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I am so angry at the doctor!

hisbeauty4asheshhisbeauty4ashes Posts: 182
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I went to the pain specialist today because an injection in my neck did not work and I had been experincing bad headaches on the left side of my head behind my eye and my left arm has been freezing up. On top of this when I move my neck it sets off theracic pain.

So I go to the pain specialist and tell him my symptoms and he says, "an MRI wont tell you anything so what is the point of getting an MRI you do not want another surgery and we can just get phyisical therapy." I am sitting there going what? I tell the doctor that I want to know what is going on with my body so we can work out on how to treat the problem area he goes there still is not point we would treat you the same with out an MRI. I am getting real sceptical. The doctors goes on to say, " There is probably nothing going on with you we do not already know." Then he procedes to say well what if you were paying for the MRI and not a third party would you get an MRI? I said, " What!" I asked the doctor what was his point by what he was saying to me." He said, " the health care system is a mess and is spending to much money." I was like okay this is weird He thinks I like to suck money out of the health care system when that is far from the truth.

I am ticked off I have a real problem going on and this doctor is worried about the health care system because others screwed it up. There is a political reason behind the doctors agenda.

Please tell me what I should do I do not want to goo to this doctor anymore.



  • I do understand what he was saying- he was saying that an MRI is not necessary because it would not change your treatment options. An MRI is an extremely expensive test, and should only be done when it is a medical necessity.

    A doctor refusing to do tests that aren't medically necessary isn't being unethical- in fact, doctors are ethically required to say "no" if we request a test that is not actually called for in our situation.

    If you read the spine-health articles, they say much the same thing- an MRI is not a test that should be done on every person with back/neck pain. There are many reasons for this, not solely the cost.

  • Hi and thanks for the response.

    My question is this. I am now having headaches on the left side of my head behind the left eye. My left arm and hand lock up in a paralized state for long persiods of time and this is not enough concern to check out what is going on in the neck area or in the brain etc. Humm I question this when there is a good reason to see what is going on behind the scenes since there were mutiple surgeries before this occured?

  • I did ask him. He responded and said well the health care system has enough issues as it is and that it would cost more money to take an MRI.

    The conversation we had, had more to do with the healthcare system then my neck and spine. Politic's was brought into the conversation which ticked me off...

    So that is all I am going to say and it was wrong period.
  • In my experience doctors are trying to control some of the cost associated with some of this stuff. Which unfortunately they have to do as the insurance companies tag doctors based on the number of test procedures and what not they perform. Also the doctor has to have a ICD-9 code in order to order the MRI.

    The bigger question is how long has the current symptoms been going on? If your concerned it is a brain issue a pm doctor is not the place for that type of MRI. I have seen more and more doctors doing physical therapy first and then if that fails ordering the mri's to see what is going on. Has a lot to do with how the insurance companies are working now. While you hope that a doctor isn't concerned about the insurance company they have to put lots of resources in test and procedures that aren't deemed necessary but the insurance company. I know it doesn't really help you in your situation but it is the system in which we live. I had something similar on some physical therapy and the doctor said it wouldn't be cost effective to do the therapy. Which was not what i wanted to hear and thought why is money being brought in this situation. It was only till later and that I truly gained insight as to what he meant.
  • i was going to say pretty much the same things as happyHBmom. well said hHBm.

    things are a bit different here in canada, as we do not get MRIs like a lot of Americans with decent health insurance tend to get. this is not a judgment of any kind, it's neither right nor wrong, our systems are just different. but what i notice, as a canadian who has had a handlful of invasive spine surgeries including a multi-level fusion, MRIs tend to be one of the last things done (for me anyway), kind of as a pre-surgery template. second, prior to all of my surgeries i've had to wait a bit for an MRI whilst other avenues could be explored. some people say that our health system is horrible and that people tend to have to wait in pain and the sort. whereas this is sometimes true, for my surgeries because my nerve roots were severely compromised and it seemed apparent that surgery was looming, i got bumped up the waiting list. for example, for my second surgery i had my consult with the surgeon, he admitted me within 5 minutes, i had an MRI and he did surgery the next morning. the take home message is in some cases, perhaps extreme cases the waiting is minimal.

    as for you hisbeauty4ashes, you have every right to not want to see this doctor and see someone else. it sounds like his demeanor wasn't exactly therapeutic. perhaps he was having a bad day, or whatever. please see someone else if you desire, it's your body, your health, and you do not need to justify anything to him or anyone actually. perhaps he got slapped by his superiors for ordering too many tests. i don't know his story, but whatever it is you have a right to be respected as a patient. i would imagine it would be in their mission statement and/or codes of conduct.

    it's horrible to have chronic pain, and our coping skills further maxed out when we feel as if we are not being heard, or belittled, or shamed, or any of those other things that lead to difficult feelings. we here at S-H hear you though and believe you because we have lived at that address too (been there done that) :)

    hopefully you'll get things sorted out and you will get what you need.

    glad you posted.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I myself can almost always tell when something else had gone wrong with my neck and have argued with my surgeon about getting a MRI. He says no and I stressed ( I mean really stressed that I was sure something else was going on). Finally my surgeon allowed a MRI and that is when we found the broken screws and the plate backing out. So if I were you and I was having issues different from the normal I would go to my primary care phys. for a second opinion. Are these symptoms new that you are having?
  • RMI is a valid diagnostic measure with a very deep and clear quantity of information about your body and it really helps to identify problems that other means do not. In my opinion you think it may help to solve your current situation and you have the right to ask for the best to your health.
    In economic terms, in my case, for example, I can tell you that an MRI would cost much less if I were recommended to have it in my 40's instead of doing now in my 50's, when more limited and costly countermeasures are available.
    If we worked in prevention, as you want to do, all treatments would leave us to less suffering and less cost to all.
    Find the good doctor the fits your way of seeing things, life and treatments! You will get good surprises ahead.

    PS. Different than other areas of medicine we rarely see campaigns to spine problems prevention. Comparing to breast & prostate cancer, diabetes, etc... I would say that the prevention is almost null.
    I am glad, however, that there is this excellent instrument of communication, SPINE-HEALTH!!!
    All the best.
  • I made an appointment with the surgeon to look at me and see if we should do an MRI. I do feel something is very wrong with my neck that is why I asked for an MRI to begin with. So this is why I am taking steps towards this.

    The doctor should not have brought his politic's to me.. I fired him.
  • I guess my question would be, did the PM doctor do any sort of an exam or ask any questions when you presented your new symptoms to him? OR were your concerns just brushed aside as trivial.

    My PM doctor tells me that his specialty is treating pain and he encourages me to talk to my other doctors about changes in my condition not related to the pain. If I bring up something out of his specialty, he will say to me "that is a Dr. __ question." So if this is the case with your pain management doctor, perhaps seeing someone else will be to your advantage.

    MRIs are not always necessary, and sometimes a physical exam will give the doctor enough information to diagnose without doing the expensive testing. Hopefully your surgeon will be able to tell you what is going on, with or without an MRI. It is always frightening when we have new symptoms, and I think we chronic pain patients tend to know when there is a problem.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • My PM did not do much of an exam at all. He just flapped his yaker.lol

    Yes my spine doc will take a look at me next week.

    My spine doc called me tonight and told me I need to think about removing my hardware from my lumbar spine so I have allot going on right now physically and I am so frustrated.

    Thanks all.
  • Well I have an appointment with my spine specialist next week. I will see what he thinks is going on and we will go from there.

    Can I just get real with you guys I have so much physical things going on at the same time.

    I had foot surgery November 11, 2010 and now I have sever nerve pain, swelling and numbness in right foot and ankle hurts really bad. The doctor took bone from under my ankle to fuse the big toe joint he told me that he had to move the nerve over and that the nerve would calm down and it has not. Now the doctors says we have to treat it now. UGHHHH! I am trying to get a second opinion.

    My spine doctor also talked to me about removing the hardware in my spine to relieve the nerve and back pain there and it is only a fifty percent chance it would help/work.

  • Hi

    Just a comment

    Although I am very aware of all the rising healthcare costs...

    I had been going to the same pain mgt center that is associated with the local hospital for five years for my neck issues. For the last two years, I had been complaining that the pain had been going lower and lower down my back and asking if I needed a lumbar MRI. My last attempt was last January with my husband at the appointment. The doctor told me that I didn't need anymore testing. It was my fault that I had missed so much physical therapy. It was no excuse that my son had been in the hospital eight times during that year with inflammation of his heart. I should have been to my appointments. She obviously didn't have children! That was my last appointment there. I had another neck RFA that May at another hospital that was very successful and helped me lower my pain meds. When the pain meds were lowered, the back pain increased even more and other symptoms. In August, a lumbar tumor was discovered and removed immediately from an emergency room visit. I am now in a wheelchair. I am so very thankful that the tumor that I was later told had been slowly growing inside the dura of my spine for at least five years was not cancerous. If the doctor had only listened to my complaints and did the MRI. If she had not convinced me & confused me and made me question myself time and time again for that two year period. She was my doctor, right? I kept telling her about all my pain. Now, what? Family members want me to sue. What will that do for the health care system? I called the center when I got back from rehab. and spoke with a very nice nurse that I liked. I nicely told her what happened and she aggreed to speak with the doctor on my behalf. I made it quite clear that my only motive in the call was to make sure that the doctor understood what happened and that she might listen more next time so that this doesn't happen to another patient. I also knew that all the other people that worked there would know all about my case. I know that doctors are only humans. Boy, do I know that now. I just hope that they know that, and treat every patient with kindness, compassion, and respect.

    If you have changes in your health that really concern you, find another doctor for an MRI. That is my humble suggestion. As they are now ordering my electric wheelchair, I still believe that I will walk. I am very thankful that I just got accepted on a state insurance health program that is now providing me with a personal care attendant to help me during the day. This will help take the burden off my husband and Mother. It has been more of a challenge than I had imagined. I am afraid that I am a lot more expensive now than that initial MRI would have cost. In my case, the MRI would have been more of a preventative cost. When the testing finds a problem that you can nip in the bud, you save a person's health and some long term healthcare costs.
    I hope with this help and, I will be able to better participate again with all that this wonderful site and the supportive members have to offer!

    Thank you,
  • WOW! Thanks for sharing your story and I am so sorry you are going through so much. You are right they should listen to the patient and be accountable to take care of them. You will beat this my friend and you are in the prayers of many.

    I am facing a situation with my foot. I had surgery almost ten weeks ago and the doctor messed with my nerve when he took out bone to place in my big toe and now I have major nerve pain swelling etc. Then the doctor tells me he does not know what it wrong. (THAT IS AN UNEXCEPTIONABLE ANSWER!") Now I have to take further steps to see a specialist in Portland Oregon. I meet with my regular doctor today and I pray he listens to me. Now I am not able to walk much at all.

    I am seeing my spine specialist about my neck next week and fired my pain specialist.

    Thanks again
  • I am so sorry that you are going through this. Sometimes it seems like the Doctors are working against you instead of for you. I kinda had that same feeling until my last surgery. Let me explain! My second to last fusion that I had done was in my neck. They fused together the C5-C6-C7 vertebrae. I spent 4 days in the hospital for that one, cost a ton of money, not only for my insurance company, but for me also. Then my last surgery I had my C-4 fused together with my C5-C6-C-7 vertebrae. My office visit with the surgeon just before the surgery went something like this!
    Me: Are you going to go through the same scar as my prior surgery in my neck?
    Dr: Yes, It will be easier for me that way and reduce scar tissue from another incision.
    Me: How long will I have to stay in the hospital after my surgery?
    Dr: Your surgery will start about 8:30 A.M. and you should be able to walk out of here before we close at 5:00 P.M.
    Me: I'm not having my surgery in a hospital?
    Dr: No! We are going to perform your surgery in our basement. We have a couple of surgical rooms down there.
    Me: Well that is kind of weird, the last surgery that I had I was in the hospital for 4 days.
    Dr: We are trying to make things more cost effective for both the patient and the insurance companies. Why would you want to spent thousands of dollars recovering in a hospital bed when you can do the same thing at home for free?
    Me: I guess that makes complete sense to me.

    Now every situation is probably going to be different, this time he saved me a ton of money, I am very grateful, I have no job or income to pay him back. I have already filed for bankruptcy and have been denied SSI. I have also had my L3-L4-L5-S1 vertebrae fused together with titanium screws and rods. I always new that once I've had one back surgery, I was going to be screwed for the rest of my life. By the way! he didn't go through the same scar as my first surgery, He went in about 2 inches above that.
    I will pray for you to get to feeling better. I think everyone on this site need a good prayer now and again. Dr. also told me that I am going to have to have a fusion done on my C-7 to T-1 and my L-3 to L-4 due to disc degeneration and narrowing of the spinal cord canal, just found this out on 1-11=2011. Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeee can't wait!!!!!!!!!
  • Oh Pistoff I am so sorry... I have degenerate disc issues as well. I have the T678 herniated but they will not touch the disc's because it is a very risky surgery. I knew too that having back and neck surgery was risky and would change my life. Well here I am again living eating, breathing, bone fusers and drugs... Okay this has become my life, and I know so many others are dealing with this as well and I pray that they will get through this and live life to fullest no matter the situation/condition.

    Well now I need to make a decision to take the rods out of the side of my lumbar spine that were left when I had the right side taken out because of problems. The doc told me it will give me a 50/50 percent chance of working or not. So now I am pondering it because surgeries seem to always fail with me and I end up having long term problems. UGHH!

    Anyway I pray you all feel better.
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