My Medical Team at the Pain Centre has closed my file...

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 10/5/2010 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a call late last week from the Team Coordinator for my medical group at the Pain Centre. I have been there for 18 months now, learning new skills and techniques to manage my pain better. Unfortunately, they don't feel they can do much more for me at this time. We are waiting for an appointment date for the Orthopedic Surgeon regarding my hip, but that's been 6 months so far and no end to the waiting in sight - yes, you read that right. Six months so far, to get an appointment date. Unforgiveable in my mind.

My team at the Pain Centre feels that until the structural issues with my hip are fixed, they can't be positive that my hip is contributing to the chronic pelvic pain. The pain could be caused by something else sending never ending signals to the brain...they just don't know. All the injections and blocks they've done so far have done nothing for me.

So the Pain Centre considers me "graduated" and my family doctor goes back to being my primary caregiver. I've made sure she's been the one prescribing my medications, so there wouldn't be any transition issues.

I'm going to start looking at other options for seeing an Ortho Surgeon, including the Mayo Clinic. If anyone has any Ortho Surgeon recommendations (within North America preferably), please let me know.

Thanks and BIG hugs to all!!


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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16799
   Posted 10/5/2010 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Pam I am kind of at a loss here, why have you been waiting 6 months so far for an appt with an orthopedic. This leads me to believe you don't live in the US because that is unheard of. Why is there such a delay in getting medical treatment? How do they pick and choose who gets treatment and who doesn't?

I do hope something can get done soon for you. I guess if none of the care from the Pain Centre is working and doing you any good then it would be useless to continue care there. Jeesh, and I thought care here could be rotten at times, wow.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 10/5/2010 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
 Hey Pam Girl , I hope you feel better soon , listen what state do you live in ? There are some great ortho-surgeons in NYC but is it realistic for you to consider them if you live very far away ? What do the x-rays of your hips and pelvis reveal , have you had a MRI ? Mikel 
HIV+. meds - epzicom, Kaletra . oxycontin as needed , indothemiacin . hip replacement surgery done !!! Staples out , saw the surgeon he says I'm healing really well , I go back in 2 months . Until then its physical therapy galore !!

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 10/5/2010 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone. Straydog, yes...I am in Canada. There are huge wait lists in every province for most types of "elective" surgeries - i.e.: anything that isn't a life threatening accident. In my case in particular (I live in Calgary, Alberta) there are two surgeons in Calgary who do the type of surgery it's suspected I require. One of them doesn't have the respect of his peers and is never recommended because of some previous complications on cases that weren't handled well. The other one is a superb doctor, highly reguarded and so of course, supremely busy.

I spoke with his nurse when I called there one day, to find out if they had received my paperwork for a consultation. First off, my paperwork had never been received there, so that was a 3 month delay on it's own. Once the office had received everything, I was told that the doctor triages his own cases and picks and chooses which ones he wants to work on - so there's no numerical lineup of patients. Maybe Patient Pam has a particular hip problem, but Patient Bob has the same thing, with an extra twist. Maybe this doctor has been doing lots of surgeries like I need as a teaching method for students...and now he's going to spend the next month on a DIFFERENT type of problem.

What I'm saying is I am at the mercy of a doctor's whims and when you consider the hundreds of people with hip problems who need this type of expertise and the wait becomes longer and longer and longer.

Now, let's say I want to go to a different province for treatment, because they can get me in faster. Well, my province has to give the okay first, because they'll have to do a transfer of the costs from one province to another, and things just don't work that way. The government feels that you should wait for the care in your own province, because it's a huge hassle to do things in a more logical manner. The same with if I wanted to come to the States and seek care at the Mayo Clinic for example. I can't just pay cash in my province for my medical money exchanges hand for doctor visits or hospital just have to stay alive long enough to get fixed.

As for my Pain Centre doctors - they aren't there to "fix". Their role is to give patients all the tools they need to manage chronic pain. That might mean drugs or physio or surgery or what have you. If they do recommend surgery for something, they don't really have any extra pull to get you into a specialist any faster....they can try, but realistically, it doesn't work like that. So, since they all seem to think my crappy hips have a lot to do with my pelvic pain...well, I guess we'll just leave you to your family doctor and whatever surgeon you're trying to see. I was told that after the surgery was done, and if I was still having pain, I would be welcome to reapply for a short stint again at the Pain Centre, but really and truly, they wouldn't have anything new for me.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.....I"m sorry if I sound bitter. Everyone goes on and on about the Canadian Health Care system and what an example it is for other countries to follow, but the reality is that it takes forever to see doctors and specialists and in some instances, there are family doctors who just aren't accepting new patients. I can opt for private care if I want to pay for it, but I don't have that kind of money.

So....I wait and ponder and look at other options....all the while my hip just wearing away a tiny bit more...and a tiny bit more...and a tiny bit more....
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

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 10/5/2010 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   

I had an MRI done of my right hip which very clearly shows Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) (left hasn't been MRI'd yet, but I expect it to be the same). I have both types of nerve impingement (CAM and PIncer) and there is fraying and tears of the Labrum and other tissues. At this point, its pretty much bone rubbing against bone, and the femur doesn't fit into the hip socket properly.

I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada. I would prefer to stay in the west part of the country (Canada or the US) to try and find another Orthopedic Surgeon who has extensive experience with FAI. I am thinking the Mayo Clinic is a good starting point, as they state very clearly in their information that they work with Canadians all the time.

How are YOU doing Mikel? I know it's frustrating and long to get back to 100%, but you are working so hard...I know you'll make it. I keep you in my prayers when I pray for these boards every morning...I hope you're doing great and seeing improvements every day (ps: I think I sent you a friend request on Facebook, but not sure).


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/5/2010 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Awe Pam,
so very sorry that you have such a long wait, maybe go ahead and
get it scheduled and let your pcp know maybe your pcp could move you up
on the wait time, or ask if they have a cancellation list that you might
get on...
I hope you get a low pain day soon...
healing hugz
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 10/5/2010 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pam,

Sorry to hear the news. I can only imagine how frustrated and upset you must feel. I do hope that you are able to get in with an orthopedic surgeon soon. I know my neurologist is usually booked 6 mo ahead of time, so your doc isn't the only one, but still, it is pretty ridiculous. I hear that it is hard to get appointments/procedures scheduled in Canada because of long wait times. The USA certainly has (lots) of their own problems with health care, but we are lucky in that in MOST cases, we don't have to wait too long for medical treatment.

As for a doctor in the USA, the doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC are fantastic. I had all 3 of my shoulder surgeries there. The doctors/hospital specializes in orthopedics & rheumatology -- that's all that they do. They are really pretty amazing there. The orthopedic surgeon that took care of my shoulders was one of the top rated shoulder surgeons in the country & world, and he was just great. He was one of my favorite doctors. Great bedside manor, great diagnostician, excellent surgeon, & he had a fantastic PA working for him. HSS is also a teaching hospital (affiliated with Cornell), so you also have to benefit of that.


Post Edited (skeye) : 10/5/2010 6:41:13 PM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16799
   Posted 10/6/2010 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Pam, if you are bitter it seems to me you have every right to feel that way. What you have to go thru for medical care is the very thing that has scared me to death of happening here in the states. So many people think "free medical care" is great but not under the conditions you have by a long shot. That is far too controlling for me. I can only assume it is a long and difficult process getting them to agree to medical care out of the country is that right? Say perhaps you could get into the Mayo Clinic, time wise how long would it take them to ok you coming here to the clinic? I hope you can come up with something soon for your sake.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Pete trips again!
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 10/6/2010 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Pam, SO SORRY for what you are going through! All I can say after reading your post and everyone who has responded to you is That Sucks!!!! How awful to make you wait so long! Geeze, I thought we had it bad here in the good old USA w/ all the quacks and money grubbing so called drs but that socialized med. is out of hand! This is what out country has to look forward to if we aren't careful! I'm not badmouthing your country, just the system that makes a lady who is in terrable pain wait 5 months to see a specialist! Like I sais> That Sucks w/ a capital "S"!!!!!
Big Hugs and Mucho luv!!!
When I was young & stupid I broke almost every bone in my body and I'm paying a heavy price now but I'm still here and so glad to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men, both are in the Navy. I'm so proud! My biggest health problem>> I'm a certified Luny~Tune!!
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