Not enthused by ortho appointment

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 9/1/2010 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe I'm just too burned out on doctors and shouldn't be seeing anyone. He just came off as a bit arrogant to me. And maybe I'm just too much of a mess. I'm so frustrated! And I cry when I'm frustrated, therefore I think I must look like an emotional basket case. They did some x-rays, and other than some mild degeneration, which he said was expected(?) they look fine. He said the problem has to be stemming from my neck and wants to re-do the c-spine MRI with contrast because i have some weakness in my left arm and wants a nerve conduction study. I'm tempted to say " Why bother, it probably won't show anything anyways!" He wanted to know what has been done in the past year and a half for me and I said not much. Things have been mentioned but no one has followed through with any of it. He seemed a bit surprised that no PT had been ordered for me. I feel like a hot potato getting shuffled from one doctor to another. All he had to say was "Pain won't show on an x-ray" and " I just met you 15 minutes ago and I'm a spine surgeon. I can't just go cutting into you. What do you expect me to do right now?" I politely said " I don't expect anything and I don't know why I was referred to you as a starting point. Maybe I am better off seeing Dr So and So (the pain specialist and rehabilitation doc in the practice), but you are who my neurologist's office referred me to, and you are who my insurance approved the referral for." I also told him I was frustrated and accustomed to pain because of breaking my back 21 years ago, but the last year and a half had become unbearable and all I am looking for is some kind of answer and relief so I could ride bikes with my family and have a life back. I also told him that though it is not his fault, I am frustrated with doctors in general right now and sorry to say he is getting the butt end of that frustration. But I was still polite about it.

He acted almost like I was wasting his time when nothing else had been done before getting an appointment with him, like PT, etc. I just got a "What do you want me to do about it?" vibe from him. I wanted to put my "sarcastic" on and just say " You know what? So sorry for wasting your time. Let me just go out and fracture something or grow a tumor for you to operate on and then come back and maybe then you will stop acting like a condescending butt head and take me seriously." ( Only not quite that politely) I am in no less pain than when I crushed 2 of my vertibrae, but because it doesn't show on a test, I feel as if it is completely invalid to almost every doctor I've seen. I'm so ready to just give up completely and resign myself to living with the agony rather than see another doctor.

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/1/2010 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh I am so sorry that you are getting the pathetic excuses for Dr's lately. It seems there are so many out there who have this attitude right now. When I start to feel this way, I do two things....first I look around the waiting room at what he/she has to deal with every day and see if I can understand from their perspective just a bit. Then I decide if that person simply will not work for me and change to someone else if they don't. I have to admit that I've been doing some of the same things lately with the "nut" job doctors, but I've happily found some new ones to add to my already good list and hopefully finish it up. It would be great to have all the Drs that you absolutely MUST see be cooperative, understanding and even human!

I wish you all the best.
Retired Mom

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/1/2010 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
A lot of Dr.s are real ******s, I fell a foot and a half on my foot and folded it, my son drove me to the nearest er to be checked as my foot tripled in size. He thought there was a broken bone there and put a cast on it. I returned 4 days later as they were supposed to change the cast, the Dr. there then said he got the results back from the main hospital and said nothing was broken so he took the cast off and wrapped it with a tensor bandage. One week later my foot started bending from the ankle to the right, you could bend it straight by hand but would go back when let go. Next visit they sent me for a bone scan which showed nothing.
Next they put on an air cast but it did nothing for that part of the foot, then I went back in and saw a woman Dr. I suggested putting a splint to hold it straight and cast it but she was worried about blood clots then blamed it on my Ulcerative Colitis meds. Next my arch dropped so the bone was sticking out the bottom and side of my foot, so the next visit they sent me to an Arthritis Dr. who said it had nothing to do with Arthritis and my foot had already fused that way so I was screwed. I got my Dr. to find a reconstructive surgeon which he did. He went in cut out the bone in the bottom and side of my foot. He then had to break it to get it straight screw a steel plate to the side of my foot to keep it straight, screw my toes back in then sew up the 2 long incisions in my foot. He couldn't do the las2 toes without really messing up my foot with cuts. I wore a cast for 6 week the changed then another for another 6 weeks. I took the original x-rays into my Orthopedic Surgeon who did 4 surgeries on my back who had to laugh and said it was so simple. I had apparently screwed up the tendons and a simple 20 minute operation to clip the tendons and my foot would be as it was before.

I was so pissed I went to see a lawyer who took the case on a contingency bases and is suing 7 Dr. who he said they were incompetent 6 have been served the other is in hiding. Last letter I got from him is that he already knows about the lawsuit and the case will proceed as if he has been served and has asked the lawyer acting for the other 6 to file his motion of defense.

Maybe I am being petty but the quality of Dr.s here is the poorest anywhere, even the lawyer asked as I related this to him asked if they had checked for the tendons, even he knew more about medicine than they did.

So I do know how you feel and feel really bad for you, at least I have no problem getting the correct medications for pain for my back which takes care of my foot as well.

Post Edited (Nitemare) : 9/1/2010 10:13:29 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 9/2/2010 1:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Retiredmom, I know what you mean about some waiting rooms. This one was pretty good though, as far as that goes. A thriving self contained private practice with everything from it's own PT department to x-ray equipment all right there.

Pebbles, thank you.

Underthebus, Your mini rant made me laugh because it sounds so much like something I would think, but not say out loud. I wish that I didn't cry when I get mad because it doesn't make for very effective anger, lol. Just makes me look like a basket case. The fact that I even told him that he was unfortunate enough to be getting the butt end of my frustration was very out of character for me=I am normally unfailingly polite, even to my own detriment. Unfortunately, this doc is a long way from retirement, given that he is a year younger than I am. I mean gee, maybe I should apologize for not having anything exciting for him to slice and dice. But you know what? For all the pain I am in, and the frustration of nothing showing on tests, I almost, ALMOST would have rather had something show on an x-ray that needed something done because at least then, there would be a concrete reason for the pain.

Nitemare, oh my. What a terrible experience! I'm so glad you are suing them! You stumbled on a whole different level of incompetence it would seem.
Fibromyalgia, High BP, Migraines, anxiety, Non Celiac Gluten Intolerant
Current medications: Topamax, Maxalt, Lotrel, Wellbutrin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 9/2/2010 2:42 AM (GMT -6)   
There is one bright point about this particular doctor. He does not seem to be the type who thinks surgery is always the first or even the best answer for things. In that at least you can be grateful. Beyond that though it does sound like he could use some work on his doctor-patient skills.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 9/2/2010 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Awww caligirl....I'm sorry you're getting such a run around from the doctors. It would be nice if they would spend more time with you to make sure everything is being done and monitored and nothing has fallen through the cracks. I know I've had to tell a doctor "I don't know what I expect from're the expert, and I would expect it's your job to tell me what you think happened, based on the clues."

Crossing my fingers and saying a prayer that thinks start going better for you.

DX: Fibro, Severe Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Surgical Adhesions, IBS, IC-PBS, Carpal Tunnel (both wrists), FAI, Reynauds, Opthalmic Migraines, Drug Related Hot Flashes, Physically Unable to Vomit due to Nissen Surgery, Extremely tiny and scarred veins (hard start for IV's)

Meds: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Cesamet, Flexeril, Clonidine plus Vitamin D + Multi daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 9/2/2010 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I just got a call from the MRI center saying that the insurance company has already approved the re-do of the MRI with contrast on my c-spine, so that was fast. They scheduled me for the 7th. I'm shocked. It took my primary several weeks to get approval for the first one, and they had to submit the request twice. Maybe it is because their referral department is not particularly good. *update*I got a phone call from my neurologists office about scheduling a nerve conduction study and I asked them about the approval from the insurance company and the girl there said "Good question. THe orthopedics office didn't give me that, they just gave me the request for the nerve conduction study from the ortho. You are right it takes longer to get approval from an HMO. I'll call the ortho office and ask" SO I called the MRI center and asked left them a message to double check that they have an actual approval from my insurance company and not just the request from the ortho because I need to be sure that the insurance is footing the bill before I will stick my head in that machine.

Underthebus, good for you for keeping at it. That is a good reminder not to give up. I have been pretty discouraged regarding nothing showing up. I know that this pain is not in my head. As for my back, the area causing the most pain is not in the area that I fractured, and I did question him about that.

MsBunky, I've told my primary that before when he's asked me "What do you think it is?" I wanted to say "Well, duh, if I knew that, I wouldn't be wasting a co-pay now would I?" but settled on the more polite version of "I don't know, you are the doctor" Thank you. I know that my issues are small in comparison to many here, but it still helps to be able to talk about them with people who can understand.

Post Edited (caligirl2001) : 9/2/2010 6:00:53 PM (GMT-6)

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