another day, another dollar

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 5/27/2009 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, everyone,
I went to see my neurologist today, broke down and cried for a long time. When I first got to the office, I was escorted to the business office. When I got there she said I had a high bill, but she was sorry she called me in there because the insurance company was working on it. When the doctor came in I broke like a glass thrown against the wall. She asked what was wrong. I told her the side effects of the neurontin and Elavil. I talked about my new doctor telling me I was just going to get worse with my back hx and referred me to a pain doc. I talked about my pain, job and home life. She told me that 25 mg of Elavil was a low dose and increased it to 75 mg. I told her that I decreased the neurontin to 500 mg at bedtime. She told me that I should see a pain doc and stick with them. I am going to see the pain doc at her and my neurosurgeon's office. the other pain doc in there I didn't get along with. She said I would like this doctor. Is this a bad choice since I didnt get along with the other doctor in pain management?? The primary told me of a doctor in the area closer to me. Where should I go? I am confused.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9255
   Posted 5/28/2009 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi CShelp!!

I'm sorry you're having such a miserable time getting your pain under control. I know what it's like to break down and sob at a doctor's office. I've done it several times and I hate it but they are used to it. But it is hard on us. Try not to let that part bother you.

As far as which doctor to try, remember this : YOU are hiring the doctor, not the other way around. Interview both of them and see who you get along with best. It's that easy...really! Tell them you want a consultation to meet the doc. Discuss the types of treatment he/she uses and how they treat someone with your condition. Be honest that you are interviewing another prospective doctor. It's easy to forget who's in charge when it comes to doctors. We seem to be afraid of them and believe they have total control. That may be true on some things but as far as who's hiring and firing...that's YOUR choice.

Let us know how things go and always feel free to ask questions or opinions.
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/28/2009 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
It's good that you at least have a choice. I sure understand how overwhelming it can feel, and to boot to be escorted into the billing office at the beginning. I know I'm always trying to remember everything I want to talk with the doctor about, and having to deal with billing issues first would totally throw me off.

Since they have your records at your neurologist's place, you could go there first, and as Chutz said if you have an initial session and you don't feel it's a good fit, you can always say there's another doctor who's closer you'd liket to try out. Another factor might be how long it's going to take to get into see either doctor. If you can get an appointment with one in a couple of weeks, but the other it will be a couple of months, make the earlier appointment and go see that doctor first. Sometimes I've made two appointments, then cancelled one, but with pain doctors that could appear like you're doctor shopping unless you do what Chutz suggested and be up front with them both, then decide on one.

Hope you're feeling a little better tonight.



Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 5/28/2009 8:17 AM (GMT -6)   


As usual great advice from PA and Chutz.....Seriously finding a good Dr. is like everything else in our lives if it doesn't feel right...don't do it!  I worked with Dr.'s all my career and when I first started at age 17, I was intimidated, I thought they were so great.  After a few years being connected by referring patients or visiting them myself realized they are no better then you and I, some are great and others take the time to interview a few!  I've been where you are and did not settle till I found one that understood, really cared and was open to listening to ME!  PA and Chutz are so right this is YOUR choice! 

Being approached by the Business Office before an appointment is upsetting no matter what the reason....I take a list with the keynotes I want to discuss, so I don't forget to ask my PMD!  My memory is NOT what it used to be, so this helps me so much!

Also, in my opinion a big clue to how the Dr. is will be is his FRONT OFFICE, if they care you know he will care! How you are greeted WILL matter to a GOOD Dr.  I had a situation a few months ago and it took 2 days to get a call back, when I had my appt and told my Dr., he said he had heard the same complaint several times that day.  The following week when I returned for my re ck, there were several new faces at the Front that appointment he gave me his email address just in case I had the same situation and couldn't get through.  I always felt but knew at that moment, this was my best choice for a Dr. for me!

Good luck and keep us posted!  Hope you are feeling better!






White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 5/28/2009 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
You have been given some very good advice, Doctors can be intimidating sometimes, but remember they work for YOU! You hire them them you can fire them! It is sometimes difficult to think of them in these terms, but if you need something fixed or repaired, you try and find someone that will do the job, and do it right, and also someone that you can trust and get along with. Well what is the difference with a Doctor? Your hiring them to fix you are you not? With a Pain Doctor your hiring him/her to fix your pain! As Chutzie and PALady said just be up front with them and let them know you are looking for a Doctor that will care about YOU and will relieve your pain. You might even want to ask them what different ways they use to treat pain. It is good to have a Doctor that is familiar with many different methods of controling pain.  I know my Pain Doctor does it all, and he is very good, epidurals at all levels of the spine, radio frequency ablation, surgery, and of course pain meds, and just about everything else! Including ordering test and and referrals to other Doctors, to find out what is causing your pain. Like PALady said you want to make sure that the Doctors don't think that you are "pill shopping" but there is nothing wrong with wanting to find a Doctor that will treat you right and look out for YOU and what is best for YOU! Sadly often there are seemingly to many Doctors that don't do that!
I do hope things work out well for you! and I wish you only the best !
White Beard

  I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 5/28/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for all the advice, my head is spinning. I have to go to the appt tomorrow morning and then I have a hour dentist appt. I feel miserable and I hope he has some solutions. I need to get refill on my meds out of vicodin and have a baby shower and 2 graduations this weekend
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