Thursday, 11 October 2012

SpoonieLife: Doctors and Specialists: The Good, The Bad and The downright Useless !!

The bad and the Useless:

Originally posted May 25th 2011
So, I finally get to my Pain Management Clinic appointment today, that I have waited 12 months for.
I wasn’t expecting miracles, but maybe a few alternative suggestions, a change in my meds, that kind of thing.  So I walk in the room and the Doc introduces himself and another doctor (female) to me.  She NEVER spoke the entire time.
He starts by asking me what pain I have and wear.  So I tell him.  I give him my 4 page print out of symptoms and pain diary I’ve been keeping and he pushes it to 1 side with barely a glance.
Then he asks me how long I’ve had these pains…’s in the notes but he won’t read them….so I tell him, about 10 yrs progressively getting worse, last 4-5 yrs have gotten much worse and now 2011 severe to the point of unbearable.
He sits scrawling illegible notes and never once looks at me.  Then he says, and what meds are you on?  So I throw my med sheet at him  (thanks go to Fibroduck at this point for her very helpful hospital forms).
He writes them all in his notes, asking me if I’m sure my thyroxine dose is right.  ”Yes” I say Just been checked.  Then he starts on about do I take my tramadol and paracetamol every day and do I take 2×4 a day. “YES” I say.  Cos that’s what it says on my Med Chart.  Then he starts wittering on at me about how the meds I’m on are an ideal treatment regime for fibro. What with the duloxetine, amitryptaline and tramadol.  SO I say, BUT they aren’t working.  I’m still in pain I’m NOT sleeping and my depression has increased.  His answer? ..NOTHING, he didn’t answer me, he didn’t even look at me.
So then he says, do you see a specialist for your depression.? “NO” says me. Cos I haven’t seen anyone about it in yrs.  The duloxetine was working well until this January.  So brains of britain says….wait for it….your gonna love this one….
“We can’t help you here.  Your pain is too wide spread for us to offer you any treatment.  We will recommend that your GP refer you to ANOTHER clinic for holistic therapy.  ”We will also recommend to your GP that you see a PSYCHIATRIST”.
At this point I kinda lost it.   “The pain is not in my head. I had depression at 19 yrs old and fibro dx at 34 and yet you still want to blame the depression for my pain. Don’t you think it might just be the other way around ? Isn’t it more likely that my depression is increasing because my pain is increasing?”  He refused to look at me or answer me and continued scribbling in his notes.
“So this was a complete waste of everyones time then wasn’t it” I say.
“What were you expecting from us?” he asks me.
“Oh I don’t know, some advice, a med review, some alternative treatment options” Says me, grasping at straws and fighting back tears.
“There are no other treatments for fibro” he says.
So I ask him, “What about Neurontin, gabapentin and whatever other names/similar drugs they might have?” (getting flustered and forgetting all the names)  His answer….he looked me square in the face and said. “They are not proven treatments for fibro”.
I’m out of the seat at this point (a very uncomfortable seat I might add considering this was a pain clinic) and heading for the door before I hit him.
“So basically what you telling me is you won’t help me, you don’t believe in trying any alternative medications, despite many thousands of people being treated with them and you are yet another specialist who is discharging me”….and I left before he could answer.

SO, here I am blogging about one of my worst days since being diagnosed with fibro and I feel even more confused now than I did before I went to the sodding clinic.  At least before I went I had hope. Hope that they might offer me a chance at an alternative med or a few sessions with a pain manager or whatever they are called.  But NO nothing, just another dismissal, another discharge, another rejection.
Next stop ?  June 10th back at the GPs for a double appointment. I am going armed, once again, with my pain diary and symptom sheet, and this time I want the doc to READ it in front of me, and at least discuss the possibility of trying another med, a different dose of the ones I’m on, or failing all else….A Gun!!
~*~With love and gentle hugs to all my readers. ~*~

The Good:

Since writing this I have attended appointments with yet another so called Pain Management Specialist, who also turned out to be about as useful as a pocket in the back of a vest !!

I have, however, now found myself a WONDERFUL GP. She cares, she listens, she has no airs and graces and she understands me.  She accepts it when I tell her a med is or isnt working for me in a certain way and she writes it on my notes. She is willing to try alternatives, within safe limits for me.  She doesnt argue with  me if I request a referral, or blood tests or x-rays, she NEVER makes me feel like I'm wasting her time, she never blames my weight and she always tries to find a reason for new symptoms BEFORE she connects them to my Fibro.  There is only 1 downside to this GP, she is SO GOOD its hard to get an appointment to see her and she is always running an hour late. But, to be treated like a human being, its worth the wait !!


  1. Lovely to see your being treated like a human being Leigh, this is something that should of happened everytime you met a doctor, consultant, manager, specialist.

    Nice write up thank you for sharing Georgie xx

  2. Has anyone mentioned Lyrica to you? It helped me ALOT, they had to keep increasing my dosage until it started to work for me. I also tried gabapentin its ok the Lyrica worked better and as a matter of fact it has been proven by the FDA to help fibro pts as well as Cymbalta which I take for my fibro and depression has also been said by the FDA to help with pts with Fibro, that idiot dr did not know his a$$ from a hole in the ground. I am sorry that you had to suffer for his lack of intellect or grace... I also take hydrocodone 7.5/325 and methocarbamol, the tramadol did not work as well for me as the hydrocodone does. But everyone is different, I've also read a few articles that state that pain meds like hydrocodone and tramadol don't help fibro pts but this is not the case for me, its not a miracle cure but it def takes the edge off. I hope you get some answers and some relief!