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Posted in: Surgery.

Surgery: Use Your Patient Advocate

Started by Randy W on 10/09/2012 3:30am

Just thought I would share about my experience with my lumbar l-5-S-1 laminectomy/discectomy. After being in severe pain for months and trying everything to avod surgery, it was the last resort and I went for it. I had had 2 cervical fusions over the years which offered immediate relief. So i was very optimistic going into surgery. Alas, my pain DOUBLED after surgery. In the meantime, my Dr. (world renowned) seemed to have disappeared. I was in agony and my wife had to BEG the nurses for more IV pain medication. The second day, the Doctor's "Resident and Fellow" came in. Finally, I thought, maybe I can get some answers. But all the did was ask me to wiggle my toes. In my narcotic haze (my wife wasn't there--it was in the middle of the night) I asked them what went wrong, I was in agony. They didn't even have one shred of information on my surgery in the laptops they carried.

Long story longer, when my wife came in early the next morning, she immediately demanded to see a Patient Advocate at the hospital (Emery). Someone showed up within the hours. She was able to get through to my Doctor and while my pain was still horrific, I was getting responses right away. DON'T BE AFRAID TO DEMAND your rights. Afterall, it's your and your insurance company who are paying for this rodeo.

Randy

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You got that right Randy, when we go in by ourselves they treat us like drug adicts seeking meds, Its a never ending game just as U said. Im still trying to find a pain manegemnt doc for the past 2 years that will treat me correctly (meds),,and with respect. For those whom are receiving the meds,,words to the wise BE Thanful,,they R hard to find, Hope ur doing better, hav a good day, Rene :)

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Wow, I'm so glad I've "hoarded" some meds. I've been very lucky to have had a Dr. who prescribed, "liberally" pain meds to find exactly what works best for me. I am about to enter your world because she just changed over to urgent care and my insurance doesn't cover where she now practices.
I see an uphill battle coming my way,
Janet.

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mornin Randy, How u feeling,,,,I thought ud B on your 2nd cup of coffee by now,its 6am,,Ive been up since 430,,expecting the coffee to B made n waiting 4 me ( by U ) haha.Im in such pain from Tuesdays doc visit,who performed Lidocain pinpoint injections, If I knew where he lived Id B there now, pounding on his door saying what the hell did U do to me. LIDOCAINE, what a joke,Thats almost equivalent to sun burn releif cream,which contains lidocaine in it.But its all about $,The last time I checked, Pin point facet joint injections are suppose to B done w/pain medication NOT lidocaine. And about ur missing doctor, that doesnt surprise me,,my last months visit w/my surgeon (my first post op visit ) after augusts surgery,He opened my chart to find no records of even the surgery or any MRI reports that where done just B4 the surgery,they majically dissapeared,,youve got to love it,,it def. is a RODEO show.I think its time I print out all these blogs and present them to Pain management N the surgeon to shove in there faces what there doing to us.Trust me Ill do it,I might B a little woman, but I have a very large Italian Temper................Rene :)

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Hey, Rene, I know I wouldn't want to tangle with you! Sorry your injections don't seem to help. You're right, they are a joke. I made myself some coffee last night so I could stay up to avoid the ususal 4 am wakeup time. I made it to 7 am! The epidural injection I got a couple of weeks ago unfortunately is wearing off. I was so darn optimistic, too, the days after. I've sent all my medical records to a new pain clinic and I'm praying I'lll get in. It's simply IMPOSSIBLE to function without them. I may have mentioned that I have been sober 23 years, as has my wife. So when she sees me taking meds she gets worried. I try to explain that whenever I start enjoying the meds, that is when I no longer need them. I'd take horse pills if they worked. Have you tried a tens unit? When my pain is on my hip it really helps. Have a good day. Randy

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Thanks for that info Randy! Sometimes we forget our healthcare is a paid service that we pay for through our insurance. When one stands up for quality care as I did with my pain management office, I am just finding out that you are on your own and must start from scratch. I have my pain meds and should be ok until after my surgery, but new PM has to obtain and review my record before they will even schedule an appt which is 8 weeks out! It almost seems that if we choose to not stay with a doc because of an incompetent office we can be left out in the cold.

One thing I have learned is that as a patient you must keep a documentation of everything!!! If it is not in writing it never occurred. From the outset of medical treatment keep a detailed chronological journal of everything!

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Hi Randy, U do what have to and dont feel guilty,,,The sh--t my daughters give me about my meds I have learned to just keep it to myself, Today I went to another Pain management,I think my prayers have been answered,,this one started me w/ms contin 2x daily, and the percs and zanaflex he said I can pick up 2morrow once he confirms that I did cancel my contract w/the other,,I last saw them on sept 16th, so I should b safe,,I called numerous times n faxed them last week telling them I would no longer B seing them so I dont think I breeched the contract. They were the ones from my surgery group. The idiot on tuesday was from Physical therapy and I never signed a contract and lidocain pinpoint injections R not considered medication, so I should B safe. Im on pins n needles till 2morro, if all goes well I FINALLY will be receiving the correct pain management course...oh,,,plz have my coffee ready in the morning.lol....Ill B routin for your plan to go through w/out an issue,,sad isnt it , the games we have to go through, just to B comfortable,,,,,COMFORTABLE not drugged,,and about the horse pills,,dont think I didnt look into petmeds.com pretty sad.how desperate we get. Rene :)

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