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Pain pump update

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM in Chronic Pain
I saw the pain doctor or should I say his PA today. My pump is scheduled for the 13th. The surgeon had told me that my pump will be filled with saline only and no post-op meds would be given by him. The only thing he would send me home with is antibiotics and all post-op meds must come from the pain clinic. Which to me is understandable since I get all my meds from the pain doctor. I was told today that they will not fill it until around the one month mark ( giving time to heal) but when I told her that the surgeon said that all my post op meds has to come from her office she states " Ive never heard such a thing and I want the doctor to call me. Call him and tell him to call me." I felt basically like she was calling me a liar. She also told me that they do not fill the pump with saline it will be with medication which is not true, that is not what the surgeon told me. Long story short I call the surgeons office and tell them my issue and they say " They would have to discuss this with the office manager and she would take it to the surgeon " At this point I lost it. I stated "look I understand that this is the surgeons procedure but neither doctors are working together and Ill be da##ed if you operate on me with no post op meds." I told her if they couldnt get their act together to cancel the surgery. She told me she would talk to the Dr. Imagine that .... I havent heard a word. Im really concerned about the aftercare. If it is this bad before the surgery what kind of nightmare will it be after the pump is placed? I placed a call to the office manager and of course no return call from her. I could understand all this if I flunked my urine test or took my drugs other then prescribed but I have been the perfect patient. I have Never complained or asked for more meds, complied with all the rules even the ones I disagree with. I tried to call the pain Drs office and schedule a appointment with the main doc but of course there are no appts available before my surgery date. I explained what my issue was to the receptionist and she sent me to voice mail to the office manager. Im at loss at what to do.


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I think the surgeon prescribes oral post op meds upon release. Although it doesn't hurt to inquire, and make sure all of your ducks are in a row.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    The surgeon made it very clear he will not be prescribing meds that it has to come from the pain clinic. I just feel like these drs are not working together and to be honest I am getting ready to start all over again with new docs. I feel as if one doesnt know what the other is doing. Im very upset over all this. Not to mention embarrassed.
  • That is quite a dilemma, because I believe also that it should be the surgeon that gives you your post-op meds. But it's ok if the pm does it, but someone has to and you're right - their not talking and working it out amongst themselves, especially since you've told them both, is mind-boggling.

    Somebody has to step up here and I hope your being the squeeky wheel will make the difference. You have a couple of weeks, so hopefully it can be worked out.

    I hope you'll hear from someone today and you'll know you'll be taken care of.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • I was told by my neurosurgeon that i would have my medication filled before i left the hospital, however she is not the one that will be willing the medication. Until my medication is filled my pump will have saline (which is a very common practice). My pain management doctor told me that they medication will not be filled until about a month later. This is to allow the proper amount of healing time from the surgery. My main management doctor did send me home with the proper medication to assist me with pain relief until my pump was filled. I know here is Nevada that no other doctor and provide you medication without your pain management acknowledgement. They will give you medication and lots of it (at least for me they did) while you are at the hospital. When you leave your pain management doctor will have the hospital write you a prescription for the proper medication if you don't have any at home. This will also depend on how good or bad you are doing while in the hospital.
    For me it is very horrible and painful however medication (same medication that is now in my pump) allowed me to get through it. In fact i was given oral medication along with morphine and something else. They understand that one you are already in pain before the surgery and after the surgery you will be in even greater pain coming from two different areas.
    I can understand your frustration and concerns. I believe they will take care of you. I know the pain pump will be much success as it has changed my life. Getting there will require a little time and you will have to endure uncomfortably for a couple of weeks. No easy task... I know! You are talking to someone who have had 4 back Surgeries, however you will be alright. Continue to communicate with your doctors and day of surgery they will come to you face to face and answer all questions/concerns you may have.
  • JL -
    I would so schedule an appointment with your pain management physician and explain what's got you so concerned. It's often said that getting a pain pump is like marrying your pain management physician for some very real reasons.

    Was he/she not the person who referred you to the surgeon for the installation in the first place?

    I find good old fashioned face-to-face conversations so much more appealing and effective than voice mails and phone tag. You are very right to be anxious about this, and my advice would be that it's better to light one candle (make a pre-op questions appointment) than to curse the darkness (the limbo you are in now).

    Good luck!
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I received a phone call from the pain clinics office manager Thursday and she really didnt have any answers for me. Other then she was sorry all this was happening. She would take my concerns to the doctor and get back with me by Monday. She was confused as to why I would need pain meds following surgery. She was not aware the pain pump would only have saline and that my normal does of meds had been cut in half to begin weaning me off them for the pump. I explained to her that right now I am in alot of pain due to the reduction of meds and they want to operate with no post- op meds. I think NOT! Not on me they are not. I told her if I had no answers by Monday that I was canceling the surgery until everyone could get their act together. At this point I really do not have much faith in the Drs, that they are not working together and I am the one in the end that is suffering from the lack of communication. We will have to wait and see what Monday brings . I feel so let down right now. It has been a long road to get this close to getting the pump ( the process took almost 7 months) and the thought that it could all be gone tomorrow is not settling well with me.
  • Stick to your guns girl! I wouldn't proceed with this unless all my ducks were in a row, t's crossed, i's dotted and extra cushion just in case! I'm surprised that your PM doc isn't going to be in on the surgery with the surgeon and the company rep. Get someone to give you a play by play plan before you let them proceed with any surgery.

    Sorry you are having to deal with this turmoil at a time your pain meds have been reduced!

  • that is very odd...in fact I didn't have to stop any medication...they told me to take all medication the morning of. The only thing i couldnt do was eat after 12 midnight. I was on Fentanyl 150 , oxycotin, gabapentine 800, trazadone150, baclfon80, nextium75, & altheol 50. I forgot to take trazdone and they gave it to me before surgery. I understand that i am not your doctor and don't know your medical history but they never said anything about weaning off medications. I was even given something else at the hospital because my pressure was up due to pain. I do not disagree with you cancelling your surgery until you get clear answers. Whereas before i though there may have been some miscommunication as now i read there is lack of communication. Mackinze is dead on ...a good old face-to-face appointment with your doctor is due.
    Good Luck
  • This sounds like a nightmare of epic proportions to me. If my doctor said "tell your surgeon to call me," I'd say, "hold on a minute -- I think you'd have a little better chance of getting through if you called yourself, and I think it's important that the two docs talk together, so you pick up the phone and call instead of putting the patient in the middle!" You are under enough stress, especially if they are reducing your meds (which I think is totally bogus), without having to arrange for your aftercare on your own. There is such a thing as being pro-active about your own care, and then there is such a thing as dealing with "professionals" who are anything but. I'd run like hell in any other direction until they get this straightened out between the doctors.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    The surgeons office manager called last night and told me that they have spoken with the pain clinic. Of course my pain clinic states there is a big misunderstanding. My meds were reduced because they were under the assumption that morphine would be placed in the pump during surgery ( not true it will be saline) and that they were used to all the surgeons prescribing post-op meds. The surgeons office also told me that they are new with the pain clinic and doing the pumps for them. Perhaps they were not aware of their policy. For me that still is no excuse. I do not blame the surgeon at all for this, I blame the pain clinic. Isteller I agree with you 100%. If my doc doubted anything I said to her, she should of been the one to call the surgeon. It was like you said, very unprofessional. I really felt as if I was being called a liar, which I basically was. This caused alot of embarrassment for me. Having to call the surgeon and saying my doc doesn't believe that you will not be handling the post op meds so can you call the pain clinic please and verify this. The surgeon has done his part so now lets see if the pain clinic does theirs.
  • to hear that you have some communication started there. I would be just terrified. Have they given you back your pain meds so you can be comfortable until the surgery? As I said, this is just a nightmare. I happened to be sitting here flipping channels yesterday (it was raining) when Dr. Oz was on. It had a clip from the show where Montel Williams gives a very emotional plea about pain -- how doctors cannot possibly know the degree of a patient's pain and how dare they judge and assume the patient is just a drug seeker. Also, how dare a family member question that their relative really does or does not need narcotic pain med. It was really quite powerful. Having been in writhing, absolute unbearable pain, I never wish it on anyone.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Imagine my surprise when I went to the pharmacy to pick up my scripts from the PM appointment and they were not there. No Zanaflex, no Nuerotin, and no LUnesta. These meds were not to be reduced Only my narcotics were. All my scripts are sent over electronic ( The ones that are not a narcotic) and I didnt need them filled until Sat. So Ive been all weekend without those meds. My sciatica is back in full force mode, my muscles are in constant spasm. I am beginning to think this PA has done all this on purpose. I had a issue with her about a year ago when she ordered the wrong MRI. It should of been a MRI on my neck and she ordered a MRI of the thoracic.Her mistake cost me 1000. deductible. I did file a complaint with the office manager due to this. I am so disgusted and in alot pain right now. Im waiting on the office to open this morning and I will be there when the doors are unlocked. At this point I want a apology from this PA and I want the Dr to make all my meds correct. How much can one PA screw up????\
  • that you are going through so much difficulties when already dealing with so much pain. This is just me.....but i would seek another PM. I had to seek another PM once when the PM i fired get giving me refills for the same pain meds. He didn't want to try anything new because he felt "the pain meds taken are working" despite he telling him pain is getting worst. He was not ready to try something new and wanted me to continue to take the same meds for another month when i already been suffering for 2 months.
    Doctors do have a hard job to weed out the drug seeks and us that are in real pain. I just want to be clear that they have to look out for abusers, however don't treat everyone as a abuser.
    If i had to pay 1000...no I wouldn't...pay! Someone would pay for their mistakes NOT mine (yours).
    I am not sure how your insurance work but i would see to get another PM, but the only thing with getting another PM is will you have to start all over? I hated changing doctors or specialist because i have to start all over for the most part.
    I am more concerned about the mistakes happening now and will they continue at post-op. That is the wrong time to be dealing with mistakes especially when it comes to someone relief and comfortably.
    It would indeed be a tough decision for you and hope that you have much success.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I have to make the decision to leave this doc. I had decided to let the office manager work all this out and get some answers but here are the answers I received in last nights phone call. Ummm your pump will either be filled with morphine or saline, if post op pain is bad, call us and we will decide whether to increase your meds for a few days following post op. If we do you will have to come pick up a prescription. If its filled with morphine then we can bring you right in and dial it up, if it saline then we will figure it out. Then I kid you not she says I have to go the sheriffs are banging on the door. WHAT???? She then calls me back 30 minutes later and tells me that if I hurt after surgery to call the PA that I am having so many issues with. This is after I told her I never want to see her again and do not schedule me with her. I also mention that the surgeon called the PA and set her straight about post op care to which her reply was " That is not documented anywhere in your chart" so I have to assume this didnt happen until she documents the call. WTH!!!! My surgery is the 13th. How in the hell can i proceed with this? Im running as fast as I can and finding a new doc and starting all over again. I cant be married to this clinic for the next 5 years , with the way they are acting I doubt they will still be open in 5 years
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I decided to get on the Ohio medical board and look my doctor up, His license are suspended for pre-signing prescriptions. That explains why there has been a Dr I have never heard of signing my prescriptions for the last 6 months. I might add Ive never seen this doctor either
  • Susan,

    So glad you found out this stuff now! Sorry you have to go through all of this extra stress, but some things happen for a reason. Keep us posted on the search for a new doc.

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I truly believe that all this has happened for a reason also. Let me tell you the roadblocks. Not only the issue Im dealing with now but the following have also taken place, my medical records were lost, the insurance company denied the original pre-auth for the pump and it had to be won on medical appeal, the trial had to be delayed twice due to abscessed teeth. Then the original surgery was delayed due to finding a replacement at work after my replacement quit. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention the process started in Oct. and by Dec I am asking the docs what is going on I havent heard anything about the trial so she sends me to the scheduler and she tells me oops you were put at the bottom of the pile in error. I mean how many things can go wrong. It is like a omen
  • Wow, what a story.. and what a great job advocating for yourself and good health care!If we don't insist on it, no one will.

    I find it so challenging when I have had to couple the physical pain I live with, along with the stress of major medical procedures along with lousy medical care!

    Fortunately, I have only had one experience with this type of situation with my back, but have seen it in the past with my work in the infertility field far too many times.

    It just emphasizes how important it is to not back down and to keep asking questions and doing research on the doctors and clinics we chose.

    It really pays to be an informed consumer and not assume that because someone has MD after their name that they run a competent practice. 99% of doctors do, but there are a few bad apples out there.

    I have found that trusting myself, asking questions, and being really informed about what to expect from a good clinician is key. This forum has really helped.

    I also do lots of research on the doctors, google them etc. before letting them touch me!

    All the best,


  • I just read your thread for the first time and my heart goes out to you for all that you have been through...while dealing with chronic pain.

    Thank goodness that this was all realized before surgery and that you are looking for a new doctor, as you would not want to be married to this pm.

    Wishing you all the best, I hope that you are able to find a competant, caring, pm quickly.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I am glad in 1 way, that you found this out now rather than later but i am sorry that you have to start all over and this is happening to you. I am also glad that you took the time to do research on your doctors. Cops knocking at their door is a bad sign. Wow...really can't believe those people who knew what was wrong or that they weren't doing things right to continue to work on people. How do they sleep at night. Well best of luck to you with the next doctor and with your pain relief.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I found a new PM doc. ( it helps to work in the medical field). A co-worker found out everything I have been going thru Tuesday, I have kept this pretty quiet at work and the only person who knew what I was having done was my manager. One of the nurses at work and I were talking and I told her about everything and told her I didnt know what I was going to do, she recommended a pain doc she worked for previously and left due to the hours not being compatible with being a single mother. I did some research on this doc and asked all the docs I work for what they have heard or thought of this doc. I hear she is very strict but that is ok because i follow the rules anyway. The nurse at work called the PM office manager and had me speak to her , I was honest and told her of everything that has happened and she said they would see me, that I just need to get my family doc to send over a referral. She said once they have the referral they would work me in within the next week. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that all this works out.
  • Crossed fingers! I would cross my toes too...but can't bend to cross them...ouch.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I missed this post somehow. Sorry. I am just not here much because of comp problems and also because of a very painfull left shoulder(rotor(sp?)cuff) elbow and numb left hand!
    I am thrilled you have found a new PM. I was shocked at the way you were being treated. You need your paon meds even after yout pump implant!!
    Getting to where you do not need a lot of oral pain meds after a pump implant is a slow proccess but so well worth it!!
    Oh dear....MUST lay down.....my poor arm is giving out on me. Please keep us posted. I may not be able to reply but can still read. You know I am rooting for you. I want to see you out of so much pain!!
    Patsy W
  • I pray that everything works out for you this time. Keep me posted.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    After a long talk with my family Dr he says RUN, Follow my instincts. He has sent over a referral to the new PM doc and Im saying a prayer all this works out.
  • sending a prayer out for you too
  • Yes, you are so wise to run, and run FAST!!! I'm glad you've found the new doc and that your family doc agrees with you. Best of luck in getting this all sorted out with the new doc. That other place sounds like such a nightmare and I cannot imagine putting yourself willingly in their care. Keep us posted on how things go. I hope you can get it worked out so you can schedule the surgery when you have someone to cover for you. Won't it be great when you finally get some relief?
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Hi Susan...I've been reading this thread and thought I had before posted...but oops!...LOL

    I am SO glad that you are not staying with that other Dr...

    A pain pump is WAY too serious of a deal to be with someone who has no clue what they are doing...and where your care isn't being coordinated with your primary...

    When it comes to our health and general safety in life....ALWAYS follow your instincts!...

    This is a good lesson for all of us...I do hope you really like your new DR. when you see them...

    Keep us posted...
  • OMG! I don't know how you kept your sanity!!! I think I would have cracked! :drool:

    I hope all goes well with new PD.

    Please do keep us updated :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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