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