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Rant: Surgeon treating me unfairly because of methadone

JWMJJWM Posts: 291
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Pain Medications
At my post op follow up today with my surgeon, I had one of those experiences that eventually all of us have, and it was really, truly terrible.

My doc demonized my methadone use, and spent an hour trying to convince me that I'm addicted, that it's going to kill me, that my teeth will fall out, my liver will fail, etc. In the interest of getting him to see the truth on his own, I entertained him for a moment and feigned concern, and asked to see ANY documentation he had on these 'facts' of his, such as any clinical trial, or scientifically/medically validated findings. There aren't any, of course, not when it comes to lower dosage methadone for chronic pain. He claimed he had info in a book, but of course the book was 'missing' so he couldn't show me. This of course in no way swayed him; he was angry and determined to get me to see things his way.

He basically spent the entire appointment in my face (literally!) arguing with me about my meds, refusing to believe that methadone can actually help someone, without negative side effects. He went as far as to even say 'I'm going to ORDER you to go through methadone detox'. How rude@!

It really was so much worse than I can even put into words or convey, he was angry, vicious, and attacked me relentlessly over a topic that is no business of his. Luckily, my pain doc keeps up with the times so I have no worries there, but I now understand those of you who have described similar situations where you've been treated as an addict, unfairly, etc. It's a shame that someone who could have helped me today wasted an hour of my life trying to convince me he was right and i was wrong..

If you have been in a similar situation, man I really, really feel for you.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day,



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    I know you as one of more 'seasoned' members and have always had a good understanding of medications.
    It is a shame when a doctor doesnt even try to understand your current situation.

    What surprised me, and correct me if I am wrong, that this was a doctor you have been seeing in the past.
    So, he should know you by now.

    Its one thing if a new doctor started to look into a patients medications. Right or Wrong, they can pass judgments, so many times unfairly. They dont look at the patients side.

    I hope all of these get straightened out so that you can continue with the course of medication that is helping you the most
    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
  • How the heck are you, buddy? I mean, well - obviously you had a horrible appointment experience today, but goodness! You've been away from the forum for quite a while.

    I would have loved to be there when you said "Is that right? Well..., can you show the scientific proof that these bad things will happen to me?" THAT, my friend, should have been priceless...

    Like you said, though - at least your PM doc is with the program and in charge of your after care. The only thing I can say about pig headed doctors like the one you saw today is: If only he could experience your pain for a day... a week would be better, but to wish that on him would be too mean.

    When is your surgery? Hope things work out for you!
  • Thanks Ron, things will be ok. Yeah it's very frustrating being someone who knows a LOT about pain medicine, and pharmacology/etc in general, and hearing obscene arguments like that from a surgeon of all people..I'd think he'd know more than me, but he came off as a low IQ jerk. My pain doc told me a joke, he said, "how do you hide a 100 dollar bill from an ortho surgeon? .. .. Hide it in a book!" Haha.. He said it jokingly, saying that in the medical field the surgeons are seen as sort of cave men who cut and rip and tear and chisel things, but never read up on current trends/etc. In this case I think the joke was spot on.

    I've been with my pain doc for years and that hasn't changed, fortunately. I finally had my surgery approved recently and only briefly met this surgeon pre-op. So, yeah, he is a new doctor in my life, and even though managing my pain is no business of his, he still put me through the ringer. Complaint filed, and a new surgeon being picked right now.. =)


  • Jeaux, hi! It's nice to be back. My pain was so bad I couldn't even use my computer enough to stay a part of this forum. =( I had my surgery last monday, and so far so good. Recovery is a slow process, so I'm just enjoying it as much as I can. It's kind of nice, having the prospect of less pain just on the horizon.. Actually it's already much better! Well, time to rest/walk/rest.

  • you're having a favorable response to your surgery. I did too.

    Take care, JWM! Stop in from time to time if you can.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    My surgeon felt the same way about the methadone that my p.m. Dr. Had prescribed me and had a total different pain plan for me post op. He was nice, and not an as$ like yours. But I told him most drugs either don't work on me, or I can't tolerate them. and went on to tell him that my p.m. Dr. of years. has spent years trying to find out what will work for me.
    And that I would like for him to be involved with the meds. and told him I really feared, not having adequate pain relief pot op. He was calm and cool about that and when they couldn't control the pain in the hospital after surgery. I told him I wanted to see my p.m. doc. cause I wasn't getting any relief. And my pain level was a constant 9-10
    He called my p.m. Dr. and he got things under control immediately! The only bummer was, I had to stay an extra day. Wow. That was a long explanation! Sorry!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    It wasn't that long. It just seems like it. I type verry slow!!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • JWM:

    Thats what I thought they started using Methadone as a pain killer, besides other things? I may be wrong, I know the classic use for it to detox of heroin, but I thought the medical community started realizing it was a great pain killer too? I may be wrong.


  • Exactly. For many of us here methadone is and has been an excellent med for long lasting, chronic pain relief. It's cheap and effective, and has a massively low rate of abuse. It's use in this manner has gained some momentum in the last ten years or so, more so during the last few years..

    I've seen maybe 20 different doctors in the last 2 years at my urgent care (it's my PCP but they rotate a large set of doctors) and ALL but one of them have asked 'so what are you coming off of, heroin?'. Nice.

    Methadone came about in the 40's, and was used almost exclusively for pain relief during WW2 when morphine supplies ran out. After that, when heroin was destroying lives, methadone found it's place in our regular society as a life saving med for helping people off of heroin. I think the fact that it's been used, and is still used for that purpose, for well over 40 or 50 years now, that most older/old school doctors (like mine) have their convictions about it so set in stone.

    Thank god my surgeon isn't in charge of my post-op pain management..!

    Thanks for the replies, bye

  • Well I can't add any more then what been said. But thank God for our PM DR.

    Hoping you all a pain free life

  • The doctor was young and confusing methadone with Meth the street drug? duh....stranger things have happened.

    I saw my ortho in January he took one xray of my shoulder, said it looks good. I told him it still hurts and I have an SCS. He was like, ok. He asked me if I took any pain meds, I told him not narcotics, he said "good, come back and see me in two years"...

    Ah well, not like I expected an revelations at that appt anyway
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