Interesting Doctor appointment Today

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This was my first real appointment with the new pain doctor. Same practice as the old one, but a few days before Christmas I got a call to reschedule the series of knee shots that was supposed to start on Dec 24. The appts had to be rescheduled because my pain doctor left the practice. No one, not even his partners, had any warning or knew where he was for a month. Seeing as he was one of the founding docs, and is part owner of the building AND the pharmacy in the building, well, it was a real shock.

    I like this doctor, which is nice. She doesn't talk down to me, and she really listens. I explained the Vit D problem, and she asked about a bone scan. I told her I had one done a year ago and know it wasn't good, but have no clue what the results were because my primary care doctor closed up his offices and when I went to the appointment the entire practice just wasn't there. No furniture in the building that I could see, no notice,nothing. Seems more and more docs are doing this and it is causing some real problems for a lot of people in our state. Yuck.

    She found the bone scan and came to talk to me some more. Warned that a compression fracture, likely more than one, is going to be n my future. It is what it is, and from the lab work and notes she could see, there isn't much we can do to prevent it. When it happens, it will be a fall or I will sit down funny or bend over and the bone will crumble. It will be pain worse than anything I have had before. I am to call her right away and they can go in and use some kind of cement to fix it. But if you wait too long, it can be very hard to fix and can cause nerve problems. The overall topic came up because I am having problems with my left pinkie and ring fingers tingling and going numb. That was the first symptom of the blown discs n my neck and I didn't realize that they could also be related to a compression fracture.

    I asked her about the future because my pain levels are increasing but my medications haven't changed in almost five years. The new doctor said she would not ever put a patient on the levels of the main pain medication that I am on. Seems it can cause heart problems. She was NOT happy to see no EKG or other tests in my file, and didn't realize I heard her grumble quietly to a nurse about the number of my old doctor's patients that are on this medication and had NO heart tests before starting or after years on the medication at high levels. She sounded frustrated and I can understand that.

    I also found out where the old doctor is. I intend to send him a letter because he left a very large number of patients thinking they had NO doctor and NO care and were dependent on their medications but might not get them. I pay attention in the waiting room and often chat with others. I seemed to be calmer than many others there, and was upset by the other patients because it was so clear that they were terribly upset. It esp broke my heart to hear some of the older patients.

    Anyway, it was quite an interesting appointment. If you know anyone being treated with methadone, PLEASE make sure they have had basic tests to ensure they are not having cardiac issues. Whether it is for addiction or for pain management, apparently there is quite a risk. It should at least be monitored with a baseline and then periodic testing. I am very angry that the old doctor didn't bother to order the test. All he really had to do was check a box on teh insurance form and tell me that it needed to be done. His staff would take care of setting it up, etc.... It isn't like he had to put the little leads on me and run the test or even read the results himself. I know my migraine medication (imitrex) is limited to nine tablets a month because it can cause cardiac problems.

    It was a good day though. I took Jess and we ran a couple of errands and did some shopping. I got and AWESOME bead organizer on clearance because the outer box had a small chip in it. It has fifty smaller inside boxes, a scoop and tweezers! Now I can take apart the jewelry I have been getting at the dollar jewelry stores and get them all sorted. I use them for stitching projects and they are so expensive if you buy the ones made for stitching. We had fun and got some things done too.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Glad you had a good appointment Susie. I didnt realize that about the tingling fingers either. The fingers on my hand are my thumb and pointer finger. Wonder what that means?

    I used to be on methadone but went off it after not too long on it. I was also on a very low dose. I think my morphine is the best medication for me. It doesnt cause me any side effects that I can tell and it seems to help best with my pain. Now honestly nothing is going to completely take away the pain unless I am doped up. I dont want doped up.

    Did you start the shots in your knees? I have started my series for the fourth time I think. My doctor uses Supartz instead of Synvisc. That means mine are a series of 5 shots instead of 3. Yeah pain in the rear but I have gone through it before. This time the first shot actually hurt worse than normal but the second one wasnt bad. I have to go in today for the third one. The shots really arent too bad. They sound worse than they are. Just dont look.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Susie, I love love love "hearing" the smile in your "voice"! I am also really glad you like the new doctor and she listens. So many don't. When my PCP retires I may stalk him till he comes back.

    Well... Mine started in my pointer and moved to middle and thumb... I guess this is a sign of carpal tunnel. (Ugh.)
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, this is the best of a bad situation, because you have a new dr that you like!
    In reg to the first dr, you and the other pts can sue him for abandonment. Don't know how much you'd get, but he can lose his license, which is more important in the long run. Write a letter to the state board of medicine.
    I'm so sorry.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, while losing a doctor like that royally stinks................. we've had it happen least you seem to have gotten a good doctor as a result. :)
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Yes, thumb and first two are carpal (wrist), ring and pinkie are ulnar (elbow). A neurologist can check to be sure, and obviously if you know you're at risk for something like the compression fractures Susie talks about it pays to be certain exactly where the damage is.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was treated for ulnar damage years ago when I was working in data entry. Oddly after treatment I didnt have much trouble again even though I had to do a ton of writing in my work and then typing when we got computers. And obviously I am on the internet a ton now. Its possible that the way I sit now though could be aggravating something because Im on the laptop in my bed most of the time and Im sure its not ergonomic.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sorry, it is VERY possible for a disc to make the thumb and index finger tingle. I have been tested for carpal tunnel and have not had it, but with the first disc those two fingers also hurt.

    ALL of your nerves travel to the spinal cord. The area that hurts, tingles, goes numb is what tells the doctor which vertebrae to look at. My first disc fusion did not happen soon after symptoms started because the primary care doctor thought it was carpal tunnel. He first wanted me to just sleep in wrist braces to try to help avoid surgery. When that helped not one bit over several months, he ordered a test that I cannot remember the name of. It is right on the edge of my brain and I cannot remember it. grrrrrr. Anyway, it was a test where they stick a nedle in you and have you move or sometimes just sit there, and then they move the needle and do it again. Somehow they listen to what the nerves are doing or get some read on them and can tell you what is going on. I remember how awful the test was, and wearing long sleeves to work in the middle of summer, and that my entire arm was hideous looking because each tme he put the needle in he would then move it around and it ended with my arm looking like on huge bruise with track marks.

    problem one of you can think of the name. I hate that I cannot think of the word.

    Anyway, it very much could be carpal or it could be a disc issue. The position of the pain says which nerve, and then the doctor can do an MRI to see if you need surgery. I was told that if my doctor hadn't wasted so much time between when I saw him about the symptoms and when he did the mri and sent me to a surgeon, I would not have been told to adjust to not getting full mobility in my hands and my neck. I worked as hard as I could and did get full use back in my hands and in my neck. By the time he finally ordered that mri, I had symptoms in both hands, which is quite rare or so they say. I did get full use and mobility back, at least until the next disc ruptured ten yrs later.

    Janet, a while back you had your back suddenly start hurting and you didn't know what was going on. The way you described the pain is what my doctor said to watch for. Did anyone check for compression fractures? As it is bone, surely an xray could see it. I know you won't have an MRI and I understand totally. I wish your doctor would order full anesthesia for an mri for you. I know it is possible because they did that with Jess when her shaking started.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Your doctor used a needle for that? Eep. Neurologist I saw used these small electrode thingys on the surface of my arms to diagnosis my carpal tunnel. Can't really describe them, and it was almost 20 years ago but wow... that seems really invasive when better technology should be available to diagnosis these things. I'm sorry you went through all that, and for nothing.
  10. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    EMG, Electromyelogram I think. I had one back in the 80's, and the needle was so dull I swear I could feel it tear through muscle fibers. I planned on going right back to work but holding still while being bit by a long fang all over my arm was exhausting. I went home and slept for 4 hours.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I also had that dratted EMG! Had that test for the Ulnar. I do have disc damage in my neck because I seemed to have a death wish in my teens and kept trying to decapitate myself. I think I must be part cat because I really must have 9 lives. I have cheated death many a time when the doctors have said that they dont know why.

    Susie, I did get my MRI a bit over a year ago in a standing MRI place. I finally found a place that does it here in NC. Best invention in history if you ask me. Actually it should be called a sitting MRI because you sit down. Perhaps you stand for knees or something. I will go back there for any other MRI I ever need again. They were great and I wasnt afraid a bit once I got in the machine and we got going.

    I do have some issues down in my lumbar area that we are watching carefully because I am having issues with my bladder. We arent sure if its a neurogenic bladder or if its simply bladder spasms that wont go away. We are trying medications first but so far that doesnt seem to be helping very well.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    EMG is right. I couldn't remember that name to save my life. I was so worn out from the dr appointment and errands that I couldn't stay awake yesterday. This morning? A migraine starting and a child to kill when he gets home. That boy of mine takes stuff out of the fridge and won't put anything back. He left out the eclairs I bought for my dad's birthday tomorrow. They are ruined and NO ONE in our town makes them. Not one single place because the dough is very different from most baked goods. I can make them, they are just a monumental PITA and a mess. I am so angry and will have to drive to Tulsa tomorrow to replace them. It is actually easier and cheaper to drive 80 miles and buy them than to make them, and for me to think that says a LOT about them.

    That boy will be broke for a while cause he has to pay my gas and the cost of the new ones. He also left about fifty bucks worth of other groceries out for several hours, but none were ruined. They may not be as good, but they will not make us sick. The dessert he left out is milk based and won't be further cooked the way some of the things he ignored will be. Given my mom's and my immune problems, testing the limits with food poisoning is a super dumb idea, and very dangerous. Little Jerk.

    Janet, I didn't realize you had found a place with an MRI you could handle. That is WONDERFUL!

    I am sorry about the bladder problems. No fun. I have occasionally had weird spasms in my bladder ever since my hysterectomy. So far it hasn't been a problem, it just feels odd. I hoep the medication works or they can find a way to help. Nerve issues are the PITS. For the longest time with both my neck problems the doctors tried to tell m it was nervs and not neurological.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Susiestar, I hate it when doctors tell your it's nerves, as in, you're a nervous person. I am so, so, so sorry you went all that time with-o the right tests and results. But at least you have a new dr now.
    Keep us posted.