29 answers

About to Be Referred to Pain Management Specialist

My doctor has been unable to help me control my pain. I take a Depo Medrol shot every two weeks and it lasts about one week. I take other daily pain meds and Celebrex. I did not want to do pain management, but am now desperate as the pain brings me to tears. Here is the dilema... I got a referral to see the pain management doctor, but upon investigation and word of mouth from one of his previous patients I find that he is rated quite poorly. One review said if they could give him a negative number they would. I have printed out all these reviews to take to my PCP and am going to ask that he refer me to a different doctor. Am I over reacting or playing it safe? This involves surgical implantation of a morphine pump.

What can I do next?

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I don't know who you were reffered to or what area you are in, but my husband has been seeing a pain specialist for the last couple of years and has been happy with him. It is Dr. Jerry Lewis - he has offices in Plano, Frisco, and McKinney. He has a webiste - it is www.lewispain.com. Hope that helps. I know from my hubby's experiences how horrible it is to be in constant pain. Good luck to you!

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2 moms found this helpful

I am a Case Manager and work with several pain specialists. I recommend Jerry Holubec, DO ###-###-#### for the consult. He has a partner, Wesley Merritt, MD who, if indicated, can perform the surgical implantation of a morphine pump. Both are very good and I have referred patients to Dr. Holubec for years. You can call their office and speak with Kim. Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know who you were reffered to or what area you are in, but my husband has been seeing a pain specialist for the last couple of years and has been happy with him. It is Dr. Jerry Lewis - he has offices in Plano, Frisco, and McKinney. He has a webiste - it is www.lewispain.com. Hope that helps. I know from my hubby's experiences how horrible it is to be in constant pain. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

My husband just began seeing a pain specialist before Christmas. He has chronic back/neck pain. So far he likes the Dr., no complaints. The procedure he had is where they put steroids into your spinal fluid via an epidural. I may be a little off on the jargon. Anyway, he had one treatment before Christmas and he was still in severe pain. So he just went Friday for another treatment. He should feel relief in about 10 max. We really hope this helps, as he has been in pain for 15+ years. He's tried surgery, pain killers, inversion table, acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy, chiropractic and I'm some other form that I'm forgetting. Point being, this procedure is hopefully the last in a long list. His Dr. is in Richardson at Baylor Pain Mgmt Center, Dr. Haynesworth.

As far as the actual procedure goes, I think it was pretty easy. You do get a sedative prior to the epidural. You get an I.V. and when you finally get the procedure it takes only minutes. You do have to stay for about 30 min for observation. You'll definitely need someone to drive you. My hubby was told you stay on the couch or in bed for 24 hours so that the medicine doesn't stray from it's intended area.

I'm not sure if this info helps you at all, but thought I'd at least respond. I hope that you get some relief. Sounds like you really need it.

1 mom found this helpful

What is the source of your pain? I have Fibromyalgia and problems with my lower spine. I see two different doctors. If you have something similar I will send you their names.

Good luck on your search!

P.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,

I see patients like you everyday. Always given more and more medication, but never given the answer of "why do I feel this way"? Your body is giving you very painful signals that something is wrong and the meds are just simply covering it up. It's not healing you or getting to the cause of the problem, you're just merely surviving. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know. Have you ever been evaluated nutritionally? Maybe you have seen a chiropractor, but did you know that there are over 250 different types of chiropractic and it's worth the research to find the one that will help you? I'm an upper cervical chiropractor and no matter where you live you can find a qualified doctor near you. There is a patient advocate website, built by patients such as yourself, that gives you research and a list of practitioners in your area. The website is: www.upcspine.com. Remember, just because it's upper cervical work doesn't mean that it just works for the neck. It works on the most neurologically dense area of the nervous system, at the brain stem level to help restore normal nerve system funtion. There is no twisting or torqueing of the neck or other areas of the spine and is gentle enough for an infant, yet extremely effective. All legitimate chiropractors will give a complimentary consultation. Basically it's an interview for you to get to know the doctor and hear what will be done during the exam. If you choose to go forward with the exam, you should know the cost up front. Then after the exam, the doctor will then tell you what films are to be taken and the cost involved with those as well. Straight forward, education about what is occurring and answer to your question "why????" Chiropractors look for the more subtle changes in the nerve system, the medical world looks at gross pathology and then tries to cover it up. If they can't find anything, they put you on countless meds and antidepressants just to quiet you down. I see it everyday. Most come into my office as a last resort and it just breaks my heart. But, upper cervical care get results where nothing else did. God Bless and I hope you find what you're looking for.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
I just read your request. I'm so sorry to hear of your suffering. Have you tried acupuncture? I have worked for the first licensed acupuncturist in Texas, Dr. Chung-Hwei Chernly, for 8+ years. We help people with chronic pain everyday and many of them are referred by PCP's & Pain Mgmt Dr.s. If you have not tried a course of acupuncture, I would highly recommend that you do so immediately and definately before having anything as serious as what you are looking at being done. Plus, what must all those meds be doing to your poor body?

Oh, and don't doubt yourself. If that many patients are displeased, why set yourself up for more pain or stress? You need help, not another headache. Besides, that's exactly why you checked him out right? I wouldn't risk it. If you want, give me a call at ###-###-#### and I'll answer any question, call your insurance for you to see if they cover acupuncture, or even tell you the Dr.s that have referred their patients to us so you'll have more to choose from. You can also check us out on www.drchernly.com. We have a very extensive website. Good Luck in what ever you decide,and may the Lord bless you with wisdom and peace through this delima and I ask for His will to be healing you from your pain. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen

1 mom found this helpful

play it safe. it's your body and life. you have to be your own advocate. you will not regret it.

J., I agree with others here, trust your gut. There are enough doctors out there to be able to find one that has a good reputation. I think you have to be extra careful when dealing with pain specialists too. In, my opinion, they can be very heavy handed with narcotics and other addictive pain relievers.

That being said, I hope you find relief from your pain, there is nothing more miserable than having pain that won't go away. Good luck to you!

Hello!
I am so sorry for your pain! My husband has had good relief with 4000 mgs. fish oil daily, and getting off all sodas and sugars.
My friend had good result with taking valerian herb every hour.
I hope that you can find relief soon!!!
Sincerely,
C. N.

Get a second opinion and check out accupuncture. The procedure is covered under many insurance plans as long as you go to a network chiropractor or DO.

J., I commend you for taking charge of your health and doing your own research! I completely believe you are in the right to show your PCP and get his opinion on why he thinks you should see this doctor. He should also be willing to give you a few other names he would recommend and let you take it from there! He could just be giving you a name of someone that is on your insurance plan. Regardless, you need him to be more specific as to why he's referring him. I wish you the best of luck with your medical care!

Oh my gosh, before you have to have something like that implanted, please please please call my friend! She's a clinical nutritionist in Wichita Falls. Tell her what's going on and see what she can do for you! She's awesome! You can call her at ###-###-#### or email ____@____.com website is www.advancedclinicalnutrition.com. I'll give her your info so that hopefully she can expect your call or email!

J.

My husband loves Dr. Matt Sloan for pain management!

J.,

Sorry to hear about the pain. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate and you need to have your pain managed very well so you can take care of your wonderful family. I do not think you are overreacting at all!! I applaud you for doing research on this doctor. To me it sounds like you are doing a very smart thing in taking your PCP the information you found and wanting a referral to another doctor. Good luck with managing your pain.
C.

I read your entry this morning.I am a physical therapist and have had some experience working with a pain management group. I've seen good and I've seen not so good. You need to be comfortable with the doctor/group you choose. Often, after the pump ,you are seen by multiple people in the practice-i.e. nurse practioners, PA and other physicians. Many times for the pump to be successful, it takes multiple adjustments. It is a trial and error thing. You need to ask who will be available,how long you should expect before your pain is managed. There are lots of good people out there. Good Luck

I had been living with a pain 8 months that would not respond, and they could not figure out what was the cause. They kept thinking I was having an appendicitis attack, but then it showed not. They were talking about pain management. A friend that is a doctor of nutrition suggested I try this nutrition. In two months, the pain stopped. I have been drinking the two ounce serving daily for a year now, and other things are getting well. I have my hands back, that were so painfully sore from arthritis that it hurt to open anything. Plantar Fasciitis went away, cholesterol is fine now, and I am off that medicine. It just is food in liquid form, and the doctors explain that it works becuause it has all the vitimins and minerals the body needs, and in liquid form it crosses over to the bloodstream and the body can use it. Our 3 year old grandbaby has 1/2 ounce a day. Our dogs get it in their food at night. Tastes good. I will tell you, it was an answer to prayer for me. Let me know if you want to hear where to get it sent to you. A.

I don't think you are over reacting at all. It is your body and you have every right to see a practitioner that has good rating and responses from his/her patients. With that said, not everyone is going to agree or have a positive opinion of any single physician. Other than word of mouth which is an excellent source you could also contact/google the Texas Medical Board and make sure there are no law suits against this person. I don't know what kind of condition you are seeking pain management for, but I do know that many people get relief from acupuncture when nothing else seems to work - just a thought for you. Good luck.

I'd just like to say that I'm a nurse & I am very picky about my docs. I recently had to go see an endocrinologist & was referred to a group by a doc that I highly respect. I got in with one of the docs & then googled him online & found some reviews of him. The reviews weren't great. However, I loved him. He isn't the most personable person, but he wasn't mean or rude & I care more about clinical skills & communication. He completed tests right in his office which saved me lots of time, gave me results ASAP & even mailed me my lab results saying "tests okay". I was very impressed. My way of thinking is that what I'm looking for & what I like isn't necessarily what others like or are looking for in a doc.

Best of luck:)

No you are not over reacting at all. It is your body and you have everyright to choose a repitipal doctor. I know I would not want to go to a doc that was known for any type of negativity.
I also want you to know that I just took a moment to lift you up in prayer. Trust God and let him lead you. I do pray for healing and that you will find a doc that will help you. I know what pain management is all about. I have a problem in my lower back due to a fall. I see Dr. Steve Simmons and he has done wonders for me. I have had an epidural in my back twice now. Each time I have had one it has lasted several months and during that time I use a Lidoderm pain patch that does wonders. I have just in the last week started having problems with it again and am going to see him this week. Good luck and God bless,B.

Dear J.,

Have you pursued why you're in pain? What is causing it? Pain is a symptom, not a cause. Your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong. What is wrong? Can that be "fixed" or helped?

I don't know much about choosing doctors, but you have several options: 1) see the doctor and decide whether you like him or not 2) get a referral for a different doctor 3) Look for the cause of the pain and see if it can be "fixed" 4)try alternative medicine routes: chiropractic, acupuncture, hypnosis, massage

I feel bad for you and hope you can get some relief!

A.

PS

I get a pain in the neck! Cause: messed up curve and bone spurs from an old untreated whiplash injury. I can usually manage it by exercise and lying on a device called The Curve. Visiting a chiropractor helps me, as do massages and Aleve. When the pain gets bad enough I lie on a 2 liter soda bottle of ice. I only do that when I'm desperate - it's not that comfy!

My mother-in-law has scoliosis from polio in childhood. Her back and neck were so messed up. She tried the electrical stimulation unit, chiro, massage, and went to a pain management doctor - they tried several different meds - she threw up and felt dizzy and couldn't drive. Finally she had surgery done and is still in recovery mode, but feels so much better.

A friend of mine had migraines and pain for years. She felt better with chiro, but what finally helped her was to start taking a very old migraine medicine. Oddly enough, going on motorcycle rides helps with the pain - perhaps because of the vibration? who knows!

My sister has pain all over her body. She bought a very expensive bed-type device (I forgot what it's called) that has rollers that roll up and down your back and radiates heat (infrared?). That helps her a lot. Takes time, though.

Again, good luck!

Are you kidding, do you even have to ask! Of course you should request another referral!!!

Get another opinion!!!!!! it is your health and body. Play it safe! you already know the answer!!! Blessing to you, my dear. I fel your pain. Where are you located??? i have a great guy in Allen.

I don't understand why you hesitate to go to a pain management specialist. They have many tools at hand to use (not just an implanted morphone pump.") Find out what your options are. Get a second opinion if they advise something that sounds too drastic or dangerous. As much pain as you're having, a specialist's opinions would be a good thing. BUT, do not go to any doctor that is getting poor ratings. Of course you are not over-reacting. If your PCP referred you to a poor doctor, then his next recommendation may not be better -- or he just doesn't know who the good ones are. To find out who is good on your insurance plan, get a list from your insurance company of those that are on your plan AND connected to THE best hospitals around. Then, you can call that hospital's doctor recommendation section and ask if they have a referral to the best one and why. When you call that doctor's office, ask for the office manager and see if they might have any patients who had similar issues to yours and ask if they might be willing to call you and tell you how they are doing. Protect yourself. You've only got one life. If these steps are difficult for you, do you have a relative or friend who might be willing to help out. Good luck!

You don't have to go to the Pain Management Doctor you are referred to. I will say this without the reason for your pain I don't want to say do or don't, but my grandmother has used a pain management specialist for back and lower extemities it has helped her tremendously. It has also helped my husband's aunt with shoulder and neck pain.

Get a second opinion, but don't suffer.

Hi J., First I am sorry you have chronic pain. I have been there myself with back pain. If you have a bad vibe about this doctor then do not go past the first interview visit. If you can't get another recommendation from your PCP, ask one of your other doctors. A good source for recommendations are the staff of your doctor. They hear it all and can steer you in the right direction. HTH, L.

I agree with most of the responses: get a second opinion. This is your money, but more than that, it is your body, which is already in pain, you don't need more caused by this doctor. Although I've never suffered from this, my heart and prayers go out to you; life is hard enough without constant physical pain. God bless you.

Get a second opionon for sure, you are in charge of your body , and if you don't feel comfortable with something someone suggests, check it out. YOu didn't say what kind or where your pain was, but if it is sketitial, muscle, or nerve, have you tried munipulation, or acupunture, or massage thearpy, or physycal thearpy? Sometimes physycal thearpy takes a couple or three months to tell and then there is all the difference in the world in the relief of pain, and a massage thearpest that has training on all types , knows where the pressure points etc. are, nd this is quite a relief, I would try some other routes, and not just pain meds, as that helps with the pain, but doesn't do anything for the cause.I hope for the best for you in your decision.

My opinion is to follow your gut feeling. If you would feel more comfortable with a new doc then you should get one.

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