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I AM OPENING A CAN OF WORMS
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aprilrose9 posted:
So angry! The truth is, I should not have suffered or lost so much if I had received good care. Bottom line.
I friend (physician) sent me to a physiatrist with one of the strangest practices I have ever seen. Big open room with 2 blue padded tables, a rack of hand weights, ultrasound machine and 2 women with high school diplomas. Zero P.T. Given a single sheet of paper with a few home exercises. Since I used to do utilization review, I couldn't help and wonder which codes were sent to the insurance company? Smelled like, starts with an F, five letters and ends with a D!

Next, the world renown surgeon calls this a THOROUGH physical therapy course and tells me I need back surgery. He later leaves the practice over a huge blow up over money. I hear the dirty details. For the record, hospital/medical gossip tends to be accurate due to the need to frequently relay important verbal information.

The practice ended up with one doc being depressed and the other loud and angry. Not a good time to be a surgical patient. One appointment was spent hearing the left partners woes. He was angry over money, worried the former surgeons patients would sue, he felt betrayed since he brought the guy from a country with socialized medicine, furious with his wife for attempting suicide (couldn't believe she pulled THIS STUNT, while his practice was going through so much. I spent 95% of the apointment feeling like a psychologist, but HE WAS THE ONE THE INSURANCE COMPANY PAID. The last minute he hands me a slip of paper with three pain doctors numbers. It was good advice and if he had acted professionally, I would have (should have) taken his advice. Instead...

I go to a spine surgeon at a WORLD famous institution, known to kings and high on all the "Best Of" lists. Supposed to have one surgery and at the very last minute, I am told he is changing the surgery. He refuses to do the surgery we discussed at length. Teaching hospitals are loaded with residents dying to do every proceedure/surgery they can get their hands on. No matter what anyone says, I think my surgery was done so the resident could try and anterior fusion. The doc had told me a complication of the surgery was 10% of the patients get "hip pain". This is not how I would describe S.I. joint pain. No one ever told me I would be in greater pain or loose the ability to sit for the rest of my life.

O.K., this is what I am getting at! To all medical personel, but to surgeons and physicians in particular I want to say: 1) You have taken an oath to first do no harm. 2) Know the credibility of the physicians you refer patients to (it is your responsibility) Yes, I am aware of the rotation list, but not all referals are done this way. 3) leave money out of the equation 4) make all decisions based on the best interest of the patient, 5) consider the age of the patient and the long term ramifications of decisions 6) don't sugarcoat words when describing potentially negative outcomes (if I had been told the truth of the pain with S.I. joint involvement I would have NEVER had my anterior fusion). 7) act professional with patients at all times.

I am super fed up. I was told after I had surgery that my initial injury was not bad enough to warrant surgery. Did someone amputate the wrong leg? No, of course I am not saying my situation is that bad, just that money, experience and personal issues played a part in my ending up in pain for too many years.

My 2 surgeons are now deceased, so I can't be upset to their faces. I just want people with virgin backs to make good decisions. You pay a huge price for accepting less than professional behavior. If it stinks, then get away as fast as you can. Don't end up years later, suffering in the 4 walls of your home, unseen and unheard! EVERYONE GETS PAID AND YOU ARE LEFT TO DEAL WITH THE MISTAKE!
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trs1960 responded:
You're so right. "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" takes on a whole new meaning when you're suffering intractable pain. You second guess every decision. I'm not going to personalize your important statement. I will say that I absolutely agree. You've stated before "we spend more time picking a car than a back surgery..." (Paraphrased) and you're so right. Frustration of pain and na?vet? make for dangerous partners.

I hear your frustration and understand. It's why we try and help others, because we know no miracle surgeries are waiting in the OR room for us.

God bless you April I hope the weather is nice where you live and perhaps you can enjoy a little sunshine to warm your soul.

Tim
 
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davedsel responded:
I have been to many, many so-called "spine specialists" looking for answers over the years. I would call several of them "quacks". I remember going to a physiatrist about 10 years ago and hearing him argue with his associate loudly in the hall as to what they could do for me. They wanted to give me series of steroid injections and ignore the fact that I was on warfarin due to a history of DVT/PE. I only went to that initial appointment and never went back.

I have now accepted my conditions and am actually enjoying an early forced retirement. My wife and I were discussing about such things this morning as she is now also retired and disabled due to the work-related back injury. It all seems to boil down to money. Many health care professionals seem to only be looking at the patients as potential revenue.

Caveat emptor (buyer beware) applies to all things in life, especially health care.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
My "naivete" got reformatted to na?vet?

It's important to point out that I meant to clarify that we are most naive when we make those hurried catastrophic decisions that only later we find out are irreversible and that is what we as a core group try to prevent. Unfortunately by the time most people find us here, they in the same boat.

I have to say at least in my case I had no choice and my problems were not caused by bad doctors. I was traumatically injured and severely damaged. My surgeon saved my legs and I thank him, but life goes on around me as I find it harder and harder to pay bills. To deal with life. To be the husband and father that I was put on earth to be.

I should have sued the person responsible, but I wrote it off as a freak accident and was busy trying to stay alive. To be honest I just felt lucky to be alive and the doctors and their rosy stories led me to believe they would reconstruct my spine and I would go back to life as it was.

I envy you Dave. April and I have a tension in every word we type, yet I always here the calm voice of acceptance and control in your words.

You are quite the mentor.

Tim
 
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aprilrose9 replied to davedsel's response:
Dear Dave,
Buyer beware...so true. The problem with back injuries, being in sudden pain, unable to work, financial issues, unable to get a doctors appointment (or it takes 30 days), your workers comp claim has yet to be certified, NSAIDs don't work and you are trying to make important decisions in a great deal of pain. It is the perfect strorm and a set up for disaster..
You are such a gentleman and try to look at the positive side of things. Just a bit hard for me right now.


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