I was surprised by the vehemence of a reply I received to my last posting.
The person who commented said he (she?) was a certified anaesthesiologist and pain specialist.
He said he gets "lied to and BS'd everyday by pain patients." who tell him how to do his job, meaning saying only oxycodone will help them. They are not interested in his prescriptions of diet, sleep changes, TENS unit, life changes of leaving an "abusive spouse" , job they hate, etc.
He feels that the "real injury" is a "broken soul".
I feel bad for this doctor, and for his patients.
He sounds burned out. Maybe he has been yanked over the coals by too many patients for too long. It is sad because the term "broken soul" says to me he has empathy and sensitivity to the emotional pain people experience. Or did have at one time.
This is one of the big problems with getting good treatment for our pain. A doctor sees enough of the fakers and poseurs and he has had enough of us. He then lumps us all together, those with legitimate pain and those who may have other agendas.
The point of the post was not the issue of money per se but that we need to be partners. I referred to the fact that since we pay the bill we are a doctor's employer. He tells me how much his education cost to "become your employee."
If I go to a lawyer I pay a fee. We do not discuss why he decided to go to law school, how much it cost or if he is still in debt. I hire him. Often the first meeting is without cost to see if we can work together or if he can help me. He either takes me on or he does not. If he does, I pay his fee and am his employer.
My friend owned a restaurant. She worked like a dog, each and everyday. She may have owned the business but the customers paid her for their food; they became her employer. If they complained she did not say "I was up at 4 am to get ready for you, this store cost me thousands of dollars to buy, you have no right to complain." She worked with them to make it right.
I get the issue of 'it cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to school. I work to pay my loans back and then live a good life with the profit I make.' That is very legitimate. But.
But I did not make you go to medical school. I did not force you to choose your specialty. There is a sense of entitlement when you say I do not care if you pay me through insurance premiums or taking the money directly out of your wallet, I know better then you and there should be no issue of being partners in this endeavor to help you.
(I will write a part 2 about our responsibility in this relationship.)