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Put off Part 2

stockbrokersstockbroker Posts: 464
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Pain Management
As I had explained in my original post, "Put Off", I've been waiting what seems like an eternity to get a date for a stimulator trial. I had my psych eval the beginning of Oct. and the psychologist typed the up the report and had it in the surgeon's office the very next day. There it sat for two or three weeks without being faxxed to the PM who is going to do the trial. What's making the wait so difficult is that I just got through the world's longest pain flare (over 30 days) plus my business is hectic and my office is moving and not having any time schedule for this trial is problematic. When I had the psych eval, the psychologist said that he saw chronic pain patients so I thought he might have some tips for me as to how to get through the next several months (in really bad pain and having no control over my situation). I went to see him last week and I was a little late (he's really far away). Much to my disappointment, he told me he wanted me to take the MMPI. I told him about the pain flare and the frustration of waiting and how since he worked with people in chronic pain he might have some practical tips for me. He pointed to his watch and said he wanted me to take the test. I told him I didn't want to take a test, that I wanted some suggestions, he shrugged pointing at his watch and I left. When I got to my office I called thie neurosciences department out of which the neurosurgeon and the psychologist work and I asked about taking the MMPI; was this something I had to do for the SCS? I was told no that it was because I has asked to see the psychologist and that it had nothing to do with my going ahead with the SCS. Today, the psychologist called me and told me that I had to come in and take the MMPI or I wouldn't get the SCS. I asked if he would have the NS call me. He said he didn't think the NS would call me and the PM doc wouldn't do the trial. I told him I found this all very odd since we had done the evaluation almost two months ago and had proceeded to get a predetermination from the insurance company and now he wants to back up and would he mind telling me why. He wouldn't. No one is in the office today so I can't get any verification of what this guy told me but it does contradict what I was told last week. My husband says just go and take the test. C--I would never survive in the military. My insurance does not pay for this sort of testing. This sort of seems like its been one big mess. On the other hand, maybe this is what everyone goes through getting a SCS. If things are so disorganized, maybe I should go elsewhere. I wouldn't be that far beind as I don't think the NS would be able to get to me until March. I think the psychologist didn't like me saying "no". Hey, Am I insightful or what???


  • That sure sounds odd. I took mine and I was asked how my life was, how I coped, how the marriage is going, etc. I took no test of any kind. It was like a conversation. At the end I was told that I was emotionally stable and was recommended for the stim trial. I had it, but it went bad for me. Get a hold of your PM and ask what they expect from psych. I had to pay out of pocket for my evaluation too. I hope it gets settled so you don't get put off any longer than necessary.
  • I got the okay from the insurance company. A copy came to my house on Friday. The original went, of course to the PM doc. I've spoken to a couple of psychologists who both think this guy was way out of line to be so dishonest with me: to refuse to tell me why he decided he wanted me suddently to take the MMPI --156 questions--on day #28 of a God awful pain flare and a full month and a half after he had sent in an okay on my psych eval. And then to call me and tell me he would see to it that I wouldn't get the stimulator if I didn't take the test. The NS has been out of town and will be back tomorrow. I've written a letter to the psychologist but won't send it until after I hear from the NS office. I think this guy sure got a bug up his butt about something. But --hey--like I need more stress??? "I'll show you, Missy, I'll see to it that you don't get any relief from your intractable pain you can S-U-F-F-E-R." And then, to have to put yourself at the mercy of these guys. What happened to the "help" in "helping professions"?
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  • I can't believe the run around you are getting. I know with my PM office, I HAD to take the MMPI2, which was 567 questions ( :''( :''( ). Physically getting through that test was horrible. I ended up laying on the floor because I can't sit longer than 20 minutes, let along the 3.5 hours the entire appointment took (with the verbal chat, the other pain scales and paperwork he asked me to fill out, plus the MMPI2 test.) I liked the neuropsychiatrist - he was very nice. This was just mandatory for my clinic (and possibly my insurance, haven't asked for sure.) I just went along because I wanted to get things going as quickly as possible.

    I guess you need to make sure that you aren't rocking a boat, but I would hardly think so if he already sent in the OK, your insurance has already approved it, etc. Only thing I'm thinking is that the last time you saw him he saw something in you emotionally that worried him? Because he can't LISTEN and hear that you have been in a terrible pain flare?

    I don't know how you guys work with this pain, I really don't. I'm in a recliner 23 hours a day and suffering. Have you read the Intractable Pain Survival Guide? It is an amazing resource and will give you validation and tips on survival when the world doesn't understand, even these "pain psychiatrists".

    My frustration is that before we moved, my former doc was going forward with the SCS. Were we still there, I would have had the trial last summer. We moved over here, I took my referral to the neurosurgeon here, and he refused to do it without me going through his "rigmarole" first. Just his persnickety rules and regulations. So, several more months of suffering.

    Do doctors do this because they can? I was told the trial is only a few thousand dollars. Why would this be so hard to get?? Just the trial???? Why withhold it from pain sufferers? I hope to understand this someday.

    I go in Thursday at 1:30pm unless I get a call to come in the morning. It can't get here soon enough, as I'm sure you totally understand. I'm hoping you get a date soon as well.

    I called my programmer this morning and asked how long it might be for the final placement if the trial is successful. I was hoping to get right on it, but again, the PM office only does the trial, and then that neurosurgeon does the final surgery. His rules, his procedures. We're probably looking at January I'm praying. I already had to cancel my Thanksgiving travel plans due to horrendous pain and it looks like Christmas too. (Our family is all 8 hours away.) I'm hoping hubby can get his vacation extended and we can take a January or February trip instead of December, when I would have the final SCS and hopefully be a new woman! lol Here's hoping and praying for all of us who are on the path to the SCS trial.

    Hang in there,

  • I'm speechless!

  • Thanks
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  • He actually has succeeded in seeing to it that my PM will not go ahead will the stim trial. Keep in mind, he gave me a pass on my psych eval at the beginning of October. Had I not (STUPIDLY in retrospect) asked to see him for counselling that would have been that. But since we had gotten along so well (I thought)and since I had always wanted to talk to a pain psychologist.....oh well. So, a month and a half later even though he had never seen me or spoken to me he decides ( when I've gone to see him for pain management counselling) that I need to take the MMPI. I've explained all of this. My plan was to go on Thursday to see my primary, explain everything to him and then do whatever he recommended but then this psychologist called me again. At home. I had asked if I could take the test elsewhere in so far as I don't trust this guy, He hasn't been honest with me. (My actual psychologist thinks I should report him to the psychological examining board--sure, in my free time). Surprise. He won't let me take the test anywhere else. I just don't like the whole situation. I have a doctor I can't talk to. In fact I've never spoken to him. He "outsources" everything save the actual implantation so the continuity of care is non-. existant. I will see my primary but I'm 99.9% sure I'm moving on. In fact, the PM doc who was to do the trial also does the permanent implant and I'm seeing him in the middle of December. That could be awkward but if I've already fired the other guy, the PM should feel free to say okay. At least I kow I'm going to have Christmas this year. I didn't know with moving offices and the stim trial if I would have the time or energy for Christmas. Cherish22, work really helps me keep my mind off my problems. I can work at home and have an assistant who can cover for me when I'm having a really bad pain day. Thanks for your kind words. I've been pretty blown away by this guy. He really is an A-h-le (can I say that?) Lots o luck again on Thursday.
  • The MMPI 2 is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. I had the "2", and it had 567 questions, which basically were the same questions repeated 8 different times, worded different ways. Therefore, if you are truly depressed but pretending you aren't (for example), you will most likely slip up and be "caught". Things like: I love parties. I am outgoing. My friends would call me shy.
  • When I went to see my primary, I got to see a copy of what the psychologist claims happened the day I went to see him for counselling. OMG. It is 100% pure fiction. He said I was very angry. He said (correctly) that I was late. That made me a little flustered as I am a very punctual person. But he omitted the fact that I gave him a little hug. )It was not returned. He must have a strict "no hug" policy. He immediately told me he wanted me to take the MMPI. I asked why and he wouldn't asnwer but just kept pointing at his watch. In his report, he said I was extremely emotionally upset. He said I was angry with my doctors, that I was very angry with the PM doc (who I adored, by the way). He then said it had been recommended that I have a psychological evaluation done by the psychologist at the PM doc's place. This is true. But I had been told NOT to do that but to have the evaluation done at the medical college, where, in fact i had it done, by this very same psychologist and passed with flying colors. So, he was trying to make me look like I had done something wrong when I had, in fact, done exactly what I hade been told. Then, he said he asked me (none of these conversations took place) if I were taking a ny psychotropic drugs. At first I responded no, he said but after further consideration I admitted I was taking Klonopin for anxiety. Well, he must have looked over the list of medications I sent in with all my medical records. I do take Klonopin (though I refer to it by its generic name clonazapam. It was prescribed for me by my spine surgeon because I wasn't able to sleep through the pain and so he had me take 2 mgs. in addition to the Ambien at bedtime. There were other inaccuracies I could point out but the fact of the matter is none of these conversations ever took place. AND. There is nothing i can do about it. I faxed a letter to the PM doc and he won't have anything to do with me. My primary is going to give me my meds until I find someone else. In the meantime, he scanned that report into my electronic record, Why??? And what did I ever do to this psychologist for him to do this to me? I have two appointments next Wednesday with two docs who do spinal cord stimulators. Not sure how to handle the question, "What went wrong with your last doc?" I wish I knew. I never spoke to the surgeon. Never was able to. The only person I was permitted to speak to was the receptionist. I'm feeling pretty bummed. Susan
  • This is beyond belief. This guy really screwed you over with a capital F. It's horrible that they can get away doing this, and for no reason! He must have some kind of bias but why? You have done nothing for him to slam you like that.You can file a grievance with the state board that regulates physicians. Give them a call, and they will probably have you write a formal letter detailing the events. I know you have so much on your plate right now, and this is the last thing you need. This doctor has wrecked the relationship you had with your PM doctor, and then took away the chance for you to get your SCS to feel better. This is downright wicked. What worries me is that fact that we are not privy to our medical records, so we wouldn't know if some doctor might have slammed us in that way. Then it is circulated among doctors, and they might prejudge you. You really need to fight this thing when you get a chance. I am so sorry this happened to you.
  • You can ask for an amendment to your record. You simply tell the receptionist that you feel that there are inaccuracies in your record and that you want them fixed. They have to provide you with the form, you detail the inaccuracies, and the physician has 60 days to either fix the inaccuracies or provide an explanation of why he won't.
    Since this is in your permanent record, and you can not see your PM or surgeon to discuss this, I would certainly demand the amendment to your records.
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