Not Happy With FFC in Torrance........

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by laura81655, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    Grrrrrr. I had an appointment tomorrow in Torrance, it takes about three hours or so with L.A. traffic. I called them and they didn't even have me in their books! I'm glad I called! They put me in at 12:30. I also asked if the bloodwork results were back and they said they would have to call me about that too, couldn't find it....

    This would be my second appointment. At the first appointment the doctor spent about 35 min. with me. He briefly went over the 24 page questionare.

    I'm not very satisfied with them so far. It feels like I'm dealing with my crappy HMO, but for tons more money! Sorry to sound so negative.

  2. FM58

    FM58 New Member

    Sorry Laura for your no so great results so far.

    I'm surprised you only had a 35 minute first appointment - everyone else seems to have had 1 hour plus.

    It's a good thing you called to verify your appointment - I certainly hope they find your bloodwork on time!

    For others looking for an address of a FFC - just go to the FFC site at You will be able to find all the locations, phone # and any other info you need.

    Laura, please post back after you go to your appt in Torrance - let us know how it goes.

    I need to get my settlement for disability (who knows whenever that will be???) before I can even think about going - I would go to FFC- Philadelphia. So I'm keeping my eyes open on reviews on that one also.

    Best of Luck!!

  3. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    I'm sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience. They do not sound very professional, nor do they sound like the other FFCs.

    The first appointment is supposed to be 1 paid for it! 35 minutes does not adequately cover what needs to happen at that appointment.

    On the scheduling and blood work, they're sounding flakey to say the least.

    Have you considered contacting the main office to voice your concerns? I know that can be difficult to do, but you deserve to be treated appropriately. You can find the main toll-free number at their website.

    If that doesn't help, maybe think about transfering to another FFC.

    I hope that it all works out for you.

    Best wishes,
  4. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    That doesn`t sound at all like the other clinics. I go to the Dallas one and had over an hour appt. Would it be possible for you to switch to a different one? This guy sounds like he`s taking major shortcuts with his patients. You could call and FFC office and complain and asked to be switched.
  5. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    to me. I have been planning to see them when my own SS back payment finally comes in. I was not expecting ANSWERS...but was looking forward to at least being taken seriously. I am really weary of visiting the psychaitrist I currently have to see in order to get klonopin for sleep.

    I think too that a call to "headquarters" may be in order. You'd think that in a location where they could do quite well, they'd have better representatives.

    Also, it looks like the Torrance center is THE center for L.A.

    Thanks for posting this note of caution.
  6. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    I really apprediate all of you so much. They did call back and my labs are in so I will have my appointment at 12:30 tomorrow, Thursday during the doctor's lunch time.

    I did check my app't. card and I had the right time and day, wasn't having a fibro moment :)

    When they called to tell me they have the lab-work, the guy says " Well, the doctor will be seeing you during his lunch break, maybe you should bring him something to eat, like a muffin." say, what??

    Anyway, I will let you guys know how it goes. I don't want to complain, yet....I'm hoping for a more positive visit.

  7. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Hi again Laura,
    I got to thinking about that first appointment you had. Did the doctor do an actual physical exam at that appointment? Take your temperature, blood pressure, and check for your tender points?

    At my first appointment which was in Cleveland, Dr. Juguilon did a physical exam. I had previously been diagnosed with CFIDS. I was shocked (OK, maybe I'd been in denial) to learn that I also had FM. I had never had my tender points tested before. Were you checked for this at your appointment?

    Other things she checked for on the physial exam: morphology, hair (normal, thinning, dry etc.), eyes, face (eyelids, cheeks) facial skin quality, thyroid, heart, lungs, breasts, muscles, hands (quality of nails, cold, etc) body hair, abdomen, legs, feet, ankle reflex.

    Also, I went home with other diagnoses as well, like hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency, adrenal insufficiency, insomnia, and she was sure I had candida although hadn't yet been tested.

    I just want to make sure that you get the full examination and treatment that you need and deserve. You may want to get copies of the doctor's notes from each visit as well, for your own records. Can you take someone with you for support?

    Hope tomorrow goes smoothly. Please let us know how it goes.

    Be well,
  8. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    The nurse took BP and temperature. The doctor listened to my heart, checked my thyroid gland, looked at my tongue, and checked ankle reflexes. That's it concerning the physical exam.

    I was sitting on a chair with my clothes on, so it would be difficult to check for tender points in this way.

    I will bring up some of these issues to the doctor and my DH will be with me.

    Thanks again....

  9. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    I didn't even know about this place until someone at my pharmacy told me about it. The Torrance facility is supposed to be the one where the main doctor is located that trains all the other doctors. I want to go there as well, and I'm really disappointed in hearing what you said.

    One thing I do know is that even in my internist's office, I don't like many of the people that work there. They've had a change of staff lately, and one of my favorite nurses isn't there any longer.

    The girl that does the calendaring is crabby and hard to deal with, and they hired someone new in the front office that didn't seem all that competent if you ask me. On the other hand, my doctor, himself, is the sweetest, most kind, highly educated, thorough man you can possibly imagine, and so are some of the other people that work there. Just don't talk to the wrong ones, or everything comes out wrong. And what really does happen to those lab results and fax'd prescription refill requests that seem to disappear?

    Maybe there has been a staff change at FFC that has affected the way you were handled. From what I understand it is extremely busy there and, ya know, it isn't easy to get good people to work in medical offices...apparently.

    Good luck tomorrow, and please let us know how it goes.
  10. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    How about a nuckle sandwich?
  11. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member the doctor when you see him. It would be good to know how this scheduling thing hapened in the first place and why your appointment was shorter than everyone else's. I'm sure it's okay to ask. Most doctors don't want their patients to be frustrated, I'd think especially these people.

    Knuckle sandwich...very good!!
  12. elsa

    elsa New Member

    It sounded like you got the Natural Hormone Replacement package as oppose to the CFS/FM consult.

    My sister goes to the FFC in Dallas for HRT. Her first appointment was scheduled for 30 minutes but lasted about 35-40 minutes. Her second appt length is supposed to be thirty minutes as well. If this is during his lunch break ..... hum.

    Also, her physical exam consisted of nurse checking weight, blood pressure, pulse and temperature.

    Doctor tested thyroid in front of throat, tongue, had her lay down a check liver (right side of abdomen area) and the checked reflexes ... the ankles.

    She doesn't have fibro, just wanted comprehensive hormone testing and natural hormone replacement therapy.

    Ya'll's appointment time frame and discription of physical are identical.

    You need to check with them at your appt. tomorrow. Wires must have gotten crossed, or the scheduler misunderstood you and placed you as a hormone patient and not a fibro patient.

    How much or how many vials of blood did they pull. If it was around 12-15 then they diffinately went the hormone patient route.

    I'm very curious how this turns out. Please let us know.

    Take care,

  13. FM58

    FM58 New Member

    Gee Whiz, for the money you are payining I certainly would expect a more thorough exam!!

    Each time I switched rheumy's, I had to get into a gown - and the rheumy did a more comprehensive exam than you got than that Laura. They did the 18 Tender points, thyroid check, some neuro evals, checked my abdomen in addition to what your doc did. (One off the wall rheumy kept checking my CMP points - ggggrrrr! She believed I had something else)

    I agree with the other posters - if you feel rushed again (ha - bring him a muffin indeed!!)I would write a letter to headquaters to complain. Express your concern that you feel you were rushed through your appointment, based on your knowledge that others at different FFC's throughout the country spent much more time with the doctor and had a much more thorough evaluation.

    Hopefully, despite being the doc's lunch time - he will take the time to explain your blood work thoroughly to you.
    Don't be afraid to express yourself to him first - inquiring why your appointment was so short - and you know others who have gone to FFC's throught the country whose doctor time actually lasted at minimum 1 hour? You can go on about how their exam was more comprehensive & how the doc sppends more time reviewing the questionnairre w/ the patient (if you feel comfortable or he asks)

    Best of Luck today!! Please post us later to let us know what happens. Seriously think about writing a lettter to headquarters - when it is in writing it really makes an impact to a person in charge.

    Gentle Hugs,
  14. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    When I had my first appointment at the FFC, it only lasted about 35 minutes with the doctor (maybe not even that long). Briefly went over the questionaire and then checked my reflexes and for tender points (which I don't have as I am CFS). She also checked my tongue and she said I possibly have the candida. Then she explained what bloodwork she was going to take, and that was pretty much it. I really didn't have a problem with it, as I trust that by my quesionnaire and the cursory exam I was given that she chose the appropriate bloodwork. She might have enough experience that she knows that some examinations are not necessary.

    Philly FFC
  15. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member much it costs to go to the FFC place? I was looking at their website, and I can see why it seems like they would be so attractive to us...if they really did what they say they do.

    How disappointing to pay a ton of money for something that raises our hopes for good care and lets us down so badly.
  16. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    It's 325 for the first two visits and then I believe 160 or so for any follow-ups. And please don't be so pessimistic like you sound. If you're not comfortable with taking the chance, then don't do it, but once you do some research and see how much success people are having on it, you may change your tune.
  17. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    It's $385.00 at the Torrance clinic....I'll get back to you all, thanks again -Laura
  18. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    I was thinking of going there myself; so I obviously thought it was a good thing, but I didn't have any idea of the cost. Because I pay for my own health insurance, I don't find that to be very expensive...I pay nearly that much anyway every time I go to my own doctor. I just feel badly for Laura, and I do hope that they get their act together down there for her sake and everyone else's, too.

    A few people have told me that the doctor is teriffic, but like many others here, I've lost a lot of faith in most of the traditional medical community.
  19. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    Sorry, but I have heard from enough people that they have not been helped and spent a ton. There is no scientific evidence supporting what they do. If there were, we would all know about it and there would have been studies etc done to prove they get rid of FM.

    There currently is NOTHING that cures this disease. It is unfortunate that so many are willing to try to rob us blind.

    Even the latest Milnacipran study (Cypress) came up empty. Doctors really do not know what is going on.

    My personal opinion....something in our environment has ruined us. I think it alters our brain transmitters and
    screws us up. It could very well be that a virus (from military) got out and has infected many of a biochemical warfare of some type. Many countries were experimenting with viruses that attack the nervous system. They are stealth viruses that are undetectable. I think if you start playing with extra hormones, like FFC does, you could increase your cancer risk. REMEMBER: THERE ARE NO DOUBLE BLIND STUDIES ON ANY OF THE STUFF THEY DO.

    If this has worked for you, congrads. I just think they are most likely another company trying to cash in.
  20. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    Curious as to the material you used as research for your claims.