Referred to pain mgmnt. clinic/PCP REFUSES to treat between cortisone epidurals.Is this normal?

SuzieDoozie888 Community Member April 10, 2008
  • Any help, please...sorry for the length, but I'm at my wits end: 

     

    I was referred by my PCP to a pain management group at the local hospital (local for me), as he has now become clearly disinterested in dealing with any of his patients with chronic pain.  The pain management nurse tried to explain to him that just because he will no longer write scripts for narcotics for his patients, that does not mean that he can completely dump all of his patients with pain issues onto the pain clinic.  I went there yesterday and saw the PA (my PCP had the afternoon off), and she refused me any treatment knowing my next appt. for another 2 cortisone epidurals plus a trigger point injection are not being done til 4/29.  She said that any treatment/Rx ALL HAVE TO GO THRU PAIN MANAGEMENT GROUP.  I asked her, "Does this mean you're refusing me treatment and now I don't have a doctor?"  her response, "Oh, no, of course not".  I said, well then that means that you can at least write me a script for Flexeril so maybe I can at least walk tomorrow and my muscles won't completely atrophy from lack of use."  Told her I'm not sleeping more than 3 hours a night, my muscles and lower back are very painful and her response was, "We can't do anything because you're in pain management". 

     

    Yeah, I was upset, so I said, "Not only are you denying me treatment, but you're telling me that I really don't have a PCP anymore and any help I need between appt.s with the pain.m.clinic, I'll have to go to the ER????!!!! 

     

    I ended up at a walk-in clinic where the doctor there was appalled at what I had been thru to get anyone to even talk to me regarding meds for the pain between cortisone injections.  He gave me an rx for ultracet (it works okay), and I have 16 of those at my disposal, plus the vicodin the pain management doc. phoned in today, unbeknownst to me.  I just happened to be across the street, stopped by and asked if there was a script for me.  

     

    Has anyone here run into a MASSIVE brick wall after your PCP has referred you to Pain Management facility?  Did anyone else's doctor blatantly lie to the pain clinic and say that a pain med that WAS working for you wasn't working for you?  I had to explain to the nurse that, No, what my doctor told them was incorrect, actually an out & out lie:  He did not want to prescribe this medication for me even though I clearly was suffering from chronic pain not just from a herniated disc, but from several of my joints, as well as a botched wisdom tooth extraction last October ('07) that destroyed the right side of my jaw, but the vicodin was working just fine.  

     

    While I understand that doctors must practice the utmost care when writing narcotic prescriptions for long periods of time, why is it that their fear of the D.E.A. coming down on them causes them to treat patients in a callous, completely unsympathetic, manner?  I believe that my doctor has kicked me to the curb after I've been with that practice for 15 years.  Despite the pain mgmnt. nurse's attempts to get my PCP to see that he must collaborate with pain management, not wash his hands of me, he told her under no circumstances would he be treating chronic pain patients any longer.  Can a PCP do that for existing patients with an existing chronic pain problem with regular meds?  Or, if he changes his policy would original patients be grandfathered in?  I would think that if, all of a sudden, he picked a date to no longer do this, it would've been for any new patients coming in.  He took my whole treatment plan and turned it upside down, screwed my body up because I was off my med. for a month waiting to get into pain management.  Then, after he tells me he won't treat me anymore, pain mgmnt. nurse faxes paperwork over to him for my referral and he took a WEEK to fill it out.

  •  

    It is quite clear to me that doctors are becoming spineless and fearful of doing their jobs (present company on this site excluded).  I believe that refusing to help a patient in pain goes against the first rule of thumb for doctors to first do no harm.  I left my PCP's office after seeing that PA and I was defeated, in pain, angry, depressed, frustrated...you name it, I was feeling it.  When suffering from chronic pain, the last thing you need is to be on an emotional roller coaster arguing with two doctors about whom is responsible for treating you, as both continuously get paid by the insurance company.  At least I'm getting stabbed in the spine with a 4" needle at pain mgmnt.---there's something to show for that (three bruises on my lower back).  Who in their right mind isn't in pain and voluntarily goes for cortisone epidurals in 2 places in their lower back?  I would have to be certifiably insane.

     

    I just wanted to know WHAT on earth is happening to the medical community?  Medicine certainly isn't socialized yet, but I feel like I should  be waiting on lists everywhere for appts. or chronic pain relief.  Only problem, just because a place is called a "Pain Management Clinic" at such & such Hospital, I now know not to believe that pain relief is their game.  Expensive procedures (epidurals, trigger point injection) seem to be what brings them money...having someone stay away because their meds work goes against their business-like handling of the hospital environment.  Giving out scripts would lower their income substantially from the insurance companies.

     

    Well, I'm very sorry for the length, but I had to really RANT about how sorry my health is right now and how much more sorry I am that my doctor assured pain management could help me, and pain management said they'd be working with my PCP, then PCP tells pain management, "No, I don't wanna play...I'm takin' my bat & ball & goin' home"Pinch

     

    If cortisone injections prove not to work for me, do I have any hope of having pain meds at my disposal until and after the surgery?  I would like to know the best questions, also, to ask about this topic as I go interviewing new PCPs who will work with, not against me, for my treatment.


    Thank you for any advice you can send my way!

    Suzanne 

10 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Abused By Systen
    Jul. 13, 2011

    I am also in the same boat. Here's my immediate thoughts.

     

    1. HIPAA laws are being violated through the use of these "little black books".

    2. A class action lawsuit needs to be filed over refusal of care. They all tell you that you have "choices" (loose terms here), then they take those choices away from you.

     

    I'm mad as hell at not only the DEA,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am also in the same boat. Here's my immediate thoughts.

     

    1. HIPAA laws are being violated through the use of these "little black books".

    2. A class action lawsuit needs to be filed over refusal of care. They all tell you that you have "choices" (loose terms here), then they take those choices away from you.

     

    I'm mad as hell at not only the DEA, but doctors and these games that they play. They all get paid, and you get no help.

     

    They are more concerned about their own liability (understandable - to a point), than your well being.

  • darciehurts
    Apr. 02, 2011

    I am having the same experience. Tried 3 injections in my thoracic, with no help with pain. I was informed that they will do nothing for me except schedule another injections 2 months out. When I asked why? Bottom line, Insurance pays more for the injections. If you don't want them, go back to your doc. I am personally filing a complaint to anyone who will...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am having the same experience. Tried 3 injections in my thoracic, with no help with pain. I was informed that they will do nothing for me except schedule another injections 2 months out. When I asked why? Bottom line, Insurance pays more for the injections. If you don't want them, go back to your doc. I am personally filing a complaint to anyone who will listen. I would not recommend getting any injections. This should not be the first course of action, do more research before you let them poke. And complain, file complaints. This is wrong. People suffer. We need help. Doctors are supposed to help us. It's about the money. If anyone can suggest a real pain doctor in Michigan, I would greatly appreciate it. Good luck out there.

  • tammy
    Aug. 23, 2010

    i am currently going thru the very same thing.   I suffer from fibromyalgia and the typical meds given for that, lyrica, cymbalta, etc., i do not tolerate well.  I also am seeing numerous specialists for a diagnosis which they believe thus far is Lupus SLE and possibly wegeners granulomatosis, a form of vasculitis.  my pain is excruciating...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    i am currently going thru the very same thing.   I suffer from fibromyalgia and the typical meds given for that, lyrica, cymbalta, etc., i do not tolerate well.  I also am seeing numerous specialists for a diagnosis which they believe thus far is Lupus SLE and possibly wegeners granulomatosis, a form of vasculitis.  my pain is excruciating at times it hurts into my bones.  the problem for me, i believe is I have medicaide.  I was referred to pain mngmt but no p.m clinic accepts medicaide.  therefore i go back and forth to er constantly.  it is medical malpractice to NOT TREAT CHRONIC PAIN.  I am a paralegal currently not employed due to illness.  I have researched enough to know that I WILL BE FILING A MALPRACTICE SUIT once i have alll my diagnostics completed.  This is absurd and my dr office will not write pain meds due to prior abuse by other pts which has nothing at all to do with me nor should have any bearing on my treatment.  What that does tell me is the dr has shown poor judgement in who he treats for actual chronic pain. 

  • tammy
    Aug. 23, 2010

    i am currently going thru the very same thing.   I suffer from fibromyalgia and the typical meds given for that, lyrica, cymbalta, etc., i do not tolerate well.  I also am seeing numerous specialists for a diagnosis which they believe thus far is Lupus SLE and possibly wegeners granulomatosis, a form of vasculitis.  my pain is excruciating...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    i am currently going thru the very same thing.   I suffer from fibromyalgia and the typical meds given for that, lyrica, cymbalta, etc., i do not tolerate well.  I also am seeing numerous specialists for a diagnosis which they believe thus far is Lupus SLE and possibly wegeners granulomatosis, a form of vasculitis.  my pain is excruciating at times it hurts into my bones.  the problem for me, i believe is I have medicaide.  I was referred to pain mngmt but no p.m clinic accepts medicaide.  therefore i go back and forth to er constantly.  it is medical malpractice to NOT TREAT CHRONIC PAIN.  I am a paralegal currently not employed due to illness.  I have researched enough to know that I WILL BE FILING A MALPRACTICE SUIT once i have alll my diagnostics completed.  This is absurd and my dr office will not write pain meds due to prior abuse by other pts which has nothing at all to do with me nor should have any bearing on my treatment.  What that does tell me is the dr has shown poor judgement in who he treats for actual chronic pain. 

  • wanderer
    Apr. 18, 2008

    Hi Suzanne,

     

    I'm Canadian and posted as ''wanderer'  a while ago. I'm not sure what PCP is, but presume it's primary care physician? What you suffered through certainly is not normal.

    I would report your PCP for unethical behaviour. As you said, a doctor's main duty is to do no harm.

     

    My family doctor referred me to a pain management specialist ...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi Suzanne,

     

    I'm Canadian and posted as ''wanderer'  a while ago. I'm not sure what PCP is, but presume it's primary care physician? What you suffered through certainly is not normal.

    I would report your PCP for unethical behaviour. As you said, a doctor's main duty is to do no harm.

     

    My family doctor referred me to a pain management specialist  (PMS - an anaesthesiologist) who started with trigger point injections. I had to wait 2 years to get into a pain management clinic.Their schedule was monthly epidurals, SI (sacroiliac) blocks and 15 trigger points for 3 months, then 3 months with no treatments. My PMP prescribed oxycontin, oxycodone, lyrica (for neurological pain) and several other meds for depression and sleep, so I never had problems with prescriptions. I convinced them to continue with trigger point treatments monthly during the 3 months without epidurals etc. With all this treatment and drugs, my pain level was seldom below a 5 on the scale of 1 to 10. A new treatment has started called radiofrequency nerve ablation, and it seems to be helping. Hopefully they will use this treatment on all my pain points.

     

    I hope your pain management clinic takes over the prescribing of your drugs, as here the pain specialists will without any problems.

     

    I wish you well, and hope things get better.

     

    Fran

  • Anonymous
    Robert
    Apr. 16, 2008
    I totally understand your problem. In  2001, I had my spine fused from L-2 thru L-5. To make a long story short (I hope) the problem did not go away so in 2006 my doc had a morphine pump installed. Great, right? Wrong! This last month, (March) the pump became disconnected at the spinal column. I was in so much pain. All they could do was up the pump, time...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I totally understand your problem. In  2001, I had my spine fused from L-2 thru L-5. To make a long story short (I hope) the problem did not go away so in 2006 my doc had a morphine pump installed. Great, right? Wrong! This last month, (March) the pump became disconnected at the spinal column. I was in so much pain. All they could do was up the pump, time after time. I wound up with a pocket of morphine the size of a hocky puck next to my spine. So they fixed the problem on the 13th of last month. All should be fine, right? Wrong! At this time I have swollen legs and ankles with excessive pain in my spine right where the cath was connected. Not good I'm thinking to myself. So now I'm off to see a urologist to check my kidneys. Does this sound familier? the referral I mean? That's how they, the doc's, make all the money without getting sued. They refer you out time after time and make lots of money and do nothing to get it. There is a much bigger picture here but I'd be typing most of the evening. I do hope you find help. God bless you richly.
  • Anonymous
    tammy dobias
    Apr. 16, 2008
    My husband has had chrons disease for thirty years and has been and still on predisone. Needless to say the predisone has done so much damage is bone destingy is of a 90 yr old woman. He needs but can not have hip replacements. His hips are bone to bone and mentally I see him just going down the tubes pain is to much to bear. He goes to the pain clinic and...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    My husband has had chrons disease for thirty years and has been and still on predisone. Needless to say the predisone has done so much damage is bone destingy is of a 90 yr old woman. He needs but can not have hip replacements. His hips are bone to bone and mentally I see him just going down the tubes pain is to much to bear. He goes to the pain clinic and is on meth still cant not handle no more pain what can I do for him to. any suggestions?
  • Carol
    Apr. 12, 2008

    SuzieDoozie:

    I tried reading all of your post, but my pain today is off the scale and I couldn't finish it (comprehend) it all.  I got the general "drift" and must say that I think your situation occurs all too often, in this society.  I'm so sorry, and am sorry for all of us who have to "prove" over and over that we need...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    SuzieDoozie:

    I tried reading all of your post, but my pain today is off the scale and I couldn't finish it (comprehend) it all.  I got the general "drift" and must say that I think your situation occurs all too often, in this society.  I'm so sorry, and am sorry for all of us who have to "prove" over and over that we need mere pittence for our pain.  I am fortunate to have a Dr. who prescribes morphine for me, but I've been on the same dose for SIX years and am afraid to even ASK him "don't you think I've built up a tolerance to this doseage by now?" 

    I wish you luck in your continued endeavors to find consistent help with your pain.

     

    Carol

  • okcexplorer
    Apr. 11, 2008

    I surely am sorry to hear of the hoops they are making you jump through to get the care you need. I wanted to let you know you are not alone in your strugles; many patients and myself have experienced this problem. My family physician like yours has a problem with the DEA in the fact that you are in a pain management and this leaves many physician to treat...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I surely am sorry to hear of the hoops they are making you jump through to get the care you need. I wanted to let you know you are not alone in your strugles; many patients and myself have experienced this problem. My family physician like yours has a problem with the DEA in the fact that you are in a pain management and this leaves many physician to treat you like an outcast if you ever need their help with pain medications or something that would help with sleep the fear factor sets in for them! I recommend maybe seeing a phyciatrist as I did and they may be able to help you figure some of these frustration out; if you think that may help? I know one thing for sure is after all those years in pain management; that P.A. 's are not allowed to write scripts and anytime you contact your pain management outside of an prearanged group therapy it goes in their lil' black book and trust me three strikes and your out and I mean I have seen long time patient's years in our group at the time' just Gone!!!! I had the fortune of getting out while I could from under all those narcotics and false hope they made for me ; a choice I am Happy to have accomplished!

    One must also remember these doctor's job is to heal and cure and to do no harm; the fact is they like we are just as frustrated that they cannot help and I use to be so angry at them and then at myself that I could not get the right help. I pray the day will come when these things are sorted out for you and that you not let them brake your concentration in controlling your pain levels because their trully is never an escape from chronic pain just a coping tool and if meds help I truly hope they have the right one's for you.. oh ya! maybe you should look into Synvisc injections they have shown good results and the latter those cortisone is not recommended over long periods of time..

    I hope these words find you in better spirits and I only speak from first hand experience myself..

    Safe journey friend...

    MB

  • Anonymous
    Sam logen
    Apr. 11, 2008
    I'm going through the same thing. After 10 years they cut me loose too. And no one will help me.