Medtronic Pain Pump and Chronic Pain

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straydog
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   Posted 5/18/2016 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
As I said before some drs replace everything. Apparently nothing is showing up on the computer that makes them think the pump is not working correctly, which then would mean a catheter problem. Do you think this dr is competent enough to be able to tell if there is a crack in your catheter. It boils down to what you are comfortable with. I do know when the battery dies in the pump & it has to be replaced they don't always change the catheter out, again depends on the dr.

If it comes down to going to Indy, do you really think your dr will make your referral? If he doesn't your PCP can do it. Even with drs making referrals to them it still takes quite some time to get an appt.

Yes, I do know all too well the pain you are talking about. I have been with this worthless pump well over a year now. I am hoping to have it changed in June, or July the latest. In the meantime I do everything I can to distract myself so I don't think about how miserable I really am. I learned when I was much younger that distraction is one of the best tools to have to help battle pain. If you have not tried it, try adding a couple of Ibuprofen to your BT meds, sometimes it is recommended by PM drs.

Did you have back surgery & end up with CP or what? Hang in there.
Susie

Post Edited (straydog) : 5/18/2016 10:25:07 AM (GMT-6)


IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/18/2016 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie,

When I was at my PM DR office to have the Fentanyl put into my pump and the Hydro-Morphine removed, the nurse measured the medicine when she removed it from the pump reservoir and measured it from what the computer/pump said that I should have had at the time of removal. The nurse said that the number was correct for both. So, if I believe the nurse than maybe the leak is at the catheter as you suggested. So, I am really struggling with only requesting that the catheter be replaced, but not sure where to go with this.

Am I comfortable with having my PM DR just looking inside of me to see if the catheter is leaking. I don't think so, because you said it yourself - its like finding a needle in a haystack. I think that changing it out will assure me that the catheter is not leaking. As for the pump, I don't know much about them, if the numbers match from the fluid that is taken out and what the computer says that is left in the reservoir than I don't know if it would be correct to request to have the pump replaced. Not sure what to do there.
Do I think that my PM DR will send a referral for me to go to IU. I don't know, that thought has gave me lots of sleepless nights. Not sure what he will and won't do at this point. If he refuses to do that I think I will have a big problem. I hope not, because he is still providing me with pain meds (which is still somewhat managing my pain). My fear is that if he gets upset because I'm requesting a second opinion and need a referral he might drop me and then who will manage my pain? That has really bothered me.
I know now that it will takes time to get an apt with the people at IU Indy, but my worry is that they will review my referral and decide that they don't want to help me and where will I be then? The waiting, is truly bad, but not being accepted as a patient is worse!!! I hope that they review my referral and accept me as a patient!! Knowing that they will accept me will make the waiting a little easier.

I have terrible lower back pain and had several surgeries on my lower back, which consisted of removing L5 and fuse my facet joints. All kind of things were done to my lower back with no success. And now with a pain pump that no long is managing my pain.

I wish that I knew someone at IU Indy that could help me get into the pain management center. I thought about calling Medtronic and see if they could help me get into see the PM DR there. I'm grasping now.

I hope tomorrow's meeting goes well.

Thanks for responding straydog

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/19/2016 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Susie,

My meeting with my current PM DR went well. The discussion was good. We talked it out and what my concerns were. The DR will perform my surgery within the next month or so. He will open me up and look at the catheter etc for any leaks. If he see any leaks, that particular item will be replaced. If he finds NO LEAKS he will CHANGE-OUT EVERYTHING! The pump and catheter, everything up to the spinal sack. I am very happy that we are moving forward.

Now I wait and hope that my pump and catheter will again provide me with pain relief as before.

There is hope

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15299
   Posted 5/19/2016 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Indiana, that is wonderful, now you know some relief is in sight after all. So very happy to read this. Keep us posted.
Susie

Lynnwood
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   Posted 5/19/2016 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok, I've been reading along this thread, and since I don't have back issues there is a term I'm not familiar with - "spinal sack". I've looked it up online but am still unclear -

What do you mean, spinal sack? Where is it, or are there more than one? Is this a generic term that refers to the spinal cord fluid, as it stretches the length of the spinal cord?

Wondering minds want to know...
Thanks.

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/19/2016 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Lynnwood,

You are correct that is exactly what the PM DR is referring too.

IndianaBoy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/27/2016 12:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie,

I have been looking on the Medtronic website trying to find any information about restricting the use of heat on my lower back (near the catheter). I called Medtronic and asked them about the use of heat and they said that it might effect the pump only, but not the catheter. I asked about holes or cuts or twisting of a catheter and how much potential there is of that happening. They said it could happen but they are not aware that there is anything on their website talking about that. Medtronic said that it might happen if the patient experienced any trauma. I can't remember having any trauma. So, now after talking to Medtronic, it is very difficult for me to stay positive about the upcoming surgery and the outcome. If lets say nothing wrong with the catheter and they change out the entire system. Then what? If it was not the Clonidine that started my pump to not work managing my pain and its not the catheter, Then What Could It Be? Do you know of any patients that had holes in there catheters? It is hard to think positive about this if there is nothing to support the likely hood of a hole in my catheter.

Any Thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Susie

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 5/27/2016 6:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Your experience with Medtronics is not surprising. The model of my medtronics pump had 2 recalls on it.The first one was defective gears in some of the pumps. I called them & got no info whatsoever. Except to tell me I could have the pump removed & it would have to be sent to them for their people to look at. In the event they found a problem they would give me $1,000 towards having another pump implanted. Yes, you read it right a stinking $1,000 for their defective equipment. So, no they are not going to tell you oh yes, we have problems with catheters that gets cracks or get a kink in them. Of course you can believe whatever you like but yes what I have told you about the catheters is true & very real. A hairline crack is all it takes.

Sitting there thinking the very worst & doing the what if thing will do nothing but eat your lunch. Why go down that road its not going to help your stress level any. I would be looking forward to relief I am going to get when all of this mess is taken care of.
Susie

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/27/2016 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie,

I want to thank you for your honesty and straight forwardness. Your response makes sense and will help me deal with my wondering and what if scenario. I know that trying to figure out why my pain pump has stopped managing my pain is really not something that I should be concerned about, but when will I get some pain relief. You are right about not listening to Medtronic's excuses and/or lies.
I will make every effort to think about only the positive effects I will receive once my pump and catheter etc are replaced...

I truly appreciate your explanation and help with both my concerns and questions about the catheter.

Thank You

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15299
   Posted 5/28/2016 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Indiana, another thought I want to pass on to you, is please talk to your PM dr about going back to I believe it was Morphine in the pump that worked so well for you. Explain to him that you appreciate his efforts of trying to find what best suited you with the testing, however, it comes down to what has worked for you & that seemed to be the one.

Medtronics is a leading mfg of various types of medical equipment & they are pretty much bullet proof, meaning they cannot be sued by a patient. They know this & that is another reason for their arrogance, just my opinion. The few times I spoke with them asking questions, their standard answer was "you need to discuss this with your dr", I was told that countless times. I realized very quickly I was wasting my time asking them questions & stopped.

Being realistic here, look at the rate of companies that massive produce products & we know not every single item they produce will be 100%. There is a margin for defective products & believe me Medtronics is not excused from this type of thing either. For all we know you could have had a weak spot in your catheter & over time you ended up with a small hairline crack, that my friend is a very reasonable possibility. Again, these catheters are super small, have you ever seen your pump on xray to know what I am talking about? I see mine at every refill on the screen.

Don't let anxiety step in here & hammer in another nail towards making you feel worse than you already do. Anxiety on top of what you have going on is not good, its too hard on you physically & mentally. This is why I said be looking forward to getting relief again.

Does your dr have your PTM, I cannot remember? In the box that everything came in should have been a little booklet explaining the do's & don'ts with pumps. Ask your dr if he has this booklet. If he has your PTM they may be in the box. Worth asking about.

Take care.
Susie

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/28/2016 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie,

Yes, you are correct it was the Morphine that I was on for 1 and 1/2 years that worked so well for me. The next medicine was Hydro-Morphine and now the Fentanyl. My concern is that if I needed to have something stronger later on, then what do I do. So, I agree with your suggestion about asking the PM DR if we could go back to the Morphine. As I mentioned, my PM DR wanted to use the Fentanyl from my old pump. I will talked to his nurse and ask if we could go back to the Morphine.

As for the booklet about the PTM. I will ask about it again. If I can't get it from his office, I will contact Medtronic and ask if I could get a new PTM booklet. I hope they will provide me with one.

I truly appreciate all of your input. It has been very helpful for me.

Thank You!!

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 5/29/2016 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Indiana, the booklet is not a PTM booklet, its just tells you about the pump & lists some do's & don'ts. The pumps are no different from the point of needing a stronger dose, this happens as well with oral medications. In all honesty, drs are so super conservative with the medication dosage in these pumps, I really would not concern myself with worrying over needing something stronger. They can always increase the strength of the medication without increasing the dose you get in 24 hours. But again, the drs are very conservative with them.

Thats fine discussing the change of meds with the nurse but I believe this discussion needs to happen with the dr too. Cover all of your bases.
Susie

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/29/2016 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie,

I talked it over with my family about your suggestion of the use of morphine again in my pump. They all agree with you. My concern is that I'm not sure how the DR will react to my request. I was surprised that our meeting went so well a couple of weeks ago. As I mention in an earlier email, my PM DR mentioned that he wanted to reuse the Fentanyl medicine because the hospital does not want to supply medication for the pump - for liability reasons.

I have a question: Do you know which medicine is stronger, the Morphine or Fentanyl?

If my PM DR does agree with my request (to put the Morphine back in my pump) it will also have the Bupivacaine in the pump as before.

If my PM DR does NOT agree with my request to have the Morphine put back into my pump, I'm not sure what to do at that point.

The only way that I will be able to talk with my doctor at this point will be through his head nurse. She is the person that the doctor relies on (or communicates through). She is difficult to deal with at times and she is very temperamental. She does not like to deal with me. She has complained about me calling her to much and asking for help. So the best I can do is to request that the PM DR put the morphine back into my pump - through her (his nurse). This nurse treats me badly when I'm there for a office visit or on the phone. I will do my best to contact her and ask her to please ask the doctor to go back to the morphine. Not sure what will happen. I hope she will do what I ask of her.

Susie, I hope that this surgery will fix me up as before and I can become pain free once again.

You mentioned that your PM DR uses Ex-ray when filling your pump, is that correct? My PM DR has his head-nurse fill my pump. She uses her finger to find the fill port NO Ex-ray is used.

I have another question for you. What do you do to cope with your pain? I try to concentrate on other things, but its very hard to do.

Thanks Straydog






about your suggestion about the use of Morphone over with my family and they agree that about asking about the use of Morphine

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 5/30/2016 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I have Dilaudid in my pump along with Clonodine. Prior to this my former PM dr used a cocktail of meds which most will do. The reason is if a patient were to become sensitive to one of the meds it would be time consuming to figure out which drug is causing the problem. Fentanyl works very well & it is a potent medication. But when it comes to the pumps its all about the dosage. Not talking about how much you get in 24 hours, I am talking about the actual strength of the medication.

I can see the hospital not wanting to provide the medication for the pump. Usually they will use whats in the old pump or just leave saline in it & then you see the dr the following day & he will fill the pump.

A good pump nurse can fill pumps without anything, just by feeling around. My former drs nurse did it this way too & she missed once with me which was no big deal. It was really rare for Helen to ever miss & she it personal when she missed a stick too, lol. My current dr does all of his refills he does not have a nurse qualified to handle a pump refill.

You asked how I distract myself, the big thing for me is I take care of my 11 yr old grandson. I meet him at his bus stop every day & keep him until one of the parents shows up. I started doing this 3 yrs ago & it was the best thing I could have done for myself. It gets me out of the house which is important, his dads house is less than 3 miles from me so I do not have to drive far. A couple of days a week I go over & get him to school. He & I stay busy & on the run. You may think well gosh she must feel wonderful, actually its the opposite. There are some mornings when I wake up I am so sick I ask why God is letting me live another day. Its not easy but I manage to push past it. But, I have been dealing with CP & other health issues many, many years. I cannot stand up straight, I walk bent over so I need something ttoo. o hold onto to walk. I use a rollator & a cane, you can play miniature golf using a cane, lol. He & I go fishing at a pond by his house. I bowl using one of those kid racks that you set the ball on. In the spring & summer I spend a lot of time outside messing around in my yard. If I don't stay busy I am in bad trouble, as long as I have something to do I can maintain. Is it easy, absolutely not, but this is just the way it is for me. I was an extremely active person before & never could be still. I always had to be up doing something. Becoming sedentary was devastating for me, I am so hard headed about things & I am sure this plays a huge role with me. I have to limit what I do but I can usually come up with a solution. Sitting & standing are very difficult. I take Baclofen, a muscle relaxer, lots of Ibuprofen.

I miss the stuff I use to do, but I am also getting older & at the age when you slow down somewhat. My husband recently took an 11 day motorcycle ride with his buddies. He wanted me to go, there is no way I can sit & ride like that. So, then he offered to fly me into Salt Lake City to ride around a few days, but I didn't go. The reason I didn't is I knew I would hold everyone up. And a very good chance one morning of not being able to leave the motel room. I can ride around here on little short day trips as long as I can stop & get off for a bit. And I am ok with that.

Find yourself a hobby something you can lost in. Another thing is get in water, if you have access to a pool get in it & just walk around some. In water you are weightless & cannot hurt yourself. I have a pool & it gets plenty hot here in Tx. Best money I ever spent was having a pool put in. I also will get in the car & go to Home Depot or Lowes & just walk around. That gets me out especially in the winter. I do not sit & brew over my health problems & they are never up for discussion with family either. Anyone asks how I am doing they get the I am fine & I change the subject. My husband & kids are aware of my situation don't get me wrong we just avoid discussing at my request.

The nurse sounds like a nurse ratchet. Nothing worse than having one with a conflict of personalities. I am pretty direct with people & I would just have to ask her what her problem is with me. She may not even be aware of her behavior towards you. At some point you will be able to talk directly with your dr & you can asl him then about trying Morphine. But, you may find with a new catheter that Fentanyl works well for you too. So, don't throw in the towel just yet on it. I am doing things now that I didn't think I could do 3 yrs ago & it was all about how my mind was set. I hope you can get there too. Am I in pain, you bet 24/7, I just refuse to let it beat me down.
Susie

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/1/2016 6:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Straydog,

Thank you for giving me some examples on what you do to help manage your pain, that gives me something to think about. My wife tells me also to occupy my mind with other things and not to think about the pain so much. But hearing it from someone who is suffering also from lower chronic back pain makes it more meaningful and real.

Do you know if Dilaudid is stronger than Fentanyl?

I hope you are right about having a opportunity to talk with my DR before the surgery about using the Morphine and not the Fentanyl. If he stays with the Fentanyl what would be the down side? How hard should I request that we go back to the Morphine?

I called Medtronic again, but this time I asked for them to send me both the PTM booklet and the booklet on the do's and don'ts for the pump. Medtronic knew what I was talking about and said that they will mail those items to me ASAP.

Straydog, I have to say, that when my pain pump was working correctly, I felt very little pain. In fact, the handheld PTM was hardly every used by me. That's how well the pump managed my chronic lower back pain.
I tried to always be careful doing any physical work around the house. Not trying to injure myself etc... But, when the pump no longer was able to manage my chronic pain I truly struggled for answers, trying to find a reason for why and how. I'm still struggle answers, but I have to say that your input (Straydog) has helped me understand somethings about the pump and catheter. I want to thank you for taking the time to give me some reasons and examples about the manufactures hardware.

I truly appreciate your responses to my questions and trying to help me understand the operation of the pain pump

Thank you

straydog
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   Posted 6/1/2016 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Indiana, until about 3 years ago when I first started picking my grandson up from school & spending time with him, I was pretty miserable. Pain ruled my life. I had to pick & choose my battles very carefully & I still do, just on a different level. Sure I did things around the house & piddled in my yard with my plants & stuff. That helped, getting out of the house & away from it has helped me so much. Do I have the perfect life, absolutely not. I have to agree with your wife, you have to retrain your thought process, even now struggling as you are, do everything in your power to not think about the pain. Probably the best way I can explain my pain is simply this, some days I don't understand why I hurt so bad, I get sick of it. So, if I get sick of it & do not always understand it, how can I expect anyone else to understand, I can't. This is why I say do not let your health be a topic of discussion. My husband & kids know my situation, but its not up for discussion. Am I in denial, no I am not. But, I am not going to let pain define who I really am. I was so miserable for so many years with depression really bad. I tell myself daily, look around there is always someone a lot worse off than you are & thats so true.

I think Fentanyl is stronger than Dilaudid, I could be wrong. I do know a lot of pump drs do not like using it in pumps because it is so expensive. At every refill I have to listen to my dr tell me how expensive Dilaudid is while he is clucking his tongue.. When I was taking it for BT pain I didn't care for it, it just does not last long at all, loses its bang pretty fast, at least it does with me. Something to consider is let the dr fill the pump with the left over medication see how you do & what your pain level is. If its acceptable great, continue with it. However, if it does nothing for the pain you will need to discuss this with your dr. But at least give it a go & see what happens. If talking to your dr is a problem can you send him an email? If email is out of question then I suggest a certified return receipt letter to him. Marked personal & confidential on the envelope. I would just state where the pain level is & how much better you did on the other medication & request that he put that in the pump. You have nothing to lose by asking.

Eventually you need to ask his nurse in a nice way if you have said or done anything to her to warrant her attitude towards you. Keep us posted.
Susie

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/2/2016 6:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Straydog,

If I understand you correctly, I should go ahead with letting my PM DR (after surgery) take out the Fentanyl from my old pump and turn right around and put it into my new pump? And not make the request for the use of Morphine until or if the Fentanyl does not give me the level of pain relief as the Morphine did before?

I was told that when I took that drug test - to determine which drug my body would metabolize slower, it was found that the Fentanyl would be that particular drug that would work best for me. I hope one of the drugs work, either the Fentanyl or the Morphine.

I like the suggestion about the use of a certified return receipt letter to my PM DR and marking it personal & confidential on the envelope. I do thing that I will have a few minutes to talk with him before the surgery - when the nurses are prepping me before going into the OR.


Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, how long does it take for my PM DR to schedule surgery? Do they have to get permission from my insurance company before setting up a date and time? I know that there was a holiday in the mix and its only been a couple of weeks, but I getting kind of inpatient about this. They said that they were looking around middle of this month, but I thought that I would have heard something by now. I don't want to bother them because I'm not sure how they will react.

thank you

straydog
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   Posted 6/2/2016 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes I would let the dr use Fentanyl when he puts in the new stuff. You don't want to have nothing in it except saline. Then have to wait for an appt at his office to get it filled. I say give the Fentanyl a couple of weeks, see how you manage. If it works great, if not then you can show you tried it & it didn't work. At least use the Fentanyl until its time to get the stitches out. That is more than ampl time for you to know if Fentanyl is going to work. If it doesn't then its time to go back to Morphine. A bad catheter is most likely the culprit to all of your problems, not the meds. These are very common meds used in pumps. If you do have a couple of minutes before surgery to speak to your dr let him know you are ok trying Fentanyl, however, I would follow through with if it doesn't work I am requesting you put Morphine back in since it worked so well. My thinking is he would be agreeable to this especially since you are willing to try the Fentanyl again. Sad but true but sometimes we have to stroke the egos with these drs.

A 6 week wait was not unusual at all with the last pump I had put in. The surgeon had his own huge practice of pump patients plus he implanted his own pumps, yes I did have a wait. They also have to get approval with insurance & the hospital had to get approval as well. I would give them some more time before calling. Last thing you need is for nurse ratchet to put your info at the bottom of the stack because she had to take a call from you. Hang in there & look for things to do to get out of the house.
Susie

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/5/2016 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Straydog,

It has been 3 weeks since my last office visit with my PM DR. I would have normally gotten a call with a date for surgery by now. I know that it will still most like take a few weeks till I would have to report to the hospital, but I should have at least a date by now. My wife suggested that I should call Monday afternoon and leave a voice mail on the doctor's nurse's phone stating the following: "Hey (nurse's name) I was wondering if you have heard anything yet about a surgery date for me? Thanks"

Straydog, if I wait to long without dropping a hint, she could drag this out till she remembers - which could take forever! If this is my first call, she shouldn't be upset with me.

IndianaBoy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/7/2016 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Straydog,

Your thoughts would be appreciated

I called my PM DR's nurse yesterday (Monday) afternoon and left a voicemail on her office phone.

I know that you said that I should wait, but I couldn't any longer. It has been 7 weeks since I was told that my PM DR said that I need to have surgery. Originally, that was over 7 weeks ago. I asked the DR's nurse at that time to go ahead to schedule the surgery and let me know the date, but I would also like to have another meeting with the doctor and ask a few questions.

But 3 weeks later on the day of the office visit, the surgery date still was not scheduled. The doctor's nurse told me that she would let me know when a date is set. As mentioned
earlier,its now going on 4 weeks since the last office visit for a total of 8 weeks now. My surgeon has his own huge practice of pump patients plus he implants his own pumps too.

Still NO SURGERY DATE SET! So I called yesterday (Monday afternoon) and left a voice mail. My therapist told me to do that - to leave a voicemail on her office machine. The reason to leave a message and not talk directly to her is so I don't get nervous and forget my lines etc...

If this nurse does not call me back with a date, not sure what to do then. I don't want to upset my PM DR because I don't want to be fired as a patient - because of his nurse. My therapist told me if I don't get a response by Wednesday afternoon to call her again.

Straydog, I have been praying and asking God for some help with this issue. Last night was a very difficult for me, having this on my mind knowing that this could drag out for some time is very difficult to deal with - as you know.

One Good piece of news is that I received in the mail the 2 small booklets from Medtronic: 1. PTM & 2. Synchromed II

Thank you for telling me about the booklets

I want to thank you for all of your encouragement with this problem.

straydog
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   Posted 6/7/2016 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Indiana I think it was reasonable to make that phone call. I also think if you don't have a return call by Wednesday I would call again. Its absurd for patient to have to wait 7 weeks to have something scheduled. I don't care how large this practice is. Sounds to me like you have a dr that is over his head with patients, greed seems to be a big thing with a lot of them. But, ultimately it costs the patient as a result.

Let me make a suggestion to you, many of us do this. Since his nurse is such a dragon, before calling her write out what you want to say. That way you don't get nervous & get all tongue tied. Yes, this happens a lot to patients, especially when we know we are not considered high up on that persons "like list". At some point you need to ask this nurse what is it you have done to make her dislike you as she does. I would let her know that you do not enjoy having to call her any more than she wants to hear from you. This can be done in a nice way without coming across as a smart you know what. You may be surprised, her attitude towards you may get much better. You have little to lose, like I said do it in a nice way. You should not feel as you do about calling her ever. She works for you, you do not work for her. You are helping pay her salary so stop letting this woman intimidate you. She will do it as long as you allow it. I would also have this very conversation face to face with her in front of the dr so he can hear it himself. All you have to say to do this is, say I need to say something here & I would like for both of you to hear me out. If patients don't let a dr know what is going on he will never know. If you cannot get a return call from this nurse, I suggest a certified letter to the dr asking why no one is returning your calls with a surgery date.

So glad you got your booklets from Medtronics too. Keep us posted.
Susie

IndianaBoy
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/7/2016 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Straydog,

Thank you so much for the suggestions and advice. I will use it. I do have a question. In the nurse's voicemail, she states that she would most like return the patients call around 48 hrs. I called her yesterday (Monday) at 12:09 pm and so if I don't hear from her after the 48 hrs I should have every right to call her back after 12:00 pm on Wednesday - maybe between 1:00 to 3:00 pm. On Wednesday's she works for one of the other doctors in the practice on that particular day.

So most likely she won't call me and I think that I will get her voicemail again. I know that if I do happen to reach her on Wednesday, she will bring up the 48 hr rule and have a attitude. That is why I will call after 12:00 pm to cover myself. Should I remind her that I followed her rules if she does answer the phone and brings that up?

My therapist said the same thing you said about calling her back later in the afternoon on Wednesday, if she doesn't return my call before then. This is so frustrating to be waiting for so long. Its very hard to keep my mind from thinking about it.

I hope I don't have to go as far as a certified letter to the DR, but if I do, how do you address it so it goes directly to him and not a nurse etc?

Let me ask you this - this practice has a head nurse - she is like a mean drill sergeant in the military. I could call her and ask her if she could find out what is my surgery date. This nurse will most likely send the nurse that is dragging her feet an email and might copy the DR in. My therapist said that this might not be such a good idea because the nurse (dragon lady) would think that I'm trying to go behind her and that will cause real trouble for me.

But where do I go with this? My therapist said call Wednesday later afternoon if I get NO return call after the 48 hrs. But suppose I still get NO response, do I send a letter to the DR or call the head nurse. Calling is faster, but a letter is personal to the DR and will take longer. What are your thoughts about this?

I don't know what is all involved in scheduling me for surgery, but can it be that time consuming or what?

thanks for your input

IndianaBoy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/7/2016 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   
By the way Straydog, this waiting is very stressful!!!
It's very hard to be positive with things like this happening to me.
There are times I could just cry!!!

Thanks you listening and the advise

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15299
   Posted 6/7/2016 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, you know you are going to have surgery that is stressful enough as it is. Try your best not to let this waiting game get you down because you need to conserve all of your energy to have surgery & heal well.

What are you doing to try to distract yourself from everything that is going on? Are you into computer games, such as cards & that sort of thing. There is a game website called Pogo.com that is nothing but games. Many of them are free but if you play free they have intermissions that drove me nuts. So, I joined & pay per year not to have to put up with that, lol. Plus my sister joined & we play some games online together. Can you get outside in the sun & get some fresh air? I live in Tx & the entire month of May was like a monsoon season, rain & more rain plus flooding. Those overcast days nearly did me in. I have to have sunshine to recharge my batteries. On the sunny days I am outside until I can't handle the heat. Try anything you can to distract yourself.

But again, you need to get a handle on this nurse & stop letting her steam roll you at every turn. Its unprofessional on her part. If no one will let the dr know what she is doing, guess what it will continue. You can do this in a diplomatic way without coming across as a whiner or jerk. Please think about this. We are now in an era where patients must advocate for their own care. You may as well start working on your letter to your dr, I have a feeling you will need it.

Take care.
Susie

IndianaBoy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/7/2016 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Straydog,

For your input, I will try online computer games etc...
As for the nurse, I hope she will call me by tomorrow with a surgery date for me. But, if she does not return my call, I might reach out one more time and if that fails then I will have the letter ready to mail to my PM DR. I will give is some though on what to say and write it out. It you don't mind, I would like to run it by you to get your thoughts. I hope I don't need it but you just don't know with this person. I try to get along with everybody, and gosh I tried with this person, I really did. I just don't know why I am being treated this way. I wonder if she is like this with other patients.

Thank you for your reply
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