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View Full Version : Scared to death of the Pain Management Doc!



sharpiessave
10-18-2011, 09:39 PM
Why the earth am I so nervous about my 1st pain management appointment Thursday? It's seriously got my stomach in knots.

I mean, I should probably be excited, and even feel lucky to get to see the guy. I wouldn't be able to afford it without my hospital's assistance program. And maybe I'll get there and he'll be awesome. But right now all I feel is dread at having to try to accurately describe my pain, and fear that he won't believe me. My GP and Rheumy both know what I've been struggling thru this last year. And I have MRI results showing a decrease in bone marrow signal, and an extra vertabrae, and a bulging disk, but the darned thing says "minor" bulge, which I HATE! as it's giving me sooo much trouble. I honestly wish it showed a huge problem, just to validate the amount of pain it has given me.

The other thing is, I'm feeling better right now than I have in weeks. I finally have a combo of meds that's working for me. Unfortunately, one of those meds is a hardcore dose of Vicodin, which I know I have to get rid of. I've been on it way too long already, and I actually really want to be Vicodin-free, but I'm worried sick about both the withdrawal aspect, and how changing my meds now will quite possibly throw me into another flare. This last week in particular has been awesome, pain-wise, and now (NOW???) I'm jacking with it. So I'm fighting the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" war with myself. All the time knowing that the vicodin shouldn't be considered a longtime 'fix'.

Oh, friends. . . I need all the good vibes and crossed fingers I can get right now.

JuliaL
10-18-2011, 09:53 PM
I totally understand. I get nervous when I have to see new docs, too. So many of them want to reinvent the wheel, subject us to more tests, and arrive at their own conclusions despite our diagnoses. I've had that happen and hate it. It's exhausting, time-consuming, and frustrating. And it feels like they don't believe us or our experiences.

But think positive. A pain management doc probably won't do that. I hope that he will understand your issues, have a plan and be a big help on your health care team!

Nonna
10-18-2011, 11:28 PM
I'm another one who is terrified of doing anything new. When it comes comes to new docs, I show up way earlier cause I'm afraid of getting lost. Think of this guy as your way to Vicodin free future.

You can do this, try and relax
Good Vibs

steve.b
10-19-2011, 12:21 AM
just think of the bee gees

im sending you "good vibrations"

mdawncooper
10-19-2011, 08:37 AM
Here is hoping your pain management awesome is as awesome as mine. Keep us posted.

prothumos
10-19-2011, 11:28 AM
Think positive!

I've had the same pain mgmt doc for 11 years and he has been a true godsend. I honestly don't know what I'd do without him. When you go in, just tell him what you told us - that you worry about being able to really describe your pain, etc. And don't be afraid to "be whiny". Sometimes I think I'm less than honest/less than open because I'm afraid of coming across as a complainer/whiner, but I learned from my pain doc that they can't help if you don't tell them everything. And they will not think you are faking or complaining - they specialize in pain and are expecting you to tell them what's going on.

Good luck and be sure and let us know how it goes!

Robin

sharpiessave
10-19-2011, 03:41 PM
Ok. Ok. Ok. I don't even know where to start. First I should say thanks to all of you for your kind words. Next I'll ask for the opposite of my first good vibes request. I'm imagining the entire AI community shooting brain daggers towards the whole Kansas City metropolitan area. I'm so mad.

So, I woke up late today, and had 2 messages from the clinic. The first one was about bringing everything I could get my hands on, records-wise. The second was a "call us now" message. So I called, and was told that since I don't have insurance, the doc can't see me at my hostpital. Seeing patients at other hospitals is just a courtesy, and apparently they don't accept any kind of alternate hospital assistance. People with no insurance, I was told, have to come to their clinic in the city. The first visit is $360, and the rest (monthly) are 25% off of that. She said, and I quote, "Obviously we have to cancle tomorrow's appointment. If you choose to make an appointment with us in the future, be advised that the wait is approximately 3-4 months, and we expect cash on hand." Like she was reading it. Or, more likely, like she had said it a thousand times and had just stopped giving a sh!# a long time ago.

Lots of emotions going on right now. I've got to admit, relief is mixed in there somewhere. But mostly I feel all second-class citizeny, and sorry for myself. My pain has become so great that I can't work, thus no insurance, and no money. I get that it's a business though, so there's that. But dangit. Dangit. And why did I find this out less than 24 hours before the appointment? It's been on the books for 3 weeks!

So now I call my GP and Rheumy, and see if they have any suggestions. And then I wait to get see if I get approved for medicaid. In Missouri, if you're not on the disabled list, all medicaid applications go to a review board, and that takes 3-4 months too. I'm stuck in limbo again. Dangit.

tgal
10-19-2011, 04:54 PM
Ok. Ok. Ok. I don't even know where to start. First I should say thanks to all of you for your kind words. Next I'll ask for the opposite of my first good vibes request. I'm imagining the entire AI community shooting brain daggers towards the whole Kansas City metropolitan area. I'm so mad.

So, I woke up late today, and had 2 messages from the clinic. The first one was about bringing everything I could get my hands on, records-wise. The second was a "call us now" message. So I called, and was told that since I don't have insurance, the doc can't see me at my hostpital. Seeing patients at other hospitals is just a courtesy, and apparently they don't accept any kind of alternate hospital assistance. People with no insurance, I was told, have to come to their clinic in the city. The first visit is $360, and the rest (monthly) are 25% off of that. She said, and I quote, "Obviously we have to cancle tomorrow's appointment. If you choose to make an appointment with us in the future, be advised that the wait is approximately 3-4 months, and we expect cash on hand." Like she was reading it. Or, more likely, like she had said it a thousand times and had just stopped giving a sh!# a long time ago.

Lots of emotions going on right now. I've got to admit, relief is mixed in there somewhere. But mostly I feel all second-class citizeny, and sorry for myself. My pain has become so great that I can't work, thus no insurance, and no money. I get that it's a business though, so there's that. But dangit. Dangit. And why did I find this out less than 24 hours before the appointment? It's been on the books for 3 weeks!

So now I call my GP and Rheumy, and see if they have any suggestions. And then I wait to get see if I get approved for medicaid. In Missouri, if you're not on the disabled list, all medicaid applications go to a review board, and that takes 3-4 months too. I'm stuck in limbo again. Dangit.

Oh I wish I felt like I did a couple of days ago because I would have been giving infractions because of my cussing! I have been where you are (and still am but in Texas in on Disability I get no medicaid and, if I am lucky, medicare in Oct 2012) and there is nothing that makes me madder! My last trip to the ER they put me in the hospital (thinking I was having a heart attack) and after running several test they told me I needed (another) stress test. The morning came and we were waiting for the doctor to come in and give the order when a LOVELY (NOT) lady from billing came in and began telling me that they are a private hospital and since I have no insurance and no way to pay the bill I needed to get out. Yes, you heard me. I tried to tell her that I explained all that to the ER people but they still put me in and she said 'They are the ER. We are the hospital. The next time you need a hospital please just drive right by us". Yes, LOTS of emotions. 2nd class citizen. I completely understand where you are and what you are feeling.

Now, you need to take a deep breath and listen to me. You are NOT a 2nd class citizen and the ONLY reason that those people treat you that way is because they have never become ill enough to lose their insurance or they would be sitting right where you are! They don't understand that it takes one illness and the "best medical care in the world" slips through your hands like the slime my daughter played with as a child.

I used to be kind of like them (but I was kind). Although I felt sorry for the people with no insurance I didn't understand it. You had no insurance because you lost your job you then got free medical care. The idiots KNOW what the system is like and I hope they never end up where they have put so many people. They are the trash my friend. They are the trash because they lost their humanity somewhere along the way.

You are one of the kindest people that I know and you didn't deserve this. Thankfully you are here with us instead of those people! The answer will come and you will find a doctor. Until then just lean on us!

Desleywr
10-19-2011, 05:07 PM
Can I ask a stupid question from Australia? Didn't Obama introduce a Health policy? What we heard on tv re his drive for health care sounded like here in OZ but it definitely isnt by the sound of it. It sounds soo frustrating for you all yes we have waiting lists but nothing like the problems like you all suffer. I do feel for you all! So sorry!

tgal
10-19-2011, 05:10 PM
President proposed it but for awhile they fought over it in congress. I heard last week that he was backing off of it now anyway

Desleywr
10-19-2011, 05:29 PM
Ok thanks! I thought it got up ! What a shame! We are really so lucky here in OZ we grumble about waiting lists but if emergency we do get great help generally! I have a friend here from U S and she had a pre existing condition heart but got medical insurance and had to pay more premiums. She ended up having heart op and then a second emergency one. She is only here on a visa but if she became an OZ citizen she could get free health care if she gets sicker. She just got a three year position so now she can apply for OZ citizenship and free health. For example my gp dr who I see about every two weeks bulk bills me. Which means he claims the government payment and doesn't charge me the difference up to what he can charge. Nice fellow.

tgal
10-19-2011, 06:47 PM
Ok thanks! I thought it got up ! What a shame! We are really so lucky here in OZ we grumble about waiting lists but if emergency we do get great help generally! I have a friend here from U S and she had a pre existing condition heart but got medical insurance and had to pay more premiums. She ended up having heart op and then a second emergency one. She is only here on a visa but if she became an OZ citizen she could get free health care if she gets sicker. She just got a three year position so now she can apply for OZ citizenship and free health. For example my gp dr who I see about every two weeks bulk bills me. Which means he claims the government payment and doesn't charge me the difference up to what he can charge. Nice fellow.

With no insurance I pay the GP $70 and my specialists (of which I have tons and have seen none since Jan) costs between $275 and $400. My medicines cost just under 400 a month and my disability pays me around $1400. Add living expensive and some months we don't get our meds. Not whining but welcome to my medical life

sharpiessave
10-19-2011, 07:27 PM
Oh I wish I felt like I did a couple of days ago because I would have been giving infractions because of my cussing! I have been where you are (and still am but in Texas in on Disability I get no medicaid and, if I am lucky, medicare in Oct 2012) and there is nothing that makes me madder! My last trip to the ER they put me in the hospital (thinking I was having a heart attack) and after running several test they told me I needed (another) stress test. The morning came and we were waiting for the doctor to come in and give the order when a LOVELY (NOT) lady from billing came in and began telling me that they are a private hospital and since I have no insurance and no way to pay the bill I needed to get out. Yes, you heard me. I tried to tell her that I explained all that to the ER people but they still put me in and she said 'They are the ER. We are the hospital. The next time you need a hospital please just drive right by us". Yes, LOTS of emotions. 2nd class citizen. I completely understand where you are and what you are feeling.

Now, you need to take a deep breath and listen to me. You are NOT a 2nd class citizen and the ONLY reason that those people treat you that way is because they have never become ill enough to lose their insurance or they would be sitting right where you are! They don't understand that it takes one illness and the "best medical care in the world" slips through your hands like the slime my daughter played with as a child.

I used to be kind of like them (but I was kind). Although I felt sorry for the people with no insurance I didn't understand it. You had no insurance because you lost your job you then got free medical care. The idiots KNOW what the system is like and I hope they never end up where they have put so many people. They are the trash my friend. They are the trash because they lost their humanity somewhere along the way.

You are one of the kindest people that I know and you didn't deserve this. Thankfully you are here with us instead of those people! The answer will come and you will find a doctor. Until then just lean on us!

Aw, friend, thank you so much for having my back. I gave myself a few hours of feeling defeated, and now I'm trying to claw my way back to fighting mode. It's so much easier to do that when you know people who are as appalled at the situation as you are. My sister sent me a quote from a Janet Evanovich book that I LOVE. It's Lula being Lula.

"Even when things aren't looking too good, I don't let myself get beaten down. I just start pushing and shoving. Pretty soon I'm so loud and full of bull$&!# I just forget about being scared."

I'm keeping that one close to my heart.

steve.b
10-19-2011, 08:23 PM
for those of us who are not used to the american health system........
it is beyond belief what you go through.

i am sorry you have such a mess to deal with.
and they tell you to reduce stress?????????????

magistramarla
10-19-2011, 08:47 PM
Sharpie,
The healthcare system just makes me so very MAD! It is just not right that you ladies can't get the medical care that you need.
We need to keep pushing our government to pass a decent healthcare system!
Keep trying and pushing for the help that you need.
Hugs,
Marla

Desleywr
10-19-2011, 08:55 PM
With no insurance I pay the GP $70 and my specialists (of which I have tons and have seen none since Jan) costs between $275 and $400. My medicines cost just under 400 a month and my disability pays me around $1400. Add living expensive and some months we don't get our meds. Not whining but welcome to my medical life

That is so frustrating and stressful for you all here if you are not receiving money from the gov you do need to pay some but your system seems to penalize the people who can't afford it. Disgusting really! And if you spend all your energy fighting for a better system you wouldn't have the energy to do anything else. Really sad!

JuliaL
10-19-2011, 10:01 PM
Oh, sharpie, I am SO sorry. I hate, hate, hate our system. It is the SYSTEM and those who prop it up that are damaged and inferior, not the people like us who need and deserve care! But you know what? People like that usually get what they deserve in the end.

The one rheumatologist we had here in town who was just awful and clearly in it for the money recently left. I have a feeling it's because he wasnt making it. Those who could went to Dallas or Lubbock for care. Those like myself who couldn't just found a good internist to treat us and coordinate care. People aren't going to put up with being treated badly and they WILL remember how they were treated, too. I hope those pain management people ultimately get exactly what they deserve.

And you, my dear, deserve better! Better than anything they have to offer, that's for sure!

steve.b
10-20-2011, 12:32 AM
just a thought........
this thread should be copied and sent to your local member of congress.
help them to understand what it means to have a life threatening ailment.

if each of you sent it to your local member........
at least they would not be ignorant, just ------------------?

BonusMom
10-20-2011, 06:49 AM
Pardon me, but didn't the front desk IDIOTS know your insurance status when they booked the appointment? Could they have maybe informed you of these, uh, details when you made the appointment instead of the morning of the appointment and then make you wait several more months for treatment?

Makes me want to "...go all Alabama on them," to quota one if the Hosewives. Yes, I realize it's garbage TV, but it's a guilty pleasure. I digress.

Call their office manager and INSIST they get you in post-haste. This is nonsense!