*** Warning - long post... sorry.
Saw my PM today..... and I just want to pull my hair out.
Very brief background - The office has about 10 PM docs and they train other doctors specializing in pain management. I've seen my own PM for about 4 years now and had a VERY trusting, good relationship w/ him. I've been on my CP journey for a LONG time; have been on every med known to man; have had the pain pump trial....but am holding off on that; etc.
Ok.... so I found out last month my PM is leaving (has a sick child). He transferred my care to one of his partners, a woman, who I've seen on occasion and she seemed nice enough.
Still, though, when you have an established relationship w/ a doctor - I was still really bummed out my doc leaving. Last night, I had extreme anxiety about see the new doc.... trying to communicate my needs to her.... etc. I finally had what I was going to say to her worked out... and off I went to my appointment.
I am waiting in the office, and in walks a VERY young guy. Great. First visit w/ the "new" doc - and she sends in a doc that is being trained. This guy "says" he reviewed my chart (it's all computerized).... but he didn't know a darn thing about me. So - try explaining a 4 year history in 3 minutes. Not easy.
I tried to say I've been on all the meds.... that I had found a med combo that made me "stable".... but that we had switched insurances in October and the new insurance wouldn't cover the main med that was working. I told him that I had had the "intrathecal pain pump trial", which was successful, but I got meningitis from it and was holding off on that for as long as possible.
He didn't know the term "intrathecal" pain pump. He said "you mean, the spinal cord stimulator?".... ummmm, no. The "pain pump"? (I was trying really hard to not be snarky, I swear). He's like - oh, ok. I'm sorry, am I wrong to think even a doctor in training should know what the heck an intrathecal pain pump is???????
So - his exact words were - "So, what do you want to do?". Fine - he wants my opinion.... I gave it. I said, I've been on all meds known to man, but I HAVE to keep trying to find something that works. My cardiologist is on my case to get my pain under control to lower my blood pressure. This is affecting my quality of life. I said all of these things. So, I said the one med I've not been on is Opana. Maybe trying the Opana IR... seeing if it works.... and then, if it does, switching the the Opana ER. So - out he goes to go "consult" w/ my PM.
Long story short.... I ended up having my "new" PM doc come in to see me. Per her (and, yes, I'm a skeptic on everything w/ doctors, sorry) - she says that there is a shortage w/ Opana (haven't had time to google it yet)... and that she's having to switch all her patients on Opana to something else. Fine. So.... we ended up trying Oxycontin, which I haven't been on in maybe 2 years.... but, hey, maybe it'll work again. Who knows.
Then, she says - "I know you've been seeing Dr. xxx... but all docs are different and next time, bring your meds in w/ you. That way, if you have any extra, I can dispose of them... because it's really easy if you have "extra" meds laying around to take one of them".
Now, if you know me, you know I'm EXTREMELY anti-pill counting... etc. I have no problem w/ doing an occasional UA. I ALWAYS take my meds appropriately - and, in almost 9 years as a CP patient, have NEVER "lost" a prescription.... run short.... any of that stuff. So, my old PM never had me do anything because we had a very trusting relationship.
I have no problems bringing in my meds (well, don't like it, but I will).... but for her to "dispose" of any of them - when I've paid for them..... etc? That is more than irritating to me. Keep in mind, I DO throw away any extra/spare meds.... I don't want to keep them, especially w/ all the kids we have in our house. It's just the point.
I'm a "against the grain" kind of person anyway.... so I'm sure some will disagree w/ me on this.... and I KNOW how bad things are w/ CP patients, the DEA and all that. STILL, I'm frustrated.
The last thing that was really darn frustrating to me.... I say - "There are occasional times that I end up in the ER w/ acute pain issues (I get horrendous migraines). My old PM doc knew of this and supported me on going there. In fact, I carried a note in my wallet for years that said - "Tina has my permission to visit the ER for acute pain issues; if there is a problem - please call me". I just said - if I HAVE to go to the ER (which I avoid at all costs, but it IS a reality w/ me).... what's her position on that and such? (I thought I was doing good by just asking her this).
Her answer? "Well, the first thing is trying to not go to the ER"..... OBVIOUSLY - and I had already said that. But, as I told her, I have a family to raise and I get 2 to 3 migraines per week... and, if it doesn't go away, and it's 11pm at night... I'm sorry. I'm not going to suffer w/ a migraine, vomiting, etc. If I had meds at home that worked, that would be a different story.
The point is this.... I do like her. She's a nice person. But it's extremely hard having a new doctor... that doesn't know my history (which, admittedly, is extremely complicated). I felt she did nothing to review my complete history...so that she would see exactly what I've been through. She also is much more "cautious" than my old doctor.... My old doc wasn't a "free for all" - but he knows what I've been through, that I'm educated and let me be part of the process.
I don't think there's any "answers" but I had to vent, lol. I know there are others here that have it a lot worse w/ their doctors..... so this is all in perspective. But I'm still frustrated.....
Thanks, as usual, for listening....! I see her again in 2 weeks to see if these new meds do anything. ....Tina
Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum
My faith and family sustain me even on my worst days... as well as my wonderful friends here at HW.
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