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Alison Beaver

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ask: How do I get Dr's to listen to me?

By Anonymous
 
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I am 29 years old. 6 years ago, I started having severe pain in my back. The Dr did an MRI of my back and it showed 4 bulging discs. He prescribed a powerful pain killer, and a muscle relaxer. As time went on, I started noticing that my hands were going numb. Then my feet. Then hot would feel cold, and cold hot. My legs would shake uncontrollably, I couldnt walk down stairs. I would tell my Dr and he wouldnt listen. He finally turned me over to a Pain Management Dr. I saw that Dr on the first visit, and then it was his nurse prac for 8 months. I tried telling her that something wasnt right. I was in such pain I couldnt stand it! The numbness is traveling further. I finally saw him after much complaining. He was VERY irritated. He decreased my medication, told me it was only nerve damage and suggested an expensive injection. I said no, I dont believe that will help my pain. He said do this or just find another DR. Well, I went to 4 Drs. One told me to quit the bull ****, as I was crying pleading for him to do tests, he said compose yourself and leave. The only people your age looking for painkillers are addicts. The 2nd Dr prescribed me the painkillers, I was going back for the 2nd visit, the one where I was FINALLY going to get tests, and his nurse informed me that the pharmacy called and said that I was getting rx's from a pain dr (Even though I told both DR's, and wasnt planning on going back to pain Dr). The 3rd Dr said, Ill do bloodwork but thats all Ill do. They stuck me 7 times! Thank goodness Im numb and couldnt feel it! They called and said they couldnt get the results because the blood clotted. Finally the 4th Dr shook his head, he was dumbfounded that I hadn't had an MRI in 6 years! He said you have most of the symptoms of MS. I was blown away! He ordered an MRI for Tuesday. He said that he didnt feel comfortable giving me any painkillers. So, I will be completely out of ALL my RX's tom. Im terrified of the pain. Its unbearable. It feels like a toothache in my leg, and that my entire back is on fire. Everything from my head to my toes, twitches and jerks. He wanted me to go to another pain Dr, but there is NONE that accept Medicaid. They also want to look at my records. The nurse said that she WOULD be putting in there that I DR shopped. Im ready to give up! If I had known that I would have to choose between finding out what was wrong, or being in EXTREME, unbearable pain, I would have seriously thought about that!! I am a single mom, with 2 kids. My youngest is disabled, he has Mitochondrial Myopathy. I also care for my 80 year old grandmother. Its hard enough on me with the pain meds, I have NO idea how Ill do it without. I have to stop something Ive been on for 6 years. I feel like when these Dr's will listen, they pawn me off because Im too much to deal with. When the pain gets unbearable, I want to give up. I dont like Dr's very much.

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Alison Beaver

I am so sorry you have gone through such an ordeal, but after reading your post...it DOES sound like you found a doctor who will listen.

You have a diagnosis of MS, correct? Have you learned all you can about MS (multiple sclerosis), and confirmed that your symptoms and tests confirm this diagnosis?

You have been out of your pain medication for a few days now...how are you doing?

I am confused about the blood tests that you had taken, and the doctor said they were not able to get any results because your blood clotted. Were these tests redone, or did you have any exams to determine WHY your blood was clotting? This may be irrelevant now, if your MS diagnosis is the final condition that you have been confirmed with, and you can move forward.

Since you found a doctor who will listen (and, we can help you from this point forward as well!), can this doctor refer you to a Pain Specialist who does accept Medicaid?

You can also request a copy of all of your medical records. I am not sure what the significance is of the nurse saying she will say you "doctor shopped" on your records...that is a strange "threat", and most doctors are going to treat your new condition with respect, and you can perhaps learn about yourself in this process (if you came across in a certain way that was off-putting to the health care professionals?).

We can talk about how to receive the best care from your doctors, and if you have any behaviors that you can change in order to advocate for yourself, while also giving the doctors and Nurse Practitioners (who are EXCELLENT at providing care, and can prescribe treatment...don't underestimate an N.P.!) mutual respect.

One way to advocate for yourself is to keep a record of your doctor visits, prescriptions, as well as your symptoms. You may have already done this, but it takes some of the emotion out of the equation (although, this is certainly a place for this!) and helps everyone look at the facts regarding symptoms, treatments and diagnosis.

Please let us know how you are doing now, what your plans to move forward with MS are, and to confirm that you do have a doctor who is caring and willing to help you through this new diagnosis. I am truly sorry you have gone through such a terrible experience, as you seem to have found some doctors who were not putting you first as a patient, and there is no reason for their unprofessional behavior. What we can do is help you move forward, be the best patient advocate AND form the best patient-doctor relationships to receive the best care possible. Please let us know how we can help, and we can also help you in finding resources in your area.

Here is a great starting place to learn more about MS: http://www.empowher.com/condition/multiple-sclerosis.

October 30, 2011 - 10:53am
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