I have a rather lengthly history so I'll do my very best to make this short and sweet.
I'm a 34 year old single mom who works full time and suffers with osteoarthritis in many joints but my knees are the worst (large/severe chondral defects). I had arthroscopic surgery in August of last year and there wasn't much my surgeon could do so I've been waiting for a cadaver to have a cartilage rebuild of my knee. I've been in excruciating pain but my surgeon told me months ago I'd be kept comfortable until the surgery, even after I turned down a stronger pain med. I have been on hydrocodone (norco) 5/325 since the arthroscopy. I was only taking a couple pills a day (2-3) but was in a lot of pain...my doctor told me I was in pain because I wasn't taking enough so I was put on 2 pills 3 times per day. And that's the dose I remained at until, all of a sudden, my surgeon's PA told me they couldn't keep me on the meds anymore (April 11). After a week of tramadol, she forwarded me to a pain management doctor but gave me an rx of the norco until the appt. The appt with the PM was this past Friday and it was very seriously the worst appointment ever. I waited for almost 2 hours. I was in a lot of pain by then because I didn't take my meds before the appointment and my blood pressure and pulse were high. They asked why. I said because I hurt! When he finally came in the room, the first thing he did was pop his foot up on the desk (he had a brace on his ankle) and said he can understand my pain since he sprained his ankle and it hurts him too. At that point I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It went downhill from there. He told me he had a great medicine that was just like "super advil" that he'd put me on. He also wanted me to do this nerve cauterizing procedure but I knew nothing about it so I said I wanted some info before deciding. He said I looked tech savvy so I could Google it. I asked him to write it down so I could Google it...but he didn't. He was visibly not pleased that I didn't readily agree to the procedure. He also said I would get a TENS unit and I should put this on every night. Didn't say anything about what to do during the day. He said to go down to 2 times per day with the Norco but only gave an rx for the "super advil." He also laughed at me when I said I was under the impression my pain was temporary. I also gave him a print out of all my information and history and his response after glancing at it for about 5 seconds was that I repeated myself too much.
I left the appointment in tears. My body is experiencing the effects of stopping the medication I've been on for over 8 months abruptly. I called my surgeon's office about what I should do or what to look out for because my BP is remaining elevated but they just said I needed to talk to the PM doctor. Well, I refuse to call that office...I don't even want to ever go back to that man, let alone CALL them! My boss, who is amazing, told me to contact the patient advocate for the hospital so I did but I haven't heard anything back. I'm afraid to cancel the follow-up because I have heard it isn't good to do that with pain doctors. So I figured maybe the hospital patient advocate can help get me set up with a new doctor that isn't so terrible. I wanted to keep the PM in the same medical system as my surgeon so the records were visible to everyone and so they could see I'm not playing games. Also, the PM came storming in after he checked the pharmacy records and asked WHO is prescribing the Norco. I said my surgeon's PA. He didn't believe that's who it was even tho he could easily look that up being in the same medical system!
I don't know what to do. My surgeon knows I am suffering...they gave me the rx for the handicap placard and filled out the paperwork for work (to get reasonable accommodations) so it's not like I'm making any of this up. I just don't know what to do or where to go to get help! I am frustrated, in so much pain, and I feel so alone. Friday was one of my lowest days ever...I am not suicidal but, for the first time ever, the thought of wanting to go to sleep and never wake up crossed my mind. I really feel like I'm going to lose my mind with this pain and frustration with these doctors.
Do I start over again? With the ortho AND PM? My ortho surgeon said it'd be 6 weeks to 6 months to find cadaver donor but then his PA just said Friday it could be another year! I can't DO this another year! But supposedly I can't have a replacement because I am too young.
Anyhow, thank you for listening...I just needed to find a place to vent where maybe someone understands and could give me some suggestions of what to do.