Having the hardest time finding an orthopedist and ER visit

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The largest providers (read: the most doctors) of orthopedics in my insurance book no longer takes my insurance. Including OSU. Other doctors and facilities at OSU take my insurance, just not the orthopedists. Them and another large orthopedics group no longer take my insurance. This eliminates about 1/3 or more of my choices.

    The rest are at least an hour away - some quite a bit more. Further, they are so sub-specialized and most of them do sports injuries. Or they do knees. Not what I need. I have issues with my back, hips, shoulders, knees, hands, etc.

    At first I was focused on finding one that specializes in back/spine. I talked with my doctor and she said that since I have trouble with other areas that might not be such a good idea. She said you used to be able to send a patient to any ortho to check out a knee, for example, but not anymore. They are getting more and more specialized. Trying to find an orthopedist who specializes in general orthopedics and who takes my insurance is like finding a needle in a haystack. I could go to one of the other ortho's, but then they would either dismiss me because it's not what they see on a regular basis and not know what to do with it or they would just pass me onto someone else and hope they find someone who takes my insurance or who knows. They get themselves specialized down to the point where they nothing outside of their little area.

    I'm so frustrated and so tired. And then I get to the point where I just don't give a damn and don't care about finding out what's going on and just learn how to live with it.

    My GP sent me to the ER today. I had been feeling just unwell today. Nothing horrible, just a general feeling of malaise. As I was driving to another doctor appointment for a pelvic ultrasound, I started to get "those" symptoms. The pain up my neck into my jaws and ears, in my shoulders and in my upper back. Started to feel really bad. I don't know how to explain it, but it's almost like a feeling of dread, but it's more physical than that. Just a really unwell feeling. So, when I got to the doctor's office, I asked them to take my BiPolar (BP). It was elevated and with my symptoms they told me to call my GP and see what she wanted me to do. She sent me to the ER. (No, I didn't stop at home to change clothes. :tongue:)

    I wasn't comfortable driving. My mom was 45 minutes away. My son 30 minutes away and then it would be 30 minutes back to the hospital. The lady that was going to do the ultrasound volunteered to take me as she lives in my town (and where I was going to the ER) and I was her last patient of the day.

    EKG normal. Cardiac enzymes normal - drawn twice. They wanted to keep me overnight for observation and to continue to check the cardiac enzymes and possibly do a stress test tomorrow. Only problem is my cardiology group doesn't work out of this particular hospital. So, they would have another cardiology group read the stress test. Stress tests are only accurate in women 80% of the time and I've already had one false positive. This other cardiology group wouldn't have the previous test to compare to.

    Then my head started to hurt horrendously from the nitro patch. The nitro patch is horrible. I'd rather have the drip anyday. On the pain scale where 10 is the worst, this was a 12. I couldn't stand it. They gave me tylenol and an ice pack. I couldn't stand the lights to be on in the room. And I got all emotional. I was soooo tired, I felt bad, I was in pain, my kids were stressed out - well, easy child was...Wynter said she wasn't worried, my mom cancelled her trip to GA (she was supposed to leave tomorrow - Thursday), I was hooked up to so much cr@p that if I moved I got all tangled up and I just wanted to go home and get in my own bed. The angina was better, my BiPolar (BP) had come down to normal, my pulse had come down to normal and I was overly-emotional. My mom came back from taking Devon to go get my car and getting the kids squared away and I'm curled up in a ball holding my hands over my eyes to block the light and as soon as she walks in I started crying and just saying I wanted to go home, that I was tired of all of this, that I was tired of living with this everyday, that I just want it to stop. I live 1/10 of a mile from the hospital. If something happens, I can be there in less than a minute.

    They had the BiPolar (BP) cuff on the arm with the ulnar nerve entrapment and it was sending electric shocks down my arm even when not inflated so I pulled it off and waited for the alarm to go off so they would come put it on my other arm. Everytime I got out of bed for something - like to give a urine sample - they had to catch me from falling over. But, I don't have balance issues. Just ask my neuro. When they wouldn't do anything for my head, I finally pulled the nitro patch off and wiped the gunk off my chest with a napkin. Besides, after 4 1/2 hours they still didn't have a bed for me and I seriously doubt one was going to open up overnight. I would have spent the night in the ER. I'm not saying they aren't wonderful in this ER because they are. But, they're busy.

    I just want it to stop. I'm so weary.

    When I got to the ER and they were asking me all of the questions they ask, they asked if I had been under a lot of stress recently. I just looked at them and said, "You're kidding, right?"

    The last time I was in the ER because of angina like this, I was on steroids, too. They keep telling me that steroids don't cause this, but I beg to differ.

    And everytime this happens it freaks me out and every little twinge in my chest or my neck or my back is so apparent. I'll be sleeping with my nitro pills and my phone on my nightstand for the next few nights, I'm sure. I was just feeling like my body may be falling apart, but at least my heart has been ok. This stirs up all those fears again.

    I need a hug. :(
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sending you lots of ((((hugs)))) Heather. I understand those old fears.

    I hope you're feeling better today. Saying a prayer you can find a good ortho to suit your needs. And you're right, docs are specializing themselves to death. (it's cuz there is so darn many of them now)
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    As hard as it may seem, you may have to just stick it out in the hospital for all possible tests. It seems that you have a lot of health issues that need to be addressed by one team of people...not going back and forth to hospitals, docs, etc.

    Hugs to you and I hope you get some results.

  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Orthos don't like to specialize in spines. They hate it actually, because spine problems almost always are unending. The course of action with this is generally physical therapy, then if no better....MRIs, then EMG/nerve conduction studies, then pain management. Orthos will refer you out for all of these.

    You have a pain management specialist, don't you? Discuss it with him. Ortho will only end up sending you there anyway. Ask pain managment doctor to send you for the tests.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I agree with Loth, find a pain specialist, aka physical medicine/rehab (not the drug rehab, physical rehab) doctor. My husband has cronic pain in his hips, low back, knees, and shooting nerve pain in one leg. The pain doctor has helped the most. We still do not know what causes the pain (other than inflammation and some osteo arthritis) but the pain is better due to medications and other treatments.

    Hang in there.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Lisa - thank you for the hugs.

    Abbey - they wouldn't have sent in a team and done all possible tests. They would have continued to check cardiac enzymes and then possibly/probably a stress test by a cardiology group that isn't familiar with my case. They would have only addressed the one issue.

    Loth - no pain mgmt doctor. My GP wants me to see a general ortho and go from there. And I don't want to just keep putting a bandaid on things. I want to have some kind of plan of action. I've had the lower back and hip issues since childhood. It is now disabling and needs to be looked into further.

    Crazymama - We did try PT, but without any kind of diagnosis they really didn't know what to do and wondered why I was there. And since they didn't know the underlying issue, the PT actually made the pain worse.

    Thanks for the thoughts.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending lots of (((((((hugs))))))). I a sure it was scary to feel that bad, and then to have the nitro patch make you feel worse, ouch.

    I believe that the docs and nurses don't really know what most medications can cause as side effects because they don't read and recall the info, and because teh drug co's hide what they can get away with. If that is how YOUR body responds, then THAT is how YOUR body responds. Docs need to wise up and be sensitive to that.

    I am so sorry you are having a hard time finding an ortho. A sports medication group HERE at least sees all sorts of injuries AND illnesses with ortho complications. They are not limited to a body part, or to only people hurt in sports. You might check that route.

    You also might check with the insurance co. Maybe they know someone, or can make a contract iwth a provider just for you.

    Anyway, I totally know your frustration, being overly-emotional, and being scared. It sounds like a scary experience.