Where we live, country or city, is the health care better in one or the other?

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NiNi53
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 6/3/2011 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I have often wondered when reading different posts, if those of us in large cities have more options available to us than people living in rural areas.
 
I live in Maryland, just about 10-15 miles away from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Virginia.  In all of those mentioned I have many large and wonderful hospitals in these surrounding areas.
 
When I first started my search for a pain management doctor, it was Dec. 2006.  I then went on  to have at the very least about 5-6 (not at the same time) different pain management doctors.  Prior to that I had been treated by my gp.  I loved him, he was the best doctor ever, and I had been seeing him since 1991 not just for pain management, but all other ailments I would have.
 
My gp left for greener pastures (he had two children to get through college) and I found myself in a nightmare of finding a pain management doctor.  I was lucky enough that my doctor had left me with 2 months worth of written prescriptions, I thought to myself at the time, "it will be ok, I have time", I was in for a big shock.
 
The first doctor I went to, went into a tailspin about how much medicine I was taking, it was 10mg methadone 8xday.  I of course did not start out taking that much, but over time with my pc doctor I had reached what turned  out to be a large amount of narcotic medicine.  So first visit with the new doctor I left with a prescription of 140 pills that were supposed to last me a month.
 
It was a nightmare that I didnt wake up from for a long time.  I am not going to bore everyone with a story of each and every doctor I went through until I found the pm doctor I have now.  But my question is I had a difficult time, and I live well as I said all around me are so many options.
 
Sometimes when I read posts about doctors who are not following thru with there treatment, or not having meds ready at the time they are supposed to be.  If I went thru a nightmare of some of my so called "pain management" doctors, is it even more difficult for people who live in rural areas? 
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Blessedx8
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 6/3/2011 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Nini...
 
Good post :)  .... We share very similar experiences.  I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (I've also lived - while have CP - 2 years in the Denver, CO suburbs).  Even w/ having multiple options - I experienced many nightmares before arriving at the wonderful doctor I have now. 
 
Having been on the board for awhile, I've seen many stories of people essentially being stuck w/ a lousy PM doc because there are no other options.  I hate hearing these stories. 
 
I've also read of many here who have driven 2 or 3 hours to go to a good PM doctor. 
 
Life's hard enough living w/ chronic pain - it shouldn't be so difficult to get proper treatment, right? 
 
--Tina

Atmosphere
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 220
   Posted 6/3/2011 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
U Betcha. i am in Maryland now, but lived in a state for five years where access to healthcare in rural communities was a huge issue. Especially, the elderly.

Truth #1, in rural communities, physicians and dentists are hard to find. Truth #2, rural folk tend to be poorer and less healthy compared to those living in big cities like NOVA/DC. Truth #3, many are likely to be uninsured/underinsured or depend on Medicaid/Medicare.

take a class in the sociology of rural life. it is fascinating.

Post Edited (archiestyles) : 6/3/2011 11:33:45 AM (GMT-6)


NiNi53
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 6/3/2011 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Tina, I agree with you completely, what brought the subject to mind, were at least two posts where I thought to myself, "what is going on where this person lives".
 
Like you I have always lived in the suburbs outside of many cities, if you and I experience the troubles we have in finding good pm doctors, I hate to think of what happens out in the rural areas.
 
With the postings I have read, I get the feeling that the people in desperate need of help at not getting it.  It seems like they are held hostage by the very people who are supposed to be helping them.
 
I cant tell you how much this angers me.  What it boils down to is once again the person who needs the help is being victimized again.  It is something that needs to be addressed.  I have often said everyone has a boss.  But its so much more than that.  What if the person in need, reached out to lets say the AMA, there pm or even gp doctor that is supposed to be helping them now finds out.  What happens then?  The doctors hold over there heads the very medications they so badly need.
 
This is not good.  I am going to ponder this some more and try to think of ways around this type of inhumain  treatment. mad
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

NiNi53
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 6/3/2011 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Also Tina, and anyone else please feel free to call me Kathy, or nini whichever you like, just wanted to put that out there.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Angeleyes13
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 6/3/2011 5:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I live in a rural area and at times have had trouble finding a doctor for my children.  My children are seen by a GP, because when they switched insurance the new plan didnt cover their drs.  It took almost 6 months to get the in though. 
 
My PM doctor has an office 2 miles from me as well as 15 miles.  I have been with him for many, many years and he doesnt accept new patients now.  There a few PM doctors in the next biggest city, but not to many.  Other than that I would need to drive to NYC or Philly ( about 2 1/2 hours in either direction).  Most of the GP doctors around here are not prescribing pain meds due to scrutiny by DEA.  I too, wonder what is happening for all of the CP patients that can no longer get treated by their GP. 
 
Forget about finding a pediatrician if you are new to the area.  The only way you can get in, is if you have your baby at their hospital.  Dentists, PC, OBGYN and psychiatrists are the same way, waiting lists are up to a year or more long to get in as a new patient.  The response we get is that drs are leaving the state due to one of the higher malpractice insurance costs in the country (although I dont know if that is true). 
 
Not sure where I would be if I hadnt gotten into my PM docs before he stopped accepting.  I guess I should be happy that he recognized he couldnt handle more patients. 
DX: CRPS/RSD full body, Fibro, CP, DDD, DJD, OSA, Syringomyelia, Arachnoiditis, failed fusion non union with hardware issues. Fusions C5-6, L5-S1. SCS trial successful awaiting placement after fusion revison 6/11.
MEDS:Fentanyl Patch 25 & 12.5 mcg, Fentora 100mcg, Oxyfast 10mg, Morphine Sulfate 15mg, AtacandHCT32/12.5mg, Clonidine, Zofran.
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