Patients of Dr. Stuart Silverman

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LouiseK, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    I have recently become at patient of Dr. Silverman in LA and have some questions/comments to share with those of you who have had contact with him or have been through his course.

    Thank you.

    LouiseK
  2. julieisfree05

    julieisfree05 New Member

    Hi LouiseK,

    I've been a patient of Dr. Silverman's for about 13 years. He's one of the most knowledgable doctors I've ever met regarding these illnesses.

    In 1995, I tried to do the "outpatient" FM Rehab program, but I live about 3 hours away and was staying in a hotel and it was just too much for me.

    About six months later, he got me into the "inpatient" pain program and it really helped a lot.

    The program has been improved significantly since I went through it, and I've heard very good things about the changes. Jeanne Melvin (the outpatient co-ordinator) is really great too.

    If you have specific questions, just post them and I'll answer what I can.

    - julie (is free!)

    I believe in
    leather saddles
    old camaros
    and pickin' your battles.. - Radney Foster
  3. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for your response. My first experience with him was not real positive but I am willing to plug along and trying not to make too much of "first impressions".

    Couple of questions: has he helped you feel better with medications? Does he discuss what he is doing or prescribing with you? Also, did he by chance write for you for any disability claims reports? If so, how was his written work on that?

    Thank you so much for your input. I'm really hoping to develop a good relationship with him, try some more adventurous remedies and also to go through his program if my stamina permits but, as I said, I left my first visit feeling pretty bummed.

    Thanks again!

    LouiseK

  4. julieisfree05

    julieisfree05 New Member

    Hi LouiseK,

    I'm not sure about your first impression with Dr. Silverman. I've posted that he's not a "touchy-feely" kind of person, but he has always been there for me when I needed support. He's also incredibly busy, so he doesn't have time to talk to all of his patients for extended periods of time at every appointment.

    My first appointment with him was fairly brief, but that was because he listened to my story and did an exam and said, "Yep, FM AND CFS" (CFS was new) and added Multiple Chemical Sensitivities to the dx.

    The only medication that ever helped me (other than the Xyrem) was neurontin. My neurologist prescribed it, but Dr. Silverman was going to try it - the other doctor just got there first! My neurologist usually prescribed my medications and I would discuss them with Dr. Silverman. He would agree, and we wouldn't discuss it much further.

    He was the first doctor to recommend the Xyrem, but I was worried about the "abuse" and the stigma. My neurologist told me a first-hand story of one of his patients and that convinced me to try it - although Dr. Silverman actually prescribed it at first.

    He has been a very strong advocate for me with Federal Workers' Comp. They have refused to pay for things that they should and even cut off my pay at one point (long story). He was able to get all of these problems resolved VERY quickly. He's very good at dealing with insurance, disabitlity and the like because of his understanding of the illness and ability to make these people "get it". His written reports are very well done.

    As for developing a relationship with him, it takes time. I've been a patient for so many years that we know each other pretty well and can have a ten minute conversation and get a lot done. That only comes with time.

    He tends to be a little more conservative than my other doctor - just his nature I guess, but he really does know what he's doing.

    He truly is a very caring, dedicated man, but it took me a while to figure that out because his personality is so different from that of my neurologist.

    He has been so wonderful to me over the years that I have referred a couple dozen people to him. He's been able to help many of them - and NO, I don't get a cut! :)

    Hope this helps!

    - julie (is free!)

    I may be changed by my circumstances, but I refuse to be reduced by them.

    - Maya Angelou
  5. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Hi again,

    Yes, he does seem to work very fast -- I think he had four patients there while I was there for my initial exam and a couple of them were following him down the hall trying to get directions on changing their meds, etc. so I realized right away that you gotta take charge of all that with him.

    I feel like I need to start over with him -- many doctors want to be very "in charge" in these interviews so I was trying to be polite when I really should have been more agressive. Funny too because I'm a very outgoing, agressive person but I was trying to be careful not to offend. Ironic!

    I do have to say he appears to be pocketing every dime he makes there -- no nurse working (forget even a blood pressure check), furnishings that looked like they were picked up off the curb and that place is filthy -- overflowing, filthy trash cans in the exam rooms, dirty pillows and paper on the exam tables, filthy bathroom and the sink in the exam room was filthy and filled with old magazines so I guess washing up is not big there. The whole suite looked a little like it had been ransacked. Even he looked a bit too rumpled with old, faded cotton pants and a casual shirt that kept gapping open to reveal his hairy, chubby midsection when he folded his hands behind his head. Kind of arrogant . . .

    To top it off the room we were in had no proper place for us both to sit down and talk -- I had to either sit on the end of the low exam table with my knees literally banging up against his or stand up while he sort of sprawled out in the one little chair in the corner. So I stood over him. It was really awkward. I don't think he took any notes . . .

    Geez, sorry to be going on so about this. I just really thought I was on to something with him and it was a big deal for me to go outside of my HMO (financially) but more than that I really need to hook up with someone who knows what the hell I'm talking about and will at least try.

    I'm also now facing financial disability issues as I can no longer work. My family doctor who has basically been handling all this herself for two years is not the person for this disability stuff. I have seen specialists for endocrine and nerve involvement but they do try to be very distant and make the family doctor the point person.

    I'm afraid I've really really screwed up my disability case by being so in denial about my illnesses and also taking the doctors word for it that there is nothing to be done -- just go home and take some muscle relaxers.

    Oh my heavens, I owe you a huge apology for this intrusion. I guess I am totally at the end of my rope and need someone to vent to who knows this bad part of life (and I know you do as I have read many of your posts)and who has experience with Silverman.

    Thanks for listening and THANK YOU for the encouraging words and insight into the doctor. I'm going to work things out with him.

    Cheers!

    LouiseK
    PS Julie, does the neurontin help you with the achiness and muscle pain or just the neurological type of pain?
  6. julieisfree05

    julieisfree05 New Member

    LouiseK,

    Are we talking about the SAME Dr. Silverman..????? LOL!!

    He can come across as arrogant before you know him better, but it's more of a "I'm in a hurry" thing because he is SO busy!

    I'm surprised at the comments about the office being dirty, too. I've never seen anything like that.. He collects art and has some beautiful pieces in his office. He also has very comfortable leather couches and firm chairs in the waiting room. The exam rooms could be larger, but when you're in Beverly Hills, space IS expensive!

    I was shocked to hear that his shirt was open. I have NEVER even seen him without a tie! Even when coming into Cedars at 7am for morning rounds he always looked like he just stepped out of GQ Magazine. He's one of the best dressed men I know.

    He keeps medications lists and notes on the computers in the exam rooms. When I'm there, he usually types them directly into the computer rather than "charting" them.

    The office can look cluttered - again, lack of space and lots of patients, but I can ASSURE you that he is NOT "pocketing every dime"! He sees about 15% of his patients at reduced or no cost, and could have milked Worker's Comp for thousands of dollars through me (another doc did!). He doesn't believe in running tests unless they may tell him something he doesn't already know.

    There is one exam room that only has one chair, so maybe that was the one you got. The others all have at least two chairs, and the exam table.

    I was just there a couple of months ago, and didn't notice any big changes like what you are describing. I have an appointment this week, so I WILL check out what you've described. He lost his long-time office manager about a year ago, and she ran that place like a military camp. She was a wonderful woman, and I know that his office really misses her presence.

    Don't worry about the rant! We all need to do it sometimes! I was just surprised to read what you wrote - especially about his appearance!

    Are we SURE we have the same Dr. Silverman.??? Maybe he was having a bad day..LOL!

    As for the neurontin. I took it about five years ago, and it helped all of my pain, but it was too sedating so I had to quit taking it. I know other people who are using it VERY successfully however.

    I'll talk to you soon,

    - julie (is free!)

    Love bears all things.. - Paul
    [This Message was Edited on 06/18/2006]