I am so ANGRY!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Inflammation is kicking up all over my body.

    The tendonitis in my left shoulder has been particularly bothersome, but was manageable until today. I woke this morning at 5:45 with the left side of my head feeling like it had an axe in it, my arm and hand tingling and numb, my shoulder swollen and hot, and spasms like electric shocks shooting up my neck.

    I took a torodol 10mg and a vicodin at 6:00am. I took another torodol at 12:30pm and another vicodin at 2:30pm and my pain was still at a 10.

    I didn't have my car because I had an emergency dentist appointment yesterday (Tuesday) morning after having had no sleep the night prior, and didn't feel safe to drive home, so easy child picked me up. He and DF weren't able to pick it up until this evening (Wednesday). But, even if I had my car I couldn't have driven to go to my doctor.

    So, when easy child got off work I had him take me to the ER.

    This doctor I've seen before. I saw her when I went in late at night with an out of control migraine. Get this, she wanted to do an IV with benadryl and reglan (nausea medication). Ummmm....no. I didn't have a little headache from allergies. I asked for a torodol shot and she didn't want to do it, but she did. (Turns out to be doubly good because reglan causes a dystonic (right word, sp?) reaction with me.)

    She remembered me. (I didn't remember her until later.) She condescendingly asked me if I had called my doctor. I said no, but I was in so much pain I didn't bother to tell her that 1) I didn't have transportation, 2) I couldn't have driven anyway, or 3) that there is nothing more that my doctor knows to do. I did tell her that my doctor had referred me to pain mgmt in December, but that my first appointment isn't until May 3 because they were having trouble with my insurance provider.

    She barely touched my arm/shoulder and said she was going to give me a pain shot. I asked for torodol and she said ok.

    Now, I've been diagnosed with tendonitis/bursitis in both shoulders (among other places) by a rheumatologist and my GP. But, it's never been *this* bad. I was hoping (stupidly) that they would maybe do some x-rays or something because something is seriously going on in there. My freaking hand is going numb and I'm in unbearable pain.

    Instead, she sends me home with a printout (you always go home with a printout of the condition your diagnosis'd with) on Chronic Pain Management, which reads (in part):

    You have a painful condition that has required frequent use of narcotic-type pain medicine. [...]

    If your physician determines that you need to visit the Emergency Department for pain control, that doctor should provide you with a PAIN CONTRACT. This is a letter from your doctor which describes what pain medicine you may receive, how much and how often. You sign it agreeing to the terms of the treatment plan. [...]

    Please Note: In the future you may not be able to receive narcotic pain medicine from this facility without a pain contract or telephone approval from your personal physician.


    I didn't read it until I got home and I was livid. I called the hospital and I guess I was angry enough that they put me through to the doctor. I told her that I have *never* gone to them and asked them for a narcotic and that I didn't ask for a narcotic today and that I *do not* appreciate being treated like a drug seeker.

    She replied that she never said (note she didn't say "thought") that I was a drug seeker, that it was a standard form on my condition (hah!) that they give out and that I didn't ask for a narcotic. Then she condescendingly said that she didn't mean to insult me.

    Hell, they offered pain medications when I went a few months ago for a kidney infection and I TOLD THEM I HAVE PAIN medications AT HOME AND DIDN'T NEED ANY FROM THEM.

    I could understand if I asked for a narcotic and they had concerns. But I didn't. And I never have.

    I grew up in a family of alcoholics, drug addicts and drug abusers. I have a drink maybe once a year. I go out of my way to make sure I don't appear drug seeking, only accepting pain medications from my GP both because of my family history (that my doctor knows about) and because of my condition which requires frequent pain control. Hell, when I had that root canal a couple of months ago my mom tried to get me to allow the dentist to prescribe me vicodin and I told her no because I was seeing my GP the next day anyway. And then the endodontist offered me a narcotic and I told her the same thing.

    I resent the hell out of being treated like this. And I'm still up because my pain is still at a 9 - even with more vicodin. And since the torodol didn't work - and it always does - I'm probably going to have to do a steroid taper and I'm going to have to start high. I don't like to go above 30mg, but that's not going to cut it. I hate the way they make me feel, but I can't live like this until May 3, which is only an assessment and consultation appointment anyway.

    I don't like living with pain. And I live with a lot more than I should have to because my doctor is guarded with narcotics (understandably). But, to be in unbearable pain, do nothing wrong, and be treated like this? I'm calling the head of the ER. I am not going to be afraid to go to the ER when I really need to out of fear that I will be labeled a "drug seeker" when I have never asked them for a freaking narcotic.

    I'm tired of the stigma. I'm tired of constantly worrying that I might get labeled. And I'm really tired of living with a constant high level of pain because of it. I have enough to deal with already. Just because I'm not screaming and writhing in pain doesn't mean that it doesn't freaking hurt like hell.

    And now I'm crying. I am nothing like the rest of my family and I will NOT be looked at as though I am.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending you a gentle gentle air hug. Lots of love and support.

    I completely understand how you feel. I have been there many many times. I think going to the head of the hospital is a pretty good idea. This doctor was just plain rude. The form she gave you had nothing to do with what you were going through. Why send you info on narcotics when you don't take them??? The stigma that is STOMPED into you when your body assaults you with chronic pain is just WRONG!!! Even some of us on narcotics go out of our way to make sure we don't get pain/anxiety medications from other docs.

    I so very much wish you could be here and see MY family doctor and rheumy and pain doctor. I am truly BLESSED with these amazing docs who believe in actually treating the problem, not just telling me I am nuts or a druggie. I want you to be blessed that way too!

    For right now, know that I understand and am furious with the doctor on your behalf.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Sweetie,
    I'm so sorry you received such horrible treatment-I too would be furious. I'm also sorry you are in so much pain. I would definitely be writing a letter of complaint when you were feeling better. (((((hugs)))))
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Ok, now I'm just going to explode.

    Ever since M left my doctor's office and the new girl C started working there, I can't get in to see my doctor on the same day. She doesn't leave any "sick" appointments open. I don't know if it's her or if it's management, but it's a problem. It wasn't a problem when M was there and this is not the first time it's happened. My doctor doesn't have an opening until Tuesday. Tuesday!!!

    I have been up since 5:45am yesterday. My pain is at a 10. C told me to go to the ER, so I relayed my experience and told her that I need a steroid injection and a taper. She said, "Well, you can only have so many steroid shots in a certain time frame." I told her that it had been long enough. And asked her what the hell am I supposed to do because I cannot live like this until Tuesday. So, she is putting a note into the doctor. Don't know when I'll hear back.

    In the meantime, I filed a Grievance. It just so happens that for the first time yesterday, and before I saw the doctor, I was given information on patient rights and how to file a grievance, etc. And I did. And I let it out with both barrels. The woman I spoke with was quite a bit taken back. They are going to do a full investigation. In the meanwhile, she is going to get with the nursing director, review my file and see what they can do for me.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry. Been there so many times I avoid the ER like the plague. My doctor did the same thing to me this time about appts. I missed my appointment earlier this month and then with all the Easter stuff I couldnt get in for a regular appointment. After I got back I was hurt because of falling on my knees and needed to be seen but they put me off till next tuesday too. I called the day we got back.

    I am on a pain contract with my doctor but have no idea if it is still in effect. I guess I should tell them I am changing pharmacy's.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Heather, LOTS of gentle hugs. I remember a few years back something similar happened to me at an Urgent Care. - story below, long, don't want to hijack so don't read if you don't want to!!!

    BUT, filing the grievance was the BEST thing you could have done. Sometimes pain is a great motivator.

    I had an abscess in one of my front teeth (it was gross, every time I smiled... Well). Anyway, I also worked 3rd shift. Due to the pain of the abscess (and subsequent drainage), I had not slept in about 72 hours. My dentist was out of town and was scheduled to return on the next Monday. It was Friday afternoon when I showed up at the Urgent Care and asked them to take a look and could they please give me a scrip for antibiotics? (I figured between this and some ibuprofen maybe I could sleep...)

    Doctor comes in, REFUSES TO LOOK, and gives me a LECTURE about how bad it is for me to be DOING DRUGS.


    Of course I was crying from the pain already, so that just made it worse.

    Then to add insult to injury... He wanted to make me a deal with him. He would give me a scrip for Vicodin if I let the nurse give me a shot of penicillin to kill off my "infections". Err - he did not LOOK at my tooth - so any other infection(S) I had were his imagination. I was insulted, and told him so, but then told him I'd go for the penicillin shot (lots faster acting than pills!).

    So the nurse comes in, gives me a shot in the rear. And a scrip for 60 (NO, that's not a typo) Vicodin.

    Took the scrip out with me. While I was paying my copay, I saw the doctor walking by. I interrupted him in front of a bunch of nurses. Asked if he had really meant to write the scrip for 60. He said yes, obviously I was in pain - real sycophantic toward me now that he had an audience - and I looked him in the eye and said, "You just made a deal with the devil, Doctor." Ripped the scrip in two twice, and left. Filed a complaint the next Monday - to the hospital that ran the Urgent Care - and gave them the unused, ripped prescription.

    Found out a few years later that he'd been making "deals" with junkies to clean them up... At least from infection. Guess he figured addiction wasn't quite so catching.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. My doctor has had few "sick" appts lately and often they put me off over a week for an appointment for any reason. I too won't go to the ER if it can be avoided (and we JUST got an urgent care place and it is on my insurance!! Yippee Skippy!!!!) because about ALL they will do unless you spew vomit or diarrhea on them is to give you benadryl. Sometimes they are even "nice" enough to give it to you via shot - but they make SURE you know how "nice" they are being to go so far out of their way. stupid people, grumble grumble

    I finally got in to see her this week and told her that I would have been in several other times in the last year but even if I called at 8:01 am there were no available appts for up to a week. She said that they were telling me wrong and there should be plenty of appts. She excused herself and went out to "correct" them, then apologized for employee turnover and poor training (practice is run by a corporation and training has been cut almost completely apparently). Said if there were any other problems to call her nurse.

    Often the doctor has no idea what the front office is doing around here.. I had one doctor who's office was making collection calls on bills the day after you saw the doctor. Even on lab tests not back yet!!Telling the doctor resulted in a quick stop to that nonsense. No doctor has EVER given me a patient's bill of rights. I have to look that up.

    In your case filing a grievance was exactly right. It is pure bad management to have no appts and not squeeze someone in when a patient is truly ill. Pure poppycock!

    Anyway, I hope and pray you get to feeling better soon. I'm sorry that you feel so cruddy now.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I used to work for a doctor as the appointment setter/receptionist...

    At first, it was policy to leave plenty of "sick" spots for patients who needed to be seen that day. Then in an effort to save money--the policy was changed. Absolutely NO sick visits could be scheduled without the approval of the office manager (and she only approved after reviewing the patient's insurance policy and determining whether we would be 100% reimbursed for the visit!).

    It was the worst!

    I had patients calling me--obviously needing to be seen--and I had to tell them that I had no slots and had to check with my superior to see if an exception could be made.

    And then--did anyone tell the patient this was the new policy? And that I had to follow it or lose my job? Nope!

    They made it seem like the receptionist (me!) was incompetent and didn't know what she was doing--and they would apologize to the patient for MY actions.

    I couldn't take it. I quit shortly after the new policy went into effect.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    (((hugs))) Heather

    And this is why I have to be nearly on my deathbed before I'll walk into an ER. I'll grant them that there are alot of drug seekers out there. I've run into more than my fair share. But thanks to their attitude about drug seekers.........anyone with a chronic painful condition is up a creek. :mad:

    I hope doctor calls you back and you can get in so you can hopefully start feeling better.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Interesting policy at my doctor's office - they don't set ANY "routine" appointments. ALL the day's appointments are "sick" appointments. Exceptions are if a yearly pelvic, etc. are needed.

    It's horrible this way, too. because I have to ask boss for time off, doctor is 30 miles away.

    A compromise would be better.
  11. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. What a horrible experience. I am glad you filed a grievance, and hope you are able to get relief somehow.

    I hate the ER also. They are idiots. husband had a flare the other day, and I just called the pain doctor and we waited untill he called back. husband kept grumping about how long it was taking, and I told him he could sit at home and wait or sit in the ER and wait for them to do nothing. He shut up for ahwile.