Update on Pain Management/Neuro appointment

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 8/4/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
First, thanks to everyone who responded to my original thread. Your opinion and support were very helpful!
I went on Thursday to the pain management/neurologist, armed with a list of my issues, and a detailed 4-day diary of my pains, twitches, headaches, and sleeplessness.  After waiting for 2 hours to see the doctor (who those in the waiting room were saying was the best in the area), I finally got into a room.  When the doctor came in, he didn't even look at my list or diary.  He seemed unconcerned about many of the things I mentioned, once I got past the headaches, twitching and neck pain.  He wanted to do an EMG, and I waited another half hour for that.  He did the EMG, which thankfully did not involve being stuck with needles as my husband and father had explained to me, but still hurt nonetheless.  He told me after dictating at a very fast pace so I couldn't understand that I had carpal tunnel in both arms, nerve root damage in my neck (on the same side as my shoulder surgery), and possibly a slipped or damaged disc in my neck.  He wanted me to have an MRI of my cervical spine, and come back in 3 weeks for an EEG and a follow up visit with him.  I asked him about the leg and hip pain, and he said it was probably all related.  He sent me on my way with no medication, nothing else for sleeplessness until he saw me again in 3 weeks.
I'm glad that he thinks he found the problem, very relieved.  I am frustrated that he didn't want to know about everything that has been bothering me, and that he was unwilling to help me for another 3 weeks.  But, whatever, let's do the tests and see what they show.
I have been having a burning pain that started in my right ankle and moved up to inside my right hip since Saturday night, and my husband keeps telling me to call the doctor, but what is he going to do?  It's probably all related, from what he said....but man, it hurts a lot, and I'm feeling really crappy.  Someday this will all get better, right?
Have a great day!
Asthma (diagnosed at 12)
Fibromyalgia (diagnosed 9/01)
Crohn's Disease/Colitis (diagnosed 12/02)
Diverticulitis (diagnosed 6/07)
Chronic pelvic pain/endometriosis, leading to hysterectomy (9/07)
Torn rotator cuff/labrum (repair 11/20/07)
Bladder sling (8/06), cholystectomy (2/06), tubal ligation (2/06), failed ablation (3/07)
Poisitve blood test for wheat allergy, (11/07); Positive capsule endocopy showing Celiac disease (6/30/08).
Also allergic to egg white protien.
Taking Asacol, Prednisone, Humira, NuLev, HCTZ, Lisinopril, Cymbalta, Prevacid, Zantac, Ambien, Lomotil, Soma, Plaquinil, Frova, Premarin, Questran powder/Carafate suspension, Vicodin ES, and LOTS OF VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 8/4/2008 5:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Awe, Shannon, This doctor was very rude to you, omg! My doctor is very glad to have my questons typed up and reads them right there and goes over everything. So wish I could've been with you at your appointment I would've let him have it! Geezee I wonder how some doc's get a good rep. So sorry your going to have to go thru all that testing without getting any pain relief!
So hope your next appointment with him his better if not find another doc, okay..
Keep us posted
Prayers for you and 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"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/4/2008 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Shannon,
How frustrating all this is - the diagnostics/testing, hunt for cause(s), the treatments and procedures, and sometimes I think most of all the waiting. It sounds like this doc is being thorough with his testing, though he has a lousy bedside manner. If you waited two hours and everyone was saying he was good, he may not spend a lot of time listening to patients because he's so backed up. I'm not condoning that, but you may end up at least with some answers.

Is he a pain doc or a surgeon - I can't recall. Because if he's just doing initial testing he probably won't prescribe. You could try calling his office and ask if he'd be willing to give you something to help you for the short run until you see him again. Not sure what as you're already on a lot of meds, but I think it's worth a try. I also think for all of us the anxiety makes the pain worse, so if you could tell yourself you'll make it through the 3 weeks no matter what, maybe you could ease your mind a bit. And do anything that helps relax you. I know that's not much help. It's still worth a call to him, I think.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/4/2008 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   

I am glad to hear that this doctor at least has a plan of action for you and it sounds like maybe he has a bead on what the problem might be. Still, it is very frustrating to feel like you are not being listened to, isn't it? That seems to be more common than not in my experience with PM docs. My PCP is still the only doc I have who actually listens to me and makes me feel like he is really considering everything I'm experiencing when he makes treatment decisions. I often have left doctors' offices just shaking my head and thinking "what just happened?"

Can your husband come with you to your next appointment? I think having someone with you to ask the questions about medications and such is really helpful and it keeps you from looking like you are there after just meds. Also, it is easier for someone who is NOT the patient to keep adamant and focused on getting questions answered and making your voice heard. As the patient, I find that I am much more easily intimidated by the doctor and less inclined to challenge or question them than I am when I am in the advocate role.

Hopefully these 3 weeks will go quickly for you and the tests will reveal some meaningful information and your doctor will be able to come up with a good treatment plan to correct the issue. Let us know how it goes!


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 8/5/2008 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   

His bedside manner did stink.  He is a pain management specialist and neurologist.  I asked the office when I called for the appointment, and he prescribes.  My husband is coming with me next time, like it or not!

I just made the appointment for the MRI, which states the dx is cervical radiculopathy, rule out HNP (Herniated Nucleus Pulposus).  I'm hoping this shows the problem!!!

Asthma (diagnosed at 12)
Fibromyalgia (diagnosed 9/01)
Crohn's Disease/Colitis (diagnosed 12/02)
Diverticulitis (diagnosed 6/07)
Chronic pelvic pain/endometriosis, leading to hysterectomy (9/07)
Torn rotator cuff/labrum (repair 11/20/07)
Bladder sling (8/06), cholystectomy (2/06), tubal ligation (2/06), failed ablation (3/07)
Poisitve blood test for wheat allergy, (11/07); Positive capsule endocopy showing Celiac disease (6/30/08).
Also allergic to egg white protien.
Taking Asacol, Prednisone, Humira, NuLev, HCTZ, Lisinopril, Cymbalta, Prevacid, Zantac, Ambien, Lomotil, Soma, Plaquinil, Frova, Premarin, Entocort, Xifaxan, Creon, Ultracet, Questran powder/Carafate suspension, and LOTS OF VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 8/6/2008 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey Metallichic,

You are so lucky that you found someone in the pain management & neurology biz.  I've gone to several PM specialist that flatly refuse to even discuss my migraines.  In these parts, PM docs only want to treat parts, and the head isn't one of them.  I finally found a PM doctor that is a neurologist at Duke University, only a state away.  Pretty ridiculous that I can't find a single person in my state that will treat me as a whole person.

It REALLY bugs me that DRs won't prescribe pain meds while in the process of diagnosing a problem.  Getting appointments made, test scheduled, taken, and diagnosed usually takes several weeks, if not months, and chances are, you are expected just to deal with the pain with no help until the process is finished.  If a patient is in pain to begin with, it seems totally inhumane to make that person suffer during the whole process.  What is so wrong about trying to keep someone comfortable while searching for a diagnosis.  There is something seriously flawed by this system.

Leigh Ann devil

PS -  I always take my father to doctor's appointments, since the pain usually makes it hard for me to think straight and properly represent my problems.  Not to mention, I have permanent memory problems due to taking the dastardly Topamax too much for too long(without any relief of my migraines to add insult to injury).  Bringing someone with you is highly recommended.

Basic info:
  • On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ, stomach problems 
  • Divorced, 43, spawn-free 
  • Surgeries: Gastric Bypass, Gallbladder Removed (followed by a week in the hospital for a Blood Clot), Impacted Kidney Stone Removed, Broken Ankle, Major Dental work(ten molars pulled, multiple cavities, root canals) 
  • Current Meds: Prozac, Klonopin, Atenelol, Stadol Nasal Spray, Lortab/Percocet, Trazadone, Buspar, Protonix, Tramadol, Visteryl, Carafate Suspension, Co-Q10, B2(Riboflavin), Remifemin(Black Cohosh)
  • Current Problem: Mysterious Internal GI Bleeding, possible ulcer in location of Gastric Bypass
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 8/6/2008 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Shannon,
Do we have the same neurologist???
It sounds just like the guy I see. I would get so pissed off at him because he would spend all this time telling me about how he used to work at Mayo Clinic & he saw these things all the time & he was so amazing & so on & so on. He actually bragged that he could make a diagnosis in 3-5 minutes (I don't think I've had more than 1 appointment with him that ever lasted longer than that window). I felt like he never really listened to me.

As it turned out, in spite of the fact he had *zero* people skills, he was the first one to correctly diagnose & then treat the real issue. I had gone from doctor to doctor repeating my symptoms & going through test after test, but not finding anyone who could actually figure out what was going on. My neuro seemed dismissive when I would try to tell him what was going on - telling me "yeah. okay. I think it's all related. We'll see."

Well, it turned out he was right about everything. He got me into a highly specialized PT program (one of the top in the country) that quickly turned things around for me. Years later, when I finally was able to get a word in edgewise, I asked him why he didn't give me something for the interim period while he ran tests & then waiting for the PT to start turning things around, he told me the meds would have slowed the progress I was able to make & that he was concerned about me taking them because while they may have helped a little with my major symptoms, they would have likely exacerbated some of the more minor ones I mentioned to him.

As far as the sleeping pills, when I had my last EEG I had to go off of the sleeping pills for 2 weeks because they can mess up the results. One thing an EEG can diagnose is root cause of sleeping problems, so hopefully that test will give him the information he needs to help get you sleeping soon!

Are you on a waiting list to get in earlier for the tests if there's a cancellation? Maybe that could help speed up the whole process.

Hang in there! I know it seems like so long to wait when you're in pain & overtired, but if in the end you can find something to make all the rest of your years more bearable, looking back the 3 weeks will seem like such a short time to wait to get the help you've been waiting on all this time.

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