I want to first extend a huge thank you, again, to those who have donated so far! Complete strangers and close friends alike have donated and shared my page, and I could not be more grateful for all of it, and all of you! Thanks to you I will be able to get to Minneapolis and back and stay in a hotel and the like. God bless.
As at the very least the tiniest thank you in return, I would like to offer a little bit of information that I was not aware of in hopes that maybe I can help someone else.
Thanks to the drug addicts and drug seekers of the world, and because I have no other option but to be on daily use narcotic pain medications, I had to enter into a "pain contract" with my pain doctor (whom I have never cared for from the very first appointment). I was under the impression that contract meant I was stuck with that particular doctor and could not switch doctors without some kind of huge hassle and possibly trouble getting my pain medication, etc. According to these contracts, you can not get your medication from different pharmacies, or try to go to different doctors to be prescribed more or different medication. You also agree to being drug tested whenever they see fit in order to prove that all you are taking are the medications being prescribed to you. There's more, but I don't remember it all, I just know I signed it because I have nothing to hide, I'm legitimately in a lot of pain, and I'll do whatever they need me to do so I can get relief from that pain; including be treated basically like a criminal during the pee test that is required. It's the most humiliating thing I've ever had to do, and it's such an outrage that us innocents have to be subjected to it in order to get what we deserve. Nonetheless, it's part of the process, and I do what is asked.
However, I honestly do not know how this doctor is still in practice, because he's horrible. His bedside manner is non-existent, he does NOT listen to a word I say, nor does he seem to genuinely care about my level of pain and the fact that it limits my daily activities to basically zero. Even under recommendation from my primary doctor who feels I should be on a fentanyl patch, this doctor refuses to even increase my dosage to any real level so I can get real relief. I have been suffering for months in excruciating pain, constantly teetering on whether or not to call an ambulance and go to the ER, but thinking maybe my next appointment he would actually, finally give me some real and substantial relief, all the while he's been keeping his "know-it-all" stance and only very gradually increasing my dosage over the course of weeks and months. (personally, I believe he's been doing this to keep me having to return to his office because he makes $230 each office visit and since he's leaving, I think he wanted to make as much off of me that he could! If he gave me substantial relief, I would have no reason to return for office visits).
My last appointment with my primary, he personally said right to my face that he felt I should be on a fentanyl patch (as did the Nurse Practitioner doing her residency with him). At my appointment with the pain doctor today he refused to prescribe the patch, and only increased my current pain meds by 2.5 mg, even though he is fully aware my pain level has been between a 7 and a 9 for literally months and I have not been able to sleep or even move without pain. On top of all of this, he personally witnessed the pain and limited movement in my legs when he made me move them for a brief examination. As I scream out in pain, he doesn't even notice.
The good news is; you can transfer your pain contract to any doctor who is allowed to prescribe narcotic pain medication, and they will even do it all for you with a simple office visit! I emailed my doctor while sitting in the pain doctor's office, and asked if it was possible to transfer my contract to him. He replied with "I'd be glad to". This entire time I've been suffering under substandard care, I could have been getting real, genuine care from a doctor I actually trust, and who knows me and trusts me and realizes what kind of pain I am actually in. Had I been aware of this fact months ago, I would have never allowed this other doctor to make one more penny off of my insurance because he simply does not deserve it. He does not do his job. I don't even care about whether or not I get a fentanyl patch, I care about receiving more than the most limited dosage increase to pain meds that I keep telling this doctor are not even close to enough. On the questionnaire I'm required to fill out at the beginning of every visit, it asks how much of your pain your current regimen is managing and I circled 0-25%, but apparently I was lying?
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, know that pain contracts can be transferred and you can receive better care. Don't be afraid to fire a doctor who is not actually caring for you. Be proactive in your own health care, it's a must. You have to speak up for yourself and take a stand in making sure you are receiving the care you deserve. Never let any doctor make you feel like you don't deserve to not live in pain. This doctor made me feel like he knows better than I do, and that I should just listen to him and that's that. I know my body, I know the level of pain I am suffering with, I know that everyone's chemistry is very different and certain medicines affect everyone differently. I know that I will NEVER allow anyone to tell me they know more than I do when it comes to what's going on inside my own body and mind. If I'm in excruciating pain to the point that I dread putting on my shoes or even going to the bathroom, I damn well better have a doctor who's going to hear that and do whatever he can to make my life more comfortable until whatever is wrong with me can be figured out and either fixed or properly managed.
I am so glad I know this now, and I have fired the pain doctor and will finally be getting proper care from my primary whom actually cares for me in a very genuine way. Thank God! If you are ever in a similar situation, just ask questions. Do your research. Don't be afraid to speak up and take charge. It's your body, it's your health, and it's your money paying for the insurance they are billing!
Never Give Up