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I fired my Neurologist today. Sigh....

Aviatrix36440Aviatrix36440 Posts: 5,740
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Depression and Coping
Sigh....

I've been with this Neurologist (I'll call him Dr. C) for years. And for years he's been spot on with my spine issues. Well, in the last almost year now, they have called the day before my appointments to cancel and then move me a week up to a month! I put up with it because again, he was spot on and took good care of me.

Well on my last appointment he conducted an NCV/EMG for my arms and legs - but for some reason ignored the L2/3/4 nerves - never tested above the knees. I had also brought my MRI reports and CD along with the blood work. He made no comment about the MRI reports during the electrical conduction except to say "On your next appointment we will go over everything and I'll then send you to your surgeon." What interesting is he (Dr. C) is very anti-surgery, so I thought that odd. I asked him if it looked like a redo for the neck, and action for my back. He wouldn't make eye contact, and restated all would be discussed when we meet next, and too that he would talk with my NS of his findings.

Okay, with all that said....they give me this follow up appointment for a month away - July 1st. I wasn't happy, but figured this would be the final before being referred back to surgery. Well kiddos, guess what? Yep, I get a call today saying "The doctor won't be in the office tomorrow, so we have to cancel your appointment. The next appointment available isn't until October!" Are you kidding?!?! I told her "This is bulls***" "You cancel me, and then you can't get me in for 4 more months, are you kidding? That's it, I'm done! You guys are fired!! I am going to get a new spine specialist, goodbye!" Ridiculous!!! Totally ridiculous!

My hubby (and Metelneck)feels that he didn't want me as a patient anymore. As I said, he prides himself on his patients not needing surgery, and for me, the last two disk issues, I had surgery. Here I come again with even more issues, the tests come back, and he backs out. I guess I was either too complicated for him, or he doesn't like puzzle patients! I think I ruin his "non surgery" stats if you ask me. Sigh...

At any rate, now that all is done I'm researching for an Orthopedic spine surgeon now, and have a few I am looking at with great track records. I did an e-consult which confirmed what I was already told, and now thanks to a post of Dnice, I am most likely going to do one via eCleveland Clinic. This in addition to an in person consult(s) with surgeons down here. So that's were I'm at. I'm hoping to get with a surgeon in the next week or two, and go from there. Whew! Sorry for the novel! (G)

Brenda
PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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134

Comments

  • OH Brenda, I'm so sorry!! I can't type much right now, my arm is hurting so much, but just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. It does sound a little like he didn't want you as a patient anymore. I hope you can find a good doctor to take care of you. (((HUGS)))
    Kelly
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Thanks very much Kelly. I was so mad I almost couldn't see straight as they say. There was a part of me expecting my appointment to get moved (holiday weekend and all), but nothing for 4 more months? Nope, ain't playing that game, nope! What's sad is I have referred friends to him in the past. I will bet you know "that" ain't gonna happen anymore either! Grrrr....

    Thoughts and prayers daily for you Kelly that the arm improves more and more. Remember, nerves heal at a rate of approximately 1mm a day, so it might be a while. Fingers still crossed. *HUGZ* Thanks again Kelly. :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Yes, I would definitely feel the same way as you, if that happened to me. That's so sad. What a coward, if he felt he couldn't help you anymore, he should have been straight forward and upfront about it. Guess he couldn't admit it, saying it out loud would make it a reality. Jerk... lol

    thanks, Brenda. I'm starting to feel okay about it now, I was talking to a guy I know from my ptsd group today, and he went through the same thing, too. He said that he had no mobility for 3 months, but then it started to get better. He gave me some exercise tips too. So, between the people here talking about their experiences, and him, I have a bit more positivity. It just really effing hurts right now. He also said he was taking 500 mg of (I can't remember which one he said now) but of one of the narcotics that we use. I was like, holy crap, I only take 20 mg of oxy and 10 mg of percocet a day. I'm so talking to my doc about that. She did give me the go ahead to double if I needed when my back was so painful a couple of months ago, so I've been doing that, and it still doesn't even touch it (but at least the rest of me feels okay with that).

    Anyways, back to you!!! I hope you find the new surgeon quickly, and that they can help you. I wonder how long the other one has been delaying this, I would be so pissed off for you if he's been lagging and you haven't been getting the treatment you need. I say again, jerk... Hope you have a good night!!!
    Kelly
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • So frustrating! Good for you for firing his butt! Great that you already have some surgeons in mind as well as the eCleveland clinic.

    Will be sending you positive vibes that you get in quickly and you get some answers as well as options to help you.

    >: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
  • Kelly,

    Except Dr. C's not looking at me about my surgery questions, the appointment went really well. I am one of the easiest patients to give a nerve conduction study as depending where they stick me, I laugh! (G) He's a very good Neurologist, but *not* good enough I don't think for constant 4 month waits! I also think he is spreading himself thin as he has 2 offices, and he teaches at the local university.

    My NS told me that he stopped referring us "southern patients" to him due to "problems", yet never elaborated on what those problems where. I guess if I go back to him for my lumbar issues, I will once again ask. Maybe Dr. C routinely does this, or maybe he has issue with Dr. P (my NS), or like my hubby and Metalneck indicated, he wanted to drop me. "Jerk"....yeah I agree! (G)

    Arm. Since yours is fresh from surgery, I would guess short of something nicked (which I doubt) it is just a set back and you will get it back. Mine started going bad 5 months post op, and here I am almost 2 years out, and EMG shows no change = permanent. I can still use mine, but it is weak, gets tired fast, most of it is numb and my hand cramps whenever it wants to. I think the cramping is the worst part as it hurts like the dickens after it finishes!

    Remember my fellow soldier..."Patience is a Virtue", sucks but it really is. :) *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Thanks very much. It's funny, the very few times in the past "I fired" a doctor, I did so by just not going back. I think today is the first time I verbalized it!! (G)

    It was kind of funny as I was talking with Metalneck on my cell and I had the office manager on my house phone. I'm kind of glad it went that way, as Dave calmed me down fairly fast - I was steaming but good!

    So far I've narrowed down to 3 local OS's but instead of calling tomorrow, I'm going to keep surfing through the weekend and call/make contacts on Tuesday. This way too I can update my symptoms pages, medications I am on, pain log updated etc. I already have my current and past medical records and such together as well as my CD's.

    I haven't fully ruled out NS's, but as Metalneck says..."Is it neuro issues (disks etc.) causing nerve problems, or bone issues causing neuro problems?" Both of my fusions were neuro causing neuro, but now much of it (for revision) is more bone causing neuro.... Excellent way of looking at it Dave!!! :) Thanks again Karen.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hmmmmm, Here is my opinion for what ever its worth. Its summer and this is the time dr,s are all over the place vacations and who knows what else they do. It seems summer many cancel appointments. I myself already got 3 calls canceling dates on appointment with neuro.

    If he been treating you all this time i would still keep the appointment with him. You can get other opinions while that appointment comes around anyways. I would want to know what he has to say after all the work he has done on you and what his opinion is. I would at least want his explanation of it and even demand it. If he is aware of some complications a new dr might not be aware about you need to know that also and compare it with what maybe i new dr is recomending.

    Its easy to find a new dr that might promise you something that he cant deliver and you dont want to be sorry that you never got the full opinion of your dr who already knows your condition beter then anyone.


    You aint got nothing to lose by keeping the appointment with him. You can get all the opinions ffrom another dr as you like and that way you can toss that at him once you see him and he will just know that you been looking in to it because that is your right.

    Its not like you want to jump in to another surgery especialy if it might not make you feel any beter then you are for the time being. It would be diferent if you needed emergency surgery and he split on you. These dr,s know we are life time patients and we aint going anywhere anyways sadly. This is just my thought of how i would play this hand the dr put me in if i was you. Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    I don't know what's going on..but my pain doc has been...like so dismissing of my symptomsand of me too.
    I start on Medicare in couple days and although he said he would keep me as patient...it feels as though he "wants me to break up with him." :)
    Hopefully I am never in the position of a 4 month wait for appointment as you were. I'd be livid and run out of pain meds. yikes.
    Maybe all this health care stuff..different rules for them to follow...complicated. I've heard him complain about not being paid ... while he is performing procedures on me. Doc and assistant complaining of company they work for and who does what and not getting paid enough.
    It's not easy to deal with the pain and its complications and the personality of the doc.
    Best of luck in finding the even better doc for you soon.
    Take care!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Thanks very much for your input. If this was the first time my appointment got canceled, or the first time they tried to bump me 4 months down the road, I would agree with you. I felt the same way in the past, but he is the Neurologist, not the surgeon.

    I know my neck is getting worse, and therefore at least with the neck, I am not playing around anymore. I've got my Neuros notes, and all my imaging and test results. This appointment was basically to go over all the results, and then get sent back to my surgeon.

    To give you a better picture of how it's been going with this doctor. 12 months ago my appointment got canceled, and me moved 4 months ahead. He was always spot on with me, so I sucked it up and went with it. My next appointment, same thing (the day before) was canceled and I was bumped 3 weeks, the next appointment, yup, same thing, but bumped 5 weeks, and now this last one - as stated in my original post. So this has happened with EACH appointment - not acceptable for any practice as far as I am concerned. If we did that more than once with most doctors, they would charge us the co-pay!

    As for looking for another surgeon. That isn't a dig on my NS, that is because I have to get a revision on my neck, and want a surgeon that *is* well practiced in revisions. My present surgeon though good, he doesn't do revisions that often. I have enough issues in my neck, I don't want to add to them. Oh, and his office only canceled me once in 5 years (emergency surgery)... :) Chances are high I will use my NS for my back when that time comes.

    Brenda

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks much. I don't think insurance is an issue here; I have federal BCBS - or as my doctors call it "The good insurance." (G)

    I know down here in South Florida, a lot of doctors are getting real picky over what insurance (Medicare, private, WC) they will and won't take. My Orthopedic (non spine) surgeon for instance stopped taking WC cases due to the admin issues, the hassles with getting procedures approved, and the biggie - getting paid [in a timely manner]!

    Hopefully your PM won't drop you due to insurance changes, that would bite. Since my next step was going to be to my surgeon, I decided just to go that route now, and not wait another 4+ months to see my now 'ex' Neurologist. The important question he did answer during my EMG was the nerve issues were still from the neck, and the next level going as well. At one point I commented that they might have to fix the whole shabang, and he agreed. What also stinks is my hubby is off tomorrow and was going to come with me. Oh well....

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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