up with, and that you get the treatment you need. Take care
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    So many times we hear in this forums about a doctor not listening to a patient.
    Stop back for a second and think about what is doing on.
    Yes, some doctors will not readily prescribe pain medications nor should they. First, they need to completely evaluate the patient. Once they do that , they should be in a good position to determine what medications are in order.
    Now, of course as a patient, you can always disagree.
    Then it is up to you to find another doctor that will address what you are looking for.
    That does not make you or anyone a pill seeker. Doctors need to be very careful about what narcotic medications they prescribe.
    The best scenario is working with your doctor and finding a happy medium. I have yet to run into a doctor that will not prescribe pain medication when it is needed.
    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
  • I actually did work with my second GP on it, but he immediately sent me to the pain management doc who screwed up the other side of my neck. On top of that, the PM doc seemed to prescribe me medicines that werent taking care of the pain, more muscle relaxers that didnt do a thing. I told him on several occasions that they did nothing. He only prescribed me pain meds once and that was after begging him for them due to the pain and an upcoming trip.

    I understand how cautious all of these doctors are due to pill seekers. The problem is, the doctors had my X-rays in hand and could see the problems and knew what they could cause, but still refused any sort of reputable treatment. That is, other than Cortisone injections that hurt me more and muscle relaxers that did nothing for the pain.

    As I said, I am going back to my original GP doc. He actually listened to me and tried to help with any situation that came up with my neck and back. It helps that my wife, a nurse practitioner, worked for him and is good friends with him.

    Maybe there should be a law put in place for these pill seekers, making it a federal offense with a 3 year minimum prison sentence. That way, the real people in the world who legitimately need these meds are covered.
  • There is little that someone who is looking for pain medications or any other drug won't do to get them, so a prison sentence is unlikely to stop the behavior.
    As far as how PM's respond, well they do have licenses they have to protect. Anyway, PM is a series of treatments that start at the non invasive end of the spectrum and work their way through , until they come up with a combination that will help relieve the pain, is not too invasive, and if necessary, finally leads to surgery/surgical consults.
    Typically, treatment starts with prescription anti inflammatories, muscle relaxants, mild pain relievers, and then possibly moving up the treatment plan to injections, and there are a whole series of those to choose from based on what the films and xray, MRI reports, etc all show to be the problem.
    If those don't work, then there may be an increase in the type of pain medications offered, to include stronger muscle relaxers, stronger mid range pain medications, and PT, more injections and therapies.
    At about this far along the treatment plan is when you also might be told to see an ortho or neuro spine surgeon for a consult.
    The idea behind the treatment plan is to try the simplest, more common treatments to see if they are effective at treating the pain and inflammation, while avoiding the more invasive therapies.
    None of this happens on the timeline that we would all like to have, find the problem, fix it, treat it, cure it- but it is how it happens in most practices today.
    You have to build a relationship with your PM, as with all other doctors who treat you, in order to establish the trust and respect that comes with getting to know that you can rely on your patient and the patient can rely on you as their PM. It's not an overnight thing, as much as we might want pain relief now , today, we may not get it right away. Pain medications work differently for each individual. None of them will work the same way for someone else. It is a period of trail and error to find the right medication or combination of medications for someone while minimizing the side effects that would prevent someone from taking them. Too much nausea, someone will not take them, too sleepy, won't take them either- etc.....
    I don't know how long you have been seeing this PM, but if he does not include medications in his treatments, then you might want to see one who does. Not all of them do anymore and the patient needs to find that out.
    Best wishes to you,
    Sandi
  • Jailing drug abusers is a failure of massive proportions unfortunately. I mean there are thousands of people in jail for tiny amounts of marijuana, who leave prison WORSE off than when they went in. Maybe more violent, maybe psychologically damaged, who knows?

    The DEA is a psycho organization that makes it hard for doctors to feel safe prescribing medications. The doctor should not be at fault if he thinks for sure someone is in pain and it turns out they're a drug dealer, that's not his fault. If he knows, or prescribes massive amounts that's something else obviously.
  • It is my understanding that nurse practitioners can write prescriptions for medications. Can you not get your pain meds from your wife? Maybe there are rules against this that I am unaware of, don't know. But that would certainly solve the problem if your wife were able to get your medications for you.
    xtreme said:
    I explained to the pain management doctor, that if they would just operate and fix the problem, I wouldnt need meds. The problem is, they wont do that until I am(What seems like) basically paralyzed.
    Just wanted to chime in here that surgery isn't always the answer, and often we are left with more neck pain after surgery than before. It sounds like your pain is mostly in your neck and not affecting other extremities, and I was told by my doctors that they won't do surgery for neck pain only, as they can't guarantee they will get rid of it. However, if you have cord compression or nerve root compression, they are more apt to operate, feeling that decompressing the cord or affected nerve root will relieve your symptoms.

    Have you tried a TENS unit? I use mine daily and it gives me more relief than any medication I take. Good luck, and I hope you get some relief soon.

    Cindy
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Neck of Steel said:
    It is my understanding that nurse practitioners can write prescriptions for medications. Can you not get your pain meds from your wife? Maybe there are rules against this that I am unaware of, don't know. But that would certainly solve the problem if your wife were able to get your medications for you.
    I wish it were that easy. While my wife can write prescriptions, it is only under the watchful eye of a doctor. It becomes even more suspicious under the DEA's watchful eye if you are writing scrips for family members. So that is out.

    I hear you about surgery, it can go either way. My nerves are on the verge of being pinched as per my xrays, so maybe that will help in seeking a surgeon to do something. It is a shame that meds seem the only way to go. After getting injured at the hands of my last PM, I am a bit more hesitant on trying another as the doctors around here have little to no time for each patient. To top things off, my 7 day a week business doesnt help matters. It wont be until mid September until my schedule loosens up a bit, though I am going to see my original, trusted GM soon to at least get some meds before then.

    How is it that these athletes hurt their neck and are operated on the next day, yet it takes a normal person years to get the same treatment? ( I already know the answer... $$$$).

    Thank you everyone here for the help and kind words.
  • a nurse may be able to write a script like a blood preesure med under an dr and so can a PAC but that doesnt include narcotic pain meds, one has to have a DEA # to do so and that requires that one is an MD, at least thats how it is in the USA. in other countries like mexico for instance you can buy some meds over the counter like vicodin and valium and you are allowed to bring back to the usa up to a 3 month personal supply. when we going?
  • Nope, my new pain management "doctor" is a nurse practitioner and she prescribed fentanyl patches and kadian for me, both narcotics. I am in the US, in New Hampshire.
  • Ah New Hampshire, one of the sane states of New England. I hate Massachusetts!
  • DonnaJay said:
    Nope, my new pain management "doctor" is a nurse practitioner and she prescribed fentanyl patches and kadian for me, both narcotics. I am in the US, in New Hampshire.
    Yes. She has to work under a Doctors license though. That is federal. If you were a family member, it would be a no go as far as prescriptions are concerned... unfortunately. If my wife could write me prescriptions(Yes, she has a DEA #), I would have never found these boards :))(

    Again, I thank everyone. It is very disheartening to hear that others experience the same difficulties in getting the relief that they deserve.
  • Yup, theextreme1, I'm sure she does work under a doctor, but tenneseejed was saying:

    "a nurse may be able to write a script like a blood preesure med under an dr and so can a PAC but that doesnt include narcotic pain meds"

    ...and that's not true. They can write scripts for narcotics.

    ChronicPain1, I can't stand when I have to drive through Mass. The turnpike is ridiculous! And city driving? Oh boy I'm ready to have a heart attack trying to drive in Boston. The streets are confusing enough without every driver trying to cut you off!
  • DonnaJay said:
    Yup, theextreme1, I'm sure she does work under a doctor, but tenneseejed was saying:

    "a nurse may be able to write a script like a blood preesure med under an dr and so can a PAC but that doesnt include narcotic pain meds"

    ...and that's not true. They can write scripts for narcotics.

    ChronicPain1, I can't stand when I have to drive through Mass. The turnpike is ridiculous! And city driving? Oh boy I'm ready to have a heart attack trying to drive in Boston. The streets are confusing enough without every driver trying to cut you off!
    Sure, they can write scrips for narcotics, but it all falls under the doctors license, in which he keeps careful watch over so as to prevent drug seekers from abusing the system through the practitioners. It is a tough system for anyone to get through. It seems the seekers have an easier time then we do though. :)

    Thanks for all of the help and kind words again. It is great to have an outlet to discuss the problems I and, it seems, others are facing.
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