((SIDE NOTE: I put it on my FB page before here. So you might see some of that in it as well.))
To many chronic pain sufferers getting up daily and performing normal mundane but necessary tasks of life can become rather unbearable. For a chronic pain sufferer if the management of pain isn't well under controlled with the method or methods that best work it is truly a hard thing to get up or do anything let alone the normal things that everyone should.
No one is oblivious to the drug abuse problems all over America and even world-wide. But, I'm writing this to bring in another point of view to something that has left me upset and rather outraged by America's medical field.
Some, or none, of my facebook contacts may or may not know that I am actually a chronic pain sufferer. After having my last epideral with my son Oliver my back has never been the same. I felt back achiness after having Kiera, but it was nowhere near what I can feel on a daily basis with my back now. Two of the conditions that I suffer from unfortunately work against each other or even with each other to speed up eating away at the cartilage in my back. I do have Degenerative Disc Disease and SI dysfunction in my lower back. These conditions didn't show up until after I had my son, and I did my best to ignore them for a while since I was working as a server at Ruby Tuesday in Fayetteville and mostly brushed off my pain in my back to the job duties I performed every night.
However, it got to a certain point where I couldn't handle it anymore. I needed help to find a solution that didn't leave me half bent over at the waist just to walk when I got out of my car after a night at work.
In my opinion, I'd say out of everyone in my family, I am the one who has certain points of my body that have very very low tolerance of pain. My back is one of them. So naturally I sought out a orthopedic doctor in Fayetteville and she told me that I had those two conditions and we had planned on getting me into physical therapy since I'm young enough to start reversing the damage and slow it down. But, we moved not very short after that and moved to Gulfport MS.
Its a very beautiful and fun place to visit for a family vacation on the beach but I will not ever recommend someone move here. And here are my reasons why:
1. The doctors here LIE - They flat out lie to your face about certain things and I wouldn't even have known that if I hadn't gone to Miller Motte to study becoming a Medical Office Assistant. Most of the doctors, not all though, I've seen have lied to my face and treated me poorly.
The doctor I saw when I moved here I explained to him my conditions and what the orthopedic doctor had been planning to do. My coverage at the time didn't allow me to get into physical therapy so my option was medicine to control the pain and exercise to get the weight off so it eases the pressure. It really does sound like a simple clean cut plan, doesn't it?
Except... My doctor threw me a curve ball that I didn't know enough about and if I had? I would have flat out said no. He sent me instead of to an Orthopedic Doctor, which would have been a very much better idea, to a Pain Management doctor. I had ZERO idea what these doctors were. Going into the first appointment I thought maybe they were a facility that does something therapeutic to help pain or something.
Pain Management doctors are doctors who prescribe narcotic medications along with other types of medicines and procedures to help control pain. I was a little wary of this, but I listened to the doctors options which were: spinal injection.
A lot of people OPT for spinal injections. However, my back pain didn't START until after my last epidural. So, my answer was flat out NO. I was not going to take the chance of "helping" my back by possibly making the situation worse. The only other option was anti-inflammatory medicine, narcotics, and skeletal muscle relaxers. And here is where this comes in why I do not like doctors here.
The pain management had been doing a wonderful job of helping my pain. I could work 8 hours at my job at Ruby Tuesday because of the pain medicine and it never left me feeling looped out like most feel. Because of my pain levels, it gave me energy to push through the pain, and work better. But as time progressed my back pain was starting to get worse in the winter of 2013-2014. I called my pain management doctor THREE times in one month. I talked to the nurse and told her that what he had me on was not helping with this pain.
SIDE NOTE: For anyone who has never been to a pain management doctor? They make you sign contracts that state you are not allowed to get ANY pain medicine from ANY kind of doctor. I wasn't told that when I signed it. I was told that I was not to receive medicine from another doctor about my back pain.
It is absolutely 100% a pain management's doctors responsibility to take care of their patients and if they are calling in and telling the nurse that the pain is getting that much worse it is their responsibility as the treating doctor to get that patient taken care of. And here's where the blatant lying now comes into effect.
Between the months of March and April I was in an excruciating kind of pain with my back. I could hear popping and grinding going on in my back. I called in March twice I believe and the nurse rudely told me that the doctor already gave me my monthly RX and to just add Tylenol and it should help. When THAT didn't do a damn thing I ended going to the emergency room (AS the Pain Management's OWN NURSE told me to do.) So I would end in the emergency room with back pain and they would either treat me or not. Often times I had to lie about what was wrong with me because I was in that much pain and not getting the care that was professionally required by my PM doctor.
April came around, and the pain was not going away, I spoke to the doctor he bumped up my daily dosage to see if it would help. Did it help? Not at all. I called his office again after that and his nurse once again rudely told me he wouldn't do anything else for my pain (which is a lie) and that if it was that bad to seek the ER.
So I ended up again in the ER several times because the medicine he gave me was not enough to handle the pain that was increasing. I ended up in the hospital that month because I started to scratch up my back with a kitchen knife because of how much pain I was in. They saw this as a suicide attempt and that was cleared up VERY quickly by not just one therapist, but two. I was not trying to kill myself in any way shape or form. The second therapist I saw that morning told me that it is absolutely 100% my pain management doctors fault for not taking care of this issue.
So in June, I had to go to the ER again because of something legit. I was having stomach pains, and throwing up constantly for three days. It turned out to be that I could have IBS. The ER doctor sent me home with some non-narcotic pain medicine to help with my stomach pains, some nausea medication, and very low doses of pain medicine. It was in July that I got rudely pulled from my pain management doctor for a breach in my contract.
The reasons why I think it is truly different in this case is because I'm a 23 year old young woman who had never heard of Pain Management until I moved here. I was NOT given a copy of my contract and when I signed it I thought it was for that doctor to be treating my back only and no other doctor to do so. The other part of this situation that was rather unfair in my eyes and didn't really make sense; Why did his nurse tell me to go to the ER for my back pain getting worse? If receiving medicine for pain from an ER doctor puts me in violation with the contract then why did the Pain Management doctor get me into his office ASAP to take care of the issue? There have been MANY pain management patients who often need what is called "breakthrough" pain medicine. Sometimes you go through days/weeks where the pain just gets worse and they CAN give breakthrough medicine.
Instead of treating me properly, this doctor "fired" me from his clinic, and now because of this even my own Primary doctor will no longer treat conditions he has been treating like my insomnia.
I'm sure there are some of my friends here on Facebook that will think I'm a whiny brat trying to get her way, and that's an opinion and I respect those. But I'm not the only one who this has happened to in the world of Pain Management. We get treated like "junkies" and most of us who get released from one PM doctor the others refuse to touch. It becomes a catch 22 and I'm honestly sick of it. I've gone three months now without relief from pain and not going to the ER or Urgent Care because I want to find a solution. But, instead of doctors seeing that as "Hey, she is aware of the policy and procedure of pain management now that she has been informed correctly, and she's trying to show other potential PM doctors that she isn't seeking out ER's for pain medication or anything like that when I REALLY need it.
And there is no doubt in my mind that some people will read this and from now label me a junkie. Thats their own opinion. But what I actually seem to have is what is called pseudo dependence. This is a condition that happens when a patient in legitimate pain is UNDER-treated for their pain, and is desperate to find that perfect balance of pain relief so that they can function in their daily lives. Most doctors don't even consider this when a patient comes in and is in pain and mentions specific drugs.
Just because we know what drugs there are out there doesn't mean that we are seeking the medicine for fun!! When I was taking my pain medication, I was in SCHOOL, and WORKING. Now? I'm at home all the time, rarely do anything that involves too much standing or walking because I have nothing to dull that pain.
So where will this witch hunt end? Are doctors and pharmacists now going to treat unfairly treated patients like myself like we are druggies and should be turned away at every turn?
The Medical Field is changing, some for the better, and some now for the worse. Doctors have issues believing that a nearly 24 year old young woman has pain problems because she is so young. Yet, I have MRI results, and CT scan results that prove I have what I do. And with the added 110 lbs on my body it makes it impossible to get up and do regular chores. So when will this stop? When will it stop turning into an unfair witch hunt that leaves human beings that the medical field has taken the Oath of Hippocrates to do no harm. Direct quote: 'and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.'
I'd never thought much on the way that the medical field now works, but I've ended up the victim of its practices. Doctors have become less and less willing to listen and understand their patients needs. And many don't even believe the ones who are in legitimate pain. So, where exactly do we turn? Doctors treat us like junkies from the streets when all chronic pain sufferers like myself want is to feel able to go through my normal life without having to constantly do so in pain.
I think that in many ways the Medical field has progressed with medicines and treatments for many new things. But, I also think that the medical field has turned into a cold and unfeeling profession where doctors see pain and under treat with things that are MORE harmful than pain medicine such as NSAIDs.
So, where does it end? Are we as people just going to allow doctors to tell us our pain isn't real or give us medicines time after time after time that prove they don't work? I'm honestly sick of it. I spend every day now in pain and instead of getting it taken care of by the people who have sworn to uphold the noble oath of Hippocrates they do more damage than good now.