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TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I know so often we hear about horrible doctor visits and such, and today I had a great visit with my pain doctor .

I've been going to the Integrative Pain Center of Arizona for the past few months. I have to say that by far they are the best pain clinic I have been to. I saw a doctor there on my first visit who did a really good exam, he had an actual pharmacist in with him so that they could discuss medication options with me, for me. Not here's what everyone takes, take this. I've had gastric bypass surgery so my stomach handles pills a little different than a normal tummy would. I liked this doctor.

Well I get a phone call two days before my follow up appointment with him saying he was out on medical leave and I could see a physicians assistant instead. I didn't see another choice so I said okay.

I've realized I really like this woman I've been seeing since. I've seen a lot of pain doctors and doctors in the past eight years since I hurt my back. It seems to be so rare to find a pain doctor who doesn't see you as just another patient. She comes in, and actually remembered me from my last visit. She remembered before even seeing my chart - that I was in a really bad place physically and mentally last month, and remarked about how much better I looked. She also seemed happy that I was feeling better.

She takes the time with me to ask me how my pain is doing. She asks how the meds are working, what side effects I'm dealing with, she asks me if I feel the pain meds are working well enough. Do I feel that I need more medication? Am I happy with how things are going. Do I have any questions?

It was so funny because she asked how the medication was working for me. I told her I guessed. She asked how I was handling the medication since this flare has been so bad. How much was I taking? I told her that I took up to four a day, what I was prescribed. She asked if I took less on some days, which some I do, if I don't need four I don't take four. She seemed confused, and asked if I had extra pills - which I did. She then asked me if I was taking more than four on days my back was really bad, which I don't. I guess that was a shocking thing for her to here. I told her I was told up to four a day, so I take up to four a day. She then let me know that it's okay for me to take up to six a day if I have extra and the pain warrants it. I'm also allowed to take two at one time if needed. She also told me that if at some point I felt I needed more, to let her know. I guess I was shocked more than she was. Both she and the intern pharmacist she had with her were surprised that I wasn't taking pills from other days on days the pain was really bad.

Last month when I went in to see her, she asked to seem me back in a month. Well I'm taking Kadian, a long acting morphine, every twelve hours. They couldn't fit me in until today, and my Kadian ran out on Thursday night. So, on Thursday I had to make the hour and a half drive down to Tucson to get my scripts, then the drive home. Then do it again today. For them the scripts are auto printed every 28 days, you go in fill out a form in your file, they verify some stuff, that's it, if all your doing is a script pick up. Well, she said she was going to go get my script and I told her I had to get it on Thursday because I didn't have enough to last the four days, because they couldn't get me in soon enough. She wasn't happy about it, she said she could understand that with a patient that lived in Tucson, and it wasn't a major trip, but for those that it is a huge effort, and those living far away it's not acceptable. She went with me to sign out, and had the receptionist's put a mark in my file that I get fit in before my scripts run out, so I don' thave to drive that trip again. I know it's such a small thing, but it meant something to me. It seems so rare to find a doctor that understands that just the trip to see them and/or pick up scripts can be a HUGE ordeal.

They've told me that I'm not going to be pain free, they've also told me not to expect miracles, but I know that they are truly working to try to help me. I've had so many horrible pain doctors, and doctors in general, and it meant going through a lot of bad ones to find this place, but I'm glad I did. After reviewing my file and doctors notes, they also didn't make me jump through hoops to get medication. They reviewed my file, and saw I've done trigger point injections, I've done physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and they were nice enough to not make me do it for them all over again. Every other doctor has done a "well lets try my (injections/therapist/etc)".

She's also taking the time to look at films, and research, and ask others about treatment for me. She's not sure if an epidural will help, so I was told at the next meeting she would have my films and records out, and ask for input. She's also going to do the same thing about my possibly going back to a neurosurgeon.

Another thing that I liked, especially knowing how busy that office is, is she told me that she realizes my medications are working well. BUT, she knows I'm in a flare, and she's concerned about how my nerve pain and problems seem to be getting worse. She said that I don't have to, but she would like to see me once a month to keep track of things for a bit longer. She ASKED me! That to me was huge.

She also asked me if I minded going to see a psychologist. I guess they have one on staff, not for counseling, more for helping teach you ways to cope. Helping you deal with acceptance and anger at the hand you've been dealt. She said he helps you deal with getting around having one good day, where you try to fit everything in because it may be the only time you can, that makes you suffer for the next week, stuff like that. She ASKED me again if I wanted to. I told her the truth, I'll try anything.

I also told her it reminded me of figuring out a way to accept the fact that my body is trying to commit suicide without my permission. She actually laughed at that. The truth is that's how I feel sometimes.

Anyways, I just wanted to share. It feels great to finally feel that there is a doctor out there who genuinely cares about how I feel. They care about my opinions, and how I think things are going for me. It's not a grumpy "your here for refills, bye" thing. After soo many bad doctors it's such a huge relief.

For those that live in Arizona - the "Integrative Pain Center of Arizona" is located in Tucson - you can google them too. I know they won't be magic for everyone, heck it might just be for me, but it just feels good to say I've found a team that gets me, and really wants to help ME, not their pocket books. smhair yeah yeah
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

Dx: Degenerative Disc Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, IBS-d, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1, Bulging/Ruptured L3-L4, Sciatica, Neuropathy, Costochondritis, Reflux, Gastric Bypass Surgery 12/6/07
Rx: Kadian 50mg - every 12 hours, Percocet 5/325 - up to 4 daily, Baclofen 10mg - 3 daily, Amitriptylene 200mg - at bedtime, Prevacid Solutabs - 1 daily, various vitamins.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Tammy,
I'm so exhausted right now I can barely read or write but all I can say is I want to come live in Arizona!

That is wonderful news. Just WONDERFUL!

PaLady

ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Tammy:

Thank you!!! for posting about your experience. It gives me hope. I have to agree with PaLady - I wish I could just move to Tuscon tomorrow! idea But even though I can't do that, your story at least gives me hope that maybe, just maybe there is a doctor like that somewhere around here in these parts. Wow.

Wouldn't it just be great if we could all have a doctor like that? To be treated like it mattered how you felt! To feel like more than just a file (and in my case one that only gets opened after the doc walks into the exam room with me...). To think that more than just your bill was important to the clinic! Just imagine!!! roll

I am glad you told us about your doctor. We need to know there's hope for the rest of us.

Thanks,
Ry

TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 8/11/2008 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both. "Hope" is a main reason I posted.

After I hurt my back in 2000 life as I knew it changed overnight. Went to sleep fine - woke up with two ruptured discs.

I've moved around - a LOT. 14 times between Oct. 2000 when I got married to 2005 when we settled here in Arizona. Since being here I'm on my third PCP, and my fourth pain doctor.

I totally believe in being pro-active about your medical help. I realize that for some it's just not an option, but for me I've been blessed with the ability to tell a doctor off (okay maybe that was just in my head) and find a new one.

Amid all those moves I've heard just about every line a pain patient deals with. "It can't hurt that bad." "I don't see anything wrong." "All you need is a little bit of physical therapy." "Sorry, I don't do medicinal pain management - I just do injections." "You're too young to need long term pain medication."

At the same time I've kept a pretty good written documentation of what I've been told, and have kept pretty good records of treatment. It's taken eight years to fine an awesome pain doctor - but it was worth searching for.

If the doctor you have isn't cutting it, ask friends, have family ask friends, and anyone you know who might know someone who has a chronic condition. I also believe in sharing the wealth when you find it. Hence - posting about an awesome pain management place.

*hugs*
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

Dx: Degenerative Disc Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, IBS-d, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1, Bulging/Ruptured L3-L4, Sciatica, Neuropathy, Costochondritis, Reflux, Gastric Bypass Surgery 12/6/07
Rx: Kadian 50mg - every 12 hours, Percocet 5/325 - up to 4 daily, Baclofen 10mg - 3 daily, Amitriptylene 200mg - at bedtime, Prevacid Solutabs - 1 daily, various vitamins.


bubsykitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/11/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
That is so wonderful for you!!! After my own bad experience last week, I am very happy to read about your great Doctor!!! Put a smile on my face! Sure sounds like a keeper to me !!!! I wish that everyone here had a Doctor like yours!!! I am happy with my PM Dr., but am very aware of the many other Dr's out there that are not in the least bit supportive or understanding regarding chronic pain!

Happy Monday!!!!!!!!!!

bubsy


PS - Thank you again for the support you gave me on the other thread - I really appreciate it a lot!!!

Disce Pati
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 8/11/2008 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I just want to say that you described exactly the way my pain center / doc treated me. Up to now I was wondering if I lived in a make believe world - reading all of the horror stories that other members have posted since I joined a few months ago...and then adding all the awful pharmacy encounters....



Hopefully your experience will give hope to others that are still looking for a reasonable pain doc - one who treats you with respect and with compassion and leaves the hoops in the gyms!

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 8/11/2008 8:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so good to hear about something positive, was nice of you taking the time to do this as well...
We should have a good Doctors listing here, as that would be so nice, but then maybe that would over-whelm them...
I currently have a good PM Doctor, but it took me some time to find him...
Lots of continued success with your doctors.
Lots of well wishes for a painfree day for all of us!!!
Till then lots of soft hugz......
************************
* Asthma
* Allergies
* Osteoarthritis
* Spinal Stenosis
* Mild DDD
* Enlarged
Pituitary Gland
* Fibromyalgia
*************************

Patient: "I always see spots with my eyes"
Doctor: "Didn't the new glasses help?"
Patient "Yes, now I see the spots clearer"

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