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Does this sound typical?

cjperkccjperk Posts: 77
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Pain Management
Do PM doctors not call their patients back? Apparently mine doesnt. Are they so busy that they cannot call a patient?

The treatment he sent me to made me worse. I'm about to mentally crack from pain and lumbar related symptoms. Of course I did not say that, but I explained what had happened.

Another sleepless, pain filled weekend I do not know what to do. Sorry, but Dr. Such and Such cannot call you. But if you'd like to move your next appt. up!

Seriously do these people even care about your well being? I work full time and it's very hard for me to get off during the daytime. Too much going to Dr. visits in the daytime and I guarantee I will be evaluated. I normally schedule any visits after work, but these so called 'specialists' only have 8-4 office hours.

Are there any proactive steps I can take to get some relief? I'm ready to call Dr. after Dr. until someone can figure out what I need to do and when we can do it. When this stuff starts affecting your daily necessities it's time to do something radical. I'm tired of living this way as this is not living. Thank you and sorry for the vent. Any advice is appreciated.



  • CJ, I'm afraid I don't have any advice. You and I have found from previous posts that we're in similar situations. But that's no help to you now. I hope someone here has some step-by-step advice that will help you. A physiatrist is the way to go, according to many. Good luck.
  • Buddy, I'm seriously about to crack. I consider myself to be very strong mentally, but I'm at my edge.

    My PM sent me to a CHIROPRACTOR who hurt me. It's been 20 or so days and I'm tired of it. I was so desperate that I went and now I'm paying the price. I've never hurt so bad. I'm having all sorts of redirected pain and neuro symptoms in my hip, left and right foot, sciatica, etc. I know it's not severe, but the fact that a 6-7 pain never lets up is driving me insane.

    I'm also wondering if this idiot didnt move the bulge in my neck.

    Basically, I've never had thoracic pain, bad sciatica, or constant numbness in my feet and legs. I had a darn good handle on my neck pain before visiting this guy. Now I'm back to numb hands and neck pain as well.

    What is driving me downright crazy though is this dull, aching, burning pain in my low back. I can deal with the rest of this crap. Lord there is a hard time I cannot endure, but I'm getting there.

    I just proposed to my 3 year GF last month. She has really been loving me this past month (sarcasm). It has been the worst month yet. I went there to hopefully find a more permanent solution. I found it alright, a permanent way to disability....

    Sorry guys, I just do not know what to do. I'm dwelling on it and rightfully so. I feel like a prisoner in my own body...

  • By the way, I did not mean to be so self centered. Thank you for the reply and I hope you find relief as well.

    I am not thinking rationally right now. My "pain brain" is being pushed to its limit. Literally I do not feel like myself at all.
  • I just tore through my pharmacy of a medicine cabinet to find an old script. I took a 300mg Neurontin. This was prescribed by another doctor last year. It did not help much then, but I'm so thankful I have it now. We'll see how it does.

    Thinking about it, this doctor did not offer any anti-inflam, nerve pill like neurontin, or anything else to help. Is this standard protocol? I'm just blown away that these guys calling themselves "pain" doctors do not do anything for you.
  • I'll tell you what, I'm a little blown away right now.

    I have had my script of Gabapentin for around 9 months. I had written it off because it put me in a daze last year. My mind feels clouded now too, but the relief is outweighing the negative side effect of dumb.

    Keep in mind I have multiple issues and maybe the other medicines had the 'burn' in check...

    But a little over an hour after taking the gabapentin I feel much, much better. I'm amazed at what it did... Please forgive my above ramblings, I was getting drove crazy - no relief from any of my other medicines. I'll learn more about gaba tomorrow. I'm off to what might be the first good nights rest in a long time. Cheers guys, I wish you the very best.
  • This is obviously intense for you. You need to get in to see someone. Call around right now or else, with the weekend here, you're going to be facing a trip to the ER.

    It looks like you've had a few pain crises over the last few weeks. Your primary care physician has been helping you in the past and knows you well, right? What does he or she say?

    And what would help you most right now? Are you looking for a referral to a new pain management doctor or physiatrist? A particular treatment such as an injection? Pain medication? Get yourself stabilized however you can, and write all this stuff down, so you're able to talk calmly with whichever provider you see next.

    A bath, a professional massage, acupuncture for today? If you're currently prescribed medication, have you been taking it regularly? As others have said and I know myself, you're in trouble the second you start having to chase your pain.

    Hang in there. (And congratulations on your engagement! "For better or worse" starts even before the wedding, huh?)
  • Hey NVA,

    The Neurontin saved my butt the other night. It does not come without problems, though. Amongst other things, I could barely concentrate at work yesterday - Felt like my mind was in a haze.

    I dunno what I need other than some relief, however it may come - I called that PM office and they just said "oh we can move up your appt" "otherwise, we tell all our patients to go to the ER". In their paperwork, it flat out said "Pain is not an emergency"- Trips to the ER will be for lack of better terms, being fired from the PM practice.

    What a joke, right? Anyways, unless my leg was falling off I would not go to the ER. It sounds like one heck of a way to not be taken seriously.

    Yes, I've had some bad "crisis' " in the past couple of months. One of them prompted me to make an appt. with this practice. I'm having trouble walking since being sent to this place.

    Yes, I have medications and yes I take them normally. I've got Norco, 800mg Ibuprofen, Soma, Flexeril, Amrix, Neurontin, Cymbalta, Prednisone, Voltaren, and probably others.

    I normally just take the Norco and Ibuprofen (before bed). The other stuff either drugs me out too much or has other side effects - like ED being one of the worst. The Soma is okay, but really doesnt do much except put me in to a nice sleepy state. Even then I wake up a few hours most nights lately.

    I'll tell you what, it took an IRON will not to double up on narcotic medicine's this past week. I'm tolerant enough on the hydrocodone, I don't need to increase my tolerance more and that sound thinking kept me from doing it. Plus I'd run out and then be up creek without a paddle. I need to detox from it now to be honest.

    I refuse to go another month like this. I've got an appointment on Monday. If I don't like what I hear, they're fired and I'm going somewhere else.

    My PCP is retiring in May so I need to find a permanent solution anyways.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    ...you are feeling.

    I have never heard of any doc being so against the ER. I am so sorry you have to deal with those attitudes...if I understood correctly.

    When I am flaring, for lack of better description, I am at the ER. I refer to it as needing to get rebooted. The pain is just out of control and nothing is touching it. Then it starts wearing on the emotions, temperment....you know. I am barely recognizable as my real person.

    So far, I have not experienced anyone who thinks I am drug seeking...at least not to my face or in any uncomfortable way to me. But I really can't think about it much since my primary concern is keeping my pain from getting out of control.

    When you see doc, I would make sure doc knew just how miserable and horrible I was feeling. My approach is as an advocate for myself...no more minimizing what I'm going through. The pain won't allow it and I haven't the strength to tough out anything, esp since nothing takes away the pain... only the edge off.

    Good luck in finding a new doc and maybe new pain management doc. New eyes might be good for you now.. but now or future..I would encourage you to do whatever you need to do to get pain under control.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    double post
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • What do I do to find a new doctor? I'm inexperienced in these matters.

    Should I call around? Do I get another referral?

    You're right - I'm not who I normally am either. I'm a crazed human being looking for any way possible to ease this back pain.

    I want to live life dam*@(!
    Sitting around in pain all of the time is not living life. I'm 32, have many hobbies, etc etc - None of which I'm enjoying right now. My garden is in spring bloom and I don't even want to touch it. It's beautiful outside and here I sit on a pain forum.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    ...doc...how did you get the first pain management doc?
    Some insurance companies require referrals.

    re' how to get new Primary..word of mouth is usually good. Any friends with situations that require a doc to know more than the simple stuff??

    Good luck to you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I was sent there to EvAL for some trigger points. He did not want to do them. Said it would further flare my already spasming muscles.

    Said my lumbar bulge is not causing pain. Said he thought it was myofascial pain.

    There's no doubt my neck/thoracic problems are disc related. Taking meds I take now are keeping it in check. It's this out of control lumbar pain that's driving me nuts.

    It's the disc - It always has been. I highly doubt my feet and legs would be going numb otherwise. Everything I've read that describes my symptoms says it's direct contact to the nerve. It's a shame I had to be hurt worse to prove it.
  • CJ, I was thinking about you while I had my own frustrating experience today. My current pain management doctor is moving across the country. My last appointment was supposed to be the final one, and my new primary care physician was prepared to manage me overall for now, medications and referrals.

    But the PM's office is still in the process of "getting my file together." Shouldn't my file be "together" already?

    One of the medications I've been taking for the last eight months is Tramadol, 4 per day. The PM doctor didn't give me a refill at my last appointment. It was just an oversight, but when I asked about it, he stated that it's non-narcotic and the primary care physician would have no problem refilling it when it was time. Well, that time was Saturday. No files, no way to reach the PM's office, no interest in calling the primary care doctor (with whom I'm newly established) and requesting a refill when I know they have no basis for that. So literally no solution.

    My pain has been nauseating for the last week anyway, for no reason I can pinpoint: activity, stress, exercise, etc. are all the same. But I'm not sleeping and the pain is out of control. The Tramadol would likely not help much, but it's part of what my body is used to, and since I'm past my pain threshold already, this is too much to bear.

    Can't stand this powerless feeling. I've received a recommendation for a good pain management practice (from someone on Spine Health) but can't, well, don't want to, schedule an evaluation without my treatment records. I do have a DVD of all my X-rays and MRIs, but I've had dozens of treatments and procedures over the last few years, and no way to present the full picture to a new provider without my records. It's hard enough to get to appointments, work around work and family schedules, and establish rapport with a new provider, so I don't want to burn the first appointment by being unprepared.

    I'm sympathizing with you and your frustrations, especially today as I prepare for another sleepless night. Like you, I do have prescribed medications, which I'm taking regularly, minus the Tramadol now. I'd been considering trying to reduce medications because of the hassle. Right now, that's the furthest thing from my mind.

    Good luck tonight. Send an update on how you're faring.
  • I use a physiatrist for PM of my FBSS.

    Most make you sign a pain contact saying to agree to x, y, z, etc.

    Contract also says they will do x, y, z, etc.

    They will hold you to it, but you can then also hold them to it.

    One of their x, y, z's is timely refill, callbacks and humanity.

    A friendly reminder is all it takes if they space it.

    It gives everybody ground to stand on.

    Good luck :-)
    Jun 2011 -TLIF @L5-S1
    Mar 2012 -NonUnion @L5S1
    May 2012 -Multi Level Discography
    July 2012 -XLIF 2Cages @L3L4/L4L5
    Aug 2012 -All New Hardware @L34L45/L4L5/L5S1
    Mar 2013 -FBSS = Pain Management until they figure it out.
  • your going through so much. Won't get into my PM nightmare story, being called a criminal and worse, but my Primary does my PM now. You can go through withdrawls from non-narcotics as well, had a friend hospitalized for one prescription, in convulsions, really ugly.
    Hope you were able to get some relief.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Hey everyone- I can totally relate to all of these posts- minus being prescribed anything. I was diagnosed w fibro about 6-7 yrs ago, and at one point I had a problem with my lower back and was labeled by an er doc as "med seeking". I therefore never went back to any other drs bc I was terrified and embarrassed (when all I wanted was someone to look at me, send me for an MRI, etc- I was in my early 20's and way too polite to these people). Skip ahead to last yr, I got bounced around from er to er to finally a terrible dr- who told me for months that I had a muscle strain in my neck. Long story short- I ended up having surgery to remove a disc and implant bone etc- so much for the "muscle spasms".
    Today, I am sitting here, completely uninterested in anything other than finding out a way to get in to see a new dr, preferably PM or physiatrist. My lower back is now out of control with pain and radiating nerve stuff. Waiting to hear about my MRI. Wishing we weren't all in the same boat.. If anyone reads any of these posts and has any recommendations as to how to find a PM etc- PLEASE let us all know. I asked my shitty dr for pain mgmt and she looked at me like I was crazy. I can't take it anymore. And neither can my husband or kids.
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