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What to Expect - Pain Management Clinics?

Charlottes WebCCharlottes Web Posts: 44
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Chronic Pain
I am having some issues with my first PMC. I have another post out there giving more detail. In any event, I've called all the clinics in my area but can't get past the scripted answers from the receptionist! My goal, to visit the clinics, speak with the Dr. and decided where I want to go. However, I am being told, in order to get an appointment, I must first be released from my current clinic, and the Dr. at the new clinic would then review my records from the former clinic. Really, it's not acceptable in PMC's to have a consult with the Dr. before making a long term commitment?

Also, ALL of the PMC use Anesthesiologist here... is that the norm?

Drug testing: Random or Dr's desecration? Mine have been done random, before the Dr. has laid eyes on me. I've been charged $270.00 for urine test I didn't get, and urine test I did get but were NOT sent to the lab. Months of work to get this straight, and that with the help of my insurance company.

Pill counts? I was told last visit, if I came in with too many pills, I would be put on "probation". Is this the norm? Some days I don't need/take as much pain meds as other days.

Lastly, are the Dr.'s and staff in your PMC polite to you? Am I expecting to much to be treated in a kind and caring manner?

Honestly, I'm not here to bash PMC's, my experience is only mine! I am most interested in learning what to expect and what not to expect, and a bit exhausted with the subject! I know in posting here, I will at least get intelligent, polite, and caring answers! BUT, don't hold back if you have a funny story, I love a good laugh these days! ;)

Thank you for your time and wishing everyone a great Sunday!!! >:D<



  • Good afternoon (sorry, I can't remember, it's Tina, right?)

    I can't answer all of your questions, except it is pretty normal for a pm to be an anesthesiologist, mine is one. I think probably because of all the options for injections there are, they are the experts!

    As for testing, it usually is random (they don't want you to know when you will be tested) and it usually is at the doctor's discretion. Once your doctor gets to know you, s/he might not even test you. Really, they do it to weed out the users and abusers. I can't comment on the pill counting, as my pm doesn't actually prescribe my meds, my pcp does.

    As for politeness, anything less is unprofessional in my books. If you do get flack from the staff, I would be mentioning it to your doctor, and depending on the situation, filing a formal complaint. We should not have to put up with being treated poorly, unless our own behaviour warrants it. The one thing I've found personally though, is that with some of the meds we are on, dealing with bad pain, or depression and anxiety that we might suffer from, makes us a little more sensitive, and has been pointed out to me by my spouse, sometimes when I think I've been spoken to in a way I don't like, it's really just me and how I perceived it, and not the way it actually happened. Just thought I'd throw that perspective out there too. But, being treated poorly is not acceptable, and if that's the norm at a certain office, I would be finding a new one, because none of us needs to deal with that on top of everything else we deal with.

    Anyways, good luck with your search, I hope you find a doctor quickly that is suited for you!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Opps, forgot to sign again, yes, Tina! Also noticed I said discretion up there like a true southerner! Darn auto correct speller! LOL

    Anyway, I hope you are doing well today! Thanks for taking your time to reply, your answers are so helpful for me right now. I'm glad to know anesthesiologist are the norm and drug testing is random. Ha, I figure you had one drug screening, first visit, and if the doc thought you were out of line after that, they tested again, #o . I don't mind the test, nothing to hide, (blushing, but my bladder is deficient, and it requires me to strain in order to give the sample, and the straining sets off symptoms. It took 20 minute one time to get enough urine in the cup to test! When I mentioned this to the nurse, she sighed, had no comment. They have tested me every visit except one, ugg! The stress of dealing with this group had made me worst over the last 2 weeks. Stress is not good for an arachnoid cyst... Charlotte is way too temperamental! So, I really don't have a choice, I MUST find a new place, soon! It doesn't help that I ran a business for for over 20 years and wrote customer service training manuals!

    I found a new clinic in my area, but outside the metro area. I hate to say this, but you're treated better in that area, so I'm trying to set up a consult with them. I will call again tomorrow and try to get by the receptionist. If at first you don't succeed.... fingers and toes crossed.

    Also, I'm excited to start working with a program through my insurance. I have an RN calling tomorrow from the conditions department. A great service I didn't know I had... =D> hoping to get some help from her!

    These forum and it's wonderful Member's, including you, have been my saving grace from the events of the last 2 weeks. I can't thank you enough, Kelly!

    BTW, to whom do I report them? Is it fun... J/K'ing!

    Have a great night!

  • Howdy Tina,

    One thing that might help "smooth" over your first visit is this. Can your GP or spine specialist give you a letter that shows what your medical issues are? Like Kelly, I am not in a pain management clinic nor with a PM as my GP manages all of my medications. But a letter to a potential PM might make a big (good) difference.

    When I get updated MRI's, x-rays or consults with diagnosis's, I give her copies. This also helps validate to her I *do* in fact still need my pain medications. I've yet to have any problems with her. Just a thought. Please let us know how it turns out. Good luck, fingers crossed with ya!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • (sorry to get off track here, but just out of curiosity...) Brenda, you have to take copies to your pcp yourself? If my ns let's say, orders an MRI or other test, the MRI clinic (or other) sends it to the NS, but will also fwd copies to my pcp and pm. Do they not do that down there? Sorry, Tina, was just curious about that, wondering if that's another difference we have in our medical systems.

    One good thing for me, is that my pm and pcp actually will talk to each other. My pm has also told me what he thinks I should be on, I've gone back and told my pcp, if she has any questions, she'll call him and ask. That's how I ended up switching from flexeril to baclofen, and how I ended up on gabapentin. My pm doesn't do my meds because he said if my pcp will continue on with them, it would be easier as I wouldn't have to do the contract and get into the testing that he would require. But I think I'm pretty lucky and an exception to the rule with the total communication between all of us. My pcp will actually say she doesn't know much about spine issues, and my pm is the expert in well, pm, so listens to his input as well as mine. I hope my new pcp will be like her!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Heyya Brenda! I've had you on my mind... how's it going with the smokes?

    All of my med records and MRI results were sent by my NS to the PMC. It may also help if they have records from my Orthopedic Surgeon since my right arm is basically blown out and the left is not far behind. If I manage a consult with a new doc, a letter is an excellent idea, and I will do my best to get that! Thank you, Brenda! I have learned through you and the others, "I" need to take more control over my situation, and take my situation more seriously. I no longer live in the day (or city) where one doc does all and the relationship is based on trust.

    I see my PCP before my PMC appointment on Tuesday and hope she has some advise. Also, I'm excited to see what the "conditions nurse" has to say tomorrow... from what I understand, she can make calls to the doc for me, maybe get me a letter... whoot whoot!

    Thanks again for the well wishes, I'm sending them your way too! Have a great night and I will keep you posted! >:D<


  • Numbskull said:
    (sorry to get off track here, but just out of curiosity...) Brenda, you have to take copies to your pcp yourself? If my ns let's say, orders an MRI or other test, the MRI clinic (or other) sends it to the NS, but will also fwd copies to my pcp and pm. Do they not do that down there? Sorry, Tina, was just curious about that, wondering if that's another difference we have in our medical systems.

    The way it is down here, *most* places you get a physical copy of the CD to bring to your doctor. The written report is ready in about 2-3 days. Most times they wait for either the patient -or- the requesting doctors office to call and get it faxed to them. So far I've always been asked to bring my films, or now a days, CD's with me to my ordering doctors next appointment.

    I also get my doctors notes of my appointments as to what occurred, and what he says is going on, and what the game plan is. I then keep all in a binder. The CD's by the way, I copy onto my computer, and too I burn a CD for me - but of late most of my doctors don't keep the CD's either, they give them back to me. Reduces clutter I guess?

    Oh, and too down here, the GP is out of the loop once your with a specialist unless instructions are given otherwise by the prescribing doctor - I keep mine in the full loop.

    > Thanks for understanding Charlotte! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Glad to be able to help woman! Knowledge (in my way of thinking) is powerful, but even more so when shared!! :)

    Nodding with you, before my medical issues got so intermixed, 99% of the time it was just 'a family doctor' visit, and all was back to normal. As you have found yourself, as we age, or in our cases here, our spines change our specialist circle widens more and more! Lets see; GP's, PM's, Orthopedic sports doctor/surgeon, Ortho spine surgeon, Neurologists, Urologists, Neurosurgeons, GYN's aaarrrggh, and the list goes on! (Big Grins). That is why I try to keep my poor GP in on all of this and each evolution.

    I am so happy that it looks like they will be able to help you with a letter. I sometimes have found a letter of physical description and status to beat a general referral personally! It's like your doctor putting the "personal touch" on you as a person to the new doctor you wish to see.

    That too is a add on to why I keep copies of my imaging, diagnostics, blood work, doctors exam notes - the new doctor can see at a glance what you have and have not done, and the biggie....what is GOING on with you and your medical issue and any related. My new Orthopedic surgeon and his staff was very impressed as still to this day, a lot of patients don't do it.

    Doc. "Mr. Patient, have you had a cervical MRI?"

    Patient. "I'm yes."

    Doc. "When and do you have the CD or the reports?"

    Patient. "Err, ummm no."

    Doc. "Okay, can you get them for me, or tell me where and when you got it so my office manager can get them."

    Patient (and this happens). "It was at some hospital when I was on vacation. I don't remember where?"

    Doc. (frustrated) Hands his patient a script for another MRI costing thousands of maybe unneeded dollars! Sigh....

    Oh, and of course his exam is now limited as too are the hands of help from the doctor this day. Off goes the patient who of course will take his time getting that all important MRI, and most likely he'll forget to bring the reports or CD (CD is the biggie if the doctor actually looks at them).

    I know I've learned by example of watching in doctors offices, and too I think I forgot once and it delayed things - never again. :)

    Hope that helps Tina. Please let us know how it goes. The ciggies, two days of em left, and then my mental cravings will be told "Sorry dude, ex smoker here!" I'm a very determined type when I make up my mind about something. ;)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • it depends where you go .i had a fantastic pain consultant/consultant anesthetist she was lovely and kind and very understanding she even come off her holiday when i was ill with serious pain because i did not want anyone else to give me injections .but after ten years she had ran out of options and had to discharge me .then i went to another hospital and met the most obnoxious evil man i have ever met in my life .he was so nasty we did not even get to the treatment stage he provoked me into an argument and even got my wife angry {almost impossible she have a very long fuse} so we walked out of a consultation and reported him to out family doctor .we have since learned that this person has since been sacked because of so many complaints again him ..my pain is now managed by my own family doctor
    good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I went through the same thing when trying to change from my first PM to the one I'm seeing now. I had to send everyone letters saying that I would no longer be seeing the first PM doctor. The other problem that I had is that they are all friends in my city, and the second person that I tried to see would not see me after knowing that I had seen the first PM doctor. The first Pm doctor did three endoscopic procedures that almost killed me, and would not help me with pain management post procedures. The procedures were as painful as my fusion.

    At any rate, I finally found a physiatrist/pain mgt doctor. I signed a pain contract; have to see him every three months; always have urine tests; and he does want me to have invasive procedures, including a spinal cord stimulator, each time I see him, but because I have another serious medical issue, I have avoided having these procedures for now. I try to do everything that he asks...totally by the book. I still see my surgeon for ongoing mechanical issues, and he does not want me to have any more procedures either at this time, so I'm going to PT, taking my meds, use ice/tens to deal with the pain.

    Good luck in your search,

  • I am so sorry, I do appreciate everyone's comments! I don't know what happened -- ugg, and too tired to re-do it tonight, but will catch up tomorrow evening.

    Until then, hope everyone had a good day, and tomorrow is even better!!! <:P

    Sweet dreams...
    T >:D<
  • Hope everyone is doing well. Sorry for the delayed in posting but a full day of Dr.'s and my MRI has me exhausted.

    First, Kelly, don't worry about getting off track or subject on this my post's. We are all here to share, learn, and support one another, so jump in anytime, please! I also learn from your questions to others, and love it!

    I am delighted for those of you that have good Dr.'s taking the time to make sure you get the best care.

    Briefly, I didn't get anything from the "conditions nurse" on Monday. She listened to my story, and asked if Sept, whatever would be a good time to schedule another appointment with her? I ask what I should expect from her services but she never answered, just repeated, when would be a good time to schedule in Sept.

    Saw my PCP Tuesday, she had nothing for me, except sympathy for my condition. She sat with her laptop on her lap, typing away, as I described my recent symptoms, including my heart sometimes feels like it's going to pound out of my chest. She didn't listen to my heart. Oh, I should give credit, her nurse weighed me and took my blood pressure. Now down to 103 lbs, but the Dr. didn't seem mention it.

    The PMC appointment went OK, I guess. I saw a MA or NP, not sure, and she did take the time to explain the rules of the clinic. AND, she apologized for the way I had been treated. She told me they were making an exception in allowing me 6 pills a day (per my referring Dr.), but 4 pills a day is the max for ALL other patients. Really, I'm special?

    Things with the pharmacy didn't go so well, but I'm on a fast track to corporate to get that issue resolved. Made a report and expecting a call back from them. Hope to see a new manager in our drug store soon! Yep, I'm after his job!

    The MRI was like taking a vacation. They are so kind and accommodating where I go. I made it a point to let them know how much I appreciated it.

    Brenda, thank you, I'm going to work on getting all my medical records in a binder and have it available when I interview other PMC's. Very smart idea, thank you! My multiple, bilateral shoulder surgeries started in the late 80's and again in 2004, before the accident in 08, so I have a lot of records!

    Tony, I am so happy that you have things going smooth with your Dr.'s!!! Someday, I hope to report the same. Thank you for sharing!

    SG, I'm happy for you too! I did find a psychiatrist listed in PM here, but when I called, the lady that answered the phone was short and rude. LOL, no need to make a change to get that service!

    Going to jump out of here and try to get some sleep! I'll get back tomorrow to see how everyone is doing. I appreciate each of you so much! In the meantime, wishing everyone a peaceful night, and sweet dreams to all!

    BTW, too tired to proof, pardon my typos in advance... >:D<
  • It just gets so old doesn’t it? I mean really, we already have to deal with non-stop screeching pain issues that just never go away – then you get to deal with some jerkoff doctor that either doesn’t listen, doesn’t care, or judges you. Do they really think we WANT to give up almost everything enjoyable in life? Our passions? Do they think we want to be reliant on meds for life or we just cannot go on? Ugh, it just gets under my skin so bad!!! It’s not enough we’ve been dealt this Edited hand, then we have to beg, plead, and borrow to get some type of decent care.
    I’m kinda where you’re at in a sense, thinking about switching doctors. If they weren’t in the same pain clinic – it would be a no brainer. My doc was on vacation so I had to see the other one in there and what a difference! I felt so comfortable talking to her, it was a totally different experience than the last 6 years have been with the other one. I can actually be a fairly ruthless B if I need too, but I am half scared of my current doctor. Scared because I know if I piss her off she is gonna kick me to the curb and I wouldn’t put it past her! I know she was super annoyed when my meds weren’t working so well and I was trying different options and they didn’t do much better. I went in to see her like twice a week for a couple weeks and I could tell she was just wantin me to go away. Now my schedule got screwed up because of that and she basically left town and left me screwed over. Lucky for me this other doc I saw took the time to review all my appts., in the past few weeks, what meds I tried, etc., and could see plain as day that this past Wednesday WAS the day I was supposed to have them filled with a months worth but because of all the Edited, my doc post dated my prescription until this coming Monday instead. Thank God this other doc gave me some lortab and nycinta (sp) to tied me over because she could plainly see I would not last till Monday – no way in hell. She couldn’t figure out what my doc was thinking either and to be honest I’m not so sure it wasn’t a form of punishment because I bothered her too much this past month and no I’m not kidding. She can be very snotty, short, and condescending and typically I don’t put up with people treating me (or anybody else) like that! I absolutely hate rude behavior in people and if my kids did it, they got their asses whooped right away and knew it was NOT the proper response! It is tough when you are pretty much married to a doctor of some sort because of pain, then have to jump thru hoops when you already feel like Edited just to make them happy. Personally, I think it’s all about the money anyway, maybe not all doctors are like that but plenty of them are!! Hope you get your situation corrected Tina because it truly is just another HUGE stress factor that we just don’t need! Good luck! Marion
  • I second your sentiments about pain management...it is certainly is like walking a tight rope.

    Before I had back issues and worked in anesthesia, I was a pit bull with lipstick; a little arrogant and impatient. After the fusion, dealing with surgeons, pm doctors, disability insurance, pharmacies,etc., I learned quickly that I had to reign in my aggressions, and literally learned that killing with kindness was essential to accomplishing my goals. It also changed my life and how I deal with people across the board. I'm a better person for it!

    I get very scared when seeing my PM doctor also. There is something very intimidating about it, and I worked with cardiac surgeons for 28 years, so I can't believe I have to allow them to treat me in a way that is condescending, but we are at their mercy. I could not even get my pm doctor to write me a presciption for physical therapy. I have the insurance to cover it, it was helping me, but he wants me to have a SCS, and I refused it, so he wouldn't send my PT a script. I had to call my surgeon who was happy to keep my in PT. It is very stressful, and definitely makes my muscle spasms worse.

    T...use my experience to help you through the process. I have decided that I don't care what they think of me, I need pain control, so it is just an hour of my time that I have to get through. Like Marion said, who would really want to give up their profession and passions to live like this.

    Stay on course and live the best life you can under the circumstances. We certainly are not guaranteed perfect lives, and these challenges are just part of it. It could be worse, like cancer.

    Have a good weekend,

  • Wow, reading all of this makes me thankful for having such a good PM doc. However, as soon as he set foot in the exam room, I made it very clear I was there ONLY for injections and that I didn't want meds being pushed at me. I have to be in severe pain to take anything for the pain, especially since I have 3 kids to take care of. Although, sometimes I wonder if I'd be more functional if I were drowsy from the meds than I am when I am suffering on the couch in pain.

    I hope you are able to get in with a good PMC. I can't believe all of the hoops they make you jump through. I can almost (but not quite) understand their reasoning for wanting you to sign off with your other PMC, because they don't want people doctor hopping in order to abuse pain meds. However, when you have a legitimate condition for which you have documentation for, they shouldn't make it so difficult. Especially if you are just wanting to go for a consultation to make sure you like the doctor. It's not like you are walking in there saying, "okay, give me some pills doc!" Seriously!

    Hang in there and keep your chin up.
  • Tina,

    I have found that giving "said" doctor all the pieces to what I am going through, helps him as well as me. For instance, you with the shoulder issues...treatments and medications could affect your spine issues.

    Hence my binder with the last tests and such. It helps if the doctor "can see" what your body is going through. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that "positive" is in your future.. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Sorry I haven't made it back until now. My intentions were good, I've signed in a few times to catch up, but haven't had the energy to think and post…. Today I'm feeling some better and happy, happy, happy to be here!

    Here's the latest on me: what started as a cold last weekend, went into bronchitis, by Tuesday, (PCP appointment day...yes I told her), and by Friday I was spanked! My PCP's office closes early on Friday, so I got with the on call Dr. for an antibiotic. Normally, I would fight it myself, NO antibiotic, but I was afraid to take on this dragon considering my stress level and weight loss, almost a pound a day since Tuesday. The on call Dr. was very accommodating, but clearly irritated that my PCP had NOT addressed this when I was in her office Tuesday. He told me, in a stern Asian accent, "Next time, you make her listen to your chest!"… LOL!!! Well, by Friday night I was down to 99 lbs (I am 5'10" tall)!!! Yesterday, still 99 lbs, and so weak I could hardly move. Trying to avoid the ER I opted for the insurance, 24 hour, RN, help line. She said, go to the ER, I needed an IV started to keep me from losing more lbs. I ask her if it could wait until Monday, but she was afraid I would lose more weight and it would be harder for the docs to maintain and add lbs. OK, but can I wait until Sunday (today)? She said it was up to me, and as long as I was feeling a little better, which I was. I've been drinking Ensure like crazy. Last night I weighted 100 lbs and did so again this morning! I'm expecting a follow-up call from the RN today and will ask her if I can wait until tomorrow and avoid the ER and hospital admission. She mentioned yesterday that my benefits will pay for someone to come to my house and do the IV's. Super cool!!!...if I can figure how to make this happen, and which doc to go through, NS or PCP? Ideas, please??? My PCP and NS do not have the same hospital privileges but not sure if that matters. I'm fairly sure it's not something that can be ordered by phone. I've also considered calling an Urgent Care clinic close by, and ask if they could see me, and order the @ home IV. Guess I don't need to tell you guys, I do NOT like ER's and/or hospitals!

    I'm getting a crick in my neck, so I'm going to post this update, and move around a bit. But, I also want to reply to all the sweet post here, so I will BBL! Meanwhile, wishing everyone a great day, and hoping all East Coaster's are safe and well!!!

    T >:D<
  • Talking very softly, how's it going Brenda? Guessing you're out of you know what's by now, and hoping your coping well. I've had you in my thoughts and will continue to send good vibes your way! I've been too weak to work on my "Medical Binder" and will have to put it off until I've jumped this weight loss hurtle.. Ugg, it's always something! 8} Baby steps! How are you and your truck tire doing? Hoping the hurtle you're jumping isn't causing additional pain. With me, added stress is a train wreck. Some kid came running through our back yard last night while I was out with our puppy, and scared the be-jeez out of me. Just that adrenalin rush caused my leg to go out, right then, right there, and the back spasms fired up instantly. Just glad it didn't scare a pound off of me, LOL!

    Marion, you gave me a good laugh! You don't hold back do you?... I like that! Yep, it sounds like we're in the same boat with docs! When I was referred to my PMC, my NS warned me of the doc I saw last time, he said I would be a simple prescription patient, and PMC are designed more for procedures. IMHO, Dr. Meanman, (aka), was trying to find a way to get sommo money from me. I hope you get your issues worked out, it's no fun feeling like a ping pong ball! I'm so horribly shocked to see so many of us ping pong balls here….brings me to tears for all of us suffering doc disease!

    Lisa, you are living proof that something should change for us in chronic pain! I have made a promise that if I get over this hurtle, and regain my strength, I AM going to do something to advocate for us chronic pain sufferers. Public Officials, here I come!!! Just one more reason to beat Charlotte! Oh, I love killing with kindness, especially if I can make so and so feel like an arse in the process! Whoop, whoop! image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> BTW, your lipstick looks great, LOL! Hang in there, Pit Bull!

    Heyya Kim! You are lucky, and I honestly believe, if I were a candidate for a pain pump or procedure, I would be sailing through this PMC. Applauding your good Dr.! Here's a funny: my Sister runs a hotel, and tell me she has a regular customer seeing a PM doc in that area. They never drug test him, no pill counts, he gets procedures and pain meds, and the doc and staff are great to him. Turns out, his PMC is the same one I'm going to, different location. Funny part, she tells me this poor guy has to sell his pain meds to make ends meet. WTH! Now, doesn't that just bust the "war against drugs" bubble?!?

    Shaw thang, Ham! Please tell me you are going to fix all this?!?! I have told my DH, if I ever recover to the point I can work, there is a need for "customer service" training in the medical field. If that’s your idea, please, go for it, oh, and would you start in my area, stat?!? ;) Thank you, and please keep US posted!!!

    Whew, I'm caught up! Still waiting on that follow-up call from the 24 hour nurse service…tapping my nails!

    Thanks for all the input. I hope this thread keeps going with ideas and information sharing! BTW, I'm going to look into an inexpensive word recognition program. It hurts to sit and type, and takes me hours to type up a post, but I want to hang out here! Love it!

    Again, I hope everyone is having a great day with little to NO pain!

    Smiles and >:D< ...
  • Please tell us that you DID get to the ER and they are helping you now? It is late Sunday night (east coast US) after all. *HUGZ*

    Day 7 of no ciggies, and feeling pretty darn good actually! Pain is still there, but the "climb the wall - want a ciggie" urge really never showed?!?! I have my 'e-cig' and only had like 2 drags from it this whole time! Even with stopping smoking - baby steps!!!

    Okay, your turn again Tina, did you go in and get some much needed medical attention and treatment woman?!?! Don't make us come through cyber space and drag you in!!! Update please??? Worried about you...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Oh, I'm a bad girl, Brenda! Buuuut, I'm calling the Dr. this morning, I promise. I kept waiting on that darn 24 hour nurse to call back..LOL!

    Will keep you and yours posted!

    Really, day 7, and you haven't hurt anyone? What a Gal!!! Congrats to you my friend!

    Thanks for caring!

    T >:D<
  • Howdy Tina,

    Got your PM, thanks!! Hopefully your PA or doctor will start getting you health wise - back on track!!

    Hopefully you are there now, or maybe even back home feeling tons better!! I'll for sure be checking for updates. *HUGZ* :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • How-DY, I'm home, and so very glad to be here! ER ran an IV, contacted NS. NS said send me home to follow-up with him on Thursday. No cancer, no thyroid trouble. I now have 3 PCP names for PM. This may mean NO more PMC for me...whoop, whoop!!! No jke, I think the stress of the PMC did this to me... jeez!

    Guess it paid to wait until Monday.

    Thanks so much for you thoughts and concerns. You're the best!

    T >:D<
  • Tina,

    So glad you did head on over there. Did they have any reason for the weight loss? Stress, pain (I know I don't eat a lot when in pain), medication? Oops, just reread your post - stress can do it sure.

    I'm not big on Clinics per say. Hopefully you will get with a specific PM doctor - one that knows you and what *you* need. Try to get some rest, eat something, and d-stress woman. Otherwise we have been known to tickle the living hell out of ya!!!

    Oh, come on, I see the smile - Laugher is the best medicine. :)


    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Ha ha, the bottom of my feet are numb, so I'm not ticklish anymore!!! Besides, you'd have to catch me first, bahahaha :D

    No worries, stress is gone, eyes are open, I have a plan, and a new PCP/PM Doc in my future! All three take my insurance too!!! Doin the happy dance in Music City tonight! Care to join me?!? <:P Truth is, if I'm awake, I'm smiling, laughing and happy. Very few people, outside this board, have ever seen me otherwise... just the way I am. You too, I bet! :))(

    Hey, BTW, I'm so proud of you staying on task and kicking the habit. Go Girl, GO!!! I'm not far behind you. Got me a new attitude too...if Bad A** Brenda can do it, so can I!!! Hoottie hoo!!!

    Have a wonderful night! >:D<
  • Okay Tina,...as she throws the "can't bug my feet gauntlet"...There *are* other body parts woman!!! Snicker!

    I started a thread in the smoking section, so of course you're welcome to join in over there!! I get like 2 or 3 little urges a day, and they are easily shrugged off.

    I wish all people off of this site saw me happy, but no, quite the contrary. Most times the pain is such that I don't do well with hiding it. Some of the places I go, they know my deal and actually perk me up, so it evens out. Special places I pick the really good days to go to them - and those locations, yepper-eeeeh, all they see is the 'happy/old normal' me! (G)

    Come join the quit group!! :) Good for you, excellent!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • When I went to the PM office 8 months ago for the first visit, they asked me for a urine sample. I asked why and was told that they had to see if I was pregnant. I told them that I had a hysterectomy 4 years ago and no, I was not pregnant. They said it is routine and that the doctor required it, so, I gave them a urine sample. At my next visit the same routine and I told them I was still not pregnant because I didn't have a uterus. For the next 10-12 visits, they always asked me to have a urine sample and I always gave the same speech and laughed at the absurdity and never gave them a urine sample after that first visit. It became a laughing matter between the staff and me. It is not until today when reading your posts that I had a clue that they could or wanted to test me for drugs!!! I guess my urine passed the test on the one and only try. Funny, huh?

    BTW I ended up having surgery last month and got off all drugs, neuron tin, percocet, aspirin, Tylenol, morphine patch, lydocaine patch, etc 2 months prior to surgery. Why??? Because I had laminectomy and fusion 25 years ago and I knew how painful recovery is, and, I wanted to make sure the pAin meds worked after surgery. I chose to deal with the pain prior to surgery ( no meds for the 2 months)because I was in pretty bad
    pain for a year already and what is another couple of months. I wanted the narcotics to absolutely work post-op. It's a decision I am glad I made because the pain was extremely terrible from surgery and all the narcotics in the world only took the " edge " off the first few days. I think I would have been up the creek without a paddle if I didn't clean out my system ahead of time.
  • First post here, I'll try to keep it brief. Ok, somewhat brief....

    We switched insurance, effective today, and now everything has to go through a PCP in the neighboring state that my wife works in. I'm losing the GREAT relationship I have with my PA at my PMC and my Psychiatrist. I'm trying to remain positive that this will all work out- if not I can always see those two and simply pay out of pocket for the appointments. It really SUCKS because I had finally convinced both of them that Testosterone may just help a lot of my problems- the Psych recommended some Endocrinologists and the pain PA sent me to the lab to be tested. I am low, 135, but neither of them will write a script for it.

    Oh well, it shouldn't be hard "convincing" my new PCP that I HATE to take meds but need to in order to function. AND that I am brutally honest with what's going on in my life pain and mentally, that it took more than a year to finally get a concoction that works. Well, works the best any of them have, other than when I was on some meds that the Feds had pulled (I forget the names- Vioxx, Bextra, IIRC?). Messing with my meds really throws me for a loop for quite a while, to the point that if they want to change them I will bring my wife with to the appointment- other than folks listenning to women more than men it isn't very often that a spouse will go with to better/help explain what's going on with me.

    God, I sure HOPE this all works out smoothly! We picked the group our PCP is in based on which groups had a pain Dr and all information we could find about each- the one I want a referral to is in his 50's and has battled cancer so is "well aware of pain and its implications" according to his bio.

    About me:
    43yo, MWM, trashed back tearing a boiler apart while working for what was one of MY subcontractors 11/17/98, 3?/00 ALF cage at L4-5 with Iliac Crest bone graft, tore it loose in PT/rehab but my NS didn't believe me because the films still looked good. I finally convinced him something was wrong when I told him that when I "skip" while playing with my kids I can feel it go up and down- pretty scary when you think about it! Had a posterior fusion with rods and screws 6?/01 or /02, IIRC the cages are still in me, and a bone growth stimulator that was removed 1 yr(?) post-op. I've had several sessions of all types of nerve blocks, "steroid" injections, and what ever else done since then by my first Dr at my PMC. He handed me over to another Dr there to look into a SCS- did the temp study/test and have had it for 5(?) yrs now (my original charger/battery was #00104, it has since been replaced by one that cycles on/off and has a lower high-temp cut-off due to some older folks complaining that they were burned by it- new one is a PITA that doesn't work nearly as good).

    Livin' like Elvis: downers AND uppers! Really, it's all part of "the mix" that works on good days and helps raise the valleys on bad ones without totally killing the peaks on awesome ones.

    Sorry to hijack your thread, I just needed to vent and share....
  • Hey Rascal! My PMC told me flat out, Drug Test. Ok, I passed the first one, and the second. I'm sure I passed the one I didn't give (no lab work either & 5 months getting it straight w/ them)! Oh, and the one that I did give but never went to the lab. Guess they have to make their $ some way...LOL!

    Wow, congrats!!! Surgery did the trick and NO meds, NO PMC! So happy for you, that has to be a great feeling! :) You made a good move to decrease before surgery. That was my chief complain on putting me on something stronger, my last PMC visit. Since I have been hanging on to life the last few days, sitting a lot, I've decrease meds to very little! New Dr. next week and will explore a med with NO PMC requirements. My NS told me today, the state sent notices to all TN Surgeons' recently, they will be allowed to prescribe 2 weeks of pain med per patient and off to a PMC . Worries me with the new PCP, when will the State send them a notice? Hence, wanting a change in meds. It's going to be a challenge since my Ortho Surgeon and PCP has tried it all over the years, but worth a try!

    Unfortunately, my NS did not recommend surgery at today's visit. Still 50/50 chance it would help and same for it returning because of the tear in the Arachnoid layer of my spine. So, I will adjust to help control the painful symptoms, and work harder to protect my immune system.

    Oh Lloyd! That sucks! You are so young, and yes, pain is awful. You have been through so much and I'm so sorry about your insurance. Being a ping pong ball between Dr. isn't fun. The stress alone can make for really bad time! Have you called and interviewed the Dr.(s)? Can you schedule a consult, meet with them, ask questions, and see if you and new docs are a fit? Or, too far to drive? I have found some help through my insurance benefits… does your ins offer an advocate? Take a deep breath and welcome to the world of answers. There are great people here, more than willing to help you! :)

    Please feel free to post on this thread, anytime! But, you will get a lot of responses, if you post to the main boards (Chronic Pain and in Back?). AND, don't be shy, these place is filled with Pain and Panic Angels' to help you through this new adventure. Hang in there Lloyd, here you can find a lot of peeps with similar injuries, surgeries, and pain as you! Can't hurt, no pun intended…. ;)

    A big shout out to any peeps that drop in!!! Hope everyone is relaxed and feeling good!

    Brenda if you pop in (waving), hope you're doing well, too! I posted the outcome with my NS in this post. No surgery, whoop, whoop!!! More lifestyle changes ahead!!!

    Ok, folks, I'm running after a bad night and 3 hours sleep, ugg, so Sweet dreams and gentle hugs to all!!! Don't let the pain get your brain!
  • Post Deleted. Solicitation at Spine-Health is never permitted

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 09/02/11
  • Charlottes Web said:

    Brenda if you pop in (waving), hope you're doing well, too! I posted the outcome with my NS in this post. No surgery, whoop, whoop!!! More lifestyle changes ahead!!!

    Ok, folks, I'm running after a bad night and 3 hours sleep, ugg, so Sweet dreams and gentle hugs to all!!! Don't let the pain get your brain!
    Lloyd, Tina is a zillion percent correct. More folks will see your situation if you opened a thread of your own. You will find that though we may nibble a bit, we don't bite! (G)

    Tina I think I caught what you had. I was in "forget it mode" for 2.5 days. Nasty, but whatever it was is done, so I guess you're stuck with me again!

    Unfortunately for me, this surgery I have coming up will not 'fix' the pain issues, but will stop further progression. Which is fine with me given the amount of mess.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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