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Bizarre Dr. Appt.

I had my long awaited (at least for me) appointment with my PM. Very long story short, I'm going to start searching for a new PM. I told his nurse hat I needed to discuss my pain, getting an FCE request (to file for disability retirement) and a letter saying I'll be on medicine for the foreseeable future.

The doctor walks in with two nurses. He doesn't talk about my pain level, instead immediately goes for the FCE. He says he doesn't refer people for those although three years go, his partner in the practice did. He then says there shouldn't be a reason for my medicine to not be working. While he is telling me this, the two nurses are standing behind him writing notes, staring at me and whispering to one another. When I told him that the meds simply were not working well, he told me to take a Tylenol with my Oxycontin.

For the first time, I felt like they were treating me as a drug seeker. What a slap in the face! I guess I had major back surgery, have had numerous needles stuck in my back and enough steroids to kill my liver just so I can get pain medicine from him. Goodness...

OH...almost forgot the funniest part. When he walked in and saw me in my work uniform (EMS), he said, "You shouldn't be driving an ambulance and taking medication". I said, "That's why I need an FCE so I don't have to drive an ambulance while taking medication".


Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2


  • Keith - you need to find a doctor that actually cares about his patients - this guy sounds like an absolute jerk!
  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 07/05/2013 - 10:31 AM
    He probably saw you in your uniform and thought if you could work as an EMT your pain can't be that bad.. It's the old circular argument, you have to work through the pain to pay bills and put food on the table so your pain can't be that bad. If you stopped working because of the pain you would be out of your house and on the street before you could ever get disabilitiy.
    Your doc sounds like the one I fired about 3 years ago.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I'm so sorry. I wonder who the two other people in the appointment with him were? Did he introduce them or were they in the office previously when you were there?
    I would wonder if the reason that he acted so strangely had anything to do with them or if it was because you were in uniform? Did he not realize that you still worked?
    I would also start looking for a new doctor. If you lived near me, I would send you to mine. I've been with him since 2005 and I adore him...and the new PM doctor they just brought in is just as good as he is. He taught her right.
  • Sandi - the one nurse was his personal nurse. The other usually assists him when he does procedures, but I don't know her name and she didn't introduce herself to me. When I go back in a month to see the APRN I typically see, I'm going to ask her to refer me to another doc. She and I have talked about a lot of the things going on in the practice and I don't think she is happy with it either.

    Davrunner - You're probably right about your comment regarding work. And you hit the nail on the head about their thinking if I'm in so much pain I shouldn't be working. But as I've told them, my pain is aggravated by activity. It's not constant 24/7. But, if I sit too long or stand too long, look out... It's a balancing act actually.

    I also contacted my WC Nurse Case Manager and explained everything to her. She was in disbelief as well. I have to say, my WC company is the best! I've never been denied anything deemed medically necessary and are the ones who didn't offer me a buy out on my settlement because they knew I was going to have problems the rest of my life. That shows me they are an ethical company. No tricks to get me out from under their coverage. She has even said she will work with me on finding a better doc for me to see. Can't ask for much better than that!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Definitely find another PM because this is a bunch of BS.

    I have a really good PM but you hear about so many that just don't have the compassion they need to do this job.

    After following your posts for awhile, I really don't understand why any doctor would have a problem filling out this paperwork for you.

    Just know that I will keep you in my prayers and please keep us updated on your situation.

    Things will turn around, I just know it!
  • Thank you for your support! One of his nurses called me yesterday because they "forgot" to refill my Flexeril script. While I had her on the phone, I asked about getting a letter from them saying I will be on meds for the foreseeable future. She said that would be no problem. I then asked, "why was it so difficult to do during my appointment"? She said a note in my files said I wanted the PM to assign a disability rating. I told her that I asked nothing of the kind. I know a PM doesn't do that! Ironically, my next appointment is with the doctor again and not his APRN's. I am going to present the facts one more time (and ask his nurses to leave the room) and see if he addresses my actual pain issue.

    The problem with switching PM's in KY is a new law the State passed to shut down pain clinics and reduce overdoses. The problem is they have become so restrictive that docs don't want to write any narcotics for fear of losing their licenses. The law allows the Board of Medical Licensure to fine/suspend a doc's license if they "under or over" prescribe certain meds. What the law doesn't take into account is PM's see people in pain all the time, so they are much more likely to write a lot of scripts for pain management. Under the new law, they can lose their license for doing that.

    It's a bad situation that once again makes those who truly need the medicine a criminal in the eyes of politicians and public. My own wife said to me last night that I shouldn't take so much medicine. But, in the same conversation said that my quality of life seems to be diminished without medication! To borrow a line from Bill Engvall, "Here's your sign!"

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Keith, it certainly is a messy situation, and one in which I don't think the doctor understood what you were asking for him to do.
    I think asking him again is a good decision and asking the nurses to leave. There is no need for them to be in the room since he is not doing any procedures during your visit, so they are unnecessary.
    When I see my pm, I don't see any of the nursing staff during my visit with him. I see them before he comes in , but not during my actual appointment with the doctor, if I did, I would ask them to leave too since there is no medical reason for them to be there.
    Good luck Keith, I feel for you.
  • I'm still working and switched jobs internally as a lateral move to shed some of the more physical aspects of work. But sitting at a desk and walking here and there all day isn't easy.

    I discussed disability with my lawyer, he said they'd help if I need it. My PM doctor, I haven't brought it up, but he knows the deal with me and what I go through every day.

    I haven't been categorized as a pill-seeker as of yet, but some pharmacies look at me funny when I lay the pain meds Rx on them.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • Yep, I get the "eye" every once in a while. I'd be happy to trade spines with any of them so they can see what it's like!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Guess I am lucky because I have gone to the same chain pharmacy that has had the same two pharmacists for the last 12 years and they are really understanding about my situation and always ask how I am doing.

    Never get any looks from them, they are both really professional and personable.

    For a short time 7 or 8 years ago, I went to a grocery store pharmacy and I felt their disapproval everytime I walked up to the counter.

    One particular pharmacist even said more than once that I was on too much medication and needed to get off all of it.

    Of course everyone sitting there waiting on scripts heard what he said and I felt humiliated.

    About the third time he did that I changed back to my original chain pharmacy.

    Reading these posts brought back bad memories for me of how judged I felt by those pharmacy staff.

    I really feel thankful for the good pharmacists I have.

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