Major problem with pain clinic.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am having a huge issue with my current pain management clinic to the degree that I am going to look for a new one. In fact if I had known about the problems with this place before I started there I dont think I would have ever walked in the doors.

    I have no clue if any of you remember that they have PA's that see the patients there but they have one actual MD who does procedures on two days a week but they book those procedures as many as possible to increase revenue. Im not stupid. I sit and watch. First visit I was there they tried to convince me to do a trial of a shot in my back. They said if that worked I would do one that lasted longer. Well that trial one hurt like a @itch.

    I have had to practically beat them off to stay at the low doses of medications I am on now.

    Last June this PA saw me and talked about this epidural procedure that he said might help me. I said I would look into it and think about it. Instead of discussing it with me at the next appointment,he went ahead and told the front desk to schedule me for the procedure at my next appointment. I told the front desk absolutely not. They got snippy, I got snippy back and we have been going back and forth since then.

    Finally I was supposed to have an appointment mid September but they refused to see me until I had the procedure. I refused to have the procedure! They said well I had to schedule the procedure and talk to the doctor when I was in the room. Well fine then. They went into their whole spiel about bringing a driver, nothing to eat or drink ...blah blah. I told them whatever. You should have seen their faces when I showed up without a driver...lmao.

    Actually...I cant do that stupid procedure even if I wanted it, which I dont. Its a steroid shot straight into the spinal canal. Oh that sounds like a wonderful idea for a bipolar person doesnt it? Especially for one who reacts badly to even small steroid shots in my knees. Yeah...lets just mainline steroids straight to my brain through my spine! Anyone wanna go on a magic carpet ride!

    This place wont even view my most current MRI of my spine. I have tried to get it to them every which way possible and they just arent interested. They say they have one from somewhere but I have no clue where. It has to be older than hell. Or its just my knees. Probably CT's and my knees.

    Then to top it off and make this not a complete novel. The PA shorted my medications. He cut me from 45 mgs of morphine twice a day to 30 mgs of morphine twice a day without even telling me. I didnt notice it until I took the scripts to the pharmacy. And he cut my PRN pain medications to 30 pills a month.

    His reasoning was that because they made me wait 17 days past my appointment date to get in to see them and I managed it that I didnt need to be on the regular dosage I was on. The way I made it was because I knew they were keeping me waiting and I had slowly weaned down enough that I could stretch the medications out...I was miserable. It doesnt mean I want to continue to be.

    Now I went online to find out how to file a complaint on these people and I find out that the MD has been sanctioned for employing a PA that didnt have her PA license back in 02. Then the PA that saw me has ALL kinds of stuff on him! Like he has a DUI on his record, he was convicted of larceny, he was sanctioned in 05 for walking out of a clinic because he got in a fight with a MD and he left an entire office of patients without a dr there!

    How does NC allow a lying, thieving, drunk be a pain clinic dr?

    Oh...and then today...this pain clinic has been calling Tony and Billy relentlessly all day trying to reach them. Hmm...maybe its because I threatened to call the AMA and make a complaint.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I must say you lead a very interesting life.
    If you're like me, though, you'd probably trade "interesting" for... comfortable, or at least predictable!
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That was a bit disjointed because to actually get the entire story out would take a novel. I have got to find a new pain clinic. I cant wait to find out what they want from Tony and Billy though. Neither one of them managed to answer them when they called. Tony tried to call them back and the receptionist acted like she didnt know why he was calling. Sigh. Hopefully they try again tomorrow.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...I just heard something on the news and I probably saved my life by being stubborn.

    There has been a major outbreak of meningitis here in the east. Some of the main states are VA, NC and SC and it is happening because of the epidural steroid pain shots that the pain management clinics are doing. They have been getting a bad batch of the medication from some plant.

    Now maybe I just had a premonition. But I also had a very leery feeling about anything passing the blood brain barrier because of what I went through before. I dont think I could have handled another episode. I get extremely anxious about ear infections now because of how close those are to the brain. One almost killed me. No way am I sticking anything into my spine. Then I turn on the news and hear this news? OMG! I feel like I just dodged a bullet.

    This is the second time in my life something like this has happened to me. I learned once before that a doctor that I wanted to do surgery on me was a convicted felon and was wanted in another state. Weird.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, great job in trusting your instincts.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Janet, this place scares me. It has for a while, as you described the clientele, the long waits, never seeing the actual doctor, etc.... I really pray you can find a pain clinic that is more like the one I go to than a puppy mill that just wants to churn out procedures and rx's the way puppy mills churn out dogs with zero regard for the dog or the family that ends up with the dog. They have seemed very callous in the past.

    I wonder what they will tell Tony and Billy about your private health issues. Even WITH a release a reputable doctor will only release info in person or in writing. I bet they are calling to either get $$ claiming you owe them, or to try to convince Tony and/or Billy to get some sort of guardianship over you so that you are unable to file a complaint. I know two people who have had unscrupulous pain docs do this. Or to convince them that you are crazy and just 'addicted' and not really in actual pain so they want to talk Tony and Billy into doing some type of intervention and sending you to rehab rather than to actually treat the medical issues at hand.

    Do you know if the pain doctor is even board certified or if he had ANY training to be a pain doctor? Cause it sure doesn't sound like it. In many states a doctor can claim to be an 'expert' with-o actually being board certified. I know some docs who had NO training in pain management and what pain does to the body or anything but they said they were pain docs and they got quite a clientele. A clientele they overprescribed to, and some who were elderly who almost died from the amt of medications they were started on. It is truly scary.

    My pain doctor's practice has had a few times where I was upset over something, mostly the 2 times the rx's were ordered and supposedly were mailed but never arrived. Once I got the bureau of narcotics here involved in finding out what happened, and they had proof that I did NOT fill the rx's anywhere, that got smoothed out. Having ME call the cops about t seemed to get through to the one nurse who gave me attitude and now we get along fine.

    That shot is bad news for more reasons than just your bipolar. Yes, LOTS of them are done every year. but there is data out there that shows the steroids are not supposed to be injected into the spinal column and that this can cause real harm. I had it done one time because otherwise I couldn't get the disc surgery I needed desperately and it was truly horrible. The doctor who did it (ortho guy) did a wet tap and it didn't clot for a long time. The doctor also flat out refused to believe that I had problems because he 'never' has a patient who gets a wet tap. which is impossible, it is not something that can be predicted or fully prevented. My mom has had a lot of these shots and they have been super helpful for her though. She has few problems but did get a wet tap and that was just a nightmare.

    You NEED a reputable pain doctor. I have seen the PA at my pain doctor's office, but no one can see her for two consecutive visits. They require you to see the doctor and nt just the PA. The PS is fantastic, usually talks about more non-pill things than the docs. She is the one who ordered my TENS unit, my good sleep study, and several other things have had been super helpful.

    I hope you get a new pain doctor, one who listens and cares about YOU, not just abut his $$$.

    I wish I could be more help. (((((hugs)))))

    You might tell future doctors that you are allergic to steroids. It often simplifies it to tell the doctor that rather than that it spins your bipolar out of control. just my experience though.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet, it might be weird, but I've had the type of thing save my fanny several times. I'm glad you balked.

    I'm still in shock the way my pain was treated at the hospital. They actually did a superb job, but Ive grown so used to docs treating everyone as potential addicts.........well, it stunned me.

    First I found out by accident that he'd ordered morphine. So I just figured it was every 4 hrs, which is the way I've always had it. Nope. 1 gram every hour if needed. I nearly fell on the floor! Now I can handle that easy......I've had to take it so much over the years. But wow. I didn't use it like that either. Only a couple of times I had to take it that close together.......then when it didn't do much, I opted for the nitro that dilated the vessels and stopped the spasms.

    Upon discharge.......I didn't really figure to get any. Regardless of the fact that I still needed it. (I'm used to having to practically beg) Well, he gave me oxycotin........only 20 to hold me until I can get into fam doctor and finish the testing. But that stunned me. I've taken 2. lol One last night........and one a short while ago. Oddly enough, they work better than the morphine did. Seems I managed to stumble across a doctor who still takes pain seriously. :)

    I think searching for a new pain doctor is a very good idea. This one is too eager to ignore your wishes and do as he pleases.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I will have to check these guys actual skill set but I am still wondering how a drunk is in pain management. I do know he didnt report he is working in Lumberton when he was supposed to. Everything is on line these days. Gosh darn for It even showed his hours working at each of the pain clinics associated with the franchise in sanford and fayetteville but he didnt list Lumberton when it opened up the end of 2009. Gee. Poor guy forgot to call and tell them that. Tsk tsk. Guess who is telling them that? I think I am going to run his criminal record again too. Just in case his fingers have gotten stickier.

    I think I have at least one new one but he is a bit far. I will check out Laurinburg tomorrow which is a bit closer. Not much. I would hate to have to drive all the way to SC and I am not sure my medicaid would pay down there. I really dont want to drive down to Myrtle beach once a month. Thats like 90 miles each way. I would like to keep it within about 40.
  9. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like they're punishing you for not doing the procedure. Funny, any dr. office won't even speak to me about my adult child's BILL! Why on earth would they be so unethical to call Tony? Janet, call them and get the correct dosage -this is about you- and absolutely find someone new. If they won't give you the correct dosage, tell your gp, try and get it from him until you can get in to someplace else.

    Good for you for standing up and reporting them! That's awful. I am driving through that exact area on I-95 either this coming Monday or 2 weeks from then. Wanna meet for coffee?
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, glad you followed your gut! Hope you can find new pain management partners without the long drive.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I just heard the story about the menengitis outbreak, too, and am glad you saw it. Who on earth could pressure you into this???
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The pressure for these epidural steroid shots is HUGE. The doctor who did the epidural shot before my surgery was awful. Got upset when I told him he didn't wash his hands long enough. You NEED twenty seconds of scrubbing, not just introducing soap to your hands. I even suggested he sing a verse of twinkle twinkle little star or old mcdonald because they can help you make sure you scrub long enough. And I made him go back to the sink and wash again. Then he messed up the shot and a month of my life. He tried to talk me into becoming his patient - and a month before had REFUSED to accept me as a patient after getting my files. Twenty years of records wasn't 'enough' history of chronic pain. But in the office he went into heavy sales pitch. I truly was disgusted. Shortly after that, the doctor was investigated for unsterile practices and getting a LOT of people very ill with MRSA. They traced it to the doctor's bad handwashing!!

    But if I refused the shot then they wouldn't approve the operation and I NEEDED that operation. The disc was pretty much just gone and the vertebrae were grinding on each other to the point it was dangerous.

    I am glad you stuck to your guns about refusing the epidural. You know your body better than the doctors do. You live in it all day, every day, not just the 10 min the PA spends iwth you every few months.

    I drive 90 min to my pain doctor every month. But I like the drive and husband teaches 20 min away so it isn't a big deal. And they just opened a new Sam's across the street! (LOL!) Plus there is a great bookstore and a Michael's across the street. So I never mind going.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    What a nightmare. So glad you didn't get the procedure. That sounds like one of those horrible pain clinics they profile on dateline or shows like that. I went to a hospital based pain clinic and always saw the doctor. They were wonderful. Had a warm pool and many options. Iwas never asked to do a procedure like that. I did get botox in my back muscles which was wonderful Iwish something like that was closer to you. Not surprised at all that they have criminals there ...legitimate people probably have more options for better places to work??? I hope you can find someone soon!
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is one of those Dateline places.

    One of my pet peeves is doctors sitting out at their little desks while patients are in the exam rooms and we can all hear them gossiping about "us patients" like we are deaf, dumb and blind. It comes from being called "the BIPOLAR in exam 24 needs xxx". That happened in the ER when I was there for a migraine.

    Anyway, at this pain clinic the so called doctors were sitting at this desk that looks like a two tiered kitchen bar. They and the nurses chat and laugh and talk about the patients and make fun of how they will walk in with canes and hobble so slowly but then they see them in the parking lot standing up much better. They also were saying stuff about MRI's and xrays and just eyeballing people for diagnosis's. They were acting like they could tell what was wrong with someone just by looking at them! Now I will be damned if I know how they are getting all the MRI's when they wouldnt take mine for love nor money but I have a feeling that was because I got it on my own and it wasnt done through them so it must not be legitimate enough for them. Thing is I had it done at a very prestigious place. Much better than my local hospital.

    This place is a joke. I have been looking online for other places and I am going to make some calls tomorrow to try to feel them out. I will make sure that none of these doctors have ever worked for them for sure. I know I cant drive 90 miles every month, I simply cant do that on my own. My body isnt up for that much seat time because I have to drive to Fayetteville every month for my psychiatrist appointment every month too and thats a 35 mile drive too. If I have to go to the GP, that is 20 miles. I dont do well driving that long for hours on end anymore. It wouldnt be too bad if Tony could take me but that isnt gonna happen.

    One thing I have realized as I looked at my calendar and my rx printout is that the clinic had me come in shorter and shorter times apart there for awhile...Probably due to holidays. It actually put my appointments off by about 12 to 13 days from when I started going there and I had my appointments at the end of the month. It used to be my psychiatrist was on Tuesday and my pain doctor was on Wednesday the last week of the month. Well something changed with the pain clinic for some reason but I couldnt change when I got my pain pills filled because you cant fill them anymore frequently than once every 30 days. Just cant. So my rx's would have to be held at the pharmacy until the beginning of the month even if I got then on the 15th of the month.
  15. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, you are on the right track searching for another pain clinic - they sound like a bunch of ignorant idiots!

  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I'm sorry that the drive is too much for you. I guess it is a bit different here because we routinely have to drive much farther for things. Just how it is here - my dad drove almost 90 min to work (one way) for over 20 years and if we want a mall or most any major store except Walmart and now Best Buy (opened about a year ago) we have to drive that far. But I usually have husband with me when I go to the city, mostly because he has worked one job or another there for years.

    If Tony cannot/will not take you, why can't Billy? He drives, and if I remember correctly he isn't working a lot of hours at Radio Shack, right? Maybe taking you to appointments should be part of his rent/chores? If it would save you from the horror of this pain doctor, and if you explained how dangerous this pain doctor is, surely he would do this for you.

    How far apart are your appointments? My pain doctor only sees me every 3-4 months. For refills I just call or go to their website and fill out the online form and they print them up for me to pick up. They mail them to some patients, but after I had two rx's not come, mine are for pick up only. It takes less than five minutes to go pick them up. Unless we are changing medications there really is no need to see a doctor every month unless the doctor is just very hungry for $$$. From other people I know who see pain docs, this is how their clinics are run also. Some pain docs want you to bring your medications in each month for a count, and mine tried this. But it got WAY too dangerous and they had a problem with people lurking in the lot or the parking lot next door to try to rob people. That lasted about a month and they told patients to not bring in medications unless asked. If you keep running out of medications early then you have to bring them in to be counted, but otherwise you don't. They still have a cop on the premises when they are open, but they always have. Not a security guard, a police officer.

    Plus my pain doctor is now accredited as a hospital. they follow all sterile procedures and would NEVER talk about a patient the way your doctor does. I have only heard staff talking about a patient as they make appointments ("Mrs. X, will Monday the third work?") and one time I heard the phone nurse explaining that the reason someone ran out of medications was because they took too many and they couldn't get a new rx until the refill date even if they ran out. I only overheard taht because I could hear the patient screaming - not the nurse. It wasn't on speaker but this person was screaming like a banshee. My doctor would fire anyone who talked like your office does. They use VERY soft voices when discussing patients except when they are in their offices.

    I hope you are able to find a really GOOD pain doctor who is close enough for you to not have too many problems getting to them. There is NO reason for a pain doctor to act the way yours is.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    My doctor did that too ...after a year I only had to come once every six months . Even for q I get controlled medications three scripts post dated for each month.
    We have more and more back/ spine clinics here ....could that be a search option?
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Oddly, I'm in a lot of pain myself, so it is hard for me to read all the posts fully.
    I say, good for you that you spoke up when you did and that you checked out the physician and/or PA in the place.
    I agree, there is a lot of undue pressure placed on patients to perform procedures (epidural shots?) that may or may not be in their best interest. (I have personal been through something kinda/sorta similar). Wise of you to give it thought FIRST. It is your right and your wisdom. However, you have cost them money and have flexed your muscle and they wont care for this. Best to play the game at least a tiny bit and make sure when you refuse treatments, do so nicely, assertively (not aggressively) and politely. (Throw up later at home if you have to.)
    husband had the epidural for his back and it did NOT help him and he felt kinda of weird afterward for a VERY LONG time.
    YOu can always go to another place and you might consider saying something like "it was too far for me to get to them." or "For some reason, we weren't communicating as well as I would like."
    I did the later one once with an outrageously arrogant SOB big shot doctor and asked another doctor in a related field in the same bldg. to give me a recommendation for someone else. I could not STAND the guy, but did NOT give any examples or what not. I very calmly said "Some of this stuff is complicated and Dr. So and So is not always good at communicating. Would you happen to know a adoctor that provides the same type of tx that is a top notch communicator." "top notch communicator" was code for a skilled, professional, good doctor who is also RESPECTFUL. She totally understood what I was saying, but I saved her any uncomfortable feelings and she recommended an out of this world, wonderful doctor. When I got to the new doctor, I never said a word. When you feel better and if you get a moment, please tell me what you think of my thread re: pain here on WC. UGH!
    Feel better. Sounds like you are on the right road. Hang in there!
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie, Tony drives anywhere between an hour and a half to 2 and a half hours a day to work each way a day. I know how driving lengthy distances works. All my doctors now require me to come in monthly. It used to be that I only had to go into my psychiatrist once every 3 months but now I have to go monthly because he closed his private office and hired on with a group. No one here does narcotics in the mail or online. Nor do they give more than one months worth.

    The really odd part of this is that I have only seen this PA maybe 4 times in the 2 years I have been going to this place. Normally I see either a woman or this wonderful doctor who is a bit older and we got along very well. In fact I loved that man. He was so pleased with me that he told me he wished all his patients were like me! I really felt like I had someone in my corner with him and that we understood each other. He understood I didnt want to up my medications constantly and that I was trying to go very slowly because I actually hope to be around awhile and if I am, if I am on very high medications now, what will I do then?

    Right now I see people in that waiting room who are about 25 years old and they are on 100 mgs of morphine twice a day, 40 mgs of oxycontin 3 times a day and get 90 5 mg lorcet a month to take as needed! Now you tell me what is going to help those people when they are 50 much less 75! Heck, I get a toothache and my morphine doesnt even touch it. I have to take one of my ketoprofen and a lorcet to help it. The morphine is only for chronic pain. Now if I got a shot of morphine it would help but that is a different formula. The amount that I get through extended release is so slowly absorbed that it isnt going to touch something immediate.
  20. anthonyinjaxon

    anthonyinjaxon New Member

    I'm in pain management myself and it amazes me how many young people are in there and getting pain medications. I am 60 and I have 2 bulging discs L-5 c-6,7. My neck also has spurs that touch my spinal cor. I can't move my neck very far from right to left when I drive and come to a stop sign I have to move my entire body to see each direction. My neck gives me extreme pain and in the lower back its pinching my sciatica nerve. I hurt constantly and my medications bring my pain down to a 5 I wake up every morning at pain level number 8, I'm on opana er 30mg. 2xday, oxycodone 30mg. 4xday, soma 350mg 3xday, valium 10mg 3x day, trazadone 150mg. 1xday at night for sleep. I sleep about 5 hours a night at the most. I went to 2 surgeons and both were of the opinion that a spinal fusion would fix my back and 2 pieces of cadaver bones put in my neck these doctors were at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. If I consented to the 2 surgeries I would have to sign a waiver and not sue for malpractice. Did my home work and come to find out that fusions have a 50/50 success rate, could not find anything positive about cadaver bones in my neck. I think a lot of these young people are selling their medications. I know 2 people who are disable and they scream at me and say they have to sell their medications to make ends meet. I scream back that every pill ya'll sell and make money on karma will take it back 7 times. I despise people who sell their medications and I hope they all get busted and go to jail, because of people who divert their medications it makes it harder on the legit people. TN. is very strict on their pain medications it all goes into a data base by your name and birthday, I'm on SSDI and get medicare I worked 35 yrs and made good money and my check is $1484 a month. I told them 2 women who divert their medications they should have worked, they both gamed the system, had babies and don't know who the baby daddy is they both make me sick to my stomach but I bite my tounge they both have too much drama in their lives and I tell them to stop selling pain medications. I bet everyone who is in pain management knows at least one person who is diverting, that adds up. It's going to come to the point that you will have to have terminal cancer in TN. to get pain medications because of diversion. Them type of people whom have lied and got a crooked doctor and lawyer and got on the SS dole is about 35%. They are going to start reviewing cases in Jan. 2014 starting with people on SS disability with-learning disorder, next is the fibro people, then the back people. If you are under 40 and on SS disability and do not have a dibaliting disorder expect your case to be reopened and you will be sent to SS doctors again. I pray that they try to cleanse the system of the fakers, it's wrong morally, again Karma will be there for them.