Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Stigma of the uneducated Medical Profession.

This post #3 of 3. For those of you who want to read it, Please drop down to post #1 and read up. I have lived for 26 years now with Chronic Pain in my lower back and nerve damage due to a new procedure and an inexperienced Surgeon. I am sure that some of you may be asking why in, the hell I am writing about an abdominal surgery.

1. Opiods can in fact cause abdominal problems because one of the side effects of most of them is constipation which can lead to blockage in the small intestine.

2. Because of the stigma associated with people in Chronic Pain, you can be mis-diagnosed by many idiot surgeons who think they are "little gods". Not all Surgeons are that way but many are. If you take any kind of pain medication for chronic pain, you are a drug addict. That's just the way it is and I DON'T HAVE ANY HOPE OF IT CHANGING ANY TIME SOON.

2. next thing that will happen is you will be treated and talked to like a dog.

I still find it hard to believe that you actually pay someone to treat you like I was treated. I had planned to wait until the next day to go back to the hospital day, but it was a good thing that I didn't. I had a high fever and my kidneys were failing. They had to put me on an IV. for 3 days to get my kidneys functioning again. As said before 2 of the 3 doctors refused to operate on me because they said I was a DRUG ADDICT and that was what was causing my problem.
One of the doctors even yelled at me in front of about 10 nurses that I was nothing but a "damn drug addict". When she left 2 of the nurses were very angry and asked me if I wanted to speak to the Patient advocate in the hospital. When I told her what had happened she covered her face with her hands. That doctor regrets what she said, because she had to go before the vice-president of the hospital and apologize to me.

The one Doctor who was so nice to me said that taking opiods had nothing to do with my problem. He did say since nothing showed up on the test he would have to go in and do exploratory surgery. He said he would have to pull every bit of the small intestine out and inspect it an it was a risky surgery. He told me the small intestine was approximately 23 feet long. I couldn't believe it.

I agreed and the next morning I was in surgery. What he found surprised even him. A large ulcer just like the kind you have on your lip had some how gotten down into the intestine had grown for a while leaving a growth inside the intestine blocking it to smaller than a pencil. He took a photo of the section he cut out. I will forever be grateful for this one mans experience and compassion.

It has been a painful 2 months on top of my chronic back pain but I have recovered from that.

Now why did a man with debilating back pain write about this surgery.

Because there is even more of a stigma against chronic pain people than even I ever dreamed after 26 years. Sooner or later you are going to find yourself in this situation. If you are on strong pain medication, you will be treated like dirt and I mean by the doctors. Don't hesitate to ask for a second opinion. Don't be afraid to ask to talk to the patient advocate. Every hospital has one and that is what they are paid to do. I hope this helps someone.


Anonymous said...

After reading your post I thought I would pass on some interesting info I found. A book just came out a couple of months ago called "A Day Without Pain" by Dr. Mel Pohl. It talks about pain, addiction and how they're related. The guy who wrote the book runs a treatment facility in Las Vegas for addiction who found people coming in for rehab who were addicted to pain medications. He began a pain management program. I read the book and it talks about a lot of alternatives for dealing with pain instead of the drugs. He seems to understand pain, medication, addiction and the attitude amongst doctors. So many doctors increase the meds for the pain or the user gets addicted and either "doctor shops" or buys the drugs illegally. Before they know it their lives are a mess.

I found out that increasing doses of pain medication actually increases the pain so his approach is to ween people off the drugs and use alternative therapies and develop coping skills to manage the pain. An amazing read. Check it out for yourself. I did and it helped me a lot. I am looking into the alternative therapies. I went to hospital for pain in my abdomen last year. I thought I was dying. Three days later at a cost of $23,000 to my insurance (thank gawd for my insurance) it got better. Later I figured out my diabetes medication caused diarrhea and I had a blockage not quite as bed as you described. It hurt to breathe. Once I got home it cleared and I was fine. But I thought I was gonna die. As I get older I am becoming proactive about my health and stumbled upon the book. I found there's a blog as well. It's kinda new but the topics are informative.


hopalong said...

Thanks for your words Jerry. Can you drop me an emailso that we could exchange info. Thanks. Dave

Health Pain said...

To control the pain we must attend to the specialist because we can give him what is appropriate and what we need, for example I take Vicodin, which is a medicine used to counter the chronic pain that I have for years, but I rioja prescribing doctor, I take it in moderation because I read in findrxonline.com which is a medicine that causes anxiety, and we must control it as it can affect your nervous system, so do not automediquen because it really can be dangerous.

Ronaldo said...

Chronic pain is very severe and this affects people's life, long known to people who suffered from a strange disease, were strong back pains, which were intense and not let them work, as was what they said were the doctor and he prescribed oxycodone for pain, but knew it was a very powerful medicine, and moreover, anxiolytics, and worry that they were doing things that previously did not like eating too much, smoking, etc, and read in findrxonline that this drug is well and that we must be very careful with their use, and everything must be under medical prescription.

Painstrong said...

How to buy prescription drugs? My doctor prescribed vicodin for a while back, my back hurts, I think it is a great help, but in my country it is difficult to find, it is paramount to have my information on it and found information about findrxonline the medicine, because it provided me.

Jenn said...

Hi--after a few years of on & off again abuse by one doctor who continually referred to me as a "drug addict" but continually gave me that medication and refused to refer me to anyone else--I was gracially able to find ANOTHER better doctor who understands thankfully that just because we chronic painers take that medication doesn't mean that we are addicts.
It makes SUCH a big difference! Yes I still have trouble at hospitals and such when I have to go but thankfully that isn't much and when I do go, I take a letter that I have from my MD/GP that states that I am his patient, I suffer from X and for treatment I take this medication, when required.
For me that has helped. I also saw a health lawyer, it was $750 for 2 consultations and a few firmly worded letters to the first doc I mention to get off his behind and find me a specialist--but it worked.
That specialist found ME a new MD--this new one I speak of.
((HUGS))--glad you have your wife to support you! I have my husband--he's a godsend too. Jenn

kate said...

Hi--I wrote a literary novel about a physician who believes he's discovered a cure for chronic pain, and in the book I described many of the difficulties patients face in the search for adequate treatment. The book, Remedies, was just published by Putnam. It's received excellent reviews so far in many publications. My hope is that the book will raise the issue of pain management for discussion, among patients and doctors. I hope it will affect how patients are spoken to and how they are cared for. If you care to, you can look up the book on Amazon. Thanks very much, Kate Ledger

Shauna said...


I write a blog on my life in chronic pain. I am a nurse of 20 years, along with being a patient.

I understand 100% what you are saying that a lot of people and docs will think/say that we are addicts. This is one of the reasons I write about this...There is a HUGE difference between addiction, dependance and tolerance. The word addiction is used improperly all over the place, and used incorrectly all the time.

Pain Management doctors understand this difference, and make an effort to clear this up with their patients and others. To call someone an addict SIMPLY because they take opiates, is just w-r-o-n-g. Addiction denotes a state of being in which one is dropping everything in their lives to obtain a drug, for a high. NOT to treat pain. Addicts lives are impacted negatively in every single aspect. Social, work, home, etc.

We become Dependent on our medications. We are not addicted. If we stop our meds abruptly, we have withdrawals. This does not mean we are addicted. Our bodies are simply Dependent on the meds we take.

If there are physicians out there who are continually propagating this misuse of the word addict, then they need to be addressed. First by the patient who is educated, then by their superiors if they are still using that word in describing patients with chronic pain that take opiates to have a life worth living.

I look forward to any comments you may have on this subject.

BTW, I wrote a 2-part post about this issue on my blog. I think it's about time that I attack this subject again.

Thanks for an informative and thought-provoking post.