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Consultants and £185 for 15 mins plus the 1-10 pain scale

LotusLLotus Posts: 88
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Chronic Pain
When I first started on my trip down chronic pain I remember my first appt with a PM. I was given a 2 page form to fill in to give my assesment of pain over the previous two weeks on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being "the worst pain imaginable". So I gave this some thought and for me the worst pain imaginable was being burned alive so that's my 10. On that basis I rated myself, on average, as a 5-6.Also at the end a pain manakin which I had to shade and then "arrow" to the area of pimary pain. Sound familiar?

So in 1993 I pay £150 to see this consultant. He does a 3 min phyical is arrogant and unhelpful. My appointment lasts 10 minutes and he begrudginly says I could have an MRI. He made me feel like an idiot and that I was just wingeing.

I have had serveral of the same experiences with PM's and surgeons over the years. Some have been slightly better but I have always felt that they were not interested in me or what I was experiencing. Every time I paid between £150 - £185 to be miligned!

Then his year when the pain got a lot worst I went through it all again and as usual did my research. I found another highly reccomended Spine surgeon (othopedic). I had been to a Nuro Surgen so thought it best to do both.

Before my first appointment they said they would send me a questionaire to fill in......here we go again I thought! It arrived. Two questionaires; one 10 pages long and one 3 pages long. The level of detail requested was amazing and seemed to be so much more relavent.

I made my appointment and took my MRI and specific Xrays he has asked for. This appointment cost me £200.00 and I was with him for 1 hour, yes that's right 1 hour!!!!! We did the pain scale and I gave him my assesment based on being buned alive. He smiled and said "we don't burn witches anymore Maxine". He then asked me to rate my pain on the basis of how it affected my ability to function. This made much more sense to me. He was amazing and went through in detail my MRI and X-ray plus all the possible options both non-surgical and surgical.

Needless to say my surgery (next Monday) is with him!

My rather laboured point is....if they don't take the time to listen to us and understand in more detail what we are experiencing how can they hope to improve pain management and spinal issues. It's such a complex area of the body surely the chances of improving treatment comes from listening to us, not talking at us. 10-15 minutes at £185 just adds insult to injury.

Ok will get off my soap box now! ~X(
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Comments

  • This should not be a one-up kind of thing, but imagine all the people, who have never been looked at, because their first, second, tenth, visit to the Dr, was such as you have seen.

    When we hear this so many times, we indeed do believe, "I guess he must be right, he's the Dr"

    When we finally come across someone, who listens to us, tries to help out and in the end, has the task of telling us, that "they" as a group messed up. Well - it can bring us back to all of the hurt, the frustration and long nights, we recall, when we could not sleep because we were in fact, trying not to suffer, but certainly had a reason to be.

    I am happy, that you have found a person who listens!
    Keep going and enjoy your journey.
  • What you describe is common for most appointments no matter what the specialty. When insurance pays them $40 for an office visit how much time can they really give to a patient? Just the office overhead has to cost $20.

    That's why many doctors order additional tests. I just received the EOB for my daughters visit to an ENT. They were paid $145 for the office visit. Then they charged for an endoscope where they put that long tube down your throat. THat was $225 because it's considered surgery. I remember him saying "well we could do this just to make sure there is nothing in her sinuses". She was there because of ear problems .. duh!! And then they were paid $250 for hearing tests that took about 10 minutes.

    More than ever the patient has to play doctor. We need to question everything. Don't accept anything without checking it out. And even the doctor who seems helpful needs to be considered carefully.
  • Yes it is a relief for someone to listen to you and I agree (KRIS-NY) they must be good at their speciality. How can we hope to truly understand pain and the management of, if the very people who "diagnose" us spend so little time understanding.

    In the future could more effective treatment be investigated/offered if more time was taken in these appointments?

    I know what we have for the most part is not life threatening but what joy if in the future others do NOT have to suffer not only with constant pain but being made to feel like you are wasting their time.

  • I listen to all these horror stories over the years and feel so lucky and grateful to have the care my family does. We have a great insurance plan and our doctors spend as much time as needed.

    It is primarily because of my ortho and PCP. I have had such a wonderful PCP and ortho that I always ask them who we should see when we need something they don't specialize in. I figure they will send us to 'like minded' doctors and so far this has been the case. My older boy has my PCP as his and when my baby was born my PCP became his pedi as well. It was a no brainer.

    Now dental insurance is a different story. We have great dentists but they are expensive. When my son broke his two front teeth a few months ago and needed 2 root canals and two crowns our out of pocket expense was $4000.00 and that was after insurance kicked in their little portion.

    Again, I feel bad for those with bad doctors but need to say these bad ones are not the norn. All of mine have been wonderful and I would entrust my families lives to them. Oh wait, I have entrusted our lives to them.
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