Would you write a letter to a bad pain specialist you saw???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shelby319, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. shelby319

    shelby319 New Member

    Good day to all and I hope everyone is having a somewhat pain free day~~

    I had gone to a pain management specialist last week as some of you know, and now I'm thinking of writing a letter to let him know just how bad I was treated, not only by him, but his nurse also.

    Has anyone else done this and is it a good idea? I am looking for another pain specialist, and even my own Dr. has said go and write the letter to let him know, so he hopefully won't do it to another patient. Seeing when my Dr. set me up with the specialist, the specialist told my Dr. that he treats people with fibromyalgia, but you could of fooled me!!! And he did, myself and even my Dr.!!!

    I just want him to understand how hard it was on me to put together all of my history, meds, surgeries, my whole life story down on paper and not have him even look at it!! Also he didn't even exam me or touch any of my tender points, although he did precribe the Tens machine for my pain, but yet didn't know which areas of pain I had or how bad each area is!!

    He did all the talking and also didn't ask me any questions of concern I had or why I was there except for what my Dr. had put down for authorization to see him for all my pain issues and not just for the fibromyalgia. This was to be a 3 hour apt., to which turned into a 20 minute visit!

    One week later and you can see I'm still extremely upset over this visit with him, as it was very stressful on me to type up all of my paperwork to make it easier for everyone to read and understand, seeing my hand writing is still quite bad even after my cervical spine surgery.

    So, I tried to make things easier on him and the nurse, but it turned into me being critiqued and told the meds I'm on now should of been put somewhere else other than where I had put my allergies to meds. I mistakenly put all my meds down together, including allergies to certain meds without putting it on another paper instead!! How petty can they get!!!?!!

    So, I guess my question would be...should I "rat" him out or just let it go? I really don't mind this being put into my records somewhere either, because I want Dr's of all kinds to start to realize we are all human and deserve respect in our quest for the best treatment out there.

    We also deserve "do no harm", as they work for us, we don't work for them. But I no longer believe this reality as I was treated unfairly and nobody deserves this type of treatment no matter what our complaints or illnesse's are!!

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or what I should do? I don't want to just sit back and let it happen to someone else either!

    Thank you for reading my long post, but I thought maybe it might bring some light to someone else going through this type of treatment.

    Gentle hugs,
    Shelby
  2. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    Yes WRITE and SEND it. WRITE it because, as you know, it feels good to get it out, almost therapeutic, and SEND it because you KNOW you should. That is ridiculous, we wait so long for these appointments and put so many hopes into getting help and only to be let down, for the most part.

    I remember waiting months to see a Hematologist. SHe was supposed to investigate why I had the blood clot and run all types of tests to see what in the heck is going on with me. I told all of my family, that kept wondering what was goig on, that I will be getting so many answers after seeing her, etc.. WELL.. waited 1 1/2 hours in her office, she saw me for 10 minutes, said, "You will be on blood thinners the rest of your life, that is just the way it is and Don;t get pregnant." I told her I would not, as my hubby had a vasectomy (sp)... she replied .. "Like I said... don;t get pregnant!"

    I thought I would die.. was she saying I would cheat on my husband???!!! I left in tears. She did not draw one drop of blood.. it was crazy.

    Sorry for all of that... just letting you know, I feel for you and say YES.. SEND the LETTER. That is such a shame, but do not give up, find another one... don't take what he said as a final word in pain management.

    Hugs
    Kim
  3. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear Shelby:

    So sorry you had such a bad experience. I would think long and hard before writing a letter to the doctor. What I would suggest is to write a letter to your state licensing board, and send a copy of the letter to your pain specialist. I would detail what happened, what you expected from this doctor, and what you got, or did not get. Try to be very factual, and direct. Who told you it was to be a 3 hour appointment? Why was it not that long? How much did they charge, etc. Also include anything that the nurse did or say, and be sure to name her (if you can remember her).

    Good luck.

    Ingrid
  4. fungirl2100

    fungirl2100 New Member

    Hi Shelby,

    I don't know how much it would help writing to a doctor that has this type of mindset. He will most likely write you off as a "nut case". Is this pain doc on his own or part of a group of pain docs?

    You may want to consider seeing another pain doc. I saw my new pain management doc for the first time last month & my appt. was one hour and a half long. I asked as many questions as I wanted & he tested my tender points & read my whole chart from my family doc & my old pain doc.
    He cares about me & my pain.

    It unfortunately, doesn't sound like this doc really cares. Some docs are in it for the wrong reasons.
    I know this to be true. Money is good for a doctor.

    Please seek medical attention elsewhere. This doctor will never be compassionate. If your doc is part of the AMA you may be able to lodge a complaint with them about him.
    Also with your insurance you can let them know you had a problem as well.

    Good luck.

    your friend,
    Fungirl
  5. padre

    padre New Member

    Sorry that you got treated that way. You know the old line one half the doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class.

    Kimba is right. I write letters all the time. Half of them I throw away because the main reason for writing was to get over being angery. Anger makes me worse.

    The other half of the letters I send. But I would cc any other doctors that you have. You likely with not change the pain doc or nurse, but you may stop others from being sent to them.
  6. onnaroll

    onnaroll New Member

    Do it! It will make you feel alot better. Ive done it.

    best of luck
  7. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    maybe you can contact a board for the dr im not sure who though i know there out there there is a website you can go to to check out if dr have complaints about them i also had a jerk pain management dr it was a women dr she was as insensitive as a lot of the males ive sen in the past probably worse she would shove me around and push me if i couldnt do what she asked i went back like 3x that was enough for me now i just see my rhumey because shes nice good luck charlene
  8. enjoysue

    enjoysue New Member

    I agree with the writer who said to send it to someone else also. Is there an office manager at this clinic you could send it to also?

    I would try and be as factual and unemotional in the letter as possible. I have some of those kinds of letters to write myself. If I were a dr. I for one would want to know how I was perceived by my patients.

    I had the same thing happen with a rheumy recently. On his little write-up it said how compassionate he was ect. Excuse me? He had the personality and compassion of a dead fish.

    Write up the letter and re read it many times and have others read it if possible to feel secure in what you want to say is said and doesn't come off the wrong way.
  9. buffyr

    buffyr New Member

    I had a dr. tell me that there was nothing wrong with me, it was all in my head when one half of my body was numb, you could pinch me and I didn't feel anything. Mom drove me to Mayo and admitted me and they dignosed me there with fibro. I wrote a letter to him, and the advisory board of the hospital I saw him at (he was an ER Dr.). Don't know if they did anything but it made me feel better. So I'd say, do it, even if just for yourself. Thanks-Buffy ps just keep it factual-NO RANTING-do that here on the board!!! :)
    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2007]
  10. California31

    California31 New Member

    A letter addressing that you did not experience being heard....Years ago I had a major issue with a renowned Bay Area dentist..who I felt was incompetent...I expressed to him how I felt....and he set up a special appointment to assure me that I was wrong...he didn't convince me...I just found him defensive.
    It must have been very frustrating to have detailed all your info..and then have it virtually ignored. I find that the medical field does that alot....and I have addressed that with a doc...or a nurse....to little avail...
    Maybe some diagnose in a way...by "averaging".....I know for sure some are more competent than others...I recently reviewed hospital records of a recent visit...where I waited 5 hours for urgent care....and the info that the doc recorded had nothing to do with me and the pain I was experiencing....I've changed health plans...but if I were still in that plan...even though it would take a lot of energy...I would probably have the md notes xeroxed...and address the disparities, and send the info to member services. I find there's a lot of arrogance around pain...


    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2007]
  11. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    Nothing talks louder than money! Have you paid the bill yet? If not don't! Stop payment on your check for the office visit if you can. Paying the stop payment bank fee gives me a lot more satisfaction than having the money go in the doctor's pocket. Send your letter and tell them this is why you are not going to pay him.

    If your insurance company is paying then I'd write a letter to them and protest the payment of the claim. Some doctors have big egos and can be arrogant! That inner drive and arrogance is what they rely on to get them through medical school. We are conditioned to take the good with the bad.
    When they make you feel that you are less of a person because of your medical problems it's time to fight back.

    I think should teach bedside manners in medical school. All male doctors should have to strip and put their feet in the stirrups just to see what it feels like. My GYN asked me during my last visit "What can I do for you today?" WOW! That's customer service with a smile.

    We are in so much pain on a day-to-day basis. Every time I go to a new doctor my hopes are always high. I hope they can help me. I hope this is it. I hope this makes a difference. When it doesn't turn out the way I envisioned it can be devastating.

    Many years ago I waited for 2 months to see a Rheumy. He treated me horribly! The most offensive comment was when he said in the middle of the physical exam "Have you ever seen a psychiatrist? No one could possibly have as many medical problems as you've had!"

    I offered to go get my stack of medical records from the car to prove it. It's about 8" thick. I am a big believer in getting my medical records. Doctors will take the word of their collegues.

    Once I got so angry I told the doctor to leave because I was leaving. He could stand there and watch me get dressed or leave the room. He left and so did I. Didn't pay either.

    I vowed no matter how badly a doctor might treat me in the future I wouldn't cry over it. They were not going to have power over me.

    Now I choose my doctors very carefully and don't get my hopes up so high. If it works for me great. If not I tried. That's my new attitude. Sometimes I haven't made it past their office forms before walking out. I little to the little voice inside that says "This one isn't for me".

    I just went to a new doctor in Dec. and got a refund of my co pay back before I left the office. It was clear to both of us that he was not what I was looking for. I called in advance and tried to interview him over the phone a couple of times but he was never available.

    Here is some great advice on hiring a doctor: http://www.beatcfsandfms.org/html/DocLocator.html

    I have a very long extensive medical history. Instead of filling out their forms I bring my own typed medical history and give them a copy. I write "see list" in the boxes on their forms.

    The headings for my typed medical history are: PERSONAL ID, PRESENT ILLNESS (reasons why I'm seeing them), PAST MEDICAL HISTORY, HOSPITLIZATIONS, CHILDHOOD, OPERATIONS, FAMILY HISTORY, CURRENT DAILY MEDICATIONS, and ALLERGIES TO MEDICATIONS. My mom is a medical records transcriber. She gave me the headings.

    Some doctors will read my document and some won't. I don't usually go back to the ones that don't bother to look at it. My GYN said "Wow...You look better in person than you do on paper". My dermatologist told me I presented the best patient history she's ever seen.

    A few weeks ago, I found a doctor on this board. He is not scared of fibro and fatigue. Have you tried that? How about any alternative doctors?
  12. TinaJones

    TinaJones New Member

    Want to take a guess on what I have to say??? :) LOL

    I think I've shared this story before - but when we first moved here at the beginning of last year...I started seeing a doctor. She felt I was on WAY too high of pain meds and sent me to a pain specialist. In the midst of all of it (getting appts, etc) - I went into a flare where I was throwing up all the time, etc. So I was seeing her several times a week.

    I don't drive because of my illness...but it's not like I "can't" drive. My husband was running late from work one day and I drove the whole 5 miles to her office. After my visit - as I was leaving and in the hallway - she loudly asked how I got to her office. I told her that I drove...and she stood there (for everyone to hear) and gave me a sermon on how I shouldn't drive on pain meds, etc etc. I walked out of there humiliated and bawling. As a side note - I had been on pain meds for over 2 years at the time - with NO side effects. The next day - she called to tell me that she felt like I should find another doctor. So, I was stuck in a new state....with a horrible illness, scrambling to find a new doctor.

    This turned out to be a huge blessing because it led me to finding great team of docs that I have now. Anyway, though - I wrote her a long letter and my husband took it to her. Do it help me? YES, I felt better knowing that she would read what this situation did to me. Did it change her in anyway? I don't know. I would hope to think that it gave her food for thought. But the point is that I felt better.

    Anyway, Shelby, I definitely would write it and send it - regardless of what happens on the doctor's end. You'll feel better. Good luck on finding another pain specialist. Don't settle for anything less that what you deserve - which is an compassionate doctor that will give you adequate pain control. It took me three years to find it - but, for me, it was worth every negative thing I've been through to find such an awesome doctor.

    Wish I could send you a copy of the letter I wrote :( But, like I said, you'll feel better. Let us know :) Blessings...talk more soon...Tina
  13. TinaJones

    TinaJones New Member

    I LOVED your post and agree 100%. Shelby, especially when you thought you'd get a three hour appt and you are there 20 minutes?? Why pay for that type of service. Don't know how that would work going through insurance? But, in principle, I love the idea.

    I also LOVED your idea re: the packet you bring to your doctors instead of filling out the form. I have a one page thing that I bring in that lists my meds and current symptoms - but I like the whole medical history idea. I have a very extensive, complicated medical history so this is a great idea. Thanks for the idea.

    I love this board. I've learned so many good ideas here. Thanks, everyone!! --Tina
  14. NashCag

    NashCag New Member

    Write a letter. I am a big supporter of the letter, and
    it has always had positive results for me.

    For example...I wrote a letter to Social Security after they sent me to a terrible, and I mean just terrible, Doctor. Two weeks later I was approved for Disability payments.Maybe a coincidence,
    but I had been trying for 3 years.

    When I write a letter like that, I will write it, go over it, change mistakes, go over it again, and once more just to be sure. Also, I try to keep it objective, and try to
    keep it as detailed as possible. But it's important to let them know what it feels like to go through what we go through.
    It just makes me so mad when Doctors and nurses treat people like that. Where is compassion and caring?
    Ughh!! I could just go on and on, but I won't.
    I'm just sorry you had to go through that.

    Good luck, and let us kow how it works out.
    Take care,
    Christina
    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2007]
  15. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    Write the letter and send it to the state medical board. At least then it will be on file in case anyone else decides to complain about the jerk.

    It's the right thing to do. Others should not have to go through what you went through and the state med board needs to know about it. No need to send a copy to the doc involved, he'll get contacted by the state board. Most likely nothing will be done, but it will always be there in his file!!
    Best of luck...
    Mini
  16. shelby319

    shelby319 New Member

    I sounds like almost everyone is in agreement about sending a letter about the pain management Dr.

    kimba~~I totally agree about sending the letter as you said, as my hopes were up so high for a great apt., to only be let down. I'm sorry you had to wait 1 1/2 hrs for a very important apt., like a hematologist, only to have her not even do the test! And her statement about not getting pregnant again..what a jerk!!

    Ingrid~~ Sending the letter to the state licensing board sounds like a great idea! Others mentioned it too, as I know this Dr. probably won't see it anyway...somebody else will surely intervene!!

    Fungirl~~ Gosh, I would like to think they wouldn't think I'm a nut case for wanting whats best for me, their the nut cases!!!LOL!! I'm glad you had such good success with your new pain Dr. and it sounds like he really cared!! Money sometimes does talk doesn't it?

    Padre~~You are correct about staying angry, as you could tell in my post, and thats no way to live life! I'm letting "him" control my actions instead of the other way around!! I definitely will have my own Dr. not send anyone else to him either, as he already told me how sorry he was that it didn't work out and if he knew this, he wouldn't of sent me to this guy in the first place!

    Onnaroll~~Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it so much~

    Charlene~~Thank you also for your help, I'm so happy you found someone you like and trust!

    Enjoysue~~ I too want to know what people think of me as, a psychologist I too would welcome their comments, so maybe I could help them better. Aferall, we aren't perfect, we are humans. I will keep it very precise and compassionate in my feelings, and how I was treated!

    Buffyr~~Thats awful how they think its in our heads, and degrading to say the least! I'm sorry they made you feel like that~~keep your head held high my friend!!!

    California~~Yes, you are so correct about the arrogance over pain meds and making us feel like we are drug seekers or even worse, not believing we are in pain because they can't see it on the outside, but they should see it on our faces and body movements!! For heavens sake, we are in pain and this is a terrible disease!! Are they ever going to learn!!I'm surely going to be direct with everyone involved!!

    Prickles~~ you are always so helpful, and for that I'm grateful for having you on the board! I hope you feel better real soon!!

    Munch~~You are again so right...money does talk and they hate to loose a patient no matter what!! They don't know they did anything wrong and always believe they did the best they could in their treatment options as they ARE the Dr's afteral!!! LOL!!I'm also going to write everyone including my insurance company about it, I might as well get everyone involved! I too feel like you and have my hopes up that this apt. will be the best one yet and I'll never have to seek out another Dr. again!! Thank you for the advice on hiring a new Dr. I'll look into it fully. I also do what you did with writing everything down, taking it with me and having it nicely typed up, and yet I still got absolutely nowhere, as they never looked at it!!

    Nashcag~~You've always had good luck with the letters? I also keep my letters detailed and what it feels like to go to a Dr. just to be told they can do nothing to help us as fibromyalgia is like a shopping list of symptoms to which they can't address all of our issues!! Nonsense, I say!!

    S-elaine~~ Dr's #16 and #17? WOW! I'm sooo sorry you had to go through that!! Its a shame for sure!! Yes, you are so right about how OUR time is just as important as theirs!!I didn't take my morning pain med just in case he was to do some testings on my tender points and be examined! When I left I made sure I told the head nurse how happy I was that the apt. only lasted 20 minutes, because I was already in so much pain and stress from the apt.. She looked at me and said, well, be happy then that it did only take that long!! I did say I wouldn't be back unless I needed my paperwork back for insurance reasons, to which she just stood there wondering what I meant by that, but didn't question me on it! Or was I happy about my apt and satisfied with the Dr. I should of spoken up then and there!! Sometimes its better to just let it go and come home, before saying something your going to be sorry for saying while angry!!

    Mini4Me~~I think your right about sending it to the state medical board for all to see. Now a days people can look up on the internet to find which Dr's are good and the comments people make about them, until they find the right Dr's for their type of disease. Also it will go on their permanent records!! Good..thats where he belongs, on the short end of the list~~hehehehe~~

    Thank you all for your wonderful feedback! It was sooo helpful and informative and sometimes sad, and yet kind of funny that all of us have gone through so much with these Dr's who are suppose to be there for our needs!!! Also that some of you it has taken years to find a Dr. who is willing to work with you, and give you the utmost respect and compassion that we all so deserve!!

    I'm happy for the ones who have found the right Dr's to work with, and for that I'm grateful.
    To the others that are still looking, hopefully someday you too can find the help you need to live a normal life without pain, and are given the respect we all are due!!!

    Thank you again for everything~~
    Gentle hugs and a sparkling day~~
    Shelby



  17. shelby319

    shelby319 New Member

    Well, I'm sure you know what I'm going to say also!! LOL!

    I do believe we've gotten somewhere in our thoughts on pain management Dr's., haven't we?

    Thank you again for your input, as I am sooo grateful, and appreciative for all of your ideas and compassion!!

    I'm beginning to realize how difficult it had become from reading your posts of how hard it was for you to finally find the right Dr's to help you through your terrible disease's!! And now with the help you have, you can be treated with the best team of Dr's possible. Now with that implant taking place, hopefully, in a couple of weeks, you'll be totally pain free.

    I'm grateful though that you now have this team of Dr's after such a long journey, which I'm sure wasn't an easy task for you. But you did it my friend!! Now maybe you will beable to help raise those beautiful sons of yours with much more enthusiasm and a brighter future to come!!

    That is my wish for you~~

    So, with that said, I too will write that letter no matter what the outcome might be. If not just to make myself feel better, but hopefully not have someone else endure the frustration I had to go through. The stress alone was enough to cause a flare, and to make you feel less of a person, who no one needs to feel. Maybe I can at least do that for somebody else.

    I know I will be better for doing it, so now it shall be done!! Hopefully I can find another pain Dr. to help me along with my own PCP and what he has done to help me. I'm sure though that someday he will need to send me to another pain management Dr., and that is why I'm trying to prepare myself now for what might come sooner than later.

    But I do have to write this not just for others, but for myself, if nothing else, just to make myself feel better for doing it and getting it off my chest so I don't dwell on it any longer.

    I'm rambling I see~~ sometimes its a little exhausting to post back to thank everyone for their help, so I think I'm starting to get a little tired now, and thats why I'm chatting up a storm here or repeating myself over and over. LOL!!

    So, I better go for now and get something to eat....
    I do hope to chat again soon~~
    I hope your having a pretty good pain free day and everyone is smiling and happy~~
    I haven't seen Redheademt post, I do hope she's feeling alright, have you seen any of her posts lately?
    You have yourself a very sparkling brightful rest of the day my friend and I'll be back later on,
    Gentle hugs,
    Shelby