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Horrible interaction with doctor

JLambzJJLambz Posts: 24
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Matters of the Heart
I had the WORST experience with a doctor today that I have EVER had. I'm so upset, every time I think of it, I want to cry. Let me start from the beginning and I'll be brief as possible. Just need to vent....

I went and met my new ortho surgeon who was recommended by a distant family member about two weeks ago. I thought he was ok, but a bit short and cocky. I was sent for my MRI and returned to get my results. I asked him at the end of the appointment if I would be able to get anything for the pain and he got really weird with me and said it wasn't his thing and that I would need to see a pain specialist. Ok, so I went up to the desk to check out and I asked there about making an appointment with their in office pain specialist (since their is NO surgery option for me, I was told by the surgeon that pain management was my only real option). She told me that they didn't have anything available for two weeks! So I asked her to go ask the doctor if he could give me something for the pain in the meantime, as I have two young children at home that I need to be able to take care of. It was at this point that I really started to feel like I was being treated as JUNKIE! They gave me a horrible fight about it, I left after a lecture and crying.

I decided to make an appointment with a pain management specialist that was closer to my home (I was traveling 35 mins. to see this guy) and he is my husband's grandmother's doc, so I trust him. Had a WONDERFUL appointment with him. Felt like someone really understood my situation for once and he also told me that I did have pressure on nerves, which the ortho did not. Not sure if he read the report ,but when he came in the room with me, he just looked at the MRI on the screen. Anywho, he has me on Norco and Robaxin and I am getting some relief of pain that brings me to tears (natural child birthed, so I"m no wimp).

I developed a new symptom today and after dealing with this for 7 years, i thought I should call my ortho surgeon. I was experiencing a lot of pain in my right hip, numbness in the back of my calf, terrible pain in my foot and numbness in the arch of my foot. So I called in to his after hour line. In hind sight, probably NOT necessary, but I was a little worried, as I have not felt this before in the whole 7 years. I waited an hour, no call. I call back, they page again. Another hour, no call. I call back again and tell them that I no longer need a call, but I just want to tell them how unimpressed I am with how he treats his patience, if he doesn't think it's serious, have the answering service call me back, right? I told the girl that I was now completely unimpressed and I would not be coming back.

A few minutes later, my phone rings. It's the Dr. He literally ATTACKED me! He says "what exactly is it that you feel you need to call me for on a Saturday?! Are you aware that this is an EMERGENCY line?". I explained to him that I was concerned with this new symptom and thought I should call....he interrupts, "yeah, right! You've been dealing with this for 7 years. A little numbness in your leg?!? I've only known you for a week, you beg me for vicodin.." I started to tell him that that was in no way the reason for my call (I have pain meds) and he interrupts me again to tell me that he will be discharging my file, that they are not the kind of practice I am looking for. WHAT!?!?! I was CRUSHED. I think I shook with anger for a good 45 mins. How dare he!!

Has anyone experienced this kind of "profiling" with a doctor? I just can't believe the way he treated me, like I was some kind of junkie, looking for him to call me in a script. The whole thing has me so upset. I feel like since I"m not a candidate for surgery, he just wrote me off. I don't even know where to look next for a good doctor. Unbelievable!!!


  • I just wanted to let you know you are not alone I was treated almost the exact same way when I first started seeking help. I can only hope that you can continue to get good help. If you need to vent feel free to PM me.
  • i have been there {uk] you feel like your in the wrong after some of so called doctors have seen you i walked out of a consultation once as the idiot i was seeing told me i was a drug seeker and there was nothing wrong with me .within 72 hours i was in the operation theater having back surgey ! how wrong was he ! .the problem with back problems is they tend to be life long and as you are finding out you need more and more stronger drugs to help you .fantastic for the drug companies hard luck for us and our livers ! i am trying to come to terms with my new situation and after 15 years of suffering with my back i thought i could control it .i was so wrong i have to evaluate everything again and its so hard .thinking of you
    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
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    frustrating. We're trying to help figure out how to take care of ourselves and docs and others misunderstand.

    I am not a canidate for surgery, also saw a surgeon, and when he decided I would not be his patient, he was done talking to me.

    For example, I asked what I should do if not surgery, what he thought was my real problem then. I didn't ask for meds only opinion and he was...done.! Felt like done talking to me or putting any further time or energy into me. He made a decision and needed to move on...maybe trying to find someone he could do surgery on.

    That has been my usual experience. Sadly, you needed meds and he was rude in explaining he's not the doc for that.

    Try not to take it personally. And believe me, I know that's not easy to do, but that doc has moved on..and probably doesn't remember you anymore.

    I also think ever since the computer came into the exam room and doc working on it more than me,,,maybe their focus changed somewhat. Or can't multitask... like type and be nice at same time. :)

    I wish you the very best of luck with your pain management doctor. Mine understands me the best and has helped So much. I hope the same for you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Ortho is not much in to giving out meds. As he said he wants you to see a pain specialist who deal more in pain control with injection and pain medications,

    Ortho deals more in the surgery aspect of things. As they will usualy tell you once they seen you and they dont feel they can fix anything with surgery at the moment in whats in front of them its in your hands to get in to see a pain specialist who will help control the pain and might come up with further finding that can later be sent back to the ortho to reconsider posible surgery,

    Untill then the ortho done what he can for the time being and to call him on saturday even if you feel diferent symptoms usualy does now warrant to call him again,
    If a person thinks its very serious and cant wait to see the refered pain specialist then er is an option if person feels its that serious ,

    This is just the way they work and the sooner a person gets this system they have the easier things will move along, Get in to a pain specialist should be the 1 st on the list as he recomended because symptoms can take many diferent forms with spine issue and calling ortho each time symptoms are diferent just wont help and would take up all his time if everyone done that,

    If pain specialist cant help and he sends you back to the ortho thats diferent story,

    We all have gone through same situation and learned this is just the way there system works and cant assume just 1 dr will take care of your needs when 1 works doing surgery and 1 works with pain control,

    Most ortho are cocky but you have to realise they do surgery and surgery is there specialty not figuring out each new symptom on the phone,

    Until they get some other finding from pain specialist testings and new findings there hands are tied,

    If symptoms are life threatning then they will say thats why they have er,s. The sooner everyone understands this the less frustration will be involved in these spine conditions,

    And ortho with even a bad attitude sometimes dont make him a bad dr or he might be the best dr actualy when its time for surgery, Most of them might not come across understanding is because they work with what they see on mri or emg or mylogram,

    As long as he does surgery and is good at what he does when its that time to have surgery is whats more important, You never want to piss him off when you might need him in the future,

    I dont know any neuro or ortho that would take my call on a saturday, If its that important where he has to be called on a saturday when he is spending some time with his family after doing surgery working from early morning untill 8 pm every nite all week,

    That phone call beter be coming from the hospital as a serious emergency case,,

    So i would take all that in to consideration before being angry at the dr,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I absolutely disagree Alex.
    There is never any excuse for a professional medical person to be abusive or verbally attack a patient.

    Doctors don't work in isolation. It is rare for a patient to present with just one condition requiring a single treatment and most people are treated by a combination of different doctors, specialty nurses, physios etc.

    They, the medics, understand the system. It's their world. We the patients arrive in their world confused, frightened, in pain, anxious and ignorant. We don't understand their jargon or their procedures and protocols. It's not for us to distinguish between them to ascertain who should be doing what, because WE DON'T KNOW.

    If a surgeon is finding he is having to deal with enquiries which are outside his remit, it is because the system, of which he is part, isn't functioning as it should. It is not the fault of the patient, EVER.

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • 1st of all nowhere in the original post is said that a medical profesional verbaly attacked and abused a patient,

    Everything i read on the original post is prety much what all ortho dr,s do,
    I am not sure what part you disagree with on what i wrote,

    Dr give referal to a pain clinic after he seen the mri and he felt no surgery was needed,
    At that point its out of his hands, If a person is not satisfied with his opinion they have every right to get a 2 nd or even a 3 rd opinion,

    Dr might have been a litle harsh about being called on the emergency line on a saturday thats only used for in case of an emergency to save a life posibly in the hospital, And this clearly was not an emergency,

    I personaly would have contacted my pain specialist to try to get in if he might be working on a saturday or push to get in 1 st thing monday morning,

    Or if not that then i would of gone to er if i felt it was an emergency and i cant wait untill monday,

    I had my share of frustrations with dr,s in my 20 + years of back pain problems and still counting,
    And things can get much more complicated with spine conditions and pain before it gets beter so best to avoid the stress over 1 dr and how 1 dr decided to handle your case,

    He made his point not to be contacted on the emergency line and who knows how many calls he gets like that thats not an emergency, Might have just cought him on a bad day,

    He has every right to say what he needs to say when he is contacted like that in a none emergency situation, So to say thats attacking and verbaly abusing a patient is simply no way true, He does not have to be sensative about geting his point across,

    He might be a Dr but he is not Dr Phil. Lol. Git-ir-done

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Oh, no! He certainly attacked me! I am 100 percent convinced he thought I was a junkie. He YELLED at me! I don't care WHAT he felt he needed to get across, he is in fact, A DOCTOR! He easily could have had the receptionist call me back and tell me to go to the ER, or that it was ok and not something to worry about...PLENTY of other ways that could have been accomplished. And to tell me I was dismissed from the practice, to his care, the entire practice of physical therapy, pain management and orthos? That was necessary?!?! No, not even close. I'm curious what the actual partners, whose names are on the door would feel about his behavior, but I'd much rather move on.

    Also, I'm not saying you were "wrong" to respond in the manner you did, but when someone comes to the "matters of the heart" part of the forum, "just to vent", I'm not interested in a justification of actions that were wildly inappropriate and completely unwarranted on his part.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    JLambz said:

    I developed a new symptom today and after dealing with this for 7 years, i thought I should call my ortho surgeon.

    I took that to mean..she was referred to this doctor and thought she missed telling him of new symptom.. something of importance.

    We are patient and while esp. in pain, I woud think there to be a more curtious way to explain our misunderstanding of the chain of command.

    If she went to ER many people and docs would say..you fine..don't need to be here.

    If she didn't call doc and not go to ER and it was significant...she would be thought of as ignorant in cariing for herself. Sometimes there is no winning.

    Doc can take care of himself...doesn't want calls.. he says so. done. great.

    Then we patients think of next step if any to take.

    Seems like could have called pm doc if suffering or gone to ER.

    jLambz said:
    I was experiencing a lot of pain in my right hip, numbness in the back of my calf, terrible pain in my foot and numbness in the arch of my foot


    Can anyone here tell her there is nothing to worry about? This may be newer for Lambz..but we are all patients needing guidance and docs say.."anything changes call me"....

    Not everything goes under ..chronic pain umbrella... and if she was in pain..let doc tell her there's nothing to be done..and say with courtesy and reassurance..not blaming or belittling.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Oh this is mater of the heart forum? Sorry i never even realised it,

    Ok change of plans, That changes everything now, I sugest you make another appointment with him and kick him in the nuts,

    Then call him on the emergency line to ask him how he is feeling, Is that beter eh?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I agree with Alex. Not all doctors do not have receptionists, especially if it's off hours on an emergency call line. It's completely inappropriate that they even patched you through. You know you are not a surgical patient, don't call a surgeon asking for pain medications.

    On the other hand I see what you are feeling. It's hard to prove you are not a drug seeker, just someone who is in pain and needs help. I always take a cd of my mri whenever I see any doctor along with the papers of my diagnosis discharge. That keeps me from being wrongly profiled. Don't assume that people who actually need the meds are in the majority, we are not.
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