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How do I find a good PM doctor?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Chronic Pain
:''( I am on my 3rd PM doctor in 7 years. I am very unhappy with the one that I have right now. I loved the PM that I had before my current but he moved to the other side of the country. This is the last PM in town now.(except for the one that I fired, who was my first!) I live in a large town but we don't have that many doctors to choose from in this field. I have been seeing my current PM for about 3 years now and I have gotten much worse over time. Not once since I have begun to see him has he ever even examined me. He has never sent me for a test, except to check my blood levels every 2 months to see if I am getting extra somewhere else, he has never weighed me, taken blood pressure, nothing. He hasn't even asked me to tell him what is wrong or at what level my pain is at on the pain scale. I am also not allowed to bring up anything about my pain, he cuts me off immediately and then chews me out. He says that he has diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia but has never examined me for that either. My second doctor was very involved in my pain management and my health. I had to have reconstruction surgery about 6 years ago and was bumped up to a very high level of pain meds. to try and control the pain. I was on 320mgs of oxcontin (tablet form long lasting) twice a day and my pain stayed at a level 5 on the pain scale. It was still there and still hurt pretty bad but was tolerable and I was still able to function and do things. My current PM cut my meds to 240mgs twice a day and also cut out my oxycodone for breakthrough pain altogether. I gained 35 pounds immediately and was no longer able to do anything anymore. I cannot even get ANY excercise at all. I live like a mole. I no longer eat, no excercise, I can't clean my house or pay my bills, file my income taxes, go anywhere, and haven't slept for over 7 years. I can't even sleep in my own bed at night, I have to try and sleep sitting up. I have moved to a large chair in the living room ans stay there all day and night watching TV. I am not even able to bathe on a regular basis now, only about once a week if I'm lucky. I am only 44 years old! I know that as I continue to get worse there will come a day when I won't be able to take this anymore. I cry from the pain all of the time. I also take over 300 Aleve per month to try and help with the pain. About 1 1/2 years ago I had a very bad fall and landed on my back, exactly where I have had my surgery's. The pain has gotten even worse since then. When I told my doctor about this a few weeks after I fell, he said nothing and just ignored it. My "good" surgeon had told me that if I ever fell that I would have to have new tests doone to see if there was any damage. Oh well! Since the fall I have crunching sounds in my spine and I can even feel it crunch. But there is nothing that I can do about it. My PM told me that if I ever saw a surgeon while I am in his care, that he will stop my care immediatley and no longer see me. I am so stuck and feel so helpless. My husband works out of town about 7 months of the year so I can't go to a larger city to find a better doctor. I can't drive myself because I fall asleep at the wheel because I am so sleep deprived. It would be about a 3 hour drive. I am scared, I am tired of living this way, and I worry that if the Aleve doesn't kill me from organ damage that I will end up doing something to myself. I don't know what to do. Please help? If anyone has any advice I really need it. I am really at the end of my rope here and I want to have a life, I'm not ready for it to be over yet.


  • Have your primary doctor refer you to a new pain management doctor....
  • How do I find a good PM Dr.? I always wanted to help out with this question, but never had a chance. Now I have that chance. After seeing what you wrote, and realizing that it was just a couple of hours ago, I am going to send you a PM. I don't think that everyone would want to see this and besides, I need some more information to help you out. It's kinda personal so I am sending a PM if that's ok with you....
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  • and do not give up. You can and will find a doc that will help you manage your pain and help you get your life back. Please keep us posted on your progress and post anytime that you want or need to.
  • PM docs always seemed to treat me like an addict. I had one PM doc that I was with for close to a year. They did no additional testing at any point in time and wanted to have me get teh spinal stimulator. He had told me that if I was in my 70's or 80's he wouldn't suggest it at all, but since I was so young (32 started seeing him at 31) he wanted to do it. Then I started seeing ALL and I mean 90% of his patients had the spinal stimulator. I decided to see another PM. Boy were they a joke. When I first came in to see him I was on 6-8 10mg percocets per day. I told him I didn't want that many nor did I want the Percocets anymore. I told him to give me 4-5 10mg norco per day. So that is what he did. I hate taking meds but pretty much need to. Anyway I did a 12.5 hour drive with my kids. I did all of the driving because my hubby couldn't take the 7 days off. When I got home I hurt so stinking bad that I had my niece here to help with the kids and me walking around. About 2 days later I decided to go to the ER where they did an injection of dilaudid and told me to double up on the norco. So I took 6-8 instead of the 4. I ran out only 3 day's early! So I went back in and see the nurse practitioner. She refilled me. Then a month later I was talking to him and he basically called me an addict or that I was selling my meds and that the ER doc never told me to double up on my meds because he had teh ER report. I told him BS!! I asked to see the report and he provided it. I pointed out at the top where the doc WROTE down for me to double up. So the PM doc was lying or never read the report. He took me off my meds and put me on Lyrica and Ultram ER. These barely helped. He told me to let him know if they were helping and to let him know if they were not. so a week later I called and said they were not helping at all and I was a stay at home mom with a 7yro and a 2yro. Take a guess what the nurse said. Well put the kids in daycare until you feel better. Oh the nerve. So I asked her is she was going to be paying the $1000 a month so I could do this. LOL I had an appt 2 days later to try these Prolo injections because he said that I had torn ligaments and had nerve damage. I had FINALLY talked him into giving me an MRI. He gave me the results without even seeing the damn films. I had them. So he went off of the radiologists report! I went in and of course they wanted to throw me on the table right away. I said no I want to talk to the doc first. They were pissed off! I told him that if the prolo injections are supposed to make me more inflamed and in much much worse pain than I am already in then I needed something stronger. Again he called me basically a pill popper. I said if I was such a pill popping addict then why would I tell my last PM to take me off of the Oxycontin, methadone, morphine and everything else they tried me on. He told me that we would have to reschedule the apt, so I did, He had told me in the begining that if I went to the surgeon again he would drop me as a patient. Well I went to the the NS that did my surgery. He looked at the MRI films I had an said that either my hardware is loose or I have a bone tumor. X Ray ruled out the loose hardware! So I am scheduled for a bone scan on the 19th. So both of the PM docs were wrong on my diagnosis.
    To sum things up!!!! GO BACK TO YOUR SURGEON!!!! If you fell and are having pain and hearing a "crunching" noise you need to see your surgeon. PM docs dont like it when we leave them or get a second opinion. First they want to make sure you are not getting meds at more than one doc. Second they dont want to lose the income. I will NEVER EVER see a PM doc again!!! Listen to that voice in your head and go to see your surgeon!!! IF some of the hardware broke or is loose you need to get it fixed ASAP!!! Dont worry about making your PM doc mad. Tell you surgeon all that the PM doc said and is not doing for you!
  • :jawdrop: Excuse me, but do you have the same exact PM doc that I do? I swear, they sound like the same man!!!!!!
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  • I had a herniated disk, L-5 S-1. I first had a laminectomy, which made me feel wonderful, I was back to my old self, until 5 weeks later when it re-herniated. My surgeon at that time said I had to go straight to a spine fusion. I was later told by other "good" surgoens that all I really needed was another laminectomy. Had I had that, my life would have been so different than what it is. Instead, after the fusion, I could see where the "Bak Pac" "hardware" was coming out. My surgeon said "Oh no, it's great!". I was the one who was right, it was almost all the out by the time I found another surgeon, this time in Pheonix, Az. 3 hours away. This is the surgeon who did the recontructive surgery. Several of the highly skilled professional that saw my films were outright shocked over what had been done to me. They said that for the reconstructive surgery they would have to use a much larger slice of pelvis to try and make the repairs. They were worried that it would be impossible. I had During surgery I had 4 spine surgeons and 3 vascular surgeons. They were very worried that I wouldn't pull throur surgery. I was in ICU for 4 days afterward. The pain was unbearable and I felt like I was going to die. I took me a year to recover from this. During this surgery they had to cut me from the belly button down to the pubic area to retrieve the hardware and then turn me over and recut my back for the 3rd time. Have any of you been cut on both sieds at the same time? It doesn't feel very good, let me tell you! A year after my last surgery I had new films taken, an MRI, and it showed that the large nerve root that came directly from the spinal cord was completely clamped off due to scar tissue. My surgeon at the time said there really wasn't anything that could be done for that because it would just grow back. This has been 6 years ago and there is no telling how much worse everything has gotten back there. Plus, the fact that I had that bad fall and it now crunches! My biggest problem in getting better doctors is the fact that I have to go 3 hours away from where I live and I am not able to get there myself, I would have to do this on a monthly basis. As I mentioned, my husband is out of town for about 7 months of the year. I am just stuck! When he retires I have hope that things will change for me but I don't know if I can wait another 2 years. I don't feel like I can wait another 2 months at this point. On average, and I am being completely honest, (I have no reason to lie because all I want is help and advice from you good people) my PM doctor spends about 4 minutes tops with me at every appointment. Just long enough to write out a new prescription. That is all he does! And he makes me see him every month for this, instead of every 2 months like my good PM did. OK, I think I've told you quite a bit, when I think of something else that is important, I will let you know. There is soooo much to tell!
  • }:) My PM is always saying stuff to me such as "Don't sell these" and "You really don't need this" etc, etc, . I hate that! And he says it while I'm walking out of the exam room. I would rather that he sit me down and let us have a heart to heart so to speak, than to make these flippant remarks while I'm making my exit. I think he got a Masters Degree in Cruel Behavior also, the other things that he has said to me over the last 3 years have been horrible. He once demanded that I have Gastric BYpass surgery when I didn't even have any weight on except for maybe 5 extra pounds. And this is coming from the man who has told me that I am never allowed to have any sugery of any kind, ever, or he will cut me off. I'm talking about if I'm bleeding out in a car accident, or if I have to have my gallbladder out, anything, I guess that I would just have to die in his opinion. And why bother to try and turn him in? It would be my word (the addict) against his (the doctor). It amazes me that they can get away with this. I happened to research the PM guidelines for Ca. and AZ. and they are allowed to do so much more for us than they want to do. And there are strict guidelines as to tell if someone is an addict. It would easy enough to realize that I am not. I hate the fact that we are treated like this. All PM's are supposed to keep our pain levels at a 5 on the pain scale. I stay at a 8 or 9 all of the time, hence the 300 Aleve per month. I'm open to therapy, anything that would help meout. But with the pinched nerve root, I don't really understand how therapy would be able to help that. But I am at least willing to try, where my PM is not. I think he is about 100 years old and doesn't keep up with anything that is new. I had never even heard of RF treatment until yesterday when I read a message on this board. How bad is that? Uugh! I am spitting mad!!!! Can you tell?
  • unfortunately with pain dr's, it is a crap shoot. some are nice and understanding but still think of you as a drug addict, and some are open about their contempt. just a work, these dr's have to deal with hustlers and addicts all the time so by nature they are suspicious. have all tests that you can and take all results to dr. make up a pain diary and be open and honest with them and by all means don't demand drugs. one of the worse things to say is that i can't take this or that and only narcotics work for me. hopefully you have your old dr's charts to show dosage and meds. you might have to try some for a couple of months to find our what their method and beliefs are. these are the hardest dr's to find and to get a good one. i have had to change also because my old one retired. he referred me to 2. one said i was a drug addict and i should not be on oxy for years, the other has been kind but firm. i treat him nice and honest and he does the same. so far the second one has worked out. i have had him for a year and a half. my old one, i saw for 10 years so i feel your pain
    good luck
    once again
    jon :D
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    I am most concerned regarding the amount of Oxycontin you said you were on. 80mg is about the highest dosage any doctor would write a script for. And that could be twice a day under the most severe cases. Any need for additonal pain medication would be done in a hospital.
    I am very familiar with Oxycontin, its dosages, etc.
    480mg of Oxycontin would be enough to kill any human being and probably most larger animals.
    I sure hope you post just identified that incorrectly.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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